To Be Born Is Arguably The Worst Injustice, Consent and Existentialism, Psychoanalysis and Parenting

To be born is arguably the worst injustice, one cannot consent to being thrust into existence, for to say “I consent” implies that there is an I, that existence is already attained. It is to be, in the inverted sense, raped by mother nature, a one in a trillion rape, a one in a trillion, horrific injustice. And of course, we are wired to consent after the fact, after we already exist. “I don’t want to die” is the norm thanks to natural selection, and I say that not cynically. I say that as someone who has had depression in the past. In absolutely no way do I defend or support social Darwinism, but natural selection as opposed to human selection has hitherto been responsible for shaping our instincts and minds from birth, not to say that they are not largely malleable by the material conditions and society this mind finds itself in, but that the general trend has been a desire to live and survive, the most deeply rooted instincts.

This is also not an argument against procreation. Yes, we should have fewer babies because of overpopulation, but by all means, have children if you so will. Just know that it is as you will, or the material conditions you find yourself in (i.e. sex, rape, moral stance against abortion or contraception, etc.) and not a non-existent other, not according to the will of the thing you are going to thrust into the world without its consent. But there is a silver lining, being a good parent helps to atone for this injustice, in fac, if you are responsible for creating this thing then it is you alone, with (hopefully) the obligation of the other, that can, and therefore must do to atone for this injustice. 

Perhaps this can explain the paternal/ maternal instinct. “My god I have brought this innocent thing into the world, It’s so helpless.” And then in the subconscious, “It couldn’t even consent to being thrust into existence, I have to give it a happy life and be a good parent to make up for this”, even though it is in most every regard a most happy moment. I think this may be a valid form of subconscious moral reasoning. In essence, you do not choose to exist, someone and something else did. To be born, to exist against your will is in the absolute sense, injustice. But this is an absolutely necessary, and permanent injustice. Not in the sense that immorality, oppression, and exploitation are unjust, but in another, wholly existential and absolute form.

Why does something exist instead of nothing? And what of God? A philosophical hypotheses 

The subjugation of the absolute is infinitely malleable, though it appears the exact opposite, and often is for human affairs. To bring the absolute under scientific laws which are to us, constant, implies that the laws themselves are the absolute. Yet we know that our universe has a beginning, therefore the absolute we can say is subjugated to the conditions it finds itself in. 

We find everywhere, in the smallest and most finite spaces that there exists infinite finite infinities. Can we say that the all, the universe, the sum of the whole is in fact the absolute? We can indeed, however what we find is the absolute here, we also find to be the absolute there. The absolute is the infinite sum of all possible infinities, it is unfathomable but to the infinite creator (assuming it is a conscious force). 

In theoretical physics, though I do not claim to be any sort of expert in the field by any means whatsoever, we find what we know as virtual particles. Spontaneous particles with an equal and opposite anti-particle come into being and annihilate with one another. Mathematically we can say that +1 and -1 come into being simultaneously and then collide, becoming 0. This is a sort of eternal dialectical process going on all around us, like popcorn (with the exception of Hawking radiation in which one of these particles falls into a blackhole and the other escapes). 

Matter cannot be created or destroyed, yet we know that matter can spontaneously come into being so long as its absolute opposite accompanies its creation. Is it absurd to suggest that, perhaps what happens on the smallest scale so too happens on the largest? That the universe has an equal, opposite counterpart? This could in fact answer the question of “why does something exist instead of nothing?” For in actuality nothing does exist. All we know is a value of -1, and somewhere outside of our reality is an equal but opposite +1. 

Therefore everything adds together into nothing. If then there is a God, an infinite being, than in its infinite power it would forever and irrevocably put up a barrier between itself and its opposite. Therefore God could exist forever, and could have always existed. God, coming into being in the same way I speculate the universe coming into being, a force that is of the substance of spontaneous creation and therefore the creator of itself, the master of mathematics and all of creation, in every possible form. Thus we can say that the subjugation of the absolute is infinitely malleable.

The Dialectic of The Two Party System: The Illusion of Free Will and The Only Way Out

When you think of the American two-party system as a dialectic, only then does the realization of total political class servitude enter into the mind. In American society the liberal “left” and conservative right is designed to act as the thesis and anti-thesis of this dialectic. So that the only viable outcome (the synthesis) is the result of a conflict of these two ideologies, which are inherently favorable the same capitalist ideology of both the synthesis and anti-synthesis. There are fundamental issues of grave importance that are not discussed in the two party system, as any socialist can tell you.

In order to have free will, there has to be a recollection between these two sides (the synthesis). You have to pick a side to influence change in the political sphere. But in the two-party system, this is an intentionally limited paradigm so that the only conclusions one can come to in mainstream politics is one that reinforces the existing social order, and this synthesis can do nothing but. This is the dialectic of the two party system. There are those of us who do not fit into this two-party dialectic (we socialists in particular). For those of us who do not fit into the two-party system, it is our duty to do away with it entirely by introducing a rogue variable into the political sphere that will smash it entirely. This is our call to the working class.

The two-party system is but an illusion of free will and democracy. The two parties are nothing but toys of the ruling class, which when politicized in bourgeois society (as it always is) becomes an oligarchy. To quote the question posed by one of my favorite early Marxists, Ernest Untermann, “Has history not taught us that mere political democracy without industrial democracy amounts to virtual oligarchy in practice?” This oligarchy supports both parties because they both support the interests of the oligarchy and thereby of the ruling class.

As Engels says in his 1891 work The Civil War in France“It is precisely in America that we see best how there takes place this process of the state power making itself independent in relation to society, whose mere instrument it was originally intended to be. Here there exists no dynasty, no nobility, no standing army, beyond the few men keeping watch on the Indians, no bureaucracy with permanent posts or the right to pensions. and nevertheless we find here two great gangs of political speculators, who alternately take possession of the state power and exploit it by the most corrupt means and for the most corrupt ends* — and the nation is powerless against these two great cartels of politicians, who are ostensibly its servants, but in reality exploit and plunder it.”

There is virtually no difference between this system of limited, truncated and false “democracy” and a one party state except for this illusion of choice. And I by no means am advocating a one-party system. The only solutions that can be found for the problems we face today on a large scale are wholly outside the two-party system, for the bourgeoisie itself (acting through this two-party system) is wholly responsible for creating and maintaining these problems on a massive scale, for producing the problems of capitalist society which are innumerable. The synthesis of the dialectic will only ever solidify the rule of the oligarchy, the reign of the ruling class. The synthesis may address feeble problems that concern this ruling class’s hold on power but never will it threaten that power directly, even in circumstances of dire emergency.

Has this not, on the other hand, brought us many progressive reforms to the capitalist system? Indeed it has, but at the same time, there are problems posed by the very capitalist system itself, fundamental problems that threaten our very existence, that cannot be solved but by the abolition of the capitalist system entirely. These are the problems of homelessness, poverty, hunger, the anarchy of production, vast wealth inequality, alienation, unhappiness, climate change, imperialism, imperialist war, capitalist exploitation itself, lack of real political democracy, total lack of any real industrial democracy, the crippling of the individual, of individual liberty and creative expression, etc. Sure they can put band-aids on these issues to soften their blow, or dazzle them with grand words of liberty and duty but in the end, they cannot solve these problems inside the capitalist system. For when capitalism is abolished there will be nothing pushing back on such reforms, these problems can be addressed directly without challenging the fundamental nature of the prevailing socio-economic system. In fact, socialism demands these problems be solved immediately and without hesitation. There is no conflict of interest in pursuing these issues absolutely and without excuse under a socialist system. And for these grave evils, there certainly is no acceptable excuse to be made in addressing them.

This, my friends, is why at Socialist Alternative we call for a new party of the 99%. A party that will not be a part of this dialectic, nor part of a three-party dialectic of the same nature (if you can imagine such a thing). It will be wholly outside the scope of the action of this oligarchy, and thereby it will directly threaten its power. Thus it forms a new dialectic between the 99% and the 1% directly. The interests of the majority and of the bourgeoisie go head to head against one another. This new party is but a step in our transitional program (see Trotsky’s Transitional Program). We at Socialist Alternative do not claim to be this party, nor do we want to be. We call on the working class itself to unify in struggle and build it themselves! We simply wish to be a leading force in guiding this party, the party of the 99%, towards total liberation. This is not to say that this party will by any means lead directly to some sort of revolutionary struggle, but rather that it will unify the proletarian masses to allow for such a dialectic to exist in a much more powerfull way. The synthesis of a unified, class-conscious proletariat and the bourgeoisie can be only in what Marx would call “the forcible overthrow of all existing social conditions”, in the establishment of absolute and genuine democracy, for true liberty and equality for all. And that my friends, is the end of capitalism.

 

*  My Italics -TFB

Briefly, The Psychedelic Experience

Just as the mind and the consciousness contained within it is an abstraction of material reality, so too is hallucination an abstraction of this abstraction. In the process in which hallucination begins, the abstracting mechanism of the psychedelic, or the part of the mind that procures the hallucination undoes the mechanism inherent to creating this abstraction between the real world and the mind. Though this division cannot practically be eliminated, it’s abstracting mechanism acts virtually in this way. The part of the mind responsible for blocking out the abstract phenomena of the material world is removed and reality in its purest, most vibrant form is revealed to the subject. The sense of self, the distinction between self and non-self withers away. This is the purest stage of psychedelic consciousness, and not when all sensation of external reality is lost.

In this state, the subject sees reality as it truly is, without an abstracting filter on the mind. Of course, the inert abstraction that is consciousness is not overcome but rather it is realized in the fullest sense of the word, in other words, the filter on sensory input is removed. The sky appears as an overwhelmingly beautiful creation, the most vibrant blues and colors of nature are fully appreciated by the subject. The complexity and beauty of reality itself are presented to the subject. But also this runs the risk of terrible danger as the mind ceases to be able to filter out the bad. Every phenomenon both internal and external is magnified. At this point, one understands the unknowable. Reality presents itself in a way hitherto unseen. It is the most real thing a person can experience. This is the stage where one reasons in a way that transcends formal logic, the epitome of dialectical thinking. The genius of the human machine is unleashed and ingenious thoughts and realizations flow like rivers in the subject’s mind. We should not embrace this as something transcending ourselves but rather as the epitome of the union of the self with other. In a way, this stage of the psychedelic experience ceases to be a drug which intoxicates the user, but rather causes the subject to be soberer than he/ she has ever been in the past. But of course no normal human being experiences this level of sobriety naturally, and therefore it is perceived as an intoxicant by society. Of course, I am not advocating one put themselves in this ‘sober’ mindset often. We are not made to continuously see reality in this way.

The real usefulness of psychedelics in its practical application is innumerable. However, its danger is also without limit. It must be used responsibly and in a strictly controlled setting. The subject must be of good mental health and stability at the time and in a comfortable setting. How many of mankind’s greatest discoveries have taken place under the brief time that the brightest members of the human race were widely exposed to these drugs? Bill Gates and Steve Jobs both accredit their success to these substances. The shape of DNA, one of the biggest milestones in biology was discovered on LSD, and so on. Scientists can sit in a room and work out a problem they have been trying to solve for months in a matter of hours. It can take a person to virtual heaven, or to virtual hell. I argue that society should embrace psychedelics again, as it did in the 1960’s. But with absolute caution and responsibility. Let them be tools used to usher in a new era of science, art, technology, spirituality and reason. I argue that the only thing that can save both spirituality itself and religion as a whole is the psychedelic experience. I argue that we can get done in 100 years what would take a thousand with these drugs. They should be strictly regulated and legal for all consenting adults of a certain age.

The Elements of Leadership: Immoral, Moral and Immorally Moral Pragmatism

The dramatic introduction in the very first scene to Frank Underwood, the protagonist in the Netflix Original Series House of Cards is worthy of an analysis for this post. The scene I am referring to can be found below. There is no doubt a reason why this is the viewers introduction to the shows main character as this embodies a fundamental characteristic not only of Frank Underwood himself but one inherent to leadership in general. As to not spoil the show I recommend you to stop reading here if you have not watched the first three seasons of House of Cards.

“Moments like this require someone who will act, [someone who will] do the unpleasant thing, the necessary thing… There, no more suffering”

This ability to act, to do the unthinkable when it is necessary is the embodiment of pragmatism. By ‘pragmatism’ I do not mean it in the philosophical sense of the word but rather the ability to realize what is necessary and logical in a given situation and the ability to do it. Pragmatism is of course necessary for any leader to have. When governing a large number of people you have to be willing to sacrifice the few for the many without a moment’s hesitation. However as you may very well know Frank Underwood is not your typical pragmatic acting only when it is right but he is immorally pragmatic. We see this in the fact that he acts in such a way when it threatens his political career and not merely the status and security of the sovereign. Was it pragmatic to kill Zoe Barnes or Peter Russo? It was necessary only insofar as to protect Frank’s political career. In this sense such actions were not justified by any external element or purpose higher than himself but rather solely by his thirst for power. Such selfish pragmatism I shall refer to immoral or absolute pragmatism.

Moral pragmatism on the other hand is the use of pragmatism only when it is moral. In this sense of the word many actions a leader or even a normal person in day-to-day life can be an expression of moral pragmatism. However sometimes the most moral act is inherently immoral. This is the kind of situation leaders are faced with everyday. For an example of this moral dilemma I shall refer to a film (that can be found on Netflix) called Unthinkable.

The general synopsis of the film is that there is a terrorist who sets 3 nuclear weapons in unknown cities across the United States. He makes a film and releases it to the public threatening they will go off in X days and then intentionally gets arrested. He promises to reveal the location of the three bombs if they (the various intelligence agencies interrogating him) meet his demands, which are that the US stop funding puppet dictators and withdraw all troops from Muslim countries. But his demands here are irrelevant. What is relevant is the moral dilemma that the movie poses. Of course I recommend going and seeing this film for yourself, it is a very good film but it is not necessary.

What we have in this movie is essentially the use of torture that gets increasingly brutal and morally unacceptable in order to compel him (the terrorist) to reveal the locations of the bombs. The question comes down to whether there is a limit of justifiable injustice you can inflict on 1, 2 or 10 people to save millions. Towards the end of the movie, the torture ‘specialist’ named H decides to take things to the next level and gets the terrorists children into the interrogation room to kill them in front of him. The shows protagonist, (an FBI agent on the case) argues from the moralistic side that we must take the moral high ground and not torture, and that we must not resort to such brutality. Now I am assuming the obvious here, that torture under specific circumstances and when applied correctly works. But the question of if torture works generally will not be addressed here.

While H drags the children into the room various members of other intelligence agencies are arguing for its immorality, trying to shut it down, etc. The CIA however, of which H is a part of, threatens to use force on anyone who stops H from acting and potentially killing these innocent children. I will not spoil the film but the question remains, is it moral? Is it just?

Can what is inherently unjust be just under certain circumstances? The CIA director in the film, along with H seems to argue that it can absolutely be just. They argue that it is immoral of course, however it is necessary to torture/ kill 2 innocent children in order to prevent the deaths of millions of innocent children. Because of this necessity it truly becomes the lesser of the two evils. By taking the ‘moral high ground’ and refusing to hurt two innocent children you are in fact acting immorally because you are essentially responsible for the deaths of millions of innocent children by not acting. For it is truly the only way to uncover the locations of the two bombs.

I argue that it is the moral obligation of H to go through with the horrific act. H is in a predicament where he must act. By not acting H would be making a conscious decision to let some 6 million people die in a nuclear inferno. Are you not therefore responsible for this then? Yes and no. Whoever planted the bombs in the first place (the antagonist) is of course directly responsible and most of the blame falls on him. However, you have it in your power to prevent this enormous injustice that he plans to orchestrate and therefore by not doing everything in your power, even the unthinkable, you are responsible to an undeniably significant degree.

Thus to not act you are committing an ever graver crime than by acting. By refusing to get your hands dirty and do the unthinkable you are willing to stand by and allow millions to die because your conscience prevents you from acting. Should the conscience be ignored in this act? Not at all! The conscience should be the part of you urging you to do the unthinkable act. It should be the driving force in the recognition that by doing nothing you are doing something, a something that will lead to the deaths of millions. What you are left with is the compulsion to ultimate lesser evil.

By doing nothing at all it may appear that you are taking the moral high ground, by not sinking to their level. But this is a mistake; by being in that situation you have to choose between one or the other. It comes down to a simple question: do you want 2 innocent children to die (even by your own hands) or millions of innocent children? The moral high ground in this situation is precisely putting your own morals and values aside and committing the unthinkable act. You have to sacrifice the children for the greater good, but also your own moral dignity, your own values and likely your mental health as well. The heroic thing becomes not the refusal to act due to the horrific nature of the act itself but the ability to do so regardless.

This is the kind of pragmatism we are referring to, it is moral pragmatism because it is morally justifiable even if the act itself is inherently immoral. However it is not merely moral pragmatism, it is immorally moral pragmatism. Decisions like this are made on a daily basis by leaders trying to do what is best for their people. But sometimes they act with immoral pragmatism, disregarding the well being of the people for their own personal gain (i.e. to stay in power, to gain material wealth, etc.) Frank Underwood is a perfect example of immoral pragmatism.

Frank takes things to the absolute extreme and thereby transcends moral pragmatism. This is the double-sided coin of absolute or immoral pragmatism. Pragmatism is a necessary trait in a leader, but too much pragmatism is not a good thing at all. Absolute or immoral pragmatism is the ability to completely disregard morality in order to do what is necessary. This is not what we are referring to here. The pragmatism we are referring to is precisely the ability to use moral reasoning to quickly judge what is the lesser evil and to act without hesitation and not to disregard morality entirely. Absolute pragmatism disregards this.

In the situation in Unthinkable, both the moral pragmatism and the absolute pragmatism lead us to the same conclusion that two people have to die so that millions can live. But the absolute pragmatic does not do so out of moral conviction to do what is just or what is right. For them it is merely cold reasoning, they have no concern for the well being of one or of millions. Their concern is their own self-interest. The element of conscience is absent entirely in their logical formulation of what is necessary. This kind of pragmatism is the most dangerous form as it takes an illogical and immoral attribute in many situations. To kill 5 people to stay in power or stay out of jail ceases to be an issue even if the lives of 5 good people are worth more than 1 bad one.

The moral (the immorally moral) pragmatic is the most heroic in the situation of doing the unthinkable. Not only are they using moral reasoning to decide what to do but also they are sacrificing their own well-being, their own innocence for the greater good. The absolute or immoral pragmatic loses nothing from committing this act; they have no conscience that prevents them from casually doing so without reason. To know that it is an injustice on a relatively small scale, even when it is extremely disturbing to the perpetrator, and to do it anyways is arguably the most heroic thing a person can do in this situation. Thus the moral pragmatic embodies moral immorality while the absolute pragmatic embodies only immorality.

The best kind of leader is one that recognizes that the well being of the many is worth more than the well being of the few, even if that means doing the unnecessary, often horrible act with their own hands to prevent something even worse from happening. The best kind of leader formulates moral reasoning into the analysis that leads them to such actions as a necessary prerequisite to the action itself. To use moral justification and not merely cold, emotionless reasoning is absolutely crucial. Only can such a leader genuinely care about his/her subjects and not merely their position of power.

This kind of leader has a conscience but uses it constructively in this moral reasoning process. They use it to justify their actions even if they are immoral insofar as they prevent an even worse injustice, and thus the action becomes moral (or immorally moral). This kind of leader is logical but not cold in his reasoning. They feel the pain of those they hurt but they also know the pain of those that would have been hurt by their non-action (which itself is an action). Empathy is crucial to responsible leadership however it must be understood that sometimes a small injustice is necessary to prevent an even greater one. The best leader is morally, even immorally morally pragmatic while the worst leader is merely immorally or absolutely pragmatic.

Bourgeois Right in our Society and its Abolition Under Communism

There is a video circulating Facebook where a man wears a suit covered in 1$ bills and a sign that says, “Take only what you need for free”. The man casually strolls down the streets of a large city and has someone film the reactions from a distance. Interestingly enough the homeless man only takes 2 dollars while the rich businessman in a suit takes as much as he physically can. When asked, “Do you need this money, it doesn’t look like you need it?” he replies, “I don’t need it but it’s free!” Another rich woman with a designer brand purse takes a large amount of the money saying she “has a nail appointment tomorrow”. It is precisely this lack of empathy and consideration for others that we refer to when we say bourgeois right.

One could easily bask and say, “But oh this is clearly human nature!” but that would be wrong without a clear analysis of what makes it “human nature” in our bourgeois society. When the man approaches a homeless person he only takes two dollars, compared to the massive amount taken by the businessman and wealthy woman. This is central to the proletarian ideology, to take only what you need to get by so long as others are in need. It is rooted in what is common to the overwhelming majority of the population: empathy. Those who already live off the labor of others already seem to have no problem taking the money because it is ‘free’. While those who have nothing to sell but their labor seem to take only what they need. To live off the labor of another is a symbol of bourgeois right, and with that is the entitlement to what other people need to survive regardless of how it affects them. Money will not go away until this right, and more specifically the last traces of this right are abolished. It’s solely a matter of ideology.

Marx identifies the nature of bourgeois right quite well. It is no different than the right of the slave master or the feudal lord- the entitlement to the fruits of another’s labor. The entitlement to what another produces despite contributing absolutely nothing to society. In socialist society the whole of society undergoes a ‘proletarianzation’ of sorts and this ideology is smashed. First it is smashed by revolution and then by the evolutionary transformation of society as a whole. The nature of all social relations and production itself is self-interest. Communism does not abolish this, nor can it or any other economic system. It does however abolish the ideology largely responsible for perpetrating selfishness (which is different than self-interest). That ideology is the ideology that takes the form of bourgeois right in the present bourgeois society.

Marx himself recognized the need for the abolition of such an ideological and thus social framework of society at large saying, “In a higher phase of communist society, … — only then can the narrow horizon of bourgeois right be crossed in its entirety and society inscribe on its banners: From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs!”Critique of the Gotha Program (1875). Indeed socialism itself, and the lower stages of communist society work to actively abolish this ‘right’ to what others produce without doing anything of any particular value themselves. This is not to say that some will not abuse this, they most certainly will. But it will not be ingrained into the ideological framework of socially acceptable behavior and thus not as fundamental of a problem as it is today.

To refer back to the video, bourgeois right and bourgeois ideology at large is certainly not independent to the bourgeoisie. It is something that affects all levels of society, it is less apparent among the proletariat but it is still there. It is the attitude reinforced by the ‘every man, woman and child for themselves’ ideology that is fundamental to bourgeois society. As the force that transformed society this bourgeois ideology seeps into not only economic and political life but into all aspects of life, even those seemingly independent from these things. It is no different than the abolition of feudalism, was there anything particularly special about the bourgeoisie? Any human trait they were born with that demanded they are entitled to the lion’s share of another’s labor? This ‘right’ and the belief in it is but a social phenomenon brought about by class antagonisms and by class society at large. Communism abolishes this ‘right’, which itself is not really different than the right to own a slave or be entitled to a fourth of the yield a serf produced on a given day of the week. It is a privilege and not a right, a privilege that makes life a living hell for well over half of the human population.

Self-interest is a fundamental character to socialism and communism as well, while the selfish entitlement to another’s labor is not. In this regard the interest of the self is extended to society at large by nature of the way the system is designed, first partially under socialism and then fully under communism. This is crucial to understanding. Under socialism work is still proportionate to capital received. In other words, “From each according to their ability, to each according to their work”. Under communism this is abolished. Why? Because this is still an injustice as it does not address human needs but mere labor power instead (to the exclusion of the disabled and those unable to work of course). A single mother of four under a socialist system makes the same as someone living as a dependent to someone else assuming they have the same job and do the same amount of work.

The single mother obviously needs more than the other person, but because they can take only what is proportionate to their work the mother suffers an injustice. This idea is foreign in a liberal society, but one day this will be a fundamental understanding of human rights and injustices faced by those of the past. It goes beyond bourgeois morality and liberal ‘rights’ (which are no doubt by and large fundamental to any good society). Thus communism is a society that embodies the philosophy, “From each according to their ability, to each according to their needs”. Does this mean there is no reward for hard work? On the contrary! The reward for labor is no longer directly the means of subsidence (money) for the individual but rather it is the means of subsidence for society at large and thus indirectly that of the individual. What benefit does this have? The ability to take freely according to your needs and to live in a society that has become productive enough to do it! It is the benefit of living under a society where there is no state or capitalist to exploit or oppress the people. It is the freedom from the alienation of modern labor through the transformation of the means of production itself.

In essence it is freedom from work, i.e. from the compulsion to work to maintain individual existence (to eat, to drink, to have shelter, etc.). The individual is thus free to do as he or she wishes so long as it does not physically harm others. The compulsion to work is not directly that of individual survival but the survival of the communist system which guarantees the right to take from society according to your needs without worrying about poverty, hunger, homelessness or unemployment. It is indirectly the self interest of the individual and thereby (with the transformation of the means of production) the compulsion to work ceases to be an alienating feature of life. The abolition of the state means the abolition of all unnecessary regulation on the lives of the people. The abolition of capitalism and thereby the abolition of all classes (in the Marxian term) abolishes every injustice brought about by the capitalist system. The inevitable automation of labor will likely have taken significant root in such a society enough to drastically reduce the workweek even more. What you end up with is the utmost possible expansion of individual liberty. Imagine a world without money, without the state, without any restrictions on personal liberty so long as no one is hurt by it. This is the embodiment of true civil liberty as theorized by Rousseau, though in a much more potent form than it exists today.

Rousseau distinguishes between civil and anarchistic liberty in The Social Contract saying, “What man loses by the social contract is his natural liberty and an unlimited
right to everything he tries to get and succeeds in getting; what he
gains is civil liberty and the proprietorship of all he possesses. If we are to avoid mistake in weighing one against the other, we must clearly distinguish natural liberty, which is bounded only by the strength of the individual, from civil liberty, which is limited by the general will; and possession, which is merely the effect of force or the right of the first occupier, from property, which can be founded only on a positive title. We might, over and above all this, add, to what man acquires in the civil state, moral liberty, which alone makes him truly master of himself; for the mere impulse of appetite is slavery, while obedience to a law which we prescribe to ourselves is liberty” (Rousseau, 14-15). In this sense the state as a weapon of class rule ceases to be, and with it all unnecessary laws and vestiges of the necessary big government of class society. The only laws that continue to exist are laws that protect the individual liberty of each citizen and the well being of the planet and of society at large. The government that survives in a communist society (if there is one at all) will no doubt be as small and as decentralized as physically possible. It will likely be a government that acts only to enforce a universal framework of natural, civil and legal rights, whose force is derived directly from the people themselves and is instantly recallable at any time. Such a world is possible, but only through the abolition of capitalism, the establishment of communism and thereby the abolition of bourgeois right.

We are not advocating a Marxist-Leninist type of government such as that of the USSR or any of the other Stalinist states. We are not advocating for a one party system, an unlimited totalitarian government, or anything of the kind. We are advocating a new kind of society that has yet to be tried, and has never been attempted even in the most wretched form in an advanced capitalist country with the necessary prerequisites for both socialism and full democracy.

“Should America go communist as a result of the difficulties and problems that your capitalist social order is unable to solve, it will discover that communism, far from being an intolerable bureaucratic tyranny and individual regimentation, will be the means of greater individual liberty and shared abundance.” – Leon Trotsky

The Elements of The Leadership of The Destruction of Society: Imperialism, Trump and Climate Change

In order to fully demonstrate my point I will refer to examples in House of Cards and The Walking Dead. You don’t have to have seen the shows to understand as I elaborate on them. To understand the ticking time bomb we are living in and why it is a ticking time bomb we must first understand a fundamental aspect of the nature of leadership and examples of it found in these two shows. The parallels between the shows and living under Trump are uncanny.

A fundamental element of leadership is knowing when to use violence and to what extent, but more importantly is the reasons why. Take The Governor in The Walking Dead. After the town of Mayberry is gone The Governor finds himself as leader of a relatively large group of people displaced from the apocalypse and the loss of Mayberry, however he is ruling the community with two other people. One of them knows the unspoken rule of leadership, its violent nature while the other does not. The three of them go out to find food and come across a group of campers with an abundance of supplies. Both The Governor and the other leader standing to his right know what has to be done to maintain the unsustainable lifestyle of the people but the leader standing to his left is taken aback by the brutality of such an act. They leave the campsite without a trace much to The Governor’s dismay.

What The Governor is doing in this scene is precisely what Frank Underwood is doing in the first scene of House of Cards (the necessary but inconvenient act of killing a dog who was run over by a car to end its suffering and to decrease the pain of the dogs owners when they find him). In the case of The Governor the moral justification for his actions are less apparent but it is nonetheless necessary. To ensure the livelihood of his people, and to protect their unsustainable way of life he has to kill people of other small campsites and settlements and rob their campsites for supplies and food. The other leader was taken aback by this unspoken rule, this inconvenient truth of leadership, and thus in order to protect the people from finding out so blatantly this unspoken truth The Governor kills him. Was this necessary? To stay in power it was, but more importantly it was necessary to maintain the peoples unsustainable way of life.

I cannot help but draw a parallel to US imperialism today. We all know the inconvenient truth behind the wars in the Middle East. We all know the brutal nature of US imperialism, the millions and millions killed in wars for the acquisition of resources, what is essentially the robbing of other countries by crushing them with massive debt in order to get them to sell their resources for a cheap price to US companies. This violence is necessary to maintain the global capitalist system and thus the way of life for millions in the so-called first world. We also know the inconvenient truth (as did the people living under The Governor in The Walking Dead) that this way of life is unsustainable. In that regard is The Governor’s actions any more morally wrong than the actions of our government? Of course imperialism is very complicated, and foreign policy even more so. This is simply said so blatantly to not sugar coat the nature of imperialism, yes it is a complicated issue but I am not here to elaborate on how imperialism works. Imperialism is always an ulterior motive. The purpose of this is to show the A and the E of imperialism but not the B C and D. But this is a moral and economic discussion for a different time.

In both situations there is the irrefutable unsustainability of the lifestyles of the people. What made their lifestyle so unsustainable? It was to live as nothing bad was happening, to have normal family life and play games such as hide and go seek outside in such a world. To have an abundance of food and water at nearly all times and to not get their hands dirty by killing zombies. All of these things are absolutely unsustainable and the people seem to know this to some degree. But it is their lack of acting on this knowledge that gets most of them killed in the end. Is the same not true for America? We all know the unsustainability of the capitalist system (at least as it exists today), and of our never-ending reckless consumption due to its effect on our planet; we know it is destroying our planet beyond repair and that we have likely passed the point of no return. In this regard the state, and in our case the leader or leading party acts in the interests of shielding the people from what is really going on by whatever means necessary.

Because the republicans are more the party of the ‘big capitalist’ and the democrats of the ‘small capitalist’ the republicans are the first to defend the fossil fuel industries and deny the existence of global warming entirely (thanks largely to the traditional anti-science, anti-intellectual stance of conservatives). We see this on traditional democratic ‘left’ too but not in the form of blatant denial. It is the attitude of ‘oh yes we’re fucked but not fucked enough to stop consuming as we are. Just buy a hybrid and recycle and we’ll be okay’. Both sides to one degree or another deny the actuality of how fucked we are, of how absolutely unsustainable the current capitalist system, and the system at large really is. In both situations the lifestyles of the people are unsustainable and it is the inability to address this truth directly that leads to the total and complete destruction of society, or in our case of humanity at large.

We see the left leaning liberal and social democratic left trying to address this issue not by overturning capitalism but by regulating it more. The more left leaning liberal democrats and the green party seem to have an understanding of the scale of this issue and I applaud them for that, however the way to address capitalism within the framework of a capitalist system is difficult to say the least and requires a fundamental and radical change in our energy system and thus our economy at large. This of course requires is what we would call the ‘welfare state’ capitalism of Scandinavia and other countries. But even this is recognized as not nearly enough, in order to address this problem requires an extreme change in the way we consume, create and use energy yesterday. The liberal left only wishes to change the energy system and is perfectly content in maintaining the culture of reckless consumption that crates massive amounts of trash and non-biodegradable waste which is filling our oceans and destroying the ecosystem. Look at Norway for example, a liberal social democratic country that boasts having 100% renewable energy. This is certainly good, but the top exports of Norway are Crude Petroleum($45.1B), Petroleum Gas ($43.6B), and Refined Petroleum ($6.56B), all of which are fossil fuels that are contributing to the problem. This is a prime example of the impossibility to fully address this issue under capitalism. But at least it is a step in the right direction.

The conservative backlash to these reforms is radical, but only in the sense that it is radical as to not change the status quo. They are doing in essence what the people living under The Governor were doing, ignoring the problem until it explodes and kills everybody. The blatant denial of science is not really an issue for the conservative right. First and foremost most religious fundamentalists are conservatives, and even as a religious person myself I am appalled by the anti-scientific and anti-intellectual attitude of this group of people. The belief that the world is only 6000 years old and that the world will end soon anyways isn’t helping anybody. They already deny the big bang and the existence of evolution so climate change and global warming are non-issues. Combine this with the fact that the entire party is in the pockets of big business and insists that it is not a serious and one can see how we have a president who believes that global warming was a hoax invented by the Chinese to slow the development of US industry. We see the same denial of Climate Change by the Republican Party as we saw they did about the dangers of smoking. But this time it is even worse. It won’t just be people getting cancer and other illnesses and dying 50 years from now, it will be all of humanity dying and not having a habitable planet in 300 years, perhaps even less.

If we do not take radical action now, or better yet yesterday on this issue our children will not have a future. Of course I am not going to bank on the inevitable collapse of capitalism happening anytime soon, so even I would support the establishment of a capitalist welfare state that would regulate the hell out of industry and transform our energy system in order to reduce the effects this disaster. The radicalism of maintaining the status quo is really what is so dangerous about Trump. It is not merely that he’s going to establish a fascist state or that he is too authoritarian, it is that he is content on doing what The Governor is doing in pretending everything is okay when it isn’t. Of course all presidents do this in regards to imperialism but it is particularly alarming in the case of global warming. When imperialism collapses it will be the fall of capitalism, but when the ability to ignore climate change collapses it will be the end of humanity at large.

There has never been a more serious issue in all of human history. It is an existential threat on the scale of that posed by nuclear war. Its inevitability is certain if we do nothing, and likely even if we do everything we possibly can. But to ignore it and pretend it doesn’t exist is the worst of sins, and among a world leader it is unforgivable. It is the trait of a leader who wants to maintain the status quo at the expense of all of humanity. It is the trait of a leader who is too blinded by greed and selfishness to understand the gravity of the situation, and that is no leader at all!