Tag: what is anarchism

Starve the State of Minds by Refusing to Run or Vote

By Ryan Lau | @agorisms

About a month ago, the United States government, under President Donald J. Trump, sent in drone strikes to Yemen. Rather than hitting the alleged terrorists, the Lockheed-Martin bomb came in contact with a school bus, taking young children to summer camp. The Yemeni youth did not make it to summer camp, and will not make it anywhere else again. This has occurred time and time again, under Presidents Trump, Obama, Bush, Clinton, Bush, Reagan, and many more.

In our alleged post-racial society3 of 5 African American men who drop out of high school will end up in a prison. As redlining cripples American neighbors of abject poverty, the United States government, under Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, mandates that these children go to the poorest schools, ensuring they remain on these streets and see no social mobility. This has occurred time and time again. under the regimes of Presidents Trump, Obama, Bush, Clinton, Bush, Reagan, and many more.

Across the country, innocent figures like Ross Ulbricht spend their lives in prison, not for harming anyone, but for refusing to abide by the government’s coercive rules. With the highest incarceration rates in the world, hundreds of thousands sit in prison for peaceful consumption of a plant. Many others sit indefinitely for infinitely more nonviolent crimes. Some even have no crime except resisting arrest. This is unacceptable action at the hands of the United States government. 

As citizens of the United States government, we reserve the right not to accept these acts of brutality. We oppose them in thought, but our votes go unheard. Such is the nature of a democracy. Those who can deceive and appeal rise to the top, while those with honesty and respect for our fellow Americans fall to the bottom. Fortunately, though, there is another way.

In order to function in a way that allows it to bring violence upon us all, the United States government needs three things: money, bodies, and minds. It collects the first via taxation, which currently, is too difficult for most people to evade. It gathers the second through the draft, which many may courageously avoid, but this is not as frequent an issue. What does this leave? The minds.

Politicians get stronger with your votes. By choosing a candidate, you agree, by law, to support the winner of the election. Voting for high morals, then, is not useful, when you are forced to accept immorality upon its favorable outcome. So take a stand. Without politicians, there is no violence. The state cannot act without figureheads. By not running for office, and not supporting anyone running for office, you are the change you may hope to see in the world.

This is no simple task and requires a lot of diligent work. But begin with yourself, and expand outward. Convince your family against pursuing a political career. Then move on to your street and neighborhood and town. If one thousand of you can convince three people per year, and each of those three people can do the same, we will have a crowd of 59,000,000 proud citizens, all refusing to stand for violencein just one decade. 

Perhaps, then, we may see a number of towns with nobody desiring to run for the board of education, or planning and zoning, or even mayor. Thus, the decentralization process begins. From the small town, we expand to the city, and with success, we wonder why the process does not occur with the state. With success at the state level, we may, once and for all, bring an end to the destructive actions of the United States government. Without popular support, it is nothing.

The action begins with you. Become an origin point for and a beacon of peace. Spread the message of free will and autonomy. Be the change you want to see in the world. Help end the destructive actions of the state and usher in a new paradigm of love, trust, respect, and unity. Your task is simple: do not run for office, and do not vote. Pledge yourself to the highest possible moral standards. Do not enable those whose every action is to bring harm, in some way, whether through seizure of earned money, seizure of person from property, or even lawful but very much immoral killings.

With just one signatory, the process begins. With 1,000 signatories, it will move as many times as quickly. Without your action, the United States government may act violently across the globe for another day. With it, you sow the seeds of peace. Set yourself in order, and then your family. We as American citizens have a duty to make the world a better place. We have a duty to usher in a wave of change, one beautiful individual at a time. The peace and love of the world are in your hands. Embrace it, and let it grow. 

The petition to starve the state of minds by not running for office or voting is available here. 

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Anarchy: What It Is and What Teen Vogue Fails to Realize

By Ryan Lau | @agorisms

On Friday, Teen Vogue author Kim Kelly ran a piece that she titled “Anarchy: What It Is and Why Pop Culture Loves It”. In it, she attempts to answer both of those questions. However, her perspective is nowhere near accurate. Frankly, it makes her look like she does not understand a thing about the general principles of anarchism. Here, unlike Kelly, from an actual teen, is a real representation of anarchy’s ideology of peace.

The Ideology Without an Ideology

Initially, Kelly correctly states that the media often believes that anarchy is a no-rules, middle-fingers-up attitude. But the second she begins explaining what is really is, the logic falls off of the block.

Her claim that “anarchism is a radical, revolutionary leftist political ideology…” is partly true. Yes, it is both radical and revolutionary, of course. Like any great threat to the state, it is a fringe group that proposes radical ideas for change. However, anarchism has absolutely no inherent association with the left or the right.

Ultimately, anarchism deals with the abolition of the state. Before it is left, right, or anything else, it is anti-state. Anarchists believe that the state inherently restricts the abilities of people to freely associate with each other. However, they are very much divided on whether they believe in a free market or voluntarily controlled economy.

Kelly points this out, later going through a list of various anarchist views of thought. Despite this, she only paints half of the picture, basically stating that anarcho-capitalism is a fringe ideology that most other anarchists do not recognize. While this is true, she forgets that all forms of anarchism are pretty fringe. Note that not a single major politician today identifies with any of the varying forms.

Moreover, she fails to state that anarcho-capitalists often do not consider anarcho-communists to be legitimate, due to their belief that communism, and the associated collectivism, are inherently at odds with the idea of freedom.

In the end, though, anarchism is not a political ideology. Without a state, politics does not exist. Individuals would merely associate freely with each other in the communities that they desired to live in.

What Anarchism Really Is

In her entire piece, Kelly does not once mention the most critical point of anarchism: it is a rejection of the initiation of violence. Whether that violence comes in the form of capitalism, regulations, war, taxation, or the police, (or all of the above) anarchists agree that the state is an aggressive institution that should not exist in a free society. All of them desire a society where they can live in peaceful freedom, and all recognize that the state is the biggest threat to that freedom.

The differences only come from the fact that each views the state slightly differently. Some anarchists believe it to be a form of capitalist greed, or elitist power, or military might. Others may find it to be an organization that steals inherently from the people to fund things like social safety nets.

Anarchists also inherently oppose war, believing that they are antithetical to freedom. Though opposing war has been a very key part of anarchism, dating back to the more radical members of Vietnam War protests, Kelly fails to point this out in any capacity. She instead focuses on an interesting term that has absolutely nothing to do with anarchy.

Anarchy is NOT Democracy

One of Kelly’s most prominent assertions is the idea that anarchy is a radical democracy. This simply could not be farther from the truth, and democracy is, in fact, impossible in an anarchist society.

When it comes down to it, the two terms are entirely incompatible. Democracy, of course, is a system where the people vote directly on laws and events. Notable examples include the ancient Greek state of Athens, famous for putting Socrates to death over his differing beliefs. Anarchism, on the other hand, removes all forms of coercive power. In such a system, no majority of people can simply decide to kill a man for being different, or corrupting the youth. But in a democracy, this is entirely possible, and, clearly, happened on a number of occasions. When it comes down to it, democracy is nothing more than the state’s tyranny of the majority. Anarchy, though, opposes coercive tyrannies of all forms, including democracy.

In short: democracy is a form of government. Anarchy is a lack of government. A government cannot exist in a society without government.

Antifascism and Anarchism

Following the flawed point on democracy, Kelly then claims that all anarchists are anti-fascist. Technically, this is not untrue but is essentially just a monotonous and repetitive talking point to garner more support. Fascism, again, like democracy, is a form of government. Kelly does not seem to realize that anarchism opposes all forms of governments, for if she did, she would not need to spend any additional time addressing particular forms. More strikingly, she would certainly not, as an opponent of the state, support a form of government.

It is also worth noting that antifascism does not necessarily imply support for Antifa groups. Though Kelly voices her support for them, she again only shows one side of things. Many anarchists, in fact, oppose Antifa just as much as they oppose fascism. As Antifa often supports violence, especially against those they claim to be fascist, peaceful anarchists tend to oppose them, as they do all forms of violence.

A Weak Definition From a Fake Anarchist

To summarize, it is not enough to be an enemy of the current state to be an anarchist. To fall under the definition, you need to oppose all forms of government and believe that governments are an inherently immoral institution.

Kelly does point this out in her piece, but at the same time, does not support her own ideas, and voices clear support for democracy, a coercive form of government. She also endorses Antifa, an organization that has behaved violently in the past, even though she claims to oppose the violence of the state. A clear supporter of both state and anti-state violence, her actions are in no way consistent with her words.

Kelly’s ideology proves to be very dangerous, and if the anarchist community ever wants to see ideologically sound success, they should steer very clear of it. Democracy is not anarchy, and violence is not anarchy. The very suggestion of such makes it quite obvious that Kelly either does not understand what anarchism is, or does, but is not an anarchist herself. In either situation, take her words with warning, as they are nothing more than violence and government action under the guise of radicalism.

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