I’ve been slogging through the Gulag Archipelago for some time now. Not because it’s long or dry, but just because it’s so terribly hard to read what happened, and integrate the social dynamics with what I, a capitalist American, consider to be “normal.”
Socialism and Communism are not institutions of economic order; they’re social screeds of classist hate steeped in the most bitter covetousness, veiled banally as economics, and benignly as equity.
It’s the worst of humanity presented as brotherly love.
Distressingly, the most effective execution of these systems identifies what particular strain of hate or darkness you have within you, and pulls it to the forefront, inflates it, and feeds it until you, the unwilling participant, become the perpetrator AND perpetuator of the malignity of The State.
All the while, certain that there’s simply no way out of this system, and that you’re just doing what’s best for yourself and your family in an untenable situation.
Yet the machine is an abstraction. The State is not a person, or a Place; it is a set of rules and orders carried out by human beings. Without cooperative humans to shuffle papers and people into filing cabinets and prison cells, the whole thing doesn’t just collapse… It simply stops existing.
THAT is the true power of the individual contrasted even more starkly by the infinite impotence of one who willingly subsumes himself into The Collective.
Baseball is not a stadium, or a set of equipment. Baseball exists where humans follow Baseball’s set of rules. So, it ceases to exist when the humans stop.
I asked myself a question when ISIS was at its peak. When they took over a new territory, there was torture, violence, public beheadings, threats, and coercion, and I asked myself, “Why don’t they just kill all those who disagree with them and move on?”
Because you can’t build a State like that. You REQUIRE compliance! Humans MUST to follow your rules. Corpses do not a State make.
If every individual an army conscripted simply refused, they would be shot… At least, the first few would, until the state realized it was destroying its own resources… Technically, The State is powerless to create an army. It requires cooperation. No matter how it accomplishes it, it still requires YOUR cooperation.
So revisit all the structures in your life that you don’t like, and ask yourself how much you’re participating in them, and what you are willing (and unwilling!) to do to bring them one step closer to non-existence.
As the old saying goes; You cannot enslave a free man, you can only kill him.