An incitement to anarchy

This story has taught me that “incitement” entails commenting on something that has already happened and suggesting that expansion of such behaviour would not have entirely negative consequences. I hereby incite anarchism.

I think if more than one person is waiting for something, they should form a queue, with those who arrived first at the front of the queue. When this happens, it is fair and a very effective way of doing things.

I think that if you have too much dinner on your plate, and your friend is still hungry, you should give them the rest of your dinner rather than throwing it away. That way, no food gets wasted and both of you get to eat until you’re comfortably full.

I think everyone should treat other people as human beings rather than as a skin colour or what you think their genitals look like or as a slave or master. The world would be nicer that way.

I think that people should place far less trust than they do in the things the media and other authorities tell them. Knowledge should be a personal quest for all people, not just absorption of party lines. We might all be able to make better decisions that way.

I think that patriarchy and kyriarchy and the class system and racism and ableism and homophobia and transphobia and all forms of oppression are harmful to all of us. I think we could do better without those systems.

I think that imposed order in the form of religion, the state and capitalism are harmful to all of us and drive oppression. I think we could do better without these artificial structures.

I think that people should be able to take action with which they are comfortable to take apart artificial structures of oppression. This action can take any form they see to be right, provided their actions do not harm another person. I think that it is absolutely right that people strive to heal the world by any means necessary.

This is an incitement to anarchy. Such incitement is, according to our crooked judicial system, punishable by draconian, disproportionate penalties. This is but one more reason why I believe anarchy to be far less dangerous than the current system.

4 thoughts on “An incitement to anarchy”

    Ever reviled, accursed, ne’er understood,
    Thou art the grisly terror of our age.
    “Wreck of all order,” cry the multitude,
    “Art thou, and war and murder’s endless rage.”
    O, let them cry. To them that ne’er have striven
    The truth that lies behind a word to find,
    To them the word’s right meaning was not given.
    They shall continue blind among the blind.
    But thou, O word, so clear, so strong, so pure,
    Thou sayest all which I for goal have taken.
    I give thee to the future! Thine secure
    When each at least unto himself shall waken.
    Comes it in sunshine? In the tempest’s thrill?
    I cannot tell–but it the earth shall see!
    I am an Anarchist! Wherefore I will
    Not rule, and also ruled I will not be!

  2. Insofar as this goes, it’s fine, and I agree. But the issue is not incitement per se — there’s not likely to be any police response to my inciting someone to distribute food, or stick up posters — but incitement to a particular *end*. There is not any prohibition on ideological or epistemic incitement: I can, as you have above, incite people to a belief that a particular kind of politics, even a revolutionary politics, would be a better way to run society.[*] Police response is to incitement to a particular action rather than a belief: you’re unlikely to be lifted for inciting a belief that property is a gross political perversion, but inciting people to carry out extensive acts of property destruction in the name of that belief is far more likely to attract unwanted judicial attention. Your defence above is, in a sense, the easy one to sell to those with a belief in liberal democracy: yes, a proliferation of opinions is usually held to be a good thing. Attacking the property relation, and doing so physically, is a far more heated political argument.

    [*] The partial exception here is incitement to racial hatred, which is an interesting one.

  3. “Civilised life, you know, is based on a huge number of illusions in which we all collaborate willingly. The trouble is we forget after a while that they are illusions and we are deeply shocked when reality is torn down around us.”
    — J.G. Ballard

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