I am taking a deep breath as I say this. I think I am an Anarchist. There I said it. Let’s back up and survey the landscape, at least from my perspective.
Much of what passes for political/economic commentary these days is tainted by propaganda, the intentional promotion of ideas which are designed to perpetuate a belief, often a widely held belief. Ideas which are essentially bogus. An example of this is putting forth the view that Capitalism represents freedom, freedom to innovate, freedom to invent, and freedom to work hard for personal gain. In a nutshell freedom to prosper. Capitalism then is deemed a superior economic system.
Such propaganda relies heavily on vilifying opposing systems, in this case Socialism. It says Socialism is bad. It is the antithesis of hard work and innovation. It is the culmination of big government trying to control our lives in a misguided attempt to create a more just society. It rewards freeloaders at the expense of hard working millionaires.
We are now ready to connect the dots in our propaganda campaign. Since big government is bad and big government is trying to control our lives, then it goes without saying that regulation is bad. Food stamps are bad. Welfare is bad, etc. Let the open market reign supreme. Give us Freedom. The fallacy in this line of reasoning goes unnoticed by many.
The fallacy is the failure to recognize Private Power as the dominant underlying force in our political/economic system. Private Power trumps government power and operates at an unseen level, far away from the tempering influence of the ballot box. You can identify this Private Power in a number of ways. Some call it an Oligarchy. Others call it Corporatism. I have given those who hold power the name MiLords, to correspond to the .1% who wield a disproportionate share of the wealth. MiLords control us. We are not Free.
Then there those that purport that Private Power and Government Power are all mixed up. They call this the Deep State. More than a half century ago, President Eisenhower warned us of the coming military industrial complex. It is this complex that makes a mockery of the notion that we are a free, democratic, capitalist society. Private Power takes us into war after war for the mundane purpose of making a buck.
So what does all this have to do with being an Anarchist? I turn to the ideas of Noam Chomsky for inspiration. “Well, anarchism is, in my view, basically a kind of tendency in human thought which shows up in different forms in different circumstances, and has some leading characteristics. Primarily it is a tendency that is suspicious and skeptical of domination, authority, and hierarchy. It seeks structures of hierarchy and domination in human life over the whole range, extending from, say, patriarchal families to, say, imperial systems, and it asks whether those systems are justified. It assumes that the burden of proof for anyone in a position of power and authority lies on them. Their authority is not self-justifying. They have to give a reason for it, a justification. And if they can’t justify that authority and power and control, which is the usual case, then the authority ought to be dismantled and replaced by something more free and just. And, as I understand it, anarchy is just that tendency. It takes different forms at different times.”
In essence the debate pitting Capitalism against Socialism is a clever distraction. It is without meaning. For one thing we are not living under free market conditions and we are not therefore practicing Capitalism. For another thing it is simply not true that if government establishes a means to make health care more available, or raises the minimum wage or tries to regulate the bundling of bad mortgages, that means it is a Socialist Government. It is a hollow debate because the reality is MiLords are in control.
Confusing matters further is the wildly disparate group of people who identify themselves as Libertarians. Too often the Libertarian framework is twisted to defend Private Power in the name of giving private individuals more freedom. This according to Chomsky. In some realms Libertarians and Anarchists have a lot in common. Not in America where the Private Power just uses the sentiment to preserve wealth and privilege.
And so it goes. Freedom is the Holy Grail that is used time and time again to undergird devious propaganda. Practicing Capitalism makes us a free society until we besmirch it with Socialism. If only we as individuals could be left alone to do our business, all would be well. Meanwhile MiLords chuckle to themselves about the nameless masses who do not even know they are being led like sheep.
I am an Anarchist because I choose to engage in Critical Thinking* by being suspicious of domination, authority, and hierarchy. I refuse to be distracted by the meaningless chatter we call party politics. I challenge Libertarians to withdraw their protection for Private Power. I reject out of hand the notion that market capitalism is being practiced anywhere. I choose to look more deeply into the systemic issues that are propelling us toward the abyss.
In Part II of this post we will delve into the mechanisms employed by MiLords, drivers of the Deep State, to deprive us of our freedom. This pursuit will take us back all the way back to the creation of The United States of America and the attempts to form a permanent Central Bank rooted in debt instead of wealth. This will help us understand the issue of debt being used as a means to enslave us. An effort opposed by none other than Thomas Jefferson. We will set the stage for a series of posts that will trace the 200 year development of the subjugation of money (gold and silver) in favor of debt backed notes declared valuable by fiat. (what you have in your wallet is not money, it is rather a debt instrument)
In the mean time I will try to get used to being an Anarchist. Anarchy is not Nihilism. It is not on the side of chaotic violence. It is not fooled by propaganda put out by Private Power. I have thought for some time that the line from left to right should really be shown as a circle. Go far enough left and you end up sharing a lot of values with those on the true right. Strip away all the propaganda and you are left with a search for freedom within the bounds of humanity.
Are you an Anarchist too?
*See earlier post: Are You A Critical Thinker?