Labels Matter Even When it Comes to Anarchy

Labels Matter - Poison Bottle
Image by Arek Socha from Pixabay

Labels are a convenient way to quickly logically categorize and evaluate so, labels matter, even when it comes to Anarchy. Anarchy simply means “no rulers”. It is not a metric of the intelligence, awareness, or the general morality of the individual espousing Anarchy. To dismiss, particularly, the self-assigned labels individuals provide us is to ignore the valuable information they can provide.

What Labels Are For

Labels are tools that present data. Labels tell us about the contents and the intent. Properly presented, labels enable a complete understanding of a thing without ever interacting with it. It’s safe to say that some information is better than no information. A label on a sealed box is considered important and valuable information, even if limited. But, take that same notion applied to an individual and suddenly a label is bad?

  • Label, noun:
    A thing that gives information about what it is affixed to.
    A thing a corporation uses to market itself, products or services.
    A Record Company.

There are a number of definitions of “label” and uses for labels, not all included here. It is only when applied to people that labels take on a negative connotation.

  • Label, noun:
    A word or a phrase used to describe people in a way that is negative or unfair.
    ‘He was labeled a troublemaker’.

Labels Are Naturally Limiting

It’s not possible to put five gallons of water into a three-gallon jug. That’s what labels attempt to do. And since it can’t be done, everyone accepts that a label is not the entire story of the package it’s on. It’s no different to say, “don’t judge a person by a label”, than it is to say, “don’t judge a book by its’ cover”. But that’s nonsense. When all you have is the face to value, how can you not take what you’re seeing at face value? That label says POISON; you might want to take it at face value. If an Anarchist says they are communist, it’s not for you to re-label or un-label them. It’s for you to take at face value.

I’m An Anarchist, Be My Friend!

Great! But what is your understanding of money and markets and the economy? You don’t want anyone to rule over you in one sentence, and in the next you say, “markets must be controlled”. Or that money is evil. Or that being a capitalist, literally, the head decision maker of your own economy, is bad. You may be an “Ancom” but, what you really are is ignorant and very likely emotionally driven in your understanding of economics. When I’m choosing my friends, I tend to choose people who don’t hold such diametrically opposed views. The labels matter, Anarchy alone isn’t enough.

What is your position on private property rights? Where do you stand on scientific method vs scientific religionism? How do you feel about ALL voluntary actions with informed consent? If you say the word Anarchy answers all those questions then you misunderstand the questions, and the answer you’ve given. Anarchy means you get to make decisions like these for yourself. Anarchy doesn’t mean that you decide wisely, correctly, or as I would. To start my show Toward Anarchy, I must explain that the word Anarchy and what is often pictured as Anarchy are two different things. Every show. Thank you for labeling yourself, it matters.

The Democratic Socialist and Political Labels

There’s a distinction between a label that informs and doublespeak that distracts. “Democratic Socialist” and political labels are the latter. They’re meaningless wordplay the political class uses to fool each other and themselves, so feel free to ignore them. Politicians and government ARE socialism. The government forced redistribution of wealth through taxation is socialism. Socialists want to pretend theirs is a different way, but’s it’s just another top down, trickle down, method of control over the individual. The democratically elected use fancy words to distinguish themselves from socialists but, their actions, their centuries-long body of work, say that they’re fundamentally the same. They differ only in degree and excuses.

Labels are a tool and the data they provide can be indispensable in determining the value of the contents. Using label data or the label itself to attack someone isn’t the label’s fault. Assuming the label is anything more or less than it claims to be isn’t the label’s fault. The label is no more at fault for its’ usage than the gun or the screwdriver. Go ahead and label yourself and everything else. Label, categorize and make valuations of the data. Do it honestly. Do it with the knowledge that, labels are not bad but informative. Make sure that the things you value most, the people you value most, take priority in your labeling system.