Monday, May 10, 2010

Categorization of States

ALL STATES, all powers, that have held and hold rule over men have been and are either republics or principalities.
- Niccolo Machiavelli

There is a succession process in state development. Authority is never constant; it is always evolving, tending to consolidate itself, assuming it is left alone to do so. It is the natural tendency of those who are greatly privileged and powerful over others to seek to widen that inequality. They do this primarily on the basis of two factors that perpetuate the other: fear, and greed. More specifically, these are fears of losing what one has (and thus a fear of everyone else), and lust for more goods (and thus a greed that disregards others). These are, not coincidentally, the two forces that drive the market; in addition, they are diametrically opposed to the human virtues of community, selflessness, and loving compassion. Politics and economy are inextricably intertwined in this way; one influences the other, pulling the other one upon the path it has set its sights upon. Thus we may only create a truly compassionate society by removing all major competitive forces from both the economy and politics of the system. We have not done so, and so we all suffer the consequences. Some more, and more obviously, than others.

But excuse me, I disregard the main point of this entry. Namely, I wish to disclose my views on the progression of state development, and how that relates to the overall progress of history and our potential future within the context of the veganarchs' social revolution.

First, there was the Lockean "State of Nature", so to speak. Individual pre-hominids scurrying around, acting roughly independently without a really cohesive means of organization.

Primitive humanity began to organize itself shortly after acquiring sufficient cognitive and communicative skills, creating small communities across the world. This is far before the agricultural revolution. Such societies live in perpetual scarcity, constantly under environmental pressures, and so they move around frequently, often in tune with the seasonal climatic changes of their area(s). These are "Hunter-Gatherer" groups. Individuals likely have little degree of autonomy from their group, because they are collectively oppressed by their harsh environment. Sexual division of labor is simply a matter of necessity and expedience.

Next, there is the advent of Tribes. Somewhere along the line, community pressures started to become more apparent. Groups became somewhat larger. One's tribe was one's extended family, and it became custom to mate and marry outside of it due to the political benefits thereof. This lead to further subordination and subjugation of women, and the establishment of a true, recognizable patriarchy. Authority became centralized in dominant adult males. People experimented with domestication, in some areas, and groups tended to stay in one area for a season or two, rather than weeks or months.

Then there interposed the Agricultural Revolution. This was crucial to the development of human society, for it allowed for the creation of centralized authority, cities, and large populations. Humanity became less enslaved to Nature, and more to the newly created State. The advent of larger populations and cities created a society in which community culture became more helpful

Now we get to the "good" part: Human Civilization.

First you have Oligarchic Theocracies. These are very striated societies, divided strictly into several castes: Monarch, Priests, Soldiers, Merchants, Farmer Peasants, and Slaves, in that rough order. Sometimes Merchants would be demoted, for social purposes, to just above the slaves; however, their power usually compensated for this. The reason for this situation is that the Merchants and the Priest-Monarch complex-that is, the Middle Class and Aristocracy-are constantly, throughout all of history, interlocked in a struggle for power, control, and domination. The Aristocracy always inherits its power; the Middle Class will usually be found taking it. This struggle is a primary source for the creation of social energy, which, under the right circumstances, may reach a threshold level that will catalyze major social upheavals and changes. The Middle Class will always win out, because they hold the reigns of the economy as society grows and prospers; the Aristocracy rarely has the capability or the will to invest in any economic situation beyond agriculture and rural landowning. Also, the Aristocracy often will fight itself, in the form of conflicts between kings, nobles, and clergy. This "first phase" of society is what I term the First Aristocracy. It includes all Monarchies, Early-Era Theocracies, and Aristocracies, and ends about 1789-1865 in Europe and the US, with the French Revolution, Industrial Revolution, Revolutions of 1848, and the Civil War.

After awhile, the Merchants rose to power. Inevitably, the old land-holding aristocracy loses power, and is replaced by the capital-owning Upper-Middle Class. The aristocracy, over time, becomes basically irrelevant, merging with the Upper-Middle Class to form a new, temporarily stable Ruling Class. Because of the domination of all aspects of the economy, politics, and societal thought enjoyed by this 2nd Iteration of the Ruling Class, there is likely to be no further iteration of the Ruling Class once the society has reached this point, unless there are significant complications. This stage is called Corporate Oligarchy.

And that's where we are today, in the Developed World.

"But wait!", you might say, "I live in a Democracy!". No, you don't. There isn't a real democracy anywhere in the world. Societies certainly possess democratic or socialist elements and trappings, but that is all they are: superficial appearances meant to distract people from the fact that they are nothing more than well-paid serfs. Let me show you the actual class structure of the world:

 - The Ruling Class: A blend of Upper-Middle and Aristocratic classes, these people make all the decisions that are important to a society. They control all the corporations, and thus the Media, and thus what people think: which makes directly controlling the electoral process irrelevant and actually counter-productive, as it may spark a revolution. They control the government, because they control who gets elected, and set up measures to ensure their sole control over the political sphere . They also control the corporate workplace, which is essentially a dictatorship, where they enjoy absolute control over most everything anybody does. And in addition, they run all the religious establishments as well, further controlling what the vast majority of people think.

 - The Middle Class: This is composed of all the people employed in the non-decision-making, yet still high-ranking, parts of the service sector: Lawyers, Doctors, Mainstream Artists, and others. They have somewhat expendable personal monetary resources, so they are often also Investors and Consumers. They often own their own practices and businesses. They are the main engine of consumption that keeps that end of the modern-day Capitalist system going. Recently they are being thinned out by the Ruling Class's intentional and unintentional actions; this will have severe economic-political consequences for society as a whole, as the mortal wounding of the Middle Class will render it very unstable in short order.

 - The Lower-Middle Class: This is composed of Clerks, Teachers and Professors, and anyone else who works in a white-collar situation but doesn't have much money. They are almost always employed to someone else, and are also consumers, but to a significantly lesser degree. Not all have their own houses. They have lesser means than their Middle-Class proper "cousins", and generally have to work harder, longer, and in more menial positions. They are generally non-unionized, with the notable exception of a large portion of the Teachers and Professors. They are the well-paid serfs.

 - The Working-Class: Unionized Laborers, Farmers, and whoever else who still works with their hands in the manufacturing or agricultural sectors are the people in this class. They always work for someone else, and are given only a moderate degree of self-management. They used to be, back in the late 1800s, the driving force behind social change. Since Post-Industrialization in the Developed World, they have shrunken and become irrelevant in far too many aspects. They are also well-paid serfs, and actually often have it "better" than the Lower-MC due to their unionized situation.

 - The Underclass: Non-Unionized Laborers, the Welfare-Dependant, and all the rest of this society's downtrodden compose the final class. They are beaten down, kept from organizing, frightened with insecurity, and put under the worst kind of oppression. There is much revolutionary potential here, but they must be motivated and organized and spoken to. This is difficult to accomplish in much of a successful manner. They are the worst-treated serfs, their jobs being anywhere from having to resort to criminal activity, scratch by a living on the very margins, or work in slavery-like conditions.

In "Developing" Nations, the situation is more or less similar, except that the "intermediary classes" are much smaller in proportion to the Underclass. This is where post-industrial "developed nations", or rather their corporate owners, have shipped their manufacturing jobs to.

But the story does not end here.

We are currently reaching the end of this Second Phase of human society, or the Second Aristocracy. The current system is simply unsustainable. The Middle Class is being squeezed all around the world like never before, and it is indeed collapsing, particularly in the US. The Ruling Class is aggrandizing itself too quickly, too far, and the economy is suffering for it: e.g., the current economic crisis and "financial bailout". What is to come is a grand swell of opposition from a disenfranchised former middle class and a newly angered Working and Underclass, one that will determine the fate of the society for the next phase of its development. Moreover, the wasteful short-sightedness of the current system has caused irrevocable alterations to the climate through its damage to the environment, which will cause massive upheavals around the world as feudal financial systems also come crashing down.

Amidst the chaos, the Veganarchists must assert themselves and take control of the situation, before people like neo-Stalins, neo-Maos, neo-Hitlers, or neo-conservative totalitarians of all stripes and colors get their hands on the reigns of this great new people power, and use it to create an insane, destructive, unsustainable, and inhumane "new" society. We, Veganarchists, need to educate people on what constitutes a good society, on alternative models to things like capitalism, nation-states, and even organized religion, and why they need to be implemented now. There can be no time for compromise, or casual reform: nothing will suffice but a full, all-out push to fix society, on all fronts, immediately. We have the opportunity to do such things right now, with the mindless anger of the Tea Party Movement in the US being hopelessly wasted on nationalism, racism, blind angered bigotry, and useless, regurgitated old talking points of conservative politics. These people in particular must be targeted for intelligent dialogue: they are crucial to saving our planet.

Throughout all your efforts, remember that the name of the Third Phase is up to each and all of us. We're counting on you.

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