Basic concepts by Krzysztof Karoń
Source: Pojęcia Podstawowe
The fundamental trick [technique] of anti-culture is to blur or reverse meanings of terms fixed in culture’s language. Culture and anti-culture have entirely different meaning of terms like freedom, equality, justice, tolerance, property, work, entertainment, art, culture, welfare, democracy or capitalism, thus when culture and anti-culture use the same words, they mean completely different things. Any discussion between them, on the intuitive language’s level, is therefore impossible. That’s why presenting mechanisms and the history behind anti-culture requires stipulating what is the actual content of terms it’s using. And what matters here are not philosophical definitions – since ideology is not a philosophy, but a tool for obtaining the power – but practical meanings.
This part is divided into couple pieces. The first one is dedicated to the most basic, general terms and the rest explains the meaning of definitions describing more complex social phenomenons.
Anti-culture describes itself as an ideology of freedom, ideology aimed for liberating human from all forms of enslavement, as it’s the only way for humans to develop all their capabilities and reach their full humanity.
At first, then, we should determine what does anti-culture understand by freedom and how has it obtained that way of thinking. The rest is just a derivative of this fundamental understanding of freedom.
Basic concepts by Krzysztof Karoń
In anti-culture, freedom has its own specific meaning – it’s active, belligerent and defined as the opposition of enslavement.
Anti-culture’s freedom does not mean an objective lack of necessity for succumbing to any form of coercion, restrictions, rules, conventions, authorities or hierarchy that holds down one’s right do to or not do certain things, nor is it a subjective feeling of lack of these restrictions or, in other words, subjective feeling of freedom. In anti-culture, it’s the lack of feeling of enslavement or subjective feeling of freedom that’s the highest, most sophisticated form of enslavement itself.
That’s the meaning behind “social character” term, which classic of neo-Marxism, Erich Fromm, introduced into sociology in his work from 1932, Psychoanalytic Characterology and Its Relevance for Social Psychology (Zeitschrift für Sozialforschung).
According to Fromm, the social character is the only part that’s common for every differentiated individual character, which is formed by upbringing and enables adaptation those different characters to functioning in social life without a sense of loss of freedom.
Definition of social character describes some model situation, in which there are many individual characters, that can make their own free choices, but still have to submit to one particular scheme in order to participate in social life, ergo give up part of their freedom. Everyone, who’s involved in some sort of social interaction, based on co-operation, is therefore bound to lose part of their freedom and thus enters into a state of enslavement.
The difference, however, is that in some cases people are forced to do it against their will or even resistance and actually feel the loss of their freedom, while in others, their psyche has been so transformed that there is no sense of losing his freedom. The most important thing in this construction is that in both of these cases people have subjective feelings of freedom or enslavement, but what’s common for them is the objective fact of enslavement. This means that every person involved in social life is by definition a slave, but can be either slave conscious of his enslavement and ready to fight for their freedom or stay enslaved unconsciously and sometimes even satisfied with it
Is there a worse state of abjection, state more contradictory to humanity’s essence than being unaware of its own enslavement, though? Surely, there’s nothing worse than that (at least after a good dinner).
However, the whole point of this state is that it is unconscious.. How can an enslaved person know,
whether it is still free or is is enslaved? (by the way, if somebody’s been wondering what W. Gombrowicz’s work concerned, it’s this matter exactly). Well, man can never be so sure, therefore he must constantly document his own freedom, deepen and confirm. How? By continually breaking conventions, barriers and norms, especially when they feel like complying with them, influencing and recognizing authorities begins to bring him benefits, gives satisfaction and contentment,
because this “advantage”, this petty-bourgeois search for the prosaic, flat “usefulness” and “usefulness” of behavior is the first testimony of conformism and falling into unconscious, self-satisfied enslavement.
In few words – true freedom doesn’t recognize stagnation, but rather requires perpetual and active negation, because lack of negation means acceptance of enslavement.
As a matter of fact, this foregoing argumentation presents the whole intellectual load of critical theory and associated with it criticism of the so-called instrumental reason.
In 1958 Isaiah Berlin (1909-1997), a philosopher with Jewish, Russian and British roots, formulated (taking Kant, Hegel, and Nietzsche’s philosophies as a starting point) popular division into “negative” and “positive” freedom.
Negative freedom is freedom from restrictions (orders, bans, terrors, necessities) from government, society and other people. It’s a right to do what you like, as well as a right not do whatever you do not want to do. So in other words – just “do what you want”, which can be expressed a little differently ”don’t do it if you don’t want to” (because being obliged to do anything is a form of enslavement).
Positive freedom is the freedom to the rights and means that enables fulfillment one’s own needs according to own will.
And that’s where the problem starts because as long as giving somebody right to do something costs nothing, but the means to implement them cost (for example money/energy/resources).
The freedom of speech requires means for publishing papers or producing and broadcasting TV shows, etc. The right to read implies the possibility of buying a book, the right to travel presupposes the possibility of buying a ticket or a car and so on.
If somebody wants enjoy/use the positive freedom, he must have the means necessary to achieve it, get it alone (earn), receive as a gift, or take it away from others, that is, steal. There are no other options.
If we exclude (Though why would we?) theft and Santa Claus’s existence, then anyone who wants to enjoy positive freedom must give up his negative freedom, because first he must learn something (not what interests him, but what can be useful to others), and then he must go to work (not when he wants to, but at certain times) and do different things in workplace (not what he wants, but things that someone is willing to pay for). Nightmare.
The slogan that solves the age-old problem of the balance between negative and positive freedom is
“If you want, do it yourself.”
In few words – the necessity of obtaining means enabling the implementation of positive freedom is associated with the necessity of limiting negative freedom.
And whether you perceive reducing your negative freedom as the severe oppression, disservice and injustice depend on a reasonable balance of profit and loss.
If we deem fulfilling many of our needs more important than partial reducing of our freedom, associated with learning or working, we will deem losing the piece of our freedom as expense compensated by the profit.
In the past, there were even people (and maybe today there still are some) who would gladly go to school or work, knowing that not only would they get good grades or paycheck there, but could also find one more, non-economic advantage in the form of satisfaction from a well-done job, joy from obtained knowledge or maybe even appreciation and respect from others. There were a lot of them and – try to imagine that – they weren’t forced to go to school or work…Obviously, that was a long time ago…
Since anti-culture’s ideology doesn’t refer to the “dark side of freedom”, it’s reasonable to assume that anti-culture perceives freedom – in Berlin’s terms – as a negative freedom. Of course, the implementation of such freedom is possible – it is enough to do what you like or do nothing – but it leads to, especially in the conditions of modern civilization, with certain inevitable consequences.
These consequences mean living in economic misery. However, this perspective is not attractive to most people, but there are two ways.
The first one is to reduce all (or most of) our needs, fulfillment of which requires losing of our negative freedom. The example of such case can be “vagrant by choice”, a person who, in order to preserve all of their independence, gives up all facilities that our civilization and culture has created and gets the absolute minimum of resources needed for survival (modest food and minimum clothing) he gains by begging, and gets the minimum they need to survive (minimum food and clothing) by begging, taking advantage of social welfare, or like a true model-based example, by leading a “hunter-gatherer” economy consisting of small theft or recovery and recycling of secondary raw materials from garbage cans (term “hunter-gatherer” should be understood in terms of the theory of the evolution of societies Lewis Morgan’s (1818-1881) as a return to a specific phase of development of economic systems).
In the conditions of contemporary civilization the “vagrant model” is rather rare though, especially when it comes a result of conscious choice, and the implementation of negative freedom is only possible thanks to the second method mentioned above –
it consists in acquiring means to meet different needs not through own work but through giving away (gifts) or theft .In both of these cases, it pretty much comes down to using goods produced by others, or to put it more baldly, to parasitism. In economic terms, all of the anti-culture’s concepts are a mixture of these two exact methods of acquiring means – giving away and theft – although they’re usually are called much nicer and hidden behind pretty words. The point of the foregoing remarks doesn’t refer to economic issues, but to the matter of freedom.
That explains the simple summary:
Freedom, understood by anti-culture’s ideology is a negative freedom, that is freedom from restrictions, necessities and obligations, but the slogan of freedom is understood and used in this ideology in the sense of absolute freedom, that is negative and positive freedom at the same time.
The comments presented above show that the realization of freedom understood in this way is not possible on an individual basis. If realizing of positive freedom requires possession of any material goods, then these goods need to be produced by a particular person (or people) at the expense of part of their [negative] freedom. If anyone wants to have an absolute freedom (both negative and positive one), it means that he wants to exercise his rights, but he does not want to bear his or her obligations, so their realization of freedom can only happen at the expense of other people’s freedom.
Property and responsibility
The concept of property has played a key role in the history of ideologies of the last two centuries. At this point I want to pay attention to one aspect of it. Most property definitions emphasize the exclusion of rights of other persons than the owner (negative definition), and the owner’s exclusive right to dispose of the thing (sales or even its destruction) or deriving various benefits resulting from it (positive definition). These definitions, however, omit the “dark side” of the property. The point is that most things have limited durability and the feature that they bring benefits only in so far as they are in the proper technical condition. Even water and air can lose their life-giving usefulness.
Admittedly, supposedly in prehistoric times, gatherers societies satisfied themselves with self-made gifts of nature (wild fruits, roots, seeds), but for example those primitive communities that survived to the early twentieth century (e.g. studied by Bronisław Malinowski or Margaret Mead) already had set up and cultivated gardens to increase crops.
Maintaining or renovating good state of things requires effort and means. It’s nice to drive a car, but you have to fill it with fuel, wash it and look after it. It’s nice to live in a pretty house, but you have to paint the fence and renovate the roof. You may choose not to, but soon your car will turn into corroded junk and your house will become a ruin. The “dark side” of the property is that you have to take care of things you owe and you benefit from and, as it’s usually in life, many people would like to have things, but not necessarily to look after their condition.
The individual owner, even if he does not feel like it, takes care of his property in his own interest.
However, if the car has a few of co-owners, then every one of them would like to drive it and everyone would understand that they have to pay for fuel (because the car will not drive without fuel), but with washing and its repairs is much worse, because you can always postpone for later.
The situation looks even worse if the number of owners increases and the thing becomes so-called social property. Everyone has the right to use it, but enforcing the duty of taking care of the dispersed, often anonymous co-owners becomes more and more difficult and ultimately impossible.
Ownership and possession
In the law there is a category separate from property – ownership. It means the right to actually possession the thing. Ownership of things acquired in a formal way (e.g. a tenancy agreement) usually assumes an obligation to take care of this thing, but life is more sophisticated and invented a special type of “ownership on behalf of”. An example is the use by a director of a state institution (or an institution with a dispersed ownership form) of a company car.
The car is used by a particular person, but the costs of its maintenance and repair are covered by the owner, that is the state, and because the state covers these costs from taxes, the entire society actually pays for it. Society, as the most diffused owner, has no opportunity to decide whether it agrees upon cover such costs.
From an economic point of view, the most beneficial situation is when the user uses a property belonging to the most dispersed owner (community or government property, shareholding) that covers the costs of its maintenance.
In the past, there was this bitter, ironic saying, that: “in communism proletariat drinks the champagne, but with the lips of its best representatives.”
Although there are people who derive satisfaction from the mere possession of various goods, but most often they serve to fulfill our various needs, i.e. they are not the goal, but the means. And the ability to freely decide what and how we want to fulfill is an indicator of freedom (a positive one).
However, if man wants to fulfill his needs, he must acquire the goods that serve him, and therefore the means to purchase these goods. For realizing of one’s positive freedom, he must give up part of his own negative freedom. Of course, the goods gained by his own effort can give whoever he wants to – in this way he will also realize his freedom. However, this will be his own decision. If the result of his work are goods, whose owners will be many, then decisions about whose and what kind of needs will satisfy those needs will be the result of a compromise. Nonetheless, this compromise is only possible with a rather small number of owners and enough quantity of goods.
If goods and property become so dispersed that making a compromise is no longer technically possible, then decisions will be made by small groups or individuals that will include good in “ownership on behalf of”. That way these groups and individuals have the opportunity to fulfill their own or other, chosen by them, people’s needs with goods produced by others.
Private property is therefore the only guarantee of individual freedom, because nothing else enables such efficient combating parasites who use goods produced by others. Of course, this does not mean that joint ownership is not justified or that in some situations it is the only rational solution.
That’s usually the case, when the production of goods that meet a need exceeds the capacity of an individual, or when goods are supposed to fulfill the needs, it is not the need of one man, but of a group forming community.
Statistical work is a condition of freedom in general, and then individual freedom can be realized.
Individual freedom can not be realized if prosperity is not common.
For more than two hundred years, the slogans of liberty, equality and justice have been used in the ideological struggle, but those slogans could be interpreted in various ways. What most severely restricted workers’ freedom in 19th-century capitalism was not law, but poverty.
The worker had a free choice – he could not work, but then he would have died out of starvation.
Economic coercion was more effective than physical coercion, and it pushed crowds of unemployed people to the gates of factories. What prevented the effective resistance of workers and the refusal to work ruinous capitalists was the oversupply of the labor force and precisely the misery forcing the proletariat to work for remuneration that would enable day-to-day existence. What prevented the effective resistance of the workers and the refusal to work in ruinous conditions was the oversupply of the labor force and the misery forcing the proletariat to work for wage that made it possible to live from day to day.
Misery does not have a precise definition, but it can be intuitively defined as a state in which a person, despite devoting all his energy to work, is unable to satisfy even the basic needs of life (food, clothing, housing, health). Even “poverty”, a condition in which a man can satisfy basic needs, but he has neither the strength nor the means to realize other life goals, does not change the fact that he becomes a “self-reproducing” working machine.
Similarly, intuitively understood prosperity is a state in which man only has to devote part of his energy to the satisfaction of basic needs, while a significant part of it can devote to the development and satisfaction of other needs that give him a sense of so-called self-realization.
This definition of well-being seems to be very balanced and has nothing to do with the concepts of “luxury”, “wealth” or “conspicuous consumption”. It does not matter, however, how a man achieves this sense of self-fulfillment – whether he wants to drink vodka, sail on a yacht or read books – because it is his free choice. What matters here is that he has a choice, and above all whether it has the ability to discover needs that go beyond the need to survive.
We can’t, on this level of generalization, it can’t be taken for granted that prosperity guarantees freedom, but it can be stated with certainty that the lack of prosperity eliminates realization of freely defined freedom (except the right to do nothing).
This banal statement has enormous consequences, because various political forces often follow their campaigns with lofty-sounding slogans to societies, but the slogan of prosperity is very rare among them – and not without reason – because the criterion of prosperity is the most effective verifier of the reliability of social and political programs.
Of course, prosperity doesn’t have to be the main or the only goal of social life, as long as society deliberately chooses another goal or if another purpose is imposed on it. There are also situations when the society is ready to temporarily sacrifice prosperity for a higher purpose – for example for the defense of sovereignty. However, the purpose of this sacrifice is usually an “incidental” defense or restoration of a state in which the community will be able to return to the realization of various other “normal” goals.
The basic question is, are people in today’s society – even if they claim to support on slogan banners any values, like freedom, equality and brotherhood, that are not directly correlated with prosperity – willing to give up life in prosperity or to strive to live in prosperity, enabling it satisfying any needs according to their own will? I dare say that there is no such society, and if issues of prosperity go down in the background, it is the result of one of three reasons. The first is the already mentioned state of so-called a higher necessity, the second is a state of long-term prosperity, resulting in the recognition of it as a permanent and obvious condition, and the third when the issue of creating prosperity and necessary conditions is intentionally eliminated from social consciousness.
This third cause has two own causes. The first is the assumption that care for creating prosperity is contrary to the so-called higher values and risk of falling into consumerism. This assumption is incorrect, although the mechanism of this error is quite complicated and we’ll get to that later on. At this point, all you need to do is state that if prosperity is the condition for complete freedom (is pauper really free?), then freedom should be classified as “lower values”, and this seems unjustified. Nonetheless, the most common reason of marginalization of the issue of prosperity is this simple truth that, its creation is much more difficult than realizing the catchy slogan of freedom. How many people will actually fall for the slogan “go to work”? Few and that’s only when they start to feel poverty creeping in.
And how many will fall for slogan “do whatever you want”? Crowds.
During the first years of life, children gets everything from his parents for nothing, or rather for being there. Mom and dad are miracle workers because they conjure up different wonderful things – food, clothes and toys. In addition to the daily meals, lodging and accommodation, the child also gets gifts from Santa Claus. The child does not have to, or even can’t know, where these miracles come from. Understanding certain concepts and phenomena, just as distinguishing certain colors is possible only at a certain age. However, quite early the child is convinced that the principle “for free” is only valid at home, and for example in the shop you have to pay for everything, but the understanding of this truth may occur gradually, in the process of education, or violently, as a result of confrontation of naive illusions with brutal reality.
In many cases, lack of knowledge about the principles of social life persists in adults and we then speak about the phenomenon of infantilism (commonly, not medically speaking). Infantilism, which is natural in children, the unconsciousness of the cause and effect relationship, and the belief that goods arise by themselves and belong to man because they belong to him is a feature of adults, but this trait does not “arise”, but is usually the result of upbringing mistakes. However, it may happen in some specific situations too, for example when an adult person is dependent for a long time on the care of other people – for example as a result of long hospitalization – and displays learned helplessness and expectation of help even on issues in which the patient objectively is self-sufficient.
Similar features also appear in people who are long-term beneficiaries of social welfare and in all situations where the problem can be solved in an easier way than by their own efforts.
Although infantilism is often the result of negative experiences, which man has no influence on and is a kind of escape from reality into the world of illusions, it is usually the result of a natural tendency to avoid unnecessary effort and search for easy solutions. I emphasize that this is a natural tendency, so it can’t be judged either negatively or positively, but this tendency can be reduced or stimulated for various purposes, and these are subject to assessment.
The most important feature of infantilism is the lack of the ability to think logically to connect the cause and effect, which increases the susceptibility to demagogy consisting in making promises of easy solutions to difficult problems. There are plenty examples of that. One of them is the popularity of pacifism and the associated movement for universal disarmament. Supporters of pacifism assume that their slogans will lead to the psychological transformation of potential aggressors who, by their free will, become pacifists themselves.
In fact, pacifist slogans reach only people who are peaceful, who are more and more inclined to disarm, opening the way for aggressors to aggression, the more effective, the one with impunity.
Another example is blind admiration over some so-called renewable energy sources. The view of spinning windmills producing electricity “from the air”, as well as the view of solar panels producing it “from the sun” completely obscures the fact that the production of both these windmills and collectors requires the use of materials and technologies that cause much more damage to the environment than well mastered traditional technologies. The fact that the production of these devices is moving from Europe and America to distant China, in which half of the rivers in the morning is purple, and in the evening green is a little known fact, because China is far away.
The concept of proletarian escape from economic misery was based precisely on the same reasoning. Because the exploitation of the proletariat took place under capitalism, condition of abolishing that exploitation was to abolish capitalism altogether. It is simple and logical reasoning – if the source of exhaust gases are cars, the car industry should be liquidated. The thing is that it applies the principle of a limited cause-and-effect chain, in which the cause and effects are selected to suit that particular way of thinking.
What it means a general prosperity
At the beginning of the 19th century, many programs were created to eliminate social injustice. This injustice was expressed in the unequal distribution of wealth produced by the hard-working masses – the proletariat, which is why most of these repair programs assumed implementing of a “fair distribution of wealth.”
All these programs, however, were based on misunderstanding, which identified an equal distribution of wealth with universal access to wealth. Meanwhile, one with the other has nothing to do.
The difference lies in the fact that wealth only means having means to acquire goods, whereas prosperity means the availability of goods, and general well-being (i.e. social justice) presupposes the universal availability of goods. In other words – it’s not about having a lot of money, but about buying the goods you need for that money. In addition, these goods must exist, so somebody has to produce them in an appropriate quantity.
At the end of 18th and at the beginning of 19th century goods used by wealthy elites weren’t an industrial product, but came as a result of specialized and expensive craft, which had a low productivity by its very nature. Textile manufacture was among those that bloomed the most, which took place mostly due to population growth, as everyone had to put some clothes on. There was a massive need for the most basic products.
And as far as the righteous demand for a fair salary for proletariat would indeed decrease its misery, it would nonetheless only let it live in poverty in the best case scenario. Nobody could even dream about general prosperity because the industry wasn’t able to produce goods that proletariat could purchase, even if it had more money. The scale of the problem is illustrated by the fact that if in 1800 Europe had about 200 million inhabitants, in 1900 it already had 400 million, and currently it has about 730 million. The problem that 1 9th-century Europe had to face was therefore only partly a moral problem (justice), and to a large extent it was a structural problem (efficiency).
How to create common prosperity?
The creation of universally available prosperity meant first of all the necessity of producing and recreating (items get worn out) a huge range of material goods in quantities not bigger, but much, much bigger than it was possible in the early capitalism, both in terms of organization and production technology’s productivity and productivity of human work. Such increased production required not only technical progress, but changes in the organization of work, higher qualifications of workers, and, above all, changes in their mentality. In fact, the whole problem can be summarized in the following sentence:
If social masses, forced to work for centuries, have created prosperity for minor elites, then in the 19th century those same social masses had to create the prosperity for themselves and therefore, force themselves to work.
However, such a sentence has no real content unless we specify what does it mean that some abstract “social masses” would have to force themselves to work. How and in the name of what ?.
The primitive community is a hypothesis that defines the alleged socio-economic system of primitive societies. The attributes attributed to it are the lack of private property, collective work and collective division of goods, low productivity that makes it impossible to create inventories, lack of family, lack of law and promiscuity (no restrictions concerning sexual life).
The concept of primitive community is used in Polish; in German and English literature, its equivalent is primitive communism (ur-kommunismus). It appears already in the Marx’s Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844, but rather as a poetic metaphor. It became an element of Marxist historical materialism (theories of history) under the influence of Frederick Engels’ work ” The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State” from 1884, referring to the work of the American evolutionary anthropologist Lewis Morgan (1818-1881) entitled “Ancient society; or, Researches in the lines of human progress from savagery, through barbarism to civilization” (1877). Morgan created an evolutionary classification of the development of societies, dividing it into three phases: wilderness (gatherer-hunter society of the Stone Age), barbarism (agricultural society of late Stone Age) and civilization (literate society of the Bronze Age). In Morgan’s theory, the social organization of the primitive community defined the principles of matriarchy, which later was gradually got replaced by the patriarchy associated with the emergence of private property.
Later systematic studies of anthropologists, in particular the works of Bronisław Malinowski, showed the unfoundedness of all Morgan’s hypotheses on economic, sociological and cultural issues. More details in the chapter “The sources of anti-culture”.
The latter, systematized anthropological research, in particular the works of Bronisław Malinowski’s, shows the irrelevance of all Morgan’s hypothesis in economic, social and cultural terms. More specifics concerning this matter can be found in the chapter called ‘Anti-culture’s sources’.
The term “democracy” is dated back to ancient Greece and means the system of the rule of the people [demos (people) + kratia (power, rule)]. Governance of people can be realized by direct decision-making by the people (direct democracy) or by choosing representatives who make decisions on behalf of people (representative democracy).
Making decisions assumes the necessity of access to full information about the problem, qualifications enabling the assessment of those informations and the time needed to obtain and evaluate information. Without meeting these conditions, the people’s decisions must be based on “second-hand” opinions, which creates room for manipulation.
In ancient Greece, democracy could function because it included only free citizens on whom slaves worked. Therefore, the condition of democracy is the slavery of broad social masses. Also in modern democracy only those who do not have to work (outside politics) have real power, but they can devote time to working out a rational position.
This is of course a theory. In practice, modern democracy boils down to presenting citizens with electoral offers in order to win their support and this is where the influence of voters on the decisions made for the parliamentary term ends.
In Poland, only in the last few years, the first attempts to organize referendums to recall members of parliament or elected officials have been made, but the effectiveness of these attempts is small even at the local level due to the strength of media propaganda, and at a higher level such possibility is practically non-existent. The direct influence of citizens on authorities have no real impact.
Naturally, the disadvantages of democracy don’t undermine its main rule – the will of the majority of [equal rights] citizens, revealed by free elections is decisive.
Authoritarianism is another form of power. Currently, its definition is being manipulated and used as a manipulative tool because on this definition of authoritarianism the propaganda of contemporary totalitarianism is based.
Authoritarianism is the power that compels citizens to obey compulsion, but in an open manner. Authoritarian authorities are not interested in the views of citizens, as long as they submit to power and this authority is not threatened. To put it more simply – authoritarian power does not fight against people who oppose it, but actions that can threaten it.
For this reason, authoritarian power is focused on eliminating or banning all of the opposition organizations striving to overthrow it. Authoritarianism seeks to consolidate the status quo.
Because authoritarian power excludes alternatives, whatever they are — including the will of the democratic majority — it can’t be accepted and raises obvious resistance. However, such a negative assessment does not mean that authoritarian power must lead to bad social consequences, because it questions the way of exercising power, and not the goals that this authority serves. Can’t be excluded a situation in which authoritarian power realizes the goals accepted by the majority of society, gaining authentic support then. The thing is, it cannot realize these goals in the long run.
The main disadvantage of authoritarian power isn’t that it uses coercion, because every authority uses it, but the fact that excluding an alternative creates conditions in which large groups of people
associated with authority are demoralizing under the influence of a sense of impunity. The system of authoritarian power must, therefore, undergo pathologization and lead to the pathologization of social life, and this must lead to attempts to overthrow it and consequently to terror, whose aim is solely to maintain power.
An ideologically very ambiguous example of authoritarian power is the Italian fascism of Benito Mussolini, who on the one hand introduced huge socialist social programs, promoted corporatism on the other hand, not completely eliminating the market economy, as well as made a compromise with the Church on the third, gained the support of broad social masses and created the basis for economic success.
Characteristically, in the period of fascism, both futurists were active (which is why futurists can’t cope by “progressive” history of art) and the Novecento movement, group of filmmakers such as Federico Fellini, Roberto Rossellini, Luchino Visconti or Michelangelo Antonioni, who worked in Italy under the aegis of Mussolini’s son, Vittorio, creators of Italian neorealism and outstanding figures in the history of the world film.
Ideologically speaking, one of the most ambiguous examples of authoritarianism if Italian fascism of Benito Mussolini’s, who, on the one hand, carried out enormous social programs, but also promoted corporatism, without ruling out the market economy, as well as made a deal with the Church, what made him popular among the masses and opened the way to success. What’s peculiar here is that alongside fascists, there were also futurists (which is why futurists can’t be handled by progressive history of art), members of Novecento movement, groups of filmmakers such as Federico Fellini, Roberto Rossellini, Luchino Visconti or Michelangelo Antonioni, who worked in Italy under the protection of Mussolini’s son, Vittorio, creators of Italian neorealism and other prominent figures in the history of movies.
Something totally different in terms of quality is totalitarianism and there are other reasons for the use of terror by totalitarianism.
Authoritarianism uses terror to maintain power and enforce citizens’ obedience to its orders. When this is achieved, terror in authoritarianism stops making sense. This is because authoritarianism is not an ideology-based system. Totalitarianism is not satisfied with the obedience of citizens, but expects them to accept the ideological goal, identify with the idea. And because the ideological goal is one and all citizens should identify with it, all individualism must be suppressed for the benefit of collectivism. This is not about collectivism understood as an organization (because this is an effect and not a cause), but as a way of herd thinking [groupthink].
Since identification with ideology is not a matter of behavior, but of beliefs [thinking], totalitarianism must strive to master all spheres of life – not only public, but also private. Such deep unification of people’s views can’t be the result of natural processes, because everyone builds their views as a result of individual, very different experiences. Achieving universal identification of the mass of people with one idea is possible only artificially – by “creating a new man”.
On the other hand, the vast majority of people are not interested directly in the issue of power and realize their life goals in other spheres – in family life, in social activity at the local level, in the life of religious communities, in economic activities, scientific or artistic activity. Systemic issues and matters of power begin to play an important role only when they prevent the implementation of individual life goals.
Meanwhile, the totalitarian system expects that all these spheres will be subordinated to one goal set by ideology, when the goal may be in isolated cases at best indifferent to individual life goals. And statistically it must be incompatible with the majority of these goals of average people.
This means that the totalitarianism based on ideology must strive for psychic unification, so it must encounter universal resistance in every area of life of all citizens (with the exception of committed ideological activists), and therefore must lead to the use of terror as a method of universal “re-education”.
The only difference between Bolshevik or Nazi totalitarianism and contemporary totalitarianism lies in the fact that physical terror is being replaced more and more often by psychological terror, but not by mental terror understood as fear, but as manipulation.
Everyone (including the “people”) makes decisions based on self-interest, and the interests of different individuals do not have to be convergent. In addition, the interests of individuals do not necessarily convergent with the interests of the whole community. Because there is no ideal solution in this matter, the majority rule, which is the civilized principle of brute force, applies in democracy.
The majority rule doesn’t solve the conflict of interests of majority and minorities, but in contemporary democracy determines who decides about the rules of life of the whole community, or more precisely, about the rules of life in force in the so-called public space enjoyed by members of the entire community. This principle does not define life in spaces intended to achieve the goals of minorities, but it is a decisive principle for be-or-not-be a community. The point is that the rules in force in social life do not serve themselves, but to achieve specific goals.
Certain goals can’t be achieved if two conflicting rules apply in the same space. An efficient communication system can’t function in country with left-hand and right-hand traffic in force simultaneously. And it is not a rational compromise to take over the rule of driving in the middle of the road.
If, on the other hand, the majority would like to impose their rules on minorities operating outside public space, democracy would change into so-called the tyranny of the majority. The principle of tolerance is a safeguard against such tyranny.
The definition of the principle of tolerance arises from the definition of the concept of tolerance. The Latin word tolerare means “to endure”, “to bear” or “to put up with”, and thus to recognize the right of others to be different from their own views and actions. So tolerance does not mean, therefore, accepting different views, let alone their affirmations. In social life, orders the majority to refrain from actions restricting the rights of minorities.
The controversy is raised by the issue of the extent of minority rights – whether it is the right to achieve its goals in a certain scope that does not collide with the rights of the majority and the interest of the entire community, or whether it is the right to impose rules defining the rules of the whole community. The solution to this problem faces similar difficulties, as solution to the problem of contradictions between negative and positive freedom, or between right and left-hand traffic.
It seems reasonable to adopt the principle that every social group has the right to determine the rules governing space belonging to this group, as long as it incurs the costs of functioning of this space, while the rules governing space belonging to the whole community (public space) have the right to determine this group, which incurs the largest part of the costs of functioning of this space.
This is a practical problem, because the generally binding principles of social life do not determine the implementation of some abstractly understood laws, but they condition the implementation of practical goals. Such an objective may be, for example, the creation of prosperity.
Freudo-Marxism is a philosophy of permanent destruction and total regression of culture. His product is a man with a healthy mind, deprived of complexes and fears, ready for spontaneous fun and various activities, but lacking systematized knowledge and habits that enable effective cooperation within any community that sets a specific goal that requires organized and long-lasting action. Such features are not needed in an ideal primitive society, that’s focused on obtaining enough food to survive and being sexually active to procreate. However, they are indispensable in the modern society of high technologies, if – realizing any other goals – it doesn’t want to give up the benefits that civilization can provide.
In colloquial words – although it unbecoming of any serious “history” – it means that the product of anti-culture must be sympathetic and carefree, but it is a dunce and a loafer. This is due to the fact that such a person, if one was not subjected to the education regime, was not able to master reliable, systematic knowledge and did not acquire the ability to comply with the organization’s requirements. Such a person is not able to participate in the creation of civilization goods (neither as their designer nor contractor), so if one wants to use such goods, must set himself to use goods that someone else must produce. This in turn means that such a man must be a parasite – he must be parasitized on the work of others.
Sympathetic homo parasitus.
In 1955-1968, the German government made nine international agreements with Italy, Spain, Greece, Turkey, Morocco, South Korea, Portugal, Tunisia and Yugoslavia, opening the possibility of influx of seasonal workers to Germany, so called Gastarbeiters. As a result, in a few years a large number of low-skilled workers arrived in Germany, picking up the heaviest and dirtiest jobs for low wages, that Germans were no longer interested in doing and meantime they were more and more demanding.
The agreements were the result of, among others the construction of the Berlin Wall, which completely stopped the influx of workers from East Germany. When at the beginning of the 70’s, as a result of the energy crisis, the issue of supplements for children living in own countries was limited to the gastarbeiters, a mass influx of immigrant families to Germany began in Germany, in various ways (for example by so-called Scheinehe, – fictitious marriages) they acquired permanent residence rights, which contributed to the creation of entire foreign-speaking districts and growing conflicts between young, unemployed Germans and increasingly marginalized ethnic minorities. However, before this happened, seasonal workers became a source of funding for much of Western prosperity, but most people did not realize it.
The economic and psychological effect of this phenomenon led to arise a large group of young people who first quickly got used to the fact that heavy, simple and dirty works are unworthy of “white man” and are dealt with by the “Turks”, then – as the crisis escalates – as well they quickly became accustomed to unemployment benefits and then considered the guest workers [gastarbeiters]
the reason for their declassification, because foreigners underestimated the wage requirements in the entire market, but by taking some remuneration, they reduced the funds allocated to the unemployed. Processes with similar effects can be identified in the United States, where the role of guest workers was met by the inflowing mass of immigrants from Central America and Asia.
The process of “spoiling” societies began on a massive scale in the United States from the New Deal policy, which, although intentions were meant to revive the economy damaged by the Great Depression and the elimination of large areas of poverty, but at the same time was a concession to the claims of the political left-wing that threatened crisis of the revolution. To calm social environment, enormous social programs financed from the growing budget deficit were launched, which resulted in an intentional effect, but there was a side effect in the form of a huge number of people performing completely unnecessary work, or simply benefiting from various types of welfare enabling – with low needs – peaceful existence without making work in general, without any effort whatsoever.
Solving problems by creating even larger problems is an immanent feature of the Left, but it can’t be otherwise, if the essence of leftist ideologies creates a vague concept of “justice” instilled in people about the parasitic mentality. For this reason, the Left, in order to maintain its own popularity must indicate more and more new sources of financing unjustified claims (unjustified in the sense, that it is disproportionate to their own work). Nowadays, such a source has become the transfer of production from European countries and the USA to Asian countries, that is, the liquidation in European countries of both jobs and personnel with education necessary for the functioning of industry. Thanks to the difference in labor costs, European countries and America can finance large numbers of people working in the services sector and in growing sectors with little or no social usefulness. What will happen if the standard of living in Asian countries will have become leveled with the standard of living in Europe and America, and the production capacity will be preserved only by Asia – this is a problem that the Left is not particularly worried about. However, the sources of this problem underlie in the offensive of anti-culture, which began in the mid-1960s.