Seattle seems blessed with a new group of Uber haters who were out on the streets of that fair city on Saturday night allegedly “detaining” some ten cars and their passengers from the service. All of this is prompted by the assertion that Travis Kalanick is a sociopath, that Uber itself is evil, that the traditional taxi system must not be disrupted for fear that it will “completely destabilize and undermine African immigrant communities in Seattle” and, quite remarkably, that no one would desire to get shit-faced on a Saturday night if it weren’t for the immiseration brought about by capitalism.
You can read all about The Counterforce in their manifesto here.
I wouldn’t say that I share their concerns: it seems rather a large amount of attention to be paying to what is, after all, simply a new way to hail a ride home. But I will admit that this little bit does amuse:
We are anarchists, not socialists. We want the abolition of the economy, the destruction of capitalism, and the immediate communization of all shareable resources.
Which is a little strange as what they’ve just described there is a form of socialism, not a form of anarchism. The two ideas actually address entirely separate aspects of society. Anarchism is about the power structures, the hierarchy of the State. Socialism is about who gets to own productive assets. They’re not just different positions on some spectrum, they’re lying on entirely different axes.
One can, of course, be an anarchist and a communist or socialist, just as one can be an anarchist and a free marketeer or capitalist. The idea is addressing not the economics of the country but the power structures. Similarly one can be a market socialist, a statist one. But the destruction of capitalism and the communization of all shareable resources are socialist goals, not anarchist ones, the anarchist goals being aimed more at overturning the power structure, most especially the monopoly of violence enjoyed by the State, than at any specific economic goals.
And given the looming Monty Python reunion it’s probably about time for this:
[Image via gerardlebovici.wordpress.com]