Inspired by Sadie
, comparing relative viewpoints on sex and politics. I know there's a caveat to this, this isn't meant as an argument against her, but I think she pretty accurately captured something I want to talk about:
An Anarchist: You have two casual, non-exclusive dating relationships. As far as you're concerned, sex and dating are private matters to be resolved between consenting adults. In your opinion, the government has no place messing with your private affairs. You and the two women voice your dissent against the government's existence and then go form a loosely-organized orgy.
Once upon a time, I considered myself something of an Anarchist. Still do, to a certian point. (Somewhere I have a pic of my kevlar from overseas with the Anarchy pin I wore on it for a while, just to piss people off. And maybe to make a bit of a point) I had alot of friends that were Anarchists, and was invited, and intended to go, to to the Anarchist convention a few years ago. Nevermind the irony of the fact that I had to go to Army drill once a month, and that my days of attending anything on my own timetable would be ended shortly by 9/11.
As a starting point, let's define Anarchy
: 1 a : absence of government b : a state of lawlessness or political disorder due to the absence of governmental authority c : a utopian society of individuals who enjoy complete freedom without government
That's the technical definition of Anarchy. The problem is, as with any belief system, there's Anarchy, and then there's the political Anarchist movement.
Anarchy, to me, is pretty much Sadie's quote above. Nobody, including the government, messes with anybody else's business. This idea, much like pure socalism, is unfortunatly contingent upon itself; that is, it only works if everybody agrees to do their part and not to fuck with anybody else. This is only achievable to a certain extent in reality, and, therefore, fails when applied to reality. When socalism fails, you get communisim; when Anarchy fails, you get warlords.
See, there is always somebody, usually a fair number of somebodys, willing to fuck with somebody else if they think they can get away with it. So when you have Anarchy, instead of everybody just agreeing to get along and live that way, what you get is a survival of the fittest society. In anarchist philosophy, this all balances out in the long run; in history, it leads to an opressive regime led by the most brutal player in the game.
That's a bit off topic, but you see where I'm going. Lack of some controlling authority leads to people doing whatever they can to grab that authority, from which the strongest emerge and dominate over everybody else. Not exactly utopia.
But the Anarchist movement is something completely differant, with is own sets of ups and downs. The ups, to my mindset, are pretty much everything everybody's ever said about government intervention in anything. Not only is the government generally incredibly inept at getting its stated mission accomplished, more often than not it has no business in trying to do so in the first place.
The downside of current, or, honestly, leftist Anarchism, is that it suffers from all the pitfalls of any radical movement these days. Life in these United States is too good for a radical movement, and radical activists generally come of looking like boobs for all their effort.
There's several problems. My first disappointment upon attending an Anarchist meeting (which has to be some kind of oxymoron) was the sheer lack of knowledge going on around the room. This is a common effect at any political protest I've been a witness to: There's the true believers, who at least know what they believe and why they believe it, which make up maybe a fifth of attendees. The remaining percent are there because it's cool to be a radical, or a friend invited them, or they have some vauge idea about fighting the police (facists!), or because they heard it would be a good place to get laid. These are the people that don't really know what the fuck they're talking about, but they enjoy throwing bricks through Military Recruiting station windows, so they're along for the ride.
The other problem is the bizarre, and often contradictory, nature of beliefs among what I would call the true believers, the other fifth. These people are generally educated, after a fashion, and can at least carry on a debate. But could somebody explain to me how higher taxes are a function of Anarchy? What about government Welfare? Government control of Corporations? What about state suppression of a belief the Anarchist finds disagreeable? Anti-Gun laws? For that matter, any sort of Anti-anything laws? Or pro-anything laws? All of which are popular among the so-called Anarchists.
And the ultimate: Cops are facists when they're chasing you through backyards for spraypainting somebody's store, but who are the first people you call when you have a problem?
A very good friend of mine, a regular participant at the Anarchy discussions, had a guy break into her house one nite, and attempt to rape her. As any sensible person would, she called the cops first thing. She gave a statement, all that stuff.
Now, these are the same cops she was calling every name in the book the night before. Cops, who, lest we forget, are for the most part just guys doing a job, and a pretty shitty one at that. In differant circumstances, she'd have been more than happy to spit on their faces and call them tools of whatever.
She didn't feel that they did their job as effectively as they should have, which may be true. The cops in that area were notoriously lousy, and had to deal with cases like this fairly often. On top of that, she was a known Anarchist, the same people that had caused the cops trouble all over town for various problems.
I don't blame her for calling the police after what she had been through...but dosen't it say something about the politics of Anarchy that the ever-despised state-run police were at the top of the call list when she needed help?
Anyway. Anarchists, these days, aren't really all that troubled by the Government. There's a few areas where it infringes on civil rights that pisses them off, but by and large, so long as it helps them, they don't mind it. That isn't Anarchy, That's communism, and it's a direct result of what I described above: in America, the government has comparitavely little control over what people do, so the more ambitious and vicious among us fight their way to the top of a corporation, and proceed to do everything they can to fuck over everybody else. Survival of the fittest, barbarian rule, with a polished veneer.
One of the political philosophies I've identified myself as is a "Constitutional Conservative", which, I think, is about as close as I've seen to a working Anarchy, or an ordered Anarchy, if there is such a thing. Which is unfortunate, because it still isn't all that great. The rise of big corporations is inevitable under those circumstances, and there's no doubt that those people are ruthless bastards. The differance is that they exist at our sufferance, whereas a government has the power to force its people.
For most of the Anarchists I've met, though, that paragraph by Sadie isn't really right. They'd go on boinking everything they met, while ruthlessly persecuting everybody who didn't agree with their lauditudarin attitude. The best character I can think of is Alex from Clockwork Orange. If you can fight them, you're allright. If you're faithfully married and dress in khakis for work every day, they'd laugh while kicking in your teeth, raping your wife and burning down your store. Because, see, this is Anarchy, dude, and you live by our lack of rules, or you die by them.