Announcements, Libertarianism

Radar vs Wolf and the Art of Anarchy

[Editor’s Note: Exciting things have happened as BHL has gotten more exposure, and as more people have heard our arguments about the importance of varying approaches to liberty as a force for cultural change. One of the exciting things is that we’ve discovered a BHL sub-culture in the arts/music world. We’ll be exploring connections between BHL and the arts on the blog in the future. The following is a guest post by singer/songwriter James Bratton of the Nashville, TN based rock group Radar vs Wolf. We’re honored that RvW is also letting BHL premiere the first single and video — “Broken Throne” — from their soon to be released debut full-length album! Keep an eye out for the BHL logo and a Bleeding Heart Anarchist symbol!]

[Update the album has now been released. Find it on iTunesAmazonMP3GooglePlay, and Spotify (free!)]

I am a libertarian because I’m cynical and don’t know what’s best for you.

I have never met another person that I would let choose the clothes I wear. Why would I give them the legal power to regulate my whole life? And why would I claim for myself the power to regulate anyone else’s life?

Any man that thinks he knows what is right or best for another has a God Complex. He is in no way of sane mind to lead or make choices for anyone, and probably not even himself. F.A. Hayek referred to such a mindset as “the pretense of knowledge.”

It is insanity for one person to put this kind of trust in another man or group of men, especially men who believe we exist solely in order to serve the “greater good.” Public choice theory and history have shown that “benevolent” men set above others are subject to the same faults and selfishness as the rest of us, regardless of the good intentions with which their offices were created. As C.S. Lewis said, “Those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”

It is insanity, moreover, to put trust in an entity that can achieve its goals only by violence. George Washington once said, “Government is not reason, it is not eloquence; it is force.” The first American president had the wisdom to see the true nature of the state he commanded. It is foolish for us to think otherwise.

We think of ourselves as a country of peace, yet we seem to employ the opposite means to spread peace to the rest of the world. In fact, I believe the state is the exact opposite of peace, using force against its own citizens and operating all too often without the consent of the governed. If everyone lived a “perfect life” the state would probably create some “just cause” to make that illegal as well, for what would be the point of a government that made no rules and had no regulations? I believe that every man should be his own government and make choices for himself. Then maybe we would take more responsibility for our own actions instead of electing and appointing corrupt, money hungry goons to do it for us.

And who suffers the most from state oppression? The most impoverished, vulnerable, and politically marginalized people on the planet that lack the resources to speak for themselves. They suffer while cronies with deep pockets go rent seeking for favors and special treatment. I suppose that makes me an anarchist bleeding heart libertarian.

I can thank my sister for the music I grew up on. She passed down punk bands like Operation Ivy, NOFX, Propagandhi, and Anti-Flag. These bands were confirming my ideas, answering my questions, and helping me find my principles as I was growing up. I never did have the right words to describe what I believed. My mom and dad being Republican and hating Democrats was all I new of politics – that and neither party adhered to any of the same philosophical ideas I did.

After moving to Nashville, TN to record our soon to be released debut full-length album with producer, songwriter, fellow BHL, and drummer extraordinaire Mike Marsh, he introduced us to his good friend and bass player for his own project, Paper, Craig Schlesinger. Craig helped me understand that my political philosophy was that of a libertarian, and more specifically, an Anarchist BHL. So here I am.

By the way this is my favorite post. I love you. Don’t tell my girlfriend.

And I’ll leave you with a quote from the late, great Mark Twain, “No man’s life, liberty, or property are safe while the legislature is in session.”

  • Good stuff! And while we’re on the topic, heres some libertarian post-hardcore:

  • martinbrock

    Why would I give [others] the legal power to regulate my whole life? And why would I claim for myself the power to regulate anyone else’s life? … F.A. Hayek referred to such a mindset as “the pretense of knowledge.”

    This formulation summarizes my libertarianism well. Rather than “non-aggression”, the principle is “non-pretension”.

    I can’t even rule out “aggressive” violence that people freely choose. If some people want a community in which anyone may challenge anyone else to a duel at any time, even a community in which anyone may assault anyone at any time without warning or provocation, I’m not inclined to lecture these people on the impropriety of their chosen proprieties. I only want them to keep their standards to themselves and to respect my chosen proprieties within the confines of my community.

    I can hardly imagine anyone wanting a community governed this way, but that’s beside the point. Other people should have what they want regardless of my imagination.

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  • les kyle Nearhood

    James, the one sentence and six paragraphs directly following the video are perhaps the single most succinct and powerful encapsulation of my own libertarian beliefs that I have ever read. (and I will probably steal parts of it). Bravo.

  • j_m_h

    Good to hear from you James and hope the recording and release go great for you. Liked to Video that was posted!

  • shemsky

    Very nice, James. I hope we see a lot more of you around here.

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