All forms of negation and unbelief are signs of social damage. The fact that atheism and anarchism exist at all shows that most of us are memetically sick as epistemic agents.
This may seem rather self-refuting, given that I am an atheist and an anarchist. Am I saying that I am damaged? To a certain extent, yes. We are all brain damaged by virtue of having been raised in the fantastic cage. Simply calling oneself an atheist or an an anarchist demonstrates that one is still its prisoner, even if the belief is gone. Granted, the best of us got rid of our reactivity and are only prisoners insofar as we are prisoners of the behaviour of others, but we are prisoners nevertheless.
Atheists constantly waste time trying to explain to believers that “atheism” is a simple negation and does not entail any positive claims. This is, of course, correct. They also explain that “atheism” only exists at all because of prevalent beliefs, and that it is really as trivial as “aleprechaunism”. This is also correct. But the inexorable conclusion is that “atheism” is a reactionary position. One is an atheist because one starts from the religious framework, and rejects it.
The same thing is true about “anarchy”. When seen from outside the cage, the idea that a monopoly of force is undesirable is a foregone conclusion. There should be no need for “anarchy” any more than there is need for “astarvationism” or “amurderism”. “Anarchy” really only exists because our world suffers under the burden of the democratic nation-states- i.e. because of extensive and profound damage.
The fact that these negations exist, therefore, is the sign of a sick society, although of course not as sick as a society so repressed that these negations cannot even be allowed to be expressed. In fact, I think one can measure the progress of a society by how much apathy we observe in it. As Hoffer states in The True Believer, the opposite of a fanatic Christian is not a fanatic atheist, but rather apathy. Fanaticism begets fanaticism. I think you will observe that the societies where there is the most virulent belief, will also tend to create the most virulent unbelief. The best societies are those where apathy reigns. And indeed, from an individualist standpoint, an intelligent sort of apathy is the most desirable outcome.
Part of the fantastic cage is the remnant of an evil belief system long after it’s gone. Negative racism, for instance, may have fallen out of favour in the general population, but it has given birth to cultural supremacism, positive racism, and a host of other conceptual evils, which will continue to exist for a long time. When Christianity dissapears from public view, it will still leave behind destructive ways of thinking, such as the “immaterial soul”, command-based morality, and sexual repression. It is these hidden moral premises that we are really fighting against, not an organized system of thought per se.
Now, if we imagine there is such a thing as a perfectly sane individual, which is to say someone who resides wholly outside of the fantastic cage (say, an individual from another, saner civilization), we can imagine that such an individual would have no understanding of what “religion”, “atheism”, “state” or “anarchy” are. Such an individual would simply look around himself at what actually exists. He would observe a lot of material entities and processes, and a lot of individuals acting of their own will, but he would not observe any collective or any “immaterial”. He would be an individualist materialist simply because he would see no reason to be otherwise- he would not even know what the terms mean. When confronted by any belief system, he would completely fail to grasp them.
At the same time, I don’t want to minimize the importance of active unbelief as a first step away from social damage, insofar as we understand it solely on that basis. It is an essential first step, as long as it is kept free from underlying collectivist beliefs. Unfortunately, many people still look for a collectivist crutch in order to prop up their nascent individualism. Ideologies like humanism, liberalism or anarcho-syndicalism (TV “anarchists”) are treasonous and pure nonsense.
All that unbelief means, in the end, is a lifting of the burden of our ideological masters- the end of the submission to their values. Unbelief is a foot in the door of reality. Nothing more, nothing less.