Yes, human beings are social animals. Human society predates the evolution of Homo sapiens. We became human in societies and still today a person can develop properly only in a community. The idea of the social contract, of individuals coming together to agree on a social structure, is a fiction and a dangerous fiction. An easy and obvious example is language. There is no such thing as the language of an individual—languages come into being only in communities.
We have to remember the War in Vietnam. Also US interference over generations in Central America. And then there’s the War in Iraq. Yes, the US has an important role to play, but it has not always been a good actor.
We could try to think with a little more complexity. There certainly are times when government is too intrusive. In general I’m in favor of maximizing individual freedom and responsibility. But we need government for lots of reasons, and more than the minimal military and police force. Society is very complex, and there have to be a number of different kinds of institutions keeping each other in check. It’s pretty obvious that the business sector can’t be trusted to police itself. Over and over and over we see that corporations are happy to harm the public if they can increase their profits. We need government to oversee and regulate business. It would not be good to live in a society ruled by Amazon and Walmart. I’m in favor of individual solutions to individual problems, but there are also lots of problems which are social problems rather than individual problems. Public health is an obvious example. If someone wants to cut back on government, that’s fine, but I want to see concrete proposals with concrete reasons. Too often we see that sweeping anti-government policies do not have good outcomes. Individuals exist, but communities also exist, and societies need to take both into account.
First, don’t use slogans such as “Defund the police.” That’s just asking for misunderstanding. Second, people seem to react more positively to the policies than to the labels. So emphasize the policies and programs—universal health insurance, a decent wage for decent work, access to education for all, protecting the environment, and so on. And put money into campaigns to spread the message.
It also has to be said that conservatives have run a very effective propaganda campaign for generations and they have managed to convince a lot of people to oppose policies that would help them.
I expect to have my disagreements with Biden, but I have to say he’s done a very good job so far. His tone has been just right, and tone matters. He seems to be the right person for this moment. I’m impressed.
I agree, but I also think it’s important to make a serious attempt to figure out what Trump voters were thinking. I suspect that some of them weren’t thinking at all, just reacting. But others were thinking that they feel overlooked and insecure. Trump was exactly the wrong solution. And Republican policies in general are not good for working people. But the Democrats have not done a good job of explaining why progressive policies ARE good for working people.
I’m not in favor of federal charges against Trump—that smacks too much of political payback and it sets a dangerous precedent. But state charges? Great, the more the better.
“I’m a little despot, short and stout….”
I would argue that these “anarchists” have a very poor understanding of the theory and history of anarchism. Maybe they should be called “nihilists”.