“Sheep do not need to fight for themselves; they have shepherds who do it for them, until the day comes when the shepherds lead their sheep to slaughter.”— Samuel Francis
In recent weeks, the term ‘anarcho-tyranny’ has moved from obscurity to prominence.
“Anarcho-tyranny is the combination of oppressive government power against the innocent and the law-abiding and, simultaneously, a grotesque paralysis of the ability or the will to use that same power to carry out basic public duties such as protection or public safety,” wrote columnist Samuel Francis of the term he coined in the 1990s to describe the connection between civil disorder and oppressive government.
As former editor of the Washington Times and disciple of James Burnham, Francis believed the “managerial revolution” of the post-war West was establishing the sociological, economic and cultural conditions for the onslaught of a phenomenon that seemed oxymoronic. Yet it was central to advancing the malignant liberalism Burnham diagnosed so astutely in his classic 1965 critique Suicide of the West. Like Burnham, Francis believed the West’s growing modern bureaucracy was producing an unnatural dependence on bureaucrats and experts. He described this as “managed pacification” which created the potential to engineer ‘fake problems’ and perform ‘fictitious functions’, fostering the illusion the State was doing its job. When what it was really doing was developing methods of ‘anarcho-tyranny’ to be used for imposing the political will of the government on that of the voting public by employing gross levels of manipulation and abuse, all under the banner of ‘democracy’.
So, as the Long March of communists and cultural Marxists continued largely unopposed through the postwar years, the anarcho-tyranny identified by Francis was morphing into an ever more sinister force, gaming the system with ever more sophisticated methods, including voter fraud, and producing results desired by political elites while pretending to be ‘democratic’.
Decades earlier, George Orwell had anticipated the same duplicitous game. Political language, said Orwell in 1946, “is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.”
Nearly eighty years later, the great Orwellian irony has been realized: What was once forbidden in free nations has now become compulsory – achieved in part by the paradox of anarcho-tyranny. Which, over time, has been turning God-created Nature as it was once studied and understood, on its head. As the late Pope Benedict illustrates in his 2010 book Western Culture.
Benedict’s Western Culture
In this masterful volume, the late pontiff charts the rise of the modern state to its current level of anti-Christian lawlessness as beginning when Holy Roman Empire was falling apart at the end of the medieval period. “History was no longer gauged on the basis of an idea of a pre-existent God who shaped it: the State was henceforth considered in purely secular terms, founded on reason and on the will of the citizens. For the first time in history, a purely secular state arose, which abandoned and set aside the divine guarantee and the divine ordering of the political sector, and it declared God himself to be a private affair, that did not play a role in public life or the formation of the popular will. The latter was seen now solely as a matter of reason, by which God did not appear to be clearly knowable; religion and faith in God belonged to the realm of feelings and not to that of reason. God and his will ceased to be relevant in public life.”
Thus Christ the King became Christ the private citizen. And the stones of Christendom began to be taken down, in revolutionary stages, first with the Reformation. Next with the French Revolution which was even bloodier. The God of creation, history and Christendom was officially removed from Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris and replaced by a statue of the goddess of Reason, yet another very public step in the long, diabolical plan to remove the Lord God from the Public Square permanently. And to replace His governance of the world He created with the State. Thus also began the cancellation of Christendom’s ‘social contract’ which, for more than a millennia, governed the social order of the West according to the Ten Commandments – each a precept of Western law, each written onto every human heart through Baptism. Thus God was supplanted by Reason and by materialism which can never satisfy. As intended by the diabolical ruler of this Earth who moved inexorably to ensure that in his world, all manner of crime, once called ‘sin’, should become a right, turning Man against his Creator.
From Sin to a ‘Right’
For example, abortion, once a punishable crime for both mother and abortionist, became a ‘right’ protected by law and producing annual holocausts of pre-born infants. So much so that abortion is now the leading cause of death around the world. In 2022, more human beings died in abortions than any other cause of death. According to Worldometer.com, a website of global statistics, over 44 million abortions occurred worldwide last year alone. And by early April of this year, another 12.4 million abortions had followed.
This is a staggering statistic for a once-criminal practise. Yet abortion is claimed to be a ‘right’ on which post-modern governments rise and fall, and for which individuals who protest this ‘right’ are routinely prosecuted and persecuted by governments, political agitators, incalculable numbers of NGOs and their minions, and even police forces.
Thus the term ‘anarcho-tyranny’ accurately describes the phenomenon wherein a society is defined by its deterioration into politically engineered decadence, corruption and chaos which, in turn, requires repression to control the resulting disorder. As a result, government power swells, becoming ever more corrupt and unaccountable; lawlessness increases exponentially; and law-abiding citizens are repressed ruthlessly by the State in the name of ‘safety’ as cities fall into squalor, disorder and violent crime and their centres fill with the homeless, most drug-addicted and mentally ill, leaving local governments pretending to ‘care’ to release them back into the streets if they are arrested for crimes, even capital crimes.
This is what anarcho-tyranny looks like.
Its most blatant manifestation is in criminality and law enforcement which have been subjected everywhere to political campaigns of defunding the police and parallel campaigns of legalizing hard drugs.
But rather than returning a city or broader society to sanity by restoring the just application of the law by police and municipal leaders, anarcho-tyrants resist all common sense, insisting on such policies as releasing accused murderers without bail, further endangering the public and frightening large populations of voting taxpayers. All in the name of ‘compassion’.
But directly debauching the law hasn’t been its only source. Legalizing abortion and the ferocious protection of this so-called ‘right’ is another. Earlier this month, Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer signed into law a repeal of the state’s near-total abortion ban, guaranteeing that abortion-on-demand will remain legal for the foreseeable future. Calling ongoing efforts to ban abortion in other states “un-American, anti-free and, frankly, sickening”, Whitmer’s new law repeals a statute dating back to 1931 that made abortion a felony punishable by up to four years in prison.
Would the radically left Whitmer agree with B.C.’s new law supporting children to decide, without parental intervention or consent, their ‘right’ to transition into the opposite sex?
On March 28, the NDP provincial government of British Columbia passed into law a bill that allows children facing gender confusion as young as 12 to ‘self’ identify their gender without the need for a doctor or mental health professional’s approval. Besides allowing kids to legally change their sex and self-identify their gender, the law will also allow any resident of the province to be given a birth certificate without marker showing that one is male or female.
How does one account for such unholy zeal?
Revolution on Steroids
All of this has been generated by the so-called Sexual Revolution which became a major social force in the 1960s, devastating the Christian West in its path. This multi-pronged revolution has campaigned (and mostly succeeded) on turning all manner of what was always regarded as sexual sin into ‘rights’ while simultaneously attacking God’s natural and moral order and its fundamental unit, the family, in the pursuit of legalizing once prohibited sexual practices which in turn produce sexual confusion and the very misery the prohibitions were intended to prevent.
These same deceitful methods are also being used to promote euthanasia, pushed as ‘dying on one’s own terms’ and reflecting like nothing else can the general falling away from — and the outright rejection of — God. All rabidly defended by the media and the death-dealing culture it promotes and protects, while persecuting those who call it for what euthanasia actually is: a stairway to Hell.
From Marxism to Wokeness
Anarcho-tyranny also occurs – and ever more frequently — when a primarily Leftist State stops solving real problems while carrying out its real but undeclared Marxist agenda, thereby inflicting its intended damage under a parade of names and identities, the latest of which is ‘wokeness’.
Yet their signature methods remain the same as mass shootings rise across the West destabilizing everything in their path while governments militate for gun control and for mass surveillance of the online communications of citizens they’re failing to protect. Take the catastrophic shooting in Uvalde, Texas, which saw police literally standing around checking their phones and rubbing down with hand sanitizer while children were screaming inside as their classmates were blown to pieces. Message for the public? More gun control.
The scene was much the same last month at Covenant School, a Christian academy in Nashville Tennessee, where three children and three senior staff were shot dead by a transgender shooter who, in turn, was shot dead by police. Message for the public? Protect members of the Transgender community. And more gun control.
Which brings us to another instrument of anarcho-tyranny – the use of the legal system to prosecute and persecute citizens deemed to be enemies of the State. Called ‘Lawfare’, it’s a practise that may involve the law of a nation being turned against its own officials. Its latest target is Donald Trump, former president of the United States, whose recent indictment prompted columnist Jeffrey A.Tucker to publicly declare that anarcho-tyranny has been unleashed in the U.S.
“The phrase came to mind as I watched the news unfold of the indictment of former President Donald Trump on utterly ridiculous charges that a conventional payment made in the usual legal extortion racket was really a campaign-finance expenditure and therefore criminal. The terms anarchy and tyranny seem like they are contradictory,” notes Tucker, who cites Francis for defining the state of lawless oppression currently being conducted by the Biden government.
It was also Francis who warned that if a power-seeking cabal ever got its way in the U.S. government, the United States and much of the Western world would descend not to classically understood ‘socialism’ but to anarcho-tyranny where no one can count on any rules in public life. “Whatever happens, it will be compulsory,” predicts Tucker. “That is, backed by the threat of violence.”
From the Jacobins to Marcuse
Usually mob violence. Which has been a proxy for power for more than two centuries, as demonstrated by the Jacobins of the French Revolution and by the Red Guard under Mao, and more recently by Antifa and Black Lives Matter burning American cities as a political message.
Such has been the arc of revolution, marked by a deeply nihilistic loathing of the rule of law as a universal principle, along with its hatred of free speech, freedom of association, and other values commonly associated with the Enlightenment and the Western idea of freedom. All reflecting in recent years the ongoing powerful influence of Herbert Marcuse whose countercultural ideas generated by his Frankfurt School in the 1960s have long since become mainstream. And whose view was that the only way to achieve authentic freedom was to undertake a complete dismantling of the rule of law, first by intellectual efforts, then grassroots efforts, and finally government efforts to dismantle Western codes of law, with the ultimate goal of destroying the entire West to create a platform for building the Brave New World of Leftist dreams.
The Tyranny of Secularism
Here again secularizing the State has played a major role in the deterioration of western governments. Eliminate God in the name of personal freedom and usher in misery, slavery and bondage to a persecuting power. Which is what the elimination of God’s natural and moral order invariably produces and which history continues to document.
Central to this elimination is the very Truth of Jesus Christ whose gospel and salvific crucifixion intersects Time and Eternity. The Son of God, who declared himself the Way, the Truth and the Life. He who all of history confirms and who continues to live in the minds and hearts of countless human beings for whose sins He died and without whom all of humanity can find no rest and no true happiness.
This Truth is also the answer to all of Life itself. Yet for two millennia, the world has been tearing itself apart through indulging the temptations of God’s scriptural opponent, Satan, whose mission remains unchanged: Attack the Lord God by attacking His creatures He died on the Cross to save. And for two thousand years, Satan has been doing this exactly as the Lord Jesus predicted: By lying and by murdering: “ He was a murderer from the beginning, and he stood not in the truth; because truth is not in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father thereof. He’s been a liar and a murderer from the beginning.” (John 8:44)
Could anything be more literally true than that divine statement? Has the entire world not been witness to Satan’s persecution of Man through the practise of lying and of murdering? Criminally and legally? Across human history?
And is all of Mankind not still struggling to stay alive and sane in a fallen world described by St. John Paul II as ‘The Culture of Death’?
Choosing the Way, the Truth, and the Life
Yet how often do Christians stop to ponder life in 2023 and its culture? Its culture of self-obsession, pleasure-seeking and rejection of any and all suffering, enslaved to the dictum of the English occultist, Aleistair Crowley: “Do whatever thou wilt shall be the whole of the law.” As it awaits the coming of the so-called New World Order which, it appears, requires the world as we’ve known it to be destroyed to make way for a Utopian future.
Where does God fit in all this? As His creatures and disciples are persecuted unless they consent to a media-driven world, preaching an ego-driven life where morality allows individuals to be unaccountable to any power higher than itself and unaccountable for any of the ‘sins’ the new culture permits and promotes. Nevertheless, sin is still sin — an eternal reality no act of human denial can erase. A sin breaks God’s law, causing incalculable damage to the soul that commits it, and its relationship with God. It also has consequences that reverberate through the culture which is still accountable to God, all denials notwithstanding. Even if that accounting doesn’t occur until the next life.
Providing answers to all this is Holy Mother Church which was divinely created by Jesus Christ. And despite her scandals and the apparent focus of some of her clergy on the more material aspects of life, she will always contain the whole Truth. And the Gates of Hell will never prevail against Her.
“God’s Church exists even today, and this very day she is the instrument by which God saves us,” writes Benedict. “It is very important to contrast the lies and half-truths of the devil with the whole truth: Yes, there is sin in the Church and there is evil. But even today there also is Holy Mother Church, which is indestructible. Even today there are many people who humbly believe, suffer, and love, in whom the real God, the loving God, manifests himself to us. Even today God has his witnesses (martyres) in the world. We have only to be attentive in order to see and hear them.”
And so life continues and history records its passing and its momentous events. The most momentous of which remains the birth, death and resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ two thousand years ago, still the most remembered of all human and divine figures and events. And confirming the adage that Time tests All Truth, including Truth itself, Jesus Christ, the most central and remembered figure in history. “And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12).
This too is an immutable Truth, against Whom the latest tactic – anarcho-tyranny – is doomed to fail.