How to choose a college: an anarchist's guide

published Sep 06, 2011, last modified Jun 26, 2013

Know thy enemy.

From this Reddit comment by DeathNostril:

You should go to the most left-wing university you can find. You should go to UC Berkeley.

You should do this because the point of college will be to know your enemy. To understand the degree to which academia is locked up by identity politics and collectivist thinking. You should learn how statists think. You should watch the cults of personality develop around professors. In fact, you should become intimately familiar with the cult-like religion of the state, in a way you cannot do from afar. You need to soak in it. You need to experience ideological gnosis. You need to feel the pull, the allure of collectivism by standing in the middle of it.

You need to smell the sweat of the next crop of "social justice" junkies. Learn their language. Learn how they use language. Identify their premises. Read the books, especially the textbooks. Pay attention to nuance, to unspoken assumptions. Read Marx profusely. Don't challenge it in your papers; the University system is a lost cause. Tell them what they want to hear, but think, think, think for yourself.

Everything you need to know about individualism, you can learn on your own. Hell, you probably knew enough to be one long before you read the books - I've always said that I had every reason and rationale to be what I am before I cracked a single book on the subject. I learned what I despised early. Freedom, a sense of the self, is in the soul, and I mean the secular version of that: it is visceral (or should be). It is instinctual. It is the nausea you feel every time you see some riot on the television set.

Everything else - the arguments, the rhetoric, the facts, the figures, the utilitarian proposition: mostly for rhetorical ends, which, as I have commented elsewhere, are of limited value.

Learn to tweak the noses and embarrass the opposition by finding their sensitive spots. Don't make a big scene in class. This isn't some kind of forum where you will decide the future of mankind. What college is, is intelligence gathering. Acknowledge the pretense of the free exchange of ideas for the sham that it is.

I have to believe part of the key is learning the details of collectivism on an intimate level, and then learning how to subvert it from the inside.

The last thing you want or need, if the battle really interests you (and I hope it does) is a comfortable, accommodating environment. You need to walk right into enemy territory and drink their wine. So that one day you can drink their milkshake.

I went to Rutgers and majored in Political Science. It was really left wing. At the time I was a conservative. I wouldn't trade that experience for the world. I have a lifetime to read Rothbard, but the thing about individualists, is individualists are (often to their detriment) happy to read Rothbard alone, in the comfort of their own property.

But the Left, well, they draw energy from each other. As the fascists fully come into their own and find out who they are through subordination to the state, the Left does the same through the mob. Merely knowing this as a fact or reading about the Khmer Rouge or something isn't the same as witnessing it first hand. On about the third day of a building occupation or sit-in style protest, you'll see it seep out. They become like the Moonies. Watch the murder of reason right in front of you, cloaked in self-righteousness, self-aggrandizement, and a sense of entitlement and martyrdom which is truly awesome to behold up close.

Through the theft of unfriendly newspapers. Through cryptofascist criticisms of freedom of speech (see r/anarchism) as some kind of bourgeois liberal (by which they mean classical liberal) indulgence. Through identity politics. Through building occupations. Through throwing tantrums, convinced of their righteousness by approval of the group. Really try to grok how much their collective sensibility means to them. Listen to them talk about "class war" as if they've ever done an honest lick of work in their entire spoiled lives.

Watch their dysfunctional, codependent romances and infidelities. Watch how the hypocritical selfishness oozes out of them and how they rationalize it as they come to understand their little tribe as a kind of "resource" from which they can draw.

You should listen to them in classes, agreeing with each other conspicuously. You might think in many cases this is sucking up to professors, and of course it is -- but it is so much more than this. It is like becoming an apostle. It is self-actualization; the melding of one's own will to that of the group - or more specifically, the tradition, the grand left wing tradition where everyone who writes an opinionated paper for a moment thinks he he's the next Antonio Gramsci.

Watch the pretense of being a free thinker, and of being enlightened, express itself in the ability to read other people's works at you. Not that individualists don't suffer from the same problem. I can identify an Objectivist at about a hundred yards. Especially, read thoroughly - meaning, more extensively than they do - from the books they quote from. Learn them inside and out.

Meditate upon their hypocrisy, in particular their use of cheap stereotypes, the likes of which they would throw a tantrum about were it used against them. Join their organizations. Join their papers. Write really over-the-top leftist analyses of everything as parody. Watch how no one can figure out it's parody because you simply cannot go too far.

Go their parties. Listen to what they say when their enemies aren't around. Smoke their dope. Fuck their women (or men).

This is what I urge you to do. And I urge you to do it not just because I think it serves my philosophy. I urge you to do it because it is stimulating as all fuck. Let the trust fund babies show you just how much more they care. Let them show you the nightmare they hold in store for you.

Or go the safe route. Find some celebrity AnCap profs and go to the colleges they teach at. Agree with your profs profusely. Have safe, slightly awkward parties with other AnCaps, and oh, the conservatives will show up too whether you like it or not. Conservatives suck. Their parties suck and they get shitty dope, when they get it at all. The women can be...weird.

See the thing is this. We need more people writing anarchist books and articles like I need a hole in my head. And if you go to a friendly university, you might wind up doing that: writing things which are mostly read by those only on your side.

We need less of that. We need to learn to subvert and destroy.

Like Kipling said:

>Leave us alone and you'll see
>How we can drag down the state
>We are the worm in the wood
>We are the rot in the root
>We are the taint in the blood
>We are the thorn in the foot.

That is what we need to be. Less papers. There is nothing new under the sun; nothing left to be said about individualism, capitalism, liberty that hasn't been said before eight billion ways. You believe someone else owns you or you don't.

What we need is our own form of direct action. Less cant, more action.


Good luck, whatever you decide.

Stay hungry. Stay alive.