Democracy in action?


Anyone with an iota of common sense knew that US claims of supporting self-determination for the Iraqi people were lies. Even before the war started, the Bush Junta were making it clear that the Kurds would not be getting independence. Now Donald Rumsfeld states that "an Iranian-type government with a few clerics running everything in the country" "isn't going to happen." Not even if the majority want it?

Should we be surprised? The US said it was exporting their form of democracy and let us not forget that the majority in the USA did not want the Bush Junta wanted either.

However, this issue brings forth a deep flaw in statism. After all, why should people with radically different customs and wishes be forced to abide by the laws of others? If some Moslems want to be ruled by a few clerics then fine. Just do not impose it on others who do not want it. If the Kurds do not want to be part of US dominated Iraq, then fine, let them secede. As long as they do not impose their ideas on others, then such experimentation is what liberty is all about.

Unfortunately the state ignores the vast differences within humanity, forcing it into a procrustean bed of its choosing. Rumsfeld's comments, therefore, expose not only the imperial ambitions of the US occupation but also the limitations statism places on liberty.

Needless to say, an Iraq made up of such diverse communities would be a step towards anarchism but it would not be an anarchist society. For while such communities would be voluntary they would only be libertarian if they were internally libertarian (i.e. self-managed). Voluntary association, in other words, a necessary but not sufficient criteria for anarchism. If it were, then the current system of nation states would be an "anarchy" as no one is forced to live in a specific state.

In summary, voluntary fascism is still fascism. The job of anarchists is to convince people that this is the case, to make them aware that liberty should not stop at the community boundary (or the workplace door, for that matter). That picking masters is not and can never be true liberty. That freedom requires self-management -- the active participation in the making of a decision by those affected by it.

 


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