Distinguishing Anarchism from Totalitarian Humanism: A Three Question Litmus Test

For a number of years now, I have attacked sectors of the anarchist milieu for either explicitly or implicitly failing to distinguish between anarchism (a stateless anti-authoritarian society) and what I call “totalitarian humanism” (an all pervasive state that ostensibly rules in the name of enforcing “progressive” values, perhaps reinforced by vigilante mob action). I believe these three questions would go along way to distinguish sincere anarchists from totalitarian humanists attempting to usurp the banner of anarchism. Ask any anarchist the following questions, and observe what they say:

1. In your version of anarchism, would small business owners (or cooperative or communes) be allowed to refuse a to bake a cake for a gay wedding?

2. In your system, would conservative institutions such as, for example, Bob Jones University with all of its sexism, homophobia, fundamentalism, implicit racism, etc. be allowed to exist?

3. In your system, would the South African community of Orania, a de facto white separatist Afrikaner commune, be allowed to exist?

If they say “yes” to these three questions, then you have a genuine anarchist or at least a libertarian. If they say “No” to any of these, then you have, at best, a progressive statist or, more probably, a full-on totalitarian humanist.

This simple three-question litmus test would seem to be an effective way of weeding out left-fascist imposters from the anarchist milieu.

1 reply »

  1. The full quote of C. S. Lewis should be posted. It is most instructive.
    ““Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”

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