Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A Healthy and Natural Survival Technique

It seems to me that the idea that one should view anything any national leader says with the utmost skepticism should not be regarded as cynical but rather as a healthy and natural survival technique. For example I really like the following quote…


Writing in the 19th century, Russian anarchist Michael Bakunin said that the State is “the most flagrant, the most cynical, and the most complete negation of humanity… this explains why kings and ministers, past and present, of all times and all countries—statesmen, diplomats, bureaucrats and warriors—if judged from the standpoint of simply morality and human justice, have a hundred, a thousand times over earned their sentence to hard labor or to the gallows.”

For years if I came across the word anarchy I associated it with people rioting, murdering and raping, looting, stealing, and so on. Yet isn’t that exactly what the State does? Our troops are murdering, raping, and stealing. Our actions in Afghanistan, Iraq, and elsewhere have led to rioting and looting. So what makes this better than anarchy? And perhaps anarchy could be something else entirely than my original idea of what it would entail. Maybe anarchy would be people minding their own business, doing what they wanted without hurting or bothering anyone else, pursuing the arts if they chose, or whatever. Truly people aren’t ready for anarchy for we have all been twisted by the culture we are born into and therefore susceptible to all the violent insanities that have been emblazoned upon our brains yet who knows what might be possible for humanity in the distant future?

A lot of futuristic science fiction concerns humanity spreading out through space, kind of a super cosmic imperialism which reflects the limited world views of our times. But what if someday humanity just moves beyond the need or desire for such things which would lead to a future very different from the self heating atomic powered coffee cups and ray guns that populate so much of science fiction. The assumption has always been that science and technology is what makes Western culture the superior culture yet the last eight years has shown that same science and technology being put to the basest of purposes, slaughtering other human beings, shooting them down like dogs in the street. Clearly any claims of superiority based on whatever delusional type of thinking falls apart as the West continues to pummel the East into submission, or attempts to.

Sitting atop this mountain of gore and death are the national leaders, the apex of a sickening system whose purpose is to promote and encourage the use of power to keep that same system that the monsters suckle from intact. You can argue endlessly over if it’s the system or if it’s the people in the system because the true cause for the endless wars and disintegrating economies can be found in America’s long descent into a military state. That is to say it’s the very structure of our entire culture that is to blame because our entire culture now revolves around all things military. In America generals are held in higher regard than luminaries like Martin Luther King and very few dare speak ill of the military or the troops themselves. Look how often the endless parade of generals are now in the news, with the news media hanging on every ridiculous and contradictory statement emanating from the mouths of the generals which become more outlandish with every passing day. But don’t be surprised when one of the good generals becomes president someday. It’s only fitting you see because having been in the military, and a general to boot, is the best resume ever in a military state like ours.

This in no way excuses people like Obama who seek the power of the presidency. Obama actively sought the presidency knowing full well that part of the deal was to keep the imperial wars roaring along and in this instance has been more than successful. To put your trust into national leaders, any national leader, is nothing less than suicidal. Congress has the power to end the wars by cutting off the funding but they won’t do it. Congress had an opportunity to pass health care reform but they didn’t do it. Congress has the power to spur job growth but they don’t use it or what they do is too little too late. Obama isn’t fighting to end the wars he is rather their champion. All these leaders have choices but their choices are always driven by political self preservation, the preservation of their own power.


At April 15, 2010 5:21 AM, Blogger Jack Crow said...

If you get a chance, the socialist/anarchist sci-fi writers McLeod, Banks, Mieville, Harrison, Robinson and Tepper might intrigue you. Also, see McAuley, Stross, Marley, Simmons, Buckell, Kress and Reynolds for imaginative treatment of the themes you outline.

I've found more useful philosophy and thoughtful consideration of the problems of empire and hierarchy in speculative fiction than in years of reading economists, political theorists and philosophers.

At April 15, 2010 9:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fostering a bad misunderstanding what anarchism is about is practically a cottage industry among self-styled "leftists."

I would point quite simply to an essay Chris Hedges wrote a few months back, where he really screwed up in his pronouncements of fear related to anarchist thought.

At April 20, 2010 4:03 AM, Blogger Jonathan Versen said...

Next you'll be telling us that if you don't vote you're still entitled to complain. Clearly you're some sort of troublemaker. :^)


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