The Cost of Power and Hierarchy

from The Commoner

On April 5th, 1887, Lord John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton proclaimed, ‘Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.’ Obviously, we could poke fun at the evident contradiction of the prestigious position Lord Acton held and the intent and meaning of the quote, and if we were to get into Lord Acton’s politics, it would be incredibly difficult to take his word seriously when speaking on the subject of power. However, this isn’t about Lord Acton, this is about the truism that power corrupts. Yet in contemporary discourse, not everyone sees it as a truism. It is still a highly contested claim in many circles, and I’d like to attempt to settle the issue if I can. I’d like to examine some of the early conceptualisations of consciousness and psychology in the field of philosophy and relate that to current discoveries in modern science. I’d then like to loop back around to show how this is all relevant when considering the claims that have been consistently made by anarchists for as long as the political philosophy has existed.

Who do the passionate communards work for?

une pétroleuse

via Anarquía, translation by Anarchist News

"I will then become a worker: such is the idea that stops me, when the mad rages push me towards the battle of Paris - where, however, so many workers continue to die while I write to you! Work now, never again." 1 Rimbaud

Since 1871 - the year in which the "accursed poet" wrote this letter - it was not necessary to be a "seer" to see the obvious: the masses of workers who fought on the barricades in Paris continued to work. That "wildcat strike" in front of the Versailles authority was, in turn, a new job that produced new obligations and condemned them to perpetuate work in saecula saeculorum. Such deep reflection, in the midst of a necromancing trance, probably prompted Rimbaud to question: who were the passionate communards working for? prophesying a system of domination based on direct democracy as the axis of political-social management, which ensured the permanence of authority and continuity of work.

Before the Collapse: Optimism & Pessimism

via Red Autumn

There is a subject which is of utmost concern among many of the more conscious Socialists, Communists and Anarchists within the contemporary Political Scenario. A creeping ghost around the corner, a devouring, approaching beast that threatens our individual existences, of the others around us, and of humans and other species around the entire world. It is the logical conclusion and the greatest consequence of the unchecked, careless hunger ever-growth of capitalist industrialization. This ghost which approaches us is ecological collapse.

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