Civilization, Power, and Fate: The Paradox of Order

How much of the mission of governance is mired by partisanship, greed, and the hubris to control? Can we not simply work? For the sake of certainty, not for certain dominance, status, or influence. People say power corrupts, and I’m sure it’s predominantly true, but humans created civilization, the most powerful and controlling institution. Is there not some argument explaining the naturality of the will to power and the immoral impulses of humanity?

Depravity is not the totality of immorality. The desire to control others and to treat people as one’s property or an extension of one’s own being is more normal at least in Western society than the moral position to never do such a thing. It is for all intents and purposes traditional to participate in the centralization of force and authority. People are surprised, almost offended even, if they hear you state that you would rather not vote due to the impractical nature of the system on an individual level and the authoritarian nature of the state. Anarchists are often seen as deluded, insane, or desiring of mass hysteria and violence when, for the most part, the primary desire of anarchists is simply to be left un-assaulted, more so than their libertarian cousins. The purpose of the state is precisely to enforce civility; however, too often is civility and law conflated with peace and morality. It is the assumption and misconception of the politically motivated, statists, those supporting the centralization of force and authority that order is tantamount to peace. There was much order created in the Roman empire, the Persian empire, the Mongolian empire, the British empire, Soviet Russia, Communist China, Republican America, and many other nations, but this order was anything but peaceful. For all the wondrous creations given and discoveries made under these systems, establishing them required as much violence, chaos, and disruption of peace as likely existed in Thomas Hobbes’s worst imaginations, and all in the name of their respective civilizations. In blatant contradiction, the argument for the state is that in order to have peace and prosperity amongst one’s people, you must weaponize your culture against any contrary community you encounter, any other culture or impulse in humanity, however natural, that would undermine your conception of what is “orderly” and appropriate. In order to create civility, you must conclude that any who do not follow your supposedly justifiable standards of behavior are inherently a threat to the morality itself and the security of your culture and community. In order to create order, one must export and impose chaos.

How easy is it for one person to rule themselves, let alone others? If we find so much difficulty in even the simplest disciplines, is it not reasonable to assume that there would be so much difficulty in disciplining an entire community or country? Can we honestly trust those who are not ourselves and who do not share our values to respect our rights, to acknowledge our autonomy, and to be antagonistic to their preferred culture for the sake of a more general good they will not so easily enjoy? If the ambitiously authoritarian do share your values, is it not reasonable to assume that you would be inclined to act in support of your culture and their authoritarianism rather than in defense of others’?

The argument and alleged justification of “civilizing” people, either through political domination and/or cultural indoctrination, rests on the assumption that humanity is inherently uncivil and that we must somehow force ourselves to defy our nature and live not as chaotic humans but as upstanding citizens of an established sense of order over a prevailing custom of peace. Does this sound just? It itself is a projection of the will to power on others to justify the use of force against their disruption, disorder, and chaos. After all, there aren’t only a couple persons or even a singular person desiring to rule, there are millions. Which of them can do it responsibly? Reflecting on nature itself, from what can we declare a derived ability to be orderly rather than chaotic, assuming that’s the goal? I think it comes from the argument that our capacity for reason, to order our understanding, gives us an ability to transcend nature, but we developed this capacity thanks to nature and chaotic evolutions, not in spite of it. If order is birthed from chaos and cannot circularly create itself except by exacerbating the degrees of chaos in human relations, how does order become greater than chaos? Given the limits of human epistemology and subjectivity, how could civil order, the force of social conservation, be more sustainable and conducive to life, a primarily chaotic force, than nature’s own system of order? How could refusing nature’s changes not lead to stagnation? How could contrived human conventions become more powerful than the power of existence itself? In actuality, order is not the goal of civilization; exploitative control of behavior and the systems of humanity is its ultimate end. If one desires order, you would need only to reflect on the systems of nature and their inherent balance, then bide your time until death brings you to absoluteness.

I do not say this to simply condemn the will to power. It’s proven to be a fundamental human reality and therefore something of our nature and spirit that must be admired for its metaphysical strength and longevity. Declaring that we must fight against the will to power is oxymoronic at best, a subtle attempt at subterfuge in all likelihood. Being inclined to anarchism, I must suggest that as an individual human person, you take the time to learn about human nature, natural impetuses and systems, and how to navigate nature’s chaos if you wish to live in this world with any ethical competence and semblance of objective morality. If you do not, there may not be any immediate dangers to your way of life, but the creation and destruction of chaos is nature’s foundation of order.

Featured Photo by Pixabay:

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