Nicole and Joe describe themselves as anarchists.
Anarchism covers a big field, with almost as many sects and splinters as Christianity, and I never can figure out exactly which of those things Nicole embraces. Like her Christianity, her anarchism seems to be opportunistic.
However, at the core is a dislike of government. Any kind of government or authority. The main mantra seems to be some form of “You are not the boss of me.”
We have government for only one reason: There is no other way for human beings, who are tribal, to live together in groups. Lots of other animals are tribal as well. We don’t call it that, of course. We refer to them as “herd animals.”
My cattle are herd animals. If you don’t think they have rules, you haven’t hung around cattle very much. They have a hierarchy. There is a very definite set of rules involved in their behavior. It involves determining who goes through the gate first, who eats from the hay ring first, who has rights to the water trough first. Frances is Boss Cow. The largest bull calf is second in command, and it goes down from there.
They even do this walking across the pasture. Frances is first in line, and the others walk in single file, in order.
This is not the best photo of it, but it’s the only one I have. Frances is in front, heading in the direction of the camera. The second-in-command calf is behind her, and you can see that the third calf is waiting for the other one to pass before getting in the line up. The calf on the right would not dare to join the line in front of the light one. (The dark animal behind the calf on the right is Georgia the donkey who gives no shits about what is happening.)
They do this because it is embedded in their DNA to do this. It’s in their DNA because over the millennia, they survived better by doing this.
We do it for the same reason. It’s a question of the best way to survive as a group. Without cooperation, society is impossible, and voluntary cooperation is not in our DNA and simply doesn’t work, any more than it would work with my cows. This is the reason that Nicole’s “voluntaryism” is complete bullshit.
But back to anarchism.
We’ve seen anarchists at work this week, specifically on Friday, during the inauguration.
See the anarchist flag on the right? I watched some video of the rioting, and it was typical. Rioters dressed in black (to make identification of individuals more difficult). They carried numerous anarchist flags (there are several different sorts with various symbols).
These are the people who destroyed property and set fires in the road and all the really disruptive, damaging stuff we saw in the media.
Now then. Is it possible that some folks on the left decided to dress up in black like anarchists and break a bunch of windows and set some fires?
That’s what some anarchists are claiming.
Violence and property damage are being “sold to you” as anarchy. Nicole believes this, of course. That’s why she posted the silly meme.
But anarchists have a very long, colorful history of engaging in violence and property damage. It’s worth reading a bit of history about it.
Remember the various sects and splinter groups I mentioned? One of those groups is called “insurrectionary anarchism.”
What Nicole is trying to do is something like what Christians do when presented with the fact (and it’s a fact) that Hitler was a Catholic. They insist that he wasn’t “really” Christian (and they usually try to paint him as an atheist, which infuriates the hell out of me, since atheists were a persecuted group in Nazi Germany, so don’t do it).
Not all anarchists commit violent acts, of course, and throughout history (at least since anarchism first appeared on the scene, which isn’t really that long ago), they’ve often played a valid role in societal change, but to pretend that they never get violent is simply ridiculous.
Here’s a link to the whole conversation on Reddit. It’s worth reading (scroll down all the way, some of the comments come after the links to other articles).
It’s quite obvious from that conversation that other anarchists know perfectly well that the Washington rioters were, in fact, exactly what they made sure we’d know they are: anarchists.
Here’s what I was doing the following day (yesterday).
I wasn’t in DC. I was in Lexington, but I joined millions of other people all over the world. It was a marvelous experience and my husband kept saying “Can we do this again?”
There were no anarchists present, at least, none who advertised themselves as that. Nobody dressed in black with those flags. Nobody breaking windows or setting fires. Instead, there were entire families. There was a hugely diverse crowd, every age, every ethnicity.
Dave said it best: “I felt like I was in America again.”
Unlike anarchists, who believe in no government at all, I am a liberal. I believe government is necessary, and not only necessary, but often and maybe mostly, beneficial. I also believe strongly that it is participatory. It is what we make of it. Right now, I think that’s pretty much shit, but to change that, I’m not going to break any windows. I’m just going to attempt to get the attention of my duly-elected representatives, who want to stay in office, and explain to them how they can get my vote, and in addition, how they can lose it.
These are two of the policemen who helped us. The march in Lexington was supposed to not involve any road closures, because they thought the numbers wouldn’t warrant it. It became very obvious as the time approached that way more people were arriving than were expected.
That meant that the police had to turn on a dime and initiate road closures all over the downtown area to accommodate us. It meant way more officers had to be assigned to assist us than were originally anticipated.
The Lexington police did this with patience, with good humor (as you can see), and with courtesy. They led our march, they walked beside us, and they made sure everyone was safe (there were a lot of children marching). And they smiled, just like you see above, all the whole time.
So much for the evil government.