Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Debunking statist concepts - Organization

Now we look at the second section on the Liberalism Resurgent FAQ, "anarchy vs organization" (which actually has nothing to do with anarchy - too bad, I was looking forward to debunking more pro-government propaganda). Here Kangas presents eight "tenets about organizations", most of which are simple and relatively trivial (no one is going to disagree with "Simple systems require less organization" or with "A strategy is needed for every organization"). However, the last two demand our attention :

7. Democratic organization is better than dictatorial organization.
8. Self-interest and freedom should always coincide with the common interest, and be prevented when it does not.

The ideas that democratic organization has any worth, or that self-interest should be suppressed when not aligned with "common interest", are both immoral and absurd.

This last idea is the easiest to debunk. Statists are collectivist : they believe that we should suppress personal values in the name of a "common good" or "common ideal". This is the constant in all collectivism, whether political, religious, cultist, activist, and so on. It is inherently anti-individualist.

With the last "tenent", Kargas is basically reiterating his anti-individualist belief. To suppress the non-violent desires of the individual in the name of the all-powerful collective is immoral. This is not something hard to understand. Tyranny is evil, whether it is exerted by one individual, or by the majority, or by a ruling class manipulating that majority. To attack people's freedom, in the name of whatever collectivist belief, is evil, and bad for me even if I'm not the one affected. A good example of this is the War on Drugs.

The deeper fallacy is that there is no such thing as "common interest" without the individual. Only individuals have "interests". A common use of this fallacy by statists is to believe that "government" has "our best interests" at heart. This is a collectivist fallacy. "Government" is a group of politicians and bureaucrats, who have all the arsenal of violence and justice at their disposal, and use it to stay in power or to gain more money. This is proven with every new legislation, every new agency. It is always found, without exception, that they do not correspond to the facts or needs of the private individual, but rather to support the good of the politicians who promote it.

Collectivism is utilitarian in nature - because the only people that have anything to gain from your mindless obedience to government, is the ruling class that controls and occupies that government. Collectivism is inherently immoral, because servitude and moral submission is immoral. Independent thinking, honesty, benevolence are moral, and those things do not exist in statism. Statism, especially democracy, creates social warfare, dishonesty and slavish thinking.

Now let's look at Kangas' justification of both principles.

Elected leaders must listen to their voters and appeal to their interests to win election. In doing so, the leader learns about their problems and solves them.

Once again we see the collectivist fallacy, which leads to a naive view of government. For Kangas and his fellows, politicians are somehow made accountable to their constituents and don't act in their self-interest. In reality, government is not accountable and everyone acts in his own self-interest. And in a democratic system, that means pandering to the rich, the powerful and the popular - not "listening to the voters" and "learning about people's problems" !

When has a politician ever done such a thing ? No law has ever been made on a sound scientific or moral basis. How could they possibly be ? There is zero motivation for any politician to do so. Even laws against murder only exist because a society where murder is legal would lead to an immediate uprising, and the laws only apply to private citizens, not to murderous government institutions like the military, the police and the FDA (the latter being probably the most murderous of the three).

And how does "democratic organization" provide the incentive to do so ? Because that is Kangas' claim here. Democratic modes of organization are fundamentally anti-individualist and against individual values, therefore they cannot possibly provide such an incentive even in theory

Now let's look at the last principle again :

One purpose of democratic government is to determine what activities are in the common interest and what isn't, and therefore what should be legal and illegal.


Who should determine what is in the common interest? Again, the tenets of democracy hold that no single individual can possibly have the infinite knowledge required to make intelligent laws; a minority of individuals scarcely more so. Representative democracy is the best way to resolve these questions -- both in principle and in practice.

This is only reinforcing the fact that democracy is anti-individualist, as well as the fallacy of "common interest". Humans have not needed "common interest" for centuries to assemble and work together. Even today this rhetoric does not make people work together : their common values do. There is no "common interest" in the helping hand Wal-Mart gives to the poor, or in the so-called "sweatshops" that give better working conditions and higher salaries to the third-world, only the desire for profit - the desire to serve others and benefit from it. That is the basis of civilization.

The justification offered by Kangas here is flimsy. Does it require "infinite intelligence" to make intelligent laws ? If that's true, then no system can possibly make intelligent laws ! More importantly, do we need to make "intelligent laws" ? No. In fact, we don't want government power to make laws at all. The power to manufacture arbitrary laws, to support the ruling class, is the power to oppress the masses. Also, this can be equally interpreted not as an argument for democracy, but against lawmaking. If democracy was really needed to make good laws, then so much for the laws.

The power to make laws is immoral because any such power will inevitably, and necessarily, be used against peaceful individuals. And when backed by the police and the army, this power is the power of violence.