SUBSIDY IS LOVE
Send this to your "antigovernment" right-wing libertarian friends.
Subsidy is love.
Every day I wake up and the air subsidizes my lungs. Nature subsidizes my body by providing it with what I call "food" and "water." Flowers subsidize the bees, so they can make sweet honey to subsidize my tongue. I turn on my stereo, plop a CD in, press "play," and music subsidizes my ears. Children grow through subsidy -- we feed and clothe and educate them for free.
Anarchism is pure subsidy -- an anarchist society could only survive if it promoted the notion of mutual aid
, the subsidy of others with the expectation that you will be subsidized by others in return.
Government is an agency of love. In representative government, however, we delegate government's acts of love to representatives, so we can get on with our hateful lives. These representatives then, in their turn, dole out their exclusive love to corporations and weapons-makers and police forces and armies, with maybe a little left over for educators and firemen and doctors and ordinary folk.
A society based on love would therefore not be governed by representatives. In a society based on love, everyone would participate in government in one way or another, and thus all can be agencies of love. In this way, anarchism conceives of every individual as a government unto herself. If you want a depiction of this, read Ursula K. LeGuin's novel The Dispossessed
Money is the means of subsidy for a representative government. When things have to be bought with money, they can subsdize us only if we "pay for them." Money, then, accomplishes the representative function -- it represents the love that things would otherwise subsidize us with for free
. Representative government prints money so that the love it represents can be hoarded by its owners.
Property is the means by which nature is represented by an owning class. When slavery was the law for slaves, the slaveowning classes defended it by saying that slaves were really only part of nature, and had no right to represent themselves. Through the principle of property, nature is made to subsidize only those who own.
Work is the force we use to subsidize nature ourselves, as human beings. To tell the truth, nature doesn't need our subsidy -- nature has worked for billions of years without human beings subsidizing it. But with human work, nature can subsidize human beings much more effectively than without human work.
With work, human beings produce ecologies
-- relationships between forces in the natural world. Most of humanity doesn't recognize this, however, and so the production of ecologies has so far resulted in ever more stunted ecologies, with plant and animal species going out of business right and left. Most human beings think they are producing products
-- but products do not leave nature merely because they are no longer regarded as "raw materials" or "natural resources." Trash is a problem for our civilization because human beings are composting large quantites of products
without any conscious recognition of their relationship to forces in the natural world. Natural devastation is caused by forms of "product production" that ignores its ecological content.