Power To Speak
An anarchist perspective on government
By Shane Solano 05/06/2010
In aid of all the attention (I would say more like a smear campaign) being lavished by the MSM on the Tea Party (or Tea Bagger, if you’re a leftist) movement, here are a few observations on some of the issues/concerns/planks I’ve seen raised by many of its participants, and some perspective from an anarchist point of view.
Talking about states’ rights while denying the lawfulness of secession is just that … talk. Since secession was declared illegal by the federal government’s conquest of the Confederacy in 1865, talk of states’ rights is just talk. The anti-federalists were right, but the federalists won the political battle back in the late 18th century.
The constitution means … whatever those who happen currently to be in control of the federal government say it does. These folks number fewer than 300: one-half plus one Congress (a quorum for conducting legislative business is far fewer than the number of total possible representatives, so this number could be potentially less than 200), one president, and five Supreme Court justices. This essentially means the Constitution has no meaning, only subjective interpretation. Anyone else’s opinion is worth nary a zinc penny. And many think this a system of perfection?! It’s not even sane! Oligarchy, anyone?
Government is inhabited by strangers who derive their authority from having had more people put checkmarks next to their names than those of their opponents in an election. Typically, the winning number represents 10-25 percent (depending on the perceived importance of election — presidential gets more attention than local school board, for example) of the populace the winning candidate gets to rule over. Obama’s “landslide” victory (and the most favorable interpretation of a Democratic Party “mandate”) saw him garnering a whopping 22-23 percent of the votes of all Americans.
Government (all governments) resembles nothing so much as a legalized Mafia that claims a monopoly over the use of initiatory violence, usually over a specific geographic area (but sometimes outside it — see U.S. government) in order to extract protection money (i.e., taxes) to fund its operations.
It claims the power to order people around (i.e., make laws and regulations) at gunpoint. It has enforcers (police, military, investigators, tax-collectors, etc.) to make sure people obey. Federal, state and local laws — and the regulations they spawn — most likely number in the millions, now, across America. Remember: ignorance of the law is not a valid defense for violations thereof.
If one disagrees with the government’s edicts, one has the privilege of challenging them before a government-appointed and -paid judge (who was probably a prosecutor for the government at one time) who will decide how the defendant gets to defend himself. Prosecutors get ahead in the legal/political world based on how many people they convict and lock up — it could be for murder or rape or for smoking a joint or for painting one’s house a non-approved color. I’m sure they’re perfectly neutral when helping administer their employer’s edicts.
There is a very clear line between those who rule (government) and the ruled (citizens): one group issues commands backed up by the threat of violence (and sometimes violence itself), and the other obeys (or else). “We” are not the government, and the government is not “us.” This kind of unbelievable disparity in power can, eventually, only lead to one outcome: totalitarianism/slavery.
Governments and the agents who serve them are composed of individuals. So we are ruled over by other individuals, not an inanimate and mythical entity we call “government.” Sure, the individuals come and go, but the offices and titles (and most importantly, power) remain: kings, noblemen, knights, divine right to rule, hereditary ascension … presidents, congressmen, soldiers, democracy, elections.
Governments, essentially, claim ownership over human beings and the products of their labor, and can be seen as a very clever disguise for slavery by the discerning.
The idea of governance — a few ruling over many, including “democracy” (representational/republicanism) — is ancient, going back thousands of years. With all the advancements and innovations humanity has witnessed over a wide range of areas since then, you would think we might start questioning the legitimacy of a system of societal relations that has force (i.e., government) as its core unifying principle. For some reason, however, almost all cling to this ancient idea, insisting not only that it is the best system, but the only one.
What kind of people do you think will be drawn to government power? Who shall have the kind of ruthless ambition necessary, and the skills to manipulate the greatest number of people, which are required to gain high office where the real political power is? Who backs these types of individuals and to what end? What kind of “payback” do political climbers owe their benefactors? What kinds of alliances and deals are made in pursuit of the great and terrible power that governments wield? Why do so many fail to recognize politics and the political class for what it is?
A piece of paper with rules written on it (Constitution) can’t stop evil men from being evil — and they know this.
Maybe the rest of us will figure this all out some day.
Shane Solano is a resident of Ventura and an anarchist.