"Every victim of statism has internalized the state to some degree... Should the taxpayers completely cut off the blood supply, the vampire state would helplessly perish, its unpaid police and army deserting almost immediately, defanging the monster."
-Samuel Edward Konkin III
“The old world is dying, and the new world struggles to be born: now is the time of monsters.”
[Editor's Note: This article was originally published on August 20, 2023 at Exile in Happy Valley].
Everybody hates the rich and why not? We have nothing, they have everything, and they fucking stole it from us. I may not be the Castro worshipping Bolshevik I was in my twenties but as the Russians like to say, the communists were wrong about everything but capitalism. Just take a quick look around you if you don't believe me. As the world literally chokes and burns on the exhaust fumes of private jets and Reaper drones, contemporary global inequality continues to creep closer and closer to the rank levels of excess last observed at the peak of the Gilded Age and America still leads the heat with wider disparities of wealth between the rich and poor than any other major developed nation on earth.
From the Great Depression to the Great Recession, time and time again, the One Percent has dragged the rest of us to the edge of one abyss after another and they have learned absolutely nothing. If anything, they've gotten worse, exploiting every new crisis they provoke with another industrial complex that shakes us down for pocket change while they sodomize their cousins and bleach their assholes.
It's little wonder that class warfare has never been more popular. In fact, it's become downright mainstream with even the Republicans getting in on the outrage. As they desperately struggle to shed their well cultivated image as the greed-is-good party, the GOP is beginning to sound downright Maoist with their increasingly incendiary calls to use the heavy levers of big government to punish or even annihilate the coastal elites and their woke conspiracy to make working class heroes sit down to pee.
Naturally, it doesn't take Antonio Gramsci to realize that this is just another work. The Republicans despise big tech and their partners in the burgeoning green economy because those cocky new upstarts pose a threat to the GOP's own pet gangsters in the rusting industrial and extraction industries. What we're actually witnessing here isn't the working-class takeover of the GOP that populist gadflies like Steve Bannon like to wax philosophic about on their podcasts. What we're witnessing is a growing civil war between competing cartels of oligarchs during the collapse of the morally bankrupt western civilization that gave birth to them both. In other words, the silver spoon riding whores of the Second Gilded Age are building even more industrial complexes to exploit the crisis of their own demise. Dante wept for there were no more hells left to dream of.
The only real service that the Republican Party's new Hardhat Riot routine provides to the poor they seek to exploit is that this theater does a pretty fantastic job of exposing a lot of the long-standing myths about the GOP's relationship with socialism and the free market. Contrary to the ramblings of Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan, Republicans actually love socialism as long as it is the statist variety that transfers private property from the cold dead grip of the individual to the greasy mitts of big government. That's because there is nothing particularly revolutionary about this mutant breed of socialism. It's all about empowering an untouchable taker class to rob working people of their agency and this kind of socialism is actually precisely how the rich became the rich in the first place.
Gore Vidal wasn't just being cheeky when he called capitalism "Socialism for the rich." Every single billionaire, every global conglomerate, every Fortune 500 company is the direct product of the state. Without big government there would be no big business. Without highway subsidies and eminent domain there would be no Walmart. Without copyright laws and patents there would be no big pharma. Without the World Bank and the Fed there would be no George Soros. Without standing armies and world wars there would be no Exxon Mobile, no Lockheed Martin, no nuclear arms race, no global fucking warming.
No, Gore Vidal wasn't being cheeky at all when he called capitalism "Socialism for the rich." If anything, he didn't take that logic far enough. Any form of state socialism ultimately becomes just another luxurious plaything for the rich. Hell, even Castro died a millionaire. But state socialism isn't real socialism and capitalism doesn't have a goddamn thing to do with the free market.
Socialism at its base is any system that grants workers full control over the means of production. The very existence of the state renders this feat impossible by putting a permanent bureaucracy between the workers and the means of production, essentially monopolizing these means in the process. The free market or at least any truly free market is likewise rendered impossible by the existence of the state. The free market is essentially just the free exchange of goods and services without the intervention of coercive forces.
Quite possibly the greatest kept secret in the history of modern civilization is the fact that real socialism actually requires a truly free market to thrive. The original socialists of western Continental Philosophy, your Godwin's and your Proudhon's, the motherfuckers Marx ripped off, bastardized and then conveniently demonized, were all free marketeers because they recognized the free market as the greatest weapon in the working man's arsenal.
This isn't to say that the free market is an end unto itself. That kind of foolish utopian navel gazing is precisely what turned the International into a league of flatulence huffing dogmatic assholes. I don't fetishize the free market as some kind of silly Randian Lalaland of flowing wine and low hanging fruit. It is a tool to get what I want and what I want is the autonomy for all poor people to live in any kind of voluntary society that doesn't force its will on others because this level of universal working-class autonomy is likely the closest thing to a guarantee of living free that my own little tribe of Queer agrarian freaks is ever going to find. A simple social contract that reads 'get weird as long as I can get weird too.'
Needless to say, this unorthodox philosophy finds me at the awkward crossroads of some very strange territory. I now consider myself to be not just post-Marxist but post-left because I don't feel like any current left-wing movement has much to offer my people aside from crass tokenism and pandering assimilation.
Quite frankly, Queer people seemed to be a hell of a lot better off in indigenous heathen tribes that pre-existed this whole left-right paradigm by a millennia. But I do believe that if the left wants to have any chance of achieving their goals, which are still largely my goals too, then they need to do the polar opposite of what the populist right is doing right now. They need to embrace the free market as a weapon against the rich as do we all.
We need to stop voting and start organizing. We need to diversify our tactics and we need to target the fixed capitalist market itself with a revolutionary campaign of guerrilla counter-economics. What the left-libertarian Gramsci, Samuel Edward Konkin III, called agorism, a complex and expanding network of voluntary exchanges that occur completely outside of the state's grasp. This wild territory already exists in the form of the black market with sex work, cryptocurrencies, dark web chatrooms, digital silk roads, undocumented labor, bootlegging and counterfeiting.
But this market needs to be radicalized with the inclusion of co-ops, homesteads, mutual aid associations, communes, free schools, squats and syndicalist trade unions. We need to integrate the underground into a united front of divided tribal organizations that can exist and thrive without the state and then we need to drop out, sit back, crack open a cold bottle of knock-off Coke and watch the billionaires of the vampire class starve without a neck to suck dry.
Because when and only when egalitarians of all stripes return to their free-market roots will the pigs of the One Percent's days of plenty truly be numbered and this is one free-market post-Marxist who's looking forward to that day with bated breath and a sharpened butcher knife.
Free the market! Fuck the rich!