Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Perhaps it's time for socialism in the U.S., not anarchism

I say that not because there's any sort of inherent weakness in anarchism so much as that the kinds of things that anarcho-communism wants to establish are right now pretty far away from the consciousness of most Americans. Specifically, the communal, collective, part of anarchism is, I'd wager, lost to most people outside of the anarchist movement itself. The collective side is, in my opinion, the essential point that differentiates anarchism from right wing libertarianism and the stoner libertarianism of places like (the otherwise good) Disinfo.com. Communal, social values, the kind of values that fuel people taking care of other people in their community and that fuel working for the good of the community on top of working for yourself, are pitted against an individualism that denies any validity to collective and social values whatsoever, and dresses its opposition up in anti-statism. It appears to me that before folks can come around to realizing how it can be possible for collective realization to coexist with personal realization, they need to know just what collective realization is, on any level. A wonderful way for them to get that understanding would be for society as a whole to move towards social democracy. By expanding the welfare state into a social democratic state, by winning the struggle to do so, America could establish the sort of foundational ethics that could then be built on to create a just society that could implement communal values without having a state form attached to it.

2 comments:

Eric Bowen said...

People in the US will never consent to socialism. Anarchism always has and always will offer a more viable alternative to American citizens. Collaborative governance also offers some hope that we can learn collaboration pretty quick. See natural resource governance out west: ranching/ecosystems benefit hugely in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico when stakeholders drive change, facilitated by BLM officials.

John Madziarczyk said...

I'm not so sure about that. I've yet to see a viable plan for universal healthcare under an anarchist system that could be implemented in a reasonable time span, and there are other social programs like free education that could only be implemented by a social democratic government without revolutionary change.

I'm not suggesting a form of socialism that's Leninist, but one that's implemented through Congress and the States. If it's fueled by representatives, these folks can act for the benefit of the stakeholders.

Of course, all of the problems of our current system would most likely carry over, including the problem of representation versus direct democracy, but as a transitional step I think it would be positive.