On the right, it’s anarchy all the way down.

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    • #401689
      • Total Posts: 203

      As a teenager, I thought of, and used, the word ‘anarchy’ to denote chaos, which was how adults around me seemed to use it. In junior high school I follwed along studies of our state’s history which led me to read about the Hay Market andPullman Riots, Sinclair’s “The Jungle”, and generally, if superficially, about left-wing labor anarchists near the end of the 1800’s. I couldn’t make sense out of why anyone would promote chaos, and the notion of anarchist labor activists as agents of chaos. It all left me quite confused.

      Of course that was decades ago, and life has stretched out and deposited me decades later in 2021. Anarchy is once again in my pondering.

      Years of life taught me that anarchy isn’t so much about a lack of government or creation of chaos, it is about attitudes and movements against all or some aspect of existing governance that impede some group’s realization of a goal. The goal really needn’t be an idyllic referencing of a new world order made for contented workers.

      Anarchy is more generally about power and the struggle to deny some other person or group’s use of government’s power, and finding ways around established power… it seeks a way, maybe a corporate action path, or perhaps a political process to achieve a goal despite what seem to be imposing limits of existing government order.

      And I realize from my life-enriched view of anarchy that the GOP from top to bottom appears very well vested in anarchistic anti-government-ism. Anarchist sentiment was not hidden in Ronald Reagan’s admonitions, ‘the scariest words in America– I’m from the government and I’m here to help”; and “government isn’t the solution, government is THE problem”. And anarchism runs in torrents from Donald Trumps rhetoric, it flows down through Mitch McConnell’s abuse of the rules of senate governance and honest deal brokering. Anarchic Philosophically guided Paul Ryan’s ideological leadership of the House. The need to screw government to take the money… It spreads over the tyranny of the Wisconsin legislature like the heat in a Russian banya. It colors the view of the relationships of tea-party patriots, sovereign citizens, and Proud Boys to their government.

      For me, deposited in this lonely place and time, there is little doubt that the confluence of Republican Anarchy came together in the harmonic amplification of all levels of sentiment to produce the January 6 Revolt at the Capitol. There should be no doubt that was a revolt promoted top to bottom to strip the authority of one branch of the US Government by noisy useful idiots aka rebels. Still and yet, it was an almost perfect fit to dictionary definitions of an act of ANARCHY.

      Proximity, that attack stems from Donald Trump’s popular appeal and his outreach to oligarch capitalists. Trump’s notion of himself was a political hero draining the legendary over-burdening bureaucratic swamps of DC. Even if deluded, that was built on a defiance of government. He saw himself, and likely still does, as beyond the law, and unaccountable to it. He claimed that he could commit crimes ranging from sexual abuse to committing murders on 5th Avenue with no consequence. Law and the basic tenets of human decency were not fetters for him. For his donors he promised to make America a market free from profit stifling regulations, and for his base he swore to plow under the weeds of costly social entitlements and protections holding them back. His was the role of planter of seeds that would make America great again. In his greatness he needed no assistance, and his supporters thought he offered them the same.

      And so, defeating the pandemic didn’t require input from experts from the National Institutes of Health, the CDC, or of a cooperation between the federal HHS and state government. The gigantic logistic solution to moving more than half a billion doses of vaccine from a small handful of manufacturers to over 250 million arms, twice, would be completed merely because he said it would. It was a terrible arrogance and defiance of advisory councils developed over decades and replacement of expertise by wacky notions of sycophants that agreed with him. It was, no doubt, the reification of disorder expected of anarchy.

      Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell was less narcissistic, but he did set his leadership program to anti-government obstructionism. His goal was never governance of participatory representative government. Instead his goal was the confounding of government whenever and wherever it fell into the hands of his opponents. His leadership was a litany of acts against the everyday practice of democracy. At each opportunity he denied his political opponents a share in meaningfully contributions to government. It was obstruction of government. And, obstruction of government is with little doubt, a manifestation of anarchy in action.

      Remember Paul Ryan? Republican Speaker of the House, who was slowly pushed off stage by radicals but not before he, the clean-handed acolyte of Ayn Rand and Free-marketism, made antigovermentism his mantra. His commitment was not to the Constitution or the People, but rather to an extremely ideological ‘Movement Republicanism’. In Ryan’s mind the problem with America was pretty simple. America was regulated and regulation was bad. Broad-brushed striking down regulations is an effort to create lawlessness. And a perfectly unregulated marketplace for unaccountable business cheats is quintessentially the goal of the ardent agents of capitalist anarchism.

      Across the traditionally republican south, and increasingly across republican leaning legislatures in the Rust Belt and Plains states, republicans have pushed for States’ Rights. What that boils down to is a desire and opposition to the ‘interfering’ presence of federal authority inside of states. The end goal of this is federal nihilism, an anarchy wherein the federal government has little or no authority within states. This is really much less about smaller government and lower taxes than its proponents’ propaganda suggests. It’s really the disempowering a federal government whose authority is essential to implement and protect the constitutional rights of US citizens and the basic uniform and equitable application of federal law across the various states.

      Behind this level anarchy is the libertarian’s desire to be free of pesky federal mandates that interfere with state-things including voting rights, environmental protection, minimum wages and eight hour work days.

      And this perversion is pushed by state republican operatives. Consider what Wisconsin’s republicans are up to, doing their damnedest to strike down all recent public health decrees, such as mask-mandates and size of public gatherings. By their own voices it isn’t because of the ineffectiveness or of these measures. It’s not because these mandates can’t be enforced. It’s strictly because Mr Vos, leader of the WI House, doesn’t want WI government to regulate people’s behavior, even in the interest of public safety in the midst of an unprecedented health crisis. What is the notion of opposing government rules and regulations on safety if it is not to highlight the central lawless credo of anarchism?

      And anarchy penetrates down to right-supporting individual citizens. You can’t describe the attempt to obstruct the Congressional ratification of the Electoral College vote as something other than an act of rejection of the authority of the Election Process, Congress, and the Courts who ruled against Trumps many post-election lawsuits.

      The revolt is a textbook example of open revolt against the seat of government that is supposed to grants authority to the incoming, duly elected presidential aspirant.

      No doubt historians, social commentators and editorial wags far greater than I will opine on this. They’ll produce volumes of scholarship on our current incredulous circumstance. Never before in US history had anarchists of any ilk produced the audacity to make a physical assault on a sitting Congress. Where did that confidence come from? How was it produced?

      Well, that not surprisingly brings us full circle and back to republican leadership. From the anti-government statements of Ronald Reagan, and from Grover Norquist and his preaching that less government was best, and could be achieved by starving government of taxes in order to shrink it so it could be drowned in a bathtub. Drowned in a bathtub. Not exactly pro-government, that.

      It also came from dubious conservative philosophers preaching about economic optimization of government revenue using ‘Laffer curves’ tipped on their sides so as to be impossible to be true functions available to unambiguous mathematical solution. It came from downright political confrontation, obstructionism, and tyranny of majorities that held minescule margins. It came from daily doses of anti-regulation and anti-tax right wing media projected as the honest truth, but obviously underwritten by advertising revenues of gigantic brokerage houses and conglomerate megacorporations with ethical conflicts.

      What isn’t known, but which hangs heavy in the air,is that what can be counted is likely just the tip of an iceburg’s worth of anarchists in the US population. That is possibly, if not undoubtedly, orders of magnitude larger than the size of the mob. And those discontented fellow citizens were cultivated and radicalized for decades by presidents during their terms, by partisan leadership across decades, and by years of increasingly partisan media, particularly by the rural penetration of radical talk radio. Surely it goes back as far as the anti-government resistance of the moral majority, but certainly it is present in Ralph Reid’s 2020 admonition for the Republican base to render to Trump enthusiastic obedience, the laws of man be damned.

      So, while you might not agree with my parsing of the definition of anarchy to anti-government sentiments and behavior. The repubicans have dug a huge hole for America and it’s anarchy all the way to the bottom.

      History doesn't repeat. We just make the same old mistakes in new contexts.


    • #401699
      Cold Mountain Trail
      • Total Posts: 12,932

      Noam Chomsky is a self-declared anarchist.

      “What comes to mind when we think of an anarchist? Most likely, it’s some punk wearing a bandana throwing Molotov cocktails at riot-control officers. We don’t typically imagine anarchists as elderly, soft-spoken professors, but there’s probably more of the latter than one would think.

      Best known for his revolutionary work in linguistics and cognitive science, Noam Chomsky is an avowed anarchist. It seems a like a contradiction. Anarchy is so often portrayed as chaos for chaos’s sake…  Our conception of anarchy has been colored by its most visible proponents — the black-clad protester breaking shop windows with a baseball bat and spray-painting a circled “A” in red. But, like most philosophies, anarchism and anarchists come in a variety of flavors. Mohandas Gandhi, for instance, has been described as an anarcho-pacifist. Noam Chomsky is an anarcho-syndicalist.  What is anarchism?

      In a 2013 interview, Chomsky explained how he sees anarchism and its role:

      “Primarily, [anarchism] is a tendency that is suspicious and skeptical of domination, authority, and hierarchy. It seeks structures of hierarchy and domination in human life over the whole range, extending from, say, patriarchal families to, say, imperial systems, and it asks whether those systems are justified. Their authority is not self-justifying. They have to give a reason for it, a justification. And if they can’t justify that authority and power and control, which is the usual case, then the authority ought to be dismantled and replaced by something more free and just. And, as I understand it, anarchy is just that tendency. It takes different forms at different times.”



      As I understand it, many of the Capitol coupsters don’t have a problem with authority or hierarchy in itself.  I could be wrong, as I haven’t talked to any of them.  But they were OK with Trump apparently.

      • #401722
        • Total Posts: 2,213

        Response to OP:

        There’s strong libertarian ethos in rural ways of life all across the world, and in US the settler ethos goes largely back to precapitalist luddite rejection of wage slavery. Native social science had already mostly decided that anarchy was preferable to hierarchy, after the Missisippian hierarchic class society had collapsed before colonization. Haudenosaunee Great Law of Peace is highly evolved product of libertarian social science, and it inspired not only Articles of Confederation but also what became Western Marxism and anarchism: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qBFvxkvpi2w

        The libertarian wing of Republican party is a minority of the party, and they are mainly minarchist propertarians, not anarchists. The pro-establishment wing of the R-party joined with Neocons of the D-party (yes, the same Bush neocons of Iraq war hoax that liberals pretended to hate ages ago) to form the current de facto one party fascist state that censures and suppresses anti-establishment opposition both left and right.

        Remember that Articles of Confederation were fairly decentralized and libertarian – as they were strongly influenced by native anarchy -, the 1788 Constitution was centralized capitalist counter-revolution after urban merchant class defeated the rural Shay’s rebellion with their mercenaries. Urban white collars and their dear capitalism, such a success story the US they created, don’t you think?


        • #401748
          Ohio Barbarian
          • Total Posts: 22,039

          When faced with a hierarchical, organized opposition, anarchists always eventually lose. The examples you cite, every single one of them, are historical losers.

          Personally, I think human beings are social animals drawn to some form of hierarchy or tradition, always. Even the Native American tribes you mention had absurd traditions with a force greater than that of English law. Traditions like not acknowledging some other tribes as being composed of human beings in some cases, which prevented them from uniting, which guaranteed their eventual conquest. The Articles of Confederation are a textbook case of why pure confederacies, where any member can veto any action, are always ineffective.

          It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.--Eugene Debs

          You can jail a revolutionary, but you can't jail the revolution.--Fred Hampton

          • #401785
            • Total Posts: 2,213

            Well, it boils down to how a win is defined, doesn’t it? If only game in town is ‘might makes right’, that’s pretty sad. And doesn’t look like US is winning even in that game. Or that that the alienated commodities of class society are feeling good about themselves and their lives.

            In the win-win games of general well-being and happiness, and long term ecological sustainability, situation looks very different.


    • #401702
      • Total Posts: 1,909

      but they have no limits when it comes to military spending.

      They want the government to “stay out of their lives” but they don’t have a problem with the US forcing our will on people from other parts of the world through military might. Unfortunately, there are still a majority of Democrats who are fine with a bloated military budget and they, like Republicans, support military aggression against foreign countries.

      • #401704
        Populist Prole
        • Total Posts: 622

        They’re also remarkably tolerant of private sector businesses shitting on them. If government issues strictures ( unless it’s law enforcement or the military ) they scream bloody murder about tyranny. When their private sector employers do the same, some may grumble, but it gives way to a sense servility in service of capitalism…which is so so much better than their extremely broadly defined “soshulism”.

        • #401711
          • Total Posts: 1,909

          They tell me that they are not against the environment, but they are against government regulations. Duh?

          What I’ve been seeing on some of their Facebook postings is that they now act like they’re so concerned about the workers on the Keystone Pipeline losing their jobs. I remember their chants of “Drill baby drill!” and their opposition to Cap and Trade. They appear to be for unfettered capitalism.

          • #401716
            • Total Posts: 2,213

            Do natives need regulation by US government to maintain natural balance? Or do they need all the solidarity they can get to protect water and land from US government and its regulation?

            Are settlers forever hopelessly incapable of learning how to live in balance as free and responsible people, instead of demanding to be treated like children by their politicians? I don’t believe so.


    • #401728
      • Total Posts: 1,439

      @sorbish: You ouched on so many different subjects that my effort to

      answer will also be long; but first an anecdote from my former Italian boss:

      Mussolini was asked how one can govern Italy with so many different factions.

      His answer was short and to the point:”You cannot.”

      First point: Both parties in the US are one and the same when it comes down

      to the system: economically and militarily. The differences are mainly culture

      issues, which don’t cost much, but can be made to appear very divisive. Those

      issues are clearly propagandized to fool people into the belief of two different

      parties.(Remember Pelosi answering a young man:”We are all capitalists.”.

      2nd point: If you checked carefully, the Dems gave Trump almost all he asked for;

      they even increased his military budget by~100 billion. At the same time they

      attacked him all the time. It’s a political game.

      3rd point: I think that starting with Reagan there was a clear intent to divide

      and conquer, from the parties and from the media. This was useful for the

      plans of MIC/CIA,WS/and international corporations. You could hear and see

      it from R. Limbaugh and the bought radio stations by the RW and fundamentalist

      Christian groups. And the tone become coarser and more vulgar. The so-called left

      never tried to spend money on these early propaganda sites, because  it had by now

      joined in cooing the corporations and WS . Thus the libertarians became also more


      4th point: After “I feel your pain”Clinton it became very slowly clear to the lower

      working class that they had been abandoned, and hoping for the best switched to

      R. Well, 9/11 gave  them a strong reason to unite temporarily. Fear will do that.

      That also started a rise in racial hatred, just as the establishment hoped for, clearly

      more division. Obama’s win for that same reason was divisive, but gave some

      people “hope”. While being a smooth talker, his actions did not help people

      during and after the 2008 depression. By now, people looked for an outsider.

      I don’t have to tell you that Trump is an unbelievable manipulator as well

      as a perpetual liar, in spite of the proverbial 2 nonfunctioning clock.

      5th point: You may say that Trump appealed to the worst common denominator,

      but he immediately was attacked by the establishment and most media of

      having been a Putin stooge. Obviously  half of the country having voted for

      him got very angry. (In my opinion rightfully so, since there was neither

      clear evidence nor proof). By now the D’s policy had become identity politics

      to the extreme, and too divisive for many people. The idiocy of impeaching

      Trump while essentially hiding Biden’s corruption, gave Trump supporters

      even more reason to hate DC.

      6th point: From the start of the US empire, the rules were always to give

      people an absurd idea of freedom, whether it was in the form of weapons

      or in a form of fighting the government. So people, who feel ( and rightly so

      imo) that the government does not give a hoot about their needs, are rebelling.

      The division has been planted quite a long time ago. There are always extremists,

      but the problems are far deeper than your assertion. If the government on purpose

      refuses what 60-70% of the people need and ask for,-and we know from studies that

      it does not care- then don’t be surprised about the reaction. That I would call a

      justified rebellion, not an anarchy.

      • #401756
        • Total Posts: 6,704

        And yes, the Democratic party’s policies are now all just political identity.  Diversionary tactics.

        America is not a country, it's just a business. (Brad Pitt, Killing Them Softly)

        Everything I post is just my opinion, and, honestly, I would love to be wrong.

    • #401744
      • Total Posts: 1,742

      but you are making a fundamental linguistic error. Anarchism is a blanket name for a number of social systems, all of which have one thing in common – they all deny society (the government) the power to destroy a broad number of basic human rights – oppress the people. Anarchy is when society (the government) has either lost or abdicated the ability to defend the people from oppression. The people who you cal anarchists are the exact opposite, authoritarians – i.e. fascists.

    • #401749
      Ohio Barbarian
      • Total Posts: 22,039

      Once I got past your literal use of the term anarchy as meaning anti-government, which you did define. Reagan did push an anti-government line, that was happily swallowed up by millions, that the magic of the marketplace would make everything hunky-dory if the big bad gubmint and the liberals who encouraged dependency on government just went away.

      It was always a lie. Reagan increased the wealth and power of the biggest government agencies of all in America–the military-industrial complex–because that was profitable to corporations. The rest of his deregulation was designed to make corporations and the rich more profitable, and the devil take the hindmost.

      But Reagan and the Republicans were definitely not opposed to hierarchy. Even the Capitol rioters on 1/6 had no objection to hierarchy itself, as our friend @voltairine does. Most want, for example, to have a hierarchy that forces others to “respect the flag” or to pray in pubic schools. They just wanted a different hierarchy with their man at the top.

      So, really, neither Reaganites nor Trumpsters are anarchists. They just want a friendlier hierarchy for them. In that sense, I’m no different. I’m a socialist who thinks some over-arching, uniting hierarchy is necessary in order to have the organization to keep civilization running.

      It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.--Eugene Debs

      You can jail a revolutionary, but you can't jail the revolution.--Fred Hampton

      • #401788
        • Total Posts: 2,213

        Even the Capitol rioters on 1/6 had no objection to hierarchy itself, as our friend @voltairine does

        Small further clarification, no problem with various competence hierarchies, the issue is institutional power hierarchies and civilization scale criticism of class society. And if institutional power hierarchies could live in peace with others, even that would not be a major issue, free association is the name of the win-win game. Panarchy, let all the flowers blossom, live and let live. But that’s not how the institutional power hierarchies are generally behaving. For various fucked up reasons they can’t let others live in peace and mind their own business. Attack is often best defense, and I love my Ancap comrades, as the plan is to take their money away, so they can’t anymore tax and fund their armies and cops to keep on robbing and genociding and fucking up the planet, which is not cool towards our children. Elon musk, whom they say is the moneywise richest dude in world, just went big in Bitcoin and dollar etc. blood money dropped against bitcoin to a new record number. But maybe something even better will come along, I like nice surprises.


    • #401755
      • Total Posts: 3,601

      ..because it would mean no restrictions on anything at all,and human nature being what it is,we know what would happen.

      It’s an interesting concept,and appealing to idealists,however.

      • #401790
        • Total Posts: 2,213

        Libertarian free will and metaphysical idealism is a very fascinating combo, but appealing? Doesn’t exactly look like so.


      • #401794
        • Total Posts: 203

        Maybe you do. If so, I’d benefit from knowing them.

        It seems that the laissez-faire, free-market acolytes are mostly about government keeping their hands off of interfering with business. They seem to love government when it profits them, such as in preventing student loan debt from being discharged by bankruptcy. And they seem to love copyright and patent protection.

        History doesn't repeat. We just make the same old mistakes in new contexts.


    • #401784
      game meat
      • Total Posts: 1,544

      Some may argue that’s a contradiction in terms, but pedantry aside, it’s a philosophy that doesn’t really reject hierarchies outright, just as long as those hierarchies exist as private entities rather than government entities. This can help explain why they are ever vigilant to guard against state tyranny, but are willfully submissive towards corporate tyranny.

      Of course, this is just in theory. At present, it’s righty who rails against big tech overreach, while it’s the liberals who have been pushing for more censorship. But that’s just a result of what each side believes is in their best interest to establish narrative control. Today’s politics is little more than an impenetrable force field of brain melting hypocrisy.

    • #401805
      • Total Posts: 5,481

      "Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable". - John F. Kennedy

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