Tuesday, May 1, 2012

If you're a collectivist, please stop calling yourself an anarchist.

There's an actual, very simple definition for the word Anarchy, as you probably know. And just in case you didn't:

1. Absence of any form of political authority.
Seems pretty simple on the surface. Unfortunately the poor word has been around plenty long enough for history to have given it a number of other uses, some of them bizarre. Wikipedia:

There are many types and traditions of anarchism, not all of which are mutually exclusive. Anarchist schools of thought can differ fundamentally, supporting anything from extreme individualism to complete collectivism. ... [M]uch of anarchist economics and anarchist legal philosophy reflect anti-statist interpretations of communism, collectivism, syndicalism or participatory economics. However, anarchism has always included an individualist strain supporting a market economy and private property, or morally unrestrained egoism. Some individualist anarchists are also socialists or communists while some anarcho-communists are also individualists or egoists.
How you get from "no rulers" to "complete collectivism" (and everything in between) within the same supposed philosophy has always been a mystery to me. But people are weird.

Some people are also stupid, as demonstrated by these brainless nihilistic twits who apparently called themselves "anarchists."

Personally I just avoid the word. It only leads to confusion. But let me tell you: Whenever I'm pointlessly plotting to blow up perfectly innocent bridges in Cleveland, I always go shopping at the FBI for my explosives and other supplies. They're so accommodating.


Carl-Bear said...

The odd anarchist => collectivist transition seems to come from the (willfull) misrepresentation of Kropotkin's anarchism as "anarchosocialism" which -- [sarc] -- obviously has to be externally imposed collectivism in the interest of the whole, 'cuz... like, whoever heard of individuals voluntarily working together in their own selfish interest? [/sarc]


I gave up on labels. I'm just me. Whoever the hell that is.

Carl-Bear said...

Added: I think I'm going to add "anarchocollectivist" to my lexicon and see how many people get it.

MamaLiberty said...

Had a brief conversation on a forum recently with a newcomer to the freedom idea. He couldn't seem to get past the idea of "anarchists" as bomb throwing commies. Each time I posted something about no "rulers," he'd come back with another rant against "anarchists," and how could I call myself an anarchist...

I politely invited him to re-read the entire thread and point out a single place where I had even used the word, let alone attributed it to myself.

Unfortunately, he went away then. sigh

Kevin Wilmeth said...

More people who aren't listening. Great, just what we need.

This is the same sort who can look you in the face and claim that "capitalism" is ruining our country. And then--with no awareness of the irony at all--start quoting "those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it". These days, there is no more reliable way to give me an instant splitting headache.