Tuesday, August 26, 2014

On The Purge, State of Nature and Autonomy

The Purge series seems on the surface to be incredibly hammy movies (there both labeled Horror but the sequel seems to be far-more in the action/thriller department) that posit a certain kind of Left-wing anti-gun, anti-Capitalist view so poorly that it seems to mock the view rather than a serious defense of it.  Just like Ayn Rand’s novels function far-better as satire of the Libertarian Right (“the public interest be damned!”) than an actual argument for it.  However, what The Purge series (particularly the second) seem to express quite well is a critique of the Hobbsian view that we require a State and Absolute Sovereign to protect us from ourselves and so we can safely pursue collective endeavors of science, construction and other good works.  It may seem to some to actually be positing the necessity for a Hobbsian view, but I’ll explain why they’re mistaken.
Firstly, it is the government that not only is sanctioning a night of the year for murder but is endorsing and supporting murder.  It is stated near the end of the second film that not nearly as many people are killing as the government would have liked, so the American government murders the poor to compensate for the populous’ morality.  Secondly, those who do wish to kill and use this night to murder have been conditioned by the State, commerce, religion and various other forces in society, and therefore is not Man in a State of Nature.  What we truly see is how some (if not many) human beings are deformed from their original nature and potential by the Nature of the State and would very-likely be more harmonious if not ignorant in the State of Nature.  Rousseau quite effectively despite his flaws shows that Hobbes himself is nasty and brutish for claiming that rights (though Hobbes is frequently using the word in an odd manner) are essentially non-existent save the right for self-preservation, and that it is allowing humans to do as they will rather than the interests of State and commerce that is the source of the majority of humanities’ ills.
Most of course realizes implicitly that murder is wrong, while it is the rich and government agents in The Purge:  Anarchy that participates in the annual night of death.  This of course can be seen as analogous to the true sources of not only murder, but ignorance, mental illness and various other of Man’s ills comes not from his freedom or nature, but on the nature of his formation by State Capitalist and religious powers; this is seen in the regime of the New Founding Fathers clearly being a fanatical Right-wing Christian Evangelical one – “may God be with you all.”  An odd thing to say to those who you realize not only will not be surviving the night but who won’t be because of actions you have taken.  Reverting it seems to the mentality of God endorsing class, racial and nationalistic warfare which is a highly predominant view throughout human history that is only validated once one reads the Scriptures.
Though the film is somewhat effective (the dialogue to gain anything political or ideological in the film is atrocious as I’ve previously stated) in its Anti-Hobbsian views, it is rather ineffective in showing us the ideal counter-example for structuring society – the three main ones being Rousseau’s, Kant’s and Marx’s.  It also is an effective critique of the Social Contract in having something we have the social obligation to do being murder – but the stupidity of the Social Contract is self-evident for any independently thinking person so I’ll be focusing on various responses to Hobbes being the originator of it – leading up to the correct frame of mind to break both the psychology and politics of SC thinking.  Rousseau would have us simply return to nature and reject not only society but its fruits being science, the fruits of science, art, the fruits of a cultured society the essential one being reasoning.  Marx takes the best of Rousseau but chucks away the Primitivist sentiments (which is one of the main things I like in Marx) and instead has us focus on class and creating the structures for personal freedom and development.  Kant’s anti-Statism is not explicit but nonetheless existent in his essay “What is Enlightenment?” defining it as a mind free from all external authority.  This is the very essence of not only intellectualism (and I would argue a main element of Existentialism) but seen to its logical conclusion in the political philosophy of Anarchism.  Many Anarchists have been inspired by Rousseau (somewhat reasonably for his condemnation of Representative Democracy and Capitalism.  Though Kant should be appreciated for proto-Anarchist thought as well) but one must remember that one cannot reach their highest potential (being a right as is labor and education under Anarchism) in the State of Nature, that is without some degree of technology.  That science, reason and art are some of the highest endeavors of man as Nietzsche and many others will point out.  So to condemn these fruits of Man and both the aspects of Man that create them and the affect these endeavors have on Man both to the man producing and the man consuming is to damn a majority of what is great in Man while highlighting in their stead virtues that one can easily find in an animal.  Rousseau is proper inspiration for an Anarchist-Primitivist, but not for Anarchism as being found on the principles of Reason and freedom being understood as Positive and Negative Liberty.
Sapere aude! (Dare to be wise) is what Kant views the nature of Enlightenment and therefore the politics of the Enlightenment to be.  He correctly follows from this to say that it is the essence of the intellectually mature mind to be autonomous and autonomous thinkers is the main goal and achievement of Enlightenment philosophy and politics – I’m of course extrapolating somewhat but also merely bringing out Kant’s best ideals in ethical and political philosophy.  This above-all-else is the essence of Anarchism.  Kant’s brilliance and continuation in allegiance with Anarchist thought continues when he says that revolutions may destroy despotic rule but can never foster an age of free and rational thought – wise revolutions in-fact are predicated upon the latter though to my knowledge he doesn’t make that distinction.  The amount of credulity that existed in the USSR and exists today in North Korea is evidence enough of said claim.  He continues to say that new prejudices will replace the old and be a new leash to control the unthinking masses.  This perennial truth rings clear in contemporary society with the use of modern technology, propaganda demonizing the poor and having the general intended effect of keeping the human population the mental height that it was in the Eighteenth Century when Kant was writing.  The very nature of the State as is the nature of God, religion and commerce is antithetical to the nature of Intellectualism; that is, the Virtue and realization of the unrestricted mind and autonomous man.  That is why the cultivation of Man is dangerous to the King’s legislation despite what Kant insists.
Today, just as in Kant’s age we live not in an enlightened age but an Age of Enlightenment with religion (the main source of poor reasoning as Kant points out) slowly dying out and the Age of the Internet with its access to news free from corporate or State influence – though the path of least resistance and towards ignorance still exists in people getting their news from Social Media and even more its very abominable existence.  And though faith in God may be dying the latter two of the trifecta of God, State and commerce are as strong as ever.  It seems we won’t have time to see this occur, though if reason and knowledge is to once-and-for-all triumph over superstition and fear of original thinking, we must through education, culture and material conditions create those who will resist and change the factors of material and cultural conditioning so that they can be used to propagate wisdom and beauty rather than ignorance and stupidity.

Monday, August 25, 2014

On Ethical Truths Surpassing Scientific Ones both in Utility and in Human Primacy

This is going to be probably my shortest and least elaborate but perhaps most personable essay.  Lately I’ve been thinking on the proper balance and situations for kindness and when “stinginess” or not lending out one’s hand in charity is appropriate if not demanded.  The short answer is both for one’s financial and far-more importantly psychological well-being one should not help others who are not willing to help you.  There of course is a difference that all-the-same must be noted between those who are unable and those who are unwilling to help you when you need them and yet they find themselves unmoved by the general spirit of compassion that lives in all good people, and is devoid in all those who wear the notorious badge of “asshole.” 
Though it is stated in the Gospels, there is absolutely no need for religious fervor to realize that the essential aspect of the Golden Rule in ethical dealings.  Those who lack it should be ostracized and condemned as not entirely human; for the capacity to empathize with others is perhaps the most human element of our species aside from the ability to reason to reach our goals and create models of reality to base our lives upon.  The Cynics and Stoics were absolutely correct in acknowledging that ethical discourse without ethical action is like creating a blueprint for a perfect tower running on fusion (or fission) technology and then continue to build ones buildings out of mud and sticks.
Humans are creatures who base more stakes in their own egos than on the health and well-beings of others or even themselves – and this with our general apathy and ability to be molded so poorly by poverty and back social conditions is our main folly.  If we are ever to move towards the Kingdom of Ends, we must first begin by treating the people in our own lives with decency and compassion.  All revolutionary activity and Civil Disobedience is for naught if we don’t take the rational principles of justice, compassion and solidarity and apply them to our daily lives.  A “revolutionary” who is crass and unempathetic to others in his day-to-day dealings is like a man-of-science who is attempting to discover the validity of String Theory but then in his day-time huffs glue and watches Jersey Shore.  Though “great hypocrites” throughout human history exist, it is still so that we cannot expect to bring others to a cause that we ourselves are not committed to in any realistic sense.  We cannot claim to desire a better world unless we act in a manner that is representative of this improved condition in social dealings and material. 
Though our happiness, intelligence and moral integrity is based on chemicals and biology, it must be said that our true wealth, and the true increases in human welfare, are not primarily made through advancements in the material realm (which largely go to the rich and powerful as we see in the West) but increases in the welfare of the human spirit.  As Anarchists, we must contradict all other “revolutionaries” particularly Marxists by acknowledging that real change happens through a change of thinking and action (morals), which then creates a change in policy (material dispersal or system of organization).  The other way around is the implementation of force which only creates more bitterness and division in society, rather than having people act out of voluntary kindness and self-interest and debate these issues rather than have the verdict be claimed for them.  We must maintain the claim that ethical truths permeate within humanity far deeper than material truths.  Human beings use their limited cognitive and sensory faculties to create a model of reality that they work on; and although scientific truth is an element of this, psychological and ethical truths cut to the core of their framework in a way that no revelation of science ever could.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Kant as a Predecessor and Surpassing of Aristotle rather than Plato and On Deontology

It is of importance it seems to examine Kant in his ethics and epistemology and clarify both in-regards to both being in-theory a project of science (rather than relativism) and to whether or not such reasoning holds sway.  Some may foolishly relate Kant’s Noumenon with Plato’s forms since they are both more-than simply are appearances of the world.  There are at-least two important and radical distinctions ‘tween the two.  The first being that while Plato’s forms exist outside both the realm of phenomena and outside the actually world simply floating around somewhere and somehow, Kant’s Noumenon is simply the Thing in Itself or the world as it actually is rather than how we perceive it.  The second being that while Plato believes we can reason out truth and believes someone like the Philosopher King can gain ultimate knowledge, Kant holds that our faculties are always simply reasoning out the best interpretation of our sensory data and therefore having a “direct line” to reality for any subject is impossible.  However though Kant is continuing scientific rather than merely “rationalistic” or vaguely mystical dialogues on “ultimate truths” behind things, he is radically different than Aristotle in having a far-more wise and accurate model of scientific study, data and the very nature of human understanding.
Kant in a sense realizes that a definition of a word relating to an animal is not the “thing in itself” but rather our relations and sense-data of that animal.  A dog is not “a furry pet with four legs” because there are wild dogs and there are other animals and pets with fur and four legs.  But Aristotle seems to be a naïve pragmatist or realist who views the world we see as it is and the words we use as relating to the things we relate them to as themselves rather than our interpretation and everyday understanding of them – so though he is a more primitive predecessor to Kant in some respects, he is completely devoid of a Wittgensteinian nature which we see aspects of in Kant.
Aristotle’s definition of substance and existence is overly rationalistic and though he departs from Plato has too much in common with him.  While Democritus Epicurus and others define and relate existence to particular forms of material and material and causal relations, Aristotle relates existence to his understanding of them.  That is what a dog is and what things other in simplistic explanatory ways rather than reaching to the fundamental nature of cells and particles.  It’s no surprise then that the Aristotelian notion of Science is overly concerned with categories (which is rather simplistic scientific work) rather than delving into the substratum and most basic questions of existence and creating a falsifiable working model of existence that conforms to our sense data; while containing the Skepticism that more data and logical and comprehensive interpretation of the data are always ‘round the corner and therefore what we understand is never (we assume) reality exactly as it is.  To contain both the wisdom of Socrates and Kant.
Aristotle is wise enough to give us a teleological account of nature (i.e. nature grows and is growing towards a final form) but doesn’t give a valid account of how this takes place.  But not only this, but to say that the telos or any purpose of the tree in nature is simply to be an adult mature tree is simply false.  Not taking into account evolutionary biology, Aristotle is ignorant to the fact that things largely exist not to be healthy but to procreate, and that health is merely a sign of higher survival which increases the rate of procreation both in the sense that dead organisms can’t (asides from a few examples found in nature where procreation with the dead takes place) reproduce and in the sense that organisms that discriminate on health will copulate with the healthier organisms in the subconscious (or somewhat conscious in regards to humans) attempt to ensure the next generation of organisms has healthier and more fit rather than sick organisms incompetent to the task of surviving to the point of procreation or not be able to find a mate to procreate with.  The end of all or rather most human motivation might be happiness as Aristotle indicates, but most of life is either devoid of joy or spends much of its life exerting energy in a tiring and unpleasant fashion, simply going through the motions according to impulse to continue either life or a certain kind or quality of life – to maintain qualities out of a kind of duty akin to a more Kantian aspect of ethics.  This however contradicts human nature, for the best actions the best human beings can perform are not under a sense of explicit duty but the free action of passion.  This also contradicts the very nature of sentience and ethical action being free action without any notion of duty but instead a type of virtuous Consequentialism where ethical models are developed and actions are based on a wish to move to an ideal model of the world based on reason – which is actually how Kant founds his ethics.  Kant however gives the wrong impression in some cases to use the world “duty” though he’s right in observing that not all moral actions conform to our rational self-interest.  Also he clearly applies the Categorical Imperative too strictly and instead must apply it loosely to what a person with certain attributes and goods could do in a detailed and particular situation where the best course of action can be outlined via reason.
An interesting comparison and way of understanding Kantian Epistemology and Means/Ends ethics is the distinction between being vapid and being a certain degree of superficial, or rather acknowledging that superficiality exists with reason but while we shouldn’t reject it we should aspire to move past it.  Respecting individuals as an end in-themselves does not mean we cannot use them as a means for our own ends.  We all do that every day of our lives when we interact with others.  Though Aristotle defines friendship as someone who we care about for their own sake, it largely (regardless of whether there is some truth to that) is someone who we enjoy spending time with and therefore do so voluntarily and not out of some form of ulterior compulsion, sense of duty or force such as it is with society on-large to varying extents the family being the primary example.  Therefore we are not spending time with the individual(s) in question for their own sake, though we may value their health regardless of our own, and yet we are not denigrating the individual or failing to respect the individual as an end in themselves regardless of humanities propensity towards selfishness.  The same is true of superficiality. 
Superficiality despite what society says is of benefit and even one could argue a minor virtue as long as it doesn’t prevent any higher ones.  There is an evolutionary imperative for superficiality, this will be seen the moment one realizes that a great many of the mentally impaired (that is people who are more mentally simple than the average American or human being) are incredibly ugly and disfigured physically as well.  It is not unhealthy to feel repugnance towards them.  If such were not the case, and we breed with anyone without regarding either physical or mental virtues, the genetic structure of humanity would be in a far-worse place than it currently is.  Animals discriminate upon the weak and sickly, and it is not immoral in-terms of breeding or of distribution of resources in times of immense hardship to do the same; this of course is not an endorsement for murder, this should be obvious but there is no shortage of idiots who make logical leaps and identify one as a Nazi for giving any opinion that isn’t unconditional support and praise of the impaired and disfigured.  Genetic engineering is clearly the answer in the long-term, compassion in the short-term; however, there is no immorality in the honesty of calling a spade a spade and calling those who are deficient mentally to be lacking and inferior in virtue to those of higher cognitive faculties.  To continue with my main point, one of course should not be only superficial.  One should of course aspire for higher virtues, even ones that seem to contradict superficial instincts.  Just as seeing human beings as means to our ends as long as force or immoral coercion is not involved is not immoral but it is healthy and of benefit both to the friend and the person who is befriended to identify with them more-so in certain conditions and to certain degrees – Stoic detachment is also a noteworthy consideration.  And though we need our flawed perception of reality to survive, the human mind should always wish to move beyond the inaccurate immediate perception of reality and aspire towards truth both for the sack of benefit and for the truth’s own sake.
On Deontology:  This seems as good a time as any to transition to Kant’s ethics – in texts where this essay is separated from the leading one, this sentence should be replaced with, “There seems a great deal to say about Kant’s ethics and the topics and notions surrounding them.”  There are things to be admired and abhorred in it, but I think first we must remark on aspects of it which are frankly absurd.  Trying to ground ethics on the Law of Non-Contradiction is as foolish as reasoning the Law of Thermodynamics as to whether human beings motivations are primarily self-interested or not.  Ethics is a tool used for the benefit of society or for life in-general if one wishes to be an ecological ethicist rather than base ethics as a applying to and considering primarily sentient beings.  That is not to say that animals are of no consideration in the field of ethics, but it seems that human beings are of a higher moral concern both due-to their capacity to be cognizant of pain far-more than any other animal that we know of and because the human capacity to think and accomplish tasks of uniqueness, talent and even greatness that is outside the non-sentient animal realm.  Animals of course have evolved to do many remarkable things that we are incapable of, however these things are innate in them and not talents that require a certain degree of practice and invoke a certain degree of appreciation; the human capacity for appreciation of life over the base animal is also a consideration for Man’s moral superiority not in action but in value.  So clearly the Categorical Imperative is ludicrous and to divorce an action from both its circumstances and its consequences in absolute (though Kant doesn’t exactly do this) is like divorcing a wall from both the ceiling and the floor.  It ceases to be something useful and instead is rational material that isn’t connected to anything that means anything to human beings or their lives.
The most obvious example being Kant’s objection to suicide.  Kant argues that it is immoral because it is contradictory.  It is contradictory because it is done out of self-love while it obliterates the self.  The most obvious and easy objection is one can act out of “self-love” and obliterate the self if one is enduring a level of suffering that is likely to not cease until one’s consciousness does.  One owns his or her own body and life, and therefore if one wished to end it this is of no moral consideration to others unless one had legitimate obligations to others, like small children that one volunteered responsibility for and knowing that they have no other provider of material, intellectual or moral wealth.  If one was a poor provider in all three categories or an atrocious provider in just one then killing one’s self seems to be of little consideration considering one has already been largely immoral and apathetic or irrational towards proper conduct of parenting, and the children may actually receive better nurturing and instruction and therefore will be more likely and capable of living a life of intelligence, decency, competency and dignity.
I stated earlier that Kant did not divorce his ethics (or even the Categorical Imperative which is merely an aspect of his ethics) from consequences.  This is clearly the case because all the examples he gives in the book are that of undesirable ends though he reasons that the ends are contradictory and that is why they are immoral.  Like the Rationalists who use examples of society for forms of knowledge (as Plato does in the Republic numerous times.  The ones that comes to mind being when Socrates is arguing for the nature of the Guardians based on the nature of a good watchdog and that people are clearly not equal based solely on momentary observation of society) Deontologists consistently refer to consequences of actions.  Kant says that the primal source or essence of the good is the “good will” or will to do good for its own sake, but how is this will, motivation, psychology or essence moral if not for its consequences?  It seems rather than rules, (which could lump Secular Deontologists with Divine Command Theorists who argue the will of God as the only arbiter for morals) the true nature of the Deontologist is holding that principles (e.g. human rights; Non-Aggression Principle; right to education; work and conditions for unfettered development etc) have primacy over consequences.  To view that consequences are of no consequence is utterly absurd, but to view that even though we could theorize a world where most live well at the expense of the loss of freedom, happiness or opportunity for some (e.g. slavery, Capitalism, other unequal and unjust forms of resource management and control) the Deontologist would protest that this is fundamentally unjust and therefore impermissible.
This seems an easy-enough concept to swallow and whole-heartedly agree with considering America’s Liberal sentiments of equal rights and opportunities for all; but one with more modern sentiments particularly with notions of justice and punishment should be wary to avoid nodding their heads emptily without consideration if this notion of ethics contradicts any of their previously held notions.  Especially with Utilitarian or “vulgar Consequentialist” ideals on punishment.  Many, particularly those who believe in Rule of Law mindlessly or contain more Conservative sentiments believe that it is just to incarcerate drug offenders because either the law is inherently just, the law should always be obeyed regardless of whether or not it is just (or as I call it, “mindless obedience to authority”) or it is just because drug offenders behind bars is theoretically of higher value to society than maintaining their freedom.
First the notion that the law is always just.  This is obvious relativism.  The law changes so are we to say that standards and facts of right and wrong and permissible action change with it?  Only the fool who either cannot think for him or herself or cannot apply the dictates of reason to the conclusion of Civil Disobedience still believes in Rule of Law.  Then there is the notion that the law should be obeyed regardless of its reasoning or merits.  This is too relativism of a Hobbsian nature though of the lesser variety.  Anyone of any political background or leaning will immediately disagree with this notion once their values are directly within conflict.  For Religious Conservatives:  The abolishment of all religion.  For Secular Liberals:  The eradication of freedom of speech, press, market or other freedoms that are seen as essential in Liberal Democracies.  For Anarchists:  Contradiction with the Non-Aggression Principle particularly in more obvious and obtuse forms of abuse.  The law holds merit only if it is just and sound, otherwise it is to be fought against.  And for the final notion under Utilitarian grounds that it benefits society to deprive some of freedom.  First off it seems ungrounded for millions are under incarceration in America (more-so in the “Land of Freedom” than anywhere else in the world; which shows just how absurd and based on propaganda jingoistic notions national supremacy and American Exceptionalism are) and their families and friends are likely poorer due-to their absence – at-least in many cases if not the majority.  Also even if the premise is to be assumed to take away someone’s freedom so it may benefit society is to argue it is just that we all becomes slaves and work mandated jobs according to societies interest, and are essentially slaves to any form of Utilitarian Calculus – the very notion of eradicating the freedom of some creates a environment where the powerful and wealthy (the minority) perform any injustice for the sake of preserving the welfare of the majority – such being the course of human history.
So we’ve concluded then that it is wrong to incarcerate (or even to punish in more mild ways) anyone simply due-to Rule of Law or Utilitarian calculation, but what of matters of principle, the very thing that Deontology holds to be of primacy?  The broader question that is really asked here is what principles are ethical ones?  Everyone has differing and common notions of values and virtues, so what are the ones to be respected in society?  Well, here we have a distinction between action and reality at-least in the secondary sense.  The first principle of any sovereign entity choosing their principles and values must be unfettered freedom, or rather the Non-Aggression Principle.  This must be so, for just as no one would volunteer to be forced to obey another’s morals neither should anyone wish to use force to see one’s values be acted upon in their society.  The distinction then follows between what society acts upon Voluntary Association and what is truly rational and valuable.  If Liberty is truly to be our first value without compromise, then we must hold that any values a society wishes to act upon must be ones that well – will be acted upon.  The individual however always has the right to abstain from action and cooperation with the public if he or she disagrees with the course taken.  That is not to say what any society chooses to do of free action is immediately right, rational or the perfection in execution of hypothetical correct values and principles – this too would clearly be relativism. 
Instead it seems reasonable to conclude that correct principles are those of general utility whether to the individual or society (though there is seldom distinction between the health of the two as Aristotle among others appreciates) as long as these principles or acting upon them does not infringe upon the Non-Aggression Principle.  The distinction between this view and Consequentialism being that any action that produces beneficial consequences (of any sort given whatever it is you value) is to be deemed rational and correct, while the Deontological view would be right-action is only that which conforms to one’s given life, freedom, intellect (and various other notions one could insert with certain caveats that would be up to the personal preferences and forms of happiness of the given individual) and to contradict these principles even to further goals predicated upon them is both immoral and a error in logic.  This is essentially the morality that claims that cheating is wrong even when advantageous. 
Under Consequentialism assuming that one doesn’t become a bunk surgeon and botch an open-heart surgery that one didn’t know how to perform adequately because they cheated their way through Medical School (which doesn’t seem a justifiable Consequentialist criticism simply because of the unlikelihood of the mechanics of cheating all the way through Med School considering the type of exams required.  Also of any profession if one is incapable of performing the action then one is likely to be fired and will only be harming one’s self primarily, and if one is capable of performing the necessary tasks for the given job then there is no grounds for complaint on Consequentialist grounds) there is little if any grounds to chastise the cheater.  However, the Deontologist following somewhat Existentialist grounds can criticize the cheat for being intellectually dishonest and not living life according to one’s merits which is a value that any respectable person has.  We see here both for the integrity of the individual and for his psychological compunction that it is easier and better to act on principles of virtue that produce reward rather than act on the promise of benefit in its own right.  The temptation to act on impulse for momentary or false gain is great, but studies show that the greater restraint one shows for acting on impulse the healthier and stable of mind one is.
The question still remains if incarcerating citizens based upon Deontological ethics and reasoning is sound.  The short answer is no.  The same goes with all punishment of sovereign entities – that is to say adult humans.  Because children are by their nature developing and entities of potential it is justified in varying degrees depending on the child and the circumstance to punish him or her if it is likely to help the child in some way.  However after a certain age punishment seems ineffective in conditioning the child directly and in their teenage years punishment seems effective only as a means of showing the potential consequences of certain kinds of blunders.  For example, it is reasonable to take away a child’s cell phone or video game system if they are doing poorly in school partly to remove distraction but largely to replicate the likely reality they will experience if they don’t perform within a certain level of competency and expectation in society – namely performing the responsibilities they volunteered for of their own volition. 
It is within a certain means, or rather to act as a certain mean for certain kinds of ends ethical to not view the animal as an end in itself as long as the animal is treated reasonably well before its death.  This is because animals are non-sentient beings that should be treated with dignity but also are creatures of utility; which humans can never be purely.  Sustenance is the most obvious example of this, but if animals can perform tasks of utility for humans, as long as the animal doesn’t suffer greatly doing so it is justified to train animals and utilize their talents.  Bomb-sniffing dogs however, do not conform to this reasoning since the likelihood of death is imminent in every case – being the reason why humans have a dog do the task rather than a human.  Humans can volunteer themselves for work that requires the potential of death.  Animals however cannot give consent and therefore it is immoral to kill a larger animal of complexity (what I call an Animal of Consequence) unless it is in self-defense, for sustenance or to a limited degree to manage resources humans are using the main one being space.  However the destruction of habitats is disastrous, immoral and lethal not only to millions of species but proving itself one factor in the slow but sure death of our species.
In both cases whether creatures that possess the potential for sentience or non-sentient beings that should be seen at-least in-part for their utility for humans (sentient beings) the creature must be treated with a certain degree of decency to respect the creature’s inherent dignity as well as to maintain our own.  Even the most disgusting organisms of this planet are merely products of random gene mutation and natural selection as are we.  Since all life has a common ancestor, it seems reasonable to view all life as something that has potential for both sustaining its own existence through its own values (or its own good), improving our existence (as plant life and animals are used to enhance our quality of living and to save lives in ways that no one person is likely to imagine or realize in totality) and to improve the richness and health of the ecosystem it lives in if not the entire global richness and health of Gaia herself.  It seems self-evident then that life is to be one of our values and principles to act upon.
That is not to condemn or forbid suicide.  If one is to the point that life seems unbearable and one wishes to end their torment and tribulations, they are perfectly both within their rights and within the bounds of morality to do so – unless again others are financially dependent on them, though if the suffering is truly great we must not be too judgmental and remember that our first obligations (though this should not be seen as a justification for petty selfishness or apathy) are to ourselves.
Some may complain if for mature sentient beings not only incarceration but all punishment is unjustifiable, then how shall we justify murderers or prevent things like drunk driving?  Simple.  If one has proven him or herself to be a threat to his or her community (proven or rather is very-likely to be; making utilitarian arguments that a heroin user is statistically more likely to steal your pocket book is not a valid one) then one may separate them from the community for their protection.  Prison you say?  No, not prison.  A prison is a room of torture where Man is turned into something an animal should not be reduced to.  Prison is only justified for the most heinous of those who have systematically imposed tyranny and inequality; and even for them I would recommend death rather than incarceration.  I am suggesting that violent offenders be sent to a facility of in-part rehabilitation but mostly a separate society where those who cannot be trusted among the innocent may act as they wish.  They would need to establish their own rules, and live as they like.  The only essential stipulation however is that they are all banned from having guns and other weapons so they cannot break out (how they will be confined is up to debate.  I purpose that just as we have maximum security and minimum security prisons we have facilitates for those it seems likely to rejoin society if they so wish and those who seem to be largely without redemption; perhaps with various gradations if having various levels of severity in the need for security is necessary.) and it must be a place where rehabilitation is at-least possible though it won’t be the main goal in the enclosures of the most violent and psychologically perturbed.  To deprive them of the hope of rehabilitation is to deprive them of their Positive Liberty which is just as essential for genuine human functioning and inherent in human rights as Negative Liberty.
This of course is contrary to Kant’s notion of the justification of punishment and punishment being the major focus when a crime has taken place because we are “rational agents” who knew that what we were doing was wrong.  First off, to do something wrong that violates no one else’s rights and is likely to harm no one directly is not a crime.  And to commit a crime is an act of a mind so warped or mal-nourished of logical and ethical content that clearly some type of aid is necessary but of course the first concern is protection of the innocent from the violent.  Kant claims to be phenomenally a Determinist and a Materialist; however, when he delves into the Transcendental realm to say that we have the illusion or phenomenogical appearance of free will we are responsible for our actions and this responsibility holds primacy over the fact we are material and caused beings – this is a fundamental issue where Kant is fundamentally wrong.  His epistemology is largely solid but when we see it spill over into his ethics it is much like a Stalinist using either explicitly or implicitly the justification that human beings are nothing hut material beings and for whatever reasons this grounds enslaving them, executing them unjustly and throwing them in the Gulag.  Let me make it clear that I don’t believe that Marx would justify such actions but a poor understanding or comprehension of material as this shallow and callow thing without rights or dignity may very-well be reason for Communist abuse of human rights. 
If one does not value freedom, or values punishment for wrongdoing more-than freedom, than there comes a point where debate is futile and there is an impasse of values based largely on psychology and upbringing.  However, this impasse does not allow one to use force to make others conform to their own values and principles.  The Non-Aggression principle (which is itself a total appreciation for freedom in the Negative Liberty sense) is non-negotiable and those who contradict its ultimate verdict are those who require forced prevention of enforced tyranny and slavery.  There is however a caveat to the Non-Aggression Principle and it is in regards to the Drunk Driving question which I raised earlier but failed to answer.  It may be disregarded to an extent if one is performing action that even though is not intended to harm someone is likely or even quite possible in doing so.  Someone walking down the street and swinging a mace for the hell-of-it for example.  These people must be prevented from harming others but no punishment can be morally token – unless one considers the forced placement of those likely to harm others in a separate community as punishment; however it should be made clear that it is different than punishment in the sense that while prison intentionally steals liberty from Man and turns him into a slave this separate community will not confine his actions and he’s free to do whatever he wishes though there may be a drop in standards of living considering the quality of the community largely run by convicts but also by Mayors (or council, since there will be many people to work with the convicts and to ensure force – such as rape or shankings – does not take place in these communities) of the Towns of Reform.
In the specific case of drunk driving, the first time a person is to be caught inebriated behind the wheel of a car there license is to be stripped of them and they are utterly forbidden to drive for years.  Cars are the most over-valued form of technology and luxury in America and crimes involving impaired driving are one of the few instances where the State is laughably and horrifically lax.  You see here that force is only involved to protect the populous.  Unlike the Government that would deprive Man of his intrinsic and fundamental freedom and place him behind bars or forbid him from drinking.  If drinking is legal (as it is; as should all drugs; as should performing any action that does not place force on an individual or place any individual in a unrequested position of harm or hampering of their quality of life – this can be seen in the rationality of the lack of toleration for any society Anarchist or otherwise to use harmful chemicals and fossil fuels that pollute the air when alternatives are possible for they are proven to create mentally challenged and disfigured children and decrease our general quality of life.  If alternatives are not possible, then a certain degree of compromise can be negotiated as long as non-consenting sentient or potential sentient beings are not suffering from such decision en masse.  But in general other methods of production and energy use are possible, but aren’t simply due-to the maximization of profits which is the holy right of Liberal Democracies and many dictatorships.) or even if it is not then there should be no command that he or she not continue in their free action even if it leads them on a path of self-destruction.  Freedom means the freedom of irrationality and action of our worse nature just as much as it ensures the guarantee of the unrestricting of our nobler and enlightening impulses. 
Genetically engineering human beings to remove some of humanities worse qualities is acceptable, but only if it used to improve mankind not to enslave or deaden them to mindless obedience such being the case in Huxley’s Brave New World.  This argument can be made on Deontological as well as Consequentialist grounds.  If one values intelligence and freedom (as any rational and respectable individual does) then one would wish to follow these values and their principles and not create entities that are lacking in them.  The very novel A Brave New World seems a perfect expression of why Deontological (i.e. principle based ethics rather than rule-based or based wholly on consequence) ethics surpasses the Consequentialist, especially the Utilitarian.  Though there are some things to be admired in the society, in general one comes away repulsed by these beings utter lack of complexity or the things we assign with humanity.  And on Consequentialist grounds intelligent and capable minds produce far-more valuable, materially uplifting and culturally enlightening works for society to absorb in one fashion or another.  Machines will largely replace the need for “Proles” in a just society, though it should be stated that in BNW they were already largely at that state but had the Epsilon Semi-morons and others do brute labor and pointless tasks to keep them occupied – while mindless entertainment, poor education, poverty and propaganda (and more general conditioning) keep the populous sedated, incapacitated and obedient in Capitalist countries and in nations that operate under more religious or feudal systems of management as-well.
Overall it seems apparent that one of the main distinctions between Anarchism and Marxism is this interpretation or rather form of Deontology as I’ve described it.  To the Anarchist (or at-least the Anarchist who is also a Pacifist which most Anarchists are) force cannot be used primarily to bring about the just society – for a Marxist force is the main tool of doing so.  Both in terms of beginning methodology of Civil Disobedience or Proletarian Revolution and in the more mature stages whether it be acting towards a Stateless society or having a “Dictatorship of the Proletariat” to have the State “wither away” (which to me is much like a drug addict saying he needs one last hit before he can clean up his act) we see that force is one of the if not the main tool of the Marxist to establish social change.  Most Marxists may have the correct values (largely) and desire rational and ideal ends, but simply not valuing the Non-Aggression Principle and not understanding that violence begets violence is why their attempts are both executed immorally and are largely unsuccessful.  You cannot enlighten people using force just as you cannot threaten to smash a light bulb (another one of those idiotic words – or pairing of words – that is essentially one word but is written as two) to have it illuminate.
While Nietzsche gives us a guide for personal liberation with Existential freedom of defining our own values and acting upon them rather than the dictates of authority (which is largely what the enterprise I described is as well as Kant’s when defined as the dictates of reason rather than authority) and the Death of God, his politics and social commentary is almost entirely abhorrent.  Kant (despite his numerous flaws; his irrational abuse of Direct Democracy being one that I haven’t yet mentioned.  Though he clearly is referring to the non-Anarchist variety that is essentially “Mobocracy” or the kind that put Socrates to death.  His critique of this form of mass-rule is warranted though it should always be understood there is a distinction between Despotism by the Masses and Voluntary Association in the form of a communal Democracy in all levels of public life that in every regard respects the Non-Aggression Principle.) however is far-more Anarchist and freedom loving in the sense of wishing to give us the tools to act rationally and justly towards others in a society grounded upon personal understanding of values and virtues free from restraint.  He is completely right to say that it is reason that should guide our actions to the extent that is possible or any life form, though it is Hume who is correct in saying (though I understand he believes that moral sentiments are the essence of morality as well – in this however he is mistaken based on the fact that good intentions can very-well lead one astray and are not a guide towards the complex nuance that is ethical life.) that it is the passions and sentiments ungrounded by reason that often triumph – though he is wrong to say they always do so. 
Despite the incredible likeliness of this development (though smaller and imperfect forms of this happen quite frequently) it is hoped more-than all other things that with humanity acting on reason and universal justice rather than shallow personal interest we can achieve a society where everyone’s freedom both in the sense of non-restricted action and development and enrichment is seen as the main goal of society both in theory and in practice.  The actualization of Kant’s concept of the Kingdom of Ends which is simultaneously the most free and moral society.  Morality being what we need first and foremost to attain our freedom.  Freedom being an essential in the essence of Man that when given the proper nurturing gives rise to the ultimate end of moral understanding and action.  This is largely because human beings innately know what the right course of action in most cases are, but it is the forces of God, Government and commerce that warps men’s souls to believe that force is justified or apathy acceptable.  Though cultivation and enrichment is necessary, being evolved beings ethics is something that we must return to using reason and compassion rather discovering like a newfound planet or some abstract logic of categories and imperatives.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

A Quick Reminder that Violence is Wrong



I recently watched Jason Unruhe’s video about Ferguson.  There was the basic class warfare stuff that I overall agree with, but then he switched to a justification of black men and women assaulting white people’s stores – simply because they were white.  I know I didn’t believe in this type of racialist garbage when I was a Marxist, I don’t believe most Marxists think this way, but if a large portion do it only makes me gladder to have become an Anarchist.  So would it be justified for a woman to assault a man because he has a Y chromosome and therefore is a part of “the Patriarchy?”  Some feminists (the insane Tumblr and Radical Feminist variety) may actually en masse agree with this sentiment, they certainly have not refrained from being hostile to others simply for being men. 
I shouldn’t even have to argue for this type of insanity – so I’m not going to.  Anyone who thinks that Joe Blow from Missouri, Michigan, Massachusetts or anywhere else deserves to be victimized because black people have been (and to a lesser extent still are) victimized is just expressing their collectivist and “victim” mentality.  Where anyone who is oppressed is moral and justified in unjust action for the sole reason they are or were oppressed.  Civil Disobedience shows its superiority to violent revolution because violence begets violence.  A clear example being the justification of petty acts of “revolt” made by Jason who thinks that blacks destroying the property of innocent people is somehow a noble action.
A level of humor is added considering his justification of lax gun policies which result in senseless killings by right-wingers.  But we can’t have harsher gun policies because that might prevent victimized individuals from assaulting or murdering the innocent or this Proletarian Revolution I’m still waiting for.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Notification of my self-evident superiority. I.e. - gloating.

Three essays in three days: Trotsky, Aristotle and Anarchist methodology.

Damn that feels good.  And no applause, no applause necessary, just send money.
A Provocation for Change.  Or:  A Short Pamphlet on Anarchist Methodology

Breaking Socialist sectarianism and Liberal voting for the Democratic Party we can achieve the breaking of the Repugnocratic (the Two-Party State of Republicans and Democrats) State and to a extent win back our Democracy – to the extent that is allowed in a Capitalist Republic or under any form of Government.  The Liberal view that voting for Democrats is moral simply because it is more immoral or more irrational to vote for Republicans must be addressed and deteriorate if we are to have anything close to Progressive change and anything besides Capitalist rule by Plutocrats in our society.  Socialists of all stripes (e.g. Democratic Socialists, Marxists, and Anarchists) must work with Progressives and even with some moderate Liberals to encourage voting for the Green Party as a blanket for Left-wing change. 
This however only covers changes in voting habits that should take place which is a minuscule amount of what needs to happen to change the political and cultural atmosphere towards a more intelligent, secular, progressive and Anarchist framework.  Breaking the idea of Representative Democracy as virtuous, of having other men and women vote and make executive and legislative choices (which of course involve force and break the Non-Aggression Principle) for the common citizenry must be eroded and made a rarity in society if real freedom and growth for the average human being in any substantive way is going to take place.  Without Civil Disobedience to injustice, injustice will never erode; change does not begin at the voting booth or by corrupt senators and congressman affair – all real change begins with people standing up and resisting oppression.  American history shows this in equal rights for woman, for various races, for the workers seen in the Anarchist and Socialist struggles of the earliest Twentieth Century that gave us the majority of the few “luxuries” that Capitalists hawks and thieves would allow – and of course every year these freedoms of economic security are being pushed back by Capitalists with the help from the Government.
Freedom is never granted or given to any group historically.  It must be taken and upheld using reason but more importantly courage.  Anarchist methodology is twenty percent brains but eighty percent courage.  For it is of course courageous to fight against Capitalism, religion and the Government.  However it is even more courageous and requires a type of confidence and strength that I’m not sure I possess, to not strike back at the Government or any force when they strike at me systematically (rather than immediately which I’ll get to).  Not killing those who deserve death to retain the moral high ground and our own dignity seems an essential in Anarchist Pacifism.  Violence begets violence, so we shall not be likely to attain any ideal situation using force primarily.  I must make this clear.  It is completely within the framework of just and right action to retaliate in self defense.  If a cop is shooting innocent people – that cop not only deserves death (which is obvious) it is rational for anyone to execute the cop on the spot; when to kill the same cop later be to invite the defenders of the State and Status Quo to demonize the cause for freedom and justice by equating it with wanton violence and looting as the Right-wing in this country often does.
Civil Disobedience and Political Activism is the most essential thing for the health of a society against class, religion and State; without it, we sacrifice the world to pedagogues (demagogues?) and terrorism.  To the state of States, commerce and gods – or force and ignorance to simplify – and the new group of despots who replace the old either democratically or via violent means.
On Aristotle, Nietzsche and Anarchism

Aristotle is regarded by many to be the founder of Political Science.  In many respects this is the case.  And like the first in anything he is prone to large amounts of error whether due-to poor reasoning or from internalizing the poor values of his time.  It is my opinion that Aristotle is a “proto-Liberal” and with that carries nearly all of both the achievements and blunders of Liberalism.  He loves education and is a secularist but is Aristocratic and condones certainly a type of slavery if not slavery in its most explicit form.  He glorifies the notion that the State is a community of “freemen” and yet believes that the health of the State is primary to the health and freedom of the individual, resorting to a crass Utilitarianism that one finds in Liberal Democracies.
Reading Aristotle’s Politics it becomes clear how much of Nietzsche is directly in Aristotle or rather the other way around if one is speaking from a chronological perspective.  To what extent Aristotle had an influence on Nietzsche and to what extent they are merely individuals with common values (though there is of course the radical distinction of Aristotle’s Liberalism of Government serving the common good – at-least overall this appears to be Aristotle’s purpose for Government but he contradicts this at-times which I’ll get to – and Nietzsche’s merciless Right-wing and Social Darwinist view of hierarchy as justified through conquering and instilling notions of rank and obedience in the weak and through the Will to Power.) is hard to say, but what is clear is that they both share the entirely illiberal and anti-individualist view that some people are slaves by nature, or at the very least have a slavish nature.  In some sense they are utterly right.  The most obvious example being Christians who not only mindlessly go into Church and believe whatever their pastors instruct them is the truth, but people who yearn for authority; not only this, but yearn for this authority to be a fundamental law of reality like the Law of Conservation that no one can escape from and all are bound to by the tyranny of God.  Nietzsche of course focuses on and illustrates the components of Slave Morality in human beings far better than Aristotle but both take these facts of human beings having a slavish nature (ignoring the question of whether or not or to which extent submissiveness and passivity is genetic and inculcated into humans) and arrives at the conclusion that not all human beings deserve the same rights.  Therefore some human beings may be treated as cattle and told what to do and how to act whether for their own benefit or for that of society – both seem to believe that both happen simultaneously but Nietzsche is at-times far-more honest about what slavery does to the slave, but them being confined to slavery is simply the best of a terrible situation and is the dictate of the strong man via Will to Power. 
This understanding seems on the surface to contradict the very essence of Liberal Individualism but one must remember that this is the exact same view of the citizen in a Liberal Democracy the only view being that in a Liberal Republic one is a freeman until one does drugs unapproved by the Government or does anything else not allowed by law.  Then one’s freedom is stripped from him and he is turned into a slave who works for an incredibly low wage for corporate profits; and if he refuses, he is very-likely placed into solitary confinement and driven insane.  The only serious difference is only that of sincerity and viewing the ability to take one’s freedom away on one’s general nature (i.e. if one is by their very nature a slave) or if one has performed an act that warrants the State to make a slave of the individual (i.e. if one performs a solitary action that the State finds disagreeable rather than examining the organism’s general nature) whether for the good of the State (which both Liberalism with its background in Utilitarianism and Aristotle agrees is of higher precedence) or for the good of the individual to “teach him a lesson.”
This line of logic in Liberalism or rather the similarities to the defense of hierarchy in Aristotle and Nietzsche to Liberalism does not desist there.  The very notion of some being proper rulers and some being instead fashioned to lead and is viewed as natural by Liberalism.  But I will momentarily show how absurd such a divide of natural and artificial is.  Also we see quite persistently that the “Government by the People for the People” line contained in Liberalism (the latter half of which is in Aristotle and none of which is in Nietzsche) is trampled upon and given sway to typically class interest (the same which would occur in a explicit Oligarchy or Meritocracy which is closer to what Aristotle wants and is exactly what Nietzsche wants) and always to secure and expand its own existence and strength rather than to safeguard the health and freedoms of the State’s citizenry.
One of Aristotle’s main defenses of both slavery and the State is that it’s “natural.”  First of all this is clearly a naturalistic fallacy and odd how the philosopher whose known as the founder of the School of “Logic” or the philosopher who is known to first speak of logic out-right would commit such a blaring crime of it.  Of course he means it in the way of telos or a natural end rather than natural in the sense of hippies shopping at Whole Foods because the food is “natural.”  For Aristotle a State is akin to the health of the organism the way water is akin to the health of a growing tree.  For Nietzsche the State is ideal simply if the wills and embodiments of the strong men who will perform their acts of greatness that justify all horrors and miseries of their society are the guiding forces of it.  Aristotle to some extent shares this view (or does in contradiction with his view of Government being for the benefit of the citizenry) if his proposal that one of the main purposes of a State isn’t individuals living together (as it is in Hobbes) but rather to perform “noble acts” has nothing to do with ethical acts or acts that increase the well-being of society (science, technology, education, etc) but more along the lines of great acts (acts of rarity that require a certain excellence seen in art, writing, music, etc) in Nietzsche’s sense.  However considering he is considering the telos or the good of the State based on the health of the individual it would seem that this is a different type of justification than that of Nietzsche’s and therefore such a criticism is unwarranted though it does show an interesting distinction between those who view the acts of greatness by the oligarchs and the good of the community as the same thing.  To them the “looters” (to steal a term from Ayn Rand who largely embodies this scandalous view) are simply those who must be contended with and domesticated to the extent that they can; it is the elite (either of corporations, governments or religions) that are the ethical and virtuous (in the Aristotelian sense) giants that allow us all the bounty of our meager material existences.
However there is still the issue of his justifying things such as slavery and marriage in the sense of radically differing forms of telos and not in the egalitarian sense.  For Aristotle the master is primary and the slave is secondary by their very natures; just as the man in a marriage is primary and the woman is secondary.  It is supposedly good for the wife to obey her husband and therefore it is right for the husband to expect compliance with his dictates as it is just to expect the same out of a slave or a citizen when ordered by his government or when his government creates a law that his will is in contradiction to.  You see here obvious justification of force within a “Liberal” or a beneficent framework – something which Nietzsche has the honesty and earnestness to not try to deceive us on.  It is also entirely untrue that marriage is “natural” in the most immediate sense – neither of course is slavery.  Everything in existence is natural in the most basic sense of being allowed within the framework of physics.  It is a naturally occurring phenomena complying with natural law.  However, if by natural one means what human beings will do if not compelled by force, then marriage is largely unnatural but is also natural as is slavery – allow me to expand.
Though there were primitive societies and hunter-gatherer tribes that did have the notion of marriage, largely humanity is polyamorous which is obvious considering once Man and Woman are free from the evils of religion or any other force they have sexual congress with as many willing participants as they can.  Or rather many or even most do; for we must avoid any universal notions of human nature or psychology.  For some monogamy is natural and others it is done out of expectation by Puritan society.  It could be said to have its sociological benefits as opposed to the collective parenting model proposed in Plato’s Republic for instance, but even if this is the case (which I’m willing it is to some extent or rather for some aspects but that is not to say that collective parenting would not have its redeeming qualities as well) to say that it is “natural” simply because it is beneficial is like to say that Americans are incredibly obese because it is beneficial and therefore being incredibly fat is simply “natural” rather than caused by external conditions.  Largely human beings are organisms that respond to cause-and-effect and are molded both by their environment (e.g. material conditions, larger aspects of society such as how such material is organized and managed) and by their culture (e.g. the elements of society that are largely made by the consequences of his material conditions, their organization and management, or more largely what effects said material and their conditions did in conditioning them) and this has very-little to do with what is or is not beneficial.  Human sacrifice was a practice in parts of the globe for hundreds of years.  Is it to be argued that there was sociological benefit in this practice as-well? 
Now that is to clarify not to say that marriage is not without benefit, it is to say rather that it exists not solely or even largely because it is beneficial but rather due-to the chance nature of certain aspects of society becoming ingrained into cultural expectation while others are lost to the pages of history.  A fine example would be the social expectation to shake a person’s hand (particularly for men) when one is either first meeting their acquaintance or they are meeting again under formal situations.  This seems to be the very essence of civility for some and those who refuse to follow could be demonized as “anti-social” or “pointlessly rebellious.”  However, most forget, or rather are ignorant of the fact that the custom started to check that the individual one is meeting is not hiding a firebrand.  Therefore it could be argued that the true nature of the custom is the exact antithesis of civility for it presumes the possibility of violence in a cowardly fashion, and therefore those who do not practice the custom could be argued either they do not practice customs they themselves find no value in (and which have no value save what we find in them) or perhaps (though this argument serves more as a joke than an actual repost) they are signifying that they trust the person and do not need to check them for any weaponry they may have on their person.
These aspects of humanity are “natural” in the sense that human beings when conditioned to obey these social mores will; and that these social mores are constructed out of either benefit to at-least one group of humanity, a result of acts and systems created out of benefit to at-least one group of individuals, or simply as a result of consequence to human formation in the world.  None of these however are solid grounds for the continuation of practice of a social custom or way of organizing society.  In fact if one examines human history, if something is serving specifically one group or class of people it can easily be argued that it is likely a class or group of people will suffer simultaneously.  A key example being the archaic and pointless social convention in some languages of certain words being used to address a superior, some an equal in rank or social circumstance and some for your supposed inferiors.  Having notions of rank and class in the very words one speaks clearly indoctrinates in the “self-evident” rightness of the system of oppression one is living in.  Much like to have a “whites only” and “blacks only” drinking fountain as a social more (though perhaps one could argue that in itself it is not harmful to anyone) perpetuates the idea of racialism if not racism (considering the disparity of quality in the fountains for blacks and whites) and therefore is a practice of segregation that that is as immoral as replacing the word black with a racial exploitative that in its very definition presupposes that negroes are inferior or are low in value or character.
Aristotle claiming marriage and slavery as natural and therefore as right (and therefore also as rights, because for someone like Aristotle if rights exist they are rights to do what he would consider virtuous and not to stray from this moral and self-critical path that we all tarry from; this is close to the view of some Christian Evangelicals where rights only exist in concordance with obedience to their notion of a god – I go into further detail of this in an essay on Trotsky I did for those who are inquisitive) or as the most fundamental rights or aspects (which he to his credit doesn’t say about slavery to his credit but he does say about the family) of society is essentially what Liberalism has always done in-regards to rights.  First let me clarify that for Aristotle marriage is at-least in-part another form of bondage for it includes the wife obeying the husband and the children obeying the parents (but largely the father) to an extent that I would have complaint with.  However I won’t go into argument of the gradation that a child should obey his or her parents and instead focus on marriage and other aspects being seen by Liberalism. 
Just as right to marriage is seen as a fundamental right in-regards to Liberalism (either because it is a religious practice or simply because it is a social more) right to commerce is seen as a fundamental right.  Liberalism takes the conventions of its society and prescribes them as the “ultimate rights” because they are the main essence of its own time and place but retaining a Statist and class structure will contradict its own verdicts when it harms the State or profits of corporations.  Having right to protest (by a group of revolutionaries who still owned slaves) be a fundamental right in the American Constitution seems like something that would support the weak to protest the actions of the strong.  However such has not been the case historically for blacks and Leftists marches and protests have been routinely broken up with force resulting in unjust incarceration, severe injury and death while Right-wing protests largely orchestrated by business interests have never been met with police brutality though they certainly have their faction that views the Federal Government as illegitimate just as much as Left-wing protestors.  Also in recent history right-wingers have been far-more predominant in acting on these views as well as racist and religiously fundamentalist ideas when Anti-State or Anti-Status Quo Leftists (e.g. Anarchists, Marxists, Socialists, etc) have been largely peaceful and Anarchists in particular believe largely in peaceful resistance and Civil Disobedience to unjust laws and any failure of the Non-Aggression Principle.  Liberalism creates the “rights” that are necessary for the rulers of their society to simultaneously rule over the populous while having the masses feel as if (though this façade is slipping) they have universal rights respected by their government and that they have a voice and power within their government – even though they clearly don’t.  Conservatism is merely the more religious, right-wing, typically racist and xenophobic and obvious form of Liberalism; this fact however has been misconstrued or blurred in our society by creating a false dichotomy ‘tween “Liberal” and “Conservative” while the true distinctions are between “Progressive” and “Conservative” and the dichotomy of “Anti-State” and “Statist.”
Just as Aristotle and Liberalism contends that the conventions of contemporary society (or the conventions of society when it was in formation) are universals of human existence, so it contends that Man is fundamentally a Political Animal, rather than an organism that is transformed into one.  Examining the Native American culture I would bet one would not find any political discussions or quarrels in statecraft over the role of Government and the source of human rights.  That is because they existed in largely hunter-gatherer societies where no such discussions would arise in a truly naturalistic (that is original without the development of agriculture, animal husbandry, cities and systems of management) social gathering as Rousseau depicts in his State of Nature.  Human beings are made political both by hierarchy and the illusion of Democracy in society.  Artificial constructs require artificial or propagandistic rationale to be justified by the rational and moral.  This is why hierarchy is concerned with the opinions of the common and either feeds them a steady line of explicit propaganda (usually involving religion and custom to make it seem matter-of-factly and natural both by being commonplace and by being supposedly objective by being claimed as a law of reality by a god or gods) and force or does the same secretly and gives them the illusion that their opinion matters through elections that are largely shades of gray, make almost no difference in the majority of policy rather than any real distinction that would show a contrast in Political Philosophy or even share the views and sentiments of the majority of voters that are explicitly Statist and Pro-Status Quo (and even this is changing to some degree) but implicitly or unknowingly subversive in their ethics and views to the extent they are moral and sane.  If one were to examine the nature of Mutual Aid, one would find that it is apolitical to the extent that it is without agenda – it is truly and entirely naturalistic both in the realm of economics and ethics.  But of course very political in today’s atmosphere for being Anti-Capitalist and Anti-State.  It is political in the sense that it is radical and radical in the sense that it is uncompromising, intelligent and knowledgeable of human beings as they actually are in the face of forced stupidity and ignorance.
Aristotle’s simplistic “Three Good  Three Bad” outlay of the forms of Government also deserves criticism both for its simplicity and for its innate elitism while masquerading as Universal as appealing and benefiting all individuals – but if this is not a outright hypocrisy it’s a lack of understanding of human nature and of cause-and-effect.  It’s simplistic in ignoring the class, religious and other possible motivations of State, and is honest in its caprice towards individuals in not making all who live in the State citizens – being defined as being involved in Government.  While our society suffers from the deceit of Universal Rights and all individuals having a potential voice in Government – such is the lie of Liberalism.  If the State excluded no one and no voice it would cease to be a State. 
There is a moment where he seems to be a proto-Thomas Paine but then blunders.  Namely, when he seems to be criticizing the nature of Hereditary Rule by saying that the Noble King’s son could be a jackass but then defends Monarchy (as opposed to Tyranny) as a legitimate form of Government.  Not only is this absurd for even a beneficent king will blunder and use force in attempt at a at best noble Utopian scheme it suffers from both the delusion that all there is is the self-interest of the king (also it could be argued it would be in the King’s own self-interest if he had the right nature or simply for rational self-interest to be just) and that of the commonwealth, ignoring class interest, interest of sex, race, religion and various other arbitrary dividing lines and forms of power throughout history and that the King could rightfully represent every individuals interests or will if a more Representative Government be idealized.  Every system of control first and foremost prioritizes itself to secure and if possible expand its own existence.  Everything, including (some would say especially) the rights and interests of the populous are secondary and if they conflict with the States’ or any other hierarchies’ power (as a intelligent and healthy society naturally will) then their health and happiness will be sacrificed on the altar of not only Might Makes Right but the fundamental code of Statism and force:  Might is right.
There are aspects of Aristotle’s ethics and politics (particularly the ethics) however that deserves to be commended.  He focuses on education more-so than many if not most philosophers.  There is at-least an attempt to have Government serve the interests of everyone (not even the majority, though Aristotle argues that the good for a slave involves being a slave so he’s not exactly giving an accurate account for a Government where the needs and best for all is addressed) which is not something that will be attempted in well-known philosophy to my knowledge until Hobbes (who suffers from many of the faults of Aristotle except in some ways even worse and more explicitly) unless one is to take into account the Roman politicians and emperors who were also Stoic thinkers.  But although they give far-more respect to women and slaves (but we must remember that although these Stoics considered slaves equal to freeman they did not disbar or ban slavery; which will remind one of the gentile racism of the upper-class, who is always willing to tip the black chap nicely who washes his car or buses his table but doesn’t want any of “them” several houses in proximity to where he lives – and that their economic “pragmatism” takes primacy to their ethical idealism of Virtue; which vindicates the Materialism of Marx and the Anarchists) other more comprehensive elements of their political philosophy are either lacking, ambiguous or I’m simply ignorant to.
Aristotle however is antithetical to the idea that the good of the State and the good of society (and the will of the individual) are at-ends with each other.  So largely should be considered not only incorrect in much of his ideas – though he gives a proper rebuttal to Plato’s epistemology and politics – on the nature of scientific methodology (which is not to say he was of no assistance to humanities understanding of knowledge, the gathering of it and a great gatherer of it himself – he clearly was; however from my limited understanding of the formation of the Scientific Method, Francis Bacon had to overthrow the methodology of Aristotle which was prone to over-assumption) but wrong in his view of politics.  Political Philosophy must be based on human nature not on contemporary society’s mores and circumstances.  For Aristotle, the State exists to create great citizens.  And although this is far-more commendable notion of a state than religious or Right-wing Libertarian perspectives of the role and nature of Government, it ultimately falls apart because any Government that has in its duties education and raising (at-least partially) of the individual will naturally favor patriotism and inculcation of National values into the child rather than to raise him up to be a critical thinker who can examine evidence critically and act independently from authorization.  Anarchism too holds Positive Liberty (or a execution of the telos into society viewed as a fundamental right if you like) as well as Negative Liberty as indispensable, the main distinctions being that Anarchists view that not only is it unethical to propose the latter be sacrificed for the function of the former, such a notion is harmful to the organism’s fruition and has shown to cause much harm to society, individual families and millions upon millions of individuals in practice.