Your democracy is built on totalitarianism

I wonder how people can still think they are living in a Free Democratic Nation™ when their whole live revolves around profoundly undemocratic institutions save for a few hours ever few years where they get to pick among those choices predefined for them. How can you call your life anything democratic when your jobs resemble state socialism, your schools resemble prisons and your army resembles totalitarianism. How can people seriously consider themselves free when they only have the choice between unfree options?

Seriously, I read this article about boot camp (h/t Broadsnark) and how much people are conditioned within to accept the most totalitarian institution. How all semblance of individuality is wiped out and replaced with unthinking collectivism and sheer killer instict. How can a free society claim that it requires an unfree institution to survive? Does not compute.

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2 thoughts on “Your democracy is built on totalitarianism

  1. A great, though succinct, post! Truth be told, there is a lot of crossover between the "formal" rank, hierarchy and oppression of the government here in the US and the rank, hierarchy, and oppression in private life and the corporate sector. For example, there was a recent story about Obama firing the lead general in Afghanistan because the general said some critical things about the administration (although not criticizing Obama directly). In the US such occurrences have been common in the corporate sector for years, with people being fired for posting vacation pictures on their facebook pages or for expressing opinions on their personal blogs critical of the company they work for. What's your reaction to this sort of thing?

    Speaking as an anarchist, do you think this kind of thing could happen under anarchy? For example, imagine a commune where someone chooses to criticize some of the more popular commune individuals (e.g. the "leadership committee" in a Kibbutz, etc). However the work this someone has done is exemplary and the conflict is purely personal. In that case, could you imagine him being expelled or at least relieved of important duties for "making the commune look bad", "destroying unity", etc? Does it matter if the criticism is personal or professional, or if it takes place in a private setting vs a public area?

    1. Not really. Anarchists don't get hung up on stuff like "the commune looking bad". To whom and why should they care? When you have no bottom line or profit to look to, you generally get above such foolishness.

      As for the conflict of personalities, I find it extremely unlikely that something like this would happen (depends on how nasty and correct the criticism is I suppose). In an Anarchist world kicking a useful member out because he criticized the popular members correctly will do harm and therefore a commune which tolerated such actions is likely to be internally destroyed. Within a capitalist system it's a bit different because people do not have another commune to go to and the fear of having to re-join the capitalist exploitation can cause them to be silent, even if there's no fear of it.

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