The final part of this series will be concerned with the matter of any final applications left in applying market anarchism and libertarianism in real life outside of theory and strategy. Some other applications that will be discussed fall in the way of seemingly lesser important topics but if looked at more closely may be found to be more useful than some anarchists may think of them. Some of these things may include personal changes and applications to their own life, such as lifestyle changes relationship changes and so forth.
There is perhaps no bigger change one can make in their life then changing their own and being consistent with anarchism calls for some changes in their life, of course such changes are not necessary to be an anarchist they are only necessary to live within the confines of the ideology itself. This being said you could pay your taxes and do everything a normal person does in your life and still espouse anarchist ideas, you just wouldn’t be a very consistent anarchist in application in your life. I think there are ways to remedy this or to just flat out eliminate it. Before I do that however I may make it clear that the term lifestyle anarchism does come into play a little bit here but only in the aspect that what I’m discussing here will refer to you taking your life out of the state’s hands and putting it into your own. It has nothing to do with hierarchy or class struggle, unless that’s how you choose to see it.
Obviously one of the biggest problems for anarchists are taxes, how can we as anarchists morally pay taxes and still feel good? Well the answer is (if you’re consistent about things) you most likely won’t and let me make it clear that tax evasion is a risky endeavor that I’m currently on the fence on so I certainly wouldn’t stop anyone from doing it but nor would I really advocate it personally. But there are perfectly legal ways of avoiding taxes with regards to your liability of paying them. There are some good anarchist guides to making sure you pay as little to nothing as possible such as Don’t Owe Nothin’ which is a practical guide to stop paying certain taxes through completely legal means. On the other hand you could just stop paying taxes all together anyways especially if you want to rescind your practical support and nit just your moral support because if you work for peace, you should probably stop paying for war. But if you’re not comfortable with either, that’s understandable, it’s hard to dupe the government and especially dupe them for long without them resorting to violence, but the payoff for those who resist and refuse to obey is more money for themselves and those things they care about and more liberty so the risk does come with it’s rewards.
Although this one should seem relatively obvious to any anarchist in my mind, all of us are “caught” (if you want to call it that) doing this, buying from the big providers that undercut the competition through state granted privilege. This makes the organization in direct line with the state and a direct asset it to it as well, anarchists in my opinion are better off supporting small business owners as they have less of a chance of being in line with the state though it of course is no guarantee and even then I’d still suggest gray and black market businesses (which Tarrin Lupo from LCL report explains how to start one up here) over any mainstream economy institutions. Whenever possible I’d say support alternatives to the state aided businesses and help out your fellow black marketeer with cash (paper trail equals a huge no no in the black market). If you can’t do that then support your local convenience store or small shop or better yet help out a community run market or a farmers market of some sort, while note pure alternatives to the state they are just about as good as you’ll get in the current market place, that and flea markets.
The third and last part of this section would be another part of the business world which is unions, most unions nowadays have deradicalized from the IWW esque ones they used to be back before the 30’s. This is when regulations and restrictions advocated by big business against the unions made it a decrepit form of its former self and eventually unions got in line with the state as well , most either selling out when direct action still could have had some power left in it or just to get more power. Now big unions are about as much of the problem as the big businesses so is there anything left of unions to be an ally to anarchists in any form? Well to be clear there are plenty of ethical reasons to get yourself involved in the labor struggle against capitalists colluding with the state as Kevin Carson points out in The Ethics of Labor Struggle as I’ve linked in my previous post. But even so there is not much point in doing so right now with most unions the way they are, indeed some Austrian economics have it right that unions can be violent and down right dangerous to associate with in current society, but most miss the reason why. This isn’t because unions are useless in of themselves it’s just that they’ve become just as corrupt and power driven as the big businesses they struggle against have become or rather have always been. This all being said, there is some value to be found in finding mutual friends and starting a radical union dedicating to undermining the boss and grabbing some autonomy yourself without the use of the state and if this is what you want to do I recommend you read “How to Fire Your Boss” which I’ve linked before and can be found here.
There are some changes you should make to your own relationships as well, for instance it hardly suits to ally yourself with anyone who makes your life miserable in any way, whether they just be an ass to you, deride you for your anarchist beliefs, or put down your activities. To be sure it’s good to have constructive criticism but when that’s missing and all that is left is derision put up as criticism of some sort it’s not useful to have around in any way. And in this manner the anarchist should carefully construct who they want to associate with, people who will support them when they need it but also give them a boost in their activism or advice or a wake up call if they slip. Of course you shouldn’t just look for political friends but friends who you can just have a nice time with. Another important aspect of it is the family and this is something that some people have a difficult time with but the same attitude should be given to family as well as an anarchist I often find it hard to reconcile that anyone in my family has any more authority over me just because we’re related and the responses, “Well, I’m your grandmother” or “Do what I tell you, I’m your mother” hold a lot less meaning than most people seem to think. Regardless if people in your family can be the same way it’s best to break off of them, blood may be thicker than water but that’s no reason to drown yourself in either.
Some changes in the way one handles the issue of politics in real life should change as well, you may want to become more involved in the community or perhaps you’d just like to keep to yourself and better your own style. Perhaps you’d like to do a counter-demonstration to when the local elections are going by or maybe you’ll just ignore them and let them pass by unnoticed. Whatever you do try to make sure it stays within the confines of anarchism, either by not only not voting but going counter to it or just plain old not voting and not caring which petty tyrant wins.
Making some last applications to your own life not only through the theory and strategy but through your person life in the contexts of social, economic and political ways of dealing with things all has to do with being as consistent (and therefore radical) as an anarchist as you can be and effectively communicate your message as much as possible. This then calls for changes not only outside of you but in the end and hopefully to start with some changes for you as well. As Gandhi said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” Being committed to a freer world means being committed to a freer you as well and this is a point often overlooked or under-stressed by some libertarians.
To continue forward it’s about time the past is explored, I’ve previously gone into past thinkers but I haven’t touched on the history of anarchism itself and in the next series the history of anarchism shall be covered and from there the present and future of it as well.
Conclusion of Series: Applying Market Anarchism and Libertarianism
To review on applying these things:
1. The theory of market anarchism should be applied to any situation that has relevance to it, there are many ways to deal with a situation within the market anarchist context, there are many types of market anarchism to discuss and through discussion you can take the theory further.
2. And the theory can then be turned into strategies and types of actions to commit, I personally recommend non-violent direct action, demonstrations, education, agorism, dual power and overall non-cooperative but peaceful actions. I’d oppose any violent actions as unnecessary and unhelpful in the long run, rioting, violent sabotage, murder and all variants of it, and of course insurrection.
3. And finally personal changes are made or should be made in the realms of the political, social and economic to make your life more consistent with anarchism not only outside of your life but inside it, but there are risks with that of course and it’s all up to the individuals.