Who Are You Calling an Anarchist?
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También en español “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 also I 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 we will have.”
—Henry David Thoreau, American Anarchist
Remember, remember the 5th of November…an appropriate date to consider current events in the Occupy movement in relation to traditional concepts of minimalist governance. Guy Fawkes and his co-conspirators, though opposed to the reigning government, were not anarchists. They were terrorists, who would have created chaos had they succeeded in blowing up Parliament and killing King James I in 1605. Those who benefit from the status quo encourage public fear of true anarchy by calling it “chaos,” a concept quite opposed to anarchy.
Anarchy is an approach to the organization of society without permanently established titular leadership. Mon-archy is rule by one person. Tetr-archy is rule by a group of four. An-archy is rule by no person. Many political philosophers, acting as water-carriers for depraved elites, have pretended that social chaos will be the final result of anarchic government; however, history shows that anarchy can be highly effective and anything but chaotic. Unfortunately, such successes are never celebrated by the established elites, including those who report and write history, because they disprove the fallacious principles on which command-oriented society is based. Invariably some conspiracy of challenged elites steps in and violates all principles of human decency and constitutional law to suppress such groups, as we see now happening in many Occupy locations.
Guy Fawkes was no anarchist. The purpose of the Gunpowder Plot was to bring the Roman Catholic church back into control of the English monarchy. That would have been a step backwards into rigid and brutally authoritarian control of every element of English society. Guy Fawkes is more akin to today’s false religionists of fundamentalism who today work to make the United States into a mock-christian theocracy. Fawkes was a simple terrorist, bent on creating as much chaos as possible without rational purpose or valued outcome.
How times and popular images have changed. Once a kind of post-Halloween bogeyman to be hanged and burned in effigy on the fifth night after All Hallows’ Eve, “the old guy” gradually became a more popular and sympathetic image in the public mind. Children’s books were written. The Fawkes legend grew in the direction of his being a positive rebel against the ruling elites, and now the Occupy movement uses a modern caricature of his image to represent the 99%.
At the same time the idea of social chaos was conflated in the public mind with social organization based on anarchist principles—the most basic of which is that government is precluded from using violence against its own citizens. Such would surely be a far cry from the massive ongoing, and allegedly Federally facilitated, conspiracy of urban police to terrorize citizens exercizing their right of protest.
Anarchy is a viable and effective form of government to the extent that citizens freely embrace principles of mutual respect, freedom of expression, and social equality. Not all people are equal in intellect, knowledge, social capacity, and leadership ability. Anarchy does not attempt to suppress the contributions of such people, but integrates them into the larger fabric of society, helping good ideas succeed. But this will not work well in a world where people refuse to work together across class and social lines to address real challenges and refuse to acknowledge a social duty to provide protection to the most vulnerable.
The problem is basically lack of love between people—of mutual trust. When people refuse to love others, but mistrust them or even abuse them for personal gain or for the egotistical satisfaction of a failed self-image, there must be some means of conflict resolution. Conventionally this is done by appeal to a higher authority. Some may appeal to their idea of god; however, those who seek a defined and prompt material or legal remedy will probably appeal to human governmental power. In a functional anarchy, this appeal would come before the local, voluntary, communal “administration” governed by group wisdom. There is no need for oppressive human governmental power in a society founded on love and mutual trust as opposed to greed and mutual fear. Government as it exists today promotes government interference, itself producing litigatable or regulatable conflicts, and creating more job opportunities for those who relish imposing arbitrary groupthink nonsense on their fellow humans.
The ideal state, in which the collective community is dynamically self-governing, does not require rigid administrative, judicial, or legislative compartments. When the collective is required to react it develops any governmental structures needed using methods appropriate to specific situations. Such structures persist only until task is done. They work to find as complete as possible solutions to real problems and shun cowardly incrementalism when larger change is required. They are the antithesis in organization and function of the myriad agencies of traditional human governments, including many of the United States.
This vision of a perfected human society is what is actually meant by anarchy. Anarchy has long been viewed as the ideal form of government by those who oppose coercive aspects of social regulation. Although a few anarchist societies have flourished, they have invariably been violently suppressed by all other political groups—capitalist, fascist, catholic, communist, protestant, socialist, christianist, republican, islamist, democratic, imperialist, etc., all of which depend on physical and psychological violence directed against their own constituents to maintain their power and privilege.
There is no component of our society that does not fear the rise of successful anarchy. And this is the cause of the systematic suppression of erotic freedom by elites, for erotic freedom is the key to the final expression and realization of a truly anarchic society.
In our next post, we will explore in depth how sexual freedom is becoming the true foundation of a new social system based on liberty, justice, freedom, and equality for all who will embrace love, live truth, do good, and make beauty.