Response to: The 5 stages of becoming an anarchist
Maybe you’re no longer an anarchist. But TRS? NO WAY.
Some day, however, you might be.
On the road to Right Stuff, there are five stages. And unlike ancap applications of the Kübler-Ross model, you will not come out posting profile pictures looking like a goofy motherfucker.
Let me begin by stating that I believe everyone reading this article will at least share my desire for a more orderly and prosperous society than what currently exists in the West today. With that said, my criticisms and considerations are mainly directed at libertarians.
I should preface that I myself have been a libertarian since 2007 or so. I supported Ron Paul in 2008 and would have liked to have seen him get the GOP nomination at least in 2012. Besides that I have read, watched and studied libertarian ideology since then, so don’t believe a return criticism that can be leveled at me is, “he just doesn’t understand libertarianism!” In fact, it is my understanding of the subject that informs these criticisms.
Libertarians desire a society that has more personal liberty, economic freedom and less “nanny state” molestation of the individual. These are indeed admirable goals, but their ways of achieving these are mistaken. Many think this can be done through either nonviolence and the non-aggression principle, or a sort of Fabian philosophical drift.
Seeing nothing new under the sun, I’ve come to think, as The Joker put it, “that is the one rule you’ll have to break to know the truth.” To paraphrase him, the only sensible way to live in this world and achieve your goals is not through the absence of rules(ers), but by not allowing everyone to decide on the rules.
Western politics in one picture. (Credit: Arman J.)
News Flash: Shortly after the President mentions he may work towards getting some milquetoast restrictions passed someday, a photo taken last year at Camp David emerges. It appears that between vacations and appearances on David Letterman, our First Citizen picked up a shotgun and fired for the camera.
(As an aside: It must suck having all spontaneity systematically removed from your life.)
Anyway, the responses to this picture were to be expected: criticisms of the President’s political stances, silly critiques of his firing stance, comparisons with Bush, accusations of hypocrisy, accusations of him being the best thing since sliced bread, random bleatings from Murray’s Wasted Life…
Among my supposed “fellow travelers,” one finds a recurrent theme: the cultural/economic system known as “Capitalism” is almost universally considered an ideal means toward achieving true human progress.
Some theorists venerate Capitalism as a culmination of human action, the apotheosis of society; others regard it as an amiable, though sometimes amoral and conflicting, system for achieving social ends; but almost all regard it as a necessary means for achieving the goals of mankind, a means to be ranged against the dopey and/or murderous “public sector” and often succeeding in competitions of wits with their peers (and little else).
With the rise of Democracy, the identification of Capitalism with society has been redoubled, until it is common to hear sentiments expressed which violate virtually every tenet of reason and common sense, such as “Everything you love you owe to capitalism.” The useful collective term “individual” has enabled an ideological camouflage to be thrown over the Capitalistic realities of a Postmodern West, a Geist without a Zeit.
What if libertarianism is a useful tool for a government that avoids revolution through materialistic diversion?
What if a libertarian can be a racist or an egalitarian, a socialist or a conservative, a statist or an anarchist? What if you have been too busy arguing over who is the Truest Scotsman to notice how broken the word is fundamentally?
What if your independent and voluntary participation on an-cap/soc/nat message boards and those rational purchases of silver coins and solar panels amount to a herd mentality?
What if concepts like “individuality” are part of a manufactured narrative that serves less to empower, and more to anesthetize?