Back from the conference in Greece, and I had a whale of a time. The people were great, the “crypto-rave” was some surprisingly good live techno bands — which I’ll write up for Rocknerd some time soon (update: it’s up) — the talk went well, and there should be YouTube video in a month or two.
But the best part was being tour-guided by a local anarchist friend — the Acropolis fully lives up to centuries of hype, all the food is amazing, and Exarcheia is a lovely place full of good people — and particularly the bit where I showed them greece.txt, and watched their face as they read it.
greece.txt is a 2015 post to Reddit /r/anarcho_capitalism, about an American anarcho-capitalist who’d heard of Europeans calling themselves “anarchists” and went over to find out more. It’s not about Bitcoin, but it’s close enough to resonate with /r/buttcoin.
greece.txt also came up during the talk, when a local anarchist balked at the very term “anarcho-capitalist” and I recommended they search on “greece.txt” and read it.
It’s not clear if the incident really happened — one person I spoke to said they’d asked local anarchist friends around the time it was originally posted, and nobody knew anything about it — but frankly, /r/anarcho_capitalism posters are completely like this.
I don’t usually use forums or Reddit, I usually just post comments on Ancap blogs like Molyneux or Cantwell’s blog, but they didn’t seem appropriate places to post my story. So here goes, I just wanted to share this with all of you.
Nov 3 I flew to Europe for a Eurotrip type tour. Not a guide or packaged deal, just going around by myself. I paid for half of the trip with the wages I earned over the last two years, my dad paid for the other half. I am 19, I guess that is normal starting college and all. (Before that I worked for my dad’s company part time, so I guess you could say he paid for all of it, lol).
I did France and then Italy and then Greece next. I am an Ancap so I wanted to see anarchists in these places. Yes, I know they are different kinds of “anarchists” and not really full anarchists like us. I went to an anarchist book store in Italy and it had a lot of English books, but no Rothbard or Ancap. Like I said, I expected that, not a surprise.
I went to Greece, which everyone knows is famous for its revolutionary anarchism, its economic crisis and everything going on right now. Here I found directions for a local anarchist center. I went and didn’t see anybody, but it was covered in graffiti, mostly in Greek so I couldn’t read it. Whatever, I started taking pictures. Then some people came out and confronted me.
This should have been my first warning sign something was not right, because photography is not a crime. They were not violent, but they were not friendly, like asking who I was, what I wanted. They all spoke good English actually. Not uncommon in Greece. I said I was a tourist and an anarchist and I just wanted to take pictures. Then they got friendly and told me I should have asked first (but pictures are no NAP violation so I don’t know why, but I didn’t say anything) and they invited me inside.
We hung out for a while and smoked hash (there is no good dank in Europe as you might find out like in Cali, everyone smokes hash with tobacco which isn’t as cool as it sounds). We started talking about politics and anarchism. I was trying to talk about the state, they were like yeah no doubt the state was bad. But they wanted to talk about capitalism, capitalism this and that. This is when we started to get into a debate.
I told them that what they called capitalism is different from the free market. They said capitalism is free markets. And I said I agreed. That is what I am saying. Real capitalism is free markets. And they said yes, that is what we are trying to get rid of. And I said no, but we don’t even have that right now. We need more free markets. And everyone at the same time was like “nooo” we are anarchists, we are against capitalism. Anarchists oppose capitalism.
And I said but not anarcho-capitalists. Anarcho-capitalists are the anarchists who support capitalism. I had a fanny pack (yeah, lame I know) for my camera and in that I had this yellow and black bowtie (also super lame, it was a joke but I wasnt wearing it). And I said look, these are the Ancap colors, yellow and black, like versus the communist red and black. Well, these guys had a lot of red and black in the building already so I thought they would get it.
I think that is when it started to get a really bad vibe, really tense in the air. The free market thing was funny, we disagreed but I think they thought I was just confused. Everyone was uncomfortable now. Then someone said markets wont work with democracy. And I said exactly, that’s it, democracy is against anarchism. And they kind of agreed, and said yes, we don’t have real democracy, just governments, and we needed more democracy. I said no, we need less democracy, democracy is the enemy. And we need to end democracy to have anarchy. Then they were all like “noooo” again. You know that thing people do in groups when everyone all says “nooo” or expresses some disapproval at the same time.
And one of them said “but we do want to stop democracy” and then they kind of spoke back and forth in Greek. I didn’t really understand it. And they asked me what I meant.
So I said okay, I had the floor, I was going to tell them about ancapism. And I tried to explain to them some Rothbard and Hoppe. I said the natural order in anarchy is that the best rise to the top, the market picks who is the best. They compete and are peaceful. They said what do we want instead of anarchy. I said we want private owners to own their own land and businesses, and to employ people. They said that is what we have now. I said no, it would be even better. One of the guys said it was like feudalism. And I said it is not feudalism.
Eventually one of the guys spoke up and I thought he was Greek, but he spoke English perfectly so he may have not been. He said he knew what anarcho-capitalism was and that we were basically fascists. He asked me if I thought everything should be private. And I said yes. And he asked me if I thought people were unequal. And I told him yes. And that not everyone would have equal rights. I said everyone has the right to own property and not be done aggression against. But that not everyone had to be treated equally by the owners. He said what about immigrants and racism. And I said that would not happen in a free market, but yes property owners could be racist if they wanted to. They had to respect property.
Then he called me a fascist again, and someone else said I was a fascist. And then they basically all started shouting fascist at me, and one of them grabbed me by the wrists. They pulled me out the door, it was up three floors, and basically drug me down the stairs on my back. It hurt really bad and I remember yelling “you’re breaking the NAP” and things like that. “Stop initiating force against me.” Then they kicked me around on the ground in the hallway, before they took my camera and threw me outside. I was crying and stuff, I just sat there. I was in shock because it was so sudden. Looking back there were warning signs though.
I think they felt bad for me and gave the camera back, but when I looked later they stole the memory card with all of my Greek photos.
So they initiated force and theft. They broke the NAP. I knew the left anarchists were not real anarchists, but I never knew they would do something that bad.
I wasnt seriously hurt, just kicked around a little, lots of bruises and little cuts. I am fine guys so don’t worry. Just needed to share.
American right-wingers frequently joke about “social justice warriors” — but probably shouldn’t mess with the Greek ones.
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