Re: Extropy in the personal sphere

Anton Sherwood (
Thu, 7 Aug 1997 00:22:37 -0700 (PDT)

Lisa asks Lachele:
: As an anarchist, do you stay outside of
: the society which is governed by our Constitution, or do you live in our
: society but choose not to abide by the laws? Or is your anarchy one of
: philosophical belief and you do neither? Or other? I am curious.

Our society is NOT "governed by our Constitution". If it were,
countries that copied their constitutions from ours would be culturally
indistinguishable; they're not. I think the people who ratified it
would be horrified at the suggestion that a single brief document could
define the essence of a society. Limited government is another way of
saying that MOST of society is and/or ought to be beyond the scope of
the state's influence.

In a sane society, most of what goes on can't be distinguished from
anarchy. We buy and sell, we love, we read and write - most of the
time, the laws are (or ought to be) irrelevant to these activities.

What does it mean to live as an anarchist in a state-ridden world?
First of all, it means not to cooperate willingly with the state's
arbitrary demands. We don't help the cops against tax-dodgers,
draft-dodgers, pot-smokers, wetbacks. We don't volunteer private
information to every noseyparker who feels entitled to it. We
don't mention "sales tax" at the flea market. We don't vote to
subsidize a new stadium for the Giants or the 49ers. We don't
apply for permits to exercise our natural right of self-defense.
We obey the prohibition of murder, theft, fraud-- but we'd do that
anyway. Among consenting adults, we make our own rules.

It's impossible - some say by design - to obey all the laws.
So we try to behave ethically, and not get caught. In that,
we anarchists aren't much different from most of our neighbors,
we're just more philosophical (read:wordy) about it.

Anton Sherwood *\\* +1 415 267 0685 *\\*