Friday, February 26, 2010

Anarchism and Truth 6

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

The 'industrialised' countries, of which Britain is one, garner a disproportionate part of the world's wealth and possessively hold it close, prepared even to murder in order to defend it. For not only is war murder, but so is the world-wide economic competition which starves millions. Moreover, given the arbitrary nature of country boundaries, all war is therefore civil war, whether it be in the form of armed combat or interpersonal socio-economic competition; we are citizens of one planet.

It appears that this is how most of the employed want the world to be. It is how most of the unemployed want the world to be. To then have the temerity to complain of being victims of such a system, or to pity the poor they themselves have created, is hypocritical, arrogant and wholly self-centred [we are complicit]. We speak of the concessions by which the unemployed are allowed to survive as being safety nets'. But why are we walking tightropes?

Countries do not exist - we have fabricated them from our bigotries. We have made them up. This is the most fundamental tenet of social organisation. Exploitative labour is maintained not by the ruling class, but by the exploited themselves. The exploited comprise the army, the one and only tool available to the rich and powerful with which to subjugate the majority, and to protect their own riches and power. The control of armed forces is ultimately the root of their power, the coercive mechanism which enables men to force their will onto others and to steal the common land. It was only because people who possessed this violent might took and divided the land long ago that exploitative labour ever came into being. People were spread so sparsely over the Earth that it was possible for anyone to find a plot of land, build their own home and grow their own food. If people had not been prevented from continuing to live so freely, trade and money could never have come into existence.

The existence of armed forces, therefore, is both a direct consequence of capitalism and a major prerequisite for its continuing survival. One cannot be without the other.

It is often said that prostitution is the world's oldest profession ('profession' is always misused in this common aphorism, of course - it is actually used here to mean exploitative labour). But this cannot be so, for military activity must be older still. Prostitution exists because of money - capitalism - which is forced upon us only by military means. Therefore there had to have been armies before there had been prostitution. The first exploited workers were soldiers.

The people of our world - the citizens of our global society, present and past - are lacking almost totally in pride, self-respect, dignity, a sense of the numinous and hope for our collective future. In place of these things fester violent hatred and nationalism, religion and superstition, and a fear of science, coupled with an inability to understand either it or the nature of its spirit. If we do not respect ourselves, then how may we ask for respect from others? We allow people to demand deference from us, and then meekly give it. This is my life - nobody has a right to tell me what to do, and I have no right to do likewise to anyone else - others' lives are their own. Only when we have first accepted this fundamental truth can we possibly accept responsibility for working towards mankind's future.

How can the exploited complain of their lot if they are not anarchists? About whom do they complain if not themselves? If they want capitalism, then they want to compete to stay alive, they want the ever present threat of redundancy, they want to be at constant risk of losing the game of Mammon. However, perhaps they do have this right of resentment if they have been enslaved and repressed, for a lifetime or for generations, and have had their intellectual and spiritual development stunted to such a degree that they don't even know what their basic human rights are. So many times I have tried to speak of rights and pride to such timid, obedient people as these, and have always found it frustratingly difficult to do when they so easily take deep offence at such frightening ideas.

Thus people who are trying to instigate anarchy are not trying to tell others what to do - they simply wish to ensure that individuals are fully capable of both making and exercising choices in their lives. A social system which allows this is by definition named Anarchy.


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