Monday, October 18, 2010

Weekly Column - 10/16/2010

This week's column:

“For most people, anarchy is a disturbing word, suggesting chaos, violence, antinomianism — things they hope the state can control or prevent.” – Joe Sobran, The Reluctant Anarchist

The late Joe Sobran was correct about the shortcomings of using a misunderstood word. Hans-Hermann Hoppe, whom Sobran credits with finishing his conversion, prefers the term natural order, but this also requires a lengthy explanation. For now, it seems that anarchists will have to firmly elucidate their opposition to aggressive force.

This is important, because it is this opposition which constitutes the real difference between violent anarchists and those who wish to replace the State with a system of voluntary association. The anarchists of yesteryear were assassins, eliminating the heads of state under the naïve belief that the State itself would fade away without its figurehead. Modern anarchists, at least those influenced by Sobran and Hoppe, know full well that the State cannot be replaced so easily. Moreover, the State is force; to meet it on its own terms is to grant legitimacy to its coercive nature, something anarchists would never do. The State will fall, not in a paroxysm of violence, but by the withdrawal of citizens who refuse to accept the coercive apparatus and return to cooperative means to meet human needs.

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