“Anarchist Calisthenics”

“One day you will be called on to break a big law in the name of justice and rationality. Everything will depend on it. You have to be ready. How are you going to prepare for that day when it really matters? You have to stay “in shape” so that when the big day comes you will be ready. What you need is ‘anarchist calisthenics.’ Every day or so break some trivial law that makes no sense, even if it’s only jaywalking. Use your own head to judge whether a law is just or reasonable. That way you’ll keep trim; and when the big day comes, you’ll be ready.” — Two Cheers for Anarchism, by James C. Scott


9 Replies to ““Anarchist Calisthenics””

  1. *resists desire to beat idiot over head with a big stick*

    Jaywalking laws make no sense, eh? Have fun playing tag with simitrucks, hope your death doesn’t scar too many innocent folks.

  2. What leftists and the occupiers won’t accept is there are laws of human nature just as binding as gravity. Like “you get more of the behavior you reward, and less of the behavior you tax;” and that calling a tail a leg doesn’t make it a leg. They hate that. But the anarchists may have a point about laws and Laws. Supposedly Americans commit three felonies every day. I’m lawful good, but have thought for a while that a bunch of corrupt incompetents declaring something a law doesn’t make it so, certainly not if it’s contrary to a plain reading of the Constitution or to natural law. In some cases in the past disobedience has been a moral obligation. It may become so again. If I’ve developed a habit of obedience, that may be a problem. If OWS agrees with me about this, that’s a mark in their favor.

    All that said, it’s imprudent not to pay pragmatic attention to the rules made by people with lots of guns and money. And lots of lawyers too.

    1. From memory, those felonies are usually regulation or creative interpretation/application– which is a bit different from actual passed laws.

      And OWS is full of the kind of folks who are chaotic lawful– all for the law when it does what they want.

  3. If this one gets caught in a spam trap, I’ll begin to wonder if wordpress has me listed as a spammer….

    One thing to keep in mind about your standard anarchists: when they talk about defying the law, they aren’t talking about defying bad laws like ridiculous regulations or intrusive dietary laws or unconstitutional laws. They are talking about defying laws such as “thou shalt not steal” or “thou shall not covet thy neighbor’s wife”. In other words, the laws and restraints that OWS and movement anarchists reject are the laws that make civilization and civil society possible. They are, in fact, claiming a right and a duty to do in the US what Lenin did in Russia and what Mao did in China.

    1. Never seem to consider that the laws protect them… or maybe they do, and like the cowards that spit on soldiers and cops, count on their victims to be better, more civilized persons than themselves.

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