Turning Away From The Violent Monopoly: How & Why I Became An Anarchist
By: Shane Radliff
June 16th, 2015
For those who are aware, I’ve been researching for about three years. It was about that time that I started the Liberty Under Attack website and began attempting to share what I had learned with others.
At the time of the founding of Liberty Under Attack, I was, simply put, a statist. I voted in the 2012 election and as far as who I voted for, that is insignificant. I paid a lot of attention to politics and began watching Faux News, thinking that it was important to stay updated with the news cycle.
At that time, you could call me a Constitutionalist, or in other words, a minarchist.
I stuck with that political label for a few years and for a while, I pursued it vigorously.
I feel it is worth a mention, that there was a point where I came across anarcho-capitalism. At that time I was terrible at research and claimed the label of being an “an-cap”, even though I had no idea what it was. Let’s just say, that was rather short-lived (less than a month).
In about July of last year, I came across a Facebook group whose goal was to restore the organic Constitution. Everything sounded great and they offered a solution; and no matter how unrealistic or just plain wrong it may have been, I became an administrator in the group within a few months and devoted a large amount of time in attempting to restore the Constitution.
I attended multiple “meetings” a week where the “leaders” spouted off sovereign citizen and “United States Corporation” disinformation. They told me what I wanted to hear at the time so I just took their claims at face value to be true.
It wasn’t until December of 2014 that I left the group. I had some disagreements with the leadership and finally saw the incompetence and overall lack of, and inability, to either verify or debunk the information being presented.
Around the time, I began planning for the launch of Liberty Under Attack Radio. I was still a Constitutionalist, as I didn’t see any better options, and at that time, I had a low level of confidence in anarchy, due to the ever-expanding welfare state that 21st century America is consumed by. Quite frankly, due to the actions and idiocy of some human beings, I couldn’t fathom Americans living without rulers.
In the first LUA Interview with my now co-host, Matt, we discussed our political (or in his case, anti-political) philosophies and I would say that was the start of my “conversion”.
It was also around that time that I had Ralph Epperson on LUA Interviews to discuss the Constitution. More specifically, Article 1, Section 8, Clause 17, and his determination that it was set-up to fail. I didn’t disagree at the time and I certainly don’t now.
It was that time where I was sort-of “lost” you could say. I was fleeing any notion of constitutional republicanism and didn’t think there was any possible outlet for me to run to.
But nonetheless, I still pushed forward with LUA radio and continued to help my fellow citizens “see through the fog”, even though I had no solution to the monstrosity of a problem we currently face.
Of course, my conversations with Matt continued and his anarchical philosophy made more and more sense over time. I have always been in favor of voluntary actions, rather than coercive ones. I have never been a violent person so I favor the plurality of peaceful solutions available to all of us.
Connecting the dots didn’t come to me overnight, but it came pretty rapidly. I finally saw government for what it was: the threat and use of initiatory force.
It was at that point that everything about politics started to make sense.
Government, simply put, is a monopoly on the services that you and I both want, whether that is security, arbitration, electricity or any other number of things. When it comes to the enforcement of these monopolies, the only solutions the State is capable of providing are violently coercive ones.
Fast forwarding to about a month after these important revelations, I finally decided to assign myself an anti-political label. I chose voluntaryism, otherwise known as anarcho-capitalism.
It was about that time that I also came across an anarchist from Richmond, Virginia named Kal Molinet. I watched quite a few of his videos in his series titled, “Spreading Anarchy”, where Kal goes out to various locations in Richmond to talk to people about the virtues of anarchy and the immorality of the State.
I think it’s safe to say that Kal solidified my anti-political views. Reason being, he explains things so simply and he offers a much better alternative: a sort-of anarchist utopia that I would much like to live in.
So what philosophies do Kal, Matt, and other anarchists hold in high regard?
Well, there are at least two important ones.
The first one is the non-aggression principle. Simply put, it means that we view the initiation of force as being immoral, regardless of the subject matter about the issue at hand.
The second is the self-ownership axiom. What that means, is that we own our own bodies and we believe in the importance of private property overall, as well as the productive fruits generated by both our bodies and property. In this sense, individuals like myself could be accurately described as being propertarians, by which I mean that I sincerely believe that private property is naturally independent from the State.
What do those two philosophical principles have in common with the State?
Well, nothing at all. The State is in violation of those two, simply by people hallucinating its existence. It doesn’t matter if we are talking about Communist Russia or the night-watchman State that the Constitution was supposed to establish and maintain.
The State enjoys throwing you in a dungeon for smoking a plant, or by just committing any number of mala prohibita laws, where there is no victim. That is definitely a violation of both of the twin libertarian principals.
To take it a step further, the State hates private property, and as such, it would be accurate to describe the State as being inherently anti-propertarian. Can you really say that you “own” your property when you are forced to pay property taxes? That is a resounding no.
That brings up another interesting topic. What about taxes? Well, taxation is theft. If you take money from someone else’s wallet, that is theft. But when the government does it, it’s known as taxation.
And what happens if you don’t pay your taxes? Well, if you’re lucky, the suit and tie IRS agents will only come seize your house, oh-so-politely, of course. If you’re unlucky, you may have armed thugs show up to evict you.
You simply cannot win when it comes to the State; at least, not easily.
To conclude, I am happy to call myself an anarchist. Why? Because I have chosen to live my life as morally and ethically sound as I can, something the State cannot and will not do. In addition to that, I believe in a voluntary, non-coercive, contractual society where we can all peacefully co-exist with those with varying socio-cultural and religious beliefs, rather than vote in political rulers (that’s what they are) to force our beliefs upon others. You cannot be free when you have rulers.
Too many Libertarians think if “we” have lower taxes and less government, that means “we” are free. Newsflash! – gentler, cuddlier monopoly services do not make “us” free, they only make “us” more comfortable, and if you ask me, comfort is a slave’s worst enemy. As Claire Wolf satirically pointed out back in July of 2001, freedom is a hopeless, freakish, risky, money-losing proposition; so, what statist Americans in their right mind would ever want that?