Everything Is Just Dandy!

Mark A. Sullivan – Neither Capitalist nor Communist Anarchism

The Anarchist Library

Author: Mark A. Sullivan
Title: Neither Capitalist nor Communist Anarchism
Date: 1976
Notes: Originally published in the The Storm! Issue 2 (October 1976), p. 7–10
Source: Retrieved 06/16/2022 from unionofegoists.com

While the anarcho-communists and anarcho-capitalists try to convert each other and the unsuspecting human race to their respective eternal truths, there are a few anarchists who sit back and watch the display with an amusement tempered with slight disappointment. With amusement because these anarchists, who call themselves individualists to distinguish themselves from their comrades on the right and the left, see in the battle over the Idea a re-enactment of the authoritarian propagandisms of our witless society. With disappointment because the disputants who profess to be anarchists do not seem to understand the nature of anarchist philosophy — or an anarchist society, should such, in spite of their mutual and endless repudiations, ever come into existence.

An anarchist society is one where no person or group of persons is given authority (by obedient subjects) to enforce their will upon another person(s). An archist society is, therefore, one where there is a person or group of persons (usually called government or the State) whose will IS given the authority to be enforced upon any and all others. Naked force is not enough to constitute a state — the belief, support, and acquiescence of the populace is what gives to the forces of government their esteemed and protected position. As the anarchist individualist Enzo Martucci has pointed out:

Authority is a power that oppresses in the name of the Sacred (God, Morality, Society, etc.) which it pretends to represent. It is a power which all must adore and serve even if they possess the energy and capacity to overthrow it.[1]

The archist situation depends upon the blind obedience of the many in order to enforce one general will (so-called) upon the few. A plurality of interests, which is as natural as individual differentiation among us humans, cannot be tolerated by a statist social structure. On the other hand, it is only anarchy that allows for a diversity of interests and dose not escalate diversity into violent conflict by attempting to motivate everyone to sacrifice their individual interests to the general interests of the whole (ie. those interests which no individuals in particular hold, but which society holds in spit of the actual interests of its constituents). Unlike anarchy, statist society pushes one ideological outlook (with minor variations when the appearance of freedom of thought is helpful) in order to secure obedience to intellectual leaders in service to the (often hidden) power structure.

While it is expected that those who desire to rule others will invoke moral reprimands in an attempt to convert (or purge) the ideological deviationist or critical iconoclast, it is interesting to see that self-professed anarchists have also been acting out the same farce. It was such ideological bickering that split the anarchist movement here in New York at the Hunter Anarchist Festival of the Spring of ’74. The anarcho-communists would have nothing to do with anarcho-capitalists, ignoring the cry of an attending Wobbly that “excommunication before the revolution means execution after the revolution”.

Despite claims on both sides that pure anarchy is the realization of a certain set of economic conditions, neither the anarcho-communists nor the anarcho-capitalists have the final solutions to the problems caused by the state. There are as many forms of anarchy as there are forms of authority to overcome. There are as many modes of anarchy as there are individuals who choose to live without authority: without the authority of national leaders, supernatural beings, parents, peers, gurus, chemistry, money, and of course, psychologists, sociologists, economists, and ideologists (including professional radicals and would-be anarchist leaders). The anarchist individualist places nothing and no one above the judgement of his or her experience and reason. The anarchist individualist may agree with certain economists, seek new insights in various philosophies, pursue wealth or bizarre experiences; any authority in and of themselves, and AS AN INDIVIDUALIST asserts the authority of the self over all those areas of life that directly affect the life of the individual. While most of those who rebel against the social system invoke some “higher authority” to justify their cause (the People, the dialectic, the Constitution, the scriptures, the Revolution, etc.), the anarchist individualist invokes only the desire and ability to be one’s own sovereign, as in the words of Max Stirner:

The divine is God’s concern; the human, man’s. My concern is neither the divine nor the human, not the true, good, just, free, etc., but solely what is mine, and it is not a general one, but is — unique, as I am unique. [2]


An anarchist society is one where the individual does not surrender personal authority to leaders, causes, or ideologies of any kind. Nothing outside the self is ultimately sacred or absolute in such a society — neither the all-embracing collective of the anarcho-communist, nor the all-producing corporation of the anarcho-capitalist. The absence of the legal mystification of the group, all persons would be left alone to pursue their own concerns alone or in free associations, and to produce, own, and dispose of the products of their labor on their own terms. The absentee ownership of natural and technological resources would collapse without the protection of the State, allowing for control and ownership to be exercised by the actual occupiers and users, ie. the productive workers. The absence of legal tender would allow for new forms of money and credit to be developed free from monopoly rates of interest. This would allow workers to easily obtain the capital to become their own employers — abandoning the capitalists, who in order to survive, would have to become their own workers! Finally, in the absence of restrictions on trade, ie. taxes, tariffs, patents, and copyrights, new knowledge would spread freely to all, improving living conditions while reducing the possibilities of the rise of the technocratic ruling class.