Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Anarchism and Truth 9

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

When it is possible to compel people to do such labour, then it is easy to demand that they believe that those who do not do so shirk their social responsibilities and are a drain and burden on our common wealth, our public funds. So many show such blind diligence to their toils and deferential loyalty to their masters, who in turn are subjugated by the master of Mammon. Yet to them winning the national lottery is something to aspire to, a dream to hold and cherish and call a reason for living, so that they may cease labour and join the shirkers (those very people whom they had previously accused of not contributing through any work or labour toward a common good), for their million pounds would be paid directly from our shared national wealth, being in fact a far greater drain on that wealth than a man's unemployment benefit, even if it were paid to him for a lifetime.

Everywhere we turn we hear people saying what they would do if they won the lottery jackpot, how they would ostentatiously resign from their place of labour in an outburst of anger and relief. Yet, while they are still compelled to be exploited, they accept their lot without complaint or any concept of anarchism, denouncing 'scroungers and idlers' and speaking of how the wheels of society must be kept in motion through exploitative labour.

Capitalism demands only one form of contribution to society from its citizens - obedience, compliance and deference. Never does it expect the individual to actually want to do his or her tasks for any reason other than financial gain. This is why workers are subjected to pay scales and supervision, threats of redundancy and financial catastrophes if the earning of money ceases for but a week. If people are constantly being taught, forcefully, that the exploitative labour they are doing serves no purpose other than to make money, then it is hypocritical to expect them to have any intrinsic interest at all in that activity. The government's every public pronouncement is carefully designed to further instill in us such ways of thinking - unemployment benefit assessment explicitly demands that labour serves no other purpose than to make money for the labourer - and even the media, controlled by capitalism, also try to force us to believe these things. We live under the yoke of an insidious despotism. Thus the individual struggles against appalling odds to search for any truth at all.

As well as using the media and the law to control people's thoughts, to mould their ethics and aspirations, the government takes much away from us through censorship. Any society which uses censorship to control what its citizens hear, see or read, claiming that depravity and corruption are the products of social forces, in so doing admits that war (the greatest mass depravity and corruption) and crime are caused by society. Yet the only measures taken to combat these things are aimed solely at civilian criminality, and are merely punitive - deterrents against individual offenders. Punishment is always nothing more than anger, loss of temper and hatred. Those who wish to rule cannot admit this, because they themselves use violent moral crime in order to maintain their own power.

Censorship is but one example of the hypocrisy of capitalism's proponents who claim that their creed is a natural, self-regulating social system by which all of its members and their activities reach their own meritocratic level. For Mammon would destroy itself if it were not tempered by censorship, or the control of drugs and arms, or the regulation of privatised industries to ensure that they do not make too much money, or the provision of state benefits to those whom it has made losers, or the regulation of monopolies and mergers, or the state funding of science and the arts. Capitalism does always fail.

Anarchy will need no such tempering.

Capitalism expects so little from people. It assumes that we will only care for anyone other than ourselves, except maybe our families or close friends, if those others are 'customers'. Anarchism, however, recognises that people have so much more than this to give and to contribute, and because they want to do so. Without spiritual desire there would be nothing driving our work, no fire, no reason, and the whole of humanity would be volatilely simmering with discontent.

Many people who demand deference from those whom they see as being ranked below them in their place of labour (or even, in a general sense, socially) hypocritically claim that people who do not labour are not contributing to society. It is only possible to make such a contribution if one regards all others as being equal citizens. Those who demand deference are in opposition to anarchism and so cannot possibly contribute to society nor believe that such a thing is even possible except through capitalism's serving of 'customers'.

If this psychological subterfuge succeeds, if we are ever truly left with nothing to hope for or aspire to other than personal, selfish, cynical escape from the mindless labour, the fight for survival which we ourselves have created, then we will be left with nothing at all. Mankind will then have no future, because hope, the strongest political force there is, will have been lost for ever.


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