To those of us who are not anarchists, that headline sounds like an oxymoron. Thus far, I haven’t seen evidence that we’re wrong.
I frankly haven’t been exposed to that many anarchists.
The few I have been exposed to (such as this comment from Steve’s Facebook page) espouse such thoughts as:
I don’t live in, and never have, any territory where the Constitution was signed. The people who lived where I do, at the time, were free and independent people who were conquered by a government run amok.
In what way does that imply my consent to such conquest?
As to the people who don’t understand freedom, they have been brainwashed by the same government for the past 150 years to believe they can’t have freedom and that anarchy=chaos.
Simply because they have become inured to the cult to which they belong doesn’t grant them the power, being the majority, to enslave me as a minority.
Or this one, from the Comments section of one of yesterday’s posts:
All you have to do is explain why it is appropriate to initiate violence to accomplish your social goals. How your personal philosophy justifies pointing guns at people because they did something you didn’t like that causes you no harm.
Or this bit of argumentation (again, from Steve’s Facebook page):
Stop making excuses for your Constitution fetish. cure it.
Or this (somewhat) thoughtful “philosophical challenge” from Crispin Sartwell (hey—he tried to make it thoughtful!):
My irritating yet astounding new book Against the State (SUNY Press) argues that all the arguments of the great philosophers (Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Hume, Hegel, Rawls, Nozick, and Habermas, among others), are, putting it kindly, unsound.
The state rests on violence: not the consent of the governed, not utility, not rational decision-making, not justice.
Not only are the existing arguments for the legitimacy of state power unsound; they are shockingly fallacious, a scandal, an embarrassment to the Western intellectual tradition.
So I issue a challenge: Give a decent argument for the moral legitimacy of state power, or reconstruct one of the traditional arguments in the face of the refutations in Against the State.
If you can’t, you are rationally obliged to accept anarchism.
I’d offer a huge cash prize, but I’m broke.
Henceforward, if you continue to support or observe the authority of government, you are an evil, irrational cultist.
You’re an anarchist now, baby, until further notice.
I’m assuming that there are anarchists who can describe in fairly non-combative terms what they believe and why. So please—tell us your stories.
What exactly do you believe? and why? and how did you come to that belief?
What about your beliefs bothers you? What about your values or relationships or safety needs—whatever—is not yet answered by your philosophy of government (or, in your case, non-government)?
NOTE TO MY NON-ANARCHIST FRIENDS: Let the anarchists speak first, please.