The Young Anarchist

February 27th, 2012   Submitted by Erik Garcia

I am, as of this writing, seventeen years old. I am also an Anarchist. Now do away with all your preconceived notions of a hooded teenager looking for a way to rebel against his parents. I came to be an Anarchist the same way most of you did. I did my research and saw that the state was not only woefully inadequate, but harmful and immoral as well. And as how I came to this conclusion? Well It seemed the only right course.

I was (and still to a degree am) raised in a moderate Christian household (and yes I am still a Christian, but Christian Anarchism can be explained in a later article perhaps) by two loving parents. They taught me to view the world with an open mind and a loving spirit. And with those words in my head, I set off on my own exploratory venture into alternate political and religious views. It was during this time (around age 14-15) that I discovered Libertarianism. Libertarian thought naturally drew me in with its ideas of a free market and free people. It promised me a world where war is fought only in self defense, and never to harm another. During this time I espoused my Libertarian viewpoint to any open mind within earshot. It was as if I had discovered a utopia and I had to let the world know.

But then that love fizzled. I saw my beloved Libertarians either not win elections, get mocked mercilessly or simply fizzle out and join one of the “Big Two” parties. I also saw that even a small government would oppress the people. It would still wage wars and levy high taxes and ignore its people. I looked all around for an idea that could so capture my mind as Libertarianism had once done. And then, by total mistake, I found it.

One day while doing research on political parties for a school assignment I happened upon a link to a site discussing “Anarcho-Capitalism.” “Ha, let’s see how these stupid anarchists plan to run a country sans Government,” I thought as I clicked the link. I spent the next three hours pouring over An-Cap thought and ideas. I was astonished at a system that not only had a way to work without a government, but thrive without one. That very next day, I expressed my concerted belief in the Anarcho-Capitalist system to a friend. He too became intrigued, and I hope to one day convert him to the cause.

I know I have a lot to learn, and I look forward to expanding my knowledge. But once again I feel that fire that I had missed for so long. I have long thought myself someone who used thought and reason in decision making. And on that day I saw why they call Anarcho-Capitalism “Reasonable Anarchism.” And as a Christian, I have found a system that does not oppress and wage war, but that encourages individual and economic freedom. It is a system not only based on reason, but tolerance as well. This is how I became an Anarcho-Capitalist. And I thank (my) God every day for it.

36 Responses to “The Young Anarchist”

  1. Mark StovalNo Gravatar says:

    Great story, thanks for sharing.

    As one of the older set, I can tell you that laissez faire, libertarianism, or anarchism has made great advances since I was your age. Once upon a time we could have gotten all the libertarians in the country into a small school auditorium. Look at us now!

    I can only recommend to you that you realize that it will not be smooth sailing and that you will sometimes feel anger toward those who are authoritarians. Remember that often they have the same goals as you but are just deluded as to how we should get there.

    Rothbard and others like him somehow always kept a good humor about themselves. I try to do that but often fail; I wish you better luck!

  2. DarrenNo Gravatar says:

    Way to go, Erik! Maybe next we can bring even more rationality to your life by getting you to see the folly of faith. You can see from my blog that I’m an Objectivist & an An cap. Though Rand might not have agreed they actually reinforce each other.

  3. VolSocietyNo Gravatar says:

    Erik,
    I am happy for your conversion to anarchism. I was also very young when the philosophy clicked for me (around 16). You will begin to see the world through a completely different lens than everyone around you. It can be a bit alienating at times, but you will realize that you wouldn’t want to see the world in any other way.

    I would encourage you to look into studying the Austrian economists. A lot of them are anarchists, and I certainly learned a whole lot from them. Also Jeff Riggenbach’s Libretarian Tradition podcast is a great way to learn about the history of the individualist anarchist movement.

  4. JohnNo Gravatar says:

    I’m very impressed Erik, you’re a great writer and seemed to be very developed intellectually; for any age! I think this alone is a tribute to your parents’ care and their moderation with the whole Christianity thing. There seems to be a direct correlation between parental authoritarianism and statism in adulthood, so the fact that you and I are anarchists and not Marines shows them in a more favorable light than most.

    That being said, I suspect you may find many in the AnCap community to be less-than-welcoming to your self-identification as a “Christian Anarchist”. It’s important, wherever you are in your journey to be mindful of where you came from; many of us were once Christians, more still once voted Republican. I try to encourage fellow travelers, rather than admonish them for our differences. Hopefully I can give you some perspective: when you say you use “thought and reason in decision making”, but at the same time say you have ‘faith’ in that which is propagated by nothing more than propaganda and verbal abuse, some may cry foul.

    I have no intentions of ‘converting’ you, because atheism, like anarchism is merely an acceptance of the truth which was always there. You seem keen on questioning established mythologies, that’s good, you’ve got an early start, that’s even better; you’ll figure it out. Bobspeed fellow truth seeker.

    • KontrarianNo Gravatar says:

      “atheism, like anarchism is merely an acceptance of the truth which was always there.”

      HA HA HA!
      On atheism, absolute moral values do not exist.
      Without absolute moral values, I don’t see the logic in how atheist cry foul about war, coercion, and the state.
      If you can’t explain why those things are wrong or bad, I doubt you can explain why anarchism is right or good.
      Do you get angry at baking soda for reacting with vinegar?
      Don’t worry Erik, Christianity and Anarchism are 100% compatible.

      PS: notice how he made that claim without proof right after he said he would not try to convert you?

      • Erik GarciaNo Gravatar says:

        Now I don’t want conflict, only healthy debate. Kontrarian, you are right that atheism has no answer to morals. Science can not yet explain how we know that war, murder, etc. are evil and wrong. But John is allowed to believe as he may. My only issue with some Atheist Anarchists is they take not only a stance against religion (a sentiment I agree with, organized religion has corrupted faiths based on peace) but also against a mans personal faith. If they think that faith or belief in God is oppressive, then why would you oppress a man by telling him he may not believe as he may? True freedom from oppression includes freedom from religious persecution. So long as a mans faith does not bring him into conflict or aggression with his neighbor, than he should every right to believe whatever, whether it be in God or a Flying Spaghetti Monster.

        • sweetnuggettNo Gravatar says:

          Just a thought on “right and wrong”.

          My road to anarchism enabled me to restructure my internal hierarchy of self-actualization. Sometimes you hear people say (insert southern accent, lol, jk, jk :) “what are you first, an american or a christian?” or something to that effect. My question is, why can’t we be humans first? Our humanity should be at the top of our hierarchy. For, after all, if there was nothing else left, we would still be humans (well, maybe most of us ;).

          What I’m trying to say is, right and wrong and morality are really just words; words that are fleeting and ambiguous. My affirmation that war is “wrong” or whatever comes down to what’s really important: how we as humans treat other humans.

        • JohnNo Gravatar says:

          Stefan Molyneux offers a free book in text and audio format which is his attempt to explain morality without gods or governments: Universally Preferable Behaviour – A Rational Proof of Secular Ethics (http://board.freedomainradio.com/blogs/freedomain/archive/2008/0 9/25/universally-preferable-behavior-a-rational-proof-of-secular- ethics.aspx)

          My question to the faithful is this: if there is such a thing as gods and devils, why must children be taught about them? Children don’t have to be taught about physics and gravity in order to throw a ball. If your parents had never told you stories about Christ, would you still be a Christian?

          My point is that just like Christians claim to know the true God, so do Muslims, Buddhists, etc.; doesn’t it make more sense that you believe what you do, not because it’s true, but because it’s what your parents taught you as a child? Your parents taught you Santa Claus was real to manipulate your behavior, then you grew out of that fairytale, why is God any different?

          Reason is the acceptance of reality confirmed by empirical evidence, faith is the acceptance of cultural mythology in spite of all empirical evidence to the contrary is it not?

          • DamonNo Gravatar says:

            I must say John, this is way off for you certainly can ask a child thats never been brought up to know Christ how they automatically knew wrong from right, another words life from death, that its WRONG to kill, it does not feel so good to be angry, or better yet after just reeming someone out to only feel a little guilty after the smoke clears. There are so many other examples but the question is where does that come from? Sorry but I must completely disagree with your false assertions. There is a “God” almighty and He gave His son Jesus Christ to save us from sin and the Holy Spirit to comfort us here on earth. in saying that Jesus Christ is a personal relationship not an organized RELIGION

            • JohnNo Gravatar says:

              So Damon, if Bob programs kids to know killing is wrong, who makes them join the military?

              • DamonNo Gravatar says:

                That was not the point you were making that I responded to The fact I was aluding to was there is no “Bob” as they automatically know, my question is how do you suppose that is? I know the answer, do you? By the way in this scenario you just brought forth about “Bob” programming someone, I would just say that someone wanted to be programmed, but down deep inside a human spirit you obviously don’t want to talk about one knows right from wrong. I am not into following NO ONE but I am into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ my savior as my friend and comforter. I am also held accountable for wrong, so are you, you just obviously have not come to that conclusion yet.

      • Bob RobertsonNo Gravatar says:

        What atheism rejects is the “objective” part of “objective morality”. In order to be “objective”, there must be an observer, a judge, to say which is right and which is wrong.

        Since it’s just us here and there is no rule that is not made up by, enforced by, and applicable to, “people”, we also have no one else to blame.

        That may be why atheism, like anarchism, frightens some people so deeply. Without someone else to blame, without someone else to “forgive” me, I’m stuck with only myself. That’s scary. People want God the Father, or Big Mommy Government, to take care of them.

        I have no problem with someone who wants to “believe”, be it vengeful sky gods, aliens, lizard people from the center of the earth, whatever. So long as they never EVER use it as an excuse for aggressing against others.

        • Erik GarciaNo Gravatar says:

          Bob,

          Your argument would make sense only if Christians believed that God does nothing but forgive. Now while I may be a far left liberal with my theology, even I can’t deny that Biblical teachings state that even after being forgiven, you will be punished for your sins. So if people want someone to only take care of them, then they best go see Miss Government, because God (the Christian one I mean) is prone to judge. But yes, Christians do take solace in knowing they will be forgiven. And on the other side of the coin, atheists may be scared by Theism because it requires one to hold themselves accountable for their actions. You have free will and may do as you will, but its still on you in the end. (And this is taking a more moderate stance and less liberal theology.)

          • DarrenNo Gravatar says:

            Erik,

            You may rest assured that theism doesn’t scare us in the least. I was once among the faithful, I’m not scared by what I left behind.

          • kunkmiesterNo Gravatar says:

            Where in the Bible does it say that you’ll still be punished after being forgiven? Though the answer to that gets complicated as different sects will believe different things.

  5. Seth KingNo Gravatar says:

    So, what website was it that converted you to anarcho-capitalism? What about libertarianism? Because I’m curious which sites converted you to libertarianism but not anarchism. LRC had to fall somewhere in the picture.

    Also, how has your family taken to your conversion? Did they become libertarians? How about anarchists? Very curious, indeed.

    • Erik GarciaNo Gravatar says:

      I’d actually say this website played a good role in helping me convert to Anarcho-Capitalism, as well as several other articles (not full sites really) that I found. I’d also like to mention jesusradicals.com which is a great site to learn about Christian Anarchism. My family has accepted my new found anarchist philosophy and I’ve had several healthy debates with them on various political issues. My father is still an independent(with a liberal leaning) and my mother is still a moderate conservative. Both are currently registered with the Republican party, even though my father really doesn’t like Republicans.

      I’d like to thank you all for the support. Though some of you don’t agree with my faith, you are all still very respectful of it and for that I am thankful.

      • Seth KingNo Gravatar says:

        I just spent a little bit of time checking out jesusradicals.com. That’s an impressive site. Scholarly essays, diverse, and thriving community.

        I read in the About section that there is an annual conference held in New York City. I don’t know where you live, but if you’re close it would be cool if you attended the conference and reported back to Daily Anarchist. I’d love to publish a high quality article on that scene.

        Something to consider.

  6. DarrenNo Gravatar says:

    Kontrarian,

    Your comment may as well have been a claim that the moon is made of green cheese. If you had any knowledge of Objectivism you’d know that the moral issues are very well covered & actually argue against faith (I’m not using the word religion here for a reason):

    “If I were to speak your kind of language, I would say that man’s only moral commandment is: Thou shalt think. But a “moral commandment” is a contradiction in terms. The moral is the chosen, not the forced; the understood, not the obeyed. The moral is the rational, and reason accepts no commandments.

    “My morality, the morality of reason, is contained in a single axiom: existence exists—and in a single choice: to live. The rest proceeds from these. To live, man must hold three things as the supreme and ruling values of his life: Reason—Purpose—Self-esteem. Reason, as his only tool of knowledge—Purpose, as his choice of the happiness which that tool must proceed to achieve—Self-esteem, as his inviolate certainty that his mind is competent to think and his person is worthy of happiness, which means: is worthy of living. These three values imply and require all of man’s virtues, and all his virtues pertain to the relation of existence and consciousness: rationality, independence, integrity, honesty, justice, productiveness, pride.”

    –Ayn Rand

  7. Bob RobertsonNo Gravatar says:

    Public school converted me to anarchism. I realized very early on that no system this awful could possibly be required for people to get along with each other.

  8. FreeBornAngelNo Gravatar says:

    I got my first exposure in Franfurt Germany, I saw an A on a wall after a protest of the amerikan troops, of which I was one, and asked my buddy what that was about, he told me no government and I´ve been anarchist ever since. The more I read the more I liked,…it has been a long wait, but today is certainly far more anarchic than it was that day that the propoganda of the tagger reached me. You are fortunate that you will not have many barren years when you will be the only anarchist in town,….

    If god takes an activist approach to us, he negates our freewill and contradicts his purpose,….

  9. Erik GarciaNo Gravatar says:

    Id like to direct anymore questions you may have to Jesusradicals.com

    They show (in much more scholarly work) how my faith and anarchism mix. Thanks for all the healthy debate guys, and pimp Dailyanarchist.com over at the site if you visit it!

  10. KontrarianNo Gravatar says:

    Every comment made in rebuttal to mine was a great exercise in self-refutation.
    We’re on the internet people, don’t be lazy, do some research.
    For those who are willing to challenge their preconceptions on morality, watch this debate: http://youtu.be/rq1QjXe3IYQ
    These are two of the most respected people in their fields debating the subject at the University of Notre Dame.
    UPB and Objectivism are self refuting as well.

  11. AgoristTeen1994No Gravatar says:

    Nice to meet you Erik. It’s always a great thing to meet other anarchists who are around my age. I am 17 myself, though I will be 18 in April. We can talk more at another point but again nice to meet you and I hope you enjoy the forum. And great article.

  12. Micius PorciusNo Gravatar says:

    Erik, right on brother. If only I had found anarchism so young. Some people are going to argue till the cows come home if faith is compatible with anarchism. I’m an atheist and I don’t care if you are a man of faith or not. If you think the existence of government is wrong then you’re okay in my book. :)

  13. sorinNo Gravatar says:

    why we argue???so much….
    Freedom is universal you can choose to be a believer or not.I believe in God,I don’t believe in religion as an institution.
    I don’t need a religion to tell whats wrong or right ,,,We all just know whats wrong and whats right…I don’t know how, but its integrated in our minds.
    Before written laws existed people were not tempted to brake the law,they all knew the law inside of them..the morality,,,,
    Only sick minded people can do harm to others,and this world is full of them ,one of them invented the laws hhaha…its just my side opinion….I don’t believe real atheist exist,,,,maybe agnostics,,,inside all of us there will always be a doubt ,,,a pure doctrine doesn’t exist,,,,just many questions and 6 billion different answers for each question…peace!

    • DarrenNo Gravatar says:

      Sorin, believe it it’s true there are real atheists. Morality isn’t natural or instinctive, it must be learned. Faith based morality is an attempt to evade the need to think & learn.

  14. Kathy KingNo Gravatar says:

    I enjoyed reading Erik’s letter. It’s too bad so many of you reacted so negatively. “You’re not right! I’m right!” mentality. Why not just believe how you want to believe and allow others that same respect. Many of your responses sound just like the idiot letters-to-the-editor that are driving me from California. Oh, and as for God? Many of you speak of Stefan Molyneux as if he were a god. Sorry. He’s not.

  15. PericlesNo Gravatar says:

    Most humans at this stage of evolution are just stupid little parasites which is why there should never be a state or democracy where these proletariat-pondscum “socialist/liberal” terrorists can use violence in order to own the civilized/evolved. Statism is for parasitic terrorists and they must be eliminated in order to have civilization.

  16. Kathy KingNo Gravatar says:

    Such hatred and such violence in so many words. Stupid little parasites? Pond scum? Must be eliminated? Pericles, you don’t sound any different than the warmongers who believe we should bomb to oblivion the whole middle East! While I agree that their views on society and government are nothing more than self-serving, consider that they have had decades of brainwashing in our schools, by our media….we need a plan, one that is non-violent and one that is as pervasive and subtle as what the enemy has accomplished for years and years, undetected.

  17. IndubioNo Gravatar says:

    I;ve lived a good many years and as far as I can tell the biggest problem with the entire libertarian ideology is that the great majority of the world’s people simply won’t play. Libertarianism only works when everyone plays the same game and as a historian I can assure you that’s never happened and as an anthropologist I can tell you it never will happen. I wish this weren’t the case because I’m prepared to play the libertarian game. Most aren’t and to ignore this fundamental reality is to live in a world of unreality. All one needs to do is read the comments to this young lady’s post to understand why libertarianism can never work. Simply read the posts by Pericles and Kathy King…two presumed adults who oppose statism. Can anyone honestly argue that anyone with Pericles’ views shouldn’t be governed? For crying out loud, anyone who disagrees with dues? Really? Kathy King is a voice of reason and if a great majority thought like her libertarian ideals might have a chance. Kathy is the rest of the world possessed your sentiments we’d all be better off but sadly, too many have express an I’m right and you;re wrong attitude and worse lets kill those who disagree…that’ll make the world a better place.

    • DarrenNo Gravatar says:

      Indubio,

      Rest assured that Pericles doesn’t represent the views of anyone else around here. We don’t want to see anyone eliminated. Libertarianism is based on the non initiation of force. Something that most people agree with in principle at least.

      & yes, I’m right (& you’re wrong :-) & there’s nothing wrong with that attitude. I respect everyone’s right to their own ideas. I show that respect by not physically stopping them, or calling on the govt to stop them, from advocating said ideas . Carry on Indubio & Kathy, we may disagree with you but completely support your right to express your views.

  18. Tor MunkovNo Gravatar says:

    You are off to a great start. You have grasped a great truth at a young age. It is best for you to be an individual anarchist.

    “If you are waiting for the government to change, or society to change, or for some program or movement to be successful to find freedom, you will never be free.” – Reginald Firehammer, Christian Individualist Anarchist Libertarian proprietor of the free individual.

    http://free-individual.com/intro.php

    Collectivist hive-minds are everywhere. You will come across many who attempt to live off your efforts by banding you together under this banner or that banner of anarchistic capitalist political action and want to harness you to achieve there ends.

    You’re better than that.

    I think the writings of Thomas Paine also contain great advice to those who want to benefit from the philosophy of Jesus without the coercion and the demands to eschew your own sense perceptions for some kind of abstract dogma and received text of life denying delusions from a parasitical priest class.

  19. AnotherfreemanNo Gravatar says:

    There are more and more Christian anarchists everyday.. Me, being one of them, quickly realized the situation i found myself in. I was accepted by NO ONE! It was hilarious, AND then all of the sudden very depressing. The people who surprised me the most were my fellow anarcho capitalists. I was amazed at not only the lack of acceptance from a group that prides itself on letting others live freely and openly but also the complete and blatant holes in theological debate with these fellow thinkers. I have never been so amazed and moved by the openness in thought from a group(anarchocapitalists) and then so unexpectedly let down by lack of acceptance and closed minds. God is a logical truth. History and science tend to side with the Christian thinker. Don’t let statism continue to cloud truth. Faith and government and very opposite. Faith is a choice, hopefully made by much study, thought, and logic. Government and statism is forced upon you simply by geographical location. For an anarchist to attack someone for their faith is the opposite of the heart of anarcho capitalist philosophy. Now if someone wants to engage in a logical debate on Christianity and faith, that’s all good. But that’s not what I encountered from many other ancaps. Most often direct attacks on intelligence and questioning of how one can be both an anarchist and a follower of Christ. This particular question points to the blatant truth that those standing on the asking end know very little of faith, Christianity, and the Bible. Religion itself is a major problem and distraction, I’ll be the first to agree. But religion and faith in something more than myself is something very different. Some of you out there believe you are an accident and that all the unity and uniformity of this creation is an accident as well. To me that’s one of the most illogical statements and thoughts in this world given the extreme preciseness of the world in which we live AND the way it interacts with us. But at the end of the day, can we anarcho capitalists really afford, nor should we desire, nitpicking each other about beliefs that use coercive force on NO ONE. It’s worthless and a waste o time. Statists are more open to anarchism now more than ever! Let’s not waste our time debating each other, especially and particularly with hostility and closed minds. I promise to listen to anyone views on God with an open mind and respect. I would just ask for respect in return. As an anarcho capitalist I stand here proving that I am open and willing to hear sound logic, otherwise I never would have ended up here with my political philosophy. And for that matter it was the same logic, reason, and respectful debate that led me to faith in Jesus. Funny isn’t it!

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