Friday, July 25, 2014

On Becoming An Anarchist: Part I

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?


John Howard said...

There are essentially two kinds of anarchists: those who despise government because is protects property rights and those who despise government because it violates property rights. The second group is right. Property is the fundamental premise of both economics and morality. A consistent commitment to property rights of individuals requires an end to the taxing and ruling of the gang called government.

Larry Alderfer Fisher said...

Thank you for your comment.

Our present system is not just protecting the wealth of obscenely rich individuals, it has established a vehicle for harvesting wealth by a few by using illegal manipulations of the markets. This is not freedom, but rather socialism turned on its head to promote increasing inequality. Since the late 70's wages have been flat while the top 5% are making out like gang busters. The system is beyond broken.

I also take exception to your reference to government. Our government is not in control of the situation. Obama is a puppet as was W.

My reading of Anarchism then is to examine power structures to see if they are operating in a fair and just manner. They are not, so bring them down. Debating whether Republicans or Democrats are the problem, or focusing in on tax rates (which are at historic lows, under Nixon they were much much higher than now)is avoiding the fundamental issue. We are under the control of the Deep State. And it reeks.

Larry Alderfer Fisher said...

I would love to hear from some self proclaimed Anarchists who despise the abuse of power (not government per se)and look deeper than the games being played in Washington. Are you out there? Do you despise that the Fed is doing to our money supply? Do you cringe when bankers buy their way out of jail time with $16 billion payouts? Do you swallow the official line about what brought down the towers? Do you laugh out loud when they show pictures of the small hole a huge airliner made in the Pentagon? No broken windows on either side. Do you recognize the propaganda of the main stream for what it is?

John Howard said...

You write:

"I also take exception to your reference to government."

Really? I used that word 3 times. I can't see that you have taken exception to it.

I do not merely despise the abuse of power, but power itself. You are not an anarchist until you reject power as such, not just its "abuse". Power over others cannot be properly used.

John Howard said...

At your 8:33 comment, your 2nd paragraph says you 'also' take exception... which implies you were disagreeing with me in your first paragraph. Perhaps you could quote the words of mine with which you disagree.

John Howard said...

To respect the point of view of others is absurd when their point of view is wrong. To censor those who disagree is dishonest.