Society

Power

So, the first entry of my ‚Utopian Trilogy‘ (I’ve always wanted to have my own trilogy, sorry) is on the issue of power. Who should have the power in your life?

What follows is my logical justification of this answer. Nobody but you.

And I don’t mean in the sense of one of these dreadful self help books about taking control of your life and being the master of your own destiny and cliché cliché cliché. Even if you subscribe to and carry out that bullshit, you will always be a slave to a government and a system designed to fuck you over to help somebody who doesn’t need it. I mean there should be nobody who rules you. No government. No boss. Nothing.

Note this idea is not born of trying to be cool and rebellious, or of listening to Russell Brand (big fan of him though). This is born of sitting and thinking about the world and how much I hate it and why I hate it and what could be done to make it better. My reasoning runs along these lines.

We begin with monarchy. This will be short and sweet. The idea simply baffles me. Ruling a country is not a fucking birthright. Nobody should ever be respected on the basis of their relatives or what their surname is, let alone put on some sort of pedestal and treated like some sort of idol and how anybody at any point in the history of man could ever have thought this was a good idea is beyond me. Indeed how anybody managed to impose this on the rest of their country is beyond me. I don’t really have much more to say about that one. Now government.

What does a government do? Asides from take your money at the end of the month without much justification, they make laws. That’s their only function. After a little thought, I realised that about 90% of laws could be summarised by 3. Don’t hurt. Don’t kill. Don’t steal. All the government’s laws do is tell you not to do these, or drugs.

I’ll spend a little time justifying that statement, as I realise it may not be immediately obvious. It is however clear that they cover laws against murder, assault and theft at least. What about all the other laws that the government are constantly passing for our benefit!?!?!? Tax laws for example. These only define what the government considers theft (pretty backwards since they’re in fact stealing from you). Don’t steal. Property law defines what belongs to who. Don’t steal. Rape? Don’t hurt. Abortion? Don’t kill (although the point at which it becomes murder is subjective). one may argue drugs is don’t hurt yourself, however that’s bullshit. That’s just the government being cunts. My theory is that because there is generally an anti establishment feeling attached to those who take drugs, this law allows the government to subtly persecute those who oppose it, but obviously that can’t be proven though. However on drugs, they should be legal. What you choose to put in your body is 100% up to you and nobody can tell you otherwise. The consumption of the drugs alcohol and nicotine is a matter of free choice and therefore so it should be for all drugs. It’s well demonstrated that addiction is a disease, a health problem, so treat it as such, or throw me in jail for having a fucking cold. For an example of why this is right, see Portugal.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with these principles at all, in fact I believe they’re all very good, solid ideas upon which to base a society. I put it to you that you are a (reasonably) normal person, probably. Have you ever killed? Stolen? Hurt? If you’re reading this the likelihood is that like 99% of the world you haven’t, or at least not to any serious degree. So then I ask the question. Why do you need a government to tell you not to do these things? My answer is you don’t. Simple.

Now we’ve toppled the main obstruction to our freedom (well, we’ll come to police later), what about a more everyday example most of us have to struggle with? Your boss. Whether you like them or not, they still order you around and still have power over you based on some sort of perceived authority that is imposed on you, and I believe that just the same as government this is wrong. I’ve not got much experience in employment it must be said, I’ve had one job and am currently doing some work experience, and to be honest I’ve liked all my bosses. But I never saw why they deserved respect because they said they were above me. I’ll apply my arguments to the example of my job in a shop, but I see no reason why these wouldn’t generalise to pretty much all jobs.

I worked in a sports shop for quite a while (almost 5 times as long as an average employee) and saw 3 managers in my time. I liked all of them, they treated me well and I was happy to do what they asked when it made sense and was fair. But that was the only reason. Not because they had any kind of authority that I respected. I have in fact come up with two solutions to this power problem, which could have run our store every bit as well without any hierarchy.

Everybody has a talent. Some more than others, but everybody has something they’re good at, and given a cross section of people you are always bound to have a range of these talents. That’s just statistics and nature. Solution one involves using those talents. Some people are bound to be better at organising and motivating (the job of a manager) than others. So allow these people to deal with such tasks as delegation and organisation. I know this may sound like appointing a manager, but the difference is this. These people aren’t imposed on you. You aren’t told that they are better than you and you must obey all their commands. They aren’t given authority by either themselves or some other mysterious authority from higher up the management chain. They are equal to you in terms of authority, you simply do as they ask not because they say you should, but because they are good at this sort of thing and you respect that, and thus respect that it’s probably a good idea based on that fact. They may not be able to do what they’ve asked you to do, you may be much better at them than that, and that’s the respect they’ve shown you in asking you to do this. The example in my store was that it was split over two floors, making it impossible for the manager to be on both at the same time, so the manager usually stayed on the ground floor because it was the more important and busy of the two, and upstairs it was left to the experienced staff to organise the top floor. They weren’t above their colleagues, they simply knew what had to be done and how best to do it and the less experienced staff respected this and did as they were asked. The manager couldn’t have had things running any smoother, so did we really need them? No. Just a little respect.

I realise the above just sounds like calling a manager an equal, and of the two solutions I propose it’s the least favourable. The second is simply that things are run collectively and democratically by everybody. Everybody has a say and you work together to do what has to be done. I believe that naturally this situation will be in some ways similar to the above as there will be some who better understand what to do and thus will have more involvement in this collective process than others, however the difference lies in the lack of appointment of an organiser or organisers and everybody perhaps has more of a part in it. The example in my shop was one evening it was the manager’s day off and the experienced staff member was not in until the end, leaving me and two colleagues who hadn’t been in the store as long as me on the top floor. However I’m not much of a leader so we simply got together for a few minutes, discussed what had to be done and who would do what and then went and did it. We didn’t even need to appoint any kind of ‚leader‘ at all, we simply used what we knew and did what had to be done. In short, did we at any point actually need a manager? No. Any kind of guide other than our own? Also no. So why would we need it in future?

Finally, we come to the police. What would we do without them? Exactly the same as we currently do. I refer back to the arguments above regarding the redundancy of government making laws that nobody breaks. I now go a step further. Assuming you have never broken these laws still, I now ask why you haven’t broken any of these. Was it because the law told you not to? Or because as a human being you have respect for others and wouldn’t do these things? I suspect the answer is the latter. So why then do we need police to enforce laws that nobody breaks? To make sure that you’re not doing what you had no intention of doing anyway? All the police really do is exercise the will of government, and this only serves to impinge upon your freedom. Think of protests for example. They get shut down all the time on very poor excuses and often in brutal circumstances by the police. Are they not supposed to enforce the right to free speech rather than act as an impediment?

What if somebody does break one of our three rules though? I realise that this happens anyway, and would continue to do so without police. The answer is quite simply to take care of it as a community. Work together with your fellow human beings who share your respect for humanity to catch the perpetrator. Maybe even give a group of people within your community the job of doing so. Just don’t give them any kind of special respect because of this role. They’re just people doing a job, they don’t deserve it any more or less than you.

And here I end my argument. I don’t believe in systems of authority and think all those in existence should be dismantled. I have faith in humanity, and I don’t think we need self important pricks to impose themselves on us and tell us what to do. We don’t need to be led.

PS: I’d like to add that I realise the police argument isn’t fully developed and much weaker than the rest. I’m still working on it in my mind, as of everything that I’ve written about here they are the only ones who I can see doing any good. I think they key to it lies in treating them differently, not as some sort of authoritative force, simply people doing a job like everybody else. Anyways, thanks for reading!

o/

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