Democracy… we are taught it’s this wonderful thing in school. In my mind, a simple definition of a genuine democracy, would be something like "the idea, or a system based on the idea, that the people of a given society, should have meaningful control over the decisions that are made in that society." Seems simple enough right? Who could argue with that? Now take this same basic premise, this idea that the people should have meaningful control, and apply it to economics…You have just become a communist…Did you feel it? Maybe for a second there?
James Madison, considered one of the founding fathers, and the original framer of the constitution, knew perfectly well that genuine democracy would lead to communism.
"The government we mean to erect is intended to last for ages. The landed interest, at present, is prevalent; but in process of time, when we approximate to the states and kingdoms of Europe, — when the number of landholders shall be comparatively small, through the various means of trade and manufactures, will not the landed interest be overbalanced in future elections, and unless wisely provided against, what will become of your government? In England, at this day, if elections were open to all classes of people, the property of landed proprietors would be insecure. An agrarian law would soon take place. If these observations be just, our government ought to secure the permanent interests of the country against innovation. Landholders ought to have a share in the government, to support these invaluable interests, and to balance and check the other. They ought to be so constituted as to protect the minority of the opulent against the majority. The senate, therefore, ought to be this body; and to answer these purposes, they ought to have permanency and stability."
To summarize, in a democracy, once the capitalists have monopolized most property and cannibalized each other down to a small elite: "the minority of the opulent," the majority would then enact laws to redistribute property more evenly. This could not be allowed…
Sharing…that’s another thing we are taught is just great in kindergarten, or nursery school, "if you’re gonna chew gum, I hope you brought enough for everybody…" but talk to a kid from a business family who goes to a private school sometime about it.
By that age, in that environment, they are usually deeply indoctrinated in capitalism. Anything that stands in the way of their ability to accumulate becomes immoral to them… The idea that they might owe the society that has raised them to such luxury something in return becomes unthinkable. Though they use knowledge and language and resources built up by the base of human civilization, stepping their way up on the heads of others, they suddenly become complete individuals when it comes to "picking up the tab." "Why is it my problem if some single-mother can’t afford to feed her kid?" Or "why should the prosperous be punished for doing well?" Are the sorts of arguments one might hear.
In the west, this moronic ideology is frequently called "Libertarianism" , or "Anarcho-Capitalism"… To me it’s a descent back in to the morality of the jungle, "social-darwinism," not fit for anything claiming to be an advanced society. But here in the west where we just love "our" property rights, (if by "our" you mean the 10% of people who own 80% of all wealth) where we have the educational system churning out "little-Eichmanns" left and right, and "worker-drones" if you don’t happen to have wealthy parents, this sub-moronic take on freedom (that is, the freedom to starve, the freedom from health-insurance, the freedom to sell yourself, the freedom to die…) just doesn’t seem to go away…It’s that bad taste in your mouth after you catch an episode of South Park. It is the doctrine of the business class. It’s not libertarian, it sure as hell isn’t anarchism, it’s nothing to do with liberty or freedom, what it is is capitalism, what it is is elitism, what it is is control, and what it amounts to is economic-fascism. You conform to the system if you want to survive, period. That doesn’t sound like freedom to me.
We hear taxes are bad. They take your money…and with the little you earn thanks to "trickle-down" (or "pissed-on") economics, this can create hardship. We see them take our money, and spend it on war and guns, spend it on PR so they can lie to us better about it, while 50 million or so of our poorest countrymen go without healthcare, one illness away from financial disaster. But what about that 10%? Do they really NEED 80% of all wealth? Have they really earned it anymore than you or I? There are "goodhardworking" people (you know that’s all one word here in the States now) dieing poor. There are miserable, greedy men, lazy intellectually and otherwise, living out fabulously priviledged lives we probably couldn’t dream of.
What about mutual-aid? Mutual-aid, for those who aren’t familiar, is an idea of Peter Kropotkin, "The Anarchist Prince," written about 100 years ago, based on his own ideas and observations on darwinian evolution. The idea is, maybe there is more than "survival of the fittest" at work…Maybe some species actually benefit by HELPING eachother, as opposed to EATING eachother.
Maybe instead of a "social-darwinism" society, we should try for a "mutual-aid" society? Maybe it would be better for us all to try to help eachother rather than consume eachother.
Andy Rink is a former factory worker and former computer technician who administers the website, AnarchismToday.org