Monday, March 19, 2012

Progress - Yes, but for whom? Toward what?

Excuse the Leninist word-games, but I felt I had to.

Progressives! Ah! The intellectuals! With high morals and a love for progressive "democracy", believers in "compassionate capitalism", the politically correct thought police, the "rational middle ground" between Soviet Gulags and Reaganomics, the upper middle class people who'd rather tell a welfare mother they voted Democrat (but the social program got voted down) than buy groceries for her or help her with the kids. 

It's not with complete disgust I approach American Progressives. I mean, at least they have the decency to lie about not being corporate hacks. It's just that while they at times sound egalitarian, righteously standing up against oppression, corporate bailouts and environmental disaster, their solutions seem to imply they don't mind it's cause.

Take Elisabeth Warren for example. I know, I know, her rant on taxing the rich is old news by now. But it's pretty interesting to look at how she touches upon some important truths about the state of state capitalism. We all remember this rant:

You moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for.

Correct, infrastructure spending is a huge subsidy for corporations.

You hired workers the rest of us paid to educate. 

This is correct, and absolutely frightening. State education came about as a form in which to create wage slaves. 

You were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for. You didn’t have to worry that maurauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory, and hire someone to protect against this, because of the work the rest of us did.

Also right, the poor pay for all the protection of the giant corporate monsters we see today, pretty sure anyone can see the problem with that. 

So far, so good. 

But wait. Just wait for it. 

"Now look. You built a factory and it turned into something terrific or a great idea - God bless! Keep a hunk of it. But part of the underlying social contract is you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along."

Ok. So much bullshit here. The social contract bullshit, the myth of corporations "paying forward to our kids" bullshit, but that's not the worst part. I believe this is the problem of progressive "egalitarianism". 

The first part of her analysis talks about how the system Americans live under is a system designed directly for the rich. We build roads for, educate our children for, pay for the protection of Corporate power, and Corporate elites. Ah! What an open and honest statement in our deluded status quo! What do we do? Do we build a new system? Do we revolt? Do we start building a society for OURSELVES?

Nope. No. You're forgetting, this is a progressive speaking. The best she can come up with is "i dunno, tax the rich, social contract, whatever". The "social contract" thinking works both ways: we enslave ourselves for the rich, create their wealth, as it is is said in the "underlying social contract" (somewhere, I can't find a copy of said contract online, or anywhere else), and they, by the same contract, might share a portion of their wealth to society so maybe they generate revenue for some food stamps for the unemployed debt slaves of tomorrow. 

Truly radical people don't want a milder version of invisible despotism, we want it's complete abolition. Don't tax the rich, stop paying for their privilege.   

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


Ok, nobody is claiming a monopoly on "Property is Theft!", but for Christ sakes, if you're going to quote Proudhon, it's good if you've at least READ "What is Property?" before you want to discuss how true/false it is. He said three things, all equally true and consistent, if you actually UNDERSTAND his arguments: 

Property is Robbery!
Property is Liberty!
Property is Impossible!
If you can't grasp what he meant by these 3 apparent contradictions, please refrain from using "Proudhon said Property is Theft!" as the rallying cry for your own personal ideology. The term "Property is Theft" has been misused and misquoted by both the pro-capitalist right and the pro-collectivist left for SO LONG. If you're going to say "Property is Theft!"in reference to Proudhon, please also mention that Property is Liberty and that Property is Impossible. If you want to find your own, black and white definition of property, fine. But stop misconstruing Proudhon's message. I'm especially looking at you, authoritarian socialists. NEVER, EVER use "Property is Theft!", because you're the last ones to understand that.

Proudhon's view was that property was complex, and he rejected both the classical liberal idea of private property and the communist idea of a gift economy. He recognized what property was, and saw it's contradictions, evils, and a swell as it's liberating qualities. He was neither an "anarcho-collectivist", neither could he be seen as an "individualist" in the same way that Warren, Tucker, and Stirner was.

What I'm saying is: Communist and Market anarchists can't claim Proudhon, neither can you, neither should I. Let Proudhon be Proudhon.

Monday, March 5, 2012

"But it's VOLUNTARY" - And so?

-"Working for wages is dehumanizing!" 

-"But it's VOLUNTARY!"

-"I think there should be a social safety net!"

-"Why do you want to COERCE me into paying for it?"

-"Women should be paid equally!"

-"But the woman agreed upon entering that contract VOLUNTARILY!" 

Notice the pattern? Notice how these knee-jerk reactions to the concerns of mainstream statists really doesn't answer much at all?

It seems to me that if the voluntaryism-movement wants to be taken seriously, maybe it should start taking actually ADDRESSING some of the issues discussed. Maybe then it can evolve into, you know, something more than just currently existing capitalism minus the state.