Ten Reasons Why I Am an Anarchist 10

1. I agree with the Augustinian view of the state as a robber band writ large.
2. I agree with the Stirnerite view of political obligation. Why should I obey this guy just because he’s the president, king, mayor, etc.?
3. I agree that democracy is a system where five wolves and sheep vote on what to have for lunch.
4. I agree that the death and destruction perpetrated by states make that of individual criminals look trivial by comparison.
5. I agree with George Bernard Shaw that democracy replaces the rule of the corrupt few with the rule of the incompetent many.
6. I agree that the state exists to monopolize territory and resources, protect an artificially privileged ruling class, expand its own power and subjugate and exploit subjects.
7. I agree with Hayek that the worst gets to the top.
8. I agree that the insights of social psychology show that most people are creatures of the herd.
9. I agree that the herd is the permanent enemy of the superior individual.
10. I agree that values are subjective, that life is ultimately a war of each against all, and that survival of the fittest and the will to power are the only true laws.

10 comments

  1. i love how your ten reasons for being an anarchist are all culled from disparate ideological sources. I still have no clue as to why I’m an anarchist beyond pre-rational aesthetic preferences.

  2. I agree with all of the propositions but the last one. I believe we have innate pro-social impulses that drive us to cooperate and even sacrifice ourselves for the good of others. This allows for spontaneous social order and is a reason anarchism could work.

    I also hold out the hope that I’ll find a satisfactory philosophical proof that there’s something objective about concepts like justice. I know the Objectivists believe they have one. I just have never been patient enough to study up on it. Epistemology is quite boring and seemingly impractical. I can’t seem to get myself to care enough to prove to myself that the computer I’m typing on actually exists outside of my mind.

  3. “I believe we have innate pro-social impulses that drive us to cooperate and even sacrifice ourselves for the good of others. This allows for spontaneous social order and is a reason anarchism could work.”

    I agree with that partially. I think human nature is to look out for number one first, then immediate kin and offspring, then wider circles of peers, and then primary reference groups, and then wider collectives, and so forth. The self-sacrificial qualities demonstrated by some may be a derivative of the herd psychology. The herd psychology seems strongest during times of danger, which may explain the extreme loyalty combat soldiers will often show towards one another. Ironically, it may also explain the extreme group loyalties found among some members of criminal organizations.

  4. “I agree with all of the propositions but the last one. I believe we have innate pro-social impulses that drive us to cooperate and even sacrifice ourselves for the good of others.”

    It’s important to note that those who have stronger pro-social impulses generally end up being taken advantage of by those with more egotistic personalities.

  5. I like how you separate your Übermensch/”superior individual”/anarch/einzige from the mindset of the master/wolf/Fuhrer/Redbeardian power trip; many, too many, people conflate the two.

  6. Nick,

    I agree that there are “freaks,” whether by nature or nurture, who lack pro-social impulses and can take advantage of the good will of ordinary people. I would guess that in a unrestrained State, they are more able to take advantage of others than they would be in a limited State, e.g., a primitive jungle village. Two very prominent anarcho-capitalists, Lew Rockwell and Tom Woods, are devoted Catholics and presumably believe in the doctrine of original sin (Catholics since Aquinas believe that human nature is less evil than Calvinist do, but nevertheless that believe it to be evil). Their belief in anarcho-capitalism must have something to do with their belief in the ability of a completely self-regulating society to keep “the wolves” (the sociopaths) at bay.

    Dave

  7. I suspect Tom and Lew would make the same arguments as Malatesta. If human nature is evil, then for God’s sake don’t any humans in charge of a Hobbesian state.

  8. Number ten destroys any credence to the ideology by the other 9. However, number ten alone is a very powerful philosophical caveat to be reckoned with. Unfortunately, any moral subjectivity invites connotations of the anti-dogmatic group known as nihilists. And you might just have a little too much conviction for the likes of them.

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