Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Anarcho-Fantasy: The Dream of a World Without the State

John Zmirak responds to Tom Woods with the second essay in a symposium on sovereignty:

Every time I read an anarchist essay like Tom Woods’s piece on sovereignty, in which he implicitly calls for the abolition of the State, it fills me with a warm, nostalgic glow. Some 25 years ago, I was active in a group called the Party of the Right. To this day, that student-led organization of conservative inactivists still fights the Left at Yale—through bow-tied Oxford-style debates held over port and sherry on topics like “Resolved: That the Beautiful is Closer to the Good than to the True.”...

The lines were clearly drawn between the Libertarians and the Trads, and debates centered on how large a part (if any) the State had to play in promoting the Good. The worst fate folks on our side could imagine was that the conservative movement might be taken over by those Ayn Ranters, and turned into a movement concerned merely with small government, low taxes, and non-intervention.

For their part, the Libertarians feared that we Moral Majority types would outlaw abortion, relegate porn mags to special stores on back roads in bad neighborhoods, impose draconian laws on divorce, and restore Bible-reading at public schools.

None of us, in our worst panic attacks, ever dreamed how much worse things would actually turn out. That both our factions would soon be shoved aside or bought. That within a decade the conservative movement would be captured, controlled, and re-educated by a third force altogether...”
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