Good suggestions from Anna Morgenstern:
Even within the context of welfare-state capitalism, if people were serious about reform, they could do it quite easily.
But the most logical reforms are not on the table, because of ideological bullshit. The truth is, social-democrat types love the super rich and they love the false “meritocracy” of corporatism. And statist-libertarian types love protestant religious morality.
But if an anarchist without adjectives like myself were to “reform” welfare-state capitalism, it’s pretty easy to make it better (but still not “good”):
Health Care Reform: Make medicare non-need based. Everyone is eligible if they want to opt in. Even rich ass bastards.
However, anyone is free to get any sort of health care they want outside the system, with no regulations or restrictions.
Welfare Reform: Cut every citizen a check. A decent check. Pay this out each year, not each week (to give talented but poor people a chance to invest in their own talents). Make it equal to the median per-capita income. This will eliminate all behavioral incentives associated with our current welfare system, since there’s literally nothing you can do to get more or less money. It will end up costing less in the long run, once you incorporate lost productivity and generational welfare patterns. If you spend your whole check before the year ends, you can get free MREs – military field rations (3 per day) and BDUs – military style uniforms (each month) at government depots. But no money, not a dime.
Environmental Reform: Anyone who is a victim of pollution can raise a class action suit for unlimited damages against a polluter. No limited liability applies in the case of environmental damage. Stock in risky, pollution prone companies would drop like a fucking hot potato.
…and so on. This is all very simple, *from the right perspective*.
And the right perspective is that people are more important than institutions or concepts. That no one is magically protected from the consequences of their own actions. That people should have the option to do things that aren’t acceptable to the majority, if they are willing to take those consequences.
But that perspective should lead you eventually to anarchism, I think.
In which case all of these reforms will seem like unnecessary and crude patches on a bad system to begin with.
I’ve always thought that an essential part of advancing an anarchist struggle would be to create a serious political wedge between the clients of public assistance and social welfare programs and those who administer such programs, e.g. New Class bureaucrats. Advocating the simple elimination of such programs and replacing them with something like the Negative Income Tax would be the way to do it. The clients would certainly prefer a system that gives them direct cash benefits without the bureaucratic middlemen. But of course, if such a system were proposed the public sector professional class would raise hell as they would soon be out of work if it were implemented. The welfare statists would then be exposed for what they are.