Collectivization is an ugly business. It can be used to separate and dehumanize a targeted enemy or to socialize the costs and consequences of individual actions. The language of collectivization walks amongst us unnoticed; words like “our,” “their,” “they,” “us,” and “we” are used indiscriminately. Well, I say enough of this “we” shit. It is not “We” The People, it is not “we” Americans, and it is not “our” troops or “our” jobs.
This language is meant to draw everybody into culpability for wrongs done by a few. It is also meant to quell dissent by making everybody part of the problem. Are you feeling any ambiguous guilt about the slaughter of poor brown people across the world? Why? Do you feel some connection to a government because you wasted some part of one of your days to run through the motions of voting? Well, the bad news is the government is not yours, is not because of you, and is certainly not for you.
A great many people vote (though not as many as you’d think) and consider themselves to be living under a democracy because of it. Excuse the aside, but: First, no one should live under anything or anyone; and second, what is so great about democracy anyway? That doesn’t make dictatorship or any other government system any better; the choice is not one or the other. The people who present such a false choice can either fuck off or shove it up their ass. It sucks having limited choices, doesn’t it? – end aside. There are two reasons voting persists even though the choices almost all crawl from the same cesspool. The first reason is to keep those that are being extorted from flat-out stringing them up. This is accomplished by slapping some hooker-red lipstick on this pig and promising the booboisie anything they want, including respecting them in the morning. The second reason to keep up the voting illusion is to roll everyone, participant or not, into culpability for the actions of the few in control. It is all to make as many as possible feel involved and part of this collective. Theoretically, a democracy would have the many owning the government and its actions, but in reality we own nothing. The only thing voters and citizens have control of is the curtain hiding the folks at the controls.
If there is still some trepidation over the ownership of the doomsday device we call government, Dr. Denny over at Scholars and Rogues can help to ease a worried mind; you don’t have to take my jilted word for it. To wit, “…The candidates for national office do not speak directly with the citizenry —they speak only with the tiny percentage with the biggest wallets. The rest of us get the targeted leavings paid for by those big wallets.” The entire article is full of gems that take shots at the façade of politics and the bogus legitimacy of elections, though, unfortunately, not attacking elections themselves.
The same tiny minority that has bought and paid for the power of government are the same ones who are killing brown people at a profit; they are the same people who occupy the seats in this absurd game of musical chairs; and they are the same people who should be solely responsible for any of the actions taken by the government. They are the responsible class. There I go bringing class into it again!
At first glance, it would appear that class is just another generalization meant to group people superficially. But describing a certain characteristic which happens, in varying degrees, to be in common amongst many is but an observation and not fabricated for manipulative purposes. Besides, I’ll stop talking about very large numbers of people when we are all able to live autonomously and can group ourselves in voluntary associations rather than being chained to the same sinking ship. The way class should be properly broken down is by the actions of those involved in the analysis. Appearances can be easily deceiving.
It is no surprise that there was confusion regarding the class break-down of society for so long. What Marx and others were looking at was the result of the class struggle rather than the way the battle lines were drawn. It is not because the capitalist owner class was wealthy and getting wealthier that they are the “upper” class. The fact that most have become wealthy by political means (and continue to get richer) is where the class divide falls. In a means over ends approach of Voluntaryists, proper class struggle will be framed by means (political or productive) and not ends (rich and poor or labor and owner). The fact that the political class had such advantages and thus were much more prominent among the wealthy probably contributes to Marx’s confusion.
Marx was a big fan of collectives. Perhaps his disposition toward them were to garner the power of numbers and solidarity. That power is real. Like the ying and yang there is also a bad power to groups. Groups are easier to control and manipulate thanks to the “moron momentum,” that force that blocks logical thought, the real slippery slope from reason to boobery. The key to staying away from the dark side is individuality. A group of individuals organized in a decentralized group and never losing their unique identity is an unstoppable, unmovable, and unmanipulatable force. Groups are important but individuality, even in a group, is vital.