The Beauty of Radical Rebellion

Going back through my blog will show the slow transition I have made over the years from statist libertarianism to anarchism without adjectives. Between those two points exists a number of philosophical changes. From constitutional libertarianism I transitions to anarcho-capitalism and from there I transitioned to market anarchism. Now I don’t really want adjectives. I fully admit that I don’t know what is best for everybody but I want people to free to pursue their desires. Spontaneous order will decide what works and what doesn’t.

This transition has lead to another change. Previously I would oppose rebellious groups based on their end goals. I had very little respect for anarcho-communists because I opposed communism. The Industrial Workers of the World, a radical anarcho-syndicalist union, was and evil organization in my eyes because it supported property destruction and sabotage. Now my point of view is quite a bit different. The mere act of radical rebellion is beautiful to me. While I don’t agree with many groups I find myself caring less about a group’s endgame and more about the simple fact that they’re radicals in an a state of rebellion. In other words I don’t really care what color your flag is so long as it has some black on it.

An example of this is the street artists Banksy. Banksy is a famous street artist who is currently hanging out in New York City. Mayor Bloomberg is pretty upset about this fact and has promised to bring the full psychopathic force against Banksy. What makes Banksy’s situation even more interesting is that his status as a famous street artists actually causes his graffiti to increase the value of a building:

I think it’s pretty clear in libertarian/propertarian terms that graffiti is in fact a crime. And it’s slightly less clear that Banksy’s schtick can be infuriatingly self-satisfied.

Interestingly, according to this lawyer’s website, the severity of the punishment for this sort of vandalism in New York depends on the economic level of damage one has done.

But Banksy-izing your property in fact, in the current art market, increases the value, so who knows how this will all pan out in either law or political philosophy if Gotham’s mayor can catch a guy whose secret identity is better protected than the Batman’s.

Back in my statist libertarianism and anarcho-capitalism days I would have decried Banksy’s actions. Today I don’t really care. Hell, I find Banksy’s art to be great. While I won’t go so far as to give the act of spray painting graffiti my blessing, I also won’t condemn the act. Furthermore, anybody who pisses off Bloomberg has to be doing something right.

With all of this said, I still have my own morals. The non-aggression principle is still something I live by. My ultimate rule in life is: don’t be a dick. I realize that my morals are not your morals and I don’t demand that you seek my blessing. However, if you want to discuss your acts of rebellion I’m more than happy to listen. So long as you’re doing something radical you’re far more interesting than everybody else.