Sunday, February 21, 2010

Anarchism and Truth 5

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

Facts must be demonstrable. We must find a way to articulate exactly why anarchism, art and science are important. Even if we give part of the answer - that these things are vital to our survival and progress - we must then give a reason as to why our survival should concern us, why progress has value and, indeed, define precisely what progress is. In any argument between anarchist and capitalist, the former will be able to deliver an unshakable counter-argument against every attempt to justify the capitalist system, the ultimate such refutation being that capitalism will destroy mankind. This leaves the capitalist with one last riposte - final and desperate, yet still seemingly impossible to refute. He will ask why we should care for anyone else, why we should care what happens on Earth after our own deaths. To find a reply is truly difficult.

When anarchism is such a seemingly arcane philosophy - the remit of a small number of individuals, each isolated from the others - then can the basic tenets of anarchism be expected to be embraced by humanity as a whole? They will not be if these concepts are philosophically complex and difficult to understand on an intellectual level. But they are not! The precepts of anarchism rest on the spiritual base which I believe is present in all people. If not for the social forces - in actual fact, anti-social, pernicious forces - which blind us and bury our spirituality, the spirit of anarchism would pervade the world we live in. Capitalism, by its very nature, leads people away from the sight of their own spirituality - it actively prevents us from living spiritual lives. We are denied true education, and are forced to engage in activities (under pain of death) which are humiliating, degrading, damaging to our physical and mental health, and are a waste of the time we need in which to work. We dedicate our lives to waiting for our own ends: for five o'clock, for Friday, for retirement, for death. Under Mammon, ambition consists of but wishing our entire lives away. And the paths along which capitalism does send us could lead anywhere - to violence, war or total genocide. We have lost control over our own directions.

In defending itself, Mammon doesn't merely suppress the word anarchism, but understands the power of ridicule and reduces the meaning of the name to something which people will equate with no more than terrorism and rioting, and which for them will have no political meaning or ideology at all.

Thus the police seek to exculpate themselves from any responsibility for incidents of violence at public demonstrations or rallies by directing the blame for any such confrontations onto 'anarchists', immediately gaining public support through the years of the misappropriation of the word. National and global television and other media networks duly and authoritatively report and disseminate this unchallenged libel. Anarchism is thus continuously fighting such world-wide reactionary political misinformation, becoming reduced to no more than a purely perjorative and abusive term, whilst being denied virtually any media access at all in which to expound its actual aims and viewpoint.

Mankind's destiny may only be realised through anarchism, yet it is the one political creed which is completely censored and suppressed by all aspects of modern society, including the popular media and all children's state education.

Would the creation of an anarchist political party help to strike back against this misinformation and media neglect? It is difficult to see how anarchism's work could be placed in the party political arena. Anarchism transcends leftism and rightism, and if it were to be placed in the political spectrum, there could be nothing to the left of it, and to its right would only be ranged various degrees of watered down capitalism. In any case, its voice would be tiny and unheard. Perhaps the formation of an anarchist union is possible, however - a society bringing individuals together so that they do not feel so alone in their work [the "anointed" community].

We need to identify the areas in which fundamental social changes must be made. For example, the problem of unemployment may be addressed by attempting to spread work out among all citizens. But in a society so advanced that a concerted effort has been made to share out jobs in a fair way, money will have been abolished too. This would eradicate 99% of the jobs which exist at present. Conversely, many more vocational human activities will be created by this monumental advancement in our spirituality. Necessary labour would then be done as a form of voluntary national service and would not impinge to an intrusive degree on liberty and the time which people need to work at these professions. Such labour would be performed during natural breaks in a person's career, if such gaps happen to arise. Inevitably, some professions would allow for little such time, and so people would have to give as much as they were able to, even if this meant that some could only contribute very little. But under anarchy we would understand and allow for this.


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