Man is born free; and everywhere he is in chains. Rousseau, Social Contract, Book 1
I’m teaching my first years Rousseau and I’m (meant to be) reading Ivan Illich’s Deschooling Society – everywhere I look there are critiques of the state and its institutions. I have not read Illich for years, but the point I took from him was that the state “schools” its citizens to:
accept service in place of value. Illich p4
We are “schooled” to believe that the state provides for all our needs, and that we cannot do without it, but this “institutionalisation of values” turns us into cultural paupers.
Our wisdom is slavish prejudice, our customs consist in control, constraint, compulsion. Civilised man is born and dies a slave. The infant is bound up in swaddling clothes, the corpse is nailed down in his coffin. All his life long man is imprisoned by our institutions. Rousseau, Emile, p16
Why do we allow the state to continue? Are D&G right to say that:
“The fundamental problem of political philosophy is still precisely the one that Spinoza saw so clearly (and that Wilhelm Reich rediscovered): Why do men fight for their servitude as stubbornly as though it were their salvation?” D&G Anti-Oedipus p38
Stockholm syndrome? Or something else?
(Sorry this is a really short piece – no time to smell the flowers this week.)