To subdue the enemy without fighting is the supreme excellence. - Sun Tzu

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Socialism

The problem with Socialism is that it relies on a government bureaucracy and, correspondingly, Legalism (the interpretation and strict following of written laws to determine right and wrong); however, Legalism doesn't work because most meaning is conveyed in conversation nonverbally. They are always open to interpretation, and therefore there must be corruptable human arbitrators to determine exactly what a law "means" (lawyers, judges, commisars, city commissioners). It is not possible to write a comprehensive law system without loopholes, and loopholes are where corruption festers. The USSR failed because it WAS Socialism.

The other thing about Socialism is that it was never meant to be an 'end point'. It was an invention of Communists who needed a mechanism to get society from Point A (Capitalism) to Point B (Communism). After a Revolution (check), a Party was supposed to take control of the government and socialize all property (check), then give control of everything back to communities and Soviets and dissolve itself (which did not happen). The Bolsheviks established a bureaucracy, and the bureaucrats found they liked their jobs.

The first job of a State, like anything, is to maintain and perpetuate its own existence. Thus all efforts to "spread the Revolution" were only sanctioned by the USSR if they were under the control of the Russian bureaucracy; the most glaring example of this was in the Spanish Civil War when Spanish Communists under control of Russia kept supplies from the Anarchists who were doing most of the fighting and dying by the thousands; later they fought pitched battles against the Anarchist labor unions, imprisoned their leaders, and were themselves rounded up and killed when the Fascists won the war. The Socialist Bureaucracy prefered to lose a war rather than risk an affront to its authority.

That is the situation in Socialist-esque countries in Europe. It's true that there are more social services. But there is still poverty perpetuated by racism, petty bureaucrats, and capitalism; and for the rest there is no real control over their own lives. Worst of all, armed gangs of fascists ("police") still roam the streets terrorizing everyone. If you think the police are actually there to protect us, then you'd better take another look at your own privilege. They ARE there to protect you; you're white, middle-class, participate in capitalism; therefore the system serves you without you even realizing it. If you pay taxes, the police serve you; and the only people who pay taxes are privileged white people.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Teabaggers

Maybe they're not all just a bunch of fascists.

What do they want: Taxes reductio'd ad absurdum. Sanctity of property. "Freedom". They think that the 'free market' is the route to salvation, but a few good questions reveal that their system needs counter-organization to avoid mass suffering. Of course, they don't have any clue about Spectacle, but that's not necessary: Everyone can understand local control and empowerment.

What is harder to get across is the fundamental flaw with Legalist systems, so they keep coming back to the Constitution as if the current situation didn't develop from the more basic historical form they apparently advocate. They don't understand that some times it's not clear what a law means.

For example, the second amendment: "A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." What the hell does that actually mean? Who are "the People"? What are "arms"? What is a "well regulated militia"? Does that mean you have to be in a well-regulated militia if you want to keep and bear arms? Maybe, or maybe not! It's a poorly-constructed sentence because it expresses two unconnected ideas:
1. A well regulated militia is necessary to the security of a free state.
2. The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

As a sentence, the second amendment doesn't actually mean anything; but people think it does because they don't think like lawyers... and unfortunately with any Legalist system you have to have people who parse laws and apply them. If it were possible to write a law for every conceivable circumstance that wouldn't be necessary, but it's not so it is.

Not that that matters. The truth only gets you so far. Being right can be good, but it doesn't matter if you're bad at marketing; and being wrong has never held back liars. Showing someone something usually convinces them but telling them never does. Therefore it does no good to tell these racist, privileged fools that they're a bunch of racist, privileged fools. Showing them that they are might destroy them; but providing them an analysis that does not insult them or make them feel uncomfortable would make them both stronger and a force for good. (I don't have that analysis written and probably won't write it)