Apr 04

SGP034 – The Anarchy Button

Suppose there was a button you could push that would abolish the State. Suppose that button has no other information, no other warning label imposed by the FDA.

Would you push it?

As Murray Rothbard put it, I would blister my thumb to push that button. To take it a bit further, if the button were inside my skull, I would push that button with a bullet. I would raise an army and wage a war and lay down my life and the lives of others, to set eyes upon that button, just to get a mere glimpse of it, for nothing more than that I might die with the knowledge that the button were possible, and might someday be pressed by another.

Some Garbage Podcast EP034 - The Anarchy Button

Some Garbage Podcast EP034 – The Anarchy Button

According to Stefan Molyneux, he would not push that button if it were sitting on his night table. The guy that spends a great deal of time talking you about how horrible the State is. The guy who tells you that peaceful parenting is going to lead to the end of the State. He literally wouldn’t lift a finger to end it.

Well, it’s not that I don’t understand that there might be some disagreement in human society that such a button should be pushed. Some of that disagreement might well be very reasonable. People might ask questions like “Well, what happens to statists if I push that button, are they killed?” or “Is the State abolished by the extinction of the human race” or they might be less reasonable questions like “Who will build the roads? Feed the poor? Equality? Muh Feelz?” Blah Blah Blah…

But Stefan is a pretty smart guy. He knows the button is an exercise in fiction, and as such, the conditions for the abolition of the State might be anything one’s imagination could conjure. It really is a simple question. “Do you or do you not seek the abolition of the State?” and for any right thinking anarchist, hell, for any moron who’s glanced at a newspaper in the last decade or two, the answer should be “Of course!”.

Not Alone

I had remarked in a previous article titled “A Culture of Resistance” that most “anarchists” seek not the abolition of the State. They rather enjoy their station as unique State hating anarchist, especially those of us who get paid for it. Being an anarchist ceases to be special when anarchist is just a synonym for person, as it would be in the absence of the State.

For those of us who have made careers out of this, that means a change of career. While those of us who were intelligent and entertaining enough to propagandize statism to its death would surely have no trouble spinning that off into some other field or subject matter, who really wants to put themselves out of a job doing what they love?

I hadn’t intended to include Molyneux in those remarks at the time, but it reminded me of a video I produced quite poorly in 2013 about him that pointed out a similar issue. It was a response to him saying that the State would go out “with a yawn”. The idea being, that you should basically do nothing to bring about an end to the State. Just live your life as morally and prosperously as possible and eventually everyone else will too. I think that this is so demonstrably ridiculous that I shouldn’t even have to say so. I’ve always loved what Stefan has to say, but as a strategist for the abolition of the State he has consistently been absolutely horrible.

More importantly, he noted in the same video that if you disobey the State “Well, boom, gun to the head, they’re always going to have that power over you”

This is a clear indicator that he does not think the abolition of the State actually will occur. If they are “always going to have that power over you”. One cannot simultaneously be working towards the abolition of the State, and concede its impossibility at the same time, at least not while being as intelligent as Stefan is. One does not toil away at a thing they know to be impossible. To take another Rothbard reference, this would be as if Stefan had made his show about trying to fly by flapping your arms.

So necessarily, if Stefan Molyneux has no intention of bringing about an end to the State, if he thinks it neither possible nor desirable, then that is not what his show is about. This is a profound disappointment to me, because he has been as influential in my philosophy, my politics, and my personal relationships, really as much as I could say anybody else was.

Join us for another excruciating episode of Some Garbage Podcast, this and every Friday from 5-7pm Eastern. If you would like to be on the program call 567-704-3182 or send a Skype request to SomeGarbagePodcast.com.

See the YouTube video here

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  • MorganLaco

    So this is just a guess, but I think when Stefan says “they’re always going to have that power over you”, he means while they’re around. Again, this is a guess and you would have to ask him to be sure. As you said, if he literally meant they will _always_ have that power over us, then it would follow that he doesn’t believe the abolition of the state will ever occur. I am fairly confident that he believes it _is_ possible, in which case, he did not mean that statement literally and without qualification.

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