There have been many interesting Anarchist writers throughout history; my favorites are Pierre-Joseph Proudon and Lysander Spooner. Proudon sure as hell knew the score about the Usual Suspects:

In 1847, he considered publishing an article against the Jewish race, which he said he ‘hated’. The proposed article would have “called for the expulsion of the Jews from France”. It would have stated: “The Jew is the enemy of the human race. This race must be sent back to Asia, or exterminated. H. Heine, A. Weil, and others are simply secret spies; Rothschild, Crémieux, Marx, Fould, evil choleric, envious, bitter men who hate us.” Proudhon differentiated his antisemitism from that of the Middle Ages, presenting it as quasi-scientific: “What the peoples of the Middle Ages hated by instinct, I hate upon reflection and irrevocably.”

I wouldn’t go that far, of course, but you know the old saying. If you get thrown out of one bar, maybe the bartender is just an asshole. If you get thrown out of every bar in town, it’s you – you’re the asshole.

One reason Lysander Spooner is so great it that is was so quintessentially American – in the good way, the way Ben Franklin was. His greatest work was No Treason: The Constitution of No Authority. Spooner was an active abolitionist, yet despite being a Masshole, he bitterly opposed the War of Yankee Aggression and derided the idea that states could not leave the Union.

To him, the arguments against slavery were obvious, as were the necessary steps to abolish that African institution imported to America:

  1. That the Slaves have a natural right to their liberty.
  2. That they have a natural right to compensation (so far as the property of the Slaveholders and their abettors can compensate them) for the wrongs they have suffered.
  3. That so long as the governments, under which they live, refuse to give them liberty or compensation, they have the right to take it by stratagem or force.
  4. That it is the duty of all, who can, to assist them in such an enterprise.

To form Vigilance Committees, or Leagues of Freedom, in every neighborhood or township, whose duty it shall be to stand in the stead of the government, and do that justice for the slaves, which government refuses to do; and especially to arrest, try, and chastise (with their own whips) all Slaveholders who shall beat their slaves, or restrain them of their liberty; and compel them to give deeds of emancipation, and conveyances of their property, to their slaves

“With their own whips.” Ironic punishment department, please.

Spooner knew what no one knows anymore, that the war was not fought to end slavery, it was fought to “preserve the Union” – thus, as Spooner understood, to make slaves of us all, the end of self-government.

In 2008 when Hillary Clinton was winning West Virginia, and the Obama campaign was trying to walk a fine line on “racism,” one of his campaigners explained it thusly; “West Virginians hated slavery and hated slaves.” Which is true; outside of the most fanatical Quakers, most people opposed slavery because they didn’t want Africans in America; indeed, the plan was to send them to Liberia, a nation created just for them.

Back in the day, down South, you would occasionally see a bumper sticker that read, “If I had known this, I would have picked my own cotton.” But that misses a very important truth. As a ten year old child, in the summers my own sainted mother picked cotton. They got paid by the bushel and the money went to my grandparents so they could, you know, buy food and stuff.

I make zero apologies for slavery, I had nothing to do with it, and most of my ancestors didn’t either. The slaves were, in fact, given either a trip to Liberia, or forty acres and a mule, so like the payments made to Mexico for the South West, the score has been settled, the accounts balanced, so shut the hell up already.

In any case, the weirdo Anarchist blog that loves me, Attack the System, has a tag line I can truly agree with: “Pan-Anarchism Against the State, Pan-Secessionism Against the Empire, Pan-Socratism Against Dogma.”

In the recent Myth podcast about Afghanistan, they are comparing the American’s ideas of government to the Chinese. When Americans complain about government corruption, the Chinese say, “well, yeah, all politicians are corrupt. You just try to get around them.”

But that is simply not the nature of North Western European Egalitarian Individualist Moralists. I’m sure some of my readers roll their eyes at my constant discussion of sex trafficking. I imagine some people think, hey, it’s the oldest profession, they are getting paid, big deal. But I can’t help it, because like my Presbyterian ancestors, I’m a dyed in the wool moralist. I have a moral instinct. Doesn’t mean I always live up to it myself, but that “natural law” or the Law of Gnon or what have you, is there, even if it really only exists in my subjective perceptions.

Anarchism, as an ideology, is stupid. Being against “the state” as an institution is like being “against violence.” I can promise my readers I will never subject them to some long, autistic screed about the Non-Initiation of Violence Principle – in fact, I feel fully justified in initiating violence against anyone doing so.

Do you know how they castrate sheep? Well, the most humane way, which I’ve been told is more or less painless, is to put a rubber band around their balls when they are young. This restricts the blood flow and they never really develop, thus you have a wether.

Do you know why they castrate sheep? Because if you don’t, when they hit whatever the sheep version of puberty is, the rams start smashing their horns together, fighting for the “right” to breed the females. And then you have a bunch of bloody, injured and dead sheep.

So you want to have an Anarchist society with no state. Well, when the teenage boys start fighting for the right to breed the teenage girls, what do you do? Well you have to have some sort of system to settle disputes, so you get the elders together and they figure out who started it and punish the guilty party. OK, well, there you go, you now have a state. The men have to get together to fight off the neighboring tribe trying to invade you? Well, there you go, now you have a state.

States are as inevitable as violence; indeed, they are the natural outcome of male violence, and the male hierarchy forms to minimize violence. All you can do is hope that your people control the state.

Charles Tilly wrote of an “interdependence between the historical processes of war-making and state-making and organized crime. ‘Banditry, piracy, gangland rivalry, policing and war-making all belong on the same continuum’”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deep_state_in_Turkey#Historical

So, of course, the anarchists and the libertarians are completely correct; the state is just the biggest gang. That is all it’s ever been. But you can no more avoid it than you can avoid Billy and Bobby getting into fisticuffs when Sally grows boobs. It is the natural law; the nature of mammals.

You can try to minimize the state. And, individually and in groups, you can find ways to just ignore the state. Indeed, taxes are theft; the mafia calls their extortion racket, the protection money, “a tax.”

A secret I learned from a very conservative Presbyterian minister operating quietly in the middle of the most left-wing neighborhood in one of the most left-wing cities on the continent. The system of governments in America, at the state level all the way up to the Constitution, it’s all based on the Presbyterian polity. The governing structures are based on Presbyterianism, indeed, the Church, as an institution, was always a part of the government itself. As I’ve written about before, it actually helps domestically to have a large Church and a small State. Because the state only has force, so the more parts of society it regulates the more totalitarian and violent the state becomes. But you can always brainwash Billy and Bobby – and Sally – in the Church to not fight, no going under her shirt, and eventually the families will decide which boys she marries, and she’ll be happy because she’ll think she made the decision herself.

But that only works internally. States will always naturally develop into Empires by invading and incorporating other states. That’s Natural Law too. All you can do is try to stop it in various ways.

So, who knows? Maybe I am an anarchist. I hate the Empire and I hate the State. I do anything and everything I can to stay as far away from their grasp as I can.

But I don’t need some ideology for that. And despite some classic writers, what are self-identified “anarchists” actually like, in the real world?

20 years ago I was a dirty squatter anarcho-communist crustpunk who associated with with anarcho-primitivist college kids. Today I am a dirty squatter ultraleft crustpunk and my old primmie friends are not-so-young urban professionals, social-democrats, woke normies, petty-bourgeois hipsters. I think it would be cool if you folks learned to differentiate between Marxism and Stalinism. It might even save you from joining the DSA or getting an expensive college degree in intersectionality.

https://anarchistnews.org/content/totw-watching-drift

Yeah, you can fuck right off with all that gay shit. If I were dictator, I would arrest all punks and enslave them in the fields to pick cotton, just out of pure spite.

And you know what else? Black Flag fucking SUCKED.