Myopia and cognitive bias rather than ignorance are the foremost enemies of wisdom. Ignorance can be eroded through simple resource and motivation to attain knowledge; but a simplistic construction of reality (lack of imagination and broad-mindedness) or a psychological barrier that prevents one to both think critically and impartially – and instead takes the path of least resistance and absorbing the avenue of information that conforms to the individual’s pre-existing framework of reality – and far-worse prevents significant and meaningful development (mostly due-to the lack of critical thinking but also based from temperament) derivative of one’s ideological crutch is far-more difficult to eradicate for it is based on a cognitive illness present in all humans to a minor extent and major degree in most. We see this in some of the well-educated and those who either have abandoned or never have been swayed by the religious and superstitious. The cognitive bias involved in religious mentality is obvious and as such I wish to instead illuminate a type of political narrative that seems to exist either in those who are at-least compared to the average American somewhat erudite or are simply those who are quite knowledgeable of erudite subjects (e.g. philosophy, science, movies, history, books, etc) but in-general are the simple-minded who have put on airs – which is the case I’ll allow the reader to come to his or her own conclusion on. Though political narrative exists in arguably all political philosophies and constructs (except perhaps Anarchism at-least to some extent, since the main notion of Anarchism isn’t a historical or ideological narrative primarily but a statement of the immorality of force and therefore the illegitimacy of the State among other things) it’s the narrative of the First World being the source of all woes that I’d like to address considering it’s one that the most simple-minded of individuals can show to be flowed and yet is argued by at-least seemingly more well-cultured individuals.
We see this particularly in Marxists, namely the tendency to associate all ills of the world to Imperialism, America and Capitalism rather than to have a more intelligent, subtle and nuanced view that places a portion of the blame on profit-based incentives and Imperialism of the present-day or past where it is warranted (for there is much evidence that the things I mentioned cause much suffering globally, but to accost the First World as the Left-wing version of Satan, a bringer of all suffering, disparity and despair in the world is quite childish and reverts back to the myopic views of religion) but also places a significant portion of the blame on the regional Governments, customs, religions and individuals. I would like to argue this is another example of one of the main distinctions between Marxism and Anarchism. While Marxism has the tendency to generalize and simplify, Anarchism seems to view the world as a complex fabric of a multitude of variables. There are common trends in cause of suffering and basis in ignorance and hierarchy yes, all ideologies need to purport some idea of a quasi-universal theory of life and humanity after all, but the Anarchism I’ve come to terms with at the very least is one that views reality as a interlocking fabric of particulars. The particulars have common aspects and are to some extent universalizable, but ultimately are individual components that both function according to their own nature and exist for their own sake.
In Marxism, we see a type of grand teleology of material conditions and classes altering as to bring about a next pre-determined stage which will ultimately bring about Communism. Though Marxists never speak of such a notion, psychologically this could create a similar effect of the Christian who vindicates the world and its immensity and multitude of suffering as being part of God’s plan, or because all have an opportunity to reach Heaven all suffering in this callow material realm is insignificant and forgivable on God’s part (though the most ludicrous notion of the Christian is the belief that there is nothing to forgive). The Proletariat Revolution has much the same prophetic tone as the meek inheriting the Earth as proclaimed in the New Testament, and neither have either come to pass nor is there any evidence that such will come to pass. The Dialectical and prophetic nature of Marxism as well as its sweeping generalization of human beings based on their class is its main flaws when conjoined with the absurdity of wishing to create a State that will destroy itself – ignorant of the rather simple truth that power exists (as stated in 1984) first and foremost for its own sake; that power begets power and that its first task or priority is either achieving more power or securing the power it has namely in reducing the quality of life of humanity and the populous’ capacity to think critically. Both creating the illusion that authority is necessary for both security and administrative efficiency when studies have shown that both Capitalism and Government are incredibly inefficient and both largely (and almost solely with the exception of religion) create conditions of insecurity for Man both in his life and his freedom.
We see this shallow form of Materialism not only in a present-day diagnosis by Marxists, but also in their prognostication of the future or of the future’s ideal state. Anarchists and Marxists are both Internationalists in the sense that they reject Nationalism and Patriotism, viewing such notions as Conservative sentimentalism that is both not based on empirical findings and creates the irrational and arbitrary divide of human beings based on nationality rather than more significant aspects such as intelligence, morality, temperament, sentiment or even class. However, there is a divide in ends, for the Marxist will want to create a theoretical state-of-affairs where a State in the proper sense of the word does not exist, but instead a global form of organization where there are universal laws of administration and operation. Or as I believe Marx put it, “where Government becomes not the ruling of men but the administration of things,” I’m paraphrasing of course. Anarchism instead wishes to attain a more “organic” naturalistic composition of human organization, where all communes interact yes, but the focus on Communitarianism over Globalism has the dual benefits of having different communes for those with different sentiments and lifestyles (some communes could ban drugs for example, while others could follow the Non-Aggression Principle to the full letter of its meaning – as long as the individual who is born in such commune is not prevented from leaving and is given proper opportunity to leave said society for one of those of more-like mind) and having the individuals be responsible for their own affairs both publically and privately, when a global system of quotas and empirically validated standards may be efficient and rational, but both deters individual freedom of expression and activity (human beings are inefficient and largely flawed animals after all) and dulls the mind by having all follow accepted laws of standardized operation rather than having every commune largely doing things similarly but still follow that basic impulse of everything exceptional in Man that divorces him from other animals (for animals too can be exceptional in things such as compassion), namely his desire to reason out new methodology and envision new modes of production or even a new theory of physics that could make a entirely new form of production possible – a radically new understanding of the Universe theoretically leading to matter synthesizers where one could make food out of air for example, once again using the power of imagination and general intellect to turn the fantasies of Science Fiction into a reality.
Though I think that would have been a fine ending point, it perhaps would also benefit to make another distinction between Marxism and Anarchism in their roots as I see it. Marx was of course largely inspired by Rousseau and in a sense this type of “Ideological victimhood” of the Third World being first and foremost (or nothing more) than the playthings of the sadistic European-Americana culture of enslavement and persecution of others seems to be a logical consequence of a global and materialist approach to Rousseau. Marx was of course no Primitivist, but those with Primitivist sentiments can easily re-work Marxism into an ideology for their psychological framework that attempts to vindicate much of Rousseau’s sentiments in an international and material way (rather than the largely psychological findings and pronouncements of Rousseau) as I previously stated. The Anarchist (once again the form of Anarchism I would advocate) instead is far-more a successor of Kant than Rousseau, wishing to strive first-and-foremost an enlightenment where all individuals are seen as and treated as Ends-in-Themselves. The individual is a caused being to be sure, and since a Nation is nothing more than a body of humans and resources it too is a caused thing. However, though a Government in Pakistan or Israel may be to varying extents either influenced by American interests and sentiments or are oppressed either by the American government or various multi-national corporations it both is always far-more influenced by local than foreign variables (for like how an organism can be conditioned from outside sources, its own internal make-up above all else is the deciding factor of its nature and behavior) and the individual most first-and-foremost take responsibility for its own actions rather than saying, “but, I’m a caused being! It’s not my fault. Americans made me veil my women for centuries because of the successive bombings and occupation that’s been going on for years!” Though a Nation and its people are caused, any entity must take responsibility for its own actions for we have the capacity to choose and the illusion of Free Will. And though Kant’s ideas on punishment are a tad primitive, it is this individualistic and existential conception and expression of humanity rather than a wholly sociological and shallowly material (that is a simplistic interpretation of Materialism and nothing more) that separates Kant and the Anarchists from Rousseau and Marx.