Bold Anarchy

Here’s a comment I made recently in a discussion where I was calling out some anarchists for their lack of boldness when it comes to embracing the implications of their ideas. Thoughts?

“I’ve long believed that when Anarchistan finally arrives it will probably have a lot of internal goings on that might well motivate many anarchists and libertarians to have second thoughts about it all, lol. I think Anarchistan would probably look like the Icelandic Commonwealth on the right end, Barcelona 1936 on the left end, and the Greek cities in the middle. And in addition to the massive shopping malls and private communities envisioned by right-libertarians and hippie communes and anarcho-syndicalist unions envisioned by left-libertarians, there might also indeed be whitopias, blacktopias,browntopias, etc. There might be enclaves of animal rights fanatics who ban any use of animals even for food and there might be others than allow bestiality brothels. Some enclaves run by religious fundamentalists may ban miniskirts so that no child ever runs the risk of accidentally observing a bare snatch and others may legalize pedophilia. I could envision entertainment companies hiring two thugs to fight to the death on pay-per-view with the winner receiving 20 million dollars. There will probably be plenty of folks driving without licenses or insurance, street corner vendors openly selling crack or heroin, people selling all sorts of quack medical products, and urban centers in Anarchistan may well become centers of sex trafficking and things like that. There might be Koresh-like cults popping up all over the place. Some neighborhoods and towns might become the defacto self-governing enclaves of the Crips, Bloods, or MS-13s. I’m willing to accept all of this in order to be rid of the state and I can’t say I really give a damn if any of these things take place, but I know quite a few anarchists and libertarians who would likely be horrified by much of this.”

2 replies »

  1. Absolutely! In other words, freedom implies tolerance. Radical tolerance. Equal liberty for all requires equal tolerance for all. I’m bothered by a couple of the practices listed. For example, I cringe at the idea of bestiality brothels, of furry mammals being raped or tortured in, e.g., dog-fighting rings. But then, I have no problem with rooster fights (something which was a fun tradition over several generations in my Arizona family till it was outlawed in 2000). And I imagine there are plenty of animal rights fanatics who would like to imprison me for eating cow once a week and owning a couple dogs and cats. Soooo, yeah. Pan-archy all the way! As anarchist philosopher Crispin Sartwell said in a recent blog post, we anarchists should consider should embrace a “new taxonomy”: “there are two political philosophies: hierarchical and anti-hierarchical, statist and anarchist, squishy totalitarian and resistant. but whereas the squishy-totalitarian side funnels into a single situation – a frozen economic and political and knowledge hierarchy – the anarchist side is thousands upon thousands of possibilities, as many as there are possible voluntary arrangements: a million mutant communities. don’t think of it as single thing, think of it as all possibilities but one.”

  2. So important to make this point, Keith, to wake people out of their ideological slumber where all they have to do is sleepwalk along the beaten path.

    It’s important also to point out that all of the above is, indeed, ALREADY HAPPENING, legal or illegal. Bestiality is happening now, ideology be damned. White people segregate themselves with ease, paens to diversity offered without any hint of hypocrisy. There’s only so much ideology can do, folks.

    If a center is possible, if there is a consensus to be had, if actual progress can find purchase in the soil of this weird planet, it can only emerge authentically out of such a free for all, where license is universal and therefore agreeing to forgo certain freedoms has some concrete meaning to people.

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