So I’ve been on a spate of arguments with some self-proclaimed anarchists, whose main claim to utopia seems to be some misguided effort to get people to stop voting. Here are some of their canned-ham replies:
Now I’m the last person to think a government is the product of unicorns and angels. There’s plenty we need to get right, and plenty of people with common sense rules, frustrated by utter idiocy and dark money. With the spate of recent Supreme Court victories, #FeeltheBern and Elizabeth Warren charging up the banker’s backsides, asking people not to vote seems to me the billionaire’s way of undermining real democracy.
So to those libertarians who want to undo it all, I have this to say:
Now, I’m not against the concept of Anarchy. Hell, my fascination with the letter V comes from the Bible of Anarchy itself, Alan Moore’s V for Vendetta. Anarchy is a wonderful incentive for people to get their shit together and not descend into a state where we have to depend on each other to police each other, where “do what thou wilt” is the whole of the law and it’s the land of do-as-you-please.
But what Moore’s graphic novel did and the movie did not was include a brilliant ending. The symbol of the resistance and the revolution does something amazing that, to me, is the point of the whole book. Time to return to the Magic Faraway Tree.
V doesn’t get shot to death by Creedy- he goes to Finch and LETS HIMSELF BE KILLED.
Think about that for a minute. What Moore was saying is the revolution can only last until freedom is achieved. Then the revolution has to die, so nobody else is killed.
Now think about the founding fathers, also. Put yourself in their shoes. The British are defeated, and you’ve got all these rebels in the same room hopped up on coffee, biting each others’ heads off over how to proceed with the Great Experiment. Tempers are high, nobody agrees, and Franklin’s not to be seen, off to the whorehouse. Jefferson just wants to go home to his plantations and do right by his vast households of slave progeny. So what’s a responsible anarchist, turned revolutionary leader to do?
“Hey, let’s just let them keep fighting and work it out.”
Presto. America, ladies and gentlemen.
Basically, those guys couldn’t actually figure out how to get everyone to agree, but were getting so much shit done through the actual argument they decided to extend it ad infinitum. They built up three camps, the executive, the judicial and the legislative, and laid out the rules like rock paper scissors, so no one camp had all the power and needed to fight it out for the favor of the public. And that’s the lasting strength of America, that we’re a place where expletive-filled discourse is always allowed, coffee flows like water and people compromise on solutions. Everyone needs to be heard, not just the wealthy.
I’m sure many independently minded people would love to ditch this whole infuriating mess and go live in the woods somewhere like they’re in Walden, but more badass, like Chuck Norris as written by Thoreau. But guess what? With all the drought exacerbated by agriculture, companies poisoning the water and the soil, and fracking companies breaking up the earth beneath your feet, America is not really a place where you can do that any more. Even the abundant oysters in the oceans are dissolving with all the ocean acidification. You’re liable to get whacked just emerging from the woods, with all these easy to buy guns floating around. Besides, we’re a specialized society. Precious few people have the skills to live on their own anymore. And the only way for all those people to get along and fix this broken place is by VOTING.
What I’m saying is, anarchists and libertarians, you’re not living in the revolution. You’re in the aftermath of the revolution, the rebuilding phase that’s lasted hundreds of years and is still going. And you should stop shitting on the boat while people are trying to put up its sails, because voting is the only way we’re going to keep her afloat.