Power To Speak

An anarchist perspective on government

By Shane Solano 05/06/2010

In aid of all the attention (I would say more like a smear campaign) being lavished by the MSM on the Tea Party (or Tea Bagger, if you’re a leftist) movement, here are a few observations on some of the issues/concerns/planks I’ve seen raised by many of its participants, and some perspective from an anarchist point of view.

Talking about states’ rights while denying the lawfulness of secession is just that … talk. Since secession was declared illegal by the federal government’s conquest of the Confederacy in 1865, talk of states’ rights is just talk. The anti-federalists were right, but the federalists won the political battle back in the late 18th century.

The constitution means … whatever those who happen currently to be in control of the federal government say it does. These folks number fewer than 300: one-half plus one Congress (a quorum for conducting legislative business is far fewer than the number of total possible representatives, so this number could be potentially less than 200), one president, and five Supreme Court justices. This essentially means the Constitution has no meaning, only subjective interpretation. Anyone else’s opinion is worth nary a zinc penny. And many think this a system of perfection?! It’s not even sane! Oligarchy, anyone?

Government is inhabited by strangers who derive their authority from having had more people put checkmarks next to their names than those of their opponents in an election. Typically, the winning number represents 10-25 percent (depending on the perceived importance of election — presidential gets more attention than local school board, for example) of the populace the winning candidate gets to rule over. Obama’s “landslide” victory (and the most favorable interpretation of a Democratic Party “mandate”) saw him garnering a whopping 22-23 percent of the votes of all Americans.

Government (all governments) resembles nothing so much as a legalized Mafia that claims a monopoly over the use of initiatory violence, usually over a specific geographic area (but sometimes outside it — see U.S. government) in order to extract protection money (i.e., taxes) to fund its operations.

It claims the power to order people around (i.e., make laws and regulations) at gunpoint. It has enforcers (police, military, investigators, tax-collectors, etc.) to make sure people obey. Federal, state and local laws — and the regulations they spawn — most likely number in the millions, now, across America. Remember: ignorance of the law is not a valid defense for violations thereof.

If one disagrees with the government’s edicts, one has the privilege of challenging them before a government-appointed and -paid judge (who was probably a prosecutor for the government at one time) who will decide how the defendant gets to defend himself. Prosecutors get ahead in the legal/political world based on how many people they convict and lock up — it could be for murder or rape or for smoking a joint or for painting one’s house a non-approved color. I’m sure they’re perfectly neutral when helping administer their employer’s edicts.  

There is a very clear line between those who rule (government) and the ruled (citizens): one group issues commands backed up by the threat of violence (and sometimes violence itself), and the other obeys (or else). “We” are not the government, and the government is not “us.” This kind of unbelievable disparity in power can, eventually, only lead to one outcome: totalitarianism/slavery.

Governments and the agents who serve them are composed of individuals. So we are ruled over by other individuals, not an inanimate and mythical entity we call “government.” Sure, the individuals come and go, but the offices and titles (and most importantly, power) remain: kings, noblemen, knights, divine right to rule, hereditary ascension … presidents, congressmen, soldiers, democracy, elections.

Governments, essentially, claim ownership over human beings and the products of their labor, and can be seen as a very clever disguise for slavery by the discerning.

The idea of governance — a few ruling over many, including “democracy” (representational/republicanism) — is ancient, going back thousands of years. With all the advancements and innovations humanity has witnessed over a wide range of areas since then, you would think we might start questioning the legitimacy of a system of societal relations that has force (i.e., government) as its core unifying principle. For some reason, however, almost all cling to this ancient idea, insisting not only that it is the best system, but the only one.

What kind of people do you think will be drawn to government power? Who shall have the kind of ruthless ambition necessary, and the skills to manipulate the greatest number of people, which are required to gain high office where the real political power is? Who backs these types of individuals and to what end? What kind of “payback” do political climbers owe their benefactors? What kinds of alliances and deals are made in pursuit of the great and terrible power that governments wield? Why do so many fail to recognize politics and the political class for what it is?

A piece of paper with rules written on it (Constitution) can’t stop evil men from being evil — and they know this.

Maybe the rest of us will figure this all out some day.   

Shane Solano is a resident of Ventura and an anarchist.

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Are you serious people!! When NOBAMA was running everyone was concerned about him ruining the courts with his picks. Well what do we have here. A republican choice judge choosing to side with BIG business. What a surprise. And with this abortion thing it is only a way to divide and conquer the people -- and here I was worrying about abortion. What does abortion matter when the supreme court says a corp can spend unlimited amounts of cash on campaigns, I gotta get a grip.. check out this story


posted by republicanblack on 5/06/10 @ 08:39 a.m.

I thought this was well written but i would disagree with one paragraph...

" Governments and the agents who serve them are composed of individuals. So we are ruled over by other individuals, not an inanimate and mythical entity we call “government.” Sure, the individuals come and go, but the offices and titles (and most importantly, power) remain: kings, noblemen, knights, divine right to rule, hereditary ascension … presidents, congressmen, soldiers, democracy, elections."

Yes governments are composed of individuals but there is a mythical entity and it is called the State. And it is this state that is mythical yet very real as it only exists as long as we let it. Its borders, its enforcers with "official status", and all of its control mechanisms with include indoctrinating you beginning at the age of 5, can dominate you only as long as you let it. And it does dominate us, all of us.

It (the state which has arbitrary lines strewn about the earth) tells what you will learn about history and all school subjects, largely determines where you will go to college, makes you pay for a license to drive, own a gun, fish & hunt, build a house, have a car, own a business, form a church, start a charity, and they will "fine" you when they catch you doing things without their permission. If you refuse to pay you run a very high risk of having armed men come to your door, and if you resist yet you are taking a very serious risk with your very life.

It is the State which is imaginary yet powerful and real. Men come and go and so does their power with it. As long as the illusion of power is preserved by the observers the shall be enslaved by it.

posted by MorrisonV on 5/06/10 @ 10:39 p.m.

Really awesome work by Shane Solano. However, let's not use the word "laws" to refer to government edicts. Laws are things like the law of gravity, the law of supply and demand, or moral laws like thou shall not kill or steal. The edicts enforced by the ruling party bosses are better known as legislation. The purpose of legislation is to allow the party bosses to reward themselves and their fellow gang members, punish/murder people they hate, or steal from people. Using the word "law" to describe legislation lends legitimacy to evil.

posted by andys on 5/06/10 @ 11:28 p.m.

Great job of putting this so clearly in such a short space.

The state is a virus:

I would suggest to anyone who is just now being exposed to these ideas, read John Hasnas', The Obviousness of Anarchy.


posted by JamesJibbity on 5/07/10 @ 12:33 a.m.

Well said, but it was said better by Albert Nock in 1935 in his work "Our Enemy the State". Available to be read online @


posted by lutherleroix on 5/07/10 @ 05:38 a.m.

Great article otherwise, but this paragraph seems to be self-contradicting to me:

"Governments and the agents who serve them are composed of individuals. So we are ruled over by other individuals, not an inanimate and mythical entity we call “government.” Sure, the individuals come and go, but the offices and titles (and most importantly, power) remain: kings, noblemen, knights, divine right to rule, hereditary ascension … presidents, congressmen, soldiers, democracy, elections."

The individuals within government are irrelevant beyond the fact that some may not be as bad as others. They may not directly rule us, but we are ruled by the faceless institution known as government. If you happen to neutralize one, or a group, of government employees who are doing you wrong, they will quickly be replaced by a group which will be some multiple of the original group who will eventually neutralize YOU. Their ability to quickly assemble an overwhelming group of armed enforcers is nearly unlimited.

The institution itself is the big evil that continues to grow, continues to confiscate, continues to extend its evil tentacles into every aspect of life regardless of the individuals within it. As I see it, you may well have a majority of people within it who are decent human beings and well-intentioned; but collectively, working within the institution of government, the results of their activity on the general populace is evil.

posted by Bruce A. on 5/07/10 @ 09:54 a.m.

Thank you Shane Solano!
I hope many people read this, and start to learn!
Awesome comments and suggested further reading ideas too!

posted by calcio777 on 5/07/10 @ 09:58 a.m.

Excellent arguments Shane.

I have an answer for your question "What kind of people do you think will be drawn to government power?" - psychopaths.

Left out of your essay is the religious aspect. Often the state is formed by religious people or is an outright theocracy. In America, many with religious zeal are part of the state, recently the religious right was a large part of the ruling republican party.

The biggest opposition to anarchy will always be religion, according to them god ordains government and those in power. There is just no way any mainstream religion wants a government free society, all religions want to rule.

Religions are memeplexes, collections of unproven yet related memes. God is this and wants that, god says this and commands that. Any form of tyranny can (and has) be formed out of god arguments by religious zealots who claim to know what god wants by their interpretation of god's text (which of course is actually written by humans).

Something I learned by visiting several rainbow gatherings is that no government is needed if all of the people are empowered to enforce a social code. At these hippie gatherings their is no central power, all are required to react when a threat is present. I was required to instantly react with all other adults when the words "Shanti-Sena" are yelled. It was a mind opening experience to experience de-centralized power and individual empowerment. Every time I left a gathering I felt as if I was going back into hell.

Another thing I have learned is that authentically spiritual people need no government. People of high consciousness need no state or ruling authority since they are able to self regulate. I believe that the current nasty state of government power has everything to do with the lack of spiritual integrity amongst the people themselves. Could it be that at any given time the government is a perfect reflection of the people?


posted by phishna on 5/07/10 @ 09:59 a.m.

I agree that many people use a facade of religion to veil what is truly the base and primal desire to rule over and control others. I don't, however, think religion is the source of the problem. The problem is the busybody, control freak tendencies we see all around us. There are atheist totalitarian types as well as religious zealot types. As a very devout Catholic, I can tell you that God does not force His will on anyone, and neither should we. Anyone who says otherwise is making God into their own image, just as they would like to force us into their image. You are absolutely right that spiritual integrity requires that we abstain from forcing governance on others. It requires self-governance, and, for those with faith, reliance on God as the only legitimate sovereign, who makes His will known, but leaves us the freedom to choose our own path. It is a perversion of religion to claim the opposite.

posted by catholicgirl on 5/07/10 @ 07:12 p.m.


posted by wengdongdong on 1/14/16 @ 05:33 p.m.
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