Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Anarchism and Truth 3

A Treatise of the Spiritual Aspects of Anarchism
by Peter Ostrowski
excerpts con't:

We are living in the time that history will remember as the dark ages. A time when good citizenship is taken to mean the willingness not to contribute, but to compete, to work only towards one's personal interest and gain; to show deference and obedience to the winners, the vanquishers. The ultimate winners are those who command deference even from those others who name themselves winners. But clearly, to hold such values is the antithesis of citizenship. And nowhere in these rules we dare not write down is there any reason why the thief and murderer should not serve self-interest at any cost to the other.

But what freedoms, choices and opportunities can there be for those who live within this artificial fortress we have constructed? When there is nothing to achieve or contribute, only competition and winning or losing, then the enterprise of the winner is negligible against the infrastructure within which such victory has been forged. For this game, this battlefield, has been created by the hundreds of generations before us and, of course, by the vanquished, the losers. The only achievement of the winners is to maintain this tyranny of our own making to create future winners and losers.

But our games are played and won with loaded dice. Those who do not win are bound and helpless at the start. We cannot even refuse to compete. And what is there to win but the right to throw our lives away, to beg for mindless labour? Capitalism would reduce free-will to a choice between unending toil and extermination. Those who think they have won, in so viewing their position in Creation, have nothing; Mammon feeds on such beliefs, leaving the winner with the greatest imaginable loss.

We believe that there are many different political systems in place in the world, other natures of nationalistic tyranny. We speak loosely of capitalism, socialism, communism, and think that there are fundamental differences in the ways that various countries maintain their existence. But what is capitalism if not the need to labour for money, while a ruling elite control the citizens by force? This is the only political system there has ever been in this world where no country can exist in isolation, and where each builds its armour of nationalism by creating, and maintaining or distorting, an abstracted economy.

So we will define capitalism as the building of economic fortresses, as nationalism, as inter-state economic competition. Thus to define communism will be to speak of a world without money, a world which must be all Earth, no less, for Mammon will not allow such a state to exist in isolated seclusion, surrounded by its totalitarian barbarism. It will be to recognise that there are no countries, and hence to never again speak of such arbitrary land areas nor of mindless allegiance to them. It will be our return to the allegorical Eden. Moreover, we will name this bridge we are building over genocide's canyon socialism. This will be the work and lives that are to take us to this great ending and beginning. It will be the name of our changing.

Out of all arrogance and presumptiveness, the worst is for one to demand obedience and deference from another. Communism will be lawless, for no one has the right to command others. At that time we will be united by anarchy. Each will have unreserved respect for every sentient mind, every being living, dead or unborn; human, animal or a future intelligence beyond imagining; terrestrial or other-worldly. For not only do we exploit and abuse that which is human, but also we exploit, abuse and even feed on, devour, all that is sentient, all that which knows. Never again will it be so; the revolution will facilitate the liberty of all. At such a time the anarchist will finally live by anarchy; today he must live by anarchism. Anarchy will be born of anarchism at the end of socialism's path toward our future.

Anarchism is the name of mankind's struggle against ignorance. Both science and the highest art have this ultimate aim, so they are both anarchist activities, but we also suffer in part from social ignorance, and fighting this is the third class of anarchist work. Social ignorance is ultimately blindness to our own spirituality, and it is our spirituality which fuels art and science, so clearly then our work must proceed in all three areas simultaneously if we are to achieve anarchy. But even in an anarchic Utopia, progress will not be finished, of course. We will still be living in a vast, unexplored, barely understood universe, only we will have then achieved a level of spiritual enlightenment - present in all individuals - which will allow us to finally pass the boundary between anarchism and anarchy. It will be like emerging from a global childhood.

It is preferable for anarchists to speak of the eradication of capitalism rather than its abolition. To use the word abolition would imply that mammon may be legislated against, when in reality it must be removed from our hearts, forever. When capitalism has been eradicated there will be no laws, not even those which promote freedom. (In fact, it is not even wholly correct to speak of the removal of capitalism, for capitalism's cause is not something solid and tangible, rather it is a great hole in our souls which must be filled with spiritual awareness and a sense of the numinous.)


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