I was reading another devastating commentary
by American author Chris Hedges on the overbearing tyranny of the State, and it got me to thinking about this popular notion of "rising up against" oppressors. Hedges' analysis is on target, but I feel that his conclusion that we must "tear it down" in order to escape it is lacking something important.
To 'rise up against our oppressors', to 'take back the country', and to 'overthrow the ruling class' assumes that they are 'up there' to begin with. Yes, in many ways they are. Through their domination of industry, government, media, education and so on, they invariably influence - control even - just about everything material in our world; they possess most of the wealth, work in high-rise buildings, live in elevated suburbs and generally look down from their rarefied vantage point on the masses slumming it out below.
But when it comes to the important things - moral character, worldly experience, creative abilities, and basic intelligence - what do they really possess? Few, if any of these things. In fact, I think we can make the case that, psychologically-speaking, they are actually pretty far 'down there' on the scale of haves and have-nots.
Ok, so they certainly set no moral example to follow. Well, what then do we need the State for? Standard political theory teaches that the State is the final arbiter of contracts between people, without which there would be lawless chaos. Left unto themselves, claimed schizoids like Thomas Hobbes
, life for humans would be "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short." I'm not so sure. In fact, I'm beginning to think it's the other way around: life is brutish for most because of