On The Futile Delusion Of Anarchy

I completely agree with the first sentence. I resent it being used to manipulate me into spreading the second.

A page I follow on Facebook recently posted the image you (should) see at the beginning of this article (to the left, if you’re on a desktop; at the top after the title if you’re on a phone), among some other images generally promoting the ideology of anarchy and insisting that “government” – no qualifiers – is “dangerously evil.”.  Included was the hashtag #GovernmentIsTheEnemy.

(Note:  Under ordinary circumstances the image would be intact and properly credited, including the creating page’s name that was on the original. In this case however I want to avoid both provoking a direct confrontation (because there’s no point in it and it’ll just seem like petty personal crap rather than a principled criticism) and, frankly, advertising for someone this careless about their messaging, so I’ve cropped it out.)

Those of you who have been following me for a minute can probably already guess where this is going.

I commented to the effect that if this was what was going to pass for substantive dialogue, I would go ahead and see myself out…and of course, the poster immediately challenged me to provide some substantive dialogue.

And so here we are.

There are a couple of things I want to point out before we get too deep into this:  first, I don’t disagree with a single letter of the first sentence.  I am wholeheartedly behind the sentiment and in fact it wouldn’t surprise me if I wrote it ten or fifteen years ago and have since forgotten, that’s how much it resonates with me.

The second sentence, however, and the hashtag, render the whole thing about as basic and banal and entirely un-revolutionary as a thing can be.

  • The second thing I want to put up front is that my comments are predicated on the core assumption that we’re discussing life in a democratic system of some kind, and that system is at least somewhat functional – enough so that it’s not a dog and pony show to validate a dictator, such as we see under Putin in Russia.  Obviously the subjects of a totalitarian government cannot take responsibility for that government short of open rebellion.

    So with that said, let’s nail a few things down about this silly recurring fantasy – which seems to inhabit mostly young, white, fairly affluent men between 15 and 25 – that all you have to do is get rid of that darned ol’ government and everything will be a beautiful anarchist utopia.


    1. The voice of the majority is heard and responded to only about 20% of the time. It is time for system changes. The government in the US is usurped by Elitist Corporatists and the politicians that represent them instead of the people who elected them.
      Change is coming. Big change. The repeaters (not reporters) of “News” rarely mention it but legislation is being changed at the local and state levels on several fronts, activist groups are forming coalitions and they are having successes.
      There is momentum and if Sanders is elected, there will be leadership installed to go forth with the changes, even to a 4th Industrial Revolution. #JeremyRifkin #NotMeUs #TakeDownCitizensUnited

      • I really hope there’s still energy left for Bernie to pull of what he could have in 16. If we can get people energized and get other people running on his basic platform down-ticket, the entire operating behavior of the DNC will change radically, and quickly.

    2. BTW, your tip jar isn’t working (is it supposed to?) and there’s no donation button.

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