“But what about human nature? Can it be changed? And if not, will it endure under Anarchism?
Poor human nature, what horrible crimes have been committed in thy name! Every fool, from king to policeman, from the flatheaded parson to the visionless dabbler in science, presumes to speak authoritatively of human nature. The greater the mental charlatan, the more definite his insistence on the wickedness and weaknesses of human nature. Yet, how can any one speak of it today, with every soul in a prison, with every heart fettered, wounded, and maimed?
John Burroughs has stated that experimental study of animals in captivity is absolutely useless. Their character, their habits, their appetites undergo a complete transformation when torn from their soil in field and forest. With human nature caged in a narrow space, whipped daily into submission, how can we speak of its potentialities?
Freedom, expansion, opportunity, and, above all, peace and repose, alone can teach us the real dominant factors of human nature and all its wonderful possibilities.“
Rather than simply hope for a deep-seated human goodness to overcome dominating and violent behavior, anarchists argue that traits like compassion, independence, and a sense of solidarity must be cultivated through properly facilitating environments. This must take place in wider society (workplace, neighborhoods, etc.) for broader changes to occur, but as Bakunin notes, the ‘environment that [nourishes] and [raises]’ a person, like formal education in youth, is of particular importance in determining subsequent social attitudes and behavior (Maximoff, 1953, p.153)*. If a child is to grow to value cooperation and solidarity with others, then she must practice cooperation rather than institutionalized competition with her peers. If a child is to grow to challenge received truths and think for herself as an adult, then she must, while young, learn in a way that encourages her to practice individual inquiry and challenge authority.
Justin Mueller, “Anarchism, the State, and the Role of Education,” appearing in Robert H. Haworth’s Anarchist Pedagogies: Collective Actions, Theories, and Critical Reflections on Education (2012)
*Bakunin quote from G.P. Maximoff’s The political philosophy of Bakunin. New York: The Free Press (1953).
“I’m interested in something Gordon was filmed saying about imprisoned members of the Russian activist punk band Pussy Riot: “Women make natural anarchists and revolutionaries, because they’ve always been second-class citizens, kinda having had to claw their way up.” Gordon nods as I read back her quote: “I mean, who made up all the rules in the culture? Men—white male corporate society. So why wouldn’t a woman want to rebel against that?”
Part of my own affection for Kim Gordon, I realize, is her association with an era when even boys thought it was cool to call themselves feminists. I’m not sure when exactly that changed, but I know that by the time I was aware of experiencing sexism firsthand I’d already gotten the message that to identify myself as a feminist would limit me. I envy and admire the way Gordon—and the pop-cultural heroes she helped shape, like Hanna and Coppola and Courtney Love—seemed unafraid of that word. But I am even more envious and admiring of the way the men in Gordon’s orbit—from the Beastie Boys, who played with Sonic Youth over the years, to Moore to Cobain, who was very close to Gordon—seem to have taken cues from her about how to be good men.”
Women make natural anarchists and revolutionaries because they’ve always been second-class citizens, kinda having had to claw their way up. I mean, who made up all the rules in the culture? Men - white male corporate society. So why wouldn’t a woman want to rebel against that?
The Ascension of Bernie Sanders and the Dawn of Orwellian Entitlement Culture
If a person must work for a period of months simply to pay taxes what term would adequately describe the condition?
Indentured servitude maybe? But even then there is typically a formal agreement that an individual has signed.
Slavery is the term and it is what the entitlement culture demands.
Voluntaryists and market anarchists understand the nature of the dynamics at play. It is also what I believe makes voluntaryists characteristically inclusive.
For all of the agitation and rhetoric meant to divide us along social fault lines, a person interested in the free market is inherently interested in the freedom of all people. We are inherently interested in peace because the war machine consumes us.
Without financially literate people participating in the economy trade suffers and wealth is destroyed. The more people the state can oppress economically the less opportunity we all have. The growth of a dependent class creates the ostensible motive to confiscate the wealth of the people. If money is power the corporatists seek to concentrate it in themselves.
I want every person possible to be my customer. Conversely I want to be theirs.
I want everyone in every state-run inner city concentration camp to have a sound education.
I want them to have the opportunity to achieve economic escape velocity from a nanny state which farms and victimizes them in various industrial complexes. Their victimization enables my victimization at the hands of state institutions. We as subjects have mutual interest.
The state does not want liberation and that is what is disguised with the abstract idea of pervasive racism permeating our culture. It promotes fear and division. The corporatist propaganda machine builds up herculean straw men for the state to do battle with.
It is the terrorist and the self-styled savior.
The state encourages entitlement and dependence because its power to ensnare all people is derived from this evil.