Beyond surrender, beyond death
Obama’s re-election, the GOP began moving toward amnesty; now it’s moving toward homosexual “marriage.” What’s next? The dictatorship of the proletariat?
Laura Wood writes at The Thinking Housewife:
AS IF we needed further proof that the GOP is a dead party, 75 prominent Republicans, including four former governors and two members of Congress, have signed a Supreme Court brief in favor of homosexual marriage. The brief, filed in support of the challenge to California’s Proposition 8, which bans homosexual marriage, claims to represent family values.
There is no effective political opposition to leftist tyranny in this country.
The comments discussion that follows includes this:
Terry Morris writes:
Did you notice that the amicus brief also claims that support for gay marriage is to support the Conservative value of limited government?
Apparently the only way to have limited government is for the federal government to exercise unlimited, unchecked authority to overthrow duly enacted state and local laws, in direct violation of both the spirit and the letter of the U.S. Constitution. And the only way to achieve that is to convince a majority of the unaccountable Poitburo of Nine that this is the definition of limited government; that openly thumbing its nose at the Constitution is a conservative value.
Thank you for pointing that out. They are telling us that only through tyranny can we obtain libertarian freedom and limited government.
James N. writes:
- end of initial entry -
I have come to the conclusion that the Republican “leaders” have chosen to become subordinate to the Leading Party, just as there were token “opposition parties” in the USSR, East Germany,and NSDAP Germany.
What an absolutely Orwellian use of the term “limited government.” What these mindless Republicans are saying is that the Federal government needs to be empowered to overturn the democratically expressed will of states and local communities in the name of “limited government.” This demonstrates two things. First, that the Republicans are as committed to the project of UK-style anarcho-tyranny as the Democrats are. They think that, since people personally want to marry those of the same sex, and they cannot do so by law, “limited government” means changing the law so that they can do whatever they happen to want to do. That is the essence of anarcho-tyranny—using the sledge-hammer of state power in order to liberate the individual will with its whims and desires. [LA replies: I never thought of anarcho-tyranny having that meaning; my understanding is that it’s an entirely different concept.] It’s just that the Republicans want to do this while having a top marginal tax-rate at 29 percent, while the Democrats want to do this while having a top-marginal tax rate of 40 percent and maybe spending a little bit less on defense.
Second, it shows that the Republican leadership is mindless. They have no overarching raison d’ etre; they might as well be marketing consultants who are looking to maximize their share of the market. “We gotta break into the Latino market, let’s support amnesty! We gotta break into the under 30 market, let’s support gay “marriage”! etc. They have no principles (other than lower taxes for billiionaires) that they will not toss aside to win “votes.” But it is this kind of means-over-ends reasoning that got us where we are. The Republicans are worse than useless; they are actively harmful because they have no sense of purpose and no sense of what the function of political power is.
My understanding of anarcho-tyranny as used by Sam Francis, who coined the concept, is as follows:
Liberal society condones or approves all kinds of behavior that once were disapproved and suppressed and should be disapproved and suppressed, while it suppresses behaviors which it should be indifferent to or actively approve. For example, it condones and approves massive illegal immigration, homosexual promiscuity, black violence in schools, and many other kinds of outrageous and destructive behaviors. Yet liberals, being human, are not happy with the notion that they don’t believe in right or wrong, that they don’t stand for anything. They need to show moral/social judgement in some form. So they forcefully suppress, for example, smoking, or wildly trivial instances of politically incorrect speech, and are extremely self-righteous about this, even as they allow general moral chaos to run riot in society.
Thus anarcho-tyranny means the moral inversion that has been effected by liberalism, in which things that society should disapprove are allowed, and things that society should be indifferent to (or even approve) are fanatically and inhumanly suppressed .
It comes down to the fact that liberals do not believe in the good, they believe in freedom. Anarcho-tyranny is their non-normative and bureaucratic substitute for the moral and social order they have destroyed.
Now maybe that is somewhat related to our commenter Sam’s idea. I’ll get back to this later.
This is the whole section of Wikipedia on anarcho-tyranny:
Samuel Francis argued that the problems of the managerial state extend to issues of crime and justice. In 1992, he introduced the word “anarcho-tyranny” into the paleocon vocabulary. He once defined it this way: “we refuse to control real criminals (that’s the anarchy) so we control the innocent (that’s the tyranny).”
In one of his last essays, he explained the concept:
What we have in this country today, then, is both anarchy (the failure of the state to enforce the laws) and, at the same time, tyranny—the enforcement of laws by the state for oppressive purposes; the criminalization of the law-abiding and innocent through exorbitant taxation, bureaucratic regulation, the invasion of privacy, and the engineering of social institutions, such as the family and local schools; the imposition of thought control through “sensitivity training” and multiculturalist curricula, “hate crime” laws, gun-control laws that punish or disarm otherwise law-abiding citizens but have no impact on violent criminals who get guns illegally, and a vast labyrinth of other measures. In a word, anarcho-tyranny.
Francis argues that this situation extends across the U.S. and Europe. While the government functions normally, violent crime remains a constant, creating a climate of fear (anarchy). He says that “laws that are supposed to protect ordinary citizens against ordinary criminals” routinely go unenforced, even though the state is “perfectly capable” of doing so. While this problem rages on, government elites concentrate their interests on law-abiding citizens. In fact, Middle America winds up on the receiving end of both anarchy and tyranny.
The laws that are enforced are either those that extend or entrench the power of the state and its allies and internal elites … or else they are the laws that directly punish those recalcitrant and “pathological” elements in society who insist on behaving according to traditional norms—people who do not like to pay taxes, wear seat belts, or deliver their children to the mind-bending therapists who run the public schools; or the people who own and keep firearms, display or even wear the Confederate flag, put up Christmas trees, spank their children, and quote the Constitution or the Bible—not to mention dissident political figures who actually run for office and try to do something about mass immigration by Third World populations.Francis argued that anarcho-tyranny is built into the managerial system and cannot be solved simply by fighting corruption or voting out incumbents. In fact, he says that the system generates a false “conservatism” that encourages people to act passively in the face of perpetual revolution. He concludes that only by devolving power back toward law-abiding citizens can sanity be restored.
This is a good discussion to have, because I think the concept of anarcho-tyranny is very important and I would like to have a better grasp of it. My current understanding is that anarcho-tyranny is the social condition that arises when liberalism becomes institutionalized. It is the seemingly paradoxical condition where anarchy and tyranny co-exist. Hence, when liberalism is institutionalized, the government consistently fails to perform its most basic duty which is to provide security for its citizens. It fails to do this because to do so would be to impede the individual. And yet, at the same time, an anarcho-tyrannical government will aggressively punish trivial offenses against the social order such as remarks that can be labeled “hate speech.” For example, in Britain, the government fails for days to put a stop to widespread rioting and looting, but immediately exacts punitive measures against otherwise harmless people who utter racist remarks in public. This is the condition of anarcho-tyranny. It is anarchy because the government fails to protect the social order, and it is tyranny because the government aggressively punishes people who do not threaten the social order.
Now, the reason that anarcho-tyranny takes hold in liberal society, is that liberalism wants to empower the will of the individual. And the will of the individual is impeded by social norms. Social norms are typically institutionalized at the local level, and through democratic means. Thus, the federal government must, in liberal society, have maximum power so that it can override the kinds of local norms that impede the wants and desires of individual citizens. But the government can only do this if it wields tyrannical power against the will of the people. Thus, in liberal society, the government permits all kinds of deviant behaviors that threaten the social order (anarchy) and aggressively seeks to suppress any norm that might limit the wants and desires of the individual (tyranny).
The Republican capitulation to gay “marriage” seems to me to be a clear manifestation of anarcho-tyranny. I am, however, open to correction.
Both the Samuel Francis explanation and commenter Sam’s explanation are very good. I understand the concept better now.
Bedarz I. writes:
An aspect of liberalism is the denial of the political nature of man by which man lives in particular self-ruling morally authoritative communities.
Liberalism denies the political nature of man, thereby erasing the distinction between a citizen and a non-citizen, or in other words between a neighbor and a stranger (cf Kipling’s poem “The Stranger”). It is tyrannical since to make neighbors together mean to force a particular worldview.
A progressive type of liberal denies particularity; thus he wants to make neighbor out of a stranger; naturally he longs for a world state.
The libertarian denies authoritativeness: thus he would make stranger out of a neighbor. Thus moral anarchy.
Both these streams work in synergy and thus anarcho-tyranny.
The best way to understand is through the definitions presented by Aristotle in The Politics. He speaks of the three irreducibles:
1) The State
2) The Family
3) The Individual
The right-liberal reduces the State to a collection of families while libertarians reduce everything to the individuals.
The best definition or image of the state is by Solzhenitsyn: The State is the Roof of the People (November 1916). The roof should be so that we can stand naturally and it should not fall in and crush us.
I’m pretty sure Sam’s definition of anarcho-tyranny is not what Samuel Francis had in mind. Not that his description of liberal dynamics isn’t true. Francis identifies anarchy with the permissive attitude of the state towards non-white groups, unleashing increasing misbehavior. At the same time, it is ratcheting up the tyranny over whites, because it can, because we are hated by them—we are not liberals, we are Christian, we are traditional, we are rooted (all relatively). The unleashed anarchy is an attack on the white middle class from below; the tyranny is an attack on the white middle class from above. We are being squeezed in a vise grip of destruction.
I am sure that Francis did not limit anarcho-tyranny to that racial idea. I am sure that he spoke more generally of a general loss of will and desire to enforce normal social order, and the substitution of that normal enforcement by the energetic enforcement of PC trivialities. I think Sam’s explanation is good.
Francis illustrates anarcho-tyranny (without naming it) in his 1998 essay, “An Infantile Disorder”:
But even if secession were possible, it would be a bad idea. Today, the main political line of division in the United States is not between the regions of North and South (insofar as such regions can still be said to exist) but between elite and nonelite. As I have tried to make plain in columns in this magazine and many other places for the last 15 years, the elite, based in Washington, New York, and a few large metropolises, allies with the underclass against Middle Americans, who pay the taxes, do the work, fight the wars, suffer the crime, and endure their own political and cultiara1 dispossession at the hands of the elite and its underclass vanguard. Today, the greatest immediate danger to Middle America and the European-American civilization to which it is heir lies in the importation of a new underclass from the Third World through mass immigration. The danger is in part economic, in part political, and in part cultural, but it is also in part racial, pure and simple. The leaders of the alien underclass, as well as those of the older black underclass, invoke race in explicit terms, and they leave no doubt that their main enemy is the white man and his institutions and patterns of belief. [end of quote]
The elites ally with the old underclass and a new imported underclass against Middle America and European-American civilization. One reason he called Southern secession an infantile disorder is because this anarcho-tyranny is in effect in almost every major metropolis in the nation, including Southern ones.
None of this is to say that Sam’s analysis is incorrect, but he is inventing a different kind of anarcho-tyranny.
I think the phenomenon in the quoted passage is analogous to anarcho-tyranny; I don’t think it’s anarcho-tyranny itself. But maybe I’m being too precise, and the term anarcho-tyranny should be used in a more expansive sense.
Jennifer C. writes:
This is a powerful idea. Here is an example.
A student produced an art project to protest abortion. His group’s effort was punished by the university. A pro-abortion group of students vandalized the pro-life group’s work. The leader of the pro-life group learned who the vandals were and posted their names. Now he is threatened with expulsion while the vandals are not. Seems like textbook anarcho-tyranny.
I think that Gintas is alluding to a particular manifestation of anarcho-tyranny, but he does not get to the bottom of it. Anarcho-tyranny is not tied to any one social pathology that arises as a consequence of the institutionalization of liberalism. Mass immigration, and the tacit conspiracy between elite white liberals and the underclass to liquidate and dispossess the historic majority, is one particular manifestation of anarcho-tyranny; it is not the basic phenomenon of anarcho-tyranny.
Posted by Lawrence Auster at February 28, 2013 07:19 AM | Send
Anarcho-tyranny is a social condition, not a particular policy or a particular negative effect. It stems from the inversion of priorities that takes place when liberalism becomes institutionalized. Liberalism is radically false, and it gets the hierarchy of goods almost completely backwards. It prioritizes the will over the intellect, desires over the good, and it prioritizes the individual over the family, the community, and the society at large. Thus, when implemented, liberalism manages to give us the worst consequences of tyranny, and at the same time, the the worst consequences of anarchy. It brings to us the arbitrary exercise of coercion that occurs under tyranny, but without the protection of the social order that a tyrant could bring.
It is thus the culmination of the radically false (perhaps even diabolically false) world view called liberalism. In its mad quest to unshackle the individual will, it ends up giving us neither freedom, nor social stability, nor any reasonable expectation of being able to live a good life. It creates only an unlivable hell for all who are not among the privileged ruling elite.