Make Anarchism Great Again

By Nicky Reid aka Comrade Hermit

Exile in Happy Valley

Something very stupid is happening in America. People have never been more disgusted with their bullshit form of government and yet they’ve never been more devoted to engaging in the partisan bullshit that defines it. It is a weird hot mess of bipolar enlightenment and social lunacy that quite frankly baffles me. Poll after poll after poll shows voter disenchantment with America’s rust-rotten two-party oligarchy to be at an all-time high, especially among young voters and yet voter turnout in recent elections has been higher than it’s been in decades, especially among those same wisely disenchanted young voters.

What in the high holy fuck is going on here? The state has clearly flunked every existential test of faith you can possibly conceive of, from Covid to climate change, but the same kids with a front row seat to these epic gorings just keep on lining up to ride that feral bull. This is precisely the kind of polluted ecosystem that should be ripe as rabies for another rise in anarchism, but no one can seem to relate to salvation. So, they lose themselves in the electoral market for saviors instead.

Some of this sickness is just good old-fashioned partisan hysteria. While people may be increasingly aware that both parties are in league with psychopaths, as long as one party can convince them that the other party is just a little bit more psychopathic than they are then they can frighten them into voting to stop the other guy’s serial killers with serial killers of their own, so long as they can convince them that their own serial killers have a slightly lower body count. It’s a degenerative mental disorder in the form of a time-honored American pass time known as the lesser of two evils. Vote Bundy and keep that rancid cannibal Dahmer out of the White House!

But even this national disease isn’t quite malignant enough to explain America’s growing gulf between disenchantment and engagement. To grasp this maddening conundrum, you really have no choice but to consult the American voter’s mortal enemy- history. America isn’t the first liberal democracy to go down with the ship of a failed state with dry land in sight. This is pretty much what liberal democracies do, but they usually require the narcotic of authoritarian populism to keep their passengers sedated as they drown. The pop historians on the New York Times Review of Books junket would have you believe that authoritarian populism is some kind of rejection of their precious liberal values, but the truth is actually quite the opposite.

Liberalism is little more than a grand authoritarian illusion itself. You keep a nation of perpetual children so dazzled by such a wide array of shiny choices that they fail to realize that every door leads to the same prize of total state control. It’s just fascism in a wide variety of festive colors to match your mood. At the end of the day, it is always the same cartel of elitist pigs on top while we the people are free only to decide from a diverse array of scraps at their feet.

When people finally catch on to this charade and sooner or later, they almost always do, the illusion of safety is always the first fairy tale to fall. People realize that there is no real invisible blue line to keep them from knocking off the local liquor store and things get a little nuts before they can eventually stabilize. The ensuing chaos, however temporary, mixed with the recognition of liberal impotence that fostered it tends to leave desperate people thirsty for supermen to save them from what the state has groomed them to fear most- themselves.

It is from this primordial gumbo of shattered dreams that the authoritarian populist arises to save the day, usually in the shape of some folksy messiah preaching about the need to show those evil elites who’s boss. They can come from the right or the left. They have taken the form of fist-swinging daddy figures like Donald Trump and Benito Mussolini, and they have taken the form of softer patriarchs like FDR and Bernie Sanders. But here’s the rub- they are all owned, lock, stock and barrel, by the same goddamn elites that they pretend to confront while the cameras are rolling.

It sounds like a conspiracy theory, but this is how they all magically to rise to power through the same crooked system they supposedly oppose, and this is why their solutions to a failed state always seem to take the form of consolidating more power into that same fucking state. When the illusion of democracy fails, the elites double down on the authoritarianism that has always lurked quietly just behind its facade, and they use the language of populism to convince the masses that this was really their idea all along.

But this isn’t to say that language is bad in and of itself. Populism at its very core is essentially just a form of class consciousness that exists beyond the confines of the left-right paradigm. It is an untapped well of righteous rage that comes from generations of being robbed and just because the state has become adept at tapping into this raw fury doesn’t mean that it can’t or shouldn’t be tapped into for the purposes of smashing that state. In fact, I believe that the failure of anarchists to do just that is precisely why we have been effectively rendered into such a tragically marginal force. It didn’t use to be this way.

At the turn of the Twentieth Century, anarchism wasn’t just a force to be reckoned with, it was the force to be reckoned with. For about forty years, we were the premier threat to elite omnipotence worldwide and we embodied this threat because we embodied the voice of the poor. Anarchists dominated the Labor Movement back when it was still a black-market phenomenon. We went to war with the coal barons of Appalachia and gave their National Guard goons a run for their money at Blair Mountain. We wacked autocrats across the expanse of every colonial powerhouse in the Western World and the threat we posed to the system is the only reason why workers in this country are afforded any human rights whatsoever. The elites had to fork over the eight-hour workweek just to keep their necks out of the guillotine. So, what fucking happened?



1 reply »

  1. RE: “While people may be increasingly aware that both parties are in league with psychopaths”

    I’m afraid that the rabbit hole is much deeper than you think it is. Both parties are occupied and saturated by psychopaths. In fact by FAR the most vital urgent and DEEP understanding everyone needs to gain is that a mafia network of manipulating PSYCHOPATHS are governing big businesses (eg official medicine, big tech, big banks), nations and the world — the evidence is OVERWHELMING and TOTALLY IRREFUTABLE (see “The 2 Married Pink Elephants In The Historical Room”… ).

    Isn’t it about time for anyone to wake up to the ULTIMATE DEPTH of the human rabbit hole — rather than remain blissfully willfully ignorant and play victim like a little child?

    And psychopaths are typically NOT how Hollywood propaganda movies have showcased them. And therefore one better RE-learns what a psychopath REALLY is.

    “Separate what you know from what you THINK you know.” — Unknown

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