The CHOP (Capital Hill Occupation Protest) in Seattle, has come and gone (to the surprise of no one). What can be learned?

Mainly: The United States of America is actually the most socialist country in the world (the voluntary variant of socialism, that is). Until quite recently, it was possible to get some land, make whatever covenant with your fellows you may, and try for The Paradise (all those laws interfere nowadays). These alternatives sprinkled the nation across all phases of our history. Many live on to this day. A quick search on the inter-tubes will connect you to them in less than a minute.

Some examples:

In every city in America, tens of millions of immigrants live peacefully by their own ways and values, good to go so long as they keep their noses clean, pay their taxes, and eat a hot dog at a baseball game every once in a while. They thrive on communal support, hurting no one in the process. They need no anonymous gunmen to make their ways so.

Utah was very much settled as a potential paradise, to transcend man’s nature, by voluntary association of like-minded visionaries.

Towns for Orthodox Jews, like Kiryas Joel, dot upper New York State.

Sarasota Florida is the cradle of the Scientologist experiment in alternative, communal living (nobody has to approve, just allow).

Even Jim Jones went far to create an interracial communal ideal before he death-culted (“inter-racial communal blah, blah, it’s about the chicks,” I can hear him say from Hell).

Ideas of alternative living were common enough that Nathanial Hawthorne wrote a farce in 1952, the Blithedale Romance, set amongst the earnest changers of man’s nature.

Until very recently (1986), it was possible for voluntary socialists to homestead in Alaska. What could be more socialist than land free for the settling (land about a third of the size of the USA)? That might as well have been a revolutionary slogan of the Bolsheviks. Before we have complaints of the hardship, realize that Natives lived there for millennia (communally), with no technological advantage whatsoever. You’ll find them there today (and tomorrow).

I have a personal connection to this idea of changing man’s nature in the openness of Alaska: My wife and I own land in McCarthy Alaska, which is neighbor to the experiment: Kennicott was founded as a copper mining town, where the owners used the remote separation, free from worldly ways and temptations, to try to build up a Holy City. These religious company-towns also salt the history of the United States, BTW.

Alas, none of the many alternatives grew in an evolutionarily stable way to bring the new holiness (or a newly raised consciousness), and the Kennicott experiment is no exception: McCarthy grew up down the road to be its “sin town,” to tempt the miners. If you guessed the temptation was debate on the Holiness of the transcendence, you would be wrong. It was liquor and whores (Shut up, Jim Jones).

McCarthy guards her open independence to this day: there is essentially no law enforcement (it’s far too remote, they need to be air lifted in). “Like a college town, but well-armed, where the dogs are valued citizens,” is how I like to describe it. A McCarthyite said it best: “when you are beyond the law, you have to be above it” (another lesson for the people of the CHOP).

The CHOP devolved into the least novel, least transcendent, most basic state of the human condition: the ancient law of the claw, as man has lived through pre-history (and the reason history was a void before). Here is a link to Seattle’s Police Chief’s overview of the carnage. Might Makes Right, as scarcity amplifies need, while stifling principle, is CHOP’s predictable postscript.

It’s the same old story: under Soviet Authoritarian Socialism, they addressed the inevitable devolution by making a failure to produce a violation (#2) of their Ten Commandments and, like much else, illegal. That they felt jazz musicians were threats tells you all you need to know of their confidence in their ability to peacefully complete the transcendence. What is not forbidden is mandatory: the Soviets never allowed trial-and-error variants of voluntary socialism (or Socialism), the way America has always done.

Only in America are you still free to make another play for paradise, without any conflicts between yourselves and the stakeholders of the old ways, and nobody has to get hurt. With the CHOP, we are left with the irony of yet another socialist acolyte brandishing an AK-47 as rebuttal to free and fair debate.

At least on some level, I suspect the CHOP people know all this. It’s right there in their name: “Capitol Hill OCCUPY Protest.” It’s not Capitol Hill Invitational Protest, it’s not Capitol Hill Voluntary Project, it’s not Capitol Hill Peace Project. Not getting people hurt is not congruent with OCCUPY.

So, if you are a voluntary socialist, stop marching in demonstrations (stop seeding COVID!), stop tormenting everyone that has a stake in the modern American system, and get to the work it takes to forge your feelings into reality. What are you waiting for? It can be done (has been done, many times). If you find the formula for redemption, you’ll prove us wrong. I rather hope you do (but I’m not holding my breath).

Eugene Darden Nicholas

About Eugene Darden Nicholas

Eugene Darden (Ed) Nicholas is from Flushing Queens, where he grew up sheltered from the hard world, learning the true things after graduating college and becoming a paramedic in Harlem. School continues to inform and entertain in all its true, Shakespearean glory. It's a lot of fun, really. In that career, dozens of people walk the earth now who would not be otherwise. (The number depends on how literally or figuratively you choose to add). He added a beloved wife to his little family, which is healthy. He is also well blessed in friends and colleagues.


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