Saturday, March 12, 2011

Rot and Stink

"In a criminal society, goodness is a crime. We have no moral obligation to tell the truth to the devil. To do so is likely to be actually immoral." --Dee

I was in a conversation with a well-spoken activist--at least, that's what I'll label him for the purpose of ease--and we were enjoying an exchange about the principles of anarchy (see quote above).  For example, anarchic philosophy calls for non-violence; anarchic philosophy emphasizes the sovereignty of the individual over above the collective; the responsibility of the individual is to provide for his own needs by the work of his own mind and hands, not by leeching off of the handouts of infrastructure when he is capable of doing otherwise.

However, our current socio-political climate does not allow for non-violence.  Consider our nation's involvement in wars that have nothing to do with us (e.g., Iraq).  Consider, also, that in Canada each person is in a holding pattern so far down in the lattice-work of control that considering yourself a 'sovereign' (solely over your own life, mind, and no-one else's) comes across as "eccentric" or "idiotic" or "crazy."  Or, consider that taxes are enforced: you earn your living, your country takes money from you it didn't earned, puts it towards ends you may not support, and then threatens you with fines and possibly jail-time if you don't give over a portion of your money.  This last example has the same rot and stink about it that the medieval church's enforced tithing did.

Whether or not I agree with these principles, I was given pause to think about who I am in contrast to the larger collective (society), and what the nature of our present collective is: are we living in an actual democracy?  Is democracy defined simply by being able to vote at elections?  Or is there something more to it that isn't being effected in Canadian culture?  If I were to consider myself a sovereign, how would that effect my participation in the common-place infrastructure of society?  Is it "criminal" to not give your money to a bigger group of people (the government) when they haven't earned it, and simply because they declare it criminal to not give money to them?  Should the government be re-labeled Big Vinny, and considered a sophisticated leg-breaker?

I don't know.  At the very least, I was forced to think of some very interesting alternate points of view.  And, being the curious person that I am, I appreciated the mental exercise said activist gave me.

6 comments:

Skeptigirl said...

Personally I am more of a communist than an anarchist but do not beleave either would work in reality because they both rely on an inherent morality and sense of personal responsibility in people that is the basic priciple that causes the societies to function.

That's a good example of a run on sentence.

Kane Augustus said...

Skepti: I'm not sure I follow you, my friend. Could you explain how having an "inherent morality and sense of personal responsibility" would mean that you "do not beleave [sic] would work in reality"?

Thanks!
Kane

Miina said...

Well, I will try and see if I can. Well at least in communism people need to be able to sacrifice for the common good of all to produce good for not only themselves but all.

Unless I misunderstand anarchy, people need to take care of themselves and pursue their own happiness in anyway they wish to as long as it does not interfere with the happiness pursuits of others. Right?

In my personal opinion both systems rely far too much on human beings not wanting to hurt others. In reality we see that when human beings are asked to not hurt others and work together for a common good or at least not to hurt them, even if they would gain something in the process, they fail. People will frequently choose a temporary gain for themselves even when they are hurting others and themselves in the process. As we see in for example the tragedy of the commons.

Communism in its purest form envisioned a pure utopian society (as all ideologies tend to imagine) that people would evolve to on their own and freely and happily work to achieve the common good. Many countries have tried to bring about this through revolution and their undoing is, other than undoubtedly repressive policies and a lack of concern for the individual, the individuals lack of desire to work for the common good. They wished to work for their own benefit, not the community's. I imagine it would work in a very small society where everyone would fit in your monkey sphere but not a multimillion person country.

I am no expert on anarchy but I imagine that even when given perfect freedom, in the absence of a government (unless I am understanding the concept wrong) a person would not manage to mind their own business enough not to exploit their fellow man for his own gain.

Have I made my point of view clearer? I basically do not think very highly of people. I am sorry about the spelling errors on my last response, I used to have spell check on firefox, but now it has disappeared and I don't catch the errors.

Skeptigirl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Skeptigirl said...

I wrote a response, under my google e-mail account, on accident being signed into it. It is not showing up. I can re post it if it wont show up.

Skeptigirl said...

Since I don't think it posted, here is the lenghty explanation I tried to put up earlier.

Well, I will try and see if I can. Well at least in communism people need to be able to sacrifice for the common good of all to produce good for not only themselves but all.

Unless I misunderstand anarchy, people need to take care of themselves and pursue their own happiness in anyway they wish to as long as it does not interfere with the happiness pursuits of others. Right?

In my personal opinion both systems rely far too much on human beings not wanting to hurt others. In reality we see that when human beings are asked to not hurt others and work together for a common good or at least not to hurt them, even if they would gain something in the process, they fail. People will frequently choose a temporary gain for themselves even when they are hurting others and themselves in the process. As we see in for example the tragedy of the commons.

Communism in its purest form envisioned a pure utopian society (as all ideologies tend to imagine) that people would evolve to on their own and freely and happily work to achieve the common good. Many countries have tried to bring about this through revolution and their undoing is, other than undoubtedly repressive policies and a lack of concern for the individual, the individuals lack of desire to work for the common good. They wished to work for their own benefit, not the community's. I imagine it would work in a very small society where everyone would fit in your monkey sphere but not a multimillion person country.

I am no expert on anarchy but I imagine that even when given perfect freedom, in the absence of a government (unless I am understanding the concept wrong) a person would not manage to mind their own business enough not to exploit their fellow man for his own gain.

Have I made my point of view clearer? I basically do not think very highly of people. I am sorry about the spelling errors on my last response, I used to have spell check on firefox, but now it has disappeared and I don't catch the errors.