The Daily Anarchist’s New Editor

September 23rd, 2011   Submitted by Mike Reid

Hi, my name is Mike. And I am a recovering statist. Through the redeeming power of anarchocapitalism, I’ve gone two years without advocating a single drop of state intervention. You see, I came to admit that I was powerless over the state — that my addiction to it had rendered my life unmanageable. And I came to believe that an idea greater than statism could restore me to sanity.

My addiction to the state started in high school. I saw that all the coolest people — Naomi Klein, Tom Morello — wanted me to drop out of free society and free exchange. They always seemed to know what was best for everybody else, and I wanted to be smart like them. So, I started experimenting with statism.

In university, I got into the hard-core stuff: socialism and communism. All of my friends were doing it. I thought we were so revolutionary with our union buttons and our “Free Tuition Now” banners. Calling for state intervention to solve every social problem let me avoid thinking about my own problems.

In 2007 and 2008, I got hooked on the hypnotism of state theater. I gobbled up every YouTube clip of the US Democratic nomination fight I could get my eyeballs on. Everyone I knew thought Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton would save the world. And when that nomination bottle was empty of all surprise, I couldn’t stop; I just starting using the Republican nomination to get high.

But somebody had mixed some crazy stuff into that contest, as I bet you know. The clean stuff hit me hard, and I hit rock bottom.

I woke up under my state-funded grad-student desk, heaped high with the papers for my state-policy-recommendation thesis, knowing that my black hole of student debt was papered over only by state scholarships, and I saw what I had become.

All of my friends were still users. So, it was hard, but on the Internet I found other people who were clean. I started volunteering and getting involved.

In 2009, I got hired as a copyeditor for the Mises Institute. At first it was just something to keep my browser busy, so that I wouldn’t drift back into statism. But then I found out I could read and talk with great anarchists all the time, people who helped me see the source of my problems and stay on the wagon. The Mises Daily was fun and challenging and uplifting every day.

My life has started to come back together. I can spend time with my family now without even getting that itch to regulate something. I feel free again.

And today, I get to start work as the editor of the Daily Anarchist. I’m here to share the road with people who’ve already got the message, and I can’t wait to share the cure with those still doing tricks for a fix. I want to help the whole human race remember what it means to be free from addiction to the state.

So, send me your stories, your experiences, your take on the world. This is the Daily Anarchist, and this my rehab.

21 Responses to “The Daily Anarchist’s New Editor”

  1. DanielNo Gravatar says:

    This is beautiful

    One of the most poignant aspect of the philosophy of freedom is that choosing to not (want to) regulate other people’s lives means you becoming free from this terrible affliction.

  2. AgoristTeen1994No Gravatar says:

    Well…I’m definitely glad you’re clean of that vile addiction known as “statism”. I remember when I became “clean” to use the metaphor you used.

  3. JohnNo Gravatar says:

    1. We admitted we were powerless over our government – that it is inherently unmanageable.
    2. Came to admit that welfare, funded through taxation under the treat of imprisonment, is no charity at all.
    3. Made a decision to dedicate our will and our lives over to voluntary interactions with our fellow man.
    4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
    5. Admitted to ourselves that we alone are responsible for our shortcomings and worthy of our achievements.
    6. Were entirely ready to confess our participation and complicity provided sanction to evils perpetrated by our government.
    7. Humbly confessed our idol worship at the altar of mere men.
    8. Accepted that all men are created equal and subject to the same moral standards regardless of occupation or intention.
    9. Acknowledged that no altruistic ends can atone for immoral means.
    10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.
    11. Recognized that our rational minds are the arbiters of morality in our lives second to no laws of men.
    12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to statists, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

  4. KronstadtNo Gravatar says:

    Quite the road-to-Damascus you’ve experienced! Just wondering – why do find anarcho-capitalism to be more appealing than other political positions that are also opposed to the power of the state? Why is it preferable to, say, anarcho-syndicalism or anarcho-collectivism?

    • VoluntaryistRJNo Gravatar says:

      Anarcho-capitalism or Voluntaryism can allow voluntary experiments of anarcho-syndicalism or anarcho-collectivism under its broad umbrella. The reverse is not true.

  5. LinuxNo Gravatar says:

    A truly touching testimony. *wipes tears*

    Welcome to the brotherhood of free men.

  6. Seth KingNo Gravatar says:

    I want to thank everybody who wrote me about the Editor position, especially the people with whom I conducted phone interviews. When I wrote that I was seeking a new editor I expected to get three or four interested parties. To my surprise I got nearly two dozen people, most of whom were highly qualified for the position.

    Over the last couple of years Mike has developed a relationship with many authors while working for the Mises Institute. It is my hope that he will be able to bring his connections with him in some capacity to the Daily Anarchist. This should potentially increase the amount of content Daily Anarchist publishes every month.

    As for the rest of the applicants, I still have your information, and it is quite possible that I will be in need of your services in the future. Thank you again for your time and good luck!

  7. bill waldNo Gravatar says:

    It is impossible for me to make any conclusion without knowing how well Mises is paying mike. I most certainly don’t want state intervention as long as my pension continues to more than pay the bills.

  8. KathyNo Gravatar says:

    Wonderful introductory letter, Mike! We look forward to all you have to offer!!!

  9. nhwulfNo Gravatar says:

    Welcome to the D.A. Since we know that the state is soon to die, I like to think that we here are planning the wake.

  10. Good luck, Mike. There is probably no better place on earth to learn about freedom than the Ludwig von Mises Institute. I commented on your letter on the Mises blog as well. Here’s what I said there:

    Keep coming back. It (freedom) gets better and better without the the intoxicating State. I have long argued that statism is a sickness, a type of addiction similar to alcoholism, drug addiction and compulsive gambling. I refer to the dope or substance to which the user becomes addicted as OPM, which sounds like opium, is equally addicting, stands for “other people’s money–forcibly plundered.”

    • Mike ReidNo Gravatar says:

      Thanks, Ned.
      Yes, that OPM is definitely habit-forming stuff!

      Also intoxicating is the ability to force one’s own definitions of the good life on others: here’s what your kids should read; here’s what you should eat; here’s how you should pray; here’s how you should farm; here’s what language you should speak.

  11. Anti-StateNo Gravatar says:

    (Everybody at the same time) Hi Mike!