Friday, August 19, 2011

why I'm a socialist, not an anarchist

"In a word, we reject all legislation, all authority, and all privileged, licensed, official, and legal influence, even though arising from universal suffrage, convinced that it can turn only to the advantage of a dominant minority of exploiters against the interests of the immense majority in subjection to them."—Mikhail Bakunin, Anarchist

"I don't want to abolish government. I simply want to reduce it to the size where I can drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub." —Grover Norquist, Republican (USA)

"The poor object to being governed badly, while the rich object to being governed at all." —G. K. Chesterton

Anarchists and radical conservatives want to end the state. Anarchists think that means everyone will be free. Conservatives think that means the rich will be free. History says the conservatives are right.

The people need to take control of the state because the state can be a sword or a shield, and someone's going to wield it.

PS. As a libertarian socialist, I want a very limited government, but my very limited government is large enough to provide basic needs for everyone, so most anarchists consider me a statist. Anarchists think we can jump from capitalism to anarchism. Socialists think we need to build a ship to take us there, and that ship is socialism.

I wrote this in response to a post at one of my favorite anarchist blogs, The Crow's Eye: And with corruscative splendor, we arrogate an illumination