Posted on February 1, 2013 by Gillian
C4SS | February 1 2013
is not to be conquered, it is to be destroyed. It is tyrannical by
nature, whether exercised by a king, a dictator or an elected president.
The only difference with the parliamentarian ‘democracy’ is that the
modern slave has the illusion of choosing the master he will obey. The
vote has made him an accomplice to the tyranny that oppresses him. He is
not a slave because masters exist; masters exist because he elects to
remain a slave.” – Jean-François Brient
The state is that entity which claims a legitimate monopoly on the
use of violence in a given territory, according to Max Weber. The
Hobbesian, Rousseauvian, Lockean perspectives are that the state arose
from a world of chaos by social contract that vested a ruling class with
a monopoly on violence (for the good of the people, of course).
The funny thing is, nobody can point to a point when the modern state
arose. Perhaps it was a place like Çatalhöyük (ca. 7500 BC) or Sumer
(ca. 2900 BC)—where a stratified society was structured on the basis of
might. The earliest monarchies, empires, and republics—they are all
essentially based in violence. Inalienable rights were unheard of – if
you blasphemed God (or one of his temporal bureaucrats in the Vatican)
within the Holy Roman Empire, you could be excommunicated and anyone
could kill you without reprisal. Government is rule by some men [sic]
over others, nothing more. So is ours—which, let the record show, was
built out of slave labor. In some sense, it still is.
Voters place their hope in God-Kings called Presidents, expecting sociopaths to lift them out of servitude.
One feature unique to states is taxation, or the forcible
extraction of property to be used in a way that the victim would not use
themselves. It is the only entity that does this. Taxation is theft,
everywhere and always. Goods and services like roads, schools and
medical care can be and are best provided by the market. The state has
no incentive to provide a quality product because it has no competitors.
Capital intensive projects are not better handled by the state due to
diffusion of responsibility and bureaucratic opacity. Taxation is
extortion at gunpoint, a vestige of tribute paid by a subservient group
to conquering armies, according to David Graeber, in his 2011
treatise Debt: The First 5,000 Years.
The only way we justify taxation is to use it to claw back the
monopoly profits “earned” (stolen) by the class that has taken control
of the machinery of the state (capitalists). But redistribution does not
address the root of the problem: state-secured privilege conferred to
the politically connected capital class. Capitalism is not to be
conflated with free markets, which are wonderful institutions that have
existed throughout human history.
Although controversial, the present scheme, Capitalism, has only been
around since the Early Modern Period. Capitalism is defined by Gary
Chartier in Markets Not Capitalism as
“a symbiosis between big business and government, where the workplace
is ruled by an individual called a boss.” It is not inevitable that we
should live in a system where there are more empty houses than homeless
people, or that there can be such a thing as a permanently impoverished working class.
Voters place their hope in God-Kings called Presidents, expecting them
to lift them out of servitude. The funny thing is, the rulers are drawn
from the same elite class that holds essentially the same ideology as
the prior masters. There are exceptions – Presidents who grew up poor,
but they became wealthy prior to their inauguration and executed
policies that favor the elite. One cannot become president without selling out to
corporate interests because of campaign financing. Insanity is doing
the same thing repeatedly and expecting different results.
What about the poor?
Saying nothing of colonialism and
imperialism—strictly the purview of states, policies that originated
much of the world’s destitution—capitalism requires poverty to function.
Someone must do the dirty work, staff the military, and subjugate
themselves to others in exchange for depressed wages.
The welfare / social safety money doled out to the poor covers only bare necessities; the Marxian opium das volkes,
a mere placation of radical revolution that would resolve the problem
of state-conferred capitalist privilege once and for all (Marx was an
astute critic but a dreadful problem solver – state violence can’t be
remedied with greater state power). The very necessity of a welfare
state is unquestioned, but the deeper issue is why are there so many working poor, when an entire class of people need not work at all yet find themselves wealthy?
Jesus did not originate the welfare state in an act of benevolence,
rulers designed it to bribe the population under a
structural-functionalist logic: to keep the system alive and buy their
allegiance. In the 1870s, Otto von Bismarck crippled the German
Socialist movement by offering a palliative concession, saying ”my idea
was to bribe the working classes, or shall I say, to win them over, to
regard the state as a social institution existing for their sake and
interested in their welfare.” To this day, oppressed people believe the
state is looking out for them. The reality is that the state breaks the
legs of the poor and hands out taxpayer-funded crutches.
state is that entity which claims a legitimate monopoly on the use of
violence in a given territory. (Philippe Leroyer/Flickr)
State violence is proffered as a solution to the consequences of past state intervention, like these:
1. Creation of a legal entity called the limited-liability corporation,
which absolves capitalists of crimes and protects their personal wealth
from judicial penalty. The state also decided to give these legal
“persons” speech rights. Corporations are immortal, and enjoy
considerable tax advantages. Originally chartered to build bridges and
public works and then disband, modern corporations live on –insatiably
seeking greater profits regardless of social consequence – the
“fiduciary responsibility.” This un-empathetic behavior characterizes
2. States subsidize politically connected businesses
like Wal-Mart, Monsanto, Halliburton, Lockheed-Martin, Goldman Sachs
and Exxon. These companies externalize their diseconomies of scale onto
the taxpayers, including disproportionate use of roadways, government
research, and monopolistic patents (which deprive people of access to
vital generic forms of drugs, for example).
3. Weakening and co-opting labor unions, actively suppressing worker owned modes of production (worker’s cooperatives).
In the previous elections both Romney and Obama favored corporate
plunder despite extensive evidence that worker-owned enterprises are far
more efficient (no policing costs and workers have an incentive to
increase revenue when they share in the profits directly).
4. Fake regulatory agencies like the FDA, EPA and SEC which protect corruption under the guise of consumer / taxpayer protection.
They are foxes guarding the henhouse, made up of the same individuals
that worked in the supposedly regulated industry just prior. Phenomena
known as “regulatory capture” and the “revolving door.”
5. And lets not forget: imperialism, conscription and mass murder.
The CIA, the military-industrial complex, the FBI, NSA, Homeland
Security, TSA, and the DEA. In sum, the modern welfare-warfare state
that knows best for you.
6. Enforcing a monopoly on the issuance of a fiat currency,
the value of which derives from government’s future ability to tax.
This money is devalued by printing more, which transfers purchasing
power from those who get the new money last to those that receive it
before circulating (The Cantillon Effect). In this case, Federal Reserve
member banks are the beneficiaries. This is an invisible tax.
Illusion of Choice and the Presidential Elections
The epic electoral battle staged every four years is meant to
juxtapose two presidential candidates as polar opposites, like Zeus and
Hades. But lest we forget, they were brothers. As rhetorical wars are
fought and bought with corporate money, the truly substantive issues are
never brought up because both teams have a vested interest in the statist quo.
Neither candidate exhibited reservations about a century of ongoing
American imperialism, with 700 military bases spanning the globe, or
that this country spends more than the next 19 largest spenders combined on
the military-industrial-congressional complex. Instead, they bickered
over social issues like an individual’s right to marry whomever they
want. In an anarchist system, marriage exists outside of the state;
couples don’t need state approval to declare their union legitimate.
The corporation-state is the dominant institution of
modernity. The logic of state necessity and inevitability rests upon
many uninvestigated premises. These assumptions must be interrogated;
otherwise court-intellectuals and demagogue-pundits distract us by
dramatically rearranging deck-chairs on the Titanic. As Noam Chomsky
wrote, “The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly
limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate
within that spectrum.”
The media always drum up the race as the most important election in
history. Those that actually study the history of politics realize that
platforms have been blending and triangulating—moving unceasingly in the
direction of statism. Left and right may polarize, but they share
essential authoritarian characteristics. For example, both candidates
favored the National Defense Authorization Act –
which strips Americans of their right to a trial before jury and allows
for indefinite detainment. Furthermore, both parties are beholden to
the dictates of the financial sector, empowered and cartelized by the
During the election, both Romney and Obama differed on a slim few
substantive issues, and one candidate may be marginally better than the
other. However, being forced to choose between these two candidates is
like deciding to poison the well with either cyanide or arsenic;
innocent people die either way.
Obama is a militaristic president. For example, Obama authorized the
drone killing of Anwar al-Aulaqi (a United States citizen living in
Yemen) in September 2011. The CIA killed his 16 year old son two weeks
later. There was no due process – the President unilaterally
assassinated a US citizen on foreign soil.
If any individual killed another person, it would be a heinous crime.
When a state kills someone, it’s for the greater good and often remains
secret for supposed “reasons of national security.”
Any military age male (18-35) is considered a militant by
the U.S. army unless proven otherwise. According to the Bureau of
Investigative Journalism, from 2004 to 2012, between 2,562 and 3,325
people were killed in drone strikes in Pakistan alone. The U.S. also
operates drones in Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen and Somalia. Some 474 to
881 of those killed in Pakistan were
civilians, including 176 children. Another 1,300 were wounded. These
numbers are likely to be low, because the U.S. and Pakistani governments
seek to obfuscate the severity of the carnage.
Why should we give more power to the guys with the guns and expect
that to solve our problems? We need human-scale solutions. We must dig
to the root of the issue, which is state-capitalism itself; or the
economic system where state power protects illegitimate ownership claims
and creates artificial scarcity to protect profits. The state is what
makes capitalism (but not markets) possible.
The state and the capitalist class are not antagonistic forces, and
America is nowhere near a “free market.” Big business hates
authentically free markets – capitalists prefer mercantilism. Unless you
are member of the ruling class, you should do everything you can to
bring about a less violent, non-statist paradigm—because states have a
nasty tendency to start putting certain people in camps and you never
know who will be next.
Thanks to: http://shiftfrequency.com