Once Were Kings

So here’s the argument I get into.

“I hate capitalism”

“Oho! Then you MUST be a COMMUNIST” (this is often followed by flag waving, some gun shooting and American bbq)

The gun/flag waver then goes on to list at length that all of the communist states have failed. To which I usually respond that there has never been a real test of communism, ever. Mainly because, as the communists who tried to recruit me pointed out, they never got past the socialist phase.

I then get called a communist again.

Still no.

Here’s why.

The issue I have with communism is it doesn’t remove the fundamental flaw of the -isms. That each of the -isms describes a system of man vs. resources, where resources are defined as exploitable non-humans.

In this case, there will -always- come a time when that sliding slope incorporates humans into the non-human category. It doesn’t matter whether a business is running it (capitalism) or a central committee is running it (communism). The outcome -will- be the same.

For example, what happens if the people of a nation are all in, happy with what’s going on, however, they consider their neighbors to be sub-humans and only good as slave-labor? That would be a case of communism that works but is abominable.

Basically, that’s exactly what happened in Sumeria, as covered in their creation myths.

This is a design feature not a flaw, so there’s no way to address it or fix it. Since the health of a governance is based on the exploitation of energy within its grasp, any government (communist, capitalist, etc.) that does not freely exploit what’s available to it will, by default, be less robust than one that does.

This leads to the very natural question: is there an alternative?

Glad you asked!

The Opposing System: Animism.

Animism operates as a system of relationships within a finite environment. Because this plays on human social behavior, it’s far less likely to ultimately lead to chronic abuses. And, in practice, it does in fact create a more resilient system. The culture empowers ‘close relatives’ of certain ‘resources’ to speak up when their relatives’ health is in jeopardy.

So, to take a local example, human families used to adopt oaks groves. That family works hard to make sure their oak relatives are healthy and thriving. Mess with the grove, the human family will come after you. In return? Come harvest time, there’s plenty of acorns to eat!

A quick note: acute abuse will and can occur. Humans do screw up. But there’s a better chance of correction because it’s in a recognizable framework. And chronic abusers in animism tend to end up in oral traditions as “boy, did our ancestors f— up. Let’s -not- do that -ever- again”)

Like their relationship with the world, animism as a political system has proof of concept as well. The terraforming of both South and North America, for example. However, most rarely recognize it as such because what civilized scholars typically take as a political system (chiefs, councils, big men, etc) superficially looks like other civilized systems. So it is studied in isolation and not as part of a greater dynamic.

Bottom line: give me the acute abuse of animism anyday over trying to make a Better Communist ™ or Better Capitalist ™. 🙂

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