Even as I continue to try to understand what true liberty means I am often hit with the many strawmen arguments against anarchism, some of which I once shared. There is a dissonance in the idea of true liberty. So what is Anarchism? I am not sure any one person can truly define it as it has been written about and pondered upon by many great minds, all whom vary slightly on both its definition and purpose. Michael Malice sums it up as “you don’t speak for me” and I think that may very well be the best way to look at it. To simplify I look at it as “no rulers, not no rules”. This is an important distinction. While listening to Michael Shellenberger on the latest JRE he describes the CHAZ as anarchists. I took real exception to that label.
So what is anarchism actually the solution to? It is the solution to people who live far away from you telling you how to live your life, how to spend your money, how much money you owe them, and how much of any given substance you are allowed to own or imbibe. In other words it is true self ownership. That does not mean no consequences or rules. That means you act in accordance with your own needs and if those actions infringe on another person’s right to self-ownership, then I think we all understand what the solution to that is also. It is the creation of the proverbial “polite society”. Right now there is a bill in congress that would monitor your bank accounts for all transactions over $600. This is done under the impetus of preventing tax fraud from the billionaires. Anyone who has a brain can see this is obviously not aimed at billionaires. It’s aimed at the family that has a successful garage sale or the waitress with a side hustle pulling in a few extra hundred a week. This is the opposite of liberty.
The country of America was freer under colonial rule than the citizens of these United States are now. We rebelled because we weren’t represented yet we were taxed, but in truth the colonies had been aching for independence and the taxation was simply the excuse to make it happen. Until British occupation every non-slave in the colonies enjoyed an autonomy beyond any other European at the time. Slavery really was the fatal flaw in the calculation that can’t be ignored though.
So why do we continue to argue with each other over who our new ruler will be? Why do we accept edicts from sociopaths in congress living in a city far way, who don’t understand the needs of the communities they purport to represent? Why should I look to Tom Cole, my representative in Congress to understand what it is I need in my rural community when he has never even visited my nearby town? Why should one man, be it Trump or Biden get a say so in where I work and how I earn my money? Those are all my decisions to make for myself and my family.
Do I think anarchism is the be all end all? No. The state is probably inevitable but that’s not an argument against self-ownership. Minarchism is the true utopian ideal but it’s also one that seems the most practical. It’s what the framers and revolutionaries of 1776 envisioned. It’s a system that on paper generates more freedom for more people than no government at all. So why do I call myself an anarchist? Because perfection is that which we should seek even though we understand it is unattainable. To me anarchism is that perfection we should seek. True self-governance. Reality gets a say so. Minarchism, truly limited government at the local level is the system that would appeal to the largest number of people. It would fix many of the issue with no authority. Community would be the primary mode of enforcement with government filling in the gaps, which is the exact inverse of what we have now. Citizen police, citizen journalists, citizen representatives. Citizens who care about each other and take action instead of demanding some large out of touch organization steal from one group to give to their chosen group, creating conflict that is sure to become violent at its end state.
I don’t want to share a government with the other 50 states because I don’t want to be beholden to the sociopaths that run the federal government sent there by those states. Why do you?