Sunday, May 09, 2010

Shane Solano has written a concise anarchist critique of the institution of government. The Ventura County Reporter has seen fit to publish it. We live in interesting times.

The irony is that the statists (Democrats, Republicans, liberals, neocons,fascists, communists, etc.) call the anarchists utopian. As if there's something practical or realistic about putting your faith in a protection racket.


Gosh, Tony, I don't get the logic here -- if anarchists would prevail they would, by definition, install anarchy. Anarchy would very quickly lead to someone, whether foreign or domestic, bringing 'order' to the chaos, usually by rather brutal means. The former anarchists would then be forced to choose some government/gang to hopefully reinstall some degree of peace and personal liberty; this usually requires a few thousand people to die and a large chunck [sic] of whatever economy the anarchists previously had. If and when things stabilize, some anarchist will start talking about the evils of big government, etc., etc. Then the madness can begin all over again. Sheesh . . .


"Install" anarchy? I've traveled in anarchist or quasi-anarchist circles for 25 years, and I've yet to meet an anarchist argue for the installation of anything by anybody. It is the statists who are doing all the installing. They're forever installing their centralized mayhem apparatus and calling it peace.

What do anarchists want? Quite simply this: that the rules of common human decency (e.g., "Thou Shalt Not Kill," "Thou Shalt Not Steal," "Thou Shalt Not Bear False Witness") apply across the board. But the State owes its very existence to an exemption from the rules of basic human decency. Its employees draw their salaries from funds extorted from the taxpaying masses.

The State invokes the Greater Good to justify the extortion. It creates monsters it alone can destroy. The State claims that if it doesn't go around threatening everybody's life and property, we'll go around threatening each other's life and property. As if the State could actually protect us if freelance criminality were as ubiquitous as it claims. As if human interactions weren't largely self-policing. As if the State weren't the greatest and most disordered monster of them all--"a gang of thieves writ large," as Rothbard called it.

I'll take my chances with the freelance criminals. Their acts are localized and sporadic. I can take measures to avoid them and protect myself. Criminal government is quite another kettle of fish. Its criminality is centralized and ubiquitous. To add insult to injury, it claims to protect my rights by violating my rights. What a racket.


In my edition of Webster's New World Dictionary( New World indeed!), the first definition for anarchism is "the theory that all forms of government interfere unjustly with individual liberty and should be replaced by the voluntary association of cooperative groups." I think it is a common misconception that the application of this theory, anarchy, necessarily implies political disorder, violence, and lawlessness – indeed the historical evidence to the contrary appears to be scant.

This sad fact places on the shoulders of true anarchists an immense responsibility for care and diligence lest we arrive at chaos and violence, a state of affairs ironically much like our current situation. The anti-federalists, who nearly prevailed in the constitutional debate, opposed our current Constitution and feared the tyranny of a central, powerful government.

In many ways their fears have been justified. Anarchy is not a system to be installed – it is a way of life to be instilled, guarded, and, above all, nurtured.




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