You have decided that you support something called "Enlightened Despotism", but don't tell us what it is. .. and then you complain people won't debate you!
Zhen Li wrote:The US has been socialist for decades.
Zhen Li wrote:
The US is socialist as per the idea that the government can fix stufff.
Capitalism as per Mises is grounded in morality and the nonaggression principle. Only a capitalist economy a la Mises can minimise violence and coercion.
Marxist analysis is...
...but there has to be some way of living on this planet together.
tellyontellyon wrote:The views I agree with can be found here. I am a member too:
More can be found here:
Trotsky, The Defence of Terrorism, chapter 4 wrote:as for us, we were never concerned with the Kantian-priestly and vegetarian-Quaker prattle about the "sacredness of human life'
Trotsky, The Defence of Terrorism, chapter 7 wrote:The exclusive role of the Communist Party under the condition of a victorious proletarian revolution is quite comprehensible. The question is of the dictatorship of a class. In the composition of that class there enter various elements…Yet the dictatorship presupposes unity of will, unity of direction, unity of action…The revolutionary supremacy of the proletariat presupposes within the proletariat itself the political supremacy of a party, with a clear programme of action and a faultless internal discipline. ... the dictatorship of the Soviets became possible only by means of the dictatorship of the party. ...
Trotsky, The Defence of Terrorism, chapter 7 wrote:Where is your guarantee, certain wise men ask us, that it is just your party that expresses the interests of historical development? Destroying or driving underground the other parties, you have thereby prevented their political competition with you, and consequently you have deprived yourselves of the possibility of testing your line of action. ... This idea is dictated by a purely liberal conception of the course of the revolution. In a period in which all antagonisms assume an open character; and the political struggle swiftly passes into a civil war, the ruling party has sufficient material standard by which to test its line of action, without the possible circulation of Menshevik papers. Noske crushes the Communists, but they grow. We have suppressed the Mensheviks and the S.R.s ... and they have disappeared. This criterion is sufficient for us.
Trotsky, The Defence of Terrorism, chapter 8 wrote:'this, however, does not exclude the element of compulsion in all its forms, both the most gentle and the extremely severe. ... The
very principle of compulsory labour service is for the Communist quite unquestionable ... The only solution of economic difficulties that is correct from the point of view both of principle and of practice is to treat the population of the whole country as the reservoir of the necessary labour-power ... The principle itself of compulsory labour service has just as radical and permanently replaced the principle of free hiring as the socialization of the means of production has replaced capitalist property.
Trotsky, The Defence of Terrorism, chapter 8 wrote:we oppose ... capitalist slavery by socially regulated labour on the basis of an economic plan, obligatory for the whole people and consequently compulsory for each worker in the country ... The foundations of the militarization of labour are those forms of State compulsion without which the replacement of capitalist economy by the Socialist will for ever remain an empty sound ... No social organization except the army has ever considered itself justified in subordinating citizens to itself in such a measure, and controlling them by its will on all sides to such a degree, as the State of the proletarian dictatorship considers itself justified in doing, and does. ...
We can have no way to Socialism except by the authoritative regulation of the economic forces and resources of the country, and the centralized distribution of labour-power in harmony with the general State plan. The Labour State considers itself empowered to send every worker to the place where his work is necessary.
Kołakowski, Currents V.II, 512 wrote:It would be difficult indeed to put the matter more plainly. The state of the proletarian dictatorship is depicted by Trotsky as a huge permanent concentration camp in which the government exercises absolute power over every aspect of the citizens' lives and in particular decides how much work they shall do, of what kind and in what places. Individuals are nothing but labour units. Compulsion is universal, and any organization that is not part of the state must be its enemy, thus the enemy of the proletariat. All this, of course, is in the name of an ideal realm of freedom, the advent of which is expected after an indefinite lapse of historical time. Trotsky, we may say, provided a perfect expression of socialist principles as understood by the Bolsheviks. It should be noted, however, that we are not told clearly what, from the Marxist point of view, is to replace the free hiring of labour-which, according to Marx, is a mark of slavery, as it means that a man has to sell his labour-power on the market, i.e. treat himself as a commodity and be so treated by society. If free hiring is abolished, the only ways of inducing people to work and produce wealth are physical compulsion or moral motivation (enthusiasm for work). The latter was of course much extolled by both Lenin and Trotsky, but they soon found that it was chimerical to rely on it as a permanent source of effort. Only compulsion was left-not capitalist compulsion based on the necessity to earn a living, but sheer physical force, the fear of imprisonment, physical injury, and death.
tellyontellyon wrote:I also practice Buddhism, which of course can have some contradictions .... but there you have it, an imperfect human doing his best!
Trotsky, The Defence of Terrorism, ch. 4 wrote:War, like revolution, is founded upon intimidation. A victorious war, generally speaking, destroys only an insignificant part of the conquered army, intimidating the remainder and breaking their will. The revolution works in the same way: it kills individuals, and intimidates thousands. In this sense, the Red Terror is not distinguishable from the armed insurrection, the direct continuation of which it represents. The State terror of a revolutionary class can be condemned “morally” only by a man who, as a principle, rejects (in words) every form of violence whatsoever – consequently, every war and every rising. For this one has to be merely and simply a hypocritical Quaker.
Trotsky, quoted in A Concise History of the Russian Revolution, p. 216 wrote:The decision was not only expedient but necessary. The severity of this punishment showed everyone that we would continue to fight on mercilessly, stopping at nothing. The execution of the Tsar's family was needed not only in order to frighten, horrify, and instill a sense of hopelessness in the enemy but also to shake up our own ranks, to show that there was no turning back, that ahead lay either total victory or total doom. This Lenin sensed well,
Marx, Communist Manifesto, Ch 2 wrote:Abolition of property in land and application of all rents of land to public purposes. ... A abolition of the right of inheritance. ... Confiscation of the property of all emigrants ... Centralisation of credit in the hands of the state...
Trotsky, Ten Commandments of the Spanish Communist wrote:Confiscation of all properties of the dynasty and of the church
Marx, Address of the Central Committee to the Communist League wrote:In the beginning of the movement, the workers will naturally not be able to propose any direct communist measures, however... if the petty bourgeoisie propose to buy out the railroads and factories... the workers must demand that they simply be confiscated by the state without compensation. If the demands propose proportional taxes, they must demand progressive taxes... the rates of which are so steep that capital must soon go to smash as a result; if the Democrats demand the regulation of the State debt, the workers must demand its repudiation...
Marx, Communist Manifesto, Ch 3 wrote:what the Communists might possibly be reproached with is that they desire to introduce, in substitution for a hypocritically concealed, an openly legalised community of women.
tellyontellyon wrote:Nemo is right about the Austrian school and capitalism in general. It's not moral. Look at the world for goodness sakes.
John Locke, SECOND TREATISE OF GOVERNMENT wrote:Being all equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty, or possessions.
Samuel von Pufendorf, On Mutual Duties, and First, That of Not Injuring Others wrote:Among the absolute duties, i.e., of anybody to anybody, the first place belongs to this one: let no one injure another. For this is the broadest of all duties, embracing all men as such.
Herbert Spencer, Law of Equal Freedom wrote:Every man is free to do that which he wills, provided he infringes not the equal freedom of any other man.
John Stuart Mill, On Liberty chapter 1 wrote:the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others
Murray Rothbard, Egalitarianism as a Revolt Against Nature and Other Essays wrote:No one may threaten or commit violence ('aggress') against another man's person or property. Violence may be employed only against the man who commits such violence; that is, only defensively against the aggressive violence of another. In short, no violence may be employed against a nonaggressor. Here is the fundamental rule from which can be deduced the entire corpus of libertarian theory.
Principle of non-aggression wrote:The non-aggression principle (also called the non-aggression axiom, or the anti-coercion or zero aggression principle or non-initiation of force) is an ethical stance which asserts that "aggression" is inherently illegitimate. "Aggression" is defined as the "initiation" of physical force against persons or property, the threat of such, or fraud upon persons or their property. In contrast to pacifism, the non-aggression principle does not preclude violent self-defense. The principle is a deontological (or rule-based) ethical stance.
The principle has a long tradition but has been mostly popularized by market anarchists and other schools of libertarianism (consequentialist libertarians do not base their libertarianism on it). It is an axiom of some forms of anarchism, and traces of it can be found in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, as well as in Eastern philosophies such as Taoism.
Libertarians typically claim that the non-aggression principle includes property and freedom of contract as a part of self-ownership. The basis for this extension of self-ownership to one's property is John Locke's argument (also called the homestead principle) that mixing of labor with an unowned resource makes that resource part of one's self. Subsequent exchange of such property (e.g. sale, rental) simply transfers this right. Hence, to aggress against someone's property is to aggress against the individual. As for freedom of contract, the right of self-ownership is held to imply freedom of action in the absence of aggression (e.g. in the absence of false or duress contracts, and the absence of contracts stipulating aggression against third-parties).
If these two rights to private property and to freedom of contract are taken as given, then the non-aggression principle is held by its supporters to lead to the rejection of theft, vandalism, assault, fraud, pollution and victimless crimes.
When applied to the state, it has been taken to prohibit many policies including taxation, the military draft, regulation of voluntary exchange and individual participation in non-defensive state wars. When taken to the logical conclusion, anarchists argue that it calls for abolition of the state itself, asserting that individuals would be protected from aggression by what amount to insurance contracts with private organizations, through a militia union, or completely by self-defense. This proposed system resembles fire protection services in colonial Philadelphia.
The United States Libertarian Party and others view it as an essential tenet of all libertarian thought.
The principle has been derived by various philosophical approaches, including:
Argumentation Ethics. Hans-Hermann Hoppe has argued that property rights are praxeologically necessary as they are presupposed in the very act of argumentation;
Natural law. Murray Rothbard has made efforts to derive non-aggression from self-ownership;
Objectivism. Ayn Rand has made efforts in deriving the principle from the right to life; and
Universally Preferable Behavior. Stefan Molyneux formulated an ethical theory that made a successful effort to validate the non-aggression principle.
Natural law theorist Murray Rothbard traces the non-aggression principle to natural law theorist St. Thomas Aquinas and the early Thomist scholastics of the Salamanca school.
Early formulations that use terms such as "harm" or "injury," such as those of Epicurus and Mill above, are today generally considered imprecise. "Harm" and "injury" are too subjective; one man's harm may be another man's benefit. For example, a squatter may make "improvements" that the owner considers detrimental. Modern formulations avoid such subjectivity by formulating the NAP in terms of individual rights or observable conduct (initiation of force/violence).
tellyontellyon wrote:It is the Communist parties that have misunderstood and distorted Marx, Engels, etc. When you were a member of the Communists and Maoists you were taught to interpret what you read in a certain light. You still seem approach the subject in that way, you still see marxism throught he eyes of Stalinism, a brutal dictatorship that justified its use of 'purges' and repression. The fact that much of the repression and purges were directed at the real Marxists seems to have evaded you.
Dmitri Volkogonov, Trotsky: The Eternal Revolutionary, p.180 wrote:By December 1918 Trotsky had ordered the formation of special detachments to serve as blocking units throughout the Red Army. On 18 December he cabled: "How do things stand with the blocking units?...It is absolutely essential that we have at least an embryonic network of blocking units and that we work out a procedure for bringing them up to strength and deploying them."
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_Civil_War wrote:After a series of reverses at the front, War Commissar Trotsky instituted increasingly harsh measures in order to prevent unauthorized withdrawals, desertions, or mutinies in the Red Army. In the field, the Cheka special investigations forces, termed the Special Punitive Department of the All-Russian Extraordinary Commission for Combat of Counter-Revolution and Sabotage, or Special Punitive Brigades, followed the Red Army, conducting field tribunals and summary executions of soldiers and officers who deserted, retreated from their positions, or failed to display sufficient offensive zeal. Trotsky extended the use of the death penalty to the occasional political commissar whose detachment retreated or broke in the face of the enemy. In August, frustrated at continued reports of Red Army troops breaking under fire, Trotsky authorized the formation of barrier troops stationed behind unreliable Red Army units, with orders to shoot anyone withdrawing from the battle-line without authorisation.
This is just an excuse for being wrong, and it contradicts Marx's main claim to fame: that socialism is "scientific." If you say that your analysis is ongoing, then you will be a fool to draw your conclusion before the analysis is complete, that's just stupid. It reveals that your choice to be a Marxist is probably based in sentiment and emotion, rather than actually having made a logical analysis of evidence.tellyontellyon wrote:Marxist analysis is ongoing, it is not a matter of simply repeating what was done before, like some sort of Marxist mechanical model that is imposed on society. Marx wasn't right about everything, neither was Trotsky. It is not a religion. The world situation now is different today, and so the Marxist analysis adapts and changes over time. Nothing is fixed in stone.
tellyontellyon wrote:You say you aren't interestind in politics... but having a go at others political ideas is in itself a political act. Also, you cannot seperate politics from economics even if you'd like to!
tellyontellyon wrote:You don't want to tell us your ideas as we might attack your ideas... Ok, but then there is no way to find out if your ideas could work or have been tried etc. etc. But if you are unwilling to put forward an alternative then you have no argument.
Thomas Carlyle, Latter-Day Pamphlets, The Present Time wrote:What is Democracy; this huge inevitable Product of the Destinies, which is everywhere the portion of our Europe in these latter days? There lies the question for us. Whence comes it, this universal big black Democracy; whither tends it; what is the meaning of it? A meaning it must have, or it would not be here. If we can find the right meaning of it, we may, wisely submitting or wisely resisting and controlling, still hope to live in the midst of it; if we cannot find the right meaning, if we find only the wrong or no meaning in it, to live will not be possible! The whole social wisdom of the Present Time is summoned, in the name of the Giver of Wisdom, to make clear to itself, and lay deeply to heart with an eye to strenuous valiant practice and effort, what the meaning of this universal revolt of the European populations, which calls itself Democracy, and decides to continue permanent, may be.
Certainly it is a drama full of action, event fast following event; in which curiosity finds endless scope, and there are interests at stake, enough to rivet the attention of all men, simple and wise. Whereat the idle multitude lift up their voices, gratulating, celebrating sky-high; in rhyme and prose announcement, more than plentiful, that now the New Era, and long-expected Year One of Perfect Human Felicity has come. Glorious and immortal people, sublime French citizens, heroic barricades; triumph of civil and religious liberty — O Heaven! one of the inevitablest private miseries, to an earnest man in such circumstances, is this multitudinous efflux of oratory and psalmody, from the universal foolish human throat; drowning for the moment all reflection whatsoever, except the sorrowful one that you are fallen in an evil, heavy-laden, long-eared age, and must resignedly bear your part in the same. The front wall of your wretched old crazy dwelling, long denounced by you to no purpose, having at last fairly folded itself over, and fallen prostrate into the street, the floors, as may happen, will still hang on by the mere beam-ends, and coherency of old carpentry, though in a sloping direction, and depend there till certain poor rusty nails and worm-eaten dovetailings give way: — but is it cheering, in such circumstances, that the whole household burst forth into celebrating the new joys of light and ventilation, liberty and picturesqueness of position, and thank God that now they have got a house to their mind? My dear household, cease singing and psalmodying; lay aside your fiddles, take out your work-implements, if you have any; for I can say with confidence the laws of gravitation are still active, and rusty nails, worm-eaten dovetailings, and secret coherency of old carpentry, are not the best basis for a household! — In the lanes of Irish cities, I have heard say, the wretched people are sometimes found living, and perilously boiling their potatoes, on such swing-floors and inclined planes hanging on by the joist-ends; but I did not hear that they sang very much in celebration of such lodging. No, they slid gently about, sat near the back wall, and perilously boiled their potatoes, in silence for most part! —
High shouts of exultation, in every dialect, by every vehicle of speech and writing, rise from far and near over this last avatar of Democracy in 1848: and yet, to wise minds, the first aspect it presents seems rather to be one of boundless misery and sorrow. What can be more miserable than this universal hunting out of the high dignitaries, solemn functionaries, and potent, grave and reverend signiors of the world; this stormful rising-up of the inarticulate dumb masses everywhere, against those who pretended to be speaking for them and guiding them? These guides, then, were mere blind men only pretending to see? These rulers were not ruling at all; they had merely got on the attributes and clothes of rulers, and were surreptitiously drawing the wages, while the work remained undone? The Kings were Sham-Kings, play-acting as at Drury Lane; — and what were the people withal that took them for real?
It is probably the hugest disclosure of falsity in human things that was ever at one time made. These reverend Dignitaries that sat amid their far-shining symbols and long-sounding long-admitted professions, were mere Impostors, then? Not a true thing they were doing, but a false thing. The story they told men was a cunningly devised fable; the gospels they preached to them were not an account of man’s real position in this world, but an incoherent fabrication, of dead ghosts and unborn shadows, of traditions, cants, indolences, cowardices, — a falsity of falsities, which at last ceases to stick together. Wilfully and against their will, these high units of mankind were cheats, then; and the low millions who believed in them were dupes, — a kind of inverse cheats, too, or they would not have believed in them so long. A universal Bankruptcy of Imposture; that may be the brief definition of it. Imposture everywhere declared once more to be contrary to Nature; nobody will change its word into an act any farther: — fallen insolvent; unable to keep its head up by these false pretences, or make its pot boil any more for the present! A more scandalous phenomenon, wide as Europe, never afflicted the face of the sun. Bankruptcy everywhere; foul ignominy, and the abomination of desolation, in all high places: odious to look upon, as the carnage of a battle-field on the morrow morning; — a massacre not of the innocents; we cannot call it a massacre of the innocents; but a universal tumbling of Impostors and of Impostures into the street!
Such a spectacle, can we call it joyful? There is a joy in it, to the wise man too; yes, but a joy full of awe, and as it were sadder than any sorrow, — like the vision of immortality, unattainable except through death and the grave! And yet who would not, in his heart of hearts, feel piously thankful that Imposture has fallen bankrupt? By all means let it fall bankrupt; in the name of God let it do so, with whatever misery to itself and to all of us. Imposture, be it known then, — known it must and shall be, — is hateful, unendurable to God and man. Let it understand this everywhere; and swiftly make ready for departure, wherever it yet lingers; and let it learn never to return, if possible! The eternal voices, very audibly again, are speaking to proclaim this message, from side to side of the world. Not a very cheering message, but a very indispensable one.
Alas, it is sad enough that Anarchy is here; that we are not permitted to regret its being here, — for who that had, for this divine Universe, an eye which was human at all, could wish that Shams of any kind, especially that Sham-Kings should continue? No: at all costs, it is to be prayed by all men that Shams may cease. Good Heavens, to what depths have we got, when this to many a man seems strange! Yet strange to many a man it does seem; and to many a solid Englishman, wholesomely digesting his pudding among what are called the cultivated classes, it seems strange exceedingly; a mad ignorant notion, quite heterodox, and big with mere ruin. He has been used to decent forms long since fallen empty of meaning, to plausible modes, solemnities grown ceremonial, — what you in your iconoclast humour call shams, — all his life long; never heard that there was any harm in them, that there was any getting on without them. Did not cotton spin itself, beef grow, and groceries and spiceries come in from the East and the West, quite comfortably by the side of shams? Kings reigned, what they were pleased to call reigning; lawyers pleaded, bishops preached, and honorable members perorated; and to crown the whole, as if it were all real and no sham there, did not scrip continue salable, and the banker pay in bullion, or paper with a metallic basis? “The greatest sham, I have always thought, is he that would destroy shams.”
Even so. To such depth have I, the poor knowing person of this epoch, got; — almost below the level of lowest humanity, and down towards the state of apehood and oxhood! For never till in quite recent generations was such a scandalous blasphemy quietly set forth among the sons of Adam; never before did the creature called man believe generally in his heart that lies were the rule in this Earth; that in deliberate long-established lying could there be help or salvation for him, could there be at length other than hindrance and destruction for him. O Heavyside, my solid friend, this is the sorrow of sorrows: what on earth can become of us till this accursed enchantment, the general summary and consecration of delusions, be cast forth from the heart and life of one and all! Cast forth it will be; it must, or we are tending, at all moments, whitherward I do not like to name. Alas, and the casting of it out, to what heights and what depths will it lead us, in the sad universe mostly of lies and shams and hollow phantasms (grown very ghastly now), in which, as in a safe home, we have lived this century or two! To heights and depths of social and individual divorce from delusions, — of ‘reform’ in right sacred earnest, of indispensable amendment, and stern sorrowful abrogation and order to depart, — such as cannot well be spoken at present; as dare scarcely be thought at present; which nevertheless are very inevitable, and perhaps rather imminent several of them! Truly we have a heavy task of work before us; and there is a pressing call that we should seriously begin upon it, before it tumble into an inextricable mass, in which there will be no working, but only suffering and hopelessly perishing! —
Or perhaps Democracy, which we announce as now come, will itself manage it? Democracy, once modelled into suffrages, furnished with ballot-boxes and such like, will itself accomplish the salutary universal change from Delusive to Real, and make a new blessed world of us by and by? To the great mass of men, I am aware, the matter presents itself quite on this hopeful side. Democracy they consider to be a kind of ‘Government.’ The old model, formed long since, and brought to perfection in England now two hundred years ago, has proclaimed itself to all Nations as the new healing for every woe: “Set up a Parliament,” the Nations everywhere say, when the old King is detected to be a Sham-King, and hunted out or not; “set up a Parliament; let us have suffrages, universal suffrages; and all either at once or by due degrees will be right, and a real Millennium come!” Such is their way of construing the matter. ...
To examine this recipe of a Parliament, how fit it is for governing Nations, nay how fit it may now be, in these new times, for governing England itself where we are used to it so long: this, too, is an alarming inquiry, to which all thinking men, and good citizens of their country, who have an ear for the small still voices and eternal intimations, across the temporary clamours and loud blaring proclamations, are now solemnly invited. Invited by the rigorous fact itself; which will one day, and that perhaps soon, demand practical decision or redecision of it from us, — with enormous penalty if we decide it wrong! I think we shall all have to consider this question, one day; better perhaps now than later, when the leisure may be less. If a Parliament, with suffrages and universal or any conceivable kind of suffrages, is the method, then certainly let us set about discovering the kind of suffrages, and rest no moment till we have got them. But it is possible a Parliament may not be the method! Possible the inveterate notions of the English People may have settled it as the method, and the Everlasting Laws of Nature may have settled it as not the method! Not the whole method; nor the method at all, if taken as the whole? If a Parliament with never such suffrages is not the method settled by this latter authority, then it will urgently behoove us to become aware of that fact, and to quit such method; — we may depend upon it, however unanimous we be, every step taken in that direction will, by the Eternal Law of things, be a step from improvement, not towards it.
Not towards it, I say, if so! Unanimity of voting, — that will do nothing for us if so. Your ship cannot double Cape Horn by its excellent plans of voting. The ship may vote this and that, above decks and below, in the most harmonious exquisitely constitutional manner: the ship, to get round Cape Horn, will find a set of conditions already voted for, and fixed with adamantine rigor by the ancient Elemental Powers, who are entirely careless how you vote. If you can, by voting or without voting, ascertain these conditions, and valiantly conform to them, you will get round the Cape: if you cannot, — the ruffian Winds will blow you ever back again; the inexorable Icebergs, dumb privy-councillors from Chaos, will nudge you with the most chaotic ‘admonition;’ you will be flung half frozen on the Patagonian cliffs, or admonished into shivers by your iceberg councillors, and sent sheer down to Davy Jones, and will never get round Cape Horn at all! Unanimity on board ship; — yes indeed, the ship’s crew may be very unanimous, which doubtless, for the time being, will be very comfortable to the ship’s crew, and to their Phantasm Captain if they have one: but if the tack they unanimously steer upon is guiding them into the belly of the Abyss, it will not profit them much! — Ships accordingly do not use the ballot-box at all; and they reject the Phantasm species of Captains: one wishes much some other Entities, — since all entities lie under the same rigorous set of laws, — could be brought to show as much wisdom, and sense at least of self-preservation, the first command of Nature. Phantasm Captains with unanimous votings: this is considered to be all the law and all the prophets, at present.
If a man could shake out of his mind the universal noise of political doctors in this generation and in the last generation or two, and consider the matter face to face, with his own sincere intelligence looking at it, I venture to say he would find this a very extraordinary method of navigating, whether in the Straits of Magellan or the undiscovered Sea of Time. To prosper in this world, to gain felicity, victory and improvement, either for a man or a nation, there is but one thing requisite, That the man or nation can discern what the true regulations of the Universe are in regard to him and his pursuit, and can faithfully and steadfastly follow these. These will lead him to victory; whoever it may be that sets him the way of these, — were it Russian Autocrat, Chartist Parliament, Grand Lama, Force of Public Opinion, Archbishop of Canterbury, M’Croudy the Seraphic Doctor with his Last-evangel of Political Economy, — sets him in the sure way to please the Author of this Universe, and is his friend of friends. And again, whoever does the contrary is, for a like reason, his enemy of enemies. This may be taken as fixed.
And now by what method ascertain the monition of the gods in regard to our affairs? How decipher, with best fidelity, the eternal regulation of the Universe; and read, from amid such confused embroilments of human clamor and folly, what the real Divine Message to us is? A divine message, or eternal regulation of the Universe, there verily is, in regard to every conceivable procedure and affair of man: faithfully following this, said procedure or affair will prosper, and have the whole Universe to second it, and carry it, across the fluctuating contradictions, towards a victorious goal; not following this, mistaking this, disregarding this, destruction and wreck are certain for every affair. How find it? All the world answers me, “Count heads; ask Universal Suffrage, by the ballot-boxes, and that will tell.” Universal Suffrage, ballot-boxes, count of heads? Well, — I perceive we have got into strange spiritual latitudes indeed. Within the last half-century or so, either the Universe or else the heads of men must have altered very much. Half a century ago, and down from Father Adam’s time till then, the Universe, wherever I could hear tell of it, was wont to be of somewhat abstruse nature; by no means carrying its secret written on its face, legible to every passer-by; on the contrary, obstinately hiding its secret from all foolish, slavish, wicked, insincere persons, and partially disclosing it to the wise and noble-minded alone, whose number was not the majority in my time!
Thomas Carlyle, Chartism wrote:Nay, at bottom, is it not a singular thing this of Laissez-faire, from the first origin of it? As good as an abdication on the part of governors; an admission that they are henceforth incompetent to govern, that they are not there to govern at all, but to do — one knows not what! The universal demand of Laissez-faire by a people from its governors or upper classes, is a soft-sounding demand; but it is only one step removed from the fatallest. ‘Laissez-faire,’ exclaims a sardonic German writer, ‘What is this universal cry for Laissez-faire? Does it mean that human affairs require no guidance; that wisdom and forethought cannot guide them better than folly and accident? Alas, does it not mean: “Such guidance is worse than none! Leave us alone of your guidance; eat your wages, and sleep!”’
And now if guidance have grown indispensable, and the sleep continue, what becomes of the sleep and its wages? — In those entirely surprising circumstances to which the Eighteenth Century had brought us, in the time of Adam Smith, Laissez-faire was a reasonable cry; — as indeed, in all circumstances, for a wise governor there will be meaning in the principle of it. To wise governors you will cry: “See what you will, and will not, let alone.” To unwise governors, to hungry Greeks throttling down hungry Greeks on the floor of a St. Stephen’s, you will cry: “Let all things alone; for Heaven’s sake, meddle ye with nothing!” How Laissez-faire may adjust itself in other provinces we say not: but we do venture to say, and ask whether events everywhere in world-history and parish-history, in all manner of dialects are not saying it. That in regard to the lower orders of society, and their governance and guidance, the principle of Laissez-faire has terminated, and is no longer applicable at all, in this Europe of ours, still less in this England of ours. Not misgovernment, nor yet no-government: only government will now serve.
What is the meaning of the ‘five points,’ if we will understand them? What are all popular commotions and maddest bellowings, from Peterloo to the Place-de-Grève itself? Bellowings, inarticulate cries as of a dumb creature in rage and pain; to the ear of wisdom they are inarticulate prayers: “Guide me, govern me! I am mad, and miserable, and cannot guide myself!” Surely of all ‘rights of man,’ this right of the ignorant man to be guided by the wiser, to be, gently or forcibly, held in the true course by him, is the indisputablest. Nature herself ordains it from the first; Society struggles towards perfection by enforcing and accomplishing it more and more.
If Freedom have any meaning, it means enjoyment of this right, wherein all other rights are enjoyed. It is a sacred right and duty, on both sides; and the summary of all social duties whatsoever between the two. Why does the one toil with his hands, if the other be not to toil, still more unweariedly, with heart and head? The brawny craftsman finds it no child’s play to mould his unpliant rugged masses; neither is guidance of men a dilettantism: what it becomes when treated as a dilettantism, we may see! The wild horse bounds homeless through the wilderness, is not led to stall and manger: but neither does he toil for you, but for himself only.
Democracy, we are well aware, what is called ‘self-government’ of the multitude by the multitude, is in words the thing everywhere passionately clamoured for at present. […] Democracy, take it where you will in our Europe, is found but as a regulated method of rebellion and abrogation; it abrogates the old arrangement of things; and leaves, as we say, zero and vacuity for the institution of a new arrangement. It is the consummation of No-government and Laissez-faire. It may be natural for our Europe at present; but cannot be the ultimatum of it. Not towards the impossibility, ‘self-government’ of a multitude by a multitude; but towards some possibility, government by the wisest, does bewildered Europe struggle. The blessedest possibility: not misgovernment, not Laissez-faire, but veritable government!
Cannot one discern too, across all democratic turbulence, clattering of ballot-boxes and infinite sorrowful jangle, needful or not, that this at bottom is the wish and prayer of all human hearts, everywhere and at all times: “Give me a leader; a true leader, not a false sham-leader; a true leader, that he may guide me on the true way, that I may be loyal to him, that I may swear fealty to him and follow him, and feel that it is well with me!” The relation of the taught to their teacher, of the loyal subject to his guiding king, is, under one shape or another, the vital element of human Society; indispensable to it, perennial in it; without which, as a body reft of its soul, it falls down into death, and with horrid noisome dissolution passes away and disappears.
Thomas Carlyle, Shooting Niagara wrote:That England would have to take the Niagara leap of completed Democracy one day, was also a plain prophecy, though uncertain as to time.
The prophecy, truly, was plain enough this long while: — “For who can change the opinion of these people!” as the sage Antoninus notes. It is indeed strange how prepossessions and delusions seize upon whole communities of men; no basis in the notion they have formed, yet everybody adopting it, everybody finding the whole world agree with him in it, and accept it as an axiom of Euclid; and, in the universal repetition and reverberation, taking all contradiction of it as insult, and a sign of malicious insanity, hardly to be borne with patience. “For who can change the opinion of these people?” as our Divus Imperator says. No wisest of mortals.
This people cannot be convinced out of its “axiom of Euclid” by any reasoning whatsoever; on the contrary, all the world assenting, and continually repeating and reverberating, there soon comes that singular phenomenon, which the Germans call Schwärmerey (‘enthusiasm’ is our poor Greek equivalent), which simply means ‘Swarmery,’ or the ‘Gathering of Men in Swarms,’ and what prodigies they are in the habit of doing and believing, when thrown into that miraculous condition.
Some big Queen Bee is in the centre of the swarm; but any commonplace stupidest bee, […] any bee whatever, if he can happen, by noise or otherwise, to be chosen for the function, will straightway get fatted and inflated into bulk, which of itself means complete capacity; no difficulty about your Queen Bee: and the swarm once formed, finds itself impelled to action, as with one heart and one mind.
Singular, in the case of human swarms, with what perfection of unanimity and quasi-religious conviction the stupidest absurdities can be received as axioms of Euclid, nay as articles of faith, which you are not only to believe, unless malignantly insane, but are (if you have any honour or morality) to push into practice, and without delay see done, if your soul would live! Divine commandment to vote (“Manhood Suffrage,” — Horsehood, Doghood ditto not yet treated of); universal “Glorious Liberty” (to Sons of the Devil in overwhelming majority, as would appear); count of Heads the God-appointed way in this Universe, all other ways Devil-appointed; in one brief word, which includes whatever of palpable incredibility and delirious absurdity, universally believed, can be uttered or imagined on these points, “the equality of man,” any man equal to any other. ...
Our accepted axioms about “Liberty,” “Constitutional Government,” “Reform,” and the like objects, are of truly wonderful texture: venerable by antiquity, many of them, and written in all manner of Canonical Books; or else, the newer part of them, celestially clear as perfect unanimity of all tongues, and Vox populi vox Dei, can make them: axioms confessed, or even inspirations and gospel verities, to the general mind of man. To the mind of here and there a man, it begins to be suspected that perhaps they are only conditionally true; that taken unconditionally, or under changed conditions, they are not true, but false and even disastrously and fatally so.
Ask yourself about “Liberty,” for example; what you do really mean by it, what in any just and rational soul is that Divine quality of liberty? That a good man be “free,” as we call it, be permitted to unfold himself in works of goodness and nobleness, is surely a blessing to him, immense and indispensable; — to him and to those about him. But that a bad man be “free,” — permitted to unfold himself in his particular way, is contrariwise, the fatallest curse you could inflict on him; curse and nothing else, to him and all his neighbours. Him the very Heavens call upon you to persuade, to urge, induce, compel, into something of well-doing; if you absolutely cannot, if he will continue in ill-doing, — then for him (I can assure you, though you will be shocked to hear it), the one “blessing” left is the speediest gallows you can lead him to. Speediest, that at least his ill-doing may cease quàm primùm.
Oh, my friends, whither are you buzzing and swarming, in this extremely absurd manner? Expecting a Millennium from “extension of the suffrage,” laterally, vertically, or in whatever way?
All the Millenniums I ever heard of heretofore were to be preceded by a “chaining of the Devil for a thousand years,” — laying him up, tied neck and heels, and put beyond stirring, as the preliminary. You too have been taking preliminary steps, with more and more ardour, for a thirty years back; but they seem to be all in the opposite direction: a cutting asunder of straps and ties, wherever you might find them; pretty indiscriminate of choice in the matter: a general repeal of old regulations, fetters, and restrictions (restrictions on the Devil originally, I believe, for the most part, but now fallen slack and ineffectual), which had become unpleasant to many of you, — with loud shouting from the multitude, as strap after strap was cut, “Glory, glory, another strap is gone!” — this, I think, has mainly been the sublime legislative industry of Parliament since it became “Reform Parliament”; victoriously successful, and thought sublime and beneficent by some.
So that now hardly any limb of the Devil has a thrum, or tatter of rope or leather left upon it: — there needs almost superhuman heroism in you to “whip” a garotter; no Fenian taken with the reddest hand is to be meddled with, under penalties; hardly a murderer, never so detestable and hideous, but you find him “insane,” and board him at the public expense, a very peculiar British Prytaneum of these days! And in fact, THE DEVIL (he, verily, if you will consider the sense of words) is likewise become an Emancipated Gentleman; lithe of limb, as in Adam and Eve’s time, and scarcely a toe or finger of him tied any more. And you, my astonishing friends, you are certainly getting into a millennium, such as never was before, — hardly even in the dreams of Bedlam. Better luck to you by the way, my poor friends; — a little less of buzzing, humming, swarming (i.e. tumbling in infinite noise and darkness), that you might try to look a little, each for himself, what kind of “way” it is!
Thomas Carlyle, The Latter-day Pamphlets, The New Downing Street wrote:When the Continental Nations have once got to the bottom of their Augean Stable, and begun to have real enterprises based on the eternal facts again, our Foreign Office may again have extensive concerns with them. And at all times, and even now, there will remain the question to be sincerely put and wisely answered, What essential concern has the British Nation with them and their enterprises? Any concern at all, except that of handsomely keeping apart from them? If so, what are the methods of best managing it? — At present, as was said, while Red Republic but clashes with foul Bureaucracy; and Nations, sunk in blind ignavia, demand a universal-suffrage Parliament to heal their wretchedness; and wild Anarchy and Phallus-Worship struggle with Sham-Kingship and extinct or galvanized Catholicism; and in the Cave of the Winds all manner of rotten waifs and wrecks are hurled against each other, — our English interest in the controversy, however huge said controversy grow, is quite trifling; we have only in a handsome manner to say to it: "Tumble and rage along, ye rotten waifs and wrecks; clash and collide as seems fittest to you; and smite each other into annihilation at your own good pleasure. In that huge conflict, dismal but unavoidable, we, thanks to our heroic ancestors, having got so far ahead of you, have now no interest at all. Our decided notion is, the dead ought to bury their dead in such a case: and so we have the honor to be, with distinguished consideration, your entirely devoted, FLIMNAP, SEC. FOREIGN DEPARTMENT." — I really think Flimnap, till truer times come, ought to treat much of his work in this way: cautious to give offence to his neighbors; resolute not to concern himself in any of their self-annihilating operations whatsoever.
tellyontellyon wrote:No system is perfect, but there has to be some way of living on this planet together. So if you are unwilling to share your ideas, then there is no way of changing anything.... we just stay in the same old mess. (You also put yourself at risk of being thought grandiose and somehow 'above' us mere mortals who are struggling to find a better way forward for this planet. You're not really that special are you?)
The O.P. is about Anarchism ... are you some sort of anarchist? ... doesn't really sound like 'enlightened despotism' but maybe????
I've come across some 'free-market supporting right-wing anarchists'... they just come across as very confused.
Malcolm wrote:No, the US is a republican democracy based on Locke's notion of the social contract. It is in fact a product of the Scottish Enlightenment.
Malcolm wrote:As I said you are a libertarian. Only libertarians waffle on, insisting that governments are merely about violence and coercion. And you have your head in a bag if you believe capitalism minimizes violence and coercion. Capitalist countries exports violence and coercion to provide comfort at home, generally supporting totalitarian regimes to maintain economic advantage in the market.
Malcolm wrote:The well-being and flourishing of human and nonhuman life on Earth have value in themselves (synonyms: intrinsic value, inherent value). These values are independent of the usefulness of the nonhuman world for human purposes.
Richness and diversity of life forms contribute to the realization of these values and are also values in themselves.
Humans have no right to reduce this richness and diversity except to satisfy vital human needs.
The flourishing of human life and cultures is compatible with a substantial decrease of the human population. The flourishing of nonhuman life requires such a decrease.
Present human interference with the nonhuman world is excessive, and the situation is rapidly worsening.
Policies must therefore be changed. These policies affect basic economic, technological, and ideological structures. The resulting state of affairs will be deeply different from the present.
The ideological change is mainly that of appreciating life quality (dwelling in situations of inherent value) rather than adhering to an increasingly higher standard of living. There will be a profound awareness of the difference between big and great.
Those who subscribe to the foregoing points have an obligation directly or indirectly to try to implement the necessary changes.
Nemo wrote:I honestly think the story behind Zhen Li's beliefs would be infinitely more interesting than debunked Austrian praxeology.
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