In the first part of applying market anarchism and libertarianism to the real world I discussed the theory and how to apply it to real world scenarios and so forth. Here I’d like to help my fellow market anarchists (as well as anarchists in general) with what strategies they should use to undermine the state by going through what ones they should do and what ones they should not and why. Throughout this post I shall also link various articles that back my point, add more info on the subject or are just good readings on the subject regardless of whether I agree with it or not. I’ll generally say which one of it is explicitly when I link something but even when I don’t it’ll be pretty easy to determine from the article which one it is. With that out of the way let’s examine some tactics that market anarchists can use and often times do.
Tactics and definitions
Here are (briefly) some tactics that are worth looking at by market anarchists, not necessarily doing but worth consulting and seeing if they generally undermine the state in a meaningful, positive, and helpful manner.
Non-violent resistance: Such examples can be found here such examples include, civil disobedience, non-cooperation, education, peaceful protests and so on.
Violent resistance: This mostly includes violent acts of rebellion like some Black Bloc tactics that have been used, outright rebellion or killing of public officials, throwing things at federal buildings and corporations, etc.
Direct Action: There are specific places for specific types of direct action such as direct action in the hopes of undermining or even firing your boss. Direct action is the in between of violent and non-violent resistance because it can be either one and not necessarily violent or peaceful. Within peaceful action it can be what has already been listed under them can be peaceful but more violent acts can include murder or just aggressing against the anarchist considers an aggressor in society.
Within each of those types of action are important subcategories that should be looked at (at the very least) by any market anarchist and have them decide for themselves which is right for them.
Propaganda of the Deed
There’s also debatable actions that could be considered violent or non-violent depending on how you look at it such as:
With all of this said what should market anarchists consider and not consider? First off I want to list the things market anarchists should avoid, whether for moral, practical or other reasons.
Tactics to avoid
Violent resistance in general is something I personally do not advocate for practical reasons and not necessarily moral reasons. Let’s take the violent act of assassinations, I think there are certainly moral reasons for it but as that anarchist in that video explains there’s hardly any practical use for violence if you want to outdo the state. As Ken Knudson explains in his critique of anarchist communism on his section Revolution: The Road to freedom? (Stating on pp. 26, 43) Knudson illustrates how revolution is not the path anarchists should expect to derive freedom from, a few excerpts of his illustrates such points:
“we still find many anarchists looking for a shortcut to freedom by means of violent revolution. The idea that anarchism can be inaugurated by violence is as fallacious as the idea that it can be sustained by violence. The best that can be said for violence is that it may, in rare circumstances, be used as an expedient to save us from extinction. But the individualist’s rejection of violence (except in cases of self-defense) is not due to any lofty pacifist principles;it’s a matter of pure pragmatism: we realize that violence just simply does not work.” (p. 27)
“The task of anarchism, as the individualist sees it, is not to destroy the state, but rather to destroy the myth of the state. Once people realize that they no longer need the state, it will – in the words of Frederick Engels -inevitably “wither away”
But unless anarchists can create a general and well-grounded disbelief in the state as an institution, the existing state might be destroyed by violent revolution or it might fall through its own rottenness, but another would inevitably rise in its place. And why shouldn’t it? As long as people believe the state to be necessary (even a “necessary evil”, as Thomas Paine said), the state will always exist.”
These two quotes (early on in this chapter no less) are the best criticisms of the idea of insurrection Knudson brings forth and I wholeheartedly agree. Killing all the cops, policeman, judges, politicians, lawyers, CEOS and so forth won’t do anything if people still think they need a central authority to control their lives (and others of course). Thus while I think people have every right to kill public officials I don’t recommend it on practical grounds nor would I do it myself (just in case any Fed reading this is curious) but on moral grounds you would seem to be within your right to do it, again though it’s just an impractical idea. Who controls the most guns after all? It’s just been more or less proven that even if you killed all of the public officials even THEN if people are still within the improper mindset then it won’t do anything. This is why propaganda of the deed also historically failed.
Politics is simply a method of dealing with the ideas of power and so social organizations are built around it, this being said the current political structure of voting should be considered almost nothing to market anarchists, the old recycled anarchist quotes from Lysander Spooner about how choosing a master every four years does not make you any more free and Emma Goldman’s about how if voting matters (which is a big part of the current political organization) then it would be deemed illegal by the state both hold true here. But even so there’s more analysis to be done then just that, on the face of it politics can be seen as a dead end as Kevin Carson there and here as well. In the Alliance #4 Journal there were several different view points given by anarchists on voting and that can be viewed here (Stating on page 40 to page 55).
In my own estimation politics is generally a waste of time, there are reasons as Wendy McElroy points out to not even to vote against Hitler if the opportunity had been there and she had made the difference in him getting democratically elected saying that she’d rather kill him (although later states this too would be an admission of defeat using the state’s main means against itself) because,
“I consider such a bullet to be an act of self-defense in a manner that a ballot could never be. A bullet can be narrowly aimed at a deserving target; a ballot attacks innocent third parties who must endure the consequences of the politician I have assisted into a position of power over their lives. Whoever puts a man into a position of unjust power – that is, a position of political power – must share responsibility for every right he violates thereafter.”
The anarcho-pacifist Robert LeFerve also wrote an article called Abstain from Beans in which he writes,
“When we place voting into the framework of politics, however, a major change occurs. When we express a preference politically, we do so precisely because we intend to bind others to our will. Political voting is the legal method we have adopted and extolled for obtaining monopolies of power. Political voting is nothing more than the assumption that might makes right. There is a presumption that any decision wanted by the majority of those expressing a preference must be desirable, and the inference even goes so far as to presume that anyone who differs from a majority view is wrong or possibly immoral.”
And so LeFerve considers voting immoral, but what about the practicality of it? Well is it practical to hope the state will be abolished under it’s own terms? Or that you could win under it’s own house rules? There’s a slight chance for the latter and indeed some victories may be secured but in the end I don’t believe the end of the state will come through processes on the state’s terms I think it’ll come through other means like the ones I’m about to suggest.
Tactics to use
I believe non-cooperation just as Botie saw it in The Politics of Obedience the state ultimately relies on a tacit acceptance of it’s authority and does not need any insurrection to topple it and instead a massive and peaceful organization of people refusing to conform to the state and it’s methods of dealing with things and organizations and the state shall eventually fall. The people will make the laws besides those that are in human nature in most cases anyways such as not stealing or not killing irrelevant and a more free society will come about through such actions.
The movement can get more and more ground through education, mass protests, and acts of civil disobedience and bringing attention to the power of the state over the individual and the negative impacts of such an unequal relationship. The non-cooperation will make the state’s work even harder and other strategies that could work even better like agorism could just aid the non-violent resistance though it also falls under there due to going by libertarian ethics. Agorism is a great way to take the CD movement even further and build market counter-institutions ready for when the state falls and people are ready for the voluntary society.
Direct Action (Peaceful)
I don’t support property damage or rioting or anything like that for the same reasons as revolution and to add on to that that it often (i)sends the wrong message to the public (ii) generally gets nothing substantive accomplished and (iii) as I’m showing currently there are much more productive peaceful ways to do these sorts of things.
I support any work within the workplace such as strikes, slow-downs, working to rule, and even in some cases sabotage though preferably without harm to the bosses even if they’re generally fucking the workers over through state privilege. I believe all these things can be well within the line of libertarian ethics as Carson has noted on The Ethics of Labor Struggle.
This was hardly a conclusive or once and for all commentary on the sorts of strategies market anarchists can employ in the hopes of abolishing the state but I hope nonetheless it’ll get some market anarchists on the right track and completely avoid violent actions completely and politics as much as possible. I find the alternatives of non-violent resistance that actually adheres to the libertarian line of ethics more consistently like civil disobedience, education, agorism, protesting, non-cooperation and so on to be much more helpful to the market anarchist.
In the final part I will talk about some final applications to be noted besides strategy and theory.