Build from the Bottom Up

Controversy around government budget cuts continues to escalate. Though the burden of government is weighing heavily on society, leaving the decision of what to cut in the hands of politicians and their advisors is not the way out. To create lasting solutions that promote liberty, alternatives to government power should be built from the bottom up.

Decisions handed down from the top run into the same problems as any government order. Government is still government when it makes cuts to programs that it currently monopolizes. The system is still directed by politicians and administered by bureaucrats with vested interests in strengthening their positions. A government budget cut often means that they are going to keep forcing people to do things and keep up legislative and bureaucratic obstacles, but give people less in return. People will still be restricted by the regulatory framework of government, but the programs that help them exist are cut out from under them.

An anarchist method of reducing the burden of government works from the bottom up. It displaces programs that are coercive, bureaucratic, hierarchical, and answer to power politics with voluntary, dynamic, egalitarian organizations that tend toward mutual benefit for participants.

The idea of letting government administer its own budget cuts ignores the fact that government tends to be a henhouse run by foxes. The people who feel cuts the most often have little control of the system and might even be individuals who help others deal with the system that forces itself into their lives.

Building networks of autonomy promotes cooperation, breaking through the public-private divide to guide people towards the task of making a freer and more prosperous society. Based on general political affinity and promoting individual liberty, such networks can displace the power of governments and elites. They provide resources to people to help them breach or avoid barriers that authority puts in place.

Don’t trust your future to politicians or their experts and corporate partners. By working with others to meet needs outside the system in a consensual manner, you are strengthening your position against those who would monopolize power. Build from the bottom up, and cut the top’s ability to run society.

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Markets Not Capitalism
Organization Theory
Conscience of an Anarchist