- Capitalism and Alternatives -

Socialism without the state?

Posted by: R Rockliff on September 10, 1999 at 00:02:44:

Does anyone actually believe that it is possible to have socialism without having the state? Is it possible that anything but a powerful state could protect the people from the enslaving power of concentrated wealth? The concentration of wealth in the hands of the few is an inevitable result of human nature: those who are more materialistic and more predatory by nature will inevitably accumulate wealth, and they will use that wealth to change their environment, arranging things such that it is easier for them to accumulate more and harder for others to accumulate any; while those who are less materialistic and less predatory by nature will eventually end up becoming the property of their more avaricious neighbors.

This sort of behavior is no doubt the result of evolutionary forces, and was at one time appropriate to the conditions that the eraliest humans lived with. The question is, do we really want this brutal predatory instinct to continue to shape the future of the species, to the exclusion of less brutal possibilities? Can this brutal instinct continue to be the prime motivation of the species without pushing us to extinction anyway? Our environment, as a species, is no longer the wild plains of Pliocene Africa. Cephalization is a necessary step in the evolution of multicellular organisms, those colonies of symbiotic cells which did not evolve brains (simple nerve centers at first) eventually consumed themselves in cannibalistic frenzy and perished. Humanity has reached the point when it must evolve a brain, or it too will perish. That brain is nothing other than the state, a state which coordinates the economic activities of the world (as the brain coordinates the metabolic activities of the multicellular organism), and which prevents cells from attacking and consuming one another like cancers.

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