Someone who did not see fit to use his name in the comments has been having a discussion in the comments of the previous post. He/she/it/they/xhe/xer asked me some direct questions so I felt compelled to respond in a direct manner. The response is lengthy, so I am putting it in a new post rather than buried in comments.
Anarchism is a political philosophy that advocates… [edit. blah blah blah, self-serving Wiki page].
I normally would also go to Wiki for really good basic information. I don’t have the bias that Academia has against internet sources. But if your point is that we are not arguing over definitions, by posting a very long definition, then you have made your point. Bravo. I am now more bored with this discussion than before.
Here is the definition everyone else in the English speaking world uses:
- a state of disorder due to absence or nonrecognition of authority.
Sure, you can write a wiki page making it look like a scholarly community of free thinkers and self-coordinating Galtsville but that doesn’t change the definition. Anarchy is at its core a philosophy of each man doing what is right in his own eyes. This is a system that has never existed on Earth anywhere where humans are gathered together into groups larger than 2.
Well said, i’ faith, neighbour Verges: well, God’s a good man; an two men ride of a horse, one must ride behind. — Much ado about nothing, Shakespear.
More from Anon:
I have read your blog for a bit, No One, and you seem a small government conservative or libertarian who seems somewhat displeased with creeping tyranny. Do I misunderstand you? Or are you happy with the status quo? I am not being rhetorical, I genuinely want to know.
To take your points individually,
- Libertarian Calvinist. I think I mentioned that. I think it was a very clear explanation.
- I am displeased by creeping tyranny, entrenched tyranny, and hypothetical tyranny. I see the greatest potential for the creation of hypothetical tyranny is the state of anarchy which will precede the next government transformation in North America. I cannot stress it enough so I will use bold caps, EVERY HUMAN WITH AN IQ ABOVE 65 AND A SOUL SHOULD STRIVE TO DO EVERYTHING POSSIBLE TO AVOID THAT CONDITION EVER BEFALLING ON THEM. Why? Because I have seen it play out in human history over and over again and it NEVER works out well for most people. The creation of human misery on a vast scale always accompanies anarchy. Always.
- I am not happy with the status quo. Nor am I so angry at my fellow man that I want to watch it burn. The proper place for human trade of power is within stable political systems that are characterized by institutions that support and defend lawful order in the population. Thus I can disagree with you politically without fearing you will trump my political arguments by clubbing me in the back of the head.
Now, what I wonder is why if as Og contends that anarchism in any form is worse than any form of government and that if the state is a beneficent body, why is it that nearly ever inch of planet earth is carved up as some sovereign states holding to control and tax as it sees fit. Are y’all OK with that? Do you enjoy being taxed to support all kinds of garbage programs that transfer your wealth and energy to things you fundamentally disagree with? Or to use the vernacular do you like being Uncle Sam’s bitch or tax donkey?
While this comment is directed at Og, I will answer it. Yes, anon, Anarchism, in any form is worse than the current form of government we presently have. It’s not like Anarchism hasn’t been tried. Throughout the 19th and 20th century, it swept Europe. But it’s roots were always the disenfranchised outsiders wanting to cast off the political chains of the aristocracy. The French Revolution is an example, leading to the imposition of the Committee of Public Safety, thousands of aristocrats being beheaded, tens of thousands of peasants starving to death. Again with the Russian Revolution. Again with the Pre-WW1 Anarchist movement. Again with the hippies in the USA as well as multiple versions of religious communes. In every case, the system of anarchy is immediately taken over by people at the top who entrench themselves in the new order as masters over all. There will always be taxes and there will always be people in power spending it in a way you don’t like. You cannot escape it except to become King and force everyone else to give you taxes to spend as you like. This is the pattern for all of human history. thus any argument that starts with “end the state” only demonstrates that you are irrational. It would be far better for you to embed yourself into a large political party and work to insert a poison pill into otherwise innocuous legislation here and there. Example, see how the environmentalist movement lobbied congress to establish the EPA, then took it over as an organ of power to crush their enemies. Or how animal rights whacko-jobs got the endangered species act passed to protect Pandas, manatees and lots of animals in other countries… then used it to shut down development everywhere on an industrial scale and as a way to milk developers for money to “do studies”.
I’d like to see an experiment of something different. If it was a great step forward in human civility and progress to create limited government that amounted to more freedom for mankind isn’t anarchism another logical step forward in that march?
No. It isn’t. Anarchism is the storm before the bigger storm. Anarchism is the fury and the rage that burns away the old political order so that the new one can take it’s place unopposed. This experiment has already been tried and failed. There is nothing new under the sun. There are no communities of purely voluntary associations because they cannot exist and they cannot survive. Why? Because men are corrupt. It is in their very nature to be corrupt and the thing that makes them less corrupt is the fear of punishment (by God, by the law or by custom). Anarchism is the rejection of those authorities so each man may do what is right in his own eyes. This is something I understand quite well. Any new attempt to create anarchy as a system of government will have absolutely predictable results: An explosion of human misery.
Anarchism is nothing more than the politically impotent wanting what they cannot have. They want to change the rules to suit themselves. Tough cookies, anon. You can’t. You don’t have the power.
Anarchy is only the next logical step if you, like Lenin or Mao, want to kill off the existing power structure so you can take their place. It is NEVER logical for anyone who already lives in a modern constitutional republic.
While I think the Constitution of the United States was a great step forward in human society is leaves much to be desired. Look around. I stand with Spooner on this one.
But whether the Constitution really be one thing, or another, this much is certain – that it has either authorized such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it. In either case, it is unfit to exist.
Spooner is a moron. If you have a blank page to create your own government, as our founders did, whatever you come up with would either be a king or a constitution or some sort of blend. There are no other choices. Your answer to an insufficiently powerful Constitution is to remove those few weak fetters that do exist on the power of government? There is nothing wrong with the Constitution that cannot be fixed by reading it and electing men of good conscience who will agree to be bound by it in office. Spooner doesn’t start with the proposition of needing a government and designing one from scratch. He starts with “anarchy is the answer”, now lets find some conditions to support that position. He is not a great political theorist. He is a tool.
If we don’t question these things and push boundaries we make no movement towards greater things. Could have kept the king after all.
Question all you like. Look at the full tapestry of human history. Accept the evidence you see with your own eyes. Reject the oldest of sins, “You shall become like God”. You will conclude, as I have, that anarchy is delusional at best in its ability to fulfill all it claims to be able to accomplish, and at worst, just another form of tyranny.
Troll? Not hardly, Og. I haven’t called anyone names just tried to engage in a legitimate conversation on the values of stateless society.
There are no stateless societies. There never have been. There never can be. By claiming there can be, you deny basic human nature and history. You are a child wanting to be the parent so you can stay up late and have ice cream for dinner. Your rebellion is impotent, foolish, and not even in your own best interest. Another thing history teaches over and over is that the leaders of rebellions spend the blood of their followers lavishly and those followers have zero say in the society that gets created afterwards.
On a positive note. If you want “less state”, there are 5000 steps you can take along that path, each of which will be beneficial to you and to others and you never have to mention “anarchy” to get there. You can even be a Bernie Sanders Socialist and chip away at crony corporatism funded by the state.