How to Live in Peaceful Anarchy: A Short Primer
“I die, as I have lived, a free spirit, an Anarchist, owing no allegiance to rulers, heavenly or earthly.” ― Voltairine de Cleyre
I don’t believe that man should rule over man.
By definition, that makes me an anarchist.
No, I don’t throw Molotov cocktails at G8 protests nor do I seek out violence, disorder, and destruction.
Why? Because that has nothing to do with anarchism.
What Anarchy Is and What It Isn’t
While Heath Ledger (RIP) was one of the best Joker’s we’ve ever had, in this iconic scene, he is not talking about anarchy.
The mainstream media (and Hollywood) falsely uses the term anarchy as a synonym for chaos.
That is incorrect!
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines anarchism as follows:
[Anarchism is] a political theory holding all forms of governmental authority to be unnecessary and undesirable and advocating a society based on voluntary cooperation and free association of individuals and groups.
Mainstream media tends to get the first part right: anarchists want to live in a society without a state.
But the second part - that anarchists want a society based on voluntary cooperation - gets left out entirely.
Why Does Anarchism Have Such a Bad Image?
I have a theory.
Anarchism has been a threat to the powers that be for centuries.
From monarchs and dictators to “democratic” governments and religious institutions, anarchism has been a thorn in their eyes because it promotes freedom and sovereignty for the individual.
And our overlords don’t like that.
As a result, efforts have been made to demonize anarchist thought and suppress anarchist movements.
That’s just my theory…
…but there’s probably some truth in it.
Living in Peaceful Anarchy (Well, Almost)
If you are reading this, there is a 99% chance that you live in a statist society.
Almost all of us do.
The reality is that it’s impossible to completely escape the state, even as an anarchist.
If you want to travel, run a business, employ people, get married, or own land, the state wants to have a say (and take its cut).
But there’s also good news.
There are actions you can take that allow you to live with more freedom, more sovereignty, and more liberty in something that somewhat resembles peaceful anarchy.
So, let’s look at a few steps you can take this year to increase your freedom.
1. Move to a state, region, or country where you have more freedom
If you are unhappy with how much the state is involved in your life or the lack of freedom you possess, the easiest thing you can do is to move.
If you don’t like the high taxes in California, move to Texas.
If you don’t like the President’s policies, move to Canada (or Mexico).
If you don’t like living under the Chinese Communist regime in Hong Kong, move to a neighboring country.
You get the idea.
And yes, I am aware that moving is not always that simple. Especially, if you live in a country with travel restrictions or hold an unpopular passport.
But if you are fundamentally unhappy with the level of freedom in your country, make plans to leave. And then execute them.
2. Reduce your exposure to the state
To put it mildly, I am not a fan of dealing with bureaucrats.
Unfortunately, though, it’s unavoidable.
For certain things, you have to go to government offices. Whether you want to or not.
What you can do, however, is limit your exposure to dealing with the state.
For example, you can:
Put your children in a private kindergarten/school, instead of a state-run institution that requires you to fill out government paperwork
Switch from national insurance to private insurance
Not work in the public sector where politicians decide your pay
I think you get the idea.
You can limit your exposure by switching from state-run services and institutions to privately run ones.
3. Seek out voluntary exchanges to earn an income
That’s a fancy way of saying don’t work a job you hate.
Instead, find work you enjoy and work for a company you actually want to work for.
Or even better, start working for yourself.
That will most likely mean starting out as a freelancer and then growing your freelance businesses into a “proper” company or launching a startup that aims to solve a problem close to your heart.
The main takeaway here is to engage in voluntary exchange - free of cohesion or restrictive forces.
And yes, I am aware that there are practicalities involved - like having to feed a family or working a high-paying job that acts as “golden handcuffs” - that make it hard to quit.
But if you want more freedom and happiness, you will have to quit that job you hate before it consumes you.
I used to dread going to work on Mondays in my last few years in banking.
Today, I run a digital media company and deal with clients that I genuinely enjoy working with. It’s a cliché, but I love Mondays now.
4. Learn how to become more self-sufficient
Ever since the show “Doomsday Preppers” aired on Netflix, people make fun of preppers almost as much as of flat earthers.
When the pandemic broke out in early 2020, however, the masses were panic buying supermarkets empty and acting even more insane than doomsday preppers.
2020 has taught us to expect the unexpected.
Moreover, it taught us that we need to become more self-sufficient.
In fact, every sovereign individual who wants as little as possible to do with the state needs to learn how to become self-sufficient.
Self-sufficiency will take different forms for different people due to their circumstances. But a few things that anyone can do to become more self-sustainable include:
Grow your own food
Learn to hunt
Learn to fish
Install solar panels
Get a backup generator
Air dry clothes
Don’t worry, you don’t have to leave your city flat right now and learn to live off the land.
My point is: the more self-sufficient you become, the less you need outside help in your everyday life or when sh*t hits the fan.
Not giving money to the state for things like water is also anarchist AF. ;-)
If you have read this far without getting triggered by my “crazy anarchist ideas,” then I salute you and your open-mindedness!
If you got triggered and feel the need to share your opinion with me, just hit that reply button and I will receive your “hot takes” in my inbox. In fact, I would love that!
Peace, love & anarchy,