Removing the Scales: My Journey to Anarchism

While all my friends and acquaintances are lighting themselves on fire and bewailing the current political climate of our nation, I remain peaceful and serene in the knowledge that I am a free human person, created in the image and likeness of God.  It’s amazing how eager we are to forget this.  No matter how much others try to dehumanize you, you remain human.  No matter how much the government, the nation-state, your parents, your teachers, yes even your priests, try to enslave you mentally, financially, and physically, you remain objectively a free individual.  It’s so sad how many of us forget this, or seem never to have learned it in the first place.  That is the essence of anarchy – the knowledge and ownership (and exercise) of your own freedom, not political action and revolution.  However helpful and valuable those maybe, they are fleeting and of this world.  The elect will be free forever.  The damned are slaves to themselves.  Don’t enslave yourself.

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Funny how the people who claim to hate politics and politicians are always the first in line to vote.

It’s not always easy to look back and see the clear evolution of your thoughts.  I know I got here somehow, but the way back is not always clear.  When did I become an anarchist?  Depends on how you define that term.  I suspect it all began during my process of conversion to Catholicism.  Catholicism is to the human person what sunlight is to earth.  There is very little not affected by it.  The process of becoming Catholic is not just a little change in worldview, or a shift merely in theology and the spiritual life.  Like the name implies, it is a radical overhaul of the whole person.  It affects not just your religious life, but also what books you read, what movies you watch, what you say and do, even how you wake up in the morning.  Certainly politics is not safe from the Catholic onslaught of change.

I guess I was raised a Neo-Con.  I was born in 1996, but I have an unusually long and vivid memory.  I actually do remember the 2000 presidential campaign.  I remember how much of a faggot Al Gore was.  I remember his rather inglorious loss.  I remember how great everyone thought that Good Ol’ Texas Boy G Dubya was.  I remember 9/11, and the invasion of Iraq (though strangely not the invasion of Afghanistan).  Like most late millennials, my entire life has been overshadowed by the threat of terror and the solutions of the Zionist Neo-Cons.  For as liberal as President Obama pretends to be most of the time, he has largely continued the Bush administration’s devotion to foreign invasions, preemptive wars, and mass surveillance.

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Neo-Conservatism has been one of the most destructive ideologies of modern times.  And I think my conversion to Catholicism forced me to acknowledge this and look for alternatives.  Catholicism’s nearly dogmatic love of and concern for the poor, and championing of the dignity of labor, initially pushed me toward center-left Big Gubmintism.  Note to all libertarians, especially the Catholics among us, most people really mean well.  They don’t want to be apologists for theft and murder.  Especially those who drift left are motivated by compassion and concern for their fellow men.  The change finally began in me when I realized that government doesn’t do any of the great things we’re told it will.  It doesn’t help the poor.  It doesn’t bust up monopolies.  It doesn’t keep us safe.  It doesn’t make healthcare universal.  It’s all a sham.  All a lie.

So I began looking into Catholic Social Teaching.  There is much in our rich tradition that is worthy of reverence in this regard.  I, like many, went through my Rerum Novarum phase.  My love for Tolkien and My Little Pony led me to flirt with Distributism, an ideology I still have quite a bit of fondness for.  Honestly, I think my move to straight up anarchism, anarcho-capitalism, was instigated by Mr. Jeffrey Tucker.  I knew of Tucker from an episode of Catholic Answers Live on Liturgical music.  I had no idea at the time that he was a radical free market libertarian.  When I discovered his wonderfully optimistic and idealistic outlook on life, his love of the market and pop culture, I was sold.

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Everyone thinks libertarians are just these sad, miserly, prophets of doom.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Anarchy is about freeing your mind.  About opting out as much as possible of the things that enslave us.  It’s seeing the beauty in non-coercive human relationships and interactions.  Today I discovered two fantastic apps.  For all these nay-sayers who don’t believe freedom actually works, here is your real, practical answer.  There is Gyft, a service which allows you to electronically buy, store, and use gift cards for hundreds of American retailers using Bitcoin technology.  And then there is Purse.io, specifically designed for Bitcoin users making purchases on Amazon.  This last app is so beautiful and simple.  Individuals buy products on Amazon for other people in exchange for Bitcoin.  It is collaborative, it is peaceful, it is mutually enriching.  It is an agorist’s dream that shows the beauty of human cooperation and allows folks to opt out of the State and its currency.

I visited a Farmers Market, too, another example of the same.  Anarchy and capitalism are all about love.  About making all of our lives better.  About seizing the freedom that is already ours.  Forget the theories and complex sociology and BS politics that our rulers are constantly trying to involve us in.  Forget this stupid presidential race and BE FREE!

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