What I have often found the most bewildering about many anarchists is their rather naive presumption that the specific institutions they claim preference for will necessarily produce the results they want.
Most anarchists of the Left claim to prefer some kind of “direct democracy” of the New England town meeting variety. But when the town meetings of New England had real force the results were that of a Calvinist theocracy-not exactly a manifestation of the left-anarchist ideal.
Anarcho-capitalists favor institutions that are completely privatized: private police, private courts, private law, private prisons. Otherwise known as feudalism. One can just imagine systems of private police and private law pitting pro-lifers against abortionists, Muslims against Christians, blacks against whites, “Aryans” against Jews, feminazis against misogynists, and so forth.
It was after studying anarchist theory for a number of years and coming to understand the weaknesses of these approaches that I came to fully embrace the pan-separatist or anarcho-pluralist outlook. Ultimately, the only way to achieve peace between forces with irreconcilable differences is through territorial and institutional separation. Otherwise, a strong arm state is needed to prevent society at large from degenerating into warring factions. Of course, some anarchists argue that the solution is to maintain a cultural foundation that is conducive to one’s preferred form of “anarchy.” For instance, left-anarchists will insist that the way to avoid having direct democracy degenerate into theocracy is the development of a culture that rejects “hierarchy,” which is more or less a euphemism for the usual laundry list of Isms and Phobias. But the flaw in this approach is its universalism. Otherness is inevitable, as the intra-left-anarchist race war that transpired between Anarchist People of Color and Crimethinc a while back illustrates. Here we had the edifying spectacle of blindly fanatical anti-racist, anarchist, people of color engaged in open combat (fortunately non-lethal, so far) with blindly fanatical anti-racist, anarchist, people of non-color (un-color?). Can we assume that following the anarcho-leftoid revolution the various ethnic factions will start attacking each other with their respective “Smash Racism” signs?