Spencer, Big Government and more
Skeptic said: Spencer’s near anarchism is reactionary! Big government has grown with more rights for everybody , not fewer as he held would happen . There has been no road to serfdom and our constitution of liberty has led to big government and more rights. Regulated capitalism is the known ideal!
My intention in posting the essay by Roderick Long was to suggest that perhaps Spencer has been misunderstood by even freethinkers like Susan Jacoby… That he was not an advocate for social Darwinism. The essay seemed convincing enough to at least look at.
In a private email response to my posting by Ms. Jacoby, she merely restated her basic point-of-view without offering any new evidence for her claims, and also dismissed Long’s work out-of-hand. The dismissal included an attack on his person. This lead me to wonder if Long is not correct in his claims that many people who attack Spencer have not read Spencer.
As far as the “rights’ granted by big government go, anarchists recognize that such rights, which have been won via many deaths, have all been “rights” which protect the individual or a group FROM the State. That is, if the State did not exist, such rights would be unnecessary.
Also, that such rights as those we have gained (and are loosing today), in Representative Democracies, exist at all - as opposed to “right-less” other forms of governments and states - only proves that some states are less vicious than others. The “rights” people obtained (and not obtained) in Rep. Democracies belong to all humans in the first place… They ought not have to be fought for.
About Capitalism and the regulation of, it is clear that such controls do not last very long. The powerful few who control the economic and political realm under capitalism - whether capitalism occurs in a state (which is the natural ally for such a hierarchal economic system), or in any proposed Right-Libertarian Free Market - will always undermine any socialist-styled regulation - or even moral considerations born from such - whether it comes in the form of FDR’s New Deal or the Social Democracies of Europe. This has been shown again and again.
The only way to secure a free and equal society is by eliminating Capitalism altogether - including the so-called Free-Market - and perhaps abolishing the State (but not institutions, structure or order) as well. What needs to be created is some form of Inclusive Democracy.
Barry F. Seidman