In my previous post, you saw a Bushevik's hand waving about the reason for unemployment, basically saying "people are unemployed because they don't feel like working," i.e., making excuses for the failures of pure market capitalism. The Bolsheviks have the same problem. For example, I started talking about the problem of power on a blog run by a Communist. He started waving his hands in the air about how that wouldn't be a problem in the perfect Communist state because everybody would be equal and thus have equal power.
Except people aren't born equal. Some people are born smarter than others. Some people are born bigger than others. Short of a Harrison Bergeron style Ministry of Equality that goes around chopping extraordinary people down to size, you will have extraordinary people. That is just how genetics works -- it mixes and matches and generates outliers at both top and bottom of the scale all the time.
So there will always be inequality in people from a biological point of view. So what does that have to do with the fundamental problem of anarchism theory, the problem of power? Well: the problem is that human beings are apes. Apes with delusions of grandeur. With millions of years of ape instincts, which are only lightly overlaid with a veneer of civilization. And one of those ape instincts is the instinct to follow an "alpha male" (or maybe we should call it an "alpha adult" nowdays), i.e., those peope who are, by accident of genetics or birth, extraordinary in some way. This instinct gives that person power, more power than those who are biologically followers rather than leaders. And where there is power, there is the potential for abuse of power. For every FDR, there is a Stalin. For every Abraham Lincoln, there is an Adolph Hitler. For every neighborhood watch organizer lady, there is a pimped up thug drug lord. That is just how it works in reality, as vs. hand waving time.
So now we arrive at the central problem with anarchism, libertarianism, Bushevikism, and Communism: The problem of how to deal with the fact of inequality of power. Anarchism points out the problem of power and proposes eliminating all organized structures of power such as government, property, etc. but has no idea how to accomplish this. But at least anarchism realizes the problem of power rather than burying its head under the ground. Libertarianism claims that giving everybody a gun and eliminating governent will make everybody equal. That is of course not true -- everywhere that the people have eliminated government, what ends up happening is that inequality and the problem of power rise their heads again. Those who are violent migrate to following those who are most violent and the end result is that violent thug lords rule at gunpoint over those who are not violent. Bushevikism claims that power is good because, to quote the Bushevik in Chief, "it would be better if this were a dictatorship, as long as I was a dictator." I.e., they claim to have good intentions, and thus accumulating and using power is a good thing. Communism... ah yes. Once again, like the libertarians, they claim that *removing* everybody's guns will make everybody equal. Which any skinny kid who got beat up by muscular bullies at school knows is utter bullshit.
So what's a Communist's reply when you keep asking, "how are you going to deal with this situation in your Communist utopia"? Pretty similar to a Libertarian's reply when you keep asking, "how are you going to deal with this situation in your Libertarian utopia" -- i.e., ban you from their blog.
So it goes. It just proves that ideologues of all stripes are unwilling to deal with pragmatic observable reality, and instead prefer to live in delusional dreamlands where little things like "facts" simply don't exist. As for me, I don't have any solution to the problem of power, but looking around the world, it seems to me that there are some nations which seem to be handling it better than others. For example, in Scandinavia they have what might be called a "democratic capitalist socialism" which seems to be doing quite well for their people, with little of the suffering, injustice and inequality that has characterized most human societies but with high relative affluence for the typical individual compared to peers in most of the world. From a pragmatic point of view you'd then say, "we don't know what the ideal society is, but they seem to be doing things right, so we're going to take what seems to be working from them and apply it to our own society." But that's us pragmatists. We're not ideologues, so we don't care what "-ism" is attached to a concept or idea. For those folks who are ideologues, well. Ideology comes first for them, and people second. So it was in 1917, and so it is today. Sigh.
-- Badtux the Pragmatic Penguin