Thursday, March 10, 2016

Pseudo Anarchists

Having slagged off both self-pitying satire site owners and the 'Social Justice Warriors' they claim drove them off the web last time around, I thought that I might as well take potshots at another of my online pet hates: self-styled 'anarchists'. Trust me, just because you 'don't like being told what to do', that doesn't make you an anarchist.  Neither does once having told a cop to 'fuck off' when they told you not to jay walk, nor does refusing to obey 'Stop' signs at road junctions.  That sort of stuff just makes you a knob end. Nonetheless, there are people on Twitter who genuinely seem to believe that behaving like a petulant teenager actually makes them some kind of political radical.  Now, I'm not going to go into a full blown explanation of what anarchy is, but suffice to say that it is a political philosophy advocating self governance by the people, based around voluntary state institutions.  (It also has a more negative aspect, in that failing states, where normal political institutions and subsequently law and order, have failed, are referred to as being a state of anarchy.  In most documented incidences of such failing states - Albania in 1997 or Somalia in the late nineties, for instance - the result was effectively mob rule, with criminal gangs and local war lords operating unchecked.  For the average citizen, it wasn't a positive experience). 

Anarchy in the political sense has many variations but, to keep it simple, we'll take it to mean the rejection of the state's authority over the individual and the legitimacy of institutionalised hierarchies.  Which doesn't necessarily mean that you couldn't be told what to do in a hypothetical anarchist society - a collectivist anarchistic community might decide to have laws based upon the consensus of its members.  So, if you disagree with a law and want to defy it, whilst the society might not use force to make you observe the law, your position would be untenable and the consensus would probably be to expel you.  Clearly then, simply not liking being told what to do doesn't qualify you as an anarchist. any more than giving the finger to any form of state authority does.  But that doesn't deter these would-be Twitter radicals, who spend all their time tweeting about how they are being oppressed by the state (usually because they've been given a speeding ticket).  Whilst this might seem mildly amusing, they also have a darker side, frequently using their devotion to 'anarchy' to justify all manner of hate speak, by claiming that anti-discrimination laws are a form of state oppression, stifling their right to free speech.  But I find one of the most perplexing aspects of some of these pseudo-anarchists, bearing in mind that a true anarchist rejects hierarchies, is their devotion to God.  That's right, in between telling us how they once spat on a cop car, they extol the glories of the Almighty.  And, let's face it, there can't be anything more hierarchical than the existence of a supreme being with dominion over all our lives, (and who, incidentally, tells us what to do via the teachings of Christ, Mohammed or whichever prophet you subscribe to).  Hmmm, anarchy, eh?  Not as I know it.

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