2 października 2013

About anarchy

  The word "anarchy" primarly comes from Greek, in which it meant a state of absence of power. That may be understand as variously as ambiguous is the word "power". However, at the time when anarchistic social movements were establishing themselves in the Europe, that is in the XIX centrury,  the meaning of these concepts has been crystallized and made more precised. There is no need for separated artictle to explain that modern anarchists has started to define power by the kind of relationship in which person or a group of people A had a physical and psychological advantage and control - similar to the relation of an ownership - on a person or a group of people B. Power and State - that is essentially bound with it - have become a centre of the anarchistic attention. These things are obvious and clear for everybody. What is vague and difficult to understand, it is the form and the means by which the state limits the freedom of the individual and the fact that modern slavery exists what is - for an average bread-eater - a kind of shock and heresy. But this is less important now. It may be even said that anarchists are meant to be those who will bring entlightenment for a minds blinded by the propaganda. Indeed, they have a moral as well as an epistemic right to oppose that injustice. Although not everybody agrees with it, mostly everybody accepts that slavery, looting and reification one man by another are truely and undoubtelly wrong and wicked things. This is an ethical standard. However, the things in which most people have a problem of accepting are the solutions of anarchists.  Indeed, they argue that anarchy is too radical approach , too dangerous , and sometimes simply utopian. Without going into a detailed analysis of the allegations , it may look like the main problem of anarchism is a problem of communication. But I am aiming for something else.    
 Etienne Gilson, in his great work " Thomistic Realism " had drown the idea that anarchism is basically the result of errors of idealism and turning from the ontological realism of St . Thomas Aquinas [1]. He claims it was the mistake of Cartesian dualism which has been based on John Scotts's philosophy and has distorted the original understanding of the basic metaphysical terms. According to Descartes body and soul in human being are separated realms. Omitting the details of that reasoning, Gilson concludes that from the anthropology the weight of the problem passed to other areas of philosophy. Namely, to social and political philosophy ( Hobbes ) and then to reach its climax in the form of two opposing camps , that is individualistic ( represented mainly by Stirner and Nietzsche ) and collectivist ( Comte , Hegel ) . French Thomist adds that the entire genesis of reaching this level was most logical and based on pure common sense . So he blames neither Stirner or Nietzsche or Hegel , Comte or the fact that they might be illogical or irrational. They accepted the conditions which they  inherited from their masters, and their masters from previous masters, and so on , to the first (un)faithful disciples of St. Thomas Aquinas . Thomas' students who interpreted his teacher's philosophy in the essentialistic spirit. Well, it certainly is an explanation of the problem or at least outline the historical background , but is that enough? Is it that the students of St. Thomas Aquinas in the XIII c. - whom mistakenly read his teacher's writings - is that means all anarchism is a misunderstanding or simply the result of misinterpretation of metaphysics of Aquinas? And do all other philosophical trends after Thomas may be accused for the same unfaithfullnes? Answer for the first objection is definitely negative. So far Gilson didn't claim that. The only thing he was trying to say in his work is that the history of philosophy and culture are closely related, and those connections ought not to be underestimated. But I was more intrigued by the question of anarchism , so I will ask the one question to clarify the matter: Has exploitation been occurring only in times of Stirner? Is the power of the state invention of nineteenth century? Is the tax injustice and slavery something new? In the history many thinkers , writers and philosophers have been noticing that there is evil and that this evil has a specific frame. From East Asia to the Europe almost every wise man, who had social matters close to his heart, has seen that wickednesses of human nature. While each had different medications, depending on their own conclusions, not necessarily anarchistic, but this is not important. The significant is that the fact that exploitation is not something invented today , so it is not something dependent and completely relative . Anarchism does not have to be a "Zeitgeist" or a fashion, but it can and ought to be logical consequence of rational reasoning based on experience and sensual cognition. Although coming to that quite simple conclusion (what is more simple than that each person wants to live peacefully without any gun aimed at his forehead) has taken much time untill its finall intellectual realization. Thought this extension may be regarded as justified.

 Considering the anallogical fact of technological domain in its most basic forms. How many inventions that might have been manufactured and constructed in advance , how many discoveries that might have been noticed before? These are unfortunately barren questions. So this does not mean that people were stupid then , and today are wiser . In fact, the question of the technical development is good enough for a separate essay . However, I will stick to the actual issue . It should be noted that the human species - apart from the collective connotation - need a couple of centuries to come to a anarchism. It was a kind of evolution and in some sense the need of time. In the past the oppresiveness of the State were different, if not just lesser because of the lack of the means to be used. Means that needed to be produced and created with a little free market economy prosperity that has been occurring from time to time in the history of mankind. And of course another matter becomes clear, that is to say the more healthier and richer human civilization grows, the more and more oppressive becomes its parasite - the State . 

 [1] Etienne Gilson, „Realizm tomistyczny”, IW PAX, Warszawa, 1968, s. 38-41.

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