On The Hyperfringe

Steven den Beste takes on a a European who wants to go to war with the US. He even come up with a term for such people: the hyperfringe. (Personally, I think "raving loony" works just fine, but I won’t belabor the point.)

He also hits on something I’ve always found interesting:

What’s never fully explained is who is doing all this. If nations are all destroyed, if the new concept of a nation is more like a political party, and if they’re not permitted to operate in these areas, then who is actually doing all this stuff? What organization is it? Where does it’s mandate come from? What areas does it control? Are there any limits at all on its powers? There’s really only one answer: it’s a world-wide authoritarian meta-state, a benign non-racist dictatorship. It controls the process of state formation; it imposes those taxes used for redistribution of wealth; it dispenses the resulting money to those who need it, and because its authority is justified by its goals, it needs no other mandate.

Den Beste has hit on the fatal conceit of anarchic utiopianism. Utopian anarchists fail to understand the basic rule of power. When Hobbes and Locke speak of the state of nature, what they’re essentially describing is the anarchist vision – and it’s a living nightmare. Without any external regulation, it becomes a man-against-man, woman-against-woman, dog-eat-dog nightmare.

If anarchists want to make society equal based on redistribution they ignore that there simply must be some force to do the distribution. Basic human nature does not lend itself to share and and share alike. (A distinction that many utopian ideologies fail to understand.) In that case, you have a state that able to take anything at will, has the ability to possess large amounts of wealth and isn’t made accountable to anyone or anything. In other words, you’ve gone straight from anarchy to fascist despotism.

The ideologies of those who want to "smash the state" are based on fundamentally flawed assumptions about human nature. They rely on a utopian vision that is untarnished with things like facts or real observations about human nature. They are at best hopelessly naive or at worst incredibly destructive.

One thought on “On The Hyperfringe

  1. Agreed. Precisely why I broke with the Libertarians.

    The problem with any utopia, anarchist or totalitarian, is the assumption that they make about human nature.

    Anarchists assume that human beings are basically good, and society makes them evil.

    Totalitarians assume that human beings are basically evil, and that an institution (usually an extremely large, sophisticated government) can mold them into good citizens- the Marxist “new man”, the Nazi “aryan”, etc.

    Both, from my point of view, are terribly mistaken.

    Human beings are, essentially, ignorant apes with a small spark of conscious awareness and intellect. No institution can turn an unwilling human into a saint. Our various modern-day forms of conditioning- public education, TV and the rest of the mass media- are pretty effective at making the average American into an obedient lifestyle slave, but that’s about as far as it goes. The only thing that can transform human nature is hard work and the study of one’s self. And, since it’s unlikely that a significant amount of the populous is going to go through any sort of significant “transformation” any time soon, I think we can write off most all utopian delusions, whether Communist, Fascist, Islamic, Christian, New Age, Anarchocapitalist, Transhuman-Singulatarian, or Ecotopian, at least for the time being.

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