Revolutionary v reactionary decentralism: “What’s Left?

A left-anarchist called Lefty Hooligan offers the following assessment of yours truly:

” An equally ridiculous wet dream has been nurtured by Keith Preston who proposes that Left and Right unite in a common pan secessionist movement.”

Here is my response:

“Pan-secessionist” actions are already happening on the micro-level and intermediary level:

Sympathy for macro-level pan-secession is rising:

In fact, the prospect of an American breakup has become a reality to the point that neocons like Robert Kagan are getting scared:

What I am interested in as an anarchist is not the progressive vs. reactionary dichotomy, or any of the theologies associated with these perspectives. I view all that in the same way I view the Sunni/Shia conflict in the Middle East.

I am interested in the wider question of power itself. Anarchist and other similar philosophies are helpful because of their critique of power. I am for the distribution of power as far and wide as possible as opposed to concentrated power.

The problem with most leftists is they think concentrated power is only a problem when the “wrong people” (i.e. those with the wrong philosophy, ideology, religion, skin color, gender, etc) hold it. As the sociologist Mark Scheidner pointed out, “When a previously disadvantaged group rises to power, it exploits its new position just as did the group or groups it has displaced.” There are countless historical examples of this.

What gets counted as “progressive” varies from era to era and generation to generation. Eugenics was considered to be “progressive” during its time. The same is true of “authoritarianism” as we now see in the mainstream culture, where one side thinks “freedom” means the right to possess firearms and not wear a mask or be vaccinated during a pandemic, and the other thinks “freedom” means the right to unlimited access to abortion or engage in sexual behaviors traditionally considered to be deviant. These are all subjective preferences based on individual value judgments, preferences, and perceived self-interest.

It is probably the case that individuals are born with a genetic predisposition to a particular psychological framework, personality structure, and moral psychology. How these are expressed is dependent on the social, environmental, cultural, and economic factors they are exposed to. I suspect that individuals are likely genetically predisposed to certain political, ideological, moral, or social views the same way they are genetically disposed to a certain skin, eye, or hair color. Ideologies are like lenses on a telescope. If you use different lenses, you can get different perspectives, but none contain the complete picture.

The major political question is how to minimize conflict between different “psychological tribes” (collections of individuals with similar personality structures and moral psychologies), ideological tribes, and different social preference groups, while preventing the emergence of a Hobbesian’ Leviathan tyranny. Unfortunately, many left-wing anarchists have no perception of these questions (I am frequently underwhelmed by right-wing anarchists as well).

Leave a Reply