It’s easy to misunderstand what people mean when they use the term anarchy, or call themselves anarchists. We may have precise definitions of words, but complete agreement as to how to interpret certain words is nearly impossible in today’s world. Most anarchists I talk to keep it pretty simple. No one gets to rule anyone else. No masters, no slaves. What do we mean by rule? Using lethal force to compel. The use of force against others (except in self-defense) is a crime. In fact, forceful behavior, violating others, even if by theft or fraud, is the only true crime.
General misunderstanding of the anarchy/liberty movement is due in large part to the general understanding within it that “government is the problem.” This anti-state, anti-establishment mentality is common amongst freedom advocates because it is largely a fair critique. However, it is not quite precise enough. At higher resolution, we see that it is not the larger concept of governmental systems that is problematic; it is the use of police force against others for anything other than an actual crime that we oppose. Actual crimes meaning violations of others through violence or theft. By empowering our elected administrative bodies to use police action against the population for any reasons they deem fit, we are essentially contracting ourselves into bondage.
Those who submit their lives to the mandates of others are known as vassals, surfs, or slaves. Humanity will be treated as such for as long as we consent to it. Our movement represents the withdrawal of consent by those who have awakened from the programming, who no longer wish to be ruled.
Consent is a very important concept. In our daily interactions, either with people we know or with strangers, how often do we violate the consent of others? Seldom, if ever. Most people already practice the very principle anarchism is emphasizing. We tend to agree to it among ourselves, but then we make exceptions for the state when it uses force to compel obedience to the law. The actions of our government, of all governments, are inherently illegitimate because they use the threat of force to raise revenue and to enforce their policies.
We have not created our system of governance collectively; it has been created by a few who have designed things so that they may extort and rule over us. This is especially true in the secondary and tertiary layers of government, such as the intelligence communities and the defense industry, sometimes called the deep state.
The simplest way to put it is that we are being ruled by warlords. The evidence is all around us. For some it falls from the sky like an angel of death, crushing families and lives, maiming the innocent and destroying precious infrastructure. And all for what? Because we still have not understood. This is what results when we consent to being ruled. 260 million lives were ended by government in the 20th century, and they say that anarchy would be chaos.
When thinking about anarchy, some imagine a lawless society without order or enforcement of any kind, but this is not what the liberty movement is advocating. A chaotic struggle would surely ensue if the current versions of government suddenly disappeared, but complete abolition of the administrative functions of government is not what any sane anarchist is proposing. Most of us concede to the need for community organization and some kind of law enforcement, even in a free society. However, the police must only exist to deal with real crimes. They don’t get to exploit you. They don’t get to stop and search you. They work for you. A redefinition of what laws police may enforce is a crucial step towards achieving a free society. It is a much more conceivable proposition than complete abolition of government, too.
Words and what they mean is such a critical part of how reality is created. The word “crime” has a strong association for most people, and yet it has two layers, and the distinction between them is very important. True crime, as mentioned above, is a violation of someone else’s property or body. The so-called crimes of violating the mandates of the state are a different thing all together. It is far less obvious that we should use lethal force to get someone to pay a parking ticket, even to those who believe in the idea of the state. It is a clever trick to put two things that are not the same at all into the same category, lending the legitimacy of one to the other. This has helped normalize what is ultimately, violent, mobster behavior being carried out under the banner of law.
If we were to limit the power of collective decision making bodies so that they could not coerce obedience, the only “government” services we would get would be the one we wanted enough to pay for. Only that which is popular would succeed. Only by serving needs would anyone be empowered. We must rewrite the protocols of our entire social fabric, and we must do it soon. Thankfully, many are already hard at work to bring about this transformation, and the seeds being sown will surely blossom into wonderful garden in which our grandchildren and their children may someday walk.