I never questioned the legitimacy of governments. Their history is rife with examples of some people using them to initiate violence against others, but I just thought they needed reform – and I thought “mine” was better. How misguided I was. Despite the nationalistic propaganda we’re endlessly fed in schools and the media, the US federal government differs only in minor degree from others. It just has a more effective public relations operation.
Reached my Boiling Point, Still didn’t Get it
I reached my boiling point last year. I just could not stay quiet anymore. The wars, the torture, the debasing of the currency, the limitless spending, the oppressive taxes and the unabashed violations of rights enshrined in the constitution became too much. But I still believed in reform.
LP: Last Stop before Anarchism
Ironically it was my involvement in the Libertarian Party – a group of liberty activists who believe in reforming government – that pushed me over the chasm to anarchism. My hopes were high when I joined the LP, but the reality is devastating. The LPers I identify with – the more radical ones – are laboring under a contradiction. They ostensibly pursue an electoral path to liberty, but refuse to do the organizational work necessary to be effective.
Apathetic Participation a Net Plus for Government
The moment I realized this, the doubts I’d formed over the last year crystallized and I knew I was in the wrong place. To participate in the electoral process is to strengthen it, so to simultaneously abandon resistance is to render it a net plus for this illegitimate government, and a net minus for me. I refuse to be a part of that.
Making Libertarian Friends a Net Plus
Socializing online with libertarians is definitely a net plus for me though. I got over my prejudice against anarchism and questioned my beliefs in new ways. I discovered anarcho-capitalism and its various schools of thought, including Autarchism, Voluntaryism and Agorism, all of which I find more agreeable than limited government.
Government is Illegitimate Force
Perhaps I’m just impatient, but I’ve watched “my” government ceaselessly expand during my lifetime. In fact, I’ve read about its ceaseless expansion since it was founded. Politicians who promise reductions end up growing it more than those who promise growth. Limited government fans talk about reducing the government to its constitutional limits but with loopholes like the interstate commerce clause, that’s meaningless. I’ve lost faith in government. It can’t be fixed. If governments derive their powers from the consent of the governed, count me out. I do not consent!
Next Stop: Free Market Anarchism
Since I’m withdrawing my support for governments and state capitalism, I’ll be phasing out my participation in political organizations, in order to consistently align my actions with my values. Here’s my todo list:
- Study the works of authors such as Lysander Spooner, Samuel Edward Konkin III and Murray Rothbard.
- End my membership in the LP and BTP. I’m especially ambivalent about the LP because the founder allegedly claims that the pledge is a renunciation of my right to revolution.
- Cease all donations to political parties, candidates or organizations that participate in the electoral process.
- Hand over de facto control of the LP Transparency Caucus and shadow bylaw and platform committees to someone else (if anyone even wants them). I will also be ending the “My LP” and Libertarian Party Candidates projects.
- Search for ways to work for greater liberty, without supporting governments.
- Evaluate all of my activities with the goal of ending any and all support for governments.
- Actively withdraw my consent from governments.