Friday, January 24, 2014

Today's GOP illustrates the illusions of Anarchism

By which I mean the conservative base that the is built on. Why? Because all of these communities in the Deep South, the true Midwest (as opposed to the Great Lakes States), and the far West short of the coast,  were built on the pioneering spirit of individualism and of people determining their own lives. In particular, the Wild West itself was based on these values.....and instead of leading to some sort of utopia where everyone is perfectly free and respectful of everyone else, where individuality is honored and respected, it lead to a kind of stultifying conservatism that privileged Christianity above all else.

People were given all the freedom of the frontier to do what they liked, and they chose something repressive and conservative. How about that? The reinventions of personal freedom in these places that have resembled the ideal have been brought by newcomers, not by the people who were descended from the people who first settled it.

All these places where Creationism is being taught in schools, where there's virtually no separation between Church and State, are places where people believe that it's their God given right to live their lives the way they want, to teach their kids what they want, everyone else be damned. They are, in a sense, living the anarchist dream.

They have local control over their schools, local control over their towns and regions, and are hostile to outside statist interference....and they've chosen beliefs that are several hundred years behind everyone and are unwilling to change them.

The conceit of the anarchists is that freedom enacted will necessarily lead to the ideological social values that they have, but don't always explicitly state, being realized, but freedom in the sense of self determination and non-interference is just a formalistic concept, not something that's bound to any one ideology.

 Even in the Russian Revolution, in the sticks of the provinces when some people found out that a revolution was happening and that the exploiters were being overthrown they organized Pogroms....because that's who they felt were exploiting them, as opposed to the landholders and other folks who really were doing it.

If self-determination and this sort of freedom from restraint is really the end-all and be all of society, then why is it that the question of vaccination is making bed fellows of conspiracy theorists and progressives, while small outbreaks of diseases that have been gone for decades, if not nearly a century, have been happening? Portland, a city where quite a few people know Dr. Strangelove, has now gone from scoffing at Flouride stealing our vital fluids to refusing to put it in its own water, over largely false assumptions. Similar things could be said of homeschooling, which can either yield nice, open, tolerant, people, or the next generation of Christian Taliban who have no real understanding of the outside world.

Structure is needed to make a good society, and on this the GOP and Anarchism are unfortunately united in opposing it.

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