Anarcho-Tyranny Reigns Supreme | William Yarwood
War memorials smeared with bright red graffiti, long standing statues of British national figures pulled to the ground and tossed into the nearest river, people being punched and kicked by young men in masks and hoodies; these are but a few of the scenes you would have likely witnessed over the last few weeks as the Black Lives Matter protests have raged on in the United Kingdom. Many right-wing pundits, activists and politicians have been scratching their heads of late and asking questions as to what is going on and how the right should go forward after this. Some are finally waking up and realising that the right has totally failed at fighting the culture war, mainly because they refused to accept its existence, and as a consequence they have ceded the ground entirely to the progressive left; leaving them victorious. Whether these right wingers will stay awake to this fact or slide back into sleeping in their comfortable beds of conservative blindness after this has all died down is a question longing to be answered and alas I do not have the answer.
One question that has been raised however is whether these protests reflect a breakdown in law and order. Police have been consistently attacked by the protesters, with many videos showing protesters chasing police down streets while simultaneously throwing projectiles and abuse at them as the police run away. In addition, police have been unable to protect statues and war memorials from being defaced and even destroyed in the case of Edward Colston. Seeing all this chaos, many are lamenting that law and order has broken down in the face of these protests. They are wrong. Law and order has not just suddenly broken down; it has already broken down and deteriorated into something completely in contradiction to what conservatives see and define as ‘law and order’. Does that deteriorated state of law and order have a name? It certainly does: I give you ‘Anarcho-Tyranny’.
What is Anarcho-Tyranny?
Anarcho-tyranny is a concept thought up by the late-90’s American paleoconservative writer and columnist Samuel T. Francis, who described it as ‘a Hegelian synthesis of two opposites – anarchy and tyranny’.
Anarcho-Tyranny explains a state which regulates the ordinary citizen in their behaviour but fails to enforce the fundamental protective rule of law, which enables crime and disorder to continue and flourish while innocent citizens have laws imposed upon them. Francis came up with the term after consistently seeing police and state officials in the United States failing to protect their citizens from crime, due to the fact that they instead spend much of their time hounding innocent members of the public for minor and often insignificant reasons rather than arresting and dealing with criminals.
Francis, writing in 1994, evidences this when he refers to how the police and the then Governor of North Carolina, James B. Hunt, hounded and publicly derided an law abiding citizen for not wearing his seatbelt – mainly because Hunt had recently passed a mandatory seatbelt law and wanted to make a big show out of it as he thought it proved his commitment to being tough on crime. Francis however evidences that this was just a political stunt and was in no way an example of Hunt being tough on crime. In contrast, Hunt and his officials had allowed so called ‘low level’ criminals to be given parole and released out of prison, predominately because North Carolina had recently passed a law imposing a cap on how many inmates could be incarcerated in the state prison and, in the process, extended those eligible for parole to inmates that were imprisoned for violent and assaultive crimes. What followed was that 14 of those released were re-arrested after being caught and charged with murder with even one parolee, once being released, murdering his ex-girlfriend before taking his own life.
Francis thus concludes that this is a shining example of anarcho-tyranny, as Hunt and the police had failed to protect the innocent from violent criminals, costing some of them their lives, but had succeeded in hounding the innocent citizen who violated a trivial seat belt law. Hunt gave the impression of being tough on crime when in reality he was merely hounding a law abiding citizen for a minor violation, while allowing so called ‘low level’ criminals to be released from prison who actually caused violence and death on the law abiding populous.
To bring it to an example from this country, anarcho-tyranny is easily displayed via the London mayor Sadiq Khan who has, during his time in office, overseen a sharp increase in a wide variety of different crimes – most notably being violent crime using guns and knives. Many critics have attributed this rise in crime to the fact that Khan has rescinded the use of stop and search as a method of fighting crime as he decries it as being ‘racist’. Instead Khan, back in 2018, decided that pouring £1.7m into a ‘online hate crime hub’ in order to fight hate speech on Twitter was an acceptable use of taxpayer money and what the city of London really needed. The hate crime hub has proved to be a complete waste of time, effort and money, but it is still currently operating and will likely not be abolished anytime soon as it represents where Khan’s real priorities lie.
Khan has, via his abolition of stop and search and his funding of hate crime police units, proven that he is more interested in regulating the speech of otherwise law-abiding citizens in order to prevent racism than protecting them from getting stabbed or shot. He has chosen to combat the bogeyman of cyber-bullying over the actual lives of Londoners. Mayor Khan, similar to Governor Hunt back in 1994, has decided to make a big media song and dance about a particular area of policy i.e. hate crime and the scourge of racism online, while he oversees the sharpest rise in violent crime in London for over a decade, resulting in law abiding citizens losing their lives. Khan refuses and is unable to control actual criminals, so he controls and hounds the innocent and makes criminals out of them for innocuous posts on Twitter. In other words, Khan, like Governor Hunt, is an anarcho-tyrant.
New Labour and the Descent into Anarcho-Tyranny
As I wrote earlier, anarcho-tyranny is not a recent concept, and neither is the deteriorated system of law and order which it describes. Pinpointing the true beginning of anarcho-tyranny in America is often an area of debate in paleoconservative circles but they all agree on its existence in the present-day United States. When it comes to Britain it is a little bit easier to pinpoint how the deterioration began as one can certainly lay a large degree of the blame primarily at the feet of Tony Blair and New Labour regime.
Blair came to power proclaiming to be ‘tough on crime and tough on the causes on crime’ which is why his message had some level of resonance with middle England small ‘c’ conservatives who were usually loyal Tory voters. Blair unlike past Labour leaders was seemingly stronger on law and order and that swayed many over into the arms of New Labour. Little did they know what kind of law and order Blair had in mind for them.
As above, anarcho-tyranny regulates and essentially criminalises otherwise innocent law-abiding citizens for doing things that in the past were not considered illegal via the introduction of new laws categorising these new offences. This description is accurate when defining New Labour as anarcho-tyrants as the New Labour government had introduced 3,600 new offences after taking office in 1997, which translates into one for nearly each day that they were in power. Some of these laws are beyond laughable and are little more than just examples of idiotic red tape such as the law that criminalises the ‘offer for sale a game bird killed on a Sunday or Christmas Day’ or ‘disturbing a pack of eggs when instructed not to by an authorised officers.’
While these are laughable it speaks to a core part about what anarcho-tyranny is about which is, as Francis writes, the extending and entrenching of ‘the power of the state and its allies and internal elites’. The more things that become offences, the more power the state has over the citizen and thus has the ability to control and regulate large aspects of the citizen’s behaviour. In addition, since New Labour passed so many new offences it is unlikely that the average citizen would be able to remember and keep up with them as they are being implemented, leaving the citizen adrift and confused at what is legal and what is not; finding themselves hounded at for otherwise mundane things, such as not wearing a seatbelt in the case of Governor Hunt’s anarcho-tyranny. The most pernicious of the laws which the New Labour government passed were the Terrorism Act 2006 and Equality Act 2010, with the former bringing an end to habeas corpus meaning that police could arrest whoever they wanted without much evidence and extending the time which people could be detained for without charged. The latter opened a minefield of legal questions about discrimination and private property rights while simultaneously not applying it across the board meaning that Labour could still advocate for and use all women’s shortlists and other forms of so called ‘positive discrimination’. They applied the law to everyone else bar themselves; anarcho-tyrants indeed.
New Labour and the Equality Act also opened up the door to hate speech laws and a large focus on stamping out the unholy trinity of racism, sexism and homophobia by legal means. This never ending crusade against the unholy trinity can be seen via the last few years of high profile court cases where hate crime was the hot topic; Mark Meecham being dragged through court and fined for making his girlfriend’s dog to do a fascist salute, to Chelsea Russel who was fined and put under a curfew for posting rap lyrics on her Instagram page. Innocent people making jokes and posting song lyrics online are being hounded by hate speech laws while police numbers dwindle and violent crime increases in the capital and other big cities. Blair and New Labour, and their cheerleaders in the media, academia and the wider country, are responsible for the modern state of anarcho-tyranny in this country which none of the so called ‘conservative’ Prime Ministers – Cameron, May and Boris – have attempted to rectify.
So here we are, watching the police unable to enforce and protect citizens from violence, allowing BLM and Antifa to continue their public damage by defacing statues and tearing down others all the while law abiding citizens continue to be hounded for their violations of hate speech, their communications monitored and their lives ever at threat from increasing violent crime in big cities. These protests are not an example of a sudden breakdown of law and order, they are the natural result of years of deterioration by the authorities when it comes to the enforcement of said law and order.
The anarcho-tyrants have essentially won and the right at the present moment seems defenceless against them, with many having become anarcho-tyrant sympathisers. In order for anarcho-tyranny to end, the right needs to refocus its efforts on dealing with violence and civil disturbance with preventive and reactive legal and police force. There are some signs of this occurring with politicians like the Conservative London mayoral candidate Shaun Bailey who seems to be taking a more hard-line opposition to violent crime; putting more police on the streets instead of behind desks, having a zero tolerance policy of gang activity and reintroducing stop and search in the vein of ‘scan and search’ which is the use tech to search people rather than physical searching. Nevertheless, conservatives and other members of the right need to realise that many people view us as the ones that are tough on crime but that reputation has certainly slipped over the last decade mainly because they refuse to move away from or even outright recognise our deterioration into anarcho-tyranny.
If conservatives and even classical liberals cannot stand for the rule of law what is the point of them standing at all? Instead of invading the privacy of innocents, regulating and punishing them for violating ‘hate speech’ laws and hounding them for minor violations that they did not even know existed, the right should assert back the importance of punishing actual criminals under the rule of law, as the means of maintaining a harmonious social order, all the while not being apologetic about doing so. But until then we remain in a state of anarcho-tyranny.
‘Anarcho-tyranny—we refuse to control real criminals (that’s the anarchy) so we control the innocent (that’s the tyranny)’. – Samuel T. Francis
Photo by Roberto Cárdenas on Flickr.