“governing the people will always be swindling the people”
The ConDem’s are continuing the grand tradition of all governments in proving anarchists right. Our so-called representatives are able to ignore their manifestos, are free to break their solemn pre-election pledges and vote as they like – all in the interests of capital.
Proudhon, the father of anarchism, was right – nothing resembles a monarchy more than centralised democracy for “the Representatives, once elected, are the masters; all the rest obey. They are subjects, to be governed and to be taxed.” A nation as one unit picking its rulers every few years is no democracy. The ConDem’s prove daily that politicians show “ignorance of daily facts” and “fear of the people” (“the sickness of all those who belong to authority”) for “the people, for those in power, are the enemy.”
As with New Labour but without the pretence, the ConDem’s prove that the state “finds itself inevitably enchained to capital and directed against the proletariat” for government is “a system of insurance for the class which exploits and owns against that which is exploited and owns nothing.”
What is the alternative?
In the long term, we need to abolish the state for it “is the EXTERNAL constitution of the social power” in which “the people does not govern itself.” It is for “that reason that we deny the State” and “affirm” that the people, “can and ought to govern itself by itself” for “the only way to organise democratic government is to abolish government.” This means decentralisation and federation, replacing representatives with delegates:
“Besides universal suffrage and as a consequence of universal suffrage, we want implementation of the imperative mandate. Politicians balk at it! Which means that in their eyes, the people, in electing representatives, do not appoint mandatories but rather abjure their sovereignty!… That is assuredly not socialism: it is not even democracy.”
Under anarchy mandates and “permanent revocability” ensure that we govern ourselves and our servants do not, as now, become our masters.
In the short term, we need to create a coalition of millions to oppose this coalition of millionaires, for “to combat and reduce power ... it is of no use to change the holders of power or introduce some variation into its workings: an agricultural and industrial combination must be found by means of which power, today the ruler of society, shall become its slave.”
We need to organise in every workplace and every community and federate together to create a power which can impose from the streets that which politicians are incapable of realising. We need to use direct action and solidarity to both resist oppression and exploitation now and to eventually free humanity from its yoke to state and property for “revolutionary power ... is no longer today in the hands of the government ... it is in you. The people alone, acting upon themselves without intermediary ... can save civilisation and advance humanity!”
All quotes from the new Proudhon anthology Property is Theft!