From the Editor’s Perch…

anarchism2

Anarchists:  You Probably Are One

           

            Rush Limbaugh, (to start right out on a polarizing note), used to gleefully point out that even the most successful liberals were more than likely 95% conservative in the matter of their own affairs.  They were conservative in their business dealings, in their financial matters, in how they raised their families, and in matters of education, where they lived, how they worshipped, how they comported themselves, and generally in how they managed their day to day affairs 24/7.  And this was because conservatism ‘worked’.  Conservatism worked because it bore the collected wisdom of countless generations of human beings when dealing with much the same matters we deal with today in different guises.  In his combative way, this was actually Rush Limbaugh ‘reaching out’.  He was saying, “Conservative thought is not your enemy.  And if you consider your own lives for a moment, you’ll agree.”

Now think of all the moments of your day when you are not being coerced, nor coercing someone else.  This includes all those periods when you are exhibiting self-discipline; when you are meeting an obligation; when you are conducting yourself as you would prefer.  This can include family time, work time, recreational time, …just about any time.  These times of the day, are those times when you are living as an anarchist.  They are not without structure.  They are not without pleasure.  They are not without effort.  But they are rewarding, and comprise those moments which give meaning to a life.  And these are the periods and moments of your day when you are living as an anarchist.  So I would say to you, “Anarchism is not your enemy.  And if you consider the wealth of your own life, you’ll agree.”

 

Oftentimes, a main objection to anarchism is the question: “Well, how would it work?”

My answer would be: “Well, how does your day work?”

Anarchism is already successful.  Anarchism is already popular.

But what most people might say to this answer is, “Yes.  But how would an anarchist government work?”

And the answer would be:  “Only coercive entities can describe to you how something will be; how something WILL work.   Anarchists are against coercion.”

“Well then,” the response might be.  “I don’t see how an anarchist government could do the things a government has to do in order to sustain law and order.”

And I would point out to you that the anarchism we already practice in our daily lives sustains law and order – much more so, than there is in the power of our government to do so.   In fact, it is widely held that if just 10% of the populace refuses to obey a law, then the law is unenforceable.  10% is the effective power of coercion.  More than 90% is the effective power of natural (anarchistic) living practices.

 

About here, most people will lose patience and say, “This is ridiculous.  We just can’t do away with the government lock, stock and barrel, and expect anything but chaos to ensue.”

To which I would heartily agree.  The only thing which can be done overnight is daylight.  An anarchic society must be created brick by brick.  To kick away government safeguards overnight would be catastrophic.  But what the anarchist can say to the government ‘statists’ on a day to day basis is, “I would rather do that activity myself.”

Take the U S Postal Service for a prominent example.  Every time a citizen uses Fedex, or UPS, or e mail, or faxes something, or goes on Facebook, or the Web, or handles his financial matters or purchasing online – he is in effect saying to the government, “No thank you.  I would rather attend to this myself.”  RIP Postal Service.  The government shrinks.  Liberty expands.

And this is just one example.  There are hundreds of examples of anarchists (whether they know so or not) at work each and every day, telling the government in one form or another, “No thank you.  I would rather attend to this myself.”  This is how anarchism gradually replaces government.

 

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9 Responses to “From the Editor’s Perch…”

  1. yacman Says:

    So, Schnoodles, how do you conceive of running a military under an anarchist system? How about a judiciary? Should all international diplomacy be abandoned? Should corporations be allowed to pollute at will? Should corporations be dismantled?

    • schn00dles Says:

      Well, Mr. Yacman. Our anarchic militias beat the British in the Revolutionary War. It’s been said that the founding of the United States is based on Natural Law, which underlies the reasoning in the Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights. Diplomacy is paramount in Anarchic thinking, as is anything which prevents coercive solutions. And corporations are anarchic structures. It’s governmental/corporate cronyism which offends anarchists. And I can’t see how anarchists would enjoy pollution anymore than anyone else. But, I’m reading and plan to delve into a lot of your concerns in later posts. So thank you.

      • yacman Says:

        Maybe, in the future, you can explain why a corporation is an “anarchic structure” but a government is not. And since anarchists would not “enjoy pollution anymore than anyone else” how exactly anarchists would enforce environmental compliance without an EPA or some equivalent.

      • schn00dles Says:

        Well, the answer to the first is simple. A corporation is voluntary. Each person within a corporation can leave at any time.They do not have the power of life and death over you.
        The answer to the second is the one I love the best as it cuts to the heart of how anarchism differs from the run of government entities. That is, when a suitable answer appears we roll back the government regulations. Anarchism doesn’t hobble the future to the past.

  2. rilaly Says:

    I think a move “towards” an anarchic style of government isn’t such a bad idea. We’ve been moving towards more government control for over 100 years. I don’t think a move back, towards the center, is such a bad idea. The counterpoint to this is the “pothole” argument. If you say you want less government control, those that favor the current system substitute your desire by exaggeration. “So, you’re saying that you don’t want anyone to put out your fires, that corporations should feel free to pollute, and that you don’t want your potholes fixed?”

    The point is that most government action involves further action, until government incrementally begins to encroach on individual freedoms. Is it a good thing for the government to regulate corporate pollution? It is, but how far do they take it? When does the EPA step over a line from protecting the populace to being anti-corporate? When do their incrementally intrusive regulations begin to become so cumbersome that corporations begin to find it difficult to compete in the world economy, and they decide that it’s in their best interest to move their manufacturing base to another country? The point is that as we have progressed toward government progression, our government has progressed, until corporate pollution becomes a secondary concern by comparison.

    • schn00dles Says:

      That too much government can hurt a country, is a good point to make.

    • yacman Says:

      I would like to hear how, in the absence of government and international cooperation, that anarchism would address the problems of global nuclear proliferation or global climate change. Anarchist thinking has no way that I can speculate to address these “tragedies of the commons.” I think much more constructive thinking asks the question: What activities are best regulated by the government and what should not be subject to government regulation?

      • rilaly Says:

        “What activities are best regulated by the government and what should not be subject to government regulation?” This is a very good theoretical question, but the problem is that it seems the only way to limit the scope of government is if government officials decide to limit themselves in this manner. The obvious reply would be the people, or The Constitution, but neither of them have been very successful in imposing these limits. As it stands, the govt will continue to grow unless acted upon by another force. To those that disagree we quote Larry King: “Those that have a problem with government have NEVER been able to answer the question of how America became the greatest nation in the world.” For America to become “better” to listen to Larry, unleash the government.

      • schn00dles Says:

        My reply to Yacman’s question: “What activities are best regulated by the government and what should not be subject to government regulation?” Would be that this is exactly the question which anarchist thought actively addresses. Anarchism is a government limiting political activity. Anarchism chews away daily at the governmental body. I’ll get to this is a later post (I hope), but there is a split between the ‘old’ anarchist’s who wanted to destroy government in order that there be breathing room – and the newer anarchists would would surf ahead of the wave of government and create its dominion before government arrives. The global internet might be an example of this latter movement.

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