The State is inevitable. I understand that’s a strange statement to make when Americans already live under a State so large that it would make Stalin envious. What could be a more obvious declaration? But many either choose to ignore reality, are flat out in denial, or are possessed by ideology.
The largest group of the three choices listed above are those that choose to ignore reality. It takes no effort on their part, and there are no books to read. These are the people who personify the phrase “ignorance is bliss.” There was a time when these people would’ve infuriated me. But when I began to understand that any substantial political change happens because of the actions of a small group, not the masses as many believe, I acquired a fondness and appreciation for this “ignorance is bliss” group.
Those that are in denial about the state of current political affairs are most often the biggest flag-wavers you’ll come across. Sure, they may have a few political grievances to air, but as soon as you criticize a political issue they deem vital, the civic nationalist in them comes out fighting. Imagine mentioning voting reforms such as excluding anyone collecting entitlements, including Social Security, or anyone who isn’t a landowner to the average Trump supporter who believes the 2020 election was stolen. They would immediately balk. I won’t even mention reforms that could benefit the average leftist/progressive. At least you can have a conversation with a conservative; progressives will immediately begin screeching. Although the chances you’ll be called a Nazi by both a progressive and a conservative for proposing any limitation on voting are fairly high.
I have the most intimate experience with the group that is possessed by ideology. I immediately think back to a time when I thought voting in national elections would cause a course correction for the country. However, at this moment in time, I consider that folly. Back when I became a libertarian and eventually an anarchist, I was not only possessed by an ideology but also joined the “in denial” group as well. I even believed we could see anarcho-capitalism in our lifetime. Feel free to mock me. It’s OK. When you consider the state of humanity, the belief that a large group of people can self-order is a level of faith that even many religious people would sacrifice just about anything to possess. The fact that there is anyone alive who believes that the existence of a State is not inevitable proves the power of ideological possession.
Taking as a given that the State is here to stay, if you are someone who believes the State you live under must undergo drastic change or be replaced with actors more suited to human flourishing, then any solutions you present must be based in that reality. I understand that people’s morality and preferences come into play when considering politics. Mine do as well. We would all like to see a reflection of those morals in the “servants” we elect and the laws that are in place. But that is never going to happen unless you are willing to participate. Ignoring and denying reality sidelines you. Fanciful ideological demands that cannot exist in the real world may make you feel superior to everyone else, but they leave you in the realm of “I told you so.” Real change is made by real people embracing the reality of their world and setting plans in motion to make their vision materialize. It’s not easy and won’t happen overnight, but in the end, there is the potential for tangible accomplishment. I believe that is the ultimate end that everyone desires.
Categories: Anarchism/Anti-State, Culture Wars/Current Controversies
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