Five Reasons That Anarchism Would Be an Improvement in Human Governance
ANARCHISM, 26 Feb 2018
“Give a man a gun and he’ll rob a bank. Give a man a bank and he’ll rob the world.”
Give people just a little bit of knowledge and courage and they will track down those greedy-ass bankers and hold them accountable. All we need is just a little courageous anarchism. The problem, the crux, the fly in the ointment: most people are not courageous enough, and most people don’t want to learn anything that attacks their all-too-precious worldview. Yes, the very worldview that is keeping people indebted to an immoral, unhealthy, unsustainable, unjust system of human governance is precisely the worldview that the majority of people are clinging to. Indeed, most people, even though they would probably say otherwise, would rather be kissed with a lie than slapped with the truth. They would rather deny facts that tarnish their worldview than reject the deceit that upholds it. But as Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable. Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.”
Healthy human evolution requires authentic vigilance. It requires a consistent upheaval of the status quo. This requires proactive human beings who are willing to be authentically vigilant and consistently rebellious. It requires courageous interdependent individuals who dare to recondition the status-quo-junky original condition. It turns out that the wisdom gained from anarchism is precisely the ability to distinguish between sacrifice that is transformative and healthy from mere suffering caused by the state that we’ve allowed because we were too cowardly or too unimaginative to think of a healthier way to live. Like Stefan Molyneux said, “Never, ever underestimate the degree to which people will scatter themselves into a deep fog in order to avoid seeing the basic realities of their own cages. The strongest lock on the prison is always avoidance, not force.”
Here are five reasons why anarchism will improve human governance and thereby cultivate a healthy human evolution.
1) It Has Inherent Checks and Balances
“Failure shows us the way –by showing us what isn’t the way.” –Ryan Holiday
This one alone is reason enough to give anarchism a try again. The other four are just icing on the cake. I say “again” because human beings lived in hunter-gatherer groups that were characterized by what anthropologists call Fierce Egalitarian Anarchism. They not only shared things, they demanded that things be shared: meat, shelter, and protection… this was simply the best way to mitigate risk in a survival context in a world with limited resources.
Fierce egalitarianism and primal politics (tribal anarchism) worked exceptionally well for the human race for 95% of our existence on this planet. Indeed, it’s one of the only reasons why we’ve survived as long as we have.
In an amazing game theory study by Duéñez-Guzmán-Sadedin on the topic of police corruption, they concluded that once a police system becomes entrenched, nothing can stop it from eventually becoming corrupt, with the result being a population of gullible sheep and hypocritical overlords. But they didn’t stop the study there. They decided to tweak it ever so slightly. In the words of Suzanne Sadedin: “The results were startling. By making a few alterations to the composition of the justice system, corrupt societies could be made to transition to a state called ‘righteousness’. In righteous societies, police were not a separate, elite order. They were everybody. When virtually all of society stood ready to defend the common good, corruption didn’t pay. Similarly, as it turns out, social norms in hunter-gatherer societies are enforced by the whole group rather than any specially empowered individuals.”
This is a critical aspect of anarchism: that everyone is free to be as moral, or as amoral, as they need to be in order to maintain a healthy cosmic, ecological, and social order. Freedom is primary. Health is secondary. Understanding how everything is connected is third. And immorality is not tolerated.
The monumental problem with our Statist society is that we are not taught to be as moral or as amoral as we need to be in order to maintain a healthy cosmic, ecological, and social order. In fact, statism purposefully forces whatever the state decrees to be healthy, as healthy, whether or not it is actually healthy according to cosmic law. This creates an exorbitant amount of problems.
2) It Would Nullify Debt Slavery and Eliminate Poverty
“When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living in a society, they create for themselves in the course of time a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it.” –Frederic Bastiat
How does our legal system authorize plunder? It allows banks to create fiat money out of thin air and then charge interest on it, which keeps the poor wallowing in poverty, and entrenches the rich in corruptible power structures based upon immoderate wealth.
How does our moral code glorify plunder? It pushes militarization, creates profit prisons, creates “war heroes” out of violent psychopaths, and makes war itself a profitable endeavor. It puts profit over people, equity over equality, transforms elections into auctions, and creates a fundamentally unsustainable and unhealthy money first, human heart second, mentality. Like Naseem Nicholas Taleb said, “Those who do not think that employment is systematic slavery are either blind or employed.”
How does anarchism flip the tables on the authorization and glorification of plunder? It prevents plunder from ever becoming possible because anarchism-based modes of governance are engineered in such a way that groups never get to the point of concentrated centers of power. The monopolization of power never gets to the point to where it becomes corrupt, because of controlled leveling mechanisms such as reverse dominance and wealth expiation. Like Jim Dodge said, “Anarchism doesn’t mean out of control; it means out of their control.” Whoever “they” may be: monopolizing corporations, overreaching governments, tyrants.
Self-aware critical thinker beware: political propaganda, especially in regards to war, money, government, and law, are designed to keep you conditioned and brainwashed into believing whoever is in power is being moral and just with their power. But as George Orwell warned, “Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance to solidity to pure wind.”
Have no illusions: within the current systems of human governance, poverty is a business. Profits are made on the labor of the poor, the consumption of the poor, and the debt of the poor. Anarchism is a system of human governance built to lift people out of poverty and into freedom. It gives people hope for a more balanced future of human prosperity. Like Raymond Williams advised, “To be truly radical is to make hope possible rather than despair convincing.”
3) It Would Be Eco-Morally and Ecologically Healthier and More Sustainable
“The best teachers are those who show you where to look, but don’t tell you what to see.” –Alexandra K.Trenfor
Authority tells you what to see, and therefore must be questioned. Authority is telling you that it’s okay to live immoderate, over-indulgent, violent, ecocidal lifestyles. It’s not okay, because it is fundamentally unhealthy and leads to unsustainable devolution. In a system of human governance that is systematically transforming livingry into weaponry, it is the supreme duty of all healthy, moral, compassionate, eco-conscious, indeed anarchist, people to question authority to the nth degree.
Such audacious questioning has the potential to create robust eco-centric communities based upon permaculture, wellness, creativity, and a sacred economy that takes the interconnectedness of all things into deep consideration. It incentivizes individuals who value human flourishing, environmental flourishing, permaculture, sustainable building, alternative education, and nature-based wellness.
The cornerstone of anarchist modes of human governance is the deep understanding of the interdependence of all living things. As Nikola Tesla proclaimed,
“Every living being is an engine geared to the wheelwork of the universe. Though seemingly affected only by its immediate surroundings, the sphere of external influence extends to infinite distance.”
An anarchist society divorced from the oppressive Big Brother bitch-slap of Statism, reveals a society that is capable of preserving the moral Golden Mean and the middle-way, as opposed to the immoral, suffocating greed of state politics. It will uncover a society that exemplifies the Golden Ratio of nature, as opposed to the state’s expropriation of nature and nature-based cultures.
4) It Would Result in the Expiation of Power and Wealth Through an Ethics of Reciprocity
“A freedom that is interested only in denying freedom must be denied.” –Simone De Beauvoir
The ultimate leveling mechanism inherent within anarchist modes of human governance is the ethics of reciprocity combined with the expiation of power.
Anthropologist Christopher Boehm has proposed a social theory that anarchist, egalitarian hunter-gatherers maintained equality through a leveling mechanism he calls Reverse Dominance: a social system of checks and balances that maintains egalitarian ethos while preventing a dominance hierarchy from forming. Reverse dominance hierarchies are broken down into four different leveling mechanisms: public opinion, ridicule, disobedience, and ostracism. These mechanisms work because human beings are social creatures and hugely influenced by peer pressure and social acceptance.
Anarchist modes of human governance are largely based upon shame as a regulatory method. Within such a society individuals are socially, morally, and ecologically compelled to expiate their power and reciprocate wealth because the alternative is the risk of shaming, ridicule, and/or ostracism. Like A.C. Grayling explained it, “The first task is to win something; the second, to banish the feeling that has been won; otherwise it is a burden.” In order for power and wealth not to become a psychological burden within anarchist systems, the powerful and the wealthy must be able to expiate and reciprocate their power and wealth, lest people become oppressed, and entire systems become corrupt.
But this does NOT mean that skill, courage, intelligence and perseverance are not rewarded. Anarchism does not imply socialism. Ours is a cultural problem. We’ve been raised to believe in the false ideal of greed. We’ve been conditioned to own. Our culture has become ego-centric, as opposed to eco-centric. It has become ownership-based, as opposed to relationship-based.
But prestige and merit can still be highly strived for values within an anarchist society that practices expiation of wealth and the ethics of reciprocity.
As I wrote in Breaking out of a Broken System, “Eco-moralism tames capitalism through holistic checks and balances. Ego-moralism jumpstarts communism through proactive citizenry. What we’re left with is a healthy anarchism with an egalitarian ethos which is less about capital and one-upmanship and more about respect for what is borrowed. It is less about ownership and more about relationships. It is ethical, spiritual, and diverse; as opposed to egotistical, religious, and homogenized by nationalism. Eco-moralism helps us pierce through the smoke and mirrors of hyper-reality and into the way reality actually is: interconnected and interdependent. Ego-moralism helps us become more motivated by revealing that our egos are actually tools towards leveraging a healthy balance between cosmos and psyche.”
Anarchists are crazy enough to think they can change the world, which is precisely why they will.
5) It Would Create Compassionate, Humble, but Courageous Leadership
“To really understand something is to be liberated from it. Dedicating one’s self to a great cause, taking responsibility, and gaining self-knowledge is the essence of being human. A predatory capitalist’s greatest enemy, and humanity’s greatest ally, is the self-educated individual who has read, understood, delays their gratification, and walks around with their eyes wide open.” –The Four Horsemen, documentary
Anarchist modes of human governance create precisely the type of self-educated, autodidactic individual that predatory capitalist’s and pacifist socialist’s fear. As Louis G. Herman wrote, “When individuals try to balance self-interest with a consideration of the bigger picture, they discover, as Socrates did, that deep self-interest actually includes concern for the good of the whole.” An individual (ego) acting on the good of the whole (eco) is a force of nature first, a person second, which provides them the phenomenal power of standing on the shoulders of giants while also wearing a wide array of masks of self-mastery.
If we can combine fierce egalitarian primal politics along with the type of progressive self-interested people who are capable of considering the bigger interdependent picture, then we have a recipe for a healthy, prestigious anarchic leadership. We have a blueprint for authentically venerated and wise leadership that has the potential to transform the currently unlivable human world into a livable one. Like MLK Jr. said, “The hope of a secure livable world lies with disciplined nonconformists, who are dedicated to justice, peace, and brotherhood. The trailblazers in human, academic, scientific, and spiritual freedom have always been nonconformists. In any cause that concerns the progress of mankind, put your faith in the nonconformist.”
Indeed, it is typically the nonconformist who is the one testing the outer limits of the human imagination: stretching comfort zones, shattering mental paradigms, and flattening status quo boxes that those hooked on conformity so desperately try to think outside of. As Henry David Thoreau said, in true anarchist leadership form,
“I was not designed to be forced. I will breathe after my own fashion. Let us see who is the strongest.”
Gary ‘Z’ McGee, a former Navy Intelligence Specialist turned philosopher, is the author of Birthday Suit of God and The Looking Glass Man. His works are inspired by the great philosophers of the ages and his wide awake view of the modern world.
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