Wednesday 15 September 2010

State and anti-capital

I want to share this short blog comment from Free Dissent here because of a couple of recent conversations.

There's a bloke - nice bloke - called Graham, who's been along to some of a few of the recent Christianity and Anarchism conferences and after each one I hear back third hand criticism of them from him.

His most recent criticism was of the conference at the gathering held at the London Catholic Worker Farmhouse. Undaunted by the fact that he wasn't even there he told one of the organisers that that there wasn't enough anti-capitalist at the event.

I know that in some of the small groups our conversations about emotional attachment to the state led naturally to finding ways to challenge the current economic system - alternatives to insurance, pensions, and the health service were discussed and some people shared examples from their own experience (not me!).

Graham is going to host a conference on Christianity and anti-capitalism, or so Adam Dickson tells me. Great idea: let a thousand flowers bloom. As soon as I get the details they'll be posted up here.

But a caveat from Free Dissent.

One reason why anti-capitalists NEED to be anarchists.

Capitalism needs the State to survive. Remove the State and Capitalism will die. Damn all forms of coercion. However, markets are independent from capitalism. Equating voluntary trade and mutual aid (such as barter) with state monopoly capitalism is false. Capitalism is industrial feudalism backed up by the guns of the State. The forcible transfer of wealth from the masses to the politically connected elite. This is why the Soviet system was nothing but state capitalism

It isn't enough to be an anti-capitalist as one can easily be such and still rely on the coercion of the state. It's tempting after all to lobby the state to coerce us into not being fascists, or into professionalising / depersonalising care. But this is just socialism or state communism. Like Conservatism and Liberalism these ideologies have been thoroughly tested and found wanting.

So you anti-capitalists: why not try anarchism. Because you're worth it. .... x