In a Pandemic, Anarcho-Tyranny Reigns Supreme | William Yarwood
Towards the end of February, the general public were graced with a brand spanking new billboard from the Merseyside Police Department. Was this new billboard highlighting the good work the police department was doing? Was it highlighting new Coronavirus guidelines? Was it alerting people to a new potential criminal threat that existed inside of the county? No. The new billboard brandished an LGBT rainbow flag and superimposed beside it lay, in large bold capital lettering, “Being Offensive is an Offence”.
To no one’s surprise, this turned out to be part of a new campaign by Merseyside Police to combat ‘hate crime’ in the area and invite people to report it to the department. This was met with outrage with many calling it out as a chilling and horrible act by the Merseyside Police; illuminating how authoritarianism, identity politics and ‘wokery’ had seeped into the uniforms of our police service. The department did retract somewhat and apologised for stating that being ‘offensive’ was a crime – which they admitted it wasn’t – but they doubled down on the need for the public to report so-called ‘hate speech’ and ‘hate crime’, all the while stressing the need to show ‘solidarity’ with the LGBT community. Truly stunning and brave.
The issue no one seems to be addressing is why on earth is Merseyside Police putting efforts into combating ‘hate crime’ when violent crime, the county’s main source of crime, has increased by 5% in the last year alone? Surely their time, money and efforts would be better spent dealing with rising violence in their county, rather than unsettling the people of Merseyside with an authoritarian and inaccurate billboard? Perhaps not. After all, catching criminals is hard; controlling ordinary citizens is easy.
The efflorescence of outrage over this event provides me with an opportunity to bring back into the fold one of my favourite concepts – anarcho-tyranny.
For those not aware, anarcho-tyranny is a concept which seeks to describe and explain how a state controls ordinary citizens in their behaviour but ultimately fails to enforce the protective rule of law; enabling crime and disorder to flourish while innocent citizens become ever more restricted and regulated. If you wish to learn about the origins and core examples of this concept, I recommend you read the first article I ever wrote for this publication entitled ‘Anarcho-Tyranny Reigns Supreme’. While the Merseyside Police billboard can be seen as a more traditional example of anarcho-tyranny, it enables an analysis into something more interesting. The context that this billboard was erected in was the Coronavirus pandemic i.e. the largest national crisis that this country has faced for many years. So, while the actions of Merseyside Police may seem inappropriate considering the current climate, it does highlight two things. Firstly, that the real priorities of the state and its allied elites to control ordinary citizens remains the same; secondly, and most importantly, this pandemic has given a blank check to anarcho-tyrants whose only concern is regulation and control.
Take for example the infamous Coronavirus Act 2020. This act has facilitated a growth in the size and remit of the state that seemed impossible to most just a little over a year ago. While the British state has, in the past, taxed you, spied on you and regulated what you do with your own body; it now explicitly tells you how, when and where you are able to live your life. Except for the odd occasions when you need to go outside for shopping or exercise (or to virtuously bang your pots and pans together for our Lord and Saviour the NHS) you remain essentially under house arrest – unable to enjoy life as we normally understand it. This drastic expansion of the state into regulating every minute detail of people’s lives is a core tenant of the ‘tyranny’ part of anarcho-tyranny. As Samuel T. Francis, the originator of the term, writes, anarcho-tyranny extends and entrenches “the power of the state, its allies and internal elites“, so the more things that become offences – such as meeting up with others outside or going for one too many daily runs – the more power the state and its allied elites have over the citizenry. Thus, the Coronavirus Act can be seen as a new zenith of British anarcho-tyranny, as it has given the state an unprecedented ability to not just regulate large aspects of an average citizen’s behaviour but effectively plan their lives. If you would like some to read some more in-depth analysis of the Coronavirus Act and its consequences for civil liberties, I’d highly recommend going through Big Brother Watch’s collection of ‘Emergency Powers & Civil Liberties Reports’ which highlight the extensive and draconian nature of the Coronavirus Act.
Another core pillar of anarcho-tyranny is that the rules only apply to the innocent and not to the ruling elites or criminals, and what has been seen during this pandemic highlights that the Coronavirus restrictions have only really applied to ordinary citizens and not to state elites and their allies. When journalists, celebrities and politicians were caught breaking lockdown rules they did not pay the same costs that ordinary citizens who broke the rules did. Many of the chief architects of these lockdowns were also caught breaking the rules and while, at worst, they had to resign their posts, it wasn’t surprising to watch government officials run to their defence. If one sees that “anarcho-tyrants are the real hegemonic class in contemporary society”, as Francis did, this makes complete sense, as the elites would seek to protect other elites that have made this pandemic such a shining example of anarcho-tyranny. The state always protects its own – especially those who enable its power.
While the anarcho-tyrants have been busy protecting their own during this pandemic, they continue to absolve the innocent of genuine protection against actual crime. While many celebrate the fall in crime overall in the nation, it is often ignored that this is not the trend for all forms of crime. Violent crimes, such as domestic abuse and homicides, have risen dramatically with drug offences going through the roof also. During the first lockdown (March – June 2020) domestic abuse ended up accounting for one in five crimes during that period while drug offences climbed by 30%. The rise in drug crime is especially worrying, as lockdown has caused a litany of turf wars to break out in the country between competing drug gangs who – since being cut off from their international smugglers due to travel restrictions – have now turned to recruiting locally for dealers, smugglers and muscle; bringing ever more people into the dangerous narcotics black market. While police are busy breaking into people’s houses, arresting old ladies for protesting and shouting abuse at people simply for going for a walk, innocent people are being terrorised by violent husbands and drug gangs. As David Matthews points out, the neighbourhood drug dealer has essentially gone about his normal business during lockdown while the rest of us remain under house arrest. Drug dealers are more of an essential worker than you are.
One might accuse me of sensationalism and claim optimistically about this all being ‘solved’ when restrictions begin to ease as they did last summer, but then the police will inevitably find themselves stuck between dealing with rapidly rising post-lockdown crime or regulating what Coronavirus rules are still in place. And if one considers the recent history of the British police, I wouldn’t advise putting any money on them dealing with the former. After all, many of the police have shown great enthusiasm in enforcing the laws of the Coronavirus Act and, in turn, have revealed themselves to be as horrible and unreasonable as some of our leftist adversaries have proclaimed them to be.
The Scottish Police stand out to me to be particularly despicable anarcho-tyrants, with one now infamous and harrowing incident standing out amongst the rest; where police officers broke into a family home and arrested those inside because there were ‘too many people’ in the house. Even though many were outraged at the event – with various civil liberties organisations running to the defence of the family – the police got off without so much as a smack on the wrists while the adults in the family got fined for ‘abuse’ and ‘assault’. To make matters worse, this event only occurred because a fellow anarcho-tyrant, this time from amongst the general public, snitched to the police despite having no grounds to or evidence that this family was breaking lockdown rules. This pandemic has not just revealed the true nature of our state, our elites and our police but the true nature of our fellow Britons also. Their authoritarian streak has flourished and become finely tuned during this pandemic.
Worse still is the Sarah Everard vigil. After the event quickly descended into a violent mess of arrests, fighting and screaming thanks to the Metropolitan Police the Assistant Commissioner Helen Ball gave a contemptible statement claiming that the police “absolutely did not want to be in a position where enforcement action was necessary” and that they broke up the vigil “because of the overriding need to protect people’s safety.” Large sections of the right-wing commentariat are lambasting the Met for hypocritical policing but this criticism rings on deaf ears and fundamentally misses the point. The Met, and the police more broadly, engages in hypocritical policing because that is the system we currently live under i.e. anarcho-tyranny.
The police refuse to deal with genuine threats to the public like BLM pulling down statues and terrorising London for weeks on end because it is very hard to control; a peaceful vigil predominately attended by young women, on the other hand, is very easy to control. Furthermore, the politicians and journalists crying about this event need to shut their mouths as they are the reason this tragedy was even able to happen in the first place. Politicians don’t have the right to simultaneously vote for continuing lockdown – which inevitably curbs our civil liberties – and then cry about the police enforcing the rules they voted for; the same goes for lockdown fanatic commentators and journalists who have helped the state construct the current atmosphere of fear and hypocrisy. Many in these camps seem to be rapidly developing amnesia; forgetting that they are the reason all this misery, abuse of power and statism is taking place. Do not let these anarcho-tyrants forget what they supported.
Regarding the police, they remain the greatest paradox of modern Britain as they are both terrifying and pathetic. One minute they’re forcefully breaking into your house, harassing your grandparents and confiscating all of your kitchenware; the next minute they’re off to twerk in a rainbow patterned skirt in the middle of their nearest cosmopolitan hellscape. While many relish in hilarity at the current state of the British police it is no laughing matter; especially for the ordinary citizen who is the one who suffers the most under them. In all honesty, in their current form, the police are not our friends nor are they worthy of our support as it seems increasingly impossible that the rot of anarcho-tyranny will ever be decontaminated from the uniforms of our police. If the last year of draconianism, abuse of power, hypocrisy and out and out brutality from our police hasn’t changed your views on them even a tiny bit, then I am certain that nothing ever will. And while this may be difficult for conservatives to hear – it is ultimately the truth.
This pandemic has only exacerbated this rot in our country because, like during all crises, the state and its allied elites have been allowed to expand, enrich and entrench their power. Worse still, the public seem to be none the wiser about it, our media none the smarter to understand it and our politicians none the braver to address it. Woe betide what elements of Coronavirus draconianism will remain with us post-pandemic. But while this pandemic continues, one fact remains abundantly clear – anarcho-tyranny reigns supreme.
‘Anarcho-tyranny—we refuse to control real criminals (that’s the anarchy) so we control the innocent (that’s the tyranny)’. – Samuel T. Francis