I was recently asked by a young woman what my definition of freedom was. I thought for a moment and replied, “Without coercion”. She got quiet and pondered the meaning of what I meant.
I do not support the State. Coercion is a defining principle in any controlling entity. I recognize the need for the State, but that does not change my opinion about it. The State is most likely the logical outcome of a coercive and combined effort of former individuals who established their definitions of “common interests”. It is self-perpetuating, generation after generation, an entity unto itself, but neither alive or dead.
But it is not life. I consider it my duty to resist.
I do not know many people who choose this path. The State is necessary – if you embrace civilization. I don’t. The State and its coercion is the outcome of civilization, which I consider death. My worldview on this is unlike other people I know. Yes, I benefit in some ways from the State and certainly from civilization, but that isn’t even a choice in my life now or at anytime since I was born. It is forced upon me.
I spent years looking for individuals or people who knew of individuals that lived outside of the clutches of the State. I eventually found some evidence that this was occurring, but I also found that none were able to live outside of civilization itself. All had connections and ties and obligations (coercion) to civilization. Call it “society” if you will, call it whatever you want, but none were without coercion.
Cooperation with the state / civilization is considered one’s civil responsibility and duty. I disagree. Non-cooperation (where possible) represents far more of everything I believe in and have come to know as true. Non-cooperation means “less”, not more. The only more it can mean ultimately mean is more freedom, but not without price. It is a path rarely followed.
We live in an era of decline. Declining opportunity, independence, freedom, resources. Decline is what you could aptly call the age of the Anthropocene. Or the End of the Holocene. On the other hand, coercion is definitely on the increase. It is increasingly difficult to extract oneself from the myriad of ways we are all being tracked, tagged, monitored, indoctrinated and levied. I consider it my duty to resist.
I spent some decades online, as a systems analyst. Early on, I detected an alarming trend that would undoubtedly lead to a loss of individual freedom, independent thought and free speech. That trend was called the Internet.
That day has definitely arrived. The fulfillment of what I foresaw is certainly here today. Although I have moved this blog to ‘private’, it is still a dangerous forum to engage in. Anything online is. It is all about coercion and control, manipulation of minds and messages, insidious and overt efforts to infect minds and mental capacity.
It is clearly obvious to me that not everyone perceives this, and those that do, do not show much concern. Allegedly, it is the “price” for engaging in electronic communications. Perhaps it is, but perhaps we should pay far more attention to this then we have.
Our ability to communicate effectively is in decline, just as much as global resources are declining. Being able to price shop instantly, or find something online is not freedom. You’re still a slave with a credit card, indebted to the system and the demands, tracking and monitoring of your activities. An AlterNet would have been a great invention if it could have avoided all of this, but even this goes too far in the end and would as all technology does, destroyed us.
Humans do not have the capacity to restrain their desires, or their demands for more control, more ownership, more things. It is the species curse. It is leading to terminal decline on a global scale. Technology has outpaced our social growth, but it is wrong to claim that we would ever socially adapt (mature) to technology’s leverage. This is what is always overlooked. The leverage humans have over their environment, growth, demands and control of the world’s resources is the result of invention and technology.
We will always be immature with our cultural and social maturity to use technology safely and wisely. Machines are dangerous to the Earth and always will be. We lost our connectedness long before and replaced it with insulation and innovation. Machines now guide us, instruct us, repair us and sustain us. It was a huge mistake with devastating consequences.
Coercion was introduced into the matrix even before machines, manipulating everything for gain and leverage. Machines eventually provided hugely increased leverage, profits drove the gains. Humans had already became hollow shells, we’ve so long forgotten what we were like that we cannot even truly describe it accurately today. I won’t even try because I don’t even know what we were. But it is easy to know that we were not the slaves that we are today, because there was no laws, no regulations, no work, no money, no State, so we were obviously something very different.
And here is the final paragraph. We could have created something else, certainly. The capacity that we have exhibited to achieve all that we have could have been focused on something more just, more equitable, more meaningful. But we chose the path of decline, knowingly. We still do. It was not hidden from us. It still isn’t.
That’s one reason why I still resist. It is not hidden from me. I know what we are.