“Christ was not so much the ‘suffering servant’ but the anarchic Royal man for others.” – Karl Barth

CONTEMPORARY anarchist discourse largely centres on a reactionary synthesis of politically-correct liberalism and leftist socialism. Even if one hears the mantra of ‘post-leftism’ (in the Bob Black sense of the word) voiced by leftists in Britain, the usual liberal left-socialist presuppositions are usually always there if you care to dig beneath the surface (see the Unabomber Manifesto, Industrial Society and Its Future, and particularly the chapter entitled The Mass Psychology of Leftism).

We may refer to this particular contemporary anarchist mentality as egalito-atheist, in that it advocates - however subconsciously – the impossible equality of communism, however ‘libertarian’ the pretensions might be. The anarcho-individualist tradition may therefore be worthy of more fruitful reflection, provided we can perhaps avoid the egotist extremism of Max Stirner, although the celebrated Hakim Bey has reconstructed some of Stirner’s theories in a more spiritual direction by way of an Eastern philosophical radical monism, i.e. ontological anarchy. He reworks the title of Stirner’s one chief work – The Ego and Its Own – into The Unique and His Oneness, in a way consistent with the Hindu affirmation ‘Thou art that’ of speculative mysticism. A mysticism that does not dissolve the ego or even the so-called animal or carnal self, but rather the ‘spectacular’ society of false consciousness; all the illusions and consensus realities of contemporary capitalism as critiqued by the Situationists and prophesied as the age of ‘Kali Yuga’ in radical traditionalism etc.

Perhaps here we can also learn from a liberal reconstruction of Nietzsche’s vision of the much-misunderstood and misrepresented so-called ‘superman’, actually a mistranslation which should read the ‘overcoming man’, i.e. that ‘man is something that should be overcome’ and all the failures of self that actually accompany the false consciousness as referred to above: ‘He that does not obey his own will shall be commanded.’

In Hakim Bey’s vision this false consciousness or consensus reality can be transcended by the construction of ‘situations’ without statist ‘mediation’, i.e. an ‘immediatism’ that moves to a different beat than that of the slave dance of trance media. A ‘temporary autonomous zone’, a self-created time and space forbidden by the forces of reaction and control. Perhaps here we should touch upon what we might actually mean by ‘the state’, as most anarchists seem to explain away all their ‘failures of self’ on just such an entity. What if ‘the state’ is not the principal problem but merely a manifestation of this false consciousness that is a projection of the self, especially given that more enlightened anarchists sometimes refer to the state not so much in socio-economical terms, but as a social ‘relationship’.

Can we indeed challenge the ‘crypto-anarcho-marxists’ to grow beyond their adolescent frustrations and proclaim that their chains are imaginary -how dare you presume to ‘liberate’ others! – and merely a projection of self-loathing and being so eager to struggle for any ‘cause’ and against anything but one’s own inadequacy and powerlessness (please refer to the brilliant ‘70s film, Britannica Hospital, starring Malcolm McDowell and an expression of Nietzsche’s concept of ‘resentment’). The truth is that most anarchists of the leftist ‘anti-fascist’ variety probably long to be like the State and to have ‘control’, but because they can’t cut the mustard they dream of overthrowing it, i.e. they can destroy but never build and only ‘smash’ what others have created. Beyond talk of ‘freedom’ I simply beg the question: ‘From what and from whom and for what and for whom?’ As the great prophet, Phillip K. Dick, said: ‘The Empire never died’. It’s alive and well in each of us, for to fight the evil empire is to be infected by it; whoever defeats the empire becomes it; the State is a virus, it becomes its enemies; in fighting it the State becomes immune and gains more strength; it needs enemies to make it what it is – to give it an ‘identity’. Anarchism and statism are not ‘opposites’ in this sense, but ‘opposames’. A mirror in which each sees itself reflected. Your revolution is revenge.

It is here that Ernst Junger’s concept of the Anarch is most refreshing. The Anarch is not so much an ideologically-driven anarchist, but a sovereign individual (see the brilliant introductory article by Abdalbarr Brown on the Fluxeuropa website at http://www.fluxeuropa.com/Juenger-anarch.htm) who can assume any ‘form’ as circumstances dictate, but still retain his or her inward freedom in a kind of self-aware Buddhistic detachment(but without lapsing into nihilistic self-centredness). As Brown comments:

“It is not his goal to be dialectically resistant to tyranny, rather he is observant of it as if following the Confucion code: ‘Attaching false systems merely harms you’, aware of the inherent falseness at any sort of tyranny – he does not need to jeopardize his own life or that of others by attaching something that itself will come to an end.”

For the Anarch, the ideal to aspire for is to live without ‘needs’ (‘in need freedom resides’), knowing that to be truly ‘rich’ in a materialistic age is to live with what one least requires rather than to be building the little castle called ‘me’ in a world in which millions are starved of the basic necessities of life. This brings us to the economic problem. If ‘democracy’ is the usurers heaven and the Anarch or sovereign individual is always capable of joining together with others of his kind for a mutual purpose, what form may this take?

Simone Weil advocated a society ‘without political parties of any kind’ and ‘without views’ of any kind being spread through media propaganda etc. A decentralized popularist order based on a social ‘hierarchy without elitism’, rather similar to the ‘anarcho-corporatism’ of Muammar al-Qathafi’s Green Book and the ‘Third Universal Theory’ which advocates popular peoples congresses as a type of non-party political direct democracy. Indeed, as Mahmoud Ayoub comments in his book, Islam and the Third Universal Theory (p. 56):

“On 1st September 1969 al-Qathafi led not a simple ‘coup d’etat’ but a revolution – his aim was not to change a regime or to substitute one government for another but to build a new society which would need no government . . . free from both the capitalist and Marxist ideologies.”

In a world where one’s time and space to ‘simply be’, rather than ‘do’, is becoming evermore recorded, monitored, tagged and regulated by the spectacle of techno-statism, the old ‘activism’ is no longer desirable. Its methodology has become totally irrelevant. How many more demos must be hijacked by organized leftists and marched towards inglorious failure, no doubt by the machinations of the secret state? As Hakim Bey has said, ‘no champagne revolutions for them, then!’ To quote from Grant Morrison’s excellent Invisibles comic strip, ‘I have no wish to live in anyone’s perfect world but my own – that’s why we are trying to pull off a track that will result in everyone getting exactly the kind of world they want . . . everyone including the enemy’. For as Charles Fourier said, ‘The only possible society is that of lovers’. Perhaps free will is not something we all have, but instead something we should rather aspire to. If so, Anarchism is dead: Long live Anarchy!