Civil Discourse Now

Where the far left and far right overlap for fun and enlightenment

“Anarchy!” trump, and other of Putin’s minions, claim Dems - or those who oppose racism or oppression or oligarchy, etc. - are anarchists, but of the two “major” political parties, the Republican is closer, in both past and present, to fostering “anarchism.”

First, we should define “anarchy”: “(1) Absence of government; lawlessness. (2) The political belief that there should be no government and that instead ordinary people should work together to improve society...” Black’s Law Dic., 10th ed., 2014, p. 104.

Sure: chaos (bad) can be anarchy - as in places devastated by war - but anarchy is a community that exists without need for a government. The seven castaways on “Gilligan’s Island” existed without a government (good).

Anarchy - the bad kind - is the goal of this iteration of the GOP. Sen Barry Goldwater, the “father” of this GOP, said as he accepted the 1964 GOP nomination for President: “Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. Moderation in the pursuit of just ice is no virtue.”

A man named Karl Hess wrote that speech, not Goldwater. I met Hess when he was artist-in-residence - he was a great welder - at the University of Illinois. He had dropped out of conservative politics and become an anarchist. He also was a tax resister.

Reagan cribbed a line from Eldridge Cleaver - of whom Reagan might have heard when Reagan was Governor of California. Cleaver was one of the early leaders of the Black Panther Party for self-defense. Reagan said government is not a solution but the problem.

The real problem can be seen in what trump does: fails to replace what he destroys. He’s had nearly four years to come up with an alternative to Obamacare. Or go to the days of Governor Reagan. California infrastructure was trashed in the name of saving money.

Hamilton County, north of Indianapolis, has been a “solid” GOP county in one of the country’s most “solid” GOP states. Above the bench of the County Commissioners, in large gold letters, is what one may reasonably infer is some official’s philosophy:

“‘That government is best which governs least.’” Thoreau began “On Civil Disobedience” with this quote, then added: “Carried out, it finally amounts to this, which also I believe - ‘That government is best which governs not at all;’ and when men are prepared for it, that will be the kind of government which they will have.”

Chaos today has been fostered by those on the right who, unwittingly (and they really have few wits), quiver in fear at the “anarchy” and violence of the “deep state” or the “antifa.” One hell of a lot more people have been killed by the right wing, than by the left, since June.

Historically violence has been used this way. trump loves the taars. C.B. Zubatov, a tsarist police director is quoted: “We shall provoke you to acts of terror and then crush you.” Marx, Gary T., MIT, “The Agent Provocateur and the Informant,” Amer.J.Soc., 1974.

Much of the violence of the late 1960s was carried out by people working with the government who sought to make the anti-war movement look bad. “Prince Crazy” was an FBI informant and enjoyed creating that favorite ingredient of the far right - chaos - into otherwise peaceful protests.

The castaways got along fine on Gilligan’s Island. Most “utopian” beliefs have an anarchistic end to their philosophical rainbow. Christianity, in its final days, also has a world without formal government.

In the meantime we have to deal with dictators, such as Putin, who seek to make people fear the chaos the dictators themselves create - as an excuse to further dictatorial rule. We have to vote down autocrats and would-be dictators.

Hess was a damn good welder. Too bad he wrote that speech for Goldwater, delivered mid-July, 1964. Two months later “Gilligan’s Island” premiered on US tv. 

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