Wednesday, November 26, 2014
What is an Anarchist Thankful For?
You may think that the only thing an anarchist does is complain, complain, complain. Anarchists perceive more problems than most people so it is fair to say that we make a disproportionate amount of criticisms and condemnations. However, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I want to show the world what this anarchist is truly thankful for.
I am thankful for a loving God that I believe has a hand in our lives. It is not a forceful hand, but an extremely gentle one. I view God as the ultimate anarchist parent, who put us here without handing us an official instruction manual at birth. He simply lets us explore on our own so that we can discover how to relate to other people, educate ourselves about the natural laws of the universe, and find out who we really are. He does not force us to do His will, but merely suggests that we love one another and judge for ourselves the consequences of doing so.
I am thankful for my family. My family is the fundamental institution on Earth that teaches me how to love. I would not be the man I am today without my wife, my children, my parents, my siblings, and other family members who influenced (and continue to influence) my life. I love them all very much.
I am thankful for some of the founding fathers who had the foresight to predict the ultimate and tragic destiny of a federal government. Of course, I am speaking of the anti-federalists. People like Thomas Jefferson, Samuel Adams, and Patrick Henry understood that a national government would naturally suppress individual rights. Because of this the anti-federalists agitated for a bill of rights if we were to have a constitution at all. The Bill of Rights that was ratified was not perfect but it has secured, with varying degrees of success, some basic rights that are derivatives of man's natural right to be free from aggression.
I am thankful for a quasi-free market. Traditionally, the US government has tolerated an extremely free market, relative to any other state (any coercive government). Many states in the world are so eager to control others that they end up wiping out massive amounts of wealth due to taxation. Basically they kill the goose that lays the golden egg. Such states always lose the power they could have had had they allowed business to thrive. The US government has (again, traditionally) allowed capital to accumulate to degrees never before seen in the history of the world. This capital accumulation gives entrepreneurs the opportunity to invest in capital goods which increases the production and availability of consumer goods. The increased availability of goods lowers the price of those goods relative to real wage rates, thus increasing the wealth and standard of living of everyone. Since this process is literally the only way to raise people out of poverty, I am extremely grateful that some states do not interfere with the free market to a degree that would make capital accumulation impossible.
I am thankful that the US government has mostly been averse to killing massive amounts of people. During the 20th Century nation-states were responsible for the deaths of 262 million people. Governments in China, the USSR, Germany, and many others engaged in the mass slaughter of their own civilians. This insane amount of murder by government (democide) was the leading cause of non-natural deaths during the 20th Century. Between 1900 and 1999 governments killed six times more people than warfare. As a supposed US citizen I am grateful that the US government was not a significant contributor to democide.
I am thankful for economics. Economic laws and incentives never ever go away, no matter how many laws and regulations exist. That means that there will always be a limit to the amount of economic intervention a state can do. No matter what our political masters want, every unnatural economic policy will expire, every barrier to free trade will crumble, and every fiat currency will fail. Every. Single. Time.
I am thankful for free will. Every man, woman, and child is ultimately their own agent, eternally capable of purposeful action. Everyone has the innate ability to employ the means available to them to achieve their desired ends. That agency makes us who we are and will never be conquered. Without free will life would be completely worthless. With free will every moment is relevant and full of purpose and meaning.
I am thankful for technology. The ability that humans have to invent new tools that solve problems is a marvel to behold. The development of technology is responsible for huge advancements in human history like near-universal literacy and record-low poverty rates. Technology continues to solve problems, including problems introduced by the state. Eventually major problems like institutionalized violence will be solved and our descendants will read history books wondering how the human race managed to survive several centuries of self-imposed mass slavery (i.e. statism).
I am thankful for the unique position in history that we are currently in. The standard of living has never been better. More people than ever are interested in liberty and they are learning about it. The technology that will free us is being developed right now. I fully expect my grandchildren to live freer lives than anyone ever did in the history of the world. I am eternally optimistic and for this I give thanks.