Against the State: Forming Bridges between the Anarchist, Libertarian, and conservative movements

Excellent article from “Jay Batman” and the Gonzo Times. I don’t necessarily agree with everything in this article, but these are the kinds of questions anarchists need to give more thought to.

The anarchist movement, splintered as it is into various sects and subsets of theory and ideology, must come to terms with reality: over the course of its history, the state has grown stronger, more prevalent, and more entrenched than ever before. Anarchism, in all of its subsets, has yet to grow beyond marginal appeal, even though it holds a truly appealing core set of beliefs: the individual maintains primacy above all else, and has total sovereignty to make voluntary associations according to his or her own interest. In this day and age, where the rights of individuals are assailed by states whose bureaucrats and leaders have lost sight of the reality that states are established by individuals to act in the interest of the individuals within the state, it is astonishing that anarchy has not advanced beyond marginal appeal.

There are many reasons for this, not the least of which is an infantile obsession some anarchists have with demonstration as the chief means of resistance. One will not stop the encroachment of the WTO with a street protest. The state is a failure, plainly and simply enough, but anarchists have failed to effectively articulate this to the masses with a message that identifies the specific failures of statism while simultaneously putting forth an easily digestible alternative to statism. It is one thing to identify the failures of statism; it is another thing entirely to articulate alternatives that are conceptually palatable to a mass audience.

Part of the problem is that anarchism has always been the purview of two particular groups: the fringe and the intellectuals. Being an anarchist appeals to those who see themselves as already outside the state, but if a machine such as the state is to be undone, it will be undone from within far more quickly than from without. This requires engagement with the state, and with other ideological schools of thought along those lines where anarchy, libertarianism, and conservatism converge. There is but one line where all three schools converge: the reduction of state power.

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