Doc Tesseract

The adventures of Greg Silverman, retail industry employee, prospective college student and superhero.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

On Anarchy

Nothing new from Catalyst; I've gotta wonder whether the attack on City Hall was just a scare tactic.

That didn't stop Judy and I from porting around Philly thrice, with Judy keeping a third eye out for Catalyst each and every time. Punch wasn't with us; he was with the Silver Bullet, pouring over every frequency in the greater Philadelphia area, searching for signs of Catalyst. While jumping around, we got to talking about Catalyst and his motives, which eventually got into a discussion about anarchy. Now, anyone who remembers my blog from the pre-hero days will remember my views on anarchy; I think it's a pretty shoddy ethos, especially in the way it's carried out by anti-globalization activists. Judy, however, thought differently.

"I don't know," she said. "I mean, I'm not an anarchist, but I can see the inherent coolness in making your own way."

"I know, that's how it starts," I said back, "but really, just because an ethos looks cool doesn't mean it's gonna work well. I mean, look at Objectivism."

"Can I choose not to?" she said. "I read The Fountainhead back in October for an intro class. It was like a manifesto with sex scenes."

"Yeah, I thought Atlas Shrugged sucked too, but that was mostly because my teacher showed us opinion pieces from the Ayn Rand Institute while we read it. I did a little research on Objectivism after the fact, and it's a lot different in theory than in practice."

"Explain."

"Well, in theory, Rand thought that Objectivism would be a way of avoiding wars. The government would be restricted to using military force, and humans would be barred from initiating attacks on one another. But put it into practice, and you've got sociopaths in business suits arguing about how nuking Canada might possibly be a good thing."

"Yeah, but the same can be said of any political system," said Judy. "I mean, look at our government right now and tell me that that's a perfectly operating system. Without pissing yourself laughing, that is."

"I'm not arguing that there's some perfect government system," I said. "Each one's got its own flaws. But some systems work better than others, and anarchy, like Objectivism, just seems too contradictory in practice to merit a wider implementation. I mean, look at trade. The WTO wants to implement free trade, and anarchists throw a shit fit. But they shouldn't, because in most cases, free trade means that more money usually ends up back in the pocket of the laborer. They argue, however, that tariffs help build up developing governments-- which eats the entire argument for anarchy alive."

"I can see what you mean," said Judy. "Still, I think if you work the kinks out, anarchy could work."

"Oh, don't get me wrong," I said. "I think it's okay as a system. Just not so much when it's in use."

So, that's how I spent my evening; fruitlessly hunting a supervillain, and debating the flaws of anarchy and Objectivism.

I'm gonna get flamed for this post, aren't I?

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