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What are your thoughts on "The worse things are, the better they are?"

+1 vote
Is dictatorship or democracy better breeding grounds for anarchistic sentiment? Should anarchists support liberal reforms for the short-term improvements to people lives, or are we better off if the the ugly side of state capitalism is readily apparent?
asked May 6, 2015 by IDontKnowShit (340 points)

what is 'state capitalism?' is it any different than regular ol' capitalism? I think not.

are liberal reforms anything but (state-?)capitalism. I think not...except the gold-become-green smiley face plastered over it may appeal more to the younger set.

I probably should have said "capitalism/the state" or some such. I didn't mean to imply, and do not believe, that there could be such a thing as stateless capitalism.
This sounds awfully familiar.  I'm sure there is another question floating around here that poses the same question - though be damned if i can find it, now.  (it is a good question to examine, even if i have no answer or counsel.)


Do we salve the wounds of the lash, so we can face another day?  Or do we let the wounds fester, in the hope they'll speed the mutiny?

2 Answers

0 votes
i don't think it's either one of those things. at least not alone. or you could say it's both those things and more.

seems like it's important to have the capacity (perceived and actual) to effect some change in one's life, as well as the perspective that things should be changed (in a particular way), as well as some sense of cultural something that supports both of those understandings in a certain direction over a sustained amount of time.

does that help someone decide what to do on a day to day basis (like what to vote for, if one does that sort of thing)? i can't imagine it would.
answered May 7, 2015 by dot (49,970 points)
+1 vote
i'm not sure about the specific wording of the title question, but my take is:

i think the only way that change, on a scale that would make a real difference to me, could possibly come about in this world, will require things getting much worse. and that has to happen for many more of the people (primarily in the new/modern/first world) who currently benefit - or perceive themselves as benefitting - from the current order.

every concession made by the powers that be, which may well help some subset of people in the short term, is a pressure release on the overall system system of oppression. making more dramatic change ever less likely.

of course nothing is ever quite that simple, but in the grand scheme of things, i stand by that assessment.
answered May 7, 2015 by funkyanarchy (10,540 points)
the rebuttal to this is that there are plenty of places where people don't have the comforts of those in the US, where there has (still, also) been no insurgence (at least of any lasting import).

that is one reason why i say things would need to get much worse - including for those *with* the (perceived) comforts.

i'm also guessing that any time there *has* been some sort of insurgence/revolt (none of which have ever lasted, to my recollection), it is a result of things getting worse.

my experience and observations over the decades definitely indicate that small concessions from those in power typically serve a strategic purpose beyond the immediate (tactical) relief provided. i simplify/summarize that strategic purpose as "pressure valve relief". it stabilizes situations, placates, buys (some) good will, creates complacency, reinforces their power, etc.