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Do Anarchists at Tea Parties Really Want to Kill All Politicians?

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  • Dan Clore
    News & Views for Anarchists & Activists: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/smygo
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 1, 2010
      News & Views for Anarchists & Activists:

      Do anarchists at tea parties really want to kill all politicians?
      John Boehner accused tea party anarchists of promoting violence. But the
      truth is that anarchists promote peaceful choices, individual freedom,
      and opposition to institutionalized aggression.
      By Ross Kenyon
      August 30, 2010

      “I’ve been to my share of tea party events,” House minority leader John
      Boehner (R) of Ohio told a Monitor luncheon for reporters this summer.
      “Let me tell you about these events. Yep, there are some disaffected
      Republicans there. There are always some Democrats there. Always a
      couple of anarchists who want to kill all of us in public office.”
      Skip to next paragraph

      Huh? Anarchists want to kill all politicians?

      A peaceful philosophy

      Rep. Boehner’s crude attempt at a joke odiously mischaracterized
      anarchist philosophy and painted an inaccurate portrait of its core
      values. Anarchism is an ideology based on individual freedom and
      opposition to institutionalized aggression, not some insane love of
      public mayhem.

      Yes, when people hear the word “anarchist,” they call to mind images of
      molotov cocktail-wielding, black bandana-wearing street fighters at G20

      That impression is more a product of 200 years of Boehner-style smear
      rhetoric than an accurate perception of what anarchism means or what
      anarchists do. It’s on par with any other stereotype – the “lazy/violent
      Negro” used to justify racist Jim Crow laws, the “potential pedophile”
      trotted out to support discrimination against homosexuals and other
      sexual minorities, the hopped-up robber or rapist offered up as
      justification for the war on drugs.

      Yes, there are violent and insurrectionary anarchists, just as there are
      people who resemble those other stereotypes. No, those particular people
      are not representative of this diverse movement any more than those
      other stereotypes are representative of African-Americans, LGBTQ
      persons, or recreational drugs users.

      Why I attend tea parties

      I’ve attended tea parties as an anarchist because I’m a sincere
      libertarian who cares about limiting the power, scope, and size of
      government and fighting its unjustified intrusion into the lives of
      peaceful individuals. Many of my fellow tea party attendees intuitively
      and intellectually grasp the danger of the unlimited state and seek to
      reduce its influence over their personal lives. Anarchism is the logical
      extension of that reasonable impulse, not the nihilist tantrum that
      Boehner makes it out to be.

      At tea party events, I like to ask questions of people who care about
      limiting government.

      How is land justly acquired? Most people accept homesteading or
      occupancy and use as appropriate justification to call a parcel of land
      one’s own.

      In reply, I note that the state doesn’t “use” or “settle” the land –
      people do. The people who call themselves "the state" merely draw
      arbitrary political boundaries and declare that if one lives within
      their dominion, one must buy defense and justice services from their
      coercive monopoly.

      What happens if someone attempts to buy better, cheaper, or more just
      services not linked to artificial political borders? Agents of the state
      will throw that person in a cage (and kill him if he resists).

      The real threat

      Market anarchism is such a basic and sensible concept, an idea so in
      tune with the values professed by many tea partiers, that it’s only
      natural for anarchists to show up and challenge fellow freedom-lovers to
      adopt it.

      I agree that a consistent philosophy that values and respects the
      peaceful choices of the tea partiers and their neighbors is indeed a
      threat to Boehner and his ilk, but not a threat of the type he claims.
      It’s not a death threat, it’s the threat of a pink slip.

      Ross Kenyon is a news analyst at the Center for a Stateless Society and
      a senior at Arizona State University, where he’s majoring in American
      History and is a member of the ASU Students For Liberty leadership team.

      Dan Clore

      New book: _Weird Words: A Lovecraftian Lexicon_:
      My collected fiction: _The Unspeakable and Others_
      Lord Weÿrdgliffe & Necronomicon Page:
      News & Views for Anarchists & Activists:

      Skipper: Professor, will you tell these people who is
      in charge on this island?
      Professor: Why, no one.
      Skipper: No one?
      Thurston Howell III: No one? Good heavens, this is anarchy!
      -- _Gilligan's Island_, episode #6, "President Gilligan"
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