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An Oxymoron of Anarchists

By Nathan Payne | pablosmoglives | 9 Aug 2022

"If we're out fixing the world but we're still damaged, we're just bleeding on everything we touch."  Lisa Freeman


I just caught episode 5 of HBO's "The Anarchists" series on BitChute last night, and found it more compelling than I expected to.  At first, I was annoyed with what looks like upper-middle-class expats larping as anarchists from their expensive houses in Mexico.  And, indeed, there is a fair amount of that going on.

I'm not interested in the hypocrisy of a bunch of rich gringos renting convention centers in luxury beachside resorts so they can sell tickets for events called "Anarchapulco."  Not only because such a topic is low-hanging fruit, but because it does seem that most of the people involved (or formerly involved) are (or were) at least making an effort.  Which is more than can be said for most people.  It got weird, and blew up in their face, but at least they tried.  It's commendable. 

What does interest me is the cautionary tale about the potentially-fatal mistake of actually having too much faith in other people, which is a commonly-held vice we're taught to think of as a virtue.  This is a glaring blind spot in our culture.  Collectivism is a poisonous viper that pretends to be a friendly garden snake.  People believe it is friendly because it pretends to love the mice it eats.  But it doesn't love them.  Collectivism simply deceives its prey into thinking it's benevolent, so the prey allow the predator into their midst.  Collectivism is an enemy sniper whose goal is to destroy those who proclaim it, by joining their ranks until the time is safe to train the gun on its true target, which is always the free-range individual.  It is exceptionally patient, napping like a dormant rattlesnake under the camouflage tarp of "community," for decades if necessary, until, at last, it's time to attack.

"Community."  You hear it everywhere.  Groups of people who will never meet, sharing frog memes on social media boards; that's a community.  Hippies, expats, hoodrats, cowboy hats, snot pokers, pot smokers, jokers, card sharks, vegans, gamers, picture framers, lion tamers, wannabe dancers, prancers, necromancers, barkers, bikers, rockers, punks, monks, elves, strangers, gun rangers, vampires, steampunks, orcs, plastic-plated Star Wars dorks, grammar correctors, comic book collectors, police inspectors, crypto investors, movie directors, Martians, moon watchers, earthers, flatiron birthers, truthers, Baby Ruthers, Lutherans, preppers, pagans, Muslims, Catholics, Jews, cholos, weebos, chivos, reptilians, people on a mission, people with suspicion, people who go fishin', crystalline Christians, jellybean physicians, malicious statisticians, Tik-Tok nurses, reciters of curses, writers of verses, collectors of purses, drivers of hearses, tattoo people, piercers, Spartans, Trojans, writers of slogans, Batmanalogians, race fans, wrestling nuts, tennis geeks, golf punchers, crochet tablers, horse-racing enablers, appreciators of poetry, leather, carpentry, beer, anything.  Whatever they're into, one thing they never are is a collection of individuals who have a common interest.  They're always a "community."

As I wrote in the article The Codependence of Community (DIY or DIE),


Have you noticed how collectivists and communitarians always seem to think that “you need us,” but never seem to think that “we need you?”  The supposed need is always for the individual, not the group.  The group’s only need is for “each other.”  We need each other.  Since the group’s need is instantly, automatically met every time two unthinking people who share the same beliefs come together, they can act and think as though their “needs” have actually been met, by simply standing there doing nothing.  Saying nothing, thinking nothing.  No effort is necessary.  In order to provide personal (not collective) security for themselves, they paradoxically subjugate their individuality to the collective.

As a result, the individual’s identity suffers.  The closer any person identifies themselves with any aspect of their community, the farther from their true selves they will inevitably become.


If anarchy can be defined as "an absence of government," or "a society or group of people that entirely rejects a set hierarchy," or, best of all, "a utopian society of individuals who enjoy complete freedom without government," then the idea of a "group" of free-range individuals who decide to cooperate in a stagnant, stifling entity like a "community," so that their individual spirit and will coagulate like a blood clot under any banner (including "Anarchy"), thereby causing a traffic jam in the heart, a stroke on the Highway to Hell, is frankly ridiculous.

But it's not for lack of trying.  I applaud the effort.


There are a few statements scattered throughout the documentary which I think are telling.  At the 15:17 mark, the DJ says to the room full of ungovernable individualists,


"In true anarchy fashion, may I have everyone come to the front of the room?"


In true "anarchy fashion," may everyone please herd themselves to the front of the room.  To dance to the anarchic-yet-mechanical beats, presumably.  I am surprised the engineers at CERN weren't invited, to observe the potential opening of a portal into the demonic realm, at the intonation of an oxymoronic pronouncement like that.

And, unwittingly outing himself as a disingenuous, hypocritical control freak who has been blinded by money and hubris, Jeff Berwick, one of the "founders" of a movement of supposedly ungovernable individuals, states at the 47:21 mark,


"We're trying to change the entire world, and I think this is only making us stronger."


There it is, again, the all-encompassing, individuality-eschewing, anti-anarchic, communitarian "we," which precedes a myopic speculation on the increasing strength of the equally-communitarian "us." 

We are getting stronger.  Not you.  Not me.  We.

Because the entire Western world has been steeped in anti-individualist rhetoric under the guise of being more "compassionate," the self-appointed "founder" and autocratic "leader" of a group of people who "reject a set hierarchy" makes claims about the increasing strength of "our" movement.  Without the slightest trace of self-awareness.

At the 44:50 mark, Nathan Freeman states


"When we first got to Acapulco, we spent a lot of energy on community-building and trying to form strong relationships with everyone.  Through that experience, we found that it didn't really pay off all that well."  Nathan Freeman


Indeed, it did not pay off.  There is no way it could.  The reader of this article might be tempted to think I believe in the malicious, holier-than-thou virtues of antisocial misanthropy, but it isn't true.  I think we need each other.  Which isn't accurate.  "We" don't need "each other."  I need you.  And you need me.  The word "we" just encompasses a multitude of individuals, but "we" isn't something you or I belong to.  It is just a way of expressing the presence of more than one individual.  Two or three individuals, perhaps.  Or 2 or 3 billion.  It doesn't matter.  You and I need every single one of them, just like every single one of them needs both you and I.

They need you, and they need me.  As individuals.  It's okay to be valid in yourself, without the conditional approval of people who believe they're worthless or unimportant.  Truly, you don't need it.

The minute you and I throw our individual needs on the collectivist, communitarian altar of "we," is the moment you and I lose our souls.  Our validity as individuals is gone.  "We" are no longer individually valid, and "need each other" in order to have value.

It's not a compassionate ideology.  Indeed, it is entirely comprised of spite for everyone.  Whether it knows it or not.

At the 48:17 mark, Jason Henza says,


"Everything went awry.  I was watching my ideology fail in front of me."


Good.  You watched the ideology of community fail before your very eyes.  It wasn't anarchism that failed, but rather, community.  You watched it fall apart in real time.  It fell apart because it denies a fundamental fact of human nature:  I am not you, and you are not me.  "We" are separate individuals.  Any social construct that denies this fundamental fact will fail eventually.  Sooner than later, with any luck at all.

As I wrote in The Codependence of Community (DIY or DIE),


This is why communitarians and collectivists are so hostile toward the individual need, which is in fact the only need that ever actually exists.  There may be 1,000 individuals with a need, but there is not a community of need.  There are 1,000 people with an individual need, not ONE GREAT NEED that happens to be so great it can be spread evenly among 1,000 people.  No.  The great need is of the ONE, the individual.  Not the group.

The need is always singular.  It does not have a quota.  There is nothing to fill.  The need will never exceed the capacity of individuals who have it.  A million individuals with a similar need will only ever be a million people with a single need.  There is no million-sized need.  The need is always singular, regardless of the quantity of individuals who need it.


I applaud the effort and spirit of people like Nathan & Lisa Freeman, and their willingness to try something different.  Rather than sitting back throwing overpriced drinks down the insatiable maw of their own luxurious retirement, they put their energy and intellect toward building something.  An alternative way of doing things.  They saw a problem, and tried to fix it.  They diagnosed a terminal cancer in human government and made an attempt at a more-attractive, liberating alternative. It's commendable.  The idea might have been made of balsa wood, plagued with fundamental contradictions unknown to the builders at the time.  And perhaps inviting termites to infest the wood because "we all share the same general free-range ideas on the surface and happen to be neighbors in the gringo expat 'community' of Acapulco" proved to be a fatal mistake, but they did make an effort.


I salute the Freemans, and anyone else involved, whose heart was in the right place when they embarked on the experiment.  However, because all collectivist movements are enemies of the individual human spirit, and attract power-hungry ideologues like the flame attracts moths and demons alike to the throne of autocratic self-aggrandizement, the collapse of the oxymoronic collective of anarchists at Anarchapulco is a good thing.  While unfortunate on the surface, and in spite of the tragedies that plagued it, its failure is in fact cause for celebration. 

It means there is hope for you, and therefore me, after all.

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Nathan Payne
Nathan Payne

I am a songwriter and bandleader who travels the world in search of the golden ticket.


Replacing my blog at

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