Saturday, June 19, 2010

Anarchy, Disability, Purity, and Doubt

In recent times it has become increasingly the case for people to think I am some free market, Ayn Rand, Libertarian when they discover I am an anarchist. It is strange the type of supposed solidarity I get from rightwingers who find out I am "anti-government." This begs illustrating the distinction between my socialist libertarianism and their perception of "less government."

It is sometimes difficult to articulate why I believe some government programs should be created, continued, or enlarged as a libertarian. It is key in the distinction between social libertarianism (anarchy) and objective libertarianism (capitalism) because they don't want government to serve people but are fine with government serving as a conduit between capital and industry. See, I would be fine with everyone not trusting the government but it only translates into a positive thing if people actually trust each other! The increase in US anti-government rhetoric, however, is happening along with a decrease in empathy for one another.

All this brings me to an article on BroadSnark, Anarchy, Disability, Purity, and Doubt.

We ultimately desire a non-hierarchical stateless society but until we get there, some of the most vulnerable members of society need help. Does it serve our long term goal to insist on some sense of anarchist purity? I would love to think that we have the means and desire to establish non-hierarchical models of support but we don't. Maybe part of that is because the dominant forces of this fucked up society are busy convincing everyone that such services aren't meant to be supplied by the government or community.

I know that the system can never be the solution to a problem it helped to create. But I also know that I cannot snap my fingers and have magically appear an all voluntary non-coercive method of dealing with the problems of real people. In the time between now and then, real people have real needs that need to be met. Too often, we anarchists get so caught up in philosophical discussions that we forget that.

Rather than having litmus tests for authenticity or trying to pretend that we are all ideologically consistent, we should admit that it is impossible and give each other room to breathe. By allowing for the ambiguity, I suspect we will find ourselves better able to reach out to people who find our beliefs somewhat alien. And I suspect that we might find ourselves better able to come up with creative strategies for getting from here to there.


Anonymous Nick said...

Shane Danger KILLING IT!

6:30 AM  
Anonymous BroadSnark said...

Thanks for the link love and for your post. Most left-libertarian/anarchists must go through this, but we don't usually talk about the disconnect. I hope that changes.

3:18 PM  

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