A few years ago I summed up the reasons why I am an atheist and I thought it would be a good idea to do the same for why I am also an anarchist.
I was first exposed to anarchism in February of 2005 after being given a copy of my friend Bob Clapp's book Every Man and Woman an Island as a gift. At the time, however I hadn't yet met Bob. I first met him about nine months later after wanting to begin weight training and I heard he was an excellent trainer. And from the five years or so I trained with him I can confirm that.
I read a chapter or two each night before going to bed and I enjoyed the book. What he said made a lot of sense, though at the time I was doubtful about how realistic the idea of an anarchist society would be. It was over a period of a few years as I talked with Bob and researched the idea of anarchism that I came to believe that it might be possible. The many examples of societies functioning just fine (and oftentimes even better) when government intervention is replaced with privatized firms was the big argument that convinced me.
His concept of Prime, however, was one aspect of his book that for some reason I just couldn’t wrap my brain around at first. It took a while of talking with Bob between sets while at the gym for me to understand it. According to Bob, I am only one out of I believe three or four people who have been able to fully understand it.
The concept of Prime is Bob’s underlying principle and is (I believe) why he is an anarchist: because governments are anti-Prime, or in other words, they do harm to individuals through violence and forces them to bend to their will without their consent. If governments simply helped people without infringing upon their rights and harming them he would be fine with government (and I probably would be as well). Unfortunately, throughout history that has never been the role of government, even though that’s what it was created for.
As I read through Bob’s book for that first time, I was shocked at the stories he told of police and government misconduct and just plain stupidity. It really opened my eyes and made me think. Bob’s philosophy has surely shaped the way I view the world and society at large, though even before reading Bob’s book I have for a long time had a bit of a dislike of authority which, honestly, is one reason why I believe I was perceptive to the idea of anarchism. Though that does not change the fact that government wrongfully violates human beings’ rights on a constant basis and that should be considered wrong no matter who you are.
I agree with some of my critics that anarchism, as a system, has never been tried on a large scale and it would require a complete reworking of society [Actually, anarchism has been tried on a large scale. I just wasn’t aware of it when I wrote this post.], but I believe that would be to the benefit of all individuals. I believe that government should just let people live and let live and not force them to live under their rule, and/or a large section of society would have to uncondition themselves from the indoctrination that the government force feeds its citizens on a constant basis; it’s claim that it must exist or anarchy will lead to strife. However, if one looks at this objectively we already are living in a world of strife because of the government’s pointless campaigns to torture us into submission; it’s theft of what rightfully belongs to us; it’s murdering and harming of innocent (and not so innocent) individuals who do not deserve such treatment; and last but not least, it’s unethical spying campaigns. This cycle of abuses will never end until we do what the founders of this country did: tell the government to go fuck itself and start anew - this time without repeating our past mistakes.
While thinking about and researching anarchism, and at the same time researching religion, I began to see the similarities between government and religion and how the apologists for government often use similar arguments as religious apologists. I reasoned that if the arguments for religion was faulty and the arguments for government are similar in many ways, then it stands to reason that the arguments favoring government are illogical as well. I’ve written about this issue here and here.
This sums up why I am an anarchist, and as always feel free to write to ask me any questions you may have.
See Also: My Deconversion: From Statist to Anarchist
The Tao of Arizona Atheist