Anarchy and Responsibility

cut credit card debt


Anarchists make me mad. Socialist anarchists, I mean – the “real” Anarchists that think capitalism is to blame for all of the world’s woes.

I was over at make/shift the other day and I read that “violence against capital and violence against an individual are not the same thing.” I argued, but no one over there listens to me.

The comment above mine was beautifully written so I followed the link to see what Green Scribe had to say. I read her most recent post, which I agreed with, until I got to this:

We’re too busy running in the hamster wheel of capitalism, making money, paying off debt, racking up more, buying newer and bigger things, watching TV, following the love lives of celebrities and the fictional crimes of court TV. Corporate fortunes weren’t made by accident – credit cards and mortgages have given America no time to think, only time to work for the stuff – they have given us consumer ADD, and then obligated us to pay into it for the rest of our lives. Our consent…

has been manufactured.

I cannot agree with Green Scribe’s perspective. Nothing can make us run in a hamster wheel because we are not hamsters. The Anarchists say “capitalism”, but they may as well say “Satan” or “the dark side”. Capitalism is not actually an abstract evil power.

Credit cards, consumerism, debt – of course I recognise that they are real problems. The fact that credit card companies and banks are not exercising enough corporate responsibility – I agree that is a real problem too. And that the media are intentionally distracting people from the real political and economic issues. And that the economy in The Amerika is shit right now and people are suffering because of it.

Where the Anarchists seem to be missing the mark is that they refuse to put any blame at all on the people themselves. They claim that the people are merely victims. But if Americans are watching 4.5 hours of television every day, that is their own fault. If people are so caught up in consumerism that they cannot tell the difference between want and need, that is their own fault. I have an aunt who is unhappy and tries to relieve her misery by buying things, and her six-figure credit card debt is entirely her own fault.

Dear Anarchists, there is blame on every side. I would like you to stop trying to put 100% of the blame on the evil capitalists and admit that not everyone is forced into debt. I want you to admit that very often people simply act stupidly and irresponsibly. And please realise that if you really want to solve a problem, you must first correctly identify what that problem is.


8 Responses to Anarchy and Responsibility

  1. Gavin says:

    Like I said… some things we will never agree on.

    Don’t worry though, when capitalism falls in on itself (as it is designed to do) and the “developed” world is yet again entrenched in famine, I will share my food with you, in the spirit of cooperation and mutual aid, not in the spirit of reciprocal action.

    I don’t think that capitalism is the be all, end all of the worlds evils. It is merely the tool of state and the ruling class designed to maximize their own power through things like private property and minimize the probability of dissent because they flood the market with crap people don’t need, spend billions of dollars convincing the whole ignorant public they need it, and then demand that we have greater consumer responsibility. Fuck that,

    The senseless commodification of life on this planet is a direct result of capitalist interests. And when working class people are threatened, overworked, and underpaid, it is at the hands of a capitalist boss. When money is taken from our school, healthcare systems, and humanitarian programs, it is a business decision because more money could be made in war.

    Would I like to just go set up my own economic and cultural system on my own piece of land, you bet. But I can’t, because the land is owned by someone else. I can’t camp on the beach because the beach is owned. Here in America we even have beaches with advertisements pressed into the sand, that is how out of control this system has become.

    Because of this, capitalism must fall.

  2. Gavin says:

    “I argued, but no one over there listens to me.”

    Excuse me?! I think I have been very considerate in our discussions, could it be that I just missed your last comment?

  3. Max says:

    Sorry, Gavin, that was an unfair statement. You are indeed always very considerate in our discussions.

    You are right, there are clearly things we will never agree on. Capitalism may be the tool of the state – military-corporate complex and all that, but I see that capitalism also works in different ways. And when all people, producers and consumers, accept some degree of social responsibility and responsibility for their own actions, then capitalism can have good results for everyone.

    Not all working class people are “threatened, overworked and underpaid”. Many people simply work and get paid by mutual agreement, an arrangement that benefits both sides.

    Gavin, you and I do agree that money in the public sector should not be used for war, and war should not be waged for the sake of profits. The military-corporate complex does not represent my view of capitalism. To me, the war for profit industry is a twisted perversion that has been created by evil people.

    But none of that provides an excuse for people to not learn to tell the difference between want and need.

  4. aunt cookie says:

    I am happy to report that I am not “that aunt”.

  5. Same Old A-Hole says:


    I’m glad to hear that.

  6. celinka says:

    Oh your just jealous cause you’re not a skinny, coked up Look at Me! Look at Me! star who can afford to buy whatever they want.
    Stop being so bitter and buy yourself something fun 😉

  7. celinka says:

    The above was meant to be addressed to the anarchist not you Max. I can’t delete it for some reason. oh well.

  8. Max says:

    Celinka, how is it that you never fail to miss the point?

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