November 10, 2020
From Anarchist News

2020 was the year when anarchist started to mean riots and fires again. This was good news, because for a while there it started to feel like it meant bitcoin and free markets. Some anarchists really love money, apparently. Some even seem to prefer black Friday to black November. I’m talking, of course, about anarchist-capitalists.

Of all the adjectives forcing themselves onto the noun, capitalist is the most insistent, the most pervasive. Anarchist-capitalists, if Google search results are anything to go by, are everywhere.

Who are they? Where did they come from? What do they want?

Is anarchist-capitalism an online phenomenon, like so many other anarchisms, or is it out there in the world talking to people and making and breaking stuff?

What are the differences between the anti-capitalist anarchists we know and (sometimes) love, and this other crowd? What are the similarities? Are there overlaps in our mileus? In our ideas?

Would you rather be at a bar full of Bernie/Biden bro’s, or bitcoin/bow-tie bros?

Do you think of anarchist-capitalists as your friends? Enemies? Rivals?

Where do we end and they begin? Is an anarchist who charges other anarchists money to listen to them talk on zoom still an anti-capitalist? What about the professional patreon-ers and the gofundme grifters? In this neverending nightmare of buying, selling, clocking in and clocking out, are we all capitalists to one degree or another?

Penny for your thoughts, internet.

There are 8 Comments

ancap business idea #1: glass repair company. break windows at night, fix for $ during the day. repeat.

“Where do we end and they begin?”

we end on the wrong side of a laser beam perimeter system that cuts us in half as we try to approach the ancapistan border to free the totally consenting child coal miner / brothel workers.

There are a wide variety of different kinds of beliefs and people that exist within the “anarchist-capitalist” milieu. Some of them are full-on pro-capitalist,  pro-corporate, racist, homophobic and misogynist pieces of shit. And some of them are decent people. The trick is to distinguish between one and the other. 

The subsection within the “anarchist-capitalist” milieu that is the most promising are the agorists. Agorism is like a kind of radical individualist anarchism, with Stirnerite egoist proclivities, this is more interested in building up the black market and less interested in obsessing over possible future utopias. Sure, some of them might be bigoted jerks, but if you want some of your favorite untraceable off-the-books what-have-you, those are the ones to turn to. 

There are also some folks who live in the grey area in-between anarcho-capitalism and anti-capitalist anarchism, particularly I’m thinking of the Center for a Stateless Society and the Libertarian Socialist Caucus of the Libertarian Party. These folks tend to be mutualists, arguably the very first anarchist school of thought out there, that is in favor of both free markets as well as abolishing capitalism. I really appreciate those people, since they are making friends with people on both sides, as well as pissing off people on both sides. Gotta keep things interesting. 

“Capitalism is not some abstract thing. It is deeply personal. It creates the channels through which care reaches (or doesn’t reach) each of us. And that care [or lack of it] transforms us into who we are.”

If I’m at a bar these days it is neither with Bernie-bros nor with bitcoin-bros as I see both as more or less delusional. I can hang with a lot of crazy, but not the sort of crazy that thinks either electoral politics or alt-capital(ism) is any path to pursue.

I mean, maybe anarchist-capitalists think they are on my side, but I don’t see them as on my side, to the extent that I have sides in that sense, as it were. Here we are in the middle of a global pandemic and where I’m at we just had a summer of fire and toxic air, so I really do not see a rearrangement of balance sheets or a trying to make more equitable the thing that brought us to this point as actually engaging with reality or even plausibility.

The current conflict across the entire world is money versus life. In that confrontation, in that war, no honest person can be neutral: one is on the side of money or one is on the side of life.
– Subcomandante Insurgente Galeano

Simply, a life spent preoccupied with transactional relationships and accumulating surplus material wealth produces a deficit (haha using capitalist term) in empathetic emotional engagements with other people.

i long ago gave up trying to label and sub-label folks. anyone that can only see life in transactional/economic terms – some ancaps i’ve engaged with actually say every single act in life is an economic transaction – is not an ally of mine. they might be “decent”, they might be funny, they might be in my family or be my bookie…. i will interact with them in the ways i enjoy (assumedly they do too), and i ignore them otherwise. it’s really not difficult, i am simply honest and without objective judgement (but of course subjective judgement is what makes me… me).

the binary thinking that dominates life in the modern human world is clearly not lost on all the so-called radicals that seem to need to place individuals into labelled, rigid ideological boxes to throw darts at.

spockian, i agree completely.