Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Post-Democratic State

Hoppeans concerned about "democracy" really don't have anything to worry about, as far as the United States is concerned. There is truly almost no power the people at large have to influence the government. Once the government can lie to the population on matters of "national security" on the grounds that if the people knew the truth, they would withdraw their support, all pretense of "democracy" is transparently thin indeed. And it's not this pretense that keeps people from revolting. Frankly, most people probably don't care.
It's fear of police brutality, and fear of economic privation. The triumph (so far) of American Corporatism has made most people economically dependent on the State, either directly or indirectly through the banks and large corporations. To rebel would be to become rapidly impoverished, let alone in danger of imprisonment or death, whereas to go along with things, for most Americans right now, means a life of comfort and peace.
During the days of the American Revolution, the economy was at least somewhat disentangled from the State. The "patriots" were still able to eat regularly, save maybe the common soldiers of the Continental Army, which is a whole other story. Nowadays that isn't so much the case. This is yet another reason why only some form of agorism or meta-agorism can work as a liberation strategy. Unless we have a counter-economy running in parallel to the official economy, any attempt at rebellion would fizzle out pretty rapidly. Once we do have one, the resistance, such as it might be, will largely take the form of self-defense against an ever-more-desperate police state hunting down "black marketeers".

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