One of the problems with Anarchism is that, unlike other political ideologies which rely on “the system,” the courses of actions one can take are not obvious. People who are convinced by the arguments are discouraged by the notion that “there’s nothing I can do,” and new Anarchists, not seeing any way out, turn to political means as “the only solution.”
However, the fact of the matter is that political means can only engender political means. No use of political means has ever brought about lasting freedom. To continue to use them is therefore insane, and portrays us Anarchists as “just another faction” in the political arena, which is as far from the truth as can be. We Anarchists have nothing to gain from it.
So what can we do to resist? Not as a movement, but personally? There are a number of things that a single individual can do that brings concrete, if small, change. I actually finished this list before I learned that the Philaahzophy blog had also done the same thing, and I encourage you to read his list also.
1. Talk about it.
Yes, I know, isn’t that all we do anyway? But I mean targeted discussions with people you’d like to deconvert, not discussions amongst ourselves. Depending on how open-minded they are and the relationship they have with you, deconverting statists can be difficult, but using well-reasoned arguments and methods can make the task easier. You can help make the movement bigger, and some people have had great success deconverting dozens of people. You can also refer interested parties to the TOLFA web site, which is dedicated to spreading the light of freedom through a simple self-education and mentoring system.
2. Give the ideal of freedom as a gift.
In the same general vein, giving those people you don’t really know, or can’t spend a lot of money on, a gift that promotes the ideals of freedom can be a good way to communicate Anarchy. There are a lot of possibilities in terms of books, movies and t-shirts here, depending on the personality of the person you’re buying for. For instance, sci-fi book fans might enjoy The Probability Broach or Snow Crash, while movie fans who haven’t seen V for Vendetta yet.
3. Help your local networks.
If you live in a big city, chances are that there’s a Meetup you can join (or if you can afford it, create one). Help kickstart local projects that help the community and spread Anarchist moral principles through these groups.
4. Join Bureaucrash.
If you are a student, consider joining Bureaucrash. They are a dynamic organization that support students involved in free market activism.
5. Join black flagger groups.
Even though black flagger groups tend to be very collectivist in nature, they still offer ways for Anarchists to express themselves and protest… although it’s important to remember that symbolic action and symbolic discourse is NOT action.
6. Practice tax resistance.
Okay, enough with the hard work, here’s an easy one: don’t pay taxes. There are many different ways to do that. You can simply not file, which is not actually as risky as people think (considering that even plain cheating on your returns is not that bad, as only 7% of returns get reviewed over a 7 year period). If you are risk-averse, you can minimize your taxable income and get rid of taxes entirely “legally.” Take any opportunity you have to work for yourself or work “under the table.” Sometimes buying online or on the black market can also help avoid sales taxes. Become an income tax assistance volunteer.
Tax resistance is one small but effective centuries-old way to help starve the State and its gargantuan war machine. When done by a single individual, it’s a way to protest coercion and act in accordance with your moral principles. When done by the masses, it’s the most powerful anti-State messages there is.
7. Cease all cooperation with the State.
Yes, obviously there’s going to be limits to this. There are always things we need in order to keep our current lifestyle, like a driver’s license (not having one can get you in jail for a month without even being charged). It’s impossible to cease obeying their wishes, but there’s a lot one can do (beyond tax resistance and buying things online, which I already covered). Some examples, most of them from the first link I gave in this section: not working for the government, churches, or any statist institution, not cooperating with the police, not cooperating with the “justice” system, not voting, using online loans and other online services instead of the bank cartel, and joining the Free State Project. But there are many more things one can do in this area: perhaps what you observe yourself in your own life gives you examples.
8. Disentangle yourself from the system.
This is perhaps harder than the other points listed here, and not something readily available to most, at least not on a large scale. We’re talking here about bartering, self-production, black markets, in short agorist counter-economics: and if that’s the direction that interests you, then it’s the agorists you should talk to. They know what they’re talking about.