I’ve gotten involved in quite a few arguments on BitChute with both libertarians and communists, and now, that seems to have spilled over to Steemit as well.  I’ve had my fair share of discussions here on WordPress also, which is why I’ve decided to now write a piece to make my position as clear as possible, and therefore I have something to direct people toward in case I get involved in another argument.

I love chaos – unironically.  When life is too orderly and predictable, it is boring.  For someone as organised and skilled at multitasking as I am, things have to really fall apart for me to not able to follow what’s going on.  Delicate balances never last, and when they come tumbling down, it makes for great entertainment.  Yes, I have a sick sense of humour, but that is my coping method for living in a world that can be so utterly infuriating most of the time.  I see politics as a complete farce, for instance, because it is all about people advancing their own careers, rather than promoting the well-being of anyone else, and principles can be swapped out at a moment’s notice if there is need for it.  It’s a collection of social games within a larger game, and since I don’t play social games, I think the whole thing is stupid.  This is the difference between a politician and a statesman – a politician concerns himself only with his own well-being, a statesman concerns himself with the well-being of the nation, regardless of his own desires.

Statesmen are extremely difficult to find in the 21st century.  Politics is far too lucrative to not attract the greedy.  So is law, and most politicians start off as lawyers.  There are only two current examples of statesmen that I can name, and while both are controversial figures, I can say without a doubt that the second name I list will draw much more ire than the first: Jacob Rees-Mogg and Vladimir Putin.  If you want to know why I make this claim, feel free to leave a comment, because I’m not going to get into that right now.

Some politicians, while not proper statesmen, are much more principled than the typical career politician, and stick to their ideals regardless how unpopular or ludicrous they are.  Case in point: Bernie Sanders, before he ran for president.  I used to think Bernie was a reasonable person (even though most of his ideas aren’t), but after seeing him on his campaign trail, I thought “did he have a stroke, or is he putting on an act?”  I’m not really sure what to think of him now, but my position on his ideals hasn’t changed, and the next paragraph begins the real meat of my argument.  There is also a certain bug-eyed, recently-elected young Congresswoman from New York who may also fit into the same category, but she hasn’t been in politics long enough for me to be able to tell.

Socialism is a cute idea (I used to like it myself), but it works only on very miniscule scale – like, you have two cows and you give one to your neighbour sort of scale.  It barely works for small European countries, it certainly doesn’t work for a country as large and diverse as Russia, and there is no way it could work in the United States.  For the purpose of this argument, I will be treating socialism and communism as the same thing, since they share the same fundamental problem: re-distribution of wealth.  Taking wealth away from the rich and giving to the poor certainly makes everyone equal – equally poor, because the poor always outnumber the rich by a very large margin.  A single millionaire in a country with a million beggars will result in a million people with only a single dollar to their name, and this is roughly the reality that socialists must face.  It may seem like justice, bringing the rich down to the level of the poor, but it doesn’t actually solve the problem of poverty.  Nothing is ever free – the money has to come from somewhere, unless you abolish money altogether.  I love the idea of abolishing money, to be honest, but let’s be practical: what do you replace it with?  I’m still trying to figure out how to make that work in my fictional society.  There has almost always been some form of currency used in any given human society at any given time.  Barter systems are not unheard of, but they don’t work on a large scale; while barter systems could, theoretically, be supported by complex computer algorithms using 21st century technology, I doubt it will ever become particularly widespread, instead limited to those who already use cryptocurrency on a regular basis.

Anarchism is also a cute idea, but just as the abolition of money is an enormous challenge, the abolition of government is impractical.  Part of the problem is mob rule, the very threat that the electoral college is designed to keep at bay.  If democracy is like two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner, then a system that gives a sheep thrice the voting power of a wolf is going to prove beneficial for everyone.  I used to be an electoral college abolitionist myself, seeing that California has entirely too much influence on US general elections.  However, upon learning that a perspective candidate need only campaign in the five largest cities in the country, two of which are in California, in order to win an election with a straight popular vote, I changed my position.  Californians can whine that someone living in Cheyenne has a thousand times the voting power of someone living in Los Angeles, but Wyoming still has only one measly electoral vote.  In a strict popular vote system, Wyomingites would have no voice at all.  Californians may not care what Wyomingites think, but that’s not the point.

Allow me to put this a different way: farmers tend to make up a very small percentage of the population, and, owing to the increasing industrialisation of agriculture, that percentage is constantly shrinking, especially since the population density of most cities continues to rise.  Cities need farmers to survive, otherwise everyone starves.  Perhaps then, it would be prudent to give the farmers just as much voting power, collectively speaking, as the urbanites, since national policies affect them both.  Suppose there was a measure put forth to change the method of paying for the roads: instead of paying a high petrol tax, people would have to pay a high tax on seeds.  Every single urbanite is going to vote for the seed tax, because they won’t have to pay it, right?  Wrong!  In response to the seed tax, farmers would have to raise the price of flour, and thus bakers would have to raise the price of bread.  Which would you rather have: cheap petrol and expensive bread, or cheap bread and expensive petrol?  There is no third option.  However, very few people consider those consequences.  Farmers certainly do, but if the urbanites outnumber them a thousand to one and they all live in a direct democracy with a straight popular vote, their voice will not be heard.

I don’t want anyone to think that I’m defending the current system.  I’m not – it has serious problems, and if anything, the issue of skewed population density confounding public will has been exacerbated since the US was founded in the first place.  However, keeping the mindless, self-centred masses (who are finally starting to wake up, thankfully) placated is how politicians win elections (and knowing whose palms to grease is how they get the exposure to begin with).  Socialism is popular because sloth is popular.  Anarchism is popular because people don’t like to be told what to do.  However, there are consequences to these systems.  As long as money exists, nothing is free – someone has to pay for it, and quality usually suffers as a result, because you get what you pay for.  Furthermore, tearing down the current system requires putting something else in its place, which is why I warn against mob rule: that’s how the Soviet Union got started.

3 thoughts on “More Bad Ideas that Won’t Die: the Allure of Anarcho-Communism

  1. As an addendum to this post, the conversation that inspired it in the first place is finally finished. It goes like this:

    Jacob Tothe: Nobody listens
    Nobody cares
    Nobody will make a difference
    And Nothing really brings change

    Nobody/Nothing 2020!

    Me: This is like the movie Brewster’s Millions: “who you gonna vote for? None of the above!” I love the nihilistic irony almost as much as I love chaos.

    JT: Calling anarchism “nihilism” makes about as much sense as the Romans saying Christianity was atheism because the Christians rejected the pagan pantheon. Electoral politics does not work as advertised. It’s a fairy tale. Rejecting it is no more inherently nihilistic than rejecting astrology.

    Me: And what would you replace it with? Mob rule? Trust me, that never ends well, though it is fun to watch from a distance (I love chaos). Besides, I was calling your comment nihilistic, not anarchism itself, and I meant it as a joke.

    JT: Government or mob rule is a false dichotomy. Society functions despite government, not because of it, and demoracy is mob rule. It turns any dispute imto a zero-sum game. Anarchy allows people to find alternatives.

    Me: Oh, I agree, especially since mob rule usually leads to authoritarian personality cults. I’m trying to find out what sort of system you think should replace the current one, in other words, what sort of society do you want to live in?

    JT: Society doesn’t need a political system to function. The economy, dispute resolution, etc. are all more than capable of operating in a decentalized form. When you cut out a tumor, what do you replace it with?

    Me: Ah, now that’s an analogy I can work with! When you cut out a tumour, you don’t just leave a hole, you sew up the empty space so that it doesn’t fill in again. Now then, since politics is a total farce and doesn’t benefit society, what measures should be put in place to prevent a second political class from seizing power once the first has been ousted?

    JT: That’s the thing: we don’t need an expert to dictate what should replace the state apparatus. The market process of competition for consumer choice allows parallel solutions to be put to public test in a far better manner than monopoly politics

    The original post can be viewed here: https://steemit.com/dmania/@thepholosopher/the-only-ethical-option-nobody-trump-warren-sanders-bernie-taxationistheft-endthefed-zg1hbmlh-3rwg8


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