Speak to the herd in their own language or don’t bother trying.

It occurs to me that part of the reason that anarchists/libertarians are woefully unproductive in winning people over to anarchism en masse is because they (I’m fairly sure I’ve been guilty of this as well) see themselves as being above using strategies and arguments that the general public actually respond well to.

This is, for the most part, because a good many of the most effective strategies and arguments rely fundamentally on means that anarchists reject and mostly for reasons pertaining to morality and rational integrity and so forth..

For example, it may be a fact that appeals to emotion are irrational, however it is also a fact that the general public respond well to such arguments because, ultimately, a good percentage of people are irrational and fail to critically analyze arguments, instead being motivated by the underlying emotional charge and so forth.

Despite the obvious irrationality displayed by such arguments, they are tried and tested weapons that the ruling elites use to manipulate the public in a variety of ways and indeed, they do work very well in motivating the masses towards specific ends and causes (as the mainstream media and mainstream political discourse proves).

I identify as a moral nihilist, however, I do also recognize that moralistic language retains utility even if we recognize that morality does not exist because fools still allow themselves to be manipulated by the underlying emotional value of statements pertaining to “good” and “evil” and so on and so forth. I certainly would not shrink from abusing such concepts if it helped me get my own way and I don’t really think anarchists should do so either.

We may hate our intellectual opposition for being rationally inconsistent and indeed, we may despise the ruling elites for  manipulating the herd in order to shape society towards their own ends all we like. However, attempting to take the moral or intellectual high ground on this issue merely inhibits our abilities to rise to the challenges that face anyone who might try to enhance their own practical liberty in the here and now or indeed, anyone who considers that a popular challenge to the ruling elites is necessary.

There is no point in neglecting a potentially successful strategy purely because we consider the means of that strategy to be a little bit naughty because, in the grand scheme of things, winning is all that matters. There can be no victory as a de facto loser.

That is our choice as captives of the herd and as a subculture of people living under the neoliberal democratic state. We should not be afraid to employ the strategies of the ruling elite in order to attempt to destroy or displace or enhance our own freedom from them. On the contrary, as people who are essentially captives of the herd, I would argue that we should consider that the only practical way of conclusively winning our liberty is to aspire towards becoming the de facto elite by whatever means necessary since it is debatable whether manifesting large-scale anarchist society is even possible within our lifetimes due to the fact that we are a minority and the herd, for the most part, lacks the intellectual ability to comprehend anarchist ideas and the physical capacity to function without the state.

Ultimately, the ends will always justify the means.

An Egoists International

Then… something happened.

I was lost in oblivion. Dark and silent and complete.

I found freedom.

Losing all hope was freedom.

Analysis: A bleak situation.

A fundamental fact of life, regarding our potential to manifest any sort of large anarchistic mass-society, is that to successfully do this then anarchists must take the vast majority of the population along with them for the ride.

Society as a whole is essentially a social construct which is the manifest result of the most popular norms of the population. The state is no exception to this. It remains intact because a vast majority of people either passively accept or actively support statism. To therefore create any kind of large-scale functional anarchist society, a majority of people have to be persuaded to support anarchism of some sort in either an active or passive manner.

However, anarchists are, to put it bluntly, a minority. It is also likely that this situation will remain for the foreseeable future because the fact of the matter is that the majority of the population have no interest in attempting to realize any sort of bona-fide anarchist society and, even if they did, many do not have the necessary abilities in order to function within it. Material dependency on the current order is as big a factor as pure ideological support when examining the motivations of people who support statism.

This is a large part of the problem with selling anarchism to a mass audience.

Anarchism fundamentally asks people to take responsibility for themselves and the management of their own lives. Thusly, for an anarchistic society to manifest, it requires that people transcend the need for an higher authority which performs these functions on their behalf.

This is a hard sell to the majority of people who, more often than not, find taking complete responsibility for themselves an unattractive idea for whatever reason and do not realize or care that farming responsibility for their lives and management over their own affairs out to the state merely makes us all vassals to it.

Many anarchists, observing the decline of confidence in the political system that has taken place within the collective mind of the general public, consider that statism is dying. This is a misconception however. A crisis of confidence for the status-quo, does not necessarily mean that anarchism is about to reach critical mass. In fact, the most popular model of society within the mindset of the general public is essentially a reformed version of mildly nationalistic state-capitalism with a few safety nets.

Without an active and well-prepared opposition, the biggest enemy the state has is itself and the system is much more likely to destroy itself due to its own internal contradictions and weaknesses (such as the seemingly never ending debt crisis) than being overthrown by revolutionaries or undermined by incrementalists.

For us, as anarchists looking to manifest anarchism within our lifetimes, then there is no hope.

So, faced with such a bleak analysis, what is my conclusion?

The alternative: An egoists international.

The conclusion I have reached, is borne of having spent a lot of time around anarchists and minarchist libertarians both online and in real life  and also observing regular people who do not readily identify as anarchists in real life without isolating myself to any particular bubble or clique. I will attempt to lay it out and describe what I think would be a productive alternative for people who sympathize with anarchism and who are determined not to simply accept statism by default purely because of the bleak situation we find ourselves in as anarchists.

I would start referencing the concept of “The Remnant” as presented by Albert J Nock in his article “Isaiah’s Job”.

Nock’s concept of the Remnant was essentially based upon the idea that  reforming of the political system is a lost cause. On the other hand, Nock also argued that it would be virtually impossible to convince any significant portion of the general population to accept some sort of new libertarian paradigm and, since he flatly rejected any notion of a violent, vanguardist revolution, Nock argued that the best course of action for libertarians to focus on would be promoting and nurturing what he called “the Remnant”.

“The Remnant” is a label for what Nock perceived as a tiny minority of individuals who understood the nature of the state and society, and could only emerge to create a new order after the present status-quo had run its course and expired. This was a situation that Nock believed may not happen until some distant point in the future. In order to “revive civilization” after its inevitably apocalyptic crash, then it was important to not allow the herd to destroy “The Remnant” and therefore the focus of libertarians should instead switch to preserving and cultivating this aspect of humanity.

As anarchists (indeed, even merely as intelligent, capable people) then our situation is very similar to that which Nock described and is ultimately reducible to being held hostage by the herd.

The state itself is effectively a manifestation of the norms of the herd after all. This means that while the collective norms of the herd are statism, that there is no real hope of manifesting anarchist society. Thus, the best chance we have for maximizing our liberty is to foster organized co-operation between people who we identify with and who have similar attitudes towards self-improvement,  personal empowerment and an open mind towards exploiting the inherent weaknesses of the system for personal gain. In effect, as Nock himself argued, forget trying to rescue the herd from themselves, and instead focus on cultivating “our own people”.

Now, how to best approach such a perspective in practice?

If a good analogy for the state (and statism in general) is a prison, and we are its prisoners, then the best option is for us to attempt to form an internal prison gang in order to elevate our own liberty and standard of living “on the inside” while exerting as much influence as possible on the herd as a whole, and the various institutions of society “on the outside” in order to further our own goals.

In effect, this would resemble an “egoists international”. Effectively, a distributed fraternity of individuals seeking to co-operate with each other in order to maximize their own self-interest and manipulate the herd in order to facilitate whatever ends are sought along the way.

Indeed there are many groups that existed historically (and some still do today) that can be drawn upon for useful ideas.

For instance, the traditional notion of Max Stirner’s Union of Egoists whereupon people simply band together out of mutual self-interest is a useful starting point and template for an Egoists International.

The concept of the Union of Egoists is best described as a spontaneous and voluntary association resulting from people bonding together out of mutual self-interest and recognition of each others uniqueness. Such unions however are not seen as being above those involved in them (as institutions such as the state are). The union is therefore firmly horizontalist, with no member being above any other and if members of the union allow themselves to be dominated by others, then the union will have decayed into something else. Thus, there is no “bloc voting” or any other means of enforcing any sort of  microscale herd groupthink upon the membership writ large.

Because the notion of a union of egoists requires that those involved do not sacrifice any of their uniqueness and freedom or allow themselves to be dominated by other participants within the union then the members have roughly the same bargaining power and the resulting association is based on self-management. Otherwise, we can assume that some of the egoists involved will stop being egoists and will allow themselves to be dominated by another. As Stirner himself argued:

“But is an association, wherein most members allow themselves to be lulled as regards their most natural and most obvious interests, actually an Egoist’s association? Can they really be ‘Egoists’ who have banded together when one is a slave or a serf of the other?”

So ultimately, participation is left up to the individual and free association is the norm within the “Egoists International” and neither of these aspects could be sacrificed without essentially transforming the Egoists International into something else.

So the first question I would assume is: What would an “egoists international” actually do in practice?

Simply put: Whatever its members decided they wanted to do. I could feasibly imagine a variety of activities and methodologies being pursued. Many of which would not only be beneficial to those people involved in the schemes, but which would be perfectly consistent with creating some form of genuine, unpretentious and honest countercurrent to the state and the general direction that our society is travelling in.

  • A quick list of ideas to pursue might read as follow.
  • Think tanks and general discourse dedicated to various forms of analysis and also developing productive schemes to pursue.
  • Pooling resources and market analysis for speculative investments.
  • Forming co-ops for the benefit of members.
  • Forming small-time farming operations to help foster some sort of self-sufficiency.
  • Inventing new methods of hiding income and assets from the state.
  • Developing and pursuing low-investment business ideas and money making schemes.
  • Pooling cash in order to acquire capital goods.
  • Skills and knowledge being taught and exchanged.
  • Inventing campaigns and other orchestrated political events being created for the purposes of pursuing political goals (E.g. tax cuts, deregulation, gun rights, internet freedom and whatever other goals and causes may benefit the group) and for manipulating the herd in beneficial directions.

And so on, and so forth…. according to the will of the members.

All of  these points (and many others aside) could be of potential benefits to members of the “egoists international” and all of which could be used as productive bases for subgroups to collaborate upon. Moreover, all of these things are coherent with forming an internationalized counterposition to statism.

The last point on the list is particularly pertinent. After all, I see no reason why a working group of egoists ought not manipulate the system whenever possible in order to further their own goals. What reason is there to not take such explicitly political opportunities?

The traditional secret societies (many of which were Masonic in origin) were very accomplished in this task, and although I don’t consider that they were very good models for anarchist or egoist organization and am certainly not interested in the various paranoid (and mostly conservative catholic) conspiracy theories about the various fraternal communities of the Freemasons and other similar groups, I do think that the idea of utilizing the art of applied psychology, infiltration and manipulation in order to further social and political ends (as was the modus operandi of the historical Illuminati for example) is an interesting one.

For instance, if enough members of the Egoists International were working within a particular organization, they would then be in a position to form a specific insider force within that organization to directing it in a way that best fulfills their own particular self-interest. This could be applied to corporations, political groups, unions, and more. All of which could potentially be manipulated from the inside in order to further the mutual self-interest of a few intelligent members of the egoists international in order to further their own mutual self-interest. Indeed, entryism has a long history within political groupings and I see no particular reason why it could not be pursued within the framework of an egoists international and people simply looking to further their own mutual self-interest.

Where to go from here?

Quite simply, all we need to do to begin with is begin making contact with each other. The internet is the great facilitator in this respect (although obviously care must be taken when using it for organizational and collaborative purposes) and real-life meetings have even more potential for facilitating co-operation on the name of our own self-interest (although again, care must be taken when engaging in  real-life meetings and activities with people).

Let’s stop fighting over fantastical and unrealistic scenarios and begin doing something that can enhance our own liberty today. Most of all, lets stop trying to save society from itself, and become the wolves instead of the sheep.

The Slave Morality Of Social Justice – Part One

To provide a quick background to the slave morality/master morality dichotomy. Firstly, this concept was described by Friedrich Nietzsche to explain a dichotomy between deontological ethics and consequentialism in relation to how Nietzsche viewed aspects of human behavior.

To Nietzsche  master morality was the morality of the powerful. It emphasizes individual autonomy, hostility toward the mentality of the herd, the will to live for this life instead of an abstract afterlife and also a sense of  self-improvement which had little regard for the lower born. As a “morality of consequences” (E.g. that of consequentialism), intentions counted for little among those practicing master-morality because results were ultimately all that mattered. Those who practive master morality seek to transcend their  oppressors and do not simply seek to transform their oppressors into slaves who are in the same position as themselves.

Slave-morality, on the other hand, was the morality of the slaves and the herd. It emphasized duty, collectivization, herd-conformity, and was the morality of the weak. As a deontological ethical system (E.g. one focused more on duty than results), it was chiefly focused on a persons intentions and often meant seeking justice and rewards in the next life than this one as rewards for “good moral conduct”. Those practicing slave morality do not seek to transcend oppressors, but to simple transform them into slaves in the same position as themselves.

The various branches of the social justice movement place a great emphasis upon equality. In a sense, equality is presented as an ethical obligation on an axiomatic basis. What is rarely ever questioned however, is whether it is *always* desirable from a pragmatic  analytical perspective in terms of its consequences.

For instance, there has been a great amount of attention recently focused on the USA’s decision to allow women to serve in front-line  combat positions. Of course, this makes society a more equal place and logically, if you think that equality is an inherently “good” thing to pursue and that discrimination on the grounds of gender is inherently “bad”, a better place overall.

However, from my own consequentialist perspective. I see no reason to celebrate this because, as an anarchist, my end-goals would effectively mean the abolition of the state and thusly the end of its military force. As someone who doesn’t believe in the USA’s reckless taxpayer-funded military adventurism and who doesn’t really want *anyone* serving in the state’s military forces, then it makes no sense for me as an anarchist to explicitly support a goal that could lead to an expansion of active military personnel in the USA’s military, possibly an expansion in the USA’s military capabilities and ultimately, the entrance of women (who social justice fanatics see as an oppressed section of the population) onto the front lines of the USA’s war machine and large numbers of them dying in whatever stupid military adventure the state decides to next pursue purely for the sake of more equality between men and women.

Did many of these mostly “progressive” campaigners stop to consider why the state might suddenly be looking for more people engaged in active frontline military service as the spectre of war with Iran looms? It might be wise to consider such factors before pursuing equality of combat duties.

On the contrary, the best course of action for anyone who opposes the state war machine in this respect, regardless of whether their motives are saving lives, protecting women or or simply reducing the number of personnel the military has at its disposal in order to reduce the might of the state, is to simply not challenge the ban on women serving in the military or perhaps even to actively campaign for it to be upheld while keeping up the propaganda efforts to discourage males from enlisting as well. Would it not be better for those who are anti-militarists to actively encourage the military to discriminate arbitrarily against people after all?

The argument of many social justice campaigners is that the ban on women serving in the military is arbitrarily discriminatory and sexist. I can accept this, but it isn’t what matters though. What matters is that if the ban was upheld, then it would probably mean less personnel in the military, less people dying for the state and effectively the protection of women from the state war machine’s front line. Consequentially, this discriminatory law will keep women in general off the front line, will keep down the number of active fighting personnel the state has at its disposal and discourages a hefty number of people (mainly women of course) from joining.

What is wrong with this from a consequentialist perspective and, as anarchists, what is the point of challenging it purely because it is an inequity between the sexes?

Interestingly, from the opposite end of the spectrum, some mens rights advocates also see the disparity between men and women in regards to the military because the state effectively treats front-line combat duties as a chiefly “male” occupation. In this respect, men bear the vast majority of the burden for the USA’s wars and the mens rights movement naturally finds this objectionable. Of course, they have a good point here. Men do bear the largest direct burden for existence of the states war machine. What is bizarre however is that often, the entrance of women into front-line military duty is supported as a way to remedy this “injustice”.

For those mens rights activists who also consider themselves anarchists, then what sense does it make to pursue equality on an ethical basis here? The logical conclusion of correcting this inequality by supporting the admission of women into front line combat duties is that the state will have more soldiers at its disposal and that more people will die as a result of this.

It also seems like a case of cutting off the nose to spite the face.



As mentioned earlier, those people who adhere to slave morality do not seek to transcend those who are in a superior position to themselves, but simply to transform those people into slaves in turn. Such is the case regarding those men who support the admission of women into front line combat roles purely for the sake of creating equality of  gender oppression. Indeed, there is often very little difference between the mens rights movement and the feminist movement in this respect. They both believe in oppression, they just disagree regarding the finer details of who it is handed out to.

Despite the fact that simply extending the oppression of the state to another grouping purely for the sake of equality does nothing to weaken the net oppression of the state for men. It simply results in an overall expansion of the states militarism and oppression and more of the states burden being placed onto women. Personally, I don’t see this as being very compatible with anti-statism and its certainly no way to address the issue of men being the chief victims of front line combat duties in various stupid military adventures.

To summarize then, the various wings of the social justice movement often pursues slave morality by viewing equality (as with many other ethical obligations pursued by the social justice campaigners) as an axiomatic good regardless of whether the consequences are good in and of themselves or whether they even address the problem. Issues pertaining to social justice can rarely be solved by pursuing equality for its own sake without any objective analysis of whether equality is really helpful. Indeed, it is impossible to create a better society by simple espousing equality of suffering.