I am free to be a man today because I choose it. The libertarian ethos says that I take responsibility for myself, that I take responsibility for creating community. Some see it as demeaning or destructive of community. By rejecting socially accepted norms one is said to be rejecting community.
On the contrary, in recognizing the long list of rules and redistributions undertaken by a few designated looters, and in bypassing those, I am bypassing an unhealthy, mushroom laden swamp. If I see through the illusion, then why would I continue to participate in the illusion?
I reject today the idea that the modern democratic state is a mark of progress. Not so. As Hoppe points out, we are living in a period when the form of the state is especially decivilizing (Hans-Hermann Hoppe, Democracy—The God That Failed, pp. 1-43). It creates unhuman and unnatural behaviors in people. Instead of depending on family and church, we learn to trust in the state (Hoppe, pp. 98, 183, 184, 197) and its money-creating magic wand. We don’t learn from each other or experience each other; instead, we wait for our government checks and trust in agency this and agency that to address needs.
I reject today that in a coercive setting the majority vote is just. Why should the majority impose its will on a minority? Why would we count that as being right? Why would I participate in that? God gave me free will; why wouldn’t I seek to exercise it for myself? I reject that community is formed by imposition.
I reject the grand illusion painted by the media, merely a water-color cartoon painted in shades of groupthink. Why would anyone soak their brain in the stale juices of Rush Limbaugh or Regis Philbin? I was given ears to hear for myself and I need not the mind of a “truth detector” or a glib entertainer to tell me about my world or to create in me their world.
I choose to see those things as background-radiation, not to be taken seriously, not to be mentally ingested. Like weeds along the side of the road, that world is here today, gone tomorrow. I choose not to live in that prison with its soft felt bars. One who sits in a cell lined with rich Corinthian leather is still not free.
Freedom, however, makes me human. As an anarchist, I am free from the need to seek power or manipulate it. Eller is right: “sinful humanity is simply incapable of exercising impositional power without being corrupted by it” (Vernard Eller, Christian Anarchy, p. 40). I don’t want to be corrupted by it. Now I see that and refuse to respond to its siren call.
The nonconformity of Christian anarchy—the refusal to recognize or accept the authority of the arkys of this world—is done in the name of “freedom.” And this is not the same thing as “autonomy”—that being the secular name for freedom, not the Christian. No human arky can create or grant freedom; the idea of “government,” of “imposed arky,” is essentially contradictory to that of “freedom.” Yet, just as truly, the simple elimination of arky creates, not freedom, but only “anarchy”—which is not the same thing. No, Ellul suggests that there is for us no once-for-all liberation, but that our freedom is to be found only in the act of wrestling it from the powers. “It exists when we shake an edifice, produce a fissure, a gap in the structure” (Anarchism, p. 23) . . . . Arkys don’t really care whether you love them or fear them; what they can’t stand is being ignored” (Eller, pp. 19, 20).
There is where I am. I recognize that I am free to ignore them. The news they construct I need not listen to; I am free. The laws they construct and enforce by coercion are of little moment; when the bottom falls out most of that will fall by the way. The media they pump across the satellite network is an artificial reality, a world of their own generation; I stand outside of it. I am free. I wait neither for the latest pronouncement by CNN or Drudge. I am not ignoring the real world, but living in the real one, the one formed by my own concrete actions.
Which brings us back to community. There is a community in the gap, in the fissure, already. There, people interact directly with people, they help one another freely, without imposition. They need no state to make this happen, no impositional authority, no logo on the side of a vehicle, no statute to force them to be good. Every plant that God has not planted will be uprooted (Matthew 15:13), and He did not plant that weed, the state (1 Samuel 8).
All of this is only a beginning, but it is an important beginning. Because I am a Christian, I am free today. I find richness in going around the edifice, in producing a fissure, in living in the gap rather than the leviathan structure. I am free within the matrix. I serve Jesus, the Lord of freedom. I belong to another world.