Anarchism and Pandemics

His Goofiness throws in his two cents worth. This is actually a pretty good article, and I agree with most of its contents, the usual Goofy Gillis hysteria that someone, somehow, somewhere might do something “reactionary” or un-progressive aside. Given that I am an anarcho-pluralist/pan-anarchist, I am sometimes asked if I consider those in the anarchist milieu that I criticize most frequently to be legitimate anarchists, e.g. Gillis, Alexander Reid-Ross, SJW anarchists, Antifa anarchists, etc. The answer is yes, of course. The great paradox of pan-anarchism is that even anti-pan-anarchists can theoretically be pan-anarchists.

The objective of pan-anarchism is merely to uphold individual liberty, free association, voluntary pluralism, decentralized local autonomy, voluntary cooperation, federalism, and mutual aid, i.e. traditional anarchist principles. Just as there can be village and parish shirearchies for cosplaying anarcho-monarchists and anarcho-feudalists, so can Alexander Reid-Rossland be a Russophobe-bolo (anarcho-McCarthyism), and so can Goofy Gillisland be an anti-national-anarchist national-anarchist commune of Weimar reenactors, which is no less legitimate than the Civil War reenactors.  A startup society of SJWs would be no less legitimate than a startup society of crypto-currency and blockchain enthusiasts. And anarcho-progressive liberalism as a form of voluntary self-organization is no less legitimate than those practicing anarcho-Batmanism in the Gotham City-state.

By William Gillis

Center for a Stateless Society

Anarchists face the question: Without nations and states wouldn’t a free society be especially ravaged by pandemics? Who would enforce quarantines without rebuilding a centralized institution of violence?

It’s a fair question.

Anarchism isn’t about a finite goal, but an unending vector pointed towards increasing liberation. We’re not in the habit of “good enough” compromises, we want everything. However it’s always worth talking about prescriptive or aspirational visions to shake out what is and isn’t possible with freedom. “How might we solve this without depending upon the state or relationships of domination?” is always a useful question.


Categories: Anarchism/Anti-State

Leave a Reply