Gian Piero de Bellis

The Saint-Imier Gathering (19-23 July 2023)
Part II: the anarcho-statists




Personal critical reflexion on the Saint-Imier gathering (19-23 July 2023)



The gathering held in Saint-Imier (19-23 July 2023) [see Part I] has made very clear to all those who have eyes to see and hears to listen that the current so-called anarchist movement is dominated by a vociferous component that has nothing to do with anti-authoritarians thinking and acting. Their exponents could be very well called state anarchists or anarcho-statists. They are in total dissonance with the classic anarchists (Proudhon, Bakunin, Kropotkin, etc.), and with non-authoritarian figures (Thoreau, Tolstoy, etc.)

In this short text I point out very briefly the main features that characterize the anarcho-statists. They are:

  • Against natural law. In 1882 Lysander Spooner wrote a pamphlet bearing the title Natural Law and the long subtitle: A Treatise on Natural Law, Natural Justice, Natural Rights, Natural Liberty, and Natural Society; Showing That All Legislation Whatsoever is an Absurdity, a Usurpation, and a Crime. For classic anarchists to be against Natural law meant to be for state law or for laws introduced by a powerful group of people in view of controlling and exploiting all the others.

  • For territorial monopolistic sovereignty. The most famous characterization of the state is the one produced by Max Weber: “a state is a human community that (successfully) claims the monopoly of the legitimate use of physical force within a given territory. » (Politics as a Vocation, 1918). So, territorial monopolistic sovereignty is the hallmark of an authoritarian power, under whatever name it presents itself (even when calling itself anarchist commune, anarchist municipality or anarchist canton). To go beyond territorialism (monopolistic sovereignty) is a necessary passage toward liberation and not at all an impossible utopistic dream as claimed by the state anarchists.    

  • For state taxation. Income tax was introduced in modern times to pay for wars. In general, taxes are the means through which the state maintains a huge apparatus in view of the repression (army, police, judiciary) and manipulation (media, welfare) of the citizens. A huge chunk of money goes also to privileged protected strata (crony capitalism, high bureaucracy, politicians). So, to be in favour of state taxation equates to be explicitly in favour of the maintenance and permanence of the state.

  • For the welfare state. The state anarchists love the state especially under its manipulative guise of welfare state. They are all in favour of a basic income that is, incidentally, part of the program of all industrialised states. In fact, the introduction of the universal basic income is a necessary state tool in order to have obedient and docile consumers of goods produced through automation and robotics. Substantially, the state anarchists want to replace mutual aid, a basic tenet of the anarchist conception, with state aid, a manipulative trick invented by the conservatives in the 19th century.

  • Against free exchanges. Free exchanges are totally excluded in the agenda of state anarchists in their frenzy to control every human activity. According to the historian Ferdinand Braudel, “sans échange, pas de société. » (without exchanges there is no society). The state anarchists are not at all interested in society but only in their “anarchist state.”

  • For the so-called gift economy. The type of economy that should replace free exchanges is called, by state anarchists, the gift economy. This would be a very interesting proposition if the state anarchists, most of them on welfare or performing state parasitic or semi-parasitic jobs (social workers) had something valuable to offer. Their gift economy is, in reality, a take economy. And in fact, they do not miss any opportunity to profit freely from others, even stealing under the pretext that “property is theft”. They ignore that the author of that phrase, to show the complexity of the theme, declared in another of his writings that “property is freedom”.

  • For state legal tender. For maintaining the welfare state, it is necessary to control the emission of money. The state anarchists are totally opposed not only to all cryptocurrencies (some of them are real rubbish) but also to the introduction of any possible means of exchanges, alternative to the state legal tender. In this way they confirm and support the economic power of the state over everybody.   

  • Against technology. State anarchists, while using the latest gadgets offered by technology, are keen on talking against technology and in favour of a sort of primitive life that they are careful to avoid at all costs in the affluent western world where they live. Hypocrisy at the highest level.

  • Against political prisoners. In a text written before the Saint-Imier gathering, the state anarchists put scorn on Julian Assange and Ross Ulbricht (two well-known political prisoners) saying that they deserve to be in prison. In doing so the state anarchists have reached the apex of their dishonesty and depravation.

  • Against freedom of religion. State anarchists not only are against religious tolerance, but they want to erase the component of religious anarchists from the movement. With their violent anti-religious stance, they join the Fascists, the Nazis, the Bolsheviks and all the rabid statists of the past. Their aim, then and now, is to suppress any trace and form of spirituality and replace it with their brand of materialistic dogma (see Gerald Brenan)

  • For the Covid laws and compulsory vaccinations. Putting forward specious pretexts of protecting the health of vulnerable individuals, state anarchists are in favour of the state Covid laws that have restricted the freedom of everybody and have forced millions of people to get vaccinated. The Chinese state seems to be the model to follow by the anarcho-statists.

  • For Big Pharma. Being in favour of compulsory vaccination means to be in favour of Big Pharma that have made millions by selling a vaccine that did not really protect anyone, neither many who got the vaccine (countereffects) nor the persons they were in contact with. In this, as in other cases, state anarchists are the best supporters of what is called capital-statism (state crony capitalism).    

  • For Nationalism and Patriotism. The recent war in Ukraine has made visible a new rise of nationalistic and patriotic sentiments that have not spared the state anarchists. This in total contrast with the basic tenets of the anarchist conception affirming that anarchists do not have fatherland.

  • For Zionism and the State of Israel. The state anarchists equate the fact of being against Zionism with being antisemites. In so doing they are the strongest defenders of the state of Israel, a state that even many Rabbis deprecate and abhor, witness hundreds of videos and documents circulating on the Web.   

  • For the CIA and the NATO. By attacking the diffusion of a video in which the son of Robert Kennedy accuses the CIA of being behind the assassination of his father, the state anarchists, indirectly, reveal to be on the side of the CIA. Besides that, criticising the acronym NATO=North Atlantic Terrorist Organisation, they clearly present themselves as NATO sympathisers.

Further general aspects that characterise the anarcho-statists are the fact that they:

  • Despise knowledge and exalt ignorance. For them is valid and it applies the Big Brother dictum: Ignorance is Strength. They are not at all interested in reading, translating, spreading the writing of the classic anarchists and in devising new forms for non-authoritarian practices. Taking part in demonstrations or in kermesses, like the 2023 one in Saint-Imier, seem the only things that interest them.

  • Have replaced the opposition to the state with the simple opposition to capitalism. As a matter of fact, they see the state as a positive counterbalancing power to capitalism. In doing so they are nothing else than the new social democrats. For them, as a self-proclaimed anarchist told me, “the state is not so bad.”

  • Focus their attention on new fashions, manufactured mainly in the USA, as the theme of gender, and, practically, put aside the classic struggles against authoritarianism and exploitation of which the state, as a criminal organisation, is the main perpetrator and guarantor.

  • Practice censorship against ideas they do not approve and violence against people they do not like. For them the non-aggression principle has no value whatsoever. Their model might be some anarcho-collectivists of the Spanish civil war who, allied with the communists, in the space of less than 3 years killed around 7000 priests and nuns, a number higher than those executed by the Spanish Inquisition over 3 centuries.

For all these facts, the state anarchists, having taken the role played by the state socialists, are currently the new pillars of all decaying states. As previously pointed out, many of them work for the state (teachers, lecturers, social workers, etc.), are recipients of welfare state money or have their activities partially or totally financed by the state. For this reason, they do not want to be filmed or even having their voice recorded for fear of being recognised and, perhaps, dismissed from their jobs. They use pseudonyms (Dodo, Bibi, Zazà, etc,) so you never know if behind the pseudonym there is a policeman, a computer, or a human being.

The Saint-Imier gathering of July 2023 has exposed all this in the clearest way. It could be seen as a punk-folk festival or a LGBT kermess, where the most vociferous participants had nothing to do with non-authoritarian thinking and practice.

For all these reasons, the non-authoritarians should look somewhere else for inspiration, namely to classic anarchist thinking and not to current anarcho-statist babbling. And they should find once again, inside themselves, the will and strength to overcome the Big Brother state, a Mafia entity that is only capable of waging wars, exploiting individuals, and making the life of too many "poor, nasty, brutish."

Now more than ever we need



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