Friday, October 1, 2010

Creating Some Semblance of Order

Before I begin, I think I should point out I am working from an assumption I may be taking for granted, so I will explain why I make this assumption.

I don’t believe people are naturally intelligent, naturally “good” (whatever that may mean to you), naturally successful, or really anything that may have a positive connotation. If you are a religious person, I can see where people seem civilized, since humanity has only been around for 6,000 years and we have been forming cities for twelve thousand years, so we’ve been working together twice as long as we have existed.

However, I don’t see things this way. I see humanity as having worked together to great success for about twelve thousand years, but for about a half of a million years prior, we were presumably little more than tribal fire users. There are hundreds of thousands of years where the biggest technological developments that the whole of humanity came up with amounted to a couple dozen different spearhead designs.

Compare this to the “Dark Ages” in Europe, where we had a couple hundred years of little more than a handful of improvements to the horse drawn plow. If those were the “Dark Ages,” then pre-civilized human history would be the “Dark Eons.”

So what changed us from transient wanderers into city building societies?

Two things: religion and government.

I’ll pause a minute to let Nikk calm down. Dude, trust me… I won’t let you down on this one.

There’s no way of knowing for sure, but I suspect government came first, but religion probably got big first. Government, as I would define it, would even include the politics of a household. In fact, in pre-history, family politics was very important.

All humans are born hungry, thirsty, crying, and helpless. It is only through the charity of others that any of us are alive today. All of us are children of sacrifice, baby beggars. We have no way of knowing how common it is, but infanticide was likely a common form of birth control, especially given how often it is endorsed throughout early recorded history.

What’s more, none of us are created by a single being. All of us needed two people to come together, and even if only one is there when we are born, this means the one taking care of us does not exist in a vacuum apart from others. So we are not only born needy, we cannot be the result of independent means. Only through coupling can the species have persisted.

While this may mean a woman was raped and a child was born, there is substantial evidence that in most cases, pregnant women were well taken care of, indicating she had to be part of some sort of group.

Family and mates would have constituted the first political systems, reminiscent of our first large governmental systems involving monarchs and nobility transferring power through marriage.

I can’t even begin to hypothesize the organization and development of this, as there is evidence pointing to both matriarchal and patriarchal systems, reverence for the old and rebellion by the young, conflict between those who had more and those who had less… really the same things we struggle with today.

At some point, religion came along. The ideas passed from one generation to the next took on a life of their own, and as people began to adopt better ideas from non-familial sources, the idea of power not necessarily being centered on the family was adopted by the founders of the first religions.

Religion in pre-civilized man was spoken, not written. To aid in memorization, the common assertion that it was likely sung or spoken poetry. Eventually, religion would have asserted itself as superior to the smaller familial group structure, and it would have further benefitted from the collective knowledge and human capital of bringing multiple families together.

Eventually, the two would combine to form the first systems of government as we know them. A Chief and Shaman that worked together undoubtedly had the support of both those who sided with the ruling authority and the cult followers. It was these relationships that succeeded.

Eventually, demagogues turned themselves into demigods, completely fusing religion and government by claiming authority from divine descent, while religions popped up that worshipped heroes, great individuals whose legend grew with each passing generation like a glorified game of telephone.

Each achieved progressively more by borrowing ideas from the other. A sort of cooperative competition arose; those who governed and those who preached succeeded by working together in competition with the rest of us. It is undeniable that these two have worked in tandem throughout history to live better lives than the hoi polloi.

So it went, human beings built up cities and societies. As any architect will tell you, you cannot use the same methods and materials to build the Pantheon are you would to build a mud hut. What’s more, the larger the building project, the harder it is to achieve. Large construction projects have a tendency to buckle and collapse under their own weight.

So it went, human civilizations and religions rose and fell.

Is this it? Is this the best we can expect?

Anarchists would have us believe it would be best without any form of authority, and given the progression of religion, it seems plausible. From many gods to one god to no gods, the progression is not so simple for government. In fact, we have gone in reverse with government: from singular rule to parliamentary representation, to broad sweeping bureaucracies… the next logical step is in fact to imbue every individual with the same equal authority.

So if political authority spawned religious authority, what is the next step? I think we should look to the spawn of government and faith: education.

And I don’t mean sitting through a class called “Social Studies” where you are tested on the date an obscure treaty was signed, or “English” class where you read poetry that is barely recognizable as English. Education may have a bad name in America, but that’s probably because America has a bad education system.

Yet, look at the people who advocate for anarchy: none of them are fools. In fact, the only error I think they’re making is in their misguided belief that most people are like them. Our best and brightest perceive the possibility, and they know what the next step is. They are at the head of the pack… but this has blinded them to just who it is that is following behind them.

Aristotle is reputed to have said, “I have gained this by philosophy: that I do without being commanded what others do only from fear of the law.” That was over 2000 years ago, and yet Aristotle had already stumbled upon the fact that the pursuit of knowledge is the key to self-rule.

We have become a stupid nation that revels in its anti-intellectualism. If ever there was a people that was not ready for anarchy, it’s America. If you need further convincing, just Google “YouTube.” Maybe at some point, but I am not ready to throw self-rule to a people where about 80% of the population believes in angels and miracles, because I know where those people will turn at the first sign of trouble.


  1. Ginx, where did you get the idea that anarchists would have us believe that it would be better without any form of authority? Authority can be freely consented to. If someone voluntarily belongs to a group, then they consent to whatever authority governs that group. For example, if you belong to a church then you consent to the authority of the church leadership. If you no longer consent then you leave the church. The idea is that authority is only legitimate if it is derived by consent.

  2. So the children are consenting to their family, the family's church, the family's choice for private security... Moreover, since private interests always seek to eliminate competition, it is inevitable that "consent" will give way to an oligarchic facade masquerading as "choice."

    Besides, you have choice. You can leave the US whenever you want, there's no one at the border with a gun keeping you in. Even Socrates over 2000 years ago understood that the adult's decision to settle in a polity is consent to abide by its laws, a principle Socrates literally died defending.

  3. Why should anyone have to leave the US, Ginx, so long as they don't pose a threat to anyone else here? The idea that we have consented by remaining in the territory is based on the faulty assumption that whatever authority is governing the territory is legitimate. It would mean that the Stalin regime was legitimate, because people remained in the Soviet Union when he ruled. It would mean that if the Hell's Angels motorcycle gang rode into your neighborhood and established their authority by way of violence and intimidation that unless you left you consented to their authority. It means that the government can do anything they want, and all you really have any right to do is leave.

  4. I'm not telling you to leave, I'm saying that you're a fool if you stay someplace you are being oppressed. I think you're blowing things out of proportion and that you have a sweet deal, and you're free to criticize all you want. But if the sky is really falling as some people are claiming, what are you sticking around here for?

    And yes, I would recommend leaving or admitting authority to a biker gang if they are in the vicinity. Thankfully if you're white and middle class like you are, I'm sure you can just call the police and you won't even have to risk your life dealing with it. Although you should know, most biker gangs aren't bad people, especially if you don't sneer at them. A little respect goes a long way.

  5. Two words that should raise an eyebrow or two or three:

    Eminent Domain.

  6. I don't raise my third eyebrow for anything, sir.

    I'm not sure what context you're bringing up eminent domain (my condolences if your home was just forcibly purchased to make room for a road). I understand why such procedure exists, and while the 5th amendment does allow for seizure with "just compensation," I don't think it's usually necessary to force owners to hand over property in a country so vast.

    I find this to be another ridiculous "the government is tyrannical!" pseudo-flashpoint, which occurs so rarely that I can't help but not give a shit. Ask a people who are anarchists how secure their land rights are, like a native tribesman. You have more to fear from outsiders than your own government, in this respect and nearly all others.

  7. I wanted to see what your response to it would be.


  9. I find this to be another ridiculous "the government is tyrannical!" pseudo-flashpoint, which occurs so rarely that I can't help but not give a shit.

    Why am I not surprised that you don't give a shit when it comes to the state's tyranny. Yet if a private company does something you perceive as evil, you literally want to make a federal case out of it.

    As for eminent domain, it is never justified. Taking someone's property without their consent is coercion. If eminent domain didn't exist, it would force governments to make offers no one could refuse, such as paying far above "market value" for a property. They still might not sell, but that would be their right.

    Besides, eminent domain has been expanded to give private property to large corporations, like Walmart, for purposes such as building shopping malls to generate tax revenue for cities, not to build roads and schools and other publicly owned facilities.

  10. It's not that I don't give a shit about governmental tyranny, I just see how rare these cases are. I judge a system based on how rarely something occurs, not by cherry picking and obsessing about anecdotal evidence. The fact is, people are more secure in their person, possessions, and claims to land under organized governments, not under anarchy.

    Not only do I want to make a federal case of every private abuse, I would love to see a federal case brought about for abusive actions taken by the government. The clause in the 5th amendment was placed in there primarily for the purposes of wartime defense, and I can sort of see it being "justified" for road construction, but why a road can't curve is beyond me.

    And in case you didn't know, we can actually require higher-than-appraisal "just compensation," and many jurisdictions do pay 10-25% above market value, though the real losers in these deals aren't owners, but affected renters who are displaced without any say or compensation.

  11. And in case you didn't know, we can actually require higher-than-appraisal "just compensation," and many jurisdictions do pay 10-25% above market value,

    I was referring to above market value in the context of a complete absence of eminent domain. Even if someone were given ten times "market value" for their property, they should still have the right to decline the offer.

  12. though the real losers in these deals aren't owners, but affected renters who are displaced without any say or compensation

    Rent should eventually be abolished and the concept of property replaced by rights based on possession and use.

  13. Because something happens "rarely" doesn't mean it should be tolerated. Go ask someone if they were unfairly removed from their property. Not everything has a price tag.

    And define "rare" anyway. One per 100 000? One per 1 million?

    I suppose the next point of logic is to determine if ED is abused.

  14. Of course ED is abused, everything on this Earth is abused. Government is abused, lack of government is abused, and frankly, "property rights" don't even exist. The only rights anyone has are those that have been agreed to be given. In America, we agreed that people keep what they have, but that in rare cases (one in millions, since there are less than a dozen cases per year, and usually less than half a dozen from what I can see) property is seized with compensation.

    I think it's a great system, because plenty of places have no property rights (besides what you can assert yourself), and if land is seized in many places, there is no form of compensation.

    I don't get why you faggots are all sobbing over something that private companies do in a much more nefarious way. Where I lived in Philly, private interests would buy property and then burn it down ("mysteriously" catching on fire after being sold). If the fire affected the neighbors and made them move, all the better: more property to grab. And if there were residents who wouldn't play ball, they would leave all surrounding land undeveloped and boarded up, decreasing their property value and inviting bad elements (like crack houses and meth labs) into the neighborhood until the residents were worn down enough to just leave.

    You guys seriously live in a bullshit bubble of your own construction. Welcome to reality.


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