The common contraindication in the anarchist sphere is the idea of Anarchism vs Statism, that is, if you are not for total anarchy, you are a Statist. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the orthodox thinking, but the simple categorisation ignores the fact that there are people who might support a minimal state and be sympathetic to anarchy or vice versa. Another problem we encountered with this narrative is the problem with defining what the essence of a state is. Simply calling people a Statist doesn’t really appeal to any argument, rather I think it has since become a trope or a buzzword for those traditionally aligned with Anarcho Capitalism.
This confusing use of the word has led me to abandon the use of the word Statist in favour of a different dichotomy- Collectivism vs Individualism. Collectivism demands the subjugation of the individual to a group, it values the tribal notion of the common good as the moral justification of all societies. Common good is undefinable as the tribe consists of individuals, the only good that can be created is directly pertaining to individual living organisms. Individualism regards every single man as an independent entity capable and possess the inalienable right to govern his own life. A civilized society can only be achieved through the recognition of the individual rights. While Statism is always collectivism because it is force, the absence of Statism does not always equal individualism.
This brings us to introduce another dichotomy- Mind vs Body. I am using the term broadly to indicate people who think and people who do, not just a duality. The problem we are facing today is the inconsistency between the mind and the body. To quote Thomas Sowell, “The problem isn’t that Johnny can’t read. The problem isn’t even that Johnny can’t think. The problem is that Johnny doesn’t know what thinking is; he confuses it with feeling”. We have a new generation of collectivists who think they are individualists and individualists who think they are collectivists.
For example, there’s this one person I know believes he is an individualists but psychologically his core believes are that men can be enslaved and we can call this freedom. He lives in an ironic life of supporting second handedness by basing his identity on how other people think of him, he pretends to sacrifice himself in order for others to sacrifice for him, he values feelings over facts. Other prominent examples includes Libertarian Presidential candidate Gary Johnson who favour collectivist policies, the entire Student For
Fascism Liberty. He can think but cannot act out his believes, instead he chose to live in a delusion which contradicts everything he believes in.
I also know an opposite example who inherently doesn’t think people are individuals and we must think in terms of a larger group. However, he consistently favours ideas which are individualists in essence such as freedom of speech, pacifism and meritocracy. Other prominent examples includes UK Independence party leader Nigel Farage who has a collectivist believe but acts out in individualism after being subjected to actual collectivism, Donald Trump, Law and Justice Party in Poland. He cannot think but he appears to be able to adapt to the reality, which raises questions regarding his integrity.
The battle of integrity is most evident in Rand’s novel We the Living in which all 3 of our protagonists acted against their believes. Kira Argounova is the heroine who desired to be an engineer and to leave the communist Russia one day but she acted against her goals by sacrificing her dreams and morals to support her beloved, effectively living her life for him. Leo Kovalensky is ideologically similar to Kira which led to their immediate attraction, but the bleak reality in Soviet Russia left him depressed and abandoned his devotion to Kira in order to secure materialism. Lastly, Andre Taganov, an idealist communist who fell in love with Kira acted against his own believe by going out of his way to help her, effectively living a double life. When he realised communism was killing them, it was too late for him.
It is precisely because living in a lie is so much easier than living in the truth that we see a new generation of hypocrites surfacing. You see the holier than thou conservative pretending to support freedom while fishing for attention; you see the woman crying for feminism because only ugly men are attractive to her; you see champagne socialist living off nepotism and daddy while telling others to sacrifice themselves so they can eat cakes; you see the crony capitalists supporting the control of others while avoiding all responsibilities for their actions; you see the intelligentsia calling others oppressive while living in a castle; you see regressive liberal abandoning the everything liberal to fuel their martyr complex.
The above are only the mild types however, the worst are the ones who could neither think nor act, there’s actually a specific sub group for these people, commonly known as “Stuff that didn’t happen” in which they made up an unbelievable story to glorify themselves in a collectivist mindset. The typical structure of this mindset is:
- A perfectly normal person is minding their own business
- Oppressor(s) appear to harass them
- The person or a white knight has a
lamewitty comeback to the oppressor
- Oppressor is silenced due to
- Everyone claps or the person and white knight live happily ever after
*Variation of structure can occur but there’s always a glorification of collectivism in place
Their ability to lie not only to others but also to themselves is appalling. This is the type of mentality shown in Rand’s novella Anthem set in a completely collectivised dystopian future. You have the hero Equality 7-2521 who has above average intelligence but is forced to live as a street sweeper by the the World Council. The world of Anthem is a planned communist dystopia that technology were removed and planned. When Equality found a secret lair of scientific work from the former world, he presented his rediscovery of electricity (which in turn produced light to replace the candles) to the horrified world council and Department of Candles which condemn the technology because it was “unplanned”.
These are the people who are choosing to be ignorant in order to not disrupt their perceived “order” (unintentional pun). This is why we must stop the tyranny of the group in favour of the individual, we may have lost some individuality up until now, but there is a future which we could regain it. Be the Prometheus of the world and shine your light to the darkness plaguing us in every corner of the world.