Laurance Labadie’s 1965 essay “In a Pickle!”


1946-Today, Laurance Labadie / Tuesday, October 30th, 2018
Laurance Labadie (1898 – 1975) was an individualist anarchist, influenced by the work of his father Jo Labadie, Benjamin R. Tucker, Max Stirner and Ragnar Redbeard. He was affiliated with the School of Living, but because of his confrontational nature was also a harsh critic of the group. Little Black Cart has issued a collection of his writing under the title Anarcho-Pessimism.

IN A PICKLE!

I don’t know of any party, sect, or movement with whom I couldn’t be ascribed to, not by those in any particular group, but by their rivals. In the same sense, I could not be identified with any group === a non-labeling which fits me precisely. I am indeed a “minority of one”, and I prefer it that way inasmuch as I do not wish to be associated with any of the lunacies I see about me.

But as an independent, an alienated and non involved person, who presumably for that reason might be considered more able to see things objectively than most people; a person who moreover who sees the course of human events in an almost fatalistic light === what the hell should I have to offer except pessimism and almost non-action in the face of inevitable cataclysm?

“You are not uninvolved,” they may say. “You suffer a certain amount of miseries, and are going to be snuffed out like the rest”. “Your disinterestedness and unconcern is a pose. It is only a mask for your inertia and lack of courage.” Well, I could not deny this.

But I can say this: Inasmuch as my own ideas are not only contrary and inimical to the powers-that-be, who wouldn’t hesitate a moment to snuff me out, they are likewise contrary and inimical to all the movements and sects and parties that I know anything about. And I damn well know, by the flavor of their advocacies, that they wouldn’t have any less scruples in seeing me effectively urged into the ash barrel, if indeed they wouldn’t help with the heave-to, than the members and supporters of The Establishment.

So you bastards’ catagorizing of me as a cowardly dud in effect means that you’d prefer for me to stick my neck out so that you could lop my head off. You damn well right, I am involved. I have a personal interest at stake. And that interest includes such impulses of self-preservation as to deprive you all from cutting my precious throat. I have been around long enough to exude whatever part of my gullibility about the considerateness of “human nature” as to believe that a recalcitrant to any of the schemes of world-fixing so ardently favored by this or the other of the fixers bent to do me good means other than haste in having me see may maker. Fuck you!

Laurance Labadie
January 29 1965.