Anarchy and Libertarianism
A. Absolutely. Plato, Rousseau and Hegel have been attacked many times by commentators from all parts of the political spectrum. Many of the things they said can easily be twisted and misrepresented by their ideological enemies to depict them in the most sinister light. And exactly the same can be done in reverse. Advocates of Plato, Rousseau and Hegel can show how these three geniuses are humanity's greatest hope and how their enemies have delivered the appalling world we have today.
Politics is very simple. The question couldn't be stated more simply: who are the best people to be in charge?
Anarchists and libertarians are entirely opposed to rule by anyone. They hate the "Big State". They hate being told what to do by anyone. No nation in history has ever tried anarchy or libertarianism. There's a very simple reason for that. Anarchy and libertarianism are incompatible with nationhood, the State, government or even society itself.
We already know what anarchy and libertarianism would be like in practice – the JUNGLE. Without rulers, all that would happen is that the law of the jungle would apply and the strongest would take over and make everyone else would become their slaves. The weak wouldn't stand a chance.
Anarchists and libertarians have all sorts of self-deluding arguments why this wouldn't happen. They have a touching belief that government itself causes people to become corrupt and if you remove government then everyone will be terribly nice to one another. In other words, they deny that human beings are animals who will resort to animal behaviour at the earliest opportunity. If you were extremely strong in a world with nothing to prevent you from doing whatever you wanted, wouldn't you, or others like you, just go ahead and carry through the basic logic of that position and become kings amongst men? After all, who's going to stop you?
We find it intellectually nauseating that anarchists and libertarians spend so much time criticising other systems and seemingly none at all attempting to explain how on earth their own system would work without invoking a type of infinitely benevolent human being not known to exist anywhere on earth.
Serious political thinkers spend little time contemplating anarchy and libertarianism since there's precious little to think about. These systems are 100% unworkable for anyone who doesn't want to take their chances in the jungle.
So, having left behind the supremely frivolous and naïve belief that human society can function without rulers, we return to the serious question of who should be in charge.
Here are the basic choices:
1) The Dictator – the strongest person becomes the leader, and anyone who defies him must either kill him or perish. The most ancient societies were all ruled by dictators in one shape or another. (Rule by a dictator and rule by a tyrant is typically the same thing.)
2) The Dictator wanted to hand on his power to his children, so Monarchy came into being. The Monarch claimed that he was mandated by God to rule and that he had sacred blood that was passed onto his children who should therefore rule after him. Monarchies still exist in many countries even in the 21st century.
3) Theocracy: a high priest, senior cleric or prophet rules directly in the name of God. Modern Iran is a theocracy and there have been several theocracies throughout history. However, prophets, high priests or popes usually work hand in hand with Monarchs.
4) Oligarchy: rule by a cabal of powerful men. This was a common system in ancient Greece and various versions of it often crop up.
5) Plutocracy: rule by the rich. Plutocracy and oligarchy are often more or less the same.
6) Democracy. In ancient Athens, this was rule by the people instead of rule by plutocratic oligarchies or tyrants. In modern democracies, democratic leaders are invariably rich and supported by plutocratic oligarchic groups, whose interests they serve without question. Democracy in the modern world is always linked to capitalism – a rich man's economic system.
7) The Market. Sometimes capitalism claims to be rule by the Market, which is a mysterious abstraction. (In practice, the market is just a collection of powerful plutocratic cartels).
8) The "Party". A single Party such as the Communist or Nazi Party rules, and is always led by a "strong man" dictator figure. The "Party" is by definition totalitarian. No rival political parties are permitted.
Those are more or less all of the different political systems that have been tried by humanity, and all have been a dismal and proven failure.
Plato advocated "aristocratic" rule – rule by "the best". By that, Plato meant the most intelligent: philosopher kings. He envisaged brilliant rulers trained in how to rule in the best interests of all. His ruling elite were to live on a communist basis. They had no private property, no private wealth and shared everything. Since they had no money, they couldn't be accused of ruling for their own financial benefit. Nowadays, aristocracy has been rebranded as meritocracy: rule by the most talented (which will usually mean the most intelligent).
Rousseau promoted the idea that the State should be dedicated to the advancement of the "General Will" – what is in the best interests of everyone. He was utterly opposed to any "particular" wills. For example, when a political party wins a democratic election, does it really rule in the interests of all, or is it in fact ruling in the partisan interests of the section of society that voted it into power? Plainly, all democratic parties rule according to the particular and not the general will.
In Hegel's view, citizens come to dialectical perfection through the institutions of the State. The idea that individuals left to their own devices can ever become "optimised" (self-actualised) is an absurdity. Imagine a State without an education system. How would people become educated? Humanity would make no progress at all. It's only through institutions of civilisation and progress – education, health, law, transport, science and so on – that humanity advances.
So, when you put Plato, Rousseau and Hegel together it comes down to this:
The best rulers are the most intelligent. They are prohibited from being rich. They are painstakingly trained in the art and science of statecraft in order to rule in the best interests of all. Their aim is to maximise the potential of each and every citizen. That's the basis on which they will be judged. They will create perfect State institutions that will reflect the General Will. This is a system of "positive liberty" i.e. the State actively intervenes in people's lives in order to ensure that they become the best they can be. The opposite of positive liberty is of course negative liberty whereby the State leaves people to their own devices and has no vision of a perfect society and smart people. Modern capitalist democracies are negative liberty States. They take no interest at all in the quality of human beings. For example, they would never dream of banning sleazy, prurient tabloid newspapers that spread toxic and degrading gossip and appeal to everything that is worst in people for the sake of getting them to part with their money. A Meritocratic State WOULD ban such trash and everything else that corrodes the quality and best interests of humanity.
So, if you hate the idea of smart people running society; taking an interest in the quality of the human race; outlawing capitalist products if they are deemed contrary to the public good; attacking and destroying all systems of privilege, nepotism and cronyism; imposing 100% inheritance tax on people's estates, using widespread psychological profiling to ensure that people can readily find people on their own wavelength and avoid those who are not, and so on... then meritocracy is not for you. You should go and find something else that is, since only mentally ill people spend their time on websites where they are not wanted and where they have no constructive contribution to make.
It's very simple. Meritocracy is about turning humanity into a Society of Gods via the relentless exercise of the scientific method and the Hegelian dialectic. Meritocracy asserts that humanity can become perfect and create heaven on earth by allowing the smartest people – the greatest geniuses of the human race – to be in power and to use their reason to solve all problems. Look how far science has come by relentless application of the scientific method. Imagine similar methods being applied to every aspect of society in pursuit of ever-increasing perfection.
If that is not your vision too then you will certainly regard Meritocracy as a fascist and totalitarian system, but don't worry - you will never be subjected to Meritocratic rule. Meritocracy is only for those who want a perfect society, designed by reason. Only those who sign up to that vision can be part of it. Everyone else will be outside the State since if they were in the State they would simply sabotage it with their irrationality, negativity and obstructionism.
The aim of the Meritocratic State is to peacefully and by negotiation separate itself from anti-Meritocratic forces. We have no intention or desire to have non-Meritocrats in our State. We have no desire to be tyrants over those who oppose us, and by the same token we will never accept their tyranny over us. We will resist tyrannical anarchists or libertarians who seek to destroy the State in order to explore their own anti-intellectual theories of human nature. Meritocracy is about the highest human intelligence and quality.
Meritocracy seeks to create the strongest, smartest, most creative, bold, adventurous, autonomous, independent, self-actualised, fulfilled, free and resourceful people in human history. We understand that many people are suspicious of State power and want to be left alone. That's no problem. The State can't work with people who are opposed to it, so you will never be part of it. Therefore, it will be necessary to divide countries into parts. Meritocracy supports the city-state structure of ancient Greece. The meritocratic State will be one such city-state, and it's up to the opponents of meritocracy to set up their own city-states. Then we can all have what we want – with no groups being tyrants over any others. We are the greatest champions of freedom in human history, but we know that there is no such thing as freedom without rational rules. That's the message of Plato, Rousseau and Hegel.
The ultimate "free" system is the jungle – no formal rulers and no formal rules – but only an insane person, or a beast, would want to live there. Civilisation is about rules and institutions, and they necessarily impose constraints in the name of true freedom: which is living amongst your peers in the best way for all, not the best way for a few rich people or particular individuals. Your freedom is always linked to the freedom of others. Anarchists and libertarians have never grasped this. They think freedom is being able to do what they want to do in any circumstances regardless of others. That is a recipe for all out war between people.
We already know what anarchy and libertarianism offer. In the immortal words of Thomas Hobbes, "No arts, no letters, no society; and which is worst of all, continual fear and danger of violent death; and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short."
"During the time men live without a common power to keep them all in awe, they are in that condition which is called war; and such a war as is of every man against every man." ~ Thomas Hobbes
"Covenants without the sword are but words and of no strength to secure a man at all." ~ Thomas Hobbes
Meritocracy replaces the "Leviathan" (the great State force that Hobbes imagined as necessary to preserve society and civilisation) with a rational constitution. All rational people in a rational State will comply because it is the rational thing to do, and in the best interests of all (thus expressing the General Will). Irrational, subversive elements that oppose the General Will will be "forced to be free", to use Rousseau’s chilling but pragmatic words, or they will be excluded from the State from the outset.
There is no easy answer to the problems of the world that will satisfy everyone. You must choose sides and, as soon as you do, you will be unpopular and have enemies. Making difficult choices is what life is all about. If you refuse to make those choices, you will never be truly alive.
The Meritocracy Party aims to replace consumerism with high culture. We wish to place ideas above money, aesthetics above shopping, community over "I'm all right, Jack." Private property leads to private lives, dislocated communities, suspicion and competition between neighbours. We are not allies, we are enemies. How do we heal the rifts between us? We have to reduce the importance of the main focus of division between us: lust for money.
Continue reading here: The Meritocracy Party