Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Oh, this. All kinds of this.

Via Claire, I just saw this essay, "What Anarchism Means To Me", over at Vin's place.  Just a tidbit therefrom:

Anarchism is my declaration of independence from corrupt and debauched systems which institutionalize the dominance and submission of the mind and conscience, pillaging the property of the peaceful and raping the human spirit. Authority is a form of privilege. There is one kind of wealth that one can only gain at the expense of another, and that is privilege; money may follow privilege, but it may only buy privilege when there exists a warehousing authority to assign it.

The emphasis is mine;  that is an absolutely solid-gold way to express the ultimate relationship between the "monied corporate interests" and the state which creates them.  The whole thing is well worth the read--for me it is hard to point to a more elegant statement of the worldview-entire.  (Certainly it's miles ahead of anything I've yet come up with!)

Oddly enough, I've come to dislike the term "anarchist", even though (as the saying goes) I certainly are one;  the term has been so thoroughly co-opted by people who want to associate it only with nihilistic hedonism or distinctly non-libertarian monkeywrenching, that the effort it takes just to get past the term itself is usually crippling to whatever goal I might be trying to achieve.  (Which is, of course, part of the point of poisoning the term in the first place.)  When possible I seem to find myself using the similar term "nonarchist", when someone insists on labels, but really, "Cat" has me pretty much nailed.

Thanks, Claire, for the link.  That was a good one.


Joel said...

Yeah, I read that when Claire linked to it. Good piece, if a bit flowery.

Personally, though I think of myself as an anarchist I agree with those who say it's probably best to retire the label. It has a lot early history which (justly, alas) associates it with bomb-throwing nihilists. And in current usage it means whatever a writer wants it to mean - rather like 'libertarian,' but with more broken Starbucks windows.

MamaLiberty said...

Indeed, Joel. When I want to talk about the concept, I say "self owner" instead. I still have to explain what that means to most people, but the term doesn't have the baggage that "anarchy" always has had.

But this essay is a beautiful classic in any case. I just would replace the word anarchist with self owner and anarchy with individual liberty myself.