I recently read an article on the Left-wing website in Great Britain, The Guardian. This has been the most consistently Left-wing publication in Great Britain. It was part of the organized Left as early as the 1920’s, and it has never varied in the slightest.
The author interviewed a former American spy. The spy is a very well read man. But he cannot think straight. He is a super Leftist. He talks about “the commons.” He does not like private property. He sees all of capitalism as an attempt to take away from the commons and privatize wealth. But there never was a state-free commons. The commons was always a state agency. Throughout men’s history, when there is common land, it is run by an agency that possesses political power. It possesses the power of coercion. Every time you see the word “commons,” think “commissars.” You don’t have commons without commissars.
This man is singing the same old song that he sang in his youth. He says there’s going to be a revolution. No, there isn’t. He says that the open source technology will create the revolution. No, it won’t.
The essence of revolution is centralized power. Engels knew this early, and reminded us of it for years. There is nothing more centralizing than a revolution. Every revolution in history has moved towards the centralization of power, including the American Revolution. This ex-spy, singing the songs of his youth, says that we are right at the edge of a revolution.
We are at the edge of a non-revolution.
What we’re seeing is decentralization. We are seeing the breakup of the equivalent of the Roman Empire. There was no revolution against the Roman Empire. It simply disintegrated. The medieval world was a time of enormous decentralization.
In the 17th century, there were attempts to start revolutions. The Puritan revolution in England was one of them. It was a revolt against the centralized power of the King, but it was done in the name of the centralized power of the Parliament. It wound up with a military dictator, Oliver Cromwell: 1649-1659. He was replaced by a new king in 1660. But the Parliament continued to centralize its power, and the Glorious Revolution of 1688 and 1689 stripped much of the power of the King, but it did not reduce government power; it simply transferred it to Parliament. Parliament adopted a theory of parliamentary sovereignty second to none in the history of tyranny. It claimed, and it still claims, that it has final sovereignty over all aspects of British life. There was no written constitution to restrain it. There was only the common law to restrain it. That was something important, but the centralization continued. It continues today.
With massive decentralization, there comes, not revolution, but secession. I don’t mean secession like the secession of the American South, which was just another way to centralize power in the South. The governor of Georgia, Joe Brown, saw that one for what it was. It was just another group of armed revolutionaries seeking to centralize power in the region they wanted to control. It was a replay of the American Revolution, as they argued.
Revolutions mean the centralization of power. Until conservatives figure this out, they are not going to understand what is going on, and what has been going on for the past 500 years. Revolutions centralize power. In order to fight centralized power militarily, you must centralize power, and this only leads to a shift of loyalty to a new group of centralists. We are slow learners.
We are not going to see an extension of the commons; we are going to see an extension of private property. The private enclosures of the commons were crucial for the establishment of English liberty. This is a war against the federal state. It is a war against centralized power. It is a war against the bureaucrats telling us what to do with our property.