Blogger-SMS | Déjà Vu ~ Times

Anarchy: Four Fatal Flaws?

(In Response to “The Most Dangerous Superstition”1)

More and more we are encountering both theoretical and practising neo-anarchists.2 A recent encounter was through the words of Larken Rose. He has many accurate observations and criticisms of authority, and of statists, but like other anarchists, his conclusions and prescriptions contain fatal flaws, (in my view).

Fatal # 1: Misunderstanding Human Nature
Three times, when critiquing “statists,” Larken accuses them of “a profound misunderstanding of human nature”3  The irony is: this phrase may be Larken’s most fatal flaw — a massive blind spot to the observable science and history of human nature and to the will that drives millions to pursue power, gain, and glory, often without conscience, and under the cloak of secret dealings and agreements.4 This human passion for power, gain, and glory has plagued mankind since the “days of Cain” and though Larken may or may not believe in Biblical history, there are unending examples in secular history and even current headlines to reconsider Larken’s apparent belief that volunteerists and free-markets can readily handle this obsessive will to power, gain, and glory that corrupts most of what it pursues or protects. The anarchist’s delusion is reminiscent of Ayn Rand and her Galt autonomous zone5 or the recent CHAZ/CHOP in Seattle,6 or the myriad off-shoots that are being birthed, monied, co-opted, and micro-managed by the hidden pursuers and protectors of power and gain. One of Larken’s suggestions is this:

“If they [volunteerist, non-authoritarian protectors privately hired under the anarchist system] ever acted as aggressors, retribution against them would be certain and swift. In a population that has given up the superstition of “authority,” any group of protectors which decided to become a group of extortionists, thugs and tyrants would not be “voted” against, or sued, or complained about to some “authority.” They would be shot.”7

I suggest that critical questions for Larken and associates to consider are: Who decides the guilt? On what evidence? Or is it all decided by his suggested preemptive warning system:

“I believe that if you do this, I have the right to respond in this way”8?

Which brings us to a collateral massive blind spot — the failure to consider that almost all humans manifest (in varying times and amounts) myopic, self-serving, mis-perceiving, misconceiving, self-defensive, easily offended, thoughts and behaviors.9

SO IF, as a general “rule,” we humans see and hear less than half of what there is to see and hear in any given event or circumstance, what hired, free-market protector could safely trust an individual or a group presentation of “facts”? We witness every day, on social and broadcast media, how people can observe the same event and then report such diverse interpretations that one would never know they were reporting a shared event. YouTube comments witness the same. We are all at such differing levels and degrees of maturity, awareness, and mental health, so how can we possibly imagine to act in justice without some broader way to adjudicate truth or its closest approximation.

And must we not consider the shadow side of human nature explored by many psychologists / philosophers / scientists and revealed in numerous experiments such as the Stanley Milgram one and the Zimbardo one (SPE)?10 If we are not aware of the nature and disposition of almost all men and women to abuse power or acquiesce to its abuse, we set ourselves up to become unwitting power abusers in this world where we will be continually confronted: 1) with people-without-conscience (PWOCs); 2) with enticements to become leaders and authorities to manage PWOC and other offenses; and 3) with our own unacknowledged dark side. That’s the nature of human nature and this world.

Fatal #2: The power of money to corrupt
Another apparent blind spot seems to be the power of money to corrupt, not just government, but private business, service, and individuals. What incentive, considering the reality of human nature, would motivate a “volunteerist, non-authoritarian protector privately hired” to inquire too aggressively into the justifications for retribution of a perceived wrong, especially when s/he knows that some volunteerist down the street is aggressively competing for more business? The corrupting power of money has been the lament of thousands of the wise and not so wise as seen here: Money Woes11

Fatal #3: The myth of informed consumers, open competition, and free markets
Larken writes:

… in a truly free market, with informed consumers and open competition, corruption and crime would not pay, and businesses would be unable to insulate themselves from the consequences of their irresponsibility.12

But how informed is anyone in the current state of PR, propaganda, psy-op, competition, deceptive advertising, and the endless pursuit and persuasion of consumers? Yes, the unholy alliances between big business and government accounts for much of the present corruption of the economy, but the nature of many people makes them vulnerable to the many PWOCs that gravitate to opportunities for power, gain, and glory. As Larken acknowledges:

Most people simply do not want the hassles and the stress that comes with confrontations, and especially do not want the risks that come with violent confrontations. Many people “turn the other cheek” quite often, not necessarily because they are patient and loving, but simply to avoid being bothered with timewasting, futile bickering. Many, when they encounter someone doing something obnoxious, simply “let it slide,” because they have more important things to worry about. There is, in most people, a strong tendency to “get along,” even if just for one’s own benefit.13

And so free-market PWOCs, even without government support / protection, can conceal their crimes and almost endlessly repeat business deceptions and failures upon new, unsuspecting consumers and communities who let things slide because it’s too much hassle and frustration.

So, if the competitive free market is touted as the foundation of utopian anarchism, all I can do is repeat myself with sorrow: Classic Capitalism for Romantics?14

Fatal #4: Discounting or ignoring the WE
As I see it, anarchism severs the social half from the individual half of the human quadrant of reality promoting a ME mentality that appeals to the worst aspects of the natural man15 and fails to acknowledge that in some instances the whole (the sum) of society is greater than its parts or even the partial sum of them. The delicate balance between ME and WE is not helped by ignoring the needs or realities of the WE that surrounds the ME.

It appears that neo-anarchists are trying to impose a utopia of higher-dimension human evolution / enlightenment upon a mixed dimension world filled with all sorts of personalities and moral perspectives from naive believers to sociopaths / psychopaths. Neo-anarchists seem to imagine that free-markets, open competition, and self-defense can control the worst of human nature when science and history prove otherwise. Consider all the ‘gurus’ who have led willing people into destructive paths when they supposedly began their causes with the best of philosophies, intentions and motives. And consider all the sycophants and citizens who have blindly, trustingly empowered authority figures to roll-out tyrannies such as we are witnessing on a global scale here in 2020. And consider how rapidly a leaderless vacuum fills with diverging opinions and wanna-be leaders.

A Mental Reset?
A possible (partial) solution to unjustified authority has been around for 2000 years. It requires a mental reset. A reset where “leaders” are not authoritarians with power to dictate, control, demand, legislate, but where they are contracted (and monitored) as servants to do an extremely limited number of responsibilities — not as authorities, but as servants of the society recognizing that

8 … the law is good, if a man use it lawfully;
9 Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers,
10 For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine;16

However, the servant paradigm of leadership is only a partial answer, because as long as the natural man exists, there will be PWOCs and others seeking / abusing power, gain, and glory and followers who purposely or naively support them. Thus the need for appropriate, but limited law in the spirit of 1 Timothy 1 above and with the understanding that

“whatsoever is more or less than the constitutional law of the land cometh of evil.”17

1. Larken Rose. The Most Dangerous Superstition. Unknown. Kindle Edition.
2. Traditionally, anarchism was defined as: n. 1  the political theory that government and law are unnecessary and harmful because they prevent individuals from reaching their greatest development.  2  lawlessness or terrorism, BUT the neo-anarchists, as I term them, believe in some laws and rules that justify their self-defence (or volunteerist, leaderless group action) when defending rights and freedoms that they perceive have been offended or infringed. In their view, when someone harms another, it does not confer any authority over the offender by the victim; it merely triggers natural rights consequence which the victim can choose to apply. In other words, each self is sovereign, subject only to consequence for harming another if the harmed one chooses consequence or hires another (in the free-market system) to apply consequence.
3. Rose, Larken. The Most Dangerous Superstition (p. 216 & 224×2). Unknown. Kindle Edition.
4. Adam Smith: “People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices.” (The Wealth of Nations, p. 148—I.X.I) See also:
5. GAZ? as in GAZlighting. See
7. Rose, Larken. The Most Dangerous Superstition (p. 223). Unknown. Kindle Edition.
8. Ibid., (p. 213). Unknown. Kindle Edition.
9. Consider, amongst many other “human nature” studies, Robert Greene’s, The Laws of Human Nature. which details amongst others:
   ● The Law of Covetousness
   ● The Law of Shortsightedness
   ● The Law of Defensiveness
   ● The Law of Envy
   ● The Law of Grandiosity
   ● The Law of Conformity
   ● The Law of Fickleness
   ● The Law of Aggression
   ● The Law of Generational Myopia
12. Rose, Larken. The Most Dangerous Superstition (pp. 224-225). Unknown. Kindle Edition.
13. Ibid., (p. 228). Unknown. Kindle Edition.
16. New Testament | 1 Timothy 1:8-10
17. Doctrine and Covenants | Section 98:5-9 ~ … that law of the land which is constitutional, supporting that principle of freedom in maintaining rights and privileges, belongs to all mankind, and is justifiable before me. Therefore, I, the Lord, justify you, and your brethren of my church, in befriending that law which is the constitutional law of the land; And as pertaining to law of man, whatsoever is more or less than this [the constitutional law of the land], cometh of evil. I, the Lord God, make you free, therefore ye are free indeed; and the law also maketh you free. Nevertheless, when the wicked rule the people mourn. (Bold emphasis added.)