an-ar-chy: 1. a state of society without government or law. 2. a theory that regards the absence of all direct or coercive government as a political ideal and that proposes the cooperative and voluntary association of individuals and groups as the principal mode of organized society. (Websters)
When I embarked upon a political journey about 35 years ago, I was sort of a self-styled anarchist. I hadn't given a whole lot of thought to what it was I actually believed in, but I knew things were screwed up in America. It wasn't hard to see that the social and governmental systems had failed to achieve the results they claimed.
My premise for self-governance at that time was that I should be able to do anything I wanted to do as long as I didn't hurt anyone else. This premise is simple and is based on the Golden Rule and the notion of live and let live. I still hold to this premise.
Thirty-five years ago, I looked around and saw society's leaders (political, religious, business, academic, etc.) as a collection of idiots, cranks, liars, thieves, killers, thugs, busybodies, do-gooders, and fools. Thirty-five years later, nothing has changed much. If anything, the political leaders have become worse and society's other leaders have become more compliant to the dictates of the state.
America is Animal Farm writ large. Our democracy is a sham based on illusions and managed perceptions. As James Bovard points out in Attention Deficit Democracy: The American system of government is collapsing thanks to ignorant citizens, lying politicians, and a government leashed neither by law nor Constitution.
Perhaps H. L. Mencken got it wrong when he wrote: Democracy is also a form of worship - it is the worship of jackals by jackasses. Even Benjamin, the cynical donkey in Orwell's Animal Farm, knew a sham when he saw one. Maybe a better description of the religion of democracy would be the worship of wolves by sheep, or even the worship of jackbooted thugs by clowns.
I was attracted to the Libertarian Party around 1980, thinking that somehow politics and government could cure the human condition. Later, I would hold positions in the state and local affiliates of the Libertarian Party. I proudly called myself a Libertarian. I even voted for Ron Paul in 1988 for President.
The Libertarian Party has since drifted away from long held fundamental principles regarding interventionism and taxation. In 2005, the party issued an Iraq Exit Strategy that seemed to reject noninterventionism. Many candidates and Libertarians came to embrace the Fair Tax, a scheme to fully fund the corporate welfare/warfare police state. Hell, by 2008 they even nominated Bob Barr to run for President.
I grew weary of arguing basic libertarian principles with political opportunists and disgruntled conservatives that claimed to be pragmatic libertarians. These people were telling me that I was an anarchist and not a libertarian. Well, maybe so but I'm flexible. I'm willing to settle for much less government and much more freedom. Besides, I'm in good comapny.
I heartily accept the motto, "That government is best which governs least"; and I should like to see it acted up to more rapidly and systematically. Carried out, it finally amounts to this, which I also believe - "That government is best which governs not at all"; and when men are prepared for it, that will be the kind of government which they will have.
The definition of anarchy from Webster's Dictionary at the top of this page excludes other definitions which I find to be to objectionable. These excluded definitions are commonly held by the average person and include confusion, chaos, and disorder due to the absence of government. My dictionary defines anarchist as a person who seeks to overturn by violence all constituted forms and institutions of society and government, with no purpose of establishing any other system of order.
Wow! That definition is not how I wish to be labeled. I'm not ready to spend the rest of my life at Guantanamo Bay. Confusing the meaning of anarchy further are the different types of anarchy. Wikipedia lists about 15 different types of anarchism.
Anarcho-capitalism sort of describes my political leanings, but this term contains two bad words - anarchy and capitalism. The word capitalism causes many people to cringe. This is not surprising as American capitalism as it currently exists more closely resembles fascism or mercantilism than a free market. Even talk of free markets brings about fear and loathing in those indoctrinated to believe the state must control the economy. I've never really liked the term left-libertarian too much either as I don't really see myself as left or right.
I could say that I believe in voluntary economic and social exchanges, a voluntaryist, but it will not be long before propagandists for the state vilify that term. Besides it is rather vague, as is the label agorist. I could say I am a freedom fighter, but one man's freedom fighter is another man's terrorist. Ali Massoud once suggested the word abolitionist to replace anarchist, but this would be confusing to most people.
I resigned from the Libertarian Party in 2006 and briefly held the dubious distinction of being the national chair of the Boston Tea Party (BTP), a virtual political party. I joined this political party out of disgust with what the Libertarian Party was becoming and because of the BTP platform:
The Boston Tea Party supports reducing the size, scope and power of government at all levels and on all issues, and opposes increasing the size, scope and power of government at any level, for any purpose.
Besides being the world's smallest political platform, the BTP platform provides for an incremental path to no government. But, I never identified myself as a Boston Tea Partier. I hold no illusions that a political party will ever bring about the type of society that I wish to live in. In fact, I've come to despise political parties. They only give legitimacy to government.
So, what the hell am I? I've never been a Republican or Democrat. I could live with "classic liberal", but that has the word liberal in it which now means democratic socialist, and I have no use for government anyway. I'm not a progressive or a Green, although I don't disagree with some of their goals - I just don't think government is the solution. I am a libertarian of sorts, but that word has come to mean nothing as anyone to the left of Michele Bachmann and to the right of Michelle Obama can be a "libertarian", according to many so-called libertarian types who cling to the state.
I often identify myself as an anarcho-libertarian to libertarians so they understand I do not support the welfare/warfare state. But the term anarcho-libertarian is not for public consumption here on the big Animal Farm. Freedom fighter is out and so is abolitionist.
I guess I could call myself an advocate for freedom and leave it at that, but that lacks the veneer of intellectual respectability. Anyway, the most repressive political hacks from both the left and right claim to embrace freedom. I think I'll start identifying myself as a rejectionist if any of the livestock on this Animal Farm should ask me what I am.
Perhaps one day I'll write the Rejectionist Manifesto. Until then, I will just say that I reject the notion that any idiot, crank, liar, thief, killer, thug, busybody, do-gooder, fool, or government has the authority to force me to do anything (or not do anything) as long as I am not harming anyone else. This might be the world's smallest political philosophy.
The late Robert Anton Wilson, founder of the Guns and Dope Party (the best of all parties), pretty well summed up my theory of rejectionism with this:
Little Tony was sitting on a park bench munching on one candy bar after another. After the 6th candy bar, a man on the bench across from him said, "Son, you know eating all that candy isnít good for you. It will give you acne, rot your teeth, and make you fat."
Little Tony replied, "My grandfather lived to be 107 years old."
The man asked, "Did your grandfather eat 6 candy bars at a time?"
Little Tony answered, "No, he minded his own fucking business."
Little Tony gets it. I wish more people did. Fuck the government.
This article contributed by Tom Blanton of Richmond, Virginia.