John Zube

Further Notes on Panarchism and Anarchism

(1986)

 



Note

The moral of this powerful short text by John Zube is that anarchists that are not, at the same time, panarchists (i.e. practicing tolerance and voluntarism) are simply a bunch of violent people no different from the statists they so vehemently oppose.

 


 

What Panarchy means

Panarchy means:
    No taxation without individual consent. (Replacement of taxes by prices, fees and subscriptions.)
    No dictatorship - unless it is wanted by the individuals involved.
    No majority votes - except among volunteers and applying only to them.
    No conscription.
    No nuclear targets any longer.
    No national borders and national enemies any longer.
    No economic or political monopoly or privilege any longer. Only those remain that are based on the unanimous consent of volunteers and that are practised at their expense only.

It would mean, especially, for our times:
    No funds, soldiers, targets, motives and enemies for nuclear war but, rather, friends and allies everywhere - against a few remaining criminals, enemies of man.

Panarchy means a free market for politics and economics, for systems and ideologies, even including those amounting to anti-politics and anti-economics.
Each to his own choice.
Each to be the master of his own fate and none to be master over the fate of other more or less rational adults.

That also implies that all their own free actions take place only at their own expense and risk.
Each would purchase, on the free market, whatever political or economic or insurance package deal he likes for himself, at competitive prices. Alternatively, he would provide such services cooperatively, charitably or would receive them in this way.

Consumer sovereignty in all spheres. This would mean even a free market for central planning efforts among central planners, for regulators - among those who like to be regulated, for despots among those who like to subordinate themselves to them.

Naturally, it also means anarchism for anarchists, not only archism for archists.

Panarchy means tolerance in the sphere of actions, also experimental freedom and unrestricted liberties and rights - where they matter most, nowadays, in politics, economics and social arrangements.

Panarchy opposes collective responsibility and all "weapons" which apply this "principle" quite wrongly, as, for instance, nuclear devices and all other indiscriminate mass extermination devices inevitably do.

Panarchy IS the only rightful and workable alternative for all. It is the proper framework for all attempts to do the own thing differently.

 


 

What Panarchists can achieve

Panarchists have friends, neutrals and allies everywhere - and very few fanatic enemies - because panarchism favours exterritorial autonomy even for fanatic dissenters and all their followers, as long as they do apply their fanaticism only among themselves.

Panarchists feel and act as allies of all minorities, everywhere, that strive for autonomy - no more. Thus their potential for solidarity with others exceeds that of all other ideological movements.
The various minorities between them do constitute the largest majority. Panarchism can mobilize their combined strength. It could exceed that of the present great powers.

Panarchists can act as spokesmen for all rightful aspirations and can thus make friends and allies everywhere.
Only panarchists can realize fully liberating liberation efforts, i.e. efforts that do not go beyond the degree of liberation that various people want for themselves.  They let each advance at his own speed towards his own ideals, alone or in association with others

 


 

Panarchy as a-territoriality

Is man a territorial animal? He is rather an animal that forever seems to move to new territories and even when he is settled somewhere, he still seems to roam a lot around his country or the world, time and funds permitting and he pursues his profession, hobbies and interests regardless of and independent of those of others - in a relatively tolerant way.

Among the worst aspects of exclusive territorial rule over voluntary and involuntary members is that it channels progress only in one direction, that approved by politicians, bureaucrats and the majority.

Imagine what would happen if we did the same regarding religion, philosophy, arts, science, technology, medicine and agriculture!

It is simply absurd to make the realization of innovations, in one's own sphere, dependent upon government or bureaucratic or majority approval.

A-territorial autonomy of volunteers would constitute the best kind of "propaganda by deed" of those who are nihilists towards "establishment" values and institutions. It would constitute anarchy in action.

Most people cannot be persuaded, they can only learn from practical examples that are not set in some foreign countries but right before their own eyes. Then curiosity and envy will do the rest.

Panarchism can realize what is rightful among the aspirations of terrorists and can thus turn them from their indiscriminately destructive and murderous activities into creative ones.

Even in family, friendship and scholarly circles, people don't fully agree. How can we expect them to agree in whole territories? Let them sort themselves out, individually, according to individual preferences, for TOLERANT experiments among themselves, self-realizing the degree of liberty which they do want for themselves. Everything else, even when running under anarchistic slogans and banners, amounts to despotism.

 


 

Panarchy as Freedom

Panarchy is freedom of choice and choice of freedoms.

Freedom of expression and information are to many almost self-evident liberties. But they alone do not suffice for our purposes, as decades of rather fruitless anarchist agitation have demonstrated. They must be supplemented by freedom to act upon one's information, however limited and misleading it may be, at one's own expense and risk.

Freedom of action and experimentation are moral and useful not just in some limited and minor spheres but in all.

But they must be subjected to the primary requirement of voluntarism, of individual choice.
This implies freedom to join any and to secede from any group or system or organization, even an anarchistic one.

Not just some licensed and limited autonomy is to be achieved as a moral and essential state of affairs, but full autonomy that is limited only by individual choice, which means non-territorial and personal law organization and voluntary membership.

Any old or new ism, like any religious faith, is right for all its believers and thus the believers should be free to practice it - among themselves.

 


 

Panarchists and Anarchists

The all too popular attitude among anarchists towards dissenters to the anarchist faith or conviction can be summed up with: No freedom for non-anarchists that disagrees with our own notions of freedom. Organizational variations are only permitted to anarchists.
Anarchism, when proclaimed or implied in this form, amounts almost to a declaration of war against all others and it does also disagree with its own original and primary notions of rights, individualism, voluntarism, choice, tolerance, independence, consent and equal liberty

Anarchists want the State ABOLISHED, either by revolutions or by reforms or non-violent actions. Panarchists want to abolish only 2 of its most important and coercive features: Territorialism and compulsory membership. They would leave the rest up to individual choice.

To anti-property anarchists: That people ought to be free to "exploit" each other, if they want to, in a propertarian and contractual and free trading way, in their own voluntary associations and free contracts with outsiders, does apparently go beyond the imagination of fanatical enemies of property. They want to destroy it for all, even those who highly favour it among themselves. In this they are as totalitarian as those who advocate and insist upon either abstinence, or monogamy or polygamy for all.

They are blind to the understanding that a propertarian society permits all to pool and share, socialize and combine their property and use it between them as they please.
They are also blind to the various free market options for the acquisition of considerable private properties for all willing to work for them or use their current assets for this purpose.

Thus "robber-anarchists" might be a more suitable term for these "anarchists". They want to establish their free and non-violent society by theft, ignoring, for instance, the lease and purchase options, even their savings and the future value of their own labour ( which could be capitalized and used for purchasing enterprises ).
Thereby they rather prefer violence and bloodshed (associated with expropriations and occupations) to peaceful trade.

Since even anarchists cannot fully agree among themselves, even after discussions spanning at least 150 years, and can agree far less with others, their framework for the future ought to make possible the highest possible degree of autonomy for dissenters, even non-anarchists.
Such a framework is inevitably panarchistic and would offer to all kinds of anarchists the full chance to realize their particular ideal for themselves.

Anarchist enemies of Panarchism argue in practice, often unaware, AGAINST

  a ) an extension of freedom, cooperation and competition,
  b ) maximizing tolerance,
  c ) experimental freedom for all, in all spheres,
  d ) minority autonomy,
  e ) individual sovereignty,
  f ) individual secessionism or withdrawal options,
  g ) voluntary associationism,
  h ) the consent requirement,
  i ) freedom for individual choices.

OR AS IF THESE IDEALS APPLIED O N L Y  TO ANARCHISTS!

In the political and economic sphere they want us to fill our shopping basket only with the same assortment of goodies that are "officially sanctioned" by the anarchist movement - or their particular section of it.

They are, often quite unaware, advocates of

   a ) territorial rule,
   b ) imposed laws (however few and anarchistic and informal these may be),
   c ) imposed uniformity (even if only the uniformity of an anarchist utopia),
   d ) government (even if it is a highly limited and decentralized one).

In short, without being panarchists, they are not really anarchists.

 


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