Peter M Howard ::

wintermute.com.au

So what are your politics?

17March2005 [myth]
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An Attempt To Sort Out My Thoughts

In brief, I think I’d say I’m Catholic and Pacifist, with sympathies towards a kind of Socialist Anarchy.

Catholic, because I’m all for the Church’s teachings on social justice and human rights (incl rights of the unborn, &c). Pacifist because I despise war, but then I’m not totally anti-War - just most of the time. I think the only justification for war is defense of a sovereign nation against invasion, but even then it’s always difficult, and it should be limited to defense (and none of this preemptive nonsense, nor defense ‘at a distance’)…

Socialist Anarchy is a tricky one. Basically I’m not a particular fan of Democracy - it’s just a tool Capitalism uses to control the Masses. But Autocracy is too difficult to implement justly (I like the idea of a Theocracy, but it’s never been properly implemented, and would struggle too much to include competing beliefs). A kind of Socialist Anarchy could truly leave power in the hands of the people. But too much would lead to Survival of the Fittest, which is even worse; we need a Rule of the Innocent, which couldn’t work outside of very weird science-fiction. I loved discovering the 1968 French ‘Revolution’ as it was somewhat aimless, and yet people worked together, however briefly.

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Where I think things are headed is very cyberpunk influenced, but as time passes more and more comes true, so I wouldn’t discount it… We’re headed for systems of Global Tribes - some tribes already exist, and more are being created (usually informally) all the time. Many of the Tribes will be Corporate - if one works for Microsoft, one will belong to the Microsoft ‘Tribe’, which will entail living in a Microsoft home, driving a Microsoft car, socialising with other MS employees, probably educating one’s children at MS schools, and having health-care supplied, if not directly by MS, by MS-approved and supported hospitals. HOWEVER, some people will belong to more than one Tribe. One might also belong to the Catholic Tribe, and choose to have one’s children educated at a Catholic school and have health-care supplied by a Catholic medical system. Some people will continue to change jobs regularly, but I wouldn’t be surprised if things become more settled and as people become more and more ‘corporate slaves’ they will end up working for one company all their life - because they will rely on them for the housing, education, health &c of their family.

There will also be tribes, much like there are today (though informally), that unite people by trade - like the old Guilds. For example, film-makers may belong to a studio-based tribe, or may belong to a global Guild-Tribe. These global guilds would enable the transfer of knowledge, opportunities &c, allowing one to travel the globe for work, knowing one will be supported wherever one travels.

Like everything, there is a dark underside to this system - the problem of poverty will only get worse. Some Tribes may specifically help the poor (for example, the Catholic Church might re-introduce the 10% tithe, some of which supports its members, some of which supports charitable works). But largely they will be left out. And this future is realistic enough that this problem needs desperately to be dealt with.

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And Finally, A Prediction. A couple of years ago, I gave the USA 5-10 more years in its current situation, and that timespan still stands - now it’s 3-8. And how about that, the next election campaign sits smack at the start of that - Bush’s 2nd term and what the Republicans decide to do at the end of it will be crucial… By ‘its current situation’, let me clarify: I believe the USA of 3-8 years away will be dramatically different (or arguably, not so different). It will either go the way of Fascism, or will fall apart - becoming at best a loose conglomeration of Tribes and States.

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