Controversy around government budget cuts continues to escalate. Though the burden of government is weighing heavily on society, leaving the decision of what to cut in the hands of politicians and their advisors is not the way out. To create lasting solutions that promote liberty, alternatives to government power should be built from the bottom up.
Decisions handed down from the top run into the same problems as any government order. Government is still government when it makes cuts to programs that it currently monopolizes. The system is still directed by politicians and administered by bureaucrats with vested interests in strengthening their positions. A government budget cut often means that they are going to keep forcing people to do things and keep up legislative and bureaucratic obstacles, but give people less in return. People will still be restricted by the regulatory framework of government, but the programs that help them exist are cut out from under them.
An anarchist method of reducing the burden of government works from the bottom up. It displaces programs that are coercive, bureaucratic, hierarchical, and answer to power politics with voluntary, dynamic, egalitarian organizations that tend toward mutual benefit for participants.
The idea of letting government administer its own budget cuts ignores the fact that government tends to be a henhouse run by foxes. The people who feel cuts the most often have little control of the system and might even be individuals who help others deal with the system that forces itself into their lives.
Building networks of autonomy promotes cooperation, breaking through the public-private divide to guide people towards the task of making a freer and more prosperous society. Based on general political affinity and promoting individual liberty, such networks can displace the power of governments and elites. They provide resources to people to help them breach or avoid barriers that authority puts in place.
Don’t trust your future to politicians or their experts and corporate partners. By working with others to meet needs outside the system in a consensual manner, you are strengthening your position against those who would monopolize power. Build from the bottom up, and cut the top’s ability to run society.
I'm only a few days away from launching my new arts based blog and shop where you can buy my prints and other art work. As I said already this site will continue, but the change means many of the current blog-rolls will disappear from here to reappear at the new site. I'm going to make some other changes here too, removing many of the widgets and 'twiddly bits' to speed up loading.
Ideally I would like some indpeendent testing of the new site, so if you are willing to help, please get in touch and I will send you the temporary domain (I haven't set it up at the permanent domain yet). Everyone who looks at the site and gives me a review of how it looks and feels will get a free gift of an original ATC.
If you find a fault, for example a broken link, I will send you a free print about 6"x4" mounted to fit a standard 7" by 5" frame.
So here's your chance to get some original art and to support a new business at the same time. I look forward to hearing from you.
One of the most important things in life is what Judge Learned Hand described as 'that ever-gnawing inner doubt as to whether you're right.' If you don't have that, if you think you've got an inside track to absolute truth, you become doctrinaire, humorless and intellectually constipated. The greatest crimes in history have been perpetrated by such religious and political and racial fanatics, from the persecutions of the Inquisition on down to Communist purges and Nazi genocide.
In a few hours time, you will be able to access this blog using a new domain www.withoutthestate.com. The old typepad domain will still work, but I will be using the new domain in all links etc from now on. This coincides with the new name and strapline.
The inspiration for the name is twofold. First is my strong belief is that the state is taking to much to itself, crowding out what should be the normal activities of civil society, working 'without the state'. That doesn't mean buying in to the empty rhetoric of Cameron's 'Big Society' masking as that does an anti-social agenda of priority to corporate interests over the personal.The second is the related idea of working outside the state - 'outwith' in the Scots usage - as an end in itself in a process of building institutions one by one as in the strap line, which is the old 'Wobblies' slogan.
Although I would not describe myself as an anarchist this is all heavily influenced by the work of the late Colin Ward, in particular his book 'Anarchy in Action'' who was in turn influenced by Gustav Landauer.
This will also mean an end to the arts based posts on this blog. These will move to a new blog still under development, which will combine a broad based arts blog with a new sale site for my own artwork. The domain name for that will also be new, although it currently redirects to a site hosted by Clicpic.
The decision to do this has developed out of work on a business plan for my art business which is testing out a process in e-book on business planning for working artists. I'll post details of that site when it is ready.
The other big change will be the removal of many of the sites in the blogrolls here and their move to the new site.