Why Am I an Anarchist?

Simply put, I am a selfish bastard. My ego is too important to me, and no one values my life more than I do. No one ever will.

I value my life, and consequently I value the freedom to control my body and property, as those two things directly allow my life to persist. If I am the one who would value these things the most, how could I willingly let anyone else control them? How could I want anyone else to be responsible for my life?

The docile and meek excuse non-self-government because they believe they are still free, so long as they play by the rules of their leaders. They believe that the United States is free because of its constitution and elections. They maintain (with false confidence) that Americans are still free because of the constitution, even if they think there are unjust laws and an imperfect system altogether. However, the extent to which the current state encroaches on our freedom, no matter how small, is of no consequence in this regard. The fact that the state is the ultimate arbiter of conflict-resolution means that there is no limit to their infringements of liberty. Playing by their rules, even if you want to live in such a way, can still have you staring blankly at a firing squad.

Moreover, as long as the state is the ultimate arbiter of conflict-resolution, or “the law”, any freedoms that individuals exercise are in reality only given to them by the state. When the state can take anything away from you, what you have is only what they allow.

Those first treading the path of anarchy (or any radical political philosophy for that matter) will slowly begin to realize the absurdity of the status quo. The reality is that modern discourse is not like any kind of normal discourse at all. There are no real arguments or original ideas of any kind. The “radical polarization” and “rise in extremism” that purportedly exists today only appears to those willing to accept the narrative manufactured by the corporate press. Anyone deviating from the orthodoxy will be labeled a radical or an extremist.

Probably the best example of absurdity in the system is the claim that elections make people free. The idea that voting is a free choice is completely detached from reality. Not only must you accept the results regardless of your vote, but an individual vote is completely inconsequential. If there were a room of hostages given the choice to vote for their next hostage-taker, it would be ridiculous to say they were free, even if the hostage-takers were hospitable. It would be even more absurd if there were so many hostages that an individual vote could never influence the outcome. Not to mention, in such a situation, people often vote in self-defense. Any choice made under threat of violence can hardly be considered free.

The final step to anarchy is the denunciation of the initiation of force. 

I was driving the other day when I saw a nasty accident occur in the middle of a bustling intersection near my home. It happened in the middle of a busy afternoon. Two people immediately pulled up next to the smashed cars and helped the injured as best as they could (presumably calling 911 first). While they assisted the people in the crash, the traffic near the scene went slowly around to avoid interfering in any way. All this without any official direction from an authority.

Man is not so stupid of an animal that all his interactions need to be dictated by some demagogue or central authority. In fact, it is not even typical in our society. The initiation of force is absent in almost every daily interaction among people. The state is the only institution that can use force on an inconceivably large scale and escape judgment.

I am an anarchist because I am not a utopian; I cannot believe that a state, or monopoly of force, can solve man’s problems. Take away all its smoke and mirrors, and the state is nothing more than a gang of criminals. They are criminals who prey on children, the sick, and the weak. I am an anarchist because I despise these violators of human rights and long for the day when society is finally free. I am an anarchist because I am proud, and will never acknowledge a false authority, especially one so despicable.

Save as PDFPrint

Written by 

Owen Alexander is a writer primarily interested in political philosophy, economics, and history. Some of his major influences include Ayn Rand, Hans-Hermann Hoppe, and Emma Goldman.