L. Neil Smith's
THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 179, June 24, 2002
"Assume a Meditative Stance"
Right Wing Anarchy: A Dead End
Exclusive to TLE
In the early months of this year I began to post at an "anarcho- capitalist" site. My purpose was to learn more about right wing anarchism and to investigate whether it offered any solutions to the problem of statism. Like its ugly twin sister, left wing anarchism, it is ideologically bankrupt, however, and is, at bottom, just a confused attempt to repackage the essence of rightist philosophy.
It is false both in its analysis of the problem and, therefor, in its diverse "solutions" thereto. The majority of its adherents are political dilettantes who delight in theories and abstract concepts but shun practicality in thought and deed. To some, the very word "practical" is anathema.
Not surprisingly, many are inspired by science fiction and fantasy literature. Few know more than superficial details of history. Most are television watchers. All profess horror at the idea of "the" collective.
Given the above, it should not be surprising that identifying right wing anarchy is a lot like clutching at smoke. However, several positions dominate. Let us examine them.
the analysis of the problem
To all anarchists, be they of the left or right, the main problem which faces mankind is not one of statism, but of government of any kind in any form. This, of course, they equate with statism as, having few ideas of their own, they borrow and corrupt the vocabulary of others; in this case, that of libertarianism.
However, all government need not necessarily be statist, in spite of the fact that all statism depends on some form of bloated super- government. This concept is a subtle one, of course, so the majority of anarchists are immediately lost when presented with it. From such keen intellects, the following "solutions" to the problem of "the collective" emerge.
the solution(s) to the problem
The total destruction of all forms of government is the core of both left wing anarchy and the rightist version. To this end, all manner of fabulous ideas are theorised by the anarcho-capitalists. The rule of 3-2-1 applies here; if you want three answers, ask two anarchists one question. A sampling:
Insurance solves all problems Or, variously, "the market will solve all problems." Many of these theories would, in fact, work in practice, as all libertarians realise. The catch is that in those areas for which libertarians insist that some government is needed, the free market never has and never will function properly.
A free market only works in the arena of the creation and sale of goods and services. It isn't designed to protect citizens from fraud, coercion and violence, and it did not arise from such (preventive) activity. A free market is a wonderful thing in its own field, and is incomparably more efficient than any government at providing goods and services, but it is not adaptable to functions which it was never intended to perform.
It does not, in fact, follow logically that because a free market provides the best toasters at the lowest price that it could deal with the problem of violent aggression. That a free market can meet most of our needs does not mean that it can meet all of them.
I believe that I warned you about their aversion to practicality. Combined with their inability to grasp the lessons of history, the result is the occasional scheme to run off to live apart together... or kind of together. But not as a collective or a commune or anything; just all anarcho-capitalists. No trespassing. Unfortunately, this one keeps bumping its pointed head up against the Immovable Object of practicality. Not constituting anything like an Irresistible Force, anarchy gives way in short order.
Shooting every politician with whom one disagrees strikes a very few as being a way of ushering in the above-mentioned utopia. However, the state's ability to regenerate amputated members is apparent even to most right wing anarchists. The left-wingers proved this approach to be a dismal failure as recently as the Spanish Civil War, also.
I, too, am a fan of science fiction and fantasy, but I don't mistake it for a solution to the here-and-now problem of Leviathan Running Amuck. The limited appeal of this concept combined with the dubious premise that "we'll be free in the stars" tend to disqualify it as a solution to much of anything other than (the evasion of) the nasty problem of practical (there's that nasty word again) action to achieve specific, concrete ends.
This one is interesting; the very same individuals who tell one that it is a "cop-out" and a sure road to total statism to support libertarian candidates for office will claim that it is in their supposedly enlightened "self-interests" to vote for the worst statists around. They become livid with rage when the results of this policy are exposed, too.
At heart, most right wing anarchists are right wing statists. This is why they identify with anti-immigrant rightists like Le Pen and the Dutch rightist who was recently assassinated. They equate the normal flow of impoverished populations toward centres of employment with government-enforced "multiculturalism". Then they end up endorsing the right wing statists who promise to repel the tide of the Impure Races. The contradictions in this somehow elude them.
The anti-historical bent again manifests itself in the pipe dream of the neo-feudalism of the Hoppe-heads. This goulash anarchism favours monarchy and competing "private security companies" as a means to prevent the restoration of the state! The fact that this is the principal ingredient in the historic recipe for the actual creation of the modern nation-state does not seem to bother right wing anarchists. It is a tribute to the gullibility of some and the disingenuousness of others.
The appeal of right wing anarchy, like its leftist counterpart, will never be more than extremely limited. It is bent on alienating as many truly anti-statist elements as possible. Individual anarcho- capitalists embrace racist and social Darwinist nonsense. A majority are atheists, abortionists and evolutionists. Some even quote from the vicious, satanic fool, Friedrich Nietzche. In addition, a majority of them feel obliged to militantly oppose religion, too. Some have opined that, "There's no such thing as morality." That's very convenient for them, of course, but it is hardly an attraction to the majority of people. Nietzchean elitism has its intrinsic rewards, no doubt, but it's repulsive to decent human beings.
So what does right wing anarchism have to offer those who are interested in bringing about a libertarian society? Nothing. Like all forms of anarchism, it's a dead end road travelled by the spiritually and intellectually moribund.
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