Why I am a Right-Wing Anarchist by Robert Anton Wilson


1946-Today, Benjamin R. Tucker, Kevin I. Slaughter, Libertarian Microfiche, Max Stirner, Trevor Blake / Wednesday, May 27th, 2020

Excerpts from an essay by Robert Anton Wilson (1932–2007), writing as Ronald Weston, that appeared in rogerSPARK magazine (Chicago, May 1969).

Robert Anton Wilson served as co-editor of the magazine Balanced Living in 1962. Balanced Living was founded by Ralph Borsodi, author of This Ugly Civilization. Wilson was an associate editor of Playboy magazine from 1965 to 1971. During that time he was amused and inspired by conspiracy-expose manuscripts mailed in to the magazine. In 1975 he combined his interest in conspiracies (factual and fanciful), new religions (including the Discordianism of Greg Hill and Kerry Wendell Thornley), science fiction and right-wing anarchism into The Illuminatus! Trilogy, co-authored with Robert Shea.

Between 1978 and 2002, John Zube committed over five hundred thousand pages of rare libertarian, anarchist, free market and related materials to microfiche. In 2016, Kevin I. Slaughter purchased the only complete collection of Zube’s “Peace Plans.” These texts have passed from paper to microfilm to scanned images to online at the Libertarian Microfiche Project (LMP). While converting this issue of robertSPARK to microfiche, Zube mistakenly attributed the essay to Robert Shea. The website of Robert Anton Wilson links to a PDF of the microfiche at the website of Robert Shea – this PDF made from images by way of the LMP.

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Most contemporary writers either think communist anarchism (Bakuninism) is the only form of anarchism; or, if they have heard of Right-wing (individualist) anarchism at all, they have the impression it is a freaky offshoot from the mainstream. Actually, individualist anarchism is the oldest form of anarchism, and, if there were such a thing as proprietorship in words, the school would have the clearest title to possession of the word “anarchy.” Communist anarchism only arose after Bakunin attempted to synthesize the individualist anarchism of Proudhon with the socialism of Karl Marx. […]

In 1832, [Josiah] Warren began publishing The Peaceful Revolutioninst–the first anarchist newspaper in the world. In it, he analyzed the causes of the failure of American democracy and predicted that the failure would grow steadily worse, as more and more wealth and power became centralized in fewer and fewer hands. He also analyzed the failure of [socialist experimental community] New Harmony, and foresaw the totalitarian tendency that future socialist experiments would necessarily develop. And he offered, as an alternative, the system which has become known as Right-wing, or individualistic, or Jeffersonian, or Warrenite anarchism, sometimes also called voluntary socialism or mutualism.

In the next decade, two other original thinkers, independent of Warren and of each other, came to the same conclusions in Europe–P. J. Proudhon, author of What is Property? and Max Stirner, author of The Ego and His Own.

In the more-than-a-century since then, we Right-wing anarchists have watched, bemused and wry, as every form of coercive, and violent, and totalitarian, and paranoid type of regimentation has been tried, under the banner of “socialism” and “the welfare of the people,” and we are more convinced than ever that the Socialist State is a worse menace to mankind than even the Capitalist State. A system that produces Stalins and Berias is even more perverted than a system that produces Nelson Rockefellers and LBJs. Socialism is the counter-revolution.

What is the Right-wing anarchist alternative to Socialism and Capitalism? In a sentence, you could say it’s the position of the Hopi Indians, who have a proverb that says: “No Man should be compelled to do that which goes against his heart.” Benjamin Tucker, the most gifted writer in the individualist-anarchist tradition, put it this way: “Will you allow any form of coercion of the non-coercive individual? If so, you are an archist; if not, you are an anarchist.”