There is a sad minority of people who claim to be Anarchists and who also fight for State control over more and more of our economy and social lives. These people need to be strongly refuted because they communicate to people that Anarchists are just politicos like everyone else, and want to impose their vision of society in the same way that neo-liberals and neo-conservatives impose their vision of society and press their immoral consequences on innocent people.
We have to be especially skeptical of self-professed Anarchists who support government monopolies and programs which have a clear role in the power elite structure, because there’s little doubt that they know what they are doing and what they are proposing. It should be obvious to all Anarchists that giving control of our institutions to the government instead of the people is an important net loss to society as a whole. No matter what small gains are hypothesized, they remain small compared to all that the power elite stands to gain as a near-certainty.
A good example of this is socialized health care. The movie Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Prices really drives the point home on this one: socialized health care is a subsidy for the corporate elite. Wal-Mart exploits this flaw in the system by underproviding health care so their employees are forced to use the State’s health care system, thus saving Wal-Mart a great deal of money. “[The] everyday low prices [and therefore Wal-Mart profits] are based on taxpayer subsidies,” either in the form of health care or welfare. In the end, therefore, we are all paying for something that should be coming out of Wal-Mart’s pockets.
It is a great naivete on their part to believe that government wants anything but to pursue a policy that favours their own power and that of their plutocratic friends. No “populist” policy has ever been enacted. Every policy enacted by government, even the best-sounding ones, aim to fleece, pacify, monitor, impoverish and enslave. There is no doubt that the government taking over health care and dictating the kinds of care people can or cannot receive aims to control people’s lives and the use of medical technology.
The choice between HMOs and profit-driven health care on the one hand, and despotic policy-driven government health care on the other hand, is a rather unsavory one (and one which seems to be less and less distinct as time goes on: government health care is becoming more and more profit-driven, and HMO care is becoming more and more policy-driven). Fortunately, we have an alternative, which is Anarchist mutual aid. This alternative would require us to break the guild monopolies, the medication monopolies, and all the other monopolies that loom over any current system and prevent affordable health care from being made available, and would empower the people with deciding on which values the health care system should pursue. This is, then, a less accessible alternative, but the only one worth taking at all. To preach any of the others goes in the wrong direction of where we want to go as Anarchists.
Public education is pretty much the same thing. We all know why public education really exists: for the purposes of indoctrination, churning good unquestioning workers, and keeping poor people uneducated, and more recently mass drugging of our children. Nothing fails like public schools. And yet even people who do know this still fall in the “but without public education there’d be nothing left for them” trap. Of course the State wants you to believe it’s essential, and it’s a lie. In fact, the multiplicity of kinds of education we could have in a free system is absolutely astounding.
Some may reply that what I’m saying may be true under an Anarchist society, but not under the current one. That under this system, we must have some public health care or public education, or people will get sick and get poorer. Well the poor people are already getting sicker and poorer. The ruling class will always take resources away from us and make life harder for the average subject. That doesn’t mean we should support this sick and corrupt process. As all attempts at gradualism demonstrate, taking the “pragmatic approach” always leads straight to Hell. It plays right into their hands.
It’s not the concept of public health care or public education that I object to. Obviously, if we mean “public” in the Anarchist sense of being managed by a community, I fully support those things. But we’re talking about ruling class control. As such, I’ve got no objection over choosing public health care or public education over private health care or private education: either way, you’re putting money in the same hands. So who cares? What I care about is what some Anarchists are promoting and associating our ideology with. I have always said that our greatest strength as a movement is that no one runs any risk of associating us with politics or political means, and thus will not see us as “just another faction fighting for my money,” but these bozos are doing exactly that.
Anarchists need to stop promoting ruling class bullshit and need to stop putting money in the pockets of the politicians as well as the corporations that stand to gain from a growth in public health care or public education. None of these people should have any more of our money, they already have more than enough as it is. What Anarchists need to be promoting is the abolition or circumvention of the abundant monopolies that exist in all those areas, and talk about setting up mutual aid systems. That’s my opinion, anyway.