Center for a Stateless Society
Can there be such a thing as a “conservative anarchist?” Yes, as is true of any broad political label – socialist, democrat, libertarian, the list grows longer every day as the far right tries to appropriate the language of other tendencies. Ultimately, one can identify with whatever values they want, this is the foundation of many views I hold. After reading through “The Conservative Anarchist,” it appears that Dakota Hensley and I both share this general principle, and I’m sure there’s many other areas in which we might broadly agree. Where we appear to differ is in our conception of how individual values should be regarded.
Let’s consider a hypothetical society in which the state is gone, borders have been abolished, and communities are created by freedom of association. If I, a nonbinary person, am threatened by a growing contingent of transphobes in my immediate vicinity, and I’m not willing or able to leave, I should be able to use my resources and connections to create a support network to defend myself against any perceived threat. It also works in my best interest to use whatever means I have available to make my social environment safe for me; if this involves applying pressure to people who don’t respect peoples’ pronouns or claim that “gender is determined by biology,” that’s entirely consistent with anarchism. Hensley has a much different view on this than I do: “Anarchism is about building a society in which no one forces their beliefs on others. As long as you respect the views and lives of others, your personal views don’t matter.”