Friday, February 26, 2010

Anarchism and Truth 7

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

We allow God's land to be carved up and owned by a few and call the land - our land - property. Almost the whole world is chartered in this way, and we offer no opposition to this theft of our common heritage. Indeed, the popular use of the word heritage has been vulgarised to imply the ownership of the world by a few. Yet the ownership of the one thing which is above anything else the personal property of the individual - our very lives and minds and will - we unquestioningly throw away. We have damaged ourselves so badly that we cannot see that no one has the right to tell another what to do, to give orders, to starve, to murder, to imprison. We even surrender time. Our lives are so short, like the blinking of an eye compared to the cosmic time-scale, and still we speak of this time, this handful of years, as if it were not our own. We sell it to our masters so that we may live, and regard these contracts as just and fair. The 'theft of time' from these exploiters - shirking, impunctuality, sick leave - are condemned as anti-social, and we even speak of 'spare time', when we are not being abused and enslaved. But this time is ours! It is our lives! Must we be so helpless and obsequious? A day is such a precious thing, yet we let them all slip by, unused, one after the other until we die.

If people are not anarchists, then it is only they who must justify their reactionary stance. Yet although non-anarchists have vastly more opportunity than anarchists to expound their views, I have never heard anyone attempt to do so using a logically consistent argument. Not only do capitalists not understand anarchism, but it appears that they do not understand capitalism. Its proponents cannot justify it. There can be no subjective argument about right or wrong - if the mental handicap responsible for capitalism is responsible for the daily murder of millions, then it is wrong and must be cured or eradicated. It is not possible for there to be a logistically consistent counter-argument to this, and it is a waste of time to listen to anyone attempting to expound one. Anarchists need not justify that which is, by definition, the only way to facilitate mankind's survival and progress. Choosing and supporting capitalism entails wanting to live in poverty or under the constant threat of redundancy and poverty equally as much as wanting to live in wealth and luxury, for it is not possible for capitalism to exist without all these things. It also entails wishing such restriction and injustice on all other people. Capitalism's apologists claim that such a system facilitates the individual's freedom and choice. It does no such thing, because the free would not choose servitude. Under capitalism, social responsibility consists of being compliant, deferential and obedient, and merely deepening the age-old furrows worn by the machine of the system we live by. This social responsibility includes no form of contribution to society other than interpersonal and international economic competition - ultimately, to the death.

In places of exploitative labour (and, indeed, outside of such environments) so many people are quite prepared and willing to show deference to those who tell them what to do. No man has a right to give orders to another under such circumstances - that is, under the blackmail and violent coercion of capitalism - and conversely, for humanity's sake, no one has the right to give in to such false authority and offer such abject deference to others.

Governments aim to combat insurrection by exploiting this human weakness and seeking to create a strong and pervasive sense of hierarchy in society. In the workplace, if individuals are forced to compete within an infrastructure of fluid, meritocratic pay scales, then this will serve to destroy any sense of solidarity between those fellow workers, for everyone will then be at everyone else's throat - there will be no coherent 'mass' of employees, strong in their number. Also, by creating a culture where everyone is considered a 'consumer' or 'provider', governments ensure the fragmentation of industrial organisations, again stifling any possible spirit of solidarity.

So many accept and never question a great divide between 'manager' and 'worker'. Yet managers - secretaries and supervisors - serve no purpose other than to assist workers by organising their work for them. They have no other possible use, and if they do not perform competently then the workers must replace them with others. It is possible for entire companies - banks and suchlike, for example - to comprise no workers, in which case that whole organisation exists for no reason other than to serve and assist those who do work.

All the media perpetuate the capitalist ethos of home-owning, that is, the belief that a home is an investment and not a place to live. Anyone who regards their house as a monetary gamble and not a dwelling place must be prepared for the value of their investment to decrease as well as to increase. People who simply want a roof over their heads obviously desire low house prices, whereas capitalists speak of such a housing market as being 'depressed', and wish for prices to increase, which they then regard as being a 'recovery' of this market. People who choose to attempt to scale such a property ladder forfeit all rights of complaint against any loss or state of poverty they themselves suffer at Mammon's hand.


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