Not Enough Enemies? Let’s Create More!

Column by Paul Bonneau

Exclusive to STR 

I was just reading how anarcho-syndicalists are so bad, that they are even worse than the state.
Wow, that is something else. We have no idea what things are going to come about at this end of empire, what our true enemies will be; but we are already searching for other dragons to slay. The more obscure, the better!
The article, by Daniel Sanchez, completely misses the point, seems to me. If syndicalism is such an impossible deal, why spend time and effort worrying about it and arguing against it? A much more reasonable idea would be to let syndicalists, if any can be found, do their own thing. Sanchez is not going to argue them out of belief in syndicalism, no matter how lengthy or convoluted or clever his points; but reality might.
I should add a personal point here. In my former existence as a confused, inconsistent mix of pro-freedom and pro-state leftist, I decided at one point to join a co-op. That one event was the thing that quickly turned me into a stark, raving libertarian capitalist (although still minarchist back then). A run-in with reality is a bit like a high-speed 2x4 across the bridge of the nose.
I had to laugh at his last point: “As for anarcho-capitalists and classic liberals who consider such left-libertarians to be ideological allies simply because they are antistate, consider whether an anarcho-syndicalist society would live peaceably next to a capitalist society if everyone in the former thought all the capitalists in the latter were exploitative, authoritarian tyrants lording it over their neighboring working comrades.”
And might not the anarcho-capitalists think the syndicalists were a bunch of commie tyrants, lording it over their own neighboring comrades? Which society would be at risk of being attacked, after all? Anyway how is one going to war against the other, if neither has any sort of functioning government? Even if that barrier to attack were surmounted, I assume there will still be rifles in the world. Communities and societies and individuals will still need to have some deterrent to attack, no matter what.
Sanchez obviously cannot accept the future reality, which is that there will be a diversity of governing systems in different communities. I guess it’s all or nothing for him. The entire world must be anarcho-capitalist! And any who disagree must be taken out and shot, I suppose. I can’t see any alternative outcome for his position.
No, syndicalists are not automatically our enemies, and certainly not worse than the torturing, thieving, murderous state. All we need to know from an individual syndicalist, is the same thing we need to know from conservatives, liberals, communists, fascists, minarchists, and anyone else out there who are not anarcho-capitalists. That is, whether they will leave us alone. If they will, they are allies. If they won’t, they are enemies.
I suppose the real reason for this article is to take a whack at left-anarchists after they had booted anarcho-capitalists off the Facebook anarchism page. Why, that certainly calls for a counter-attack!
Humans sure are funny animals... 
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Paul Bonneau's picture
Columns on STR: 106


Samarami's picture

Paul, when I first came on the web (I'm a late bloomer -- only 5 or 6 years internet experience) I discovered Strike The Root and some other libertarian/anarchist forums. I began to compile a list of descriptors I had come across -- labels for varying schools of thought. I'll see if it will paste here:

Various Libertarian and
Anarchist Labels
• Agorism
• Anarchism
• Anarcho-Capitalism (Mises/Rothbard)
• Anarcho-communism
• Anarcho-syndicalism
• Anti-Positivism
• Apriorism
• Carsonian mutualism
• Classical Liberalism
• Collectivist anarchist
• Communism
• Consequentialism
• Eco-Libertarianism
• Eco-Socialist-Libertarian
• Establishment liberal left
• Explicitly anarchist, pro-decentralist libertarians (Kinsella)
• Geoanarchism
• Geoism
• Geolibertarianism
• Georgism
• Green-Libertarianism
• Individualist anarchism
• Individualist/collectivist anarchist Individualist/collectivist anarchism
• Left Libertarianism
• Left-Rothbardians
• Legal Positivism
• Liberal socialism
• Liberalism
• Libertarian Populism (James Ostrowski)
• Libertarian Socialism
• Libertarianism
• Localism and decentralization
• Logical Positivism
• Market anarchism
• Minarchism
• Modal Libertarianism
• Modern Liberalism
• Moral consequentialism
• Mutualism
• Natural-rights libertarianism
• Neo-liberalism
• Neolibertarianism
• Objectivism
• Panarchism
• Plumbline Libertarianism
• Polycentrism
• Praxeology
• Primitivist Anarchism
• Progressive Libertarianism
• Punkish/syndicalist/queer radical social anarchism (above two from Rad Geek site)
• Queer anarchism (“sex workers?”)
• Radical minarchists
• Right Libertarianism
• Rothbardian strain of market anarchism
• Schmodal Libertarianism
• Social Darwinian right-wing economics
• Socialism
• Socialist-Libertarianism
• Syndicalist Anarchism
• Utilitarianism (Friedman’s strain of Anarcho-capitalism)
• Utopian socialism
• Voluntarism

And that's only a partial list that I tried to scratch down whenever I came across somebody using a term (often to lambast "the competition" I guess). You are absolutely correct:

Humans sure are funny animals


Evan's picture

You can add eco-agorism to the list. :P

Evan's picture

And don't forget zenarchism.

david_z's picture

I really was hoping that piece at Mises was a joke. Unfortunately, no.

Then again, there are plenty of raving left-anarchists on the 'net with precisely the opposite position. Mention anything even remotely "propertarian" (even mutualism) at reddit/r/anarchism, for example, and prepare to get downvoted in to oblivion.

I really hope that all of this "The world isn't big enough for more than one ideology/social experiment" is a symptom of the state, and in its absence would wither.

John T. Kennedy's picture

"The article, by Daniel Sanchez, completely misses the point, seems to me. If syndicalism is such an impossible deal, why spend time and effort worrying about it and arguing against it? A much more reasonable idea would be to let syndicalists, if any can be found, do their own thing."

Communism was an impossible deal but that didn't mean communists didn't harm people.

Reminds me of a speech of Rothbard's I saw on youtube where he argued that the people of the West were foolish to worry about communism since it was economically destined to fail. To me it seemed to matter quite a bit whether communism collapsed before or after it ruined your life.

I doubt North Koreans take much consolation from the fact that communism is an impossible deal.