(In Part 1, I claimed that modern life was rubbish. In Part 2, I looked at the problem with democracy as a system of government. In Part 3, I looked at the flawed belief system of progressivism. In Part 4, I looked at the “Islam Delusion”, I also outlined a framework for a possible peace treaty between Islam and the West. In Part 5, I outlined A system of government and a modern vision for “New Arabia.”
In this instalment I outline an “answer” to the problems that plague the West — Europe and America. While I only state the answer here, I will spend some time undertaking a “philosophical justification.” In the next instalment I will discuss political strategy.)
What can be done to reform the West?
What does the West need?
Answer: Competent secure authority.
What is a competent authority?
Answer: Before answering that question, we must answer a prior set of questions. These questions are:
What is the purpose of a state? Why do humans need a state — an organised political community? Why, individually and collectively, should people consent to the state? Why consent and obey competent authority within a state?
Answer: These questions are the fundamental questions of political philosophy. So here I will engage in some good old fashioned armchair philosophising. Here is my answer, it is concise, but I believe it to be more or less correct.
Humans are animals. The naked, individual human animal is not as strong as a gorilla, as fast as a cheetah, or as tough as an alligator. Humans, in their natural state, are weak. A naked, unarmed human —even an body-building male — has no chance in a fight against lions, tigers and bears.
Rousseau was wrong when he supposed (if perhaps he really did suppose) that humans in the state of nature were solitary. Humans are animals. They have been produced by the same process as all other animals — evolution by natural selection. (You can, for I cannot stop you, believe that God guides this process). Our closest cousins are Chimpanzees, Bonobos, and Gorillas — all form troops, parties, coalitions etc. The Orangutang however, is a true solitary ape, and it is the more distant from us in terms of genetic ancestry. We have been selected to be social.
Humans are the “party-gang-species.” We are social creatures. Evolution (or God if you like) has made us this way. Human clannishness or tribalism is what has allowed humans to survive in competition with other animals, other predators. However, despite the fact that we can overcome other animals with intelligence, planning, teamwork and spears, the dark truth remains: the greatest enemy of man is man.
In a state of nature there is constant uncertainty. A state of constant uncertainty is no different from a constant state of war. Thus, life for the human animal, in a state of nature, is, as Thomas Hobbes described it: nasty, brutish and short. Competition among early humans is war. Men fight for biological reasons (food and females), psychological reasons (status, honour, resentment — mental states which exist for sound biological reasons — if not hedonic reasons). It is only later however, much later, that men fight for religious and ideological reasons.
War, is the grand-father of civilisation. War is a rapist whose bastard offspring is order, and whose grand-daughter is civilisation.
It is perhaps no accident that the ancient Greeks considered Athena to be the goddess of war, strategy and civilisation — for they are all connected. To win in war requires many things. It requires men ready to kill and ready to die. But it also requires numbers. Numbers require organisation. Organisation requires structure. Structure allows for the division of labour. The simplest of all human structures is the gang. A gang must have a gang-leader. The gang-leader provides structure. The gang-leader provides order. The gang-leader provides direction and purpose. In short, the gang-leader has power: power to command and control. To make rules, clarify rules and abolish rules. The gang-leader thus comes to have authority within the gang. The authority is more or less informal, based on fear, self-interest and the leader’s charisma. In time, if the gang survives, the process of selecting and obeying the leader becomes formalised and traditional. This is the origin of human civilisation.
How does war produce civilisation?
War produces civilisation as a unintended consequence of competition. Gangs, bands, clans, tribes, nations and civilisations compete against each other. There are winners and there are losers. The survivors of the losing team are sometimes killed, in a blood rage or as a considered exercise of instilling fear among any potential rivals. Females however are absorbed into the winning “team”. This process (competition or war) —which is exactly like how other social animals behave — such as Chimps and Ants — is a constant ongoing one among humans.
When the population of humans grow, a division of labour becomes possible. War brings land, slaves and treasure to the victor. Furthermore, when you add in agriculture, writing, numeracy, and commerce — you get civilisation. As the population grows however, the management of the territory and people becomes impossible for just one person to effectively command and control. Thus a primitive bureaucracy is created and kind of feudal structure develops.
If the grand-father of civilisation is war (a rapist) — whose (bastard) offspring is order —then commerce is the mother of civilisation (who is a whore.) Commerce leads to even greater specialisation and complexity in a civilisation. It also leads to contact among different people, which leads to a mixing of customs, ideas, religions, etc. Successful commerce require many things. At the very least it requires order, security, law, contracts, property rights, with law enforcers and impartial judges to administer this system. Civilisation requires civilised men. Civilisation requires a “civilising process.” Family, education, moral values, religion and outlets for masculine nature — aggression, competition and status seeking is required to civilise men.
There are many different civilisations, both in history and today. Civilisation, as I define it, is a lawful state, or a state of law. Civilisation is a regulated human community. A lawful state, a regulated community, allows for greater trust. Trust allows for cooperation. Cooperation brings benefits. I assume that most — but, importantly, not all — humans enjoy this state of affairs. Humans, mostly, want civilisation. This I assume here for the purpose of argument.
Now that we have completed our little armchair philosophical anthropology, let us return to our questions:
What is the purpose of the state? Why consent to political authority?
The answer, the fundamental answer, the answer upon which any and all other answers are based on, is that the state exists to defend its people — people who self-identify as a political community — from all enemies foreign and domestic. You willingly and justifiably consent and cooperate with the state if (and only if) the state provide these services. No muss, no fuss. No divine right theory needed. No Platonic noble-lie needed. No veil of ignorance or original position required. The state — the formalisation of a coherent community into a political entity — exists to defend the life, liberty and property of its people.
I now want to change direction and examine the question of tax collection.
Why pay tax?
Everyone — well not everyone — pays taxes. People complain, but everyone more or less goes along and pays their taxes.
Reframe the concept of taxes as “protection money.” Does this sound odd and unsettling to you? It should do. I venture that philosophy professors would sweat the difference distinguishing a protection racket from the IRS.
We assume that coercion in life is, nearly always, unjustified. That is to say wrong (in the moral sense). Coercion is when person A uses threats against person B to have B do something that B doesn’t want to. Consider the following: A male rapist uses coercion — the threat of force (physical violence) or the threat of violence — in order to (you get the picture). The female, however, does not consent. She is not a willing party.
Everyone agrees (I hope) that a woman, faced in such a situation, is justified in taking any and all means necessary to protect herself.
A different kind of coercion occurs when a gang threatens a small-shop owner with property damage or a beating if she does not pay protection money.
The state sets (demands) taxes. It has the power to do that. It also has the power to take people who refuse to pay to court. It has the power to take away people’s money. It has the power to take away people’s liberty by imprisonment. It has the power to confiscate people’s property. The state has the power to do all these things.
Power can be illegitimate or legitimate — this we all assume. The question we must now answer is:
What makes taxing power, and thus the authority who wields taxing power legitimate?
Answer: the consent of the people or the voluntary choice of the customers.
How is consent achieved?
Answer: in the same way as all other agreements —by explicit, written, contract. The authority (or GovCorp) and the contractor create a written contract that clearly and explicitly, sets out the powers and prerogatives of the authority, and the rights and responsibilities of those who consent and contract with the authority.
Our key question was:
What is the purpose of the state?
Here is a slightly different way of answering this question:
The state is like business, the people are its customers, and the first duty of customer care is security (from all enemies foreign and domestic). The second duty is the protection of liberty and the protection of property. The enforcement of criminal and civil laws. That is the basic, fundamental duty of any state — the authority who commands and controls the machinery of the state.
Here, we now stand.
Here, our spade is turned.
Here we see, in a new light, why modern life is rubbish.
The West is not yet in a state of complete anarchy and collapse — at least not yet. What we have is Anarcho-Tyranny
We have anarchy because the criminals, the terrorists, the men of violence do as they will, and the rest of society suffer what they must. The police either cannot or will not enforce the law. The prisons are overcrowded, dangerous and drug-filled. Criminals and terrorists control the prisons. Criminals and terrorists control entire areas of cities.
We have tyranny, because the law-abiding, tax-paying, working members of society are milked by the state. Furthermore, people are unprotected by the state from criminals and terrorists, then demonised and lectured to by the state (and its supporters) for expressing dissent and dissatisfaction with these affairs. These same peaceful, productive people are increasingly living lives that are intruded upon by the state (and its supporters) in terms of speech regulations, thought suppression and association disruption. People who criticise and complain are demonised. They are often forced to recant their “thought-crimes.” Furthermore, many people, are forced to undergo political re-education. Sometimes people are just purged from their employment. Increasingly, critics are jailed, beaten or murdered.
It will only get worse. The source, the root cause of this problem (in ideological terms), is progressivism. Progressives engage in both a creeping, slow, stealth revolution and sometimes (as we see from history) an actual one — French, Russian and Chinese revolutions. Like religious fanatics, progressivists engage in a “holiness spiral” — (sectional struggles, inter-party rivalries) as to who is the most virtuous or pure. This “holiness spiral” produces just more irrationality, ever greater departures from prudence and social responsibility. Progressivism is intolerant. It is totalitarian. Like the Catholic inquisition, like Calvinism, like Communism or even parts of Nazism (earlier incarnations of progressivism), progressivism is socially destructive and politically suicidal. It destroys civilisation.
The clearest evidence of this suicidal stupidity is that progressives refuse to acknowledge a problem with Islamic terror and authoritarianism. They welcome a virtually unrestricted number of Muslims into Western societies. This has brought tremendously negative social consequences. The same progressives then invade Muslim countries and incite revolutions and rebellions. Who then resettle “refugees” in the West. Naturally, Muslims will vote for progressive parties, so it is all win-win. This all ties back into what I said about democracy in Part 2 (patron-client relationship).
Now, everything things should start to become clear: the systematic interconnected nature of the West’s civilisational crisis.