Take this quick quiz to discover you're actually an anarchist.

in anarchy •  last month

There's only one question, so it shouldn't take long.

Most people perceive anarchists as short-sighted, dangerous, selfish, idealistic children, who lack the imagination to fully comprehend the chaos and misery we'd suffer in the absence of government.

  • You'd be first to beg for police help when warlords come and take over.
  • Wait til you get sick and need our free public health care.
  • Some people are poor and need that help just to survive. What if you fell on hard times?

We can debate these and other points, but I'd like to put them all aside to ask a simple question.

If there were a button you could push to permanently end my relationship with the state; and I asked you to push it, would you?

I'm not saying I'd be better off. I might be murdered and cannibalised by roving hordes of vicious, stateless vagabonds before sundown.
That's not the point.
You can be absolutely convinced that my life would be horrific and short from the moment you push the button, but you're also convinced that I'm certain I want you to; would you do me that favour?

Some people dodge the question and suggest I can end my relationship with the state by claiming, you're free to leave the country, but there are two problems with that.

  • I'm not free to leave, I'm free to ask permission to pay to leave with as much or as little of my stuff as I'm permitted to take.
  • Countries don't actually exist.

So, instead of leaving the entire continent on which I was born, let's flesh out this hypothetical a little better.

If you push the button, I instantly and permanently lose all the rights and responsibilities of citizenship, residency and personhood.

I don't need to pay any taxes, and only face police action if I threaten or attack someone, or damage their property.

I can't use any services provided by the government to its citizens. I can't travel on roads, (although I can cross them), can't get any sort of public health care or emergency assistance and can't use Australian dollars.

Now I can't reach that button myself, will you press it for me?

Most people I've asked have said, Yes.
It might be because they like me, it might be because they think I'm an ungrateful idiot and want to see me suffer, but pretty much everyone has said, Yes.

We have an innate sense of fairness that assumes people should be able to end relationships to which they don't consent.
You're dying of cancer, but you should still be able to fire your oncologist when he suggests another round of chemotherapy. He shouldn't be able to impose mandatory treatment on you, even if it's to keep you alive.

Now you might think that ending one's relationship with the state is a terrible idea, but if you believe that I should be free to do so; then you believe people should be able to opt out of their relationship with the government.

That makes you an anarchist.

Welcome to the club, (tell Debbie over there your size and she'll get you sorted with a T-shirt.)

You might want to keep paying taxes and getting ambulances yourself, and none of us have a problem with that. If you want some old guy you've never met, thousands of miles away making your decisions for you; we honestly wish you the best.
As long as you don't want the same thing imposed on those who want out, you're an anarchist.

We're not about torching cop cars or bombing the post office; we're just philosophically consistent. Where most people hold consent to be paramount in sexual relationships we extend that to all relationships.

A relationship you can't end is an abusive one, even if the other party is convinced you can't live without them.

As long as I follow @the-canary, you'll know I'm posting freely.

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Welcome to the club, (tell Debbie over there your size and she'll get you sorted with a T-shirt.)

I've been in the club for a long time but so glad to hear the shirts are coming out now!

It might be because they like me, it might be because they think I'm an ungrateful idiot and want to see me suffer

Either way they would be doing you a huge favor

now, where's Debbie? :D

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What are you, a 6? We have a few V-necks out back :)

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Not sure, that must be an Aussie size lol

I think that the modern day negative perception of anarchy is a mindless formulation from the overplay of 70's British skinhead comedy.
It's on TV bruh, must be real XD
Re-education is what's needed.
Steemit is the classroom :)
Peace.

Matt!

So sorry I missed this, but there's a simple remedy:

Please reply to this comment and I will suitably reward your response in lieu of having been here "on time."

Cheers!

😄😇😄

@creatr

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Thankyou mate. Appreciate it.

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Wish my vote were worth more to you... ;)

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I wouldn't be a heavy hitter if it wasn't for early support from people like yourself, mate :)

definitely yes! I would love for someone to push mine as well if it were not for my children. Too young to understand but one day they will and I plan on making sure they understand what is truly important.

Here's my issue with your test. What if I don't believe the button exists? What if I believe that no matter how much you want to end your relationship with the state, and even if I want you to be able to end that relationship, what if I know in my heart of hearts that you can't end it. And me, being the kind of person who doesn't want you to have false hopes, will not even imagine that button, much less press it for you?

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If you want to be able to end my relationship with the state, then you're an anarchist.
The button is just as imaginary as the government.
There are buildings and cars, uniforms and guns, and words on paper; but they're not government.
They're just stuff. Government is only in our heads.

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Haha! You got me there. I still can't accept myself as an anarchist. But, I will concede that some of my beliefs coincide with anarchism. Although, these days, I feel so much discontent with my government, that those beliefs seem inevitable.

But, at the end of the day, whether the government is imaginary, corrupt, inefficient, and even useless, I still think we need some semblance of government to keep things from deteriorating into a The Walking Dead type of situation.

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Can it be voluntary, though? I don't have an issue with organising, co-operating, trading, contracting, etc.
As long as anyone who doesn't like what's on offer can quit, it's all good.

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Voluntary organizations could work. Though, once you get big enough and continue to grow, wouldn't your leadership structure begin to look more and more like a regular government, too? Even if you choose to leave that voluntary organization and move to another, the process will just start again until that organization grows into something very much like the government you are trying to escape.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying people shouldn't aspire to be free of their government or that working to minimize government control over its citizens is good or bad. I just believe government is inescapable.

So, if saying that I will grant you freedom from government because that's what you want makes me an anarchist. Then, ok I'll accept that. However, I would be an anarchist who believes anarchy is impossible. But that wouldn't make sense. How can I be an anarchist, if I don't believe it is something that can be achieved in the first place? I guess the point I'm trying to make is that the question you posed to determine whether or not one is an anarchist casts a pretty wide net for a litmus test. Anyone who values freedom, then becomes an anarchist.

Hi Debbie, I'm a XXL. ✌️I'll push yours, if you push mine.??

If there were a button you could push to permanently end my relationship with the state; and I asked you to push it, would you?

Where have I heard that before ?

I think you know my honest answer ...it is yes* but with conditions applied...

You as an individual may have a net positive or net negative contribution to the society ( collective pool) , people smarter than myself should be able to quantify that and once that is settled you should be able to live on an island by yourself with no interference.

No, that does not make me an anarchist , it just means I honor a person's agency for making their own life decisions.

(although I can cross them)

This means?

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I can't use roads as a service, but they can't act as a prison.
If I can't cross roads, then I can't travel far.

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makes sense...

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There is no collective. Society is merely shorthand for the interactions of individuals. If individuals are not interacting through consent, what is the justification for coercion?

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I can't think of many issues where 100% of folks would interact through voluntary consent ..what do you suggest we should do in that case? not make any collective decision ?

“Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others.”

― Someone important in history

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What situations require 100% consent from everyone in society once you strip away the zero-sum game of politics? Every interaction and exchange is a person-to-person event. Where in your individual life is mutual voluntary consent optional?

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Sorry , I have no idea what you are talking about.

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You said, "I can't think of many issues where 100% of folks would interact through voluntary consent."

I asked, "What situations require 100% consent from everyone in society?"

Politics turns every question into a zero-sum game. For someone to win, someone else must lose. Of course there can be no 100% consent or universal satisfaction under such a system, but it is an artificial constraint.

In reality, every interaction and exchange is a person-to-person event. So where in your individual life is mutual voluntary consent optional, and coercion acceptable? Outside the artificial confines of politics, how is consent an impractical standard?

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In democracy we vote to provide consent , no law is passed with 100% approval.So the practical consideration is that since 100% consent from demographic is never achieved , inevitably some party is going to feel "coerced" into conforming to a norm/law.

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And that is why democracy is a fraud. I cannot consent to something on your behalf, and vice versa. There isn't even an agent/principal relationship between politicians and those who voted for them, much less those who voted against them, could not vote, or chose not to vote. Ther is no virtue in the system.

What is a law? It is the opinion of politicians who represent no one but themselves, imposed by coercion. Where such laws coincide with reason and morality, they are redundant. Where such laws trespass against natural rights and fly in the face of reason and morality, they are an abomination.

Slavery was "legal." Jim Crow was "legal." Alcohol prohibition was "legal." Eminent domain, conscription, concentration internment camps, drug prohibition, and innumerable other violations of the natural rights of individuals have been imposed under color of law as though they had moral and rational authority. This is utterly and completely absurd when examined rationally.

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you should be able to live on an island by yourself with no interference.

that's so considerate of you.

can he live on an island-- or maybe even not an island-- with some of his friends who aren't like you and won't be trying to bother and take from him? or he has to be all alone?

if he lives happily with other people, you're saying you'll ask the state to not allow that?

No, that does not make me an anarchist , it just means I honor a person's agency for making their own life decisions.

If you DID honor a person's agency for making their own decisions, then you'd be an anarchist.

But you're right, you're not one. Because you don't. Your answer to his question apparently has to do with "conditions applied" and whether smart people could quantify his contribution to the collective pool, or some sort of nonsensical string of words.

Im posting in spanish because my lack of vocabulary, sorry.
Creo que el anarquismo como ideal, está ligado directamente a la condición humana. Lamentablemente, vivimos un anarco capitalismo totalmente salvaje, donde los ciudadanos hacen su voluntad más allá de las leyes y los valores cooperativistas. Rothbard lo presagió, y no es casual que de sus ideas supuestamente progresistas, naciera el noe liberalismo que sufre gran parte del mundo (sino todo el mundo). Es nuestra responsabilidad como humanidad devolverle el rumbo al movimiento libertario, y no permitir que se torne un transhumanismo libertario como está siendo promocionado a través de los tecnócratas. Los ludditas sabían lo que hacían cuando destruían las máquinas de coser...

Fellow Anarchist and new follower here sir! So many freedoms taken and everyone just sits by and thinks its for the best...

very thought provoking post, love it! You have given me much to ponder with this one, but totally agree with your thinking. Choice is everything.

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Thanks heaps. Nice to drill down to the basic concept instead of wading through a marsh of what-ifs.
Also, thanks for the resteem. Appreciate it :)

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That seems to be a good part of steemit, folks seem to be a bit more forward thinking. Hey, you're welcome it was a great post.

I don't need a quiz to tell me that! lol but I'll read your post now :D

Interesting post, i'm sure i'm no anarchist.The problem is that even with anarchy there will be corruption. Or will anarchy do away with all the money as well?

I'm still learning about all of this...

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Hey. Thanks for dropping by. If you'd push the button, then you're an anarchist, as confronting as that might sound.
Some anarchists want to do away with money, but that would involve a government, which makes them pretty bad at being anarchists. Money's not a bad thing. It solves the 'Double coincidence of wants problem' which plagues barter.
Corruption is when people are given power to do a thing, then use that power to enrich themselves instead. In a free market your only power comes from your customers.
If you misuse it, or are even suspected of misusing it, you lose those customers to a competitor.
Lots to think about; but regardless of where you land in any given moment; as long as you're still thinking, you're on the right path.

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no i'm not :-P

LOL

I'm not an atheist either even though I have pushed the religion button a long time ago.

Once i lock myself into any ism i'm a slave of that ism,
I try to be a free man. Without ism... Pushing that button would for me shake up the status quo and without going into any ism i would hope this button would offer me more freedom.
Something like that...
But non the less thank you for providing that button here to allow me to discover this unintended option! :-D

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Isms aren't prisons. They're just frameworks for ideas. An ism never shot anyone. Isms don't have trigger fingers, only people do. Also chimps, but their aim is rubbish.

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frameworks for ideas

= prison of the mind
ideas in a ism box
Thats how i see it. feel free to see it different. I just prefer not to be in a frame.
My ideas change every day, some stuff needs democracy other stuff would work better with socialism, some things would be better with anarchy approach.
With freedom that is possible, when being 'locked in an ism', the freedom of other options is more or less 'locked out'. And you get that people tell you that you are an anarchist, you may not do that, thats not anarchy. And the rest of the world, democrats, socialists, communists, will lock you into THEIR view of anarchy.
However if you choose to be free of isms you are free. I'm none of the above.

Does that make any sense?

I mean i never really thought of this until today.

Those trigger fingers are our problem, give us a weapon and we make a mess.

Right now anarchy looks better then democracy, but anarchy and freedom is not the same to me.

So I followed you over from the Steemmonster page and found your quite interesting blog :)

I would suggest that the definition of anarchist in this context simply means 'Absolute freeedom', such as that possessed by the very few un-contacted tribes left in the world.

This is a bit of a synchronicity to me because I recently have been (quite randomly) watching a bunch of youtube videos about these last remaining free people living in the jungles of various parts of the world. The abusive relationship that you speak of is a form of slavery that is so ingrained into us as a society that it has become a basic norm.

I suppose recognizing it is similar to a Buddhist awakening of sorts. When you read about attainments in meditation it turns out that you aren't gaining anything, but you are losing incorrect perceptions and and psychological chains/burdens are dropped from the mind. In the same way we are unwitting prisoners to governing systems but are unaware of how miserable it is making us!

Small please Matty.

Upvoted courtesy of @dynamicrypto, your content is high quality and you are pre-approved to join our curation circle of friends if you like.

You are not an anarchist
giphy (8).gif

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I think you didn't see the tv show Mr. robot, it's about a anarchist XD

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I saw the first season when it came out, but didn't wait around for the 2nd.
Christian Slater was particularly good.

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at the end... he cannot read nobody (was a joke XD) can't say anything else because there will be spoilers then XD

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Beautiful. Post friends

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LMAO wtf is this :D :D :D

So, instead of leaving the entire continent on which I was born, let's flesh out this hypothetical a little better.

Hypothetical is one thing. Impossible is another. 😎

My feeling is that one should find their community, seek self sufficiency and work to decentralize central authority one law at a time. Be nice if there was such a button... maybe. 😎

Thank you for your continued support of SteemSilverGold

Sorry, I failed your test. I would encourage you to follow your dreams. Would Auroville, India suit your ideals?

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thanks for that

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i would wanna check that out!

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Congratulations @mattclarke! You have completed the following achievement on Steemit and have been rewarded with new badge(s) :

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