Anarchism: The Return of the Übermensch
For years I have been inquiring into the source of social dysfunction which my intuition informs me, and I know I am not alone in this, … is ‘unnatural’ and arises from some poorly chosen ‘assumptions’ in our acculturated thinking.
The motivation for my quasi-obsessive inquiry is the belief that much of the conflict and suffering that characterizes our collective experience under the current ‘cultural governance system’ would diminish if we were to identify, bring to common awareness and ‘let go’ of the troublesome foundational assumptions.
As far as my own ‘understanding’ and ‘way of understanding’ goes, and I know that different folks have their own different ‘entrées’ into understanding themselves and the world they live in, … I have, rightly or wrongly, a very firm and clear impression of the cultural ‘false assumption’ that is the root of much avoidable societal incoherence and conflict.
The troublesome assumption is the tendency to believe in an absolute source of deterministic power, in a God-as-deterministic-source, in Gaia-as-deterministic-source, in a machine-as-deterministic source, in a Sovereign state-as-deterministic source.
Our experience says otherwise, as philosophers such as Heraclitus and Nietzsche have contended, and physicists such as Poincaré, Mach, Bohm and Schrödinger, and evolutionary biologists such as Lamarck, Rütimeyer, Rolph and Roux. In all of the above world views, the world dynamic is like a fluid dynamic, a ‘holodynamic’ like the gravity field-dynamic which is ‘everywhere at the same time’ and where the material forms that gather and are re-gathered within it are like ‘ripples in the energy-charged spatial-plenum’ (Bohm) or ‘variations in the wave structure of space’ (Schrödinger).
Within a fluid-dynamical space [wave-dynamical space] is an inbuilt ethic that abhors energy-imbalance and continually seeks to cultivate, restore and sustain balance and harmony. There is no other reason for a hurricane to form but to redress rising energy imbalance in the thermal field by forming a circulating current [convection cell] to transport thermal energy from thermal energy rich equatorial regions to thermal energy poor polar regions. Conflict in nature has a ‘Robin Hood’ ethic in it wherein it always animated by rising imbalance and disharmony and serving to restore balance and harmony.
The ultimate animating source in this ‘fluid-dynamical worldview’ or ‘holodynamical worldview’ is inherently invisible and nonlocal. I am not jumping into superstition or mysticism here. We all know that ‘fields’ such as a magnetic field, a gravity field, a thermal field are invisible and nonlocal influences that manifest indirectly, through the local visible behaviours of material systems. The hot sand on the beach is not its own source of heat; the meteor flying through the heavens is not its own source of momentum (nor even its own source of matter); i.e. the buck does not stop with the material object/system/organism, … the buck stops and starts with the nonlocal invisible energy-fields that are immanent in the holodynamic.
But while we live in a world where, even though the ultimate animating source in the natural world is invisible and nonlocal, the ultimate animating source or sources in the cultural belief system are local, material (visible) and multiple, apart from God or Gods that are believed to be ‘beyond the natural world’ and while they are ‘local deterministic sources’, they are invisible (because they are supranatural).
A major characteristic of our Western culture [the currently globally dominant culture, whatever name we wish to put on it], over its history, is that it has never been comfortable with acknowledging an ultimate animating source of physical phenomena; i.e. the agency responsible for the development of local and visible material form, behaviour and organization, … as being invisible and nonlocal, but has persistently imputed the ultimate animating source to lie within the interior of the ‘material system’, like a God-in-the-machine, whether this machine be ‘man’ or ‘city’ or ‘state’ or ‘corporation’. Using this assumption, which is otherwise known as the ‘doer-deed’ model (Nietzsche) or the ‘causal model’ (pre-relativity physical sciences), we find that the local, visible, material system is fully and solely responsible for its ‘own’ behaviour. And in the case of Darwinism, fully and solely responsible for its own evolution (apart from random chance variation, ‘random’ as in being born with wings when your parents didn’t have any or being born with male and female genitalia when your parents got by with binary fission).
Today marks the death of Colonel Qaddafy and his 42 year long regime. Qaddafy is presented in the mainstream media as a ruthless dictator, an evil-hearted man. But when he came to power, he came in the wake of his people, the formerly free-living tribes in the area of North Africa defined by European colonizers as ‘Libya’, being humiliated by the overwhelming power of Italian, then NATO colonizers, and in the wake of the hanging by Italian colonizers of a courageous 73 year old resistance leader, Omar Mukhtar. Out of this history of humiliation of tribal peoples by Western European powers sprang this new dictator-of-the-people (at least initially ‘of-the-people’) coming into a world composed entirely of colonizer-defined ‘sovereign states’, and while he successfully purged the land of the military presence of American, British and other NATO members, it was the relentless and horrendous pressure of the colonizer nations on the little dictator that chose to not to prostrate himself to the colonizing powers that surely had some distorting influence on his ‘regime’, the same powers that ultimately brought him down while doubtlessly shaking hands with new leadership aspirants [this time, finally, ‘puppets’?] willing and eager to become one of the new boys in the crony colonizer collective. Even without any seemingly ‘obvious’ political interpretation, this is a story that cannot be told simply by recounting the atrocities of a possibly mad dictator; i.e. it cannot be told as if Qaddafy’s behaviour was locally originating from ‘his own’ internal process-driven behaviours. Like similarly unfolding stories, intuition screams out to say that ‘the outside-inward orchestrating influence predominates over inside-outward asserting actions’ are ‘the whole story’; i.e. as if his ‘hitting performance’ can be separated from the ‘fielding influence’ in which he was uniquely, situationally, included. But the media insists on telling the story as if his behaviour has been originating fully and solely within him; i.e. that it is fully and solely an inside-outward asserting behaviour so that we can assume that his hitting performance was fully due to him, the hitter, without influence from the antagonistic, mocking, reproachful ‘fielding’ that he was inevitably forced to ‘hit into’.
The bigger the lie, the more that people seem ready to believe it.
As William Blake observed, the early poets had ‘poetically’ equipped material objects/systems with their own ‘God’ or ‘genius’ to sort of ‘short-stop’ the invisible and nonlocal animating source in nature (the ‘field dynamics’ that pervade the energy-charged spatial medium), but those who were more into ‘religious belief’ than into ‘poetry’, took this poetic personification ‘literally’ and so assigned God-given local deterministic sourcing force to these local material objects/systems/organisms; i.e. Blake’s Plate 11 from ‘The Marriage of Heaven and Hell’;
Now, what could be clearer. Blake is accusing the dominant ‘culture’ of shifting the ultimate animating source from the invisible and nonlocal, to the local, visible, material, .. creating a belief in ‘local causal sourcing’ of behaviour and therefore in pointing the finger of blame at the ‘doer of the deed’, whether a person or a state, as if the deed has been spawned in the interior of the local, visible material organism/system. As if God or Satan had infused into the interior of the local visible material thing, the first cause source of the behaviour. Why would God stir things up so? Blake wrote;
Then old Nobodaddy aloft
Farted and belched and coughed,
And said, “I love hanging and drawing and quartering
Every bit as well as war and slaughtering.”
‘Nobodadday’ is William Blake’s derisive name for the anthropomorphic God of Christianity; i.e. ‘nobody’s daddy’ is the antithesis of ‘Father of all’.
Now truly, how could one screw up the world more pervasively and disastrously than by having the social collective believe that the source of one’s behaviour was internal; i.e. that behaviour was inherently PREDOMINANTLY inside-outward asserting, rather than PREDOMINANTLY outside-inward orchestrated, as in the ‘field dynamic’ view? Or, as in Nietzsche’s proposition that “outside-inward orchestrating influence predominates over inside-outward asserting outflux’. Or, as in Mach’s principle of space-matter relativity; “The dynamics of the habitat are orchestrating the dynamics of the inhabitants at the same time as the dynamics of the inhabitants are orchestrating the dynamics of the habitat.” These are descriptions of ‘fluid-dynamical behaviour’ wherein the animating source is invisible and nonlocal [i.e. the wavefield dynamic is the animating source].
These modern philosophers are fully aligned with Blake’s accusation that our dominating culture is plagued with a literalism/fundamentalism that shifts the animating source of behaviour from the invisible and nonlocal to the local, visible and material, promoting belief in the ‘doer-deed’ or ‘material-causal’ model of dynamics. Once behaviour is seen as being spawned in the interior of the individual, it becomes possible to ‘manage behaviours’ according to a moral code of behaviour, wherein we can judge the behaviour of the individual according to its conformance with moral code and if not, blame no-one else but the individual whose behaviour violates the moral code, since the belief is that his behaviour jumpstarts from within his own interior. This belief system has been incorporated in the biological sciences which defines an ‘organism’ as a local, independent material system with its own locally originating, internal process driven and directed behaviour.
Thus science and religion together support a moral code keyed to individual behaviour-based ‘Justice System’ which manages behaviours based on the assumption that they are internally jumpstarted from within the individual. Thus, Jean Valjean and Robin Hood moral code transgressing ‘thieving behaviours’ are to be punished and that’s the end of that since their interior is ‘where the evil-deed-doing buck stops’, … whereas Mach’s principle would say that the outside-inward orchestrating influence of the dynamics of habitat (wherein a minority of inhabitants are conditioning ‘imbalance’ in the habitat dynamic by monopolizing all the resources) predominates over the inside-outward asserting influence of those like Jean Valjean and Robin Hood whose inhabitant dynamics, that seek to restore balance, are being conditioned by the dynamics of the habitat.
To pull this introduction/overview into a coherent confluence or common connective theme, … the world of our natural experience is a ‘holodynamic’ wherein the ultimate source of animation is invisible and nonlocal, as in ‘field dynamics’, however, it is pragmatic to start with dynamics that are local, visible and material since these are ‘in common’ and we can capture them in words, unlike our uniquely personal because uniquely situated, experience, thus the problem arises where we confuse our local, visible, material-based pragmatic view of dynamics, for ‘reality’.
The local, visible, material dynamics of the colonizing of the Americas is understood ‘in common’ by the colonizers and the colonized, but the historical narratives of the respective experiences of what was transpiring; i.e. ‘the construction of a new and beautiful civilization’ (the historical narrative of the colonizers) and ‘the destruction of an old wise and naturally worthy/authentic way of life’ (the historical narrative of the colonized peoples) was not only NOT in common, it was antithetically opposed. In fact, the one described ‘genesis’ and the other ‘degeneration’.
Yet these opposing historical narratives; i.e. ‘opposing realities’, applied to the same place and the same time. Which ‘reality’ is actually the ‘true reality’?
Reflection informs us, as McLuhan has pointed out, and Nietzsche, that our habitual focus is on ‘what things do’, even though we intuitively know that this is a secondary reality. The primary reality, the reality of our experience of the dynamics of the living space that we and ‘the others’ share inclusion in, is the continuous transformation of that living space. In the transformation of space, ‘genesis’ and ‘degeneration’ are flip sides of one common coin. The continuing transformation of the space we share inclusion in is the ‘real world dynamic’ and we understand this by way of how our relations with one another and with the habitat;l i.e. the web of relations we are situationally included in which bind our fortunes together, are transforming. As McLuhan put it;
Many people would be disposed to say that it was not the machine, but what one did with the machine, that was its meaning or message. In terms of the ways in which the machine altered our relations to one another and to ourselves, it mattered not in the least whether it turned out cornflakes or Cadillacs. Marshall McLuhan, ‘Understanding Media’
That is, the ‘greater reality’ to the colonized peoples was that now living in their midst were colonizer peoples with a Christian belief system which included a belief that the land was a commodity and resource for them to ‘own’ and ‘exploit’ rather than part of nature’s holodynamic that was the engenderer of all material resources and creatures, including the peoples of the earth. And the ‘greater reality’ to the colonizer peoples was that now living in their midst were colonized peoples with a Pagan belief system that included a belief in Wakan Tonka, the invisible spirit and ‘great mystery’ of nature from whence all material things gathered, the slitherers, the two leggeds, four-leggeds, finned, winged and rooted ones, where everything was related [Mitakuye oyasin] within the dynamic unum of nature, wherein the rivers, lakes and oceans are brothers and sky and earth, father and mother.
While the local, visible, material aspect of the continually transforming common living space, as captured in noun and verb language is ‘in common’, the sourcing of behaviour is rather a mixed bag, since it is influenced by the very different cultural belief systems, and these ‘belief systems’ work through the inside-outward asserting of the local, visible, material organisms; i.e. the colonizers and the colonized who now jointly inhabitat a common living space;
The respective empowering [behaviour-shaping] visions given by these two belief systems can be roughly inferred by the following;
God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” – Genesis 1:28
“The first peace, which is the most important, is that which comes within the souls of people when they realize their relationship, their oneness, with the universe and all its powers, and when they realize that at the center of the universe dwells Wakan-Taka (the Great Spirit), and that this center is really everywhere, it is within each of us. This is the real peace, and the others are but reflections of this.” – Black Elk, Oglala Sioux spiritual leader (1863-1950)
If we inquire into the source of human behaviour, we tend to ‘bottom out’ in the belief system that manifests through the inside-outward asserting behaviour. In the case of the Western belief system, the ultimate animating source lies in God or in the ‘organism’ as a ‘machine-in-itself’ (i.e. ‘in science’). As popular modern scientific rationality based ‘belief systems’ argue, ‘purpose’ and ‘self-governance’ are naturally emergent features that self-organize within the interior of material systems;
“We now know that self-control and self-governance are not mystical vital spirits found only in life because we have built machines that contain them. Rather, control and purpose are purely logical processes that can emerge in any sufficiently complex medium, including that of iron gears and levers, or even complex chemical pathways. If a thermostat or a steam engine can own self-governance, the idea of a planet evolving such graceful feedback circuits is not so alien.” – Kevin Kelly, ‘Out of Control:The New Biology of Machines, Social Systems and the Economic World
We live in a world where the globally dominating culture is ‘determined’ to shift the animating source of behaviour [the deterministic sourcing] from the invisible and nonlocal to the local, visible, material in which case, a moral code of behaviour and related system of Justice and enforcement can be applied to the behaviour of individuals, individual states, individual organizations (corporations etc.)
Instead of acknowledging invisible nonlocal influence as the ultimate sourcing of the behaviour of local, visible material organisms, we deny its existence. Thus the pressures that come from monopolizing resources and creating imbalances in the availability of the necessities of life, by inhabitants ‘conditioning the habitat dynamic at the same time as the habitat dynamic is conditioning the dynamics of the inhabitants’ (Mach’s principle) are simply IGNORED, and Jean Valjean and Robin Hood [and ‘rogue states’ as well as people] are convicted on the belief that their behaviours, as the biological sciences and religion both contend, are locally originating and are internal process-driven and directed (the direction coming from intellection, purpose and in the case of religion, dialogue with God or Satan).
Today, we live in a world where beliefs are mixed, some believing that the ultimate animating source of dynamic phenomena is an invisible and nonlocal influence within nature and others believing that the ultimate animating source of dynamic phenomena originates within local, visible, material systems [whether directed purely by intellect and purpose or inspired by God or Satan]. The views are incompatible. Had an ancestor of Black Elk who believed in the one-ness of all peoples with the powers of the universe which was centred ‘everywhere-at-the-same-time’ [as with gravity field etc.] met with his contemporary Pope Nicholas V, he would have met with an impasse that was impossible to overcome. That is, he would be meeting with a man who felt it imperative to subdue or eliminate all those whose behaviours were not informed by a supranatural God, the true God of Christian belief, to which end he issued several papal bulls authorizing European kings to reduce any ‘Saracens’ (Muslims) and pagans and other unbelievers to perpetual slavery; e.g;
ROMANUS PONTIFEX, JANUARY 8, 1455 — ” … [W]e bestow suitable favors and special graces on those Catholic kings and princes, … athletes and intrepid champions of the Christian faith … to invade, search out, capture, vanquish, and subdue all Saracens and pagans whatsoever, and other enemies of Christ wheresoever placed, and … to reduce their persons to perpetual slavery, and to apply and appropriate … possessions, and goods, and to convert them to … their use and profit … “
Today, while the current Pope’s views would be moderated from those of Nicholas V, they would be moderated in a way that continues to encourage belief in the notion that people’s behaviour originates within them and is inspired by an internal ‘purpose’ that is ideally inspired by God and/or by a moral code. Thus, the basic idea in Genesis 1:28 is still in force that men stand over nature and under God. But rather than restricting those men who would be in control of the world to ‘believers in the one true [Catholic] God’, the moderation of the current Pope Benedict XVI, is to open the door to ‘good men of all faiths’ to control the world. There is a second moderation in the views of the modern day Popes that seeks to raise awareness of the need to treat all other of God’s creatures and objects of his creation, with the respect that they deserve by having been brought into existence by God’s hand [nowadays by a divinely sourced evolutionary development].
In other words, there is still no change in the notion that men should be masters over nature, and that man’s behaviour originates from within himself, notions that open the door to abuse with impunity [within a moral code of behaviour governed system] by those that would condition the common living space in such a manner as to induce ‘slave behaviours’ in a social sub-collective. Since influence that comes from outside-inward pressures is invisible and nonlocal as when the usual access to food, shelter and essentials ‘dries up’ due to monopolizing actions of another social sub-collective, and since Justice in a moral code governed social system is applied to individual behaviour, those who monopolize by conditioning the habitat-dynamic, which in turn conditions the inhabitant behaviours [e.g. those of Jean Valjean, Robin Hood or like-minded groups] cannot be held accountable.
This basically summarizes my general philosophical outlook; i.e. we live in a world where the dominant culture deploys [teaches and encourages and uses as the basis of a social governance architecture] a belief system that would have us see the ultimate source of animation/behaviour as originating within local, visible material systems, thereby denying that the ultimate source of animation/behaviour is invisible and nonlocal and pervaded with a balance and harmony cultivating and restoring ‘ethic’.
This ‘introduction/overview’ captures my basic assumptions as to the nature of dynamic phenomena in a manner that juxtaposes them and contrasts them with the globally dominant, popular belief system. It is a set of basic assumptions that apply in everything I write, though I know that it is not a common set of assumptions. Things brings out the problem that I am often asked to express myself more briefly and more simply. The problem in doing this is that we then pass over the explicit stating of basic assumptions which underlie and give meaning to such brief and clear statements as is our cultural preference to make. Such statements would in no way be as brief and clear if we were to dig down into the unstated assumptions which are feeding their meaning.
This all being said, I shall close out the ‘introduction/overview’ portion of this essay, and move on to the title inferred topic; Anarchism: The Return of the Übermensch
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Like David Graeber a self-declared ‘anarchist-anthropologist’ who was one of the early movers in the ‘Occupy Wall Street’ phenomenon, I would make note of the danger of using this word ‘anarchism’ since it may well be misunderstood since there are many different self-declared ‘anarchists’; e.g. ‘philosophical anarchism’, ‘individualist anarchism’, ‘collectivist anarchism’, ‘anarcho-communism’, ‘anarcho-syndicalism’, ‘christian-anarchism’, ‘anarcho-pacifism’, ‘anarcha-feminism’, ‘anarcho-naturism’, ‘anarcho-primitivism’, and more. As Wikipedia says;
“There are many types and traditions of anarchism, not all of which are mutually exclusive. Anarchist schools of thought can differ fundamentally, supporting anything from extreme individualism to complete collectivism. … Most anarchists oppose all forms of aggression, supporting self-defense or non-violence (anarcho-pacifism), while others have supported the use of some coercive measures, including violent revolution and propaganda of the deed, on the path to an anarchist society.”
As for myself, I follow the same philosophy as Marx on these matters, … Groucho Marx, that is; – “I refuse to join any club that would accept me as a member.”
But Graeber’s brand of ‘anarchism’, like Howard Zinn’s, bears looking into, since it is delving into these unsettled issues of ‘colonizer’ and ‘colonized’ belief systems, and in a way that invites reference to Nietzsche’s view that ‘outside-inward orchestrating influence predominates over inside-outward assertive outflux’ that is, in turn, supported by modern physicists such as Poincaré, Mach, Bohm and Schrödinger.
To avoid leaving the word ‘übermensch’ being unattended to and sitting there raising unanswered-question-tensions that could trouble the thread of this discussion, I would point to Nietzsche’s notion that ‘will to power’ in our common culture is understood in the degenerate sense of ‘power over others’ which produces an ‘identity’ based on negation that cultivates a ‘slave class’. Nietsche’s intended ‘will to power’ is based on an affirmation of life that can be understood in terms of his belief that ‘outside-inward orchestrating influence predominates over inside-outward-asserting outflux’, or ‘endosmosis predominates over exosmosis’. Consider our man who is NOT aspiring to become the greatest in the sense of his inside-outward asserting force that would make him into a bulldozer or powerboat, but to become the greatest in terms of his experiental swallowing-in of the outside-inward orchestrating influence of his living space, and using it to fill his sails and give him his form, … to be the source of his power and steerage.
What our popular culture encourages us to do it to rally around the degenerate ‘will-to-power’, to become a powerful political movement that achieves its goal through brute force. This is the ‘master-slave’ societal architecture wherein we make ourselves over into a ‘slave class’ to buy into the brute force power that this can rally. As Thomas Mann observes in ‘Mario and the Magician’ (1929), this is the basic recipe of ‘fascism’;
“The capacity for self-surrender, he said, for becoming a tool, for the most unconditional and utter self-abnegation, was but the reverse side of that other power to will and to command. Commanding and obeying formed together one single principle, one indissoluble unity; he who knew how to obey knew also how to command, and conversely; the one idea was comprehended in the other, as people and leader were comprehended in one another.” – Thomas Mann
As Nietzsche points out, it is this slave class where the individual builds his identity in negation, in rallying power that will brute-force-wise overcome something, that is inhibiting our ‘evolution’. Ours is a culture that has been purging itself of life-affirming individuals. It is a culture that uses ‘imbalance’ as a means of putting others in debt, forcing those deficient in essentials to borrow from those with surfeit, making ‘debt’ a phenomena that is antithetical the those whose culture embodies the natural ethic of cultivating and restoring balance. Furthermore, those with surfeit are essentially living ‘far beyond their contributions to the community soup-making economy’ [the economy of the health-giving community essentials], but when their continuing drive to acquire more still sucks the guts out of the ‘economy’ [provokes inevitable implosion], the finger is pointed at the ground level workers who are accused of ‘living beyond their means’.
Clearly, our Western concept of debt is a curious concept since it creates an economy that is antithetical to the economy of those cultures to whom continual balance restoring is a natural ethic; i.e. ‘imbalance’ is used to create a debt-driven economy.
So, it is in this connection that I have been intrigued by the new ideas surfacing in association with the ‘Occupy’ initiatives such as ‘Occupy Wall Street’. While I don’t see things quite the same way as anthropologist-anarchist David Graeber, I can see my own ‘interpretation’ in the data the way he has been assembling it, in terms of the ‘history of debt’.
I feel he is on a hot trail in his inquiry into ‘where does debt come from’, and questioning how is it that we can be and are being enslaved by debt?
His citing of the Inuit view that it is natural for humans to act so as to spontaneously resolve imbalance rather than using imbalance to create debt and keeping track of it, is worth reflecting on. As he says in his Book, ‘Debt: The First 5,000 Years’
“[Here] are the words of an actual hunter-gatherer – an Inuit from Greenland made famous in the Danish writer Peter Freuchen’s Book of the Eskimo. Freuchen tells how one day, after coming home hungry from an unsuccessful walrus-hunting expedition, he found one of the successful hunters dropping off several hundred pounds of meat [for him]. He thanked him profusely. The man objected indignantly:
” ‘Up in our country we are human!’ said the hunter. ‘And since we are human we help each other. We don’t like to hear anybody say thanks for that. What I get today you may get tomorrow. Up here we say that by gifts one makes slaves and by whips one makes dogs.’
“The last line is something of an anthropological classic, and similar statements about the refusal to calculate credits and debits can be found through the anthropological literature on egalitarian hunting societies. Rather than seeing himself as human because he could make economic calculations, the hunter insisted that being truly human meant refusing to make such calculations, refusing to measure or remember who had given what to whom, for the precise reason that doing so would inevitably create a world where we began ‘comparing power with power, measuring, calculating’ and reducing each other to slaves or dogs through debt.” – David Graeber
The Inuit/Amerindian practice is like the stone soup fable where everyone kicks in what they can and they all draw from it. It is kind of like the Marxist principle of ‘from each according to his ability and to each according to his need’, except that Marx’s principle is a logical principle for wealth allocation., and logical principles need machinery to implement them, like a central regulatory authority. The Inuit practice follows Mach’s principle where the community living space becomes the mediating medium; i.e. the citizens ‘feather the community nest’ so to speak, so that it is nurturing to all of the community inhabitants. Mach’s principle would put it; “The dynamics of the community living space are conditioning the dynamics of the community members at the same time as the dynamics of the community members are conditioning the dynamics of the community living space.” This is not a logical scheme for the allocation of wealth but instead an arrangement that acknowledges the conjugate habitat-inhabitant relation.
In discussions that are percolating around inquiry into the origin and nature of debt, the suggestion is that the myth of ‘hell’ is connected with the apprehension of ‘going into debt’. It is a kind of ‘fear of the Lord’ or ‘fear of the landlord’.
There are now all kinds of academics, biologists, economists, psychologists who have ‘jumped ship’ and are doing a very effective job of exposing the artificiality of ‘debt’; e.g. in the first half of Zeitgeist : Moving Forward . John McMurtry makes the point that the generation of money has decoupled from physical processes and money is increasingly generated from ‘the movement of money’ and from ‘interest’ to the point that wages as a percentage of the economy have never been so low. In the ‘stone soup’ fable, everyone in the community kicked in what they could (the entrepreneur kicked in a stone for starters which he said would make a great soup but needed something to garnish it.) Every one put in what they could and they were all able to draw some rich and nourishing soup from the community soup-pot.
[N.B. in no way do I support the ‘forward vision’ in the latter half of the Zeitgeist presentation]
Today, because of the decoupling of money-making from the physical economy, those with a surplus of soup-tickets, even after having eaten grossly/obscenely from the community soup-pot are using their surplus soup-tickets for giving loans to those who are contributing real labour/produce to the soup who can no longer afford to draw what they need without ‘going into debt’.
Those who are decoupled from the ‘real community soup-making economy’, the investment traders, speculators, banks and interest-collectors are in fact, living beyond their contributions to the community soup-pot, yet they are the holders of the debt that the ground level contributors to the soup are falling into. The economists, meanwhile are identifying the problem as ‘people living beyond their means’, and pointing to those ‘at the ground-working level’ who are going into debt. It is becoming transparent that the problem is not that the ground floor working community is ‘living beyond their means’ but rather than there is a growing sector of the community that is living way beyond their contributions to the ‘community soup-pot economy’ [the economy of the essentials].
Meanwhile, the economists’ answer to this ‘debt’ problem is to impose austerity programs on the ‘unwashed masses’ to punish them for ‘living beyond their means’. Noting that a fraction of the soup tickets were used to improve the quality of lives of the general unwashed masses through unemployment and healthcare and youth education etc., they cite this as an example of ‘something we can no longer afford’ (as an example of how ‘we are living beyond our means’) and argue that this must be suspended in order to ‘pay off the rising public debt’ which is, of course, held by the traders, banks and other non-contributors to the soup. The economists further advocate seizing the property and life savings of the increasingly indebted contributors-to-the-soup, and giving these over to the non-contributor holders of the debt.
Thus, we are grinding down the working level social collective for a situation wherein (a) soup-ticket holdings are decoupled from contributions to the soup (b)imbalance in wealth results from the growing financial leveral in investment trading and the growth of the base of interest-taking, (c) the implosion that cannot help but come from this overextended leverage on the community soup pot happens, (c) the people on the lowest level (the working level) are the hardest hit and seek to borrow to preserve their life savings mostly invested in homes and basic belongings, (d) economists identify the problem in terms of ‘debt’, as ‘too many people living beyond their means’, (e) governments launch an attack on ‘people who are living beyond their means’ to get them to pay back the debt owed to those living beyond their contribution to the community soup-pot, (f) imbalance is used as an engine that generates indebtedness and enslavement of the lower paid working class who are the mainstay contributors to the community soup-pot, with the full support of cultural ethics and moral code (Justice system). The continuing pulses of implosion will continue to make mince-meat of those ‘on the lowest level where the rubber meets the road as concerns community soup-making, thanks to our cultural practice [‘ethic’?] of using imbalance to cultivate indebtedness and enslavement.
In one of my exchanges on this topic where I expressed the above in slightly different words, someone responded;
“I agree completely, and good to know someone else appreciates Lamarckian theory. I think an uneven field equates to privilege and propaganda, the priest or politician have been dominant in even neolithic times, they are the debt creators, they are put there by the collective conscience which has been purged of its übermensch.”
I was stunned at how much of what I have come to understand, is packed into that respondent’s one short comment. It would take a book to properly unfold it.
And since this essay is approaching that, … I will take my leave here, having hopefully explained where the essay title Anarchism: The Return of the Übermensch ‘comes from’ in the context of my basic suite of fundamental assumptions presented in the introduction/overview, as well as ‘another way’ to look into what is going on with/in the ‘occupy’ initiatives and the ‘Arab Spring’.
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