Thursday, October 14, 2004

Utah Phillips voting, and that whole authority thing

The Nation's recent interview with Utah Phillips, anarchist folk singer hobo, brought up some thoughts.

I'm not an anarchist so the whole how do you express yourself is always an interesting issue when I read stuff...

We're like kindred brothers, after the same things, but not agreeing with the reasoning behind it, and I just can't let it go...even though I support basically everything the anarchists support and more.

So...the State...

Not being dependant on the State. I'd argue that almost no one is dependant on the State and that, in fact, the State doesn't really exist unless it cracks down on you.

Between the time when you get pulled over by the cop and the time that you see some sort of tax the State doesn't really exist for you...and neither is it, in any sense, I would argue, an organizing factor in our society.

If people in the working class weren't self-governing already the whole thing would fall apart in two days.

Society as a whole, not just the working class, governs itself and takes care of itself pretty effectively.

Without the need for outside intervention. But it doesn't often think of what it does in these terms.

Instead, it thinks that 'the State' is involved somehow.

Let me tell you:the State is a state of mind, nothing else.

Hard to say when Iraq is being deciminated by 'our' troops but, sure, the State is a state of doesn't really exist.

It's accoutrements exist.

You can be pulled over for speeding by a cop.

You can be arrested for some sort of civil violation.

Military force can be used.

But the central idea uniting all of these things does not exist.

There are police, there's the military, there's the legal system, and all of these things can hurt but none of them, either in isolation or in combination, adds up to 'the State'.

They are simply one force in society. There are others, which can challenge and sometimes dictate what happens. Corporations and businesses are very good at doing that.

The State can be de-commisioned.

Vast prisons, increasing force used against everyone, it may be better to say that the State is a proposition, an argument which people desperately want citizens to believe in and take to heart----to keep it in their heads and in their everyday functioning.

But we can reject that...and realize that 'the State', in that sense, is not real, and that, consequently, we can dismantle the repressive machinery which exists in a more concrete sense if we want to.

If citizens call for it and push for it.

Me, what do I do with this grand psychological realization that the State doesn't exist, wihch is a big weight off my shoulders?

I lead a decent life.

I figure that if the authorities ever mess with me they'll see I lead a decent life and that this will be enough---short of persecution situations---to let me go about my everyday business unscathed.

After all, which comes first, the action or the morality?

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