“The society which has abolished every kind of adventure makes its own abolition the only possible adventure.” Paris, May 1968

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

The grand old cause is as relevant as ever.

The Tories say that they want to empower individuals and communities and reduce both taxes and the power of the state. Labour claim, however risible that claim, to still be the party that best represents the interests of the working class and to have at least some vestige of being a socialist party ; to essentially support a collectivist philosophy. Against these two well known and supposedly opposing positions it is never easy to make a case for anarchism; for libertarian communism. It has never been easy since the time of the First International but to make the case remains as important as ever. The choice is not between an autocratic state socialism on the one hand and market capitalism on the other. Nor do we have to accept some kind of liberal half-way house "nice" version of capitalism. We, as individuals and as societies, have the potential to create something that transcends all of the tired old ways of seeing the world. Masters without slaves. An economy based on the gift rather than profit. A collectivist, non-hierarchical society where the freedom of the individual is ensured.That is my politics. From time to time throughout history the old idea reappears, dusts itself down and enters the fray once more. Defeated again by the power of the ruling elite and our own hesitant inability to seize the time, the idea itself never dies; and it never will.

1 comment:

Gitane said...

Bit confused about your "gift" theory. Marcel Mauss's "The Gift" would appear to point out that in our primitive past someone somewhere did something for nothing and we've all been paying for the consequences ever since ie exploitation. Surely reciprocity and mutuality have some place in this argument. "Gift" implies surplus and subordination to position and ritual or rights. Capitalism and its relationship with the state thrive on gift giving; I'll gift you my life and existence and in exchange I accept subordination. Kropotkin/Malatesta have argued that the gift of mutuality is reciprocal in that you are liberated by such activity and not a slave to it.