02 July 2008

An angry lunchtime

Someone decided to say something quite stupid in my company the other day, and I felt compelled to squash them, even though in the past I would have bitten my tongue in order not to seem argumentative.

They proclaimed, rather foolishly, that their ideal form of society would be "some form of anarchosocialism, where you don't have an overall government, and local communities are all run independently". Considering I had only been half-listening, I was surprised how enraged I felt at the sappy left-winginess of this comment, and at how politically unaware someone who throws around words like anarchosocialism can be. Before I could stop myself, I had snapped "so what would you do about national defence? Wait for someone to try to invade and then have the nearest village run down to the cliffs waving their pitchforks?". To which their reply was that they rather liked that idea.

Really?? Is that how people think you can run a country? So, each community would need a power station presumably - you'd have to build several thousand of those, if you're running things independently with no large corporations or government. And you'd need a hospital, with trained surgeons, doctors and nurses, all from within the local community. And a medical school to train them. And everyone would play nicely and pay some form of local tax to pay for all this. You couldn't share facilities between communities, because who would pay for them? And of course, no-one would dream of sneaking over to the next village and robbing all their best stuff, which would actually be incredibly easy with no national police force or criminal justice system.

Honestly, I don't know where people get these things from. It was lucky they didn't say they'd support total anarchy, because that gets me going even more as a concept.

I think I got so riled up because earlier they had trotted out the often-used complaint against Margaret Thatcher that she "started a war to win an election", to which I HAD bitten my tongue. I wish I had said something now. Did she start the war? Er, no. Argentina was being ruled by a fragile and unpopular military government, who had the brilliant idea of invading the Falklands as a means of generating patriotic support. Britain, quite rightly, responded by retaking its territory. Yes the islands are fairly boring little specks of land with some sheep and houses on them, but that's beside the point. So in what way did Margaret Thatcher start that?

History and political leanings have a very interesting way of affecting people's memories.

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Anonymous said...

We didn't start it, but we bloody well finished it! And by the way mister, why didn't you tell me you had a blog!

superlative said...

Woo sorry! Next time I'll be sure to file a full report!

Not that many people read it anyway, it's more for my own amusement...