Thursday, March 28, 2013

Do as thou Wilt!


Didn’t Margaret Thatcher, UK Prime Minister and bosom pal of President Ronald Reagan, boast that society is dead? Where does society come into this Anarchistic advertisement?

It sounds like the old Rabelaisian motto, “do as you like” or Aleister Crowley’s and the Wiccan’s “do as thou wilt”—theough the Wiccans do qualify their motto—and if the maxim of anarchy is also “do as thou wilt” or its equivalent, do they expect us to switch magically from imperfection to perfection—the imperfection of this greed driven capitalist world, to a world of Libertarian competition only to the extent of outdoing each other in lovingkindness? That is the Christian dream of precipitate divine intervention ridding the world of evil. Indeed it is equal to dying in the wicked world and being resurrected into a heavenly new world. In short it is unrealistic and unlikely, if not utterly impossible, and in any case could not be achieved without planning for it.

We are social beings and, if we hope to remain human, cannot avoid having a duty to our fellow beings in our society. Capitalists demand more and more liberty to do as they like—freedom to exploit their fellows in increasingly dishonest ways. But socialism requires us to respect our social instincts of caring and sharing, and protecting.

Here then are two different freedoms—“freedom to” and “freedom from”. “Freedom to” is quite impossible in any society—no one except an absolute dictator is free to do just as they like. Society necessarily constrains us. Most people do not seek more and more “freedom to” do things, they are happy to be “free from” care, starvation, loneliness, and insecurity. That is the purpose of society. It is why we cannot step magically from the imperfection of capitalism to some fanciful anarchistic or even Christian dream. We cannot be free or approach human and social perfection until capitalism is long gone, socialism has been established, and time has liberated us from the greed and selfishness of capitalism. That time is a necessary period of transition.

No comments: