One of the banes of the anarchist existence, especially online where anybody can say anything, and basically nobody cares about accountability, is the idea that anarchists simply want chaos, and they simply want to “do whatever we want,” that being usually associated with an assumption that these things that we want to do are unethical. It’s exactly as asinine and substance-free as the pseudo-Christian aphorism that the only reason people are atheist is because they want to sin. Maybe some people are anarchists for unethical reasons, but there are several problems with that which I mean to highlight.
Additionally, there are a series of problems with the idea of anarchy in the public consciousness, among them embedded in the skulls of the vox populi being that we want disorder and chaos, and are opposed to rules entirely. This is untrue, but that doesn’t stop the common person from citing the first definition that comes up on Google when they search it, and looking no further into the ideology, or the history thereof. We live in a society where people want instant answers and instant gratification, and where they’re told that you can simply get answers by asking an AI a question.
A surveillance state where wiretaps in the form of personal assistants know everything about you, and can hear everything you do, and where people are okay with that, because they can make jokes with them, or play Skyrim. Well, life isn’t that simple. And I mean to show some complexities and nuances which the state would rather you not know.
First, let’s get down to some brass tacks, and define some terms. When defining terms, I like to start with etymology. The places words come from are hugely valuable to understanding the roots of certain philosophical schools and the like. And it takes a few generations for the state to totally distort the meaning of something, but if you look back to where it began, you can see what the original intent was, you can watch this distortion happen, and then move against it.
I think a good first term to define is “rule”. For the purposes of this piece, I will be using the Online Etymology Dictionary. Its breakdown of the word “rule” is as follows:
- 1200, “principle or maxim governing conduct, formula to which conduct must be conformed” from Old French riule, Norman reule “rule, custom, (religious) order” (in Modern French partially re-Latinized as règle), from Vulgar Latin *regula, from Latin regula “straight stick, bar, ruler;” figuratively “a pattern, a model,” related to regere “to rule, straighten, guide” (from PIE root *reg- “move in a straight line,” with derivatives meaning “to direct in a straight line,” thus “to lead, rule”).
So basically, it comes from words involving moving straight. It’s designed to keep you on a path, and it does not need to come from a vertical hierarchy. You can decide your own path and write your own rules to stay on it. Furthermore, it comes from similar words to religion, and it would be pretty disgusting to assume that following God is directly comparable to obeying a government. One is a personal decision and a lifestyle choice. One tries to control your personal decisions and your lifestyle choices. And the state regularly opposes religions because they have a tendency to disagree with the established order in one way or another. Also, you can move from one religion to another, and there’s nothing inherently within those religions which means that you will be harmed in any way. But if you don’t follow the government’s rules for moving from one place to another, or if you decide that you don’t want any of them, you’re going to be physically threatened and violated, or worse.
The truth is, rules are personal choices in their purest form. You choose which rules to follow and which ones not to. And you can make your own rules without becoming a government. Every transaction we do is a rule, because we are making boundaries and guidelines for our exchanges. Every time we say no to somebody else, we are establishing a rule. “Don’t tread on me” is a rule. And similarly, we can oppose entire classes of things by creating general rules or overarching principles in general.
So why is that relevant? Well, to say anarchists are against rules is a contradiction in terms from this understanding. Anarchists are not against rules; that would be prima facie absurd. This is because the idea of anarchy is a rule in and of itself. It is a rule against entire forms of society, and it is a rule against supporting entire forms of society in one’s personal life. Those forms of society are the statist ones. One cannot be an anarchist and a statist at the same time. They have each made their own conflicting and personal rules, and the two groups of people cannot share the same rules, at least when it comes to that element of society.
If anarchists creating rules sounds strange to you, it’s probably because you have adopted the same framework for what constitutes a rule as had become vogue one and a half centuries later. The state started to claim monopoly on the meaning of the word “rule.” Instead of being a personal decision, these rules had to be handed down from the top, and the definition became, “control, government, sway, dominion.”
The state is essentially definable as a monopoly on force. They dictate what kinds of force can be used for what, and if you disagree with their dictation, they will use more force than you can muster in an attempt to stop you from doing what you’re doing. This can ultimately result in violence, destruction, and death. They want you to be very concerned about what small-time criminals are doing, and which stores they’re robbing right now, or what riots they just started, or what they’re vandalizing or littering or destroying, or what terrible substances those homeless people are injecting, or… but the state is a massively destructive force, and that’s the whole point of it.
They are where the buck stops.
It is because of this monopoly that the state will try to monopolize culture, because politics is downstream from culture, and if they can do that, it’s much easier to inject their politics into society, and keep them in exactly the same position in which they’ve been so comfortable. So, of course they would try to make it seem that the only acceptable rules are either issued or agreed upon by them. It makes it much easier to control society and prevent anarchy when it seems like the anarchists want no rules, which would obviously be chaos. Without any personal rules, if you couldn’t even say “don’t do that to me,” any number of foul things could happen to you. But since when did you need the government’s permission to set your own boundaries? If you need time to think about that, feel free.
It was around the end of that 14th century that this monopoly took full effect, and the term “ruler” was coined. It meant:
“one who rules or governs,” especially in reference to superior or sovereign authority
So you see, anarchists do not oppose rules. Anarchy is a rule. Anarchists oppose rulers. A bastardization of the idea of rules on their own. One that took over a century to become the norm in terms of the word use.
Now, what constitutes a ruler? Well, clearly, it would be somebody trying to control another. This control would have to overrule that person’s own personal rules, because otherwise, it’s not rulership. It’s just that person’s rules, and it so happens to comport with the views of another. So, then, a ruler would be somebody who attempts to exert by force their will on somebody else, thus preventing them from making their own rules. Somebody who wants a monopoly on rules: a rulership.
There is another term for this, and that term is archon. OED defines that as “one of the nine chief magistrates of ancient Athens, 1650s, from Greek arkhon “ruler, commander, chief, captain,” noun use of present participle of arkhein “be the first,” thence “to begin, begin from or with, make preparation for;” also “to rule, lead the way, govern, rule over, be leader of,” a word of uncertain origin.” And that’s where the term anarchy comes from:
1530s, “absence of government,” from French anarchie or directly from Medieval Latin anarchia, from Greek anarkhia “lack of a leader, the state of people without a government” (in Athens, used of the Year of Thirty Tyrants, 404 B.C., when there was no archon), abstract noun from anarkhos “rulerless,” from an- “without” (see an- (1)) + arkhos “leader” (see archon).
Funny how if you look at this word’s etymology, you do not see anything involving chaos at the root of it. That’s because it was only correlated with chaos later. The origins of the term were nothing of the sort, but that didn’t stop the state from claiming the word for themselves yet again. You see, since politics are downstream from culture, they come later in order to parasitically leech off of already existent words. And in this case, yet again, a century later, the word alchemically transformed into the creature we know today… “From 1660s as ‘confusion or absence of authority in general’.”
You should be noticing a pattern by now, where these words started out as descriptive, and eventually became prescriptive fear-mongering tactics by the state. Now, somebody just has to bring up that something “Would Be Anarchy™” if certain laws weren’t in place, and that person will be applauded by a bleating audience of sycophants, ready to insinuate and accept that the state is the only thing standing between the people and bedlam. But this is far from the truth.
When I brought up rules earlier, I made reference to the fact that the state’s rules can comport with one’s own. Most people don’t become anarchists because they want to rape somebody. Nor do they become anarchists because they want to murder, or anything of the like.
So many times I’ve been in conversations with people, and they have assumed two things: that anarchy is something believed by people who simply want to be able to do whatever they want, and that what they want to do is fundamentally evil because they are proposing a reduction in the state. These two assumptions are not rooted in fact usually. But that doesn’t stop them from being very popular, and especially popular as ways to deflect criticism of the state from an anarchist perspective, and also attempts to emotionally browbeat somebody into giving this stuff up, because we wouldn’t want to side with those terrible people by opposing the state, now would we?
But this is a highly fallacious chain of assumptions and in the end, it ignores facts, like the fact that most people don’t want to be viewed as a murderer, a rapist, a thief, or a variety of other things. So social censure would be enough to keep most of those people from doing these sorts of things. Other people have a stronger moral sense because they don’t want to view themselves that way. But both of these people have the same fundamental motive for having the same fundamental set of rules against doing those things, and they don’t need the states permission or approval in order to form their own ethical frameworks and understandings, and not go back on those. They already have these rules, and most people don’t murder, rape, and steal. Most people aren’t committing domestic violence, or arson, or anything of the sort. A significant amount of the population simply believes that without this group of people telling them what to do, their rules would suddenly change.
How absurd is that? I don’t need some governing body to tell me what’s right and wrong, and to forcefully compel my compliance. If you do, I would say you’re the reason we need the state, and I shouldn’t have to pay for your consequences. I shouldn’t have to shoulder the costs of unethical people who need that control. And I certainly shouldn’t have to accept a bunch of arbitrary and bullshit laws because these people accept this control framework which doesn’t have to be bound by any real sense of ethics, and can simply order people to do what they want, compelled by the threat of that force monopoly, regardless of how much sense it makes. They should just be controlled, and the rest of us should be left alone or in whatever groups we choose to align with.
And this is a prime example of what I’m talking about. People have already made these rules which govern their conduct. If the state happens to agree with them, that’s hunky dory I guess, but it was never required to begin with. These people made these decisions for themselves, already. And that’s exactly why anarchy works. Because people will spontaneously make their own order. People will create the frameworks that make sense to them morally. And if they are immoral people, they will be immoral even in the presence of a government, and occasionally, because of the privileges attached to a government position, be attracted to that position, so that they can have the force monopoly necessary to do what they want, while what they want is unethical.
Anarchists were never opposed to rules. We have a rule in our name. No archons.
There are a bunch of other rules that anarchists can also choose to add to their repertoire. But there’s at least one, and that invalidates all of the people who think it would just be disorder. There is already the basis for order with the rule that comprises the baseline of the philosophy. It’s just not a statist order, so the people who are well invested in the current system would rather you think of it as disorder, rather than a baseline of an order at the helm of which they are not.
But here’s the real kicker. Because of the actual definitions of these words, paying respects to what the people who call themselves these things mean and what the words actually started as, if somebody wants to be anarchist, they can’t control other people like that. They can’t be unethical in that way. It’s a disqualifying factor to be an archon if you want to be an anarchist. This should be obvious, but for some reason it’s not. And if somebody is trying to be an archon over you, you have every reason and every ethical ability to oppose that person in whatever way necessary.
That means that anarchy is not simply people doing whatever. It’s people following their ethical framework and trying not to do things which would destroy their ability to exist in the anarchist world, because if anarchist society took root, it would be because the culture had significantly shifted to a point where people did not want to be controlled, and didn’t want it enough that they did something about it, and completely eliminated it.
Politics is downstream from culture, and so is anti-politics. After all that work, they’re going to throw it away and just become archons for kicks? After all that work, they’re just going to go back to life as usual, and be controlled by archons? I don’t think so.
Accusing anarchists of being unethical actors or favoring disorder is the boot licking repetition of the propaganda people have been served since they were extruded out of state-sponsored and controlled education systems, which really amount to prisons and indoctrination camps, encouraging them to follow the state’s orders, and rely on the state to make their decisions, including ethical ones. They were passed through a system of bells and tones and treats and timed bathroom visits and so much more. It’s literallymind control, the likes of which was used to train dogs, and the original purpose of the model was to encourage nationalism in Prussia.
It’s pretty amusing to me that so many people in America talk about how other countries are cruel for having reeducation camps and the like. Because yes, those countries are, and we should definitely oppose, on an ethical level, dictatorship (without justifying the state’s existence by using them for interventionism, of course). But the US isn’t pure in that regard and relies on the same kinds of models in raising the children here. So, if from cradle to grave people learn to accept this control system, it shouldn’t be a surprise that they believe they do not want to live without it. And that doesn’t even get into how many fathers the state damages, by destroying their income sources, or jailing them, or telling them they’re not good enough because they didn’t follow the state’s orders closely enough, so that the father is taken out of the picture somehow, and a single mother has to be the breadwinner, meaning she relies on the state to babysit her kids in these indoctrination centers. With that, it’s no wonder a lot of kids grow up thinking they need the state. The state has become the surrogate parent and replaced the family. It’s Stockholm syndrome, and it’s literally reified by the (CIA supported) search engine Google every time somebody searches the definition and comes up with anarchy being disorder.
And then, the kids grow up getting history lessons that were written by the winners, that being the state. The state has constantly been the winners of all bloody struggles and have constantly pushed their own propaganda of what it would be like without them, despite being the all-time world heavyweight champions of mass murder, and more. The state gets to use the state’s definition of anarchy and psychologically browbeat children into accepting that, so they grow up thinking there’s no possible alternatives, despite the truth being that the state has constantly crushed alternatives, because they’re not actually interested in ethics. It’s not about getting a good set of moral rules. It’s about, “do what we say, or we’ll fuckin kill you.”
So, adults have to figure out ways to accept this conditioning and the state bombards us with consumerism and pills and other sorts of drugs, some of them even legal like cigarettes and booze, in order to keep us sedated and keep us from thinking about the constant looming threat of violence that exists if we disobey them, and try to live a little bit of anarchy.
It could be peaceful, but they won’t let it happen like that. And if you don’t do what they say, the real chaos will start. Wars, famine, slavery, everything you can think of in history that is evil was either perpetuated or accepted by the state…with very few exceptions.
It’s not anarchists that are the chaotic ones. It’s the state. And they have to constantly get you to think about literally anything else in order to keep that up. Because if the people started to think about all the unethical things they’ve been forced to accept, they might start to want to do something about it. And there are more of us than there are of them. But as to the moral questions, two quotes come to mind.
“How does something immoral, when done privately, become moral when it is done collectively? Furthermore, does legality establish morality? Slavery was legal; apartheid is legal; Stalinist, Nazi, and Maoist purges were legal. Clearly, the fact of legality does not justify these crimes. Legality, alone, cannot be the talisman of moral people.” – Walter E Williams
“Anarchists did not try to carry out genocide against the Armenians in Turkey; they did not deliberately starve millions of Ukrainians; they did not create a system of death camps to kill Jews, gypsies, and Slavs in Europe; they did not fire-bomb scores of large German and Japanese cities and drop nuclear bombs on two of them; they did not carry out a ‘Great Leap Forward’ that killed scores of millions of Chinese; they did not attempt to kill everybody with any appreciable education in Cambodia; they did not launch one aggressive war after another; they did not implement trade sanctions that killed perhaps 500,000 Iraqi children. In debates between anarchists and statists, the burden of proof clearly should rest on those who place their trust in the state. Anarchy’s mayhem is wholly conjectural; the state’s mayhem is undeniably, factually horrendous.” – Robert Higgs
These are the kinds of things the state wants to keep you distracted from. They don’t want you to think about these things and remember how unethical they always have been. They want you to focus on petty criminals and people angry with cops. They want you to think that the January 6th tantrum, which had no concrete goals, no mission plan, and no goal of anarchy, was an “insurrection,” and also 9/11-PearlHarbor-Columbine x1000. Even though those people would be happy with the government existing if their guy was in charge.
They want you to ignore that they have funded every major terror threat they now claim to oppose. They want you to ignore that they imported many of the drugs that they now claim to “wage war on” in the inner cities. They want you to forget that their prohibitions are what allow the cartels to exist that they claim to fight. They want you to forget a long host of things that they created in order to fight (remember how bad the Taliban were?). Because if you do that, you’re not paying attention to all the ways they destroyed you. And you certainly wouldn’t want to fight back.
So, they want your eyes glued to the screen and they took over platforms which were previously more open to the people, so that they could push corporate news to the top of all trending tabs, and force their agenda to be the only agenda acceptable.
That’s who they are.
Propagandists, pedophiles, murderers, environmental destroyers, rapists… the worst of the worst. That’s why Epstein was so connected with so many world leaders, because they all know the unethical things are happening, and they participate in them. They don’t stop them. So is it any surprise that they would want you to believe that without them there would be chaos? It’s almost like that’s a threat.
“Hey it may not be perfect, but I’ll tell ya what, you keep getting uppity, and there might just happen to be some chaos. So be a good boy and pay your ‘protection pay’. That way things can stay… mostly peaceful. Capische?”
Our mission is to spread agorism and connect the counter-economy.
– Sign Up for our Newsletter –