Amidst a culture of 24 hour news cycles and modern conveniences, it can be easy to diagnose and look down on the average statist’s call for more government oversight and federal programs. We roll our eyes as they point to isolated incidents of “brutality” and “violence” that would appear completely innocuous to our society just decades before. The informed anarchist knows that, though there are still legitimate modern examples of oppression and senseless violence, the trend of Western society has showed a large decrease in every measurable negative metric.
It is in this that we find our ultimate truth, the smoking gun in statistics that shows us that as civilization progresses, its need for oversight declines.
Yet, somehow in the current political discussion, this is barely discussed at all. Regardless of how conservative a politician is, they would never admit this reality as they would remove the need for their own occupation. The true direction of government’s impact on society is buried before it can even become a legitimate narrative.
In a climate of “fake news” and conspiratorial thinking becoming mainstream, this becomes the Anarchist’s most powerful weapon. An idea shunned by both major political parties can be quickly picked up by contrarians and other members of the counterculture as evidence of a greater scheme in action.
Just the thought of the powers that be plotting against us is intoxicating, as evidenced by the popularity of theories about the Illuminati and New World Order. A large part of President Trump’s campaign success hinged on his narrative of being an outsider going to clean up a mess perpetuated by both sides of the ruling elite. The idea is inherently compelling, and luckily for anarchists, the “crazy conspiracy theory” we have can be confirmed by facts.
Leftists and An-Coms will point to a resurgence in racism, citing stories about police violence on unarmed black men. Though any amount of police brutality is intolerable, it is easy to see by looking at the data that racism isn’t growing, but instead has been on the decline for decades. Hate crimes have plummeted, the number of black business owners and college graduates continues to climb every year, things have never been better for American racial relations and only look to improve from here.
Other times they will mention income inequality, and the growing disparity between management and labor. Now while the existence of these issues is easy to prove, what seems to be missing is a sense of perspective. Even at the bottom rung of American society, our citizens enjoy a standard of living seen by only a small portion of the entire world. Outside of a small number of Western European countries (often cited by statists as the model from which we should build our future), nearly every place in the world lacks the modern conveniences we enjoy. It is likely that even the poorest person you know has wireless internet, a smartphone, and possibly a several hundred dollar gaming device.
While income equality and racism are both issues to worry about, using the current trends of society we can infer that both will continue to improve as society grows smarter and capable. It would seem foolish to the prudent anarchist or libertarian to roll out expensive experimental social programs to fix them when they are already slowly fixing themselves.
In debates going forward, anarchists should stick to the inevitable futility of government as one of their main points of contention. Provable with easily researched graphs and articles, it is an abstract narrative that can be used to morph or completely change the parameters of a concrete discussion.
Remember to always be gracious and understanding, the stereotype as “a neck beard edgelord” is something that can only be removed through rebranding the image of anarchists as a whole. Instead of making an impression with shocking images and bold statements, the An-Caps of tomorrow must deliver their message with a combination of wit and knowledge to achieve the political future we all desire.
Written by Chandler Ogle;
Originally posted on VolAnarchist
(February 17th, 2017)