Pic of the day: I guess this is what I tend to say each year at this day...
Socialism: The wrong path
Once again it is May 1st, the international high holy day of socialism. Traditionally I use this day to mock socialism, communism and syndicalism in general. Why, when we have so much in common?
Yes, I too hate the way common people are exploited by the faceless corporations and their hired experts, who manipulate the masses using emotional cues that were meant for the private sphere of life. I consider manipulative marketing a crime that is less evil than rape, but worse than theft. A thief steals and is gone, but these people reprogram your very mind, making you more of a tool and less of a human than you were meant to be. And as a reward, they continue to steal from you for the rest of your life. By fanning the fires of unrealistic expectations, they ensure your continual unhappiness as your life fails to live up to the dream. They profit on people's misery. If that is not evil, evil has no meaning.
I have also written about how we have to transcend the current ego to cooperate seemlessly, in order to survive as a species, not to mention move on to the next level of consciousness. Indeed, in my personal experience egoism is the "original sin" and the various crimes and misdemeanors just instances of this.
But socialism is not the answer. Socialists want to build a heaven here after their own form, but they want to do so using the current crop of humanity. This does not work. People are willing to sacrifice some for the common good, but not very much. Furthermore, not all of them are willing to do so, and when the rest see some who get by easier, they cease to be willing either. For the most part, people will act driven by self-interest. And if you want them to work for the common good, you have to either entice them or threaten them: Carrot or stick. Since socialism condemns the greed which capitalism uses as a carrot, there is only the stick left. Therefore, no matter how idealistic the socialists are at the outset, in power they are likely to put a gun to your head, as history shows abundantly.
Of course, "government is monopoly in violence". (Max Weber paraphrased.) Every society has this. In the end, if you don't pay your taxes, people will come to do unpleasant things to you. But in the capitalist society, most people work because they believe they will improve the conditions for themselves and their family, the center of the world according to the current human mindset.
We cannot organize away human nature, the way socialism tries to. We have to reveal the illusions, so that each of us willingly uncurls from the way we are now curled tightly around our little self, the ego. This is a slow, slow process in every life, and most have barely begun. It is a steep path, and so narrow you can not go it in a crowd. In fact, it is hard to go there even alone. But it is the only path. If you start looking around to see whether the others are going too, you will lose your way. This is the beginning of socialism: To demand that others do unto you as you think you would have done unto them.
Visit the archive page for the older diaries I've put out to pasture.