Is University of Chile student union president Melissa Sepúlveda an anarchist, as she claims? She talks like a socialist, condemning the “economic model in place since the dictatorship,” the “old individualist system,” and urging Bolshevik-style revolution.
“Ms. Sepúlveda’s position is full of ironies,” the Financial Times reports. Is it, though? Anarchy is no government, a return to nature, dog eat dog. Socialism is distributed ownership of the means of production, but in application it is always centralized control of men’s economic lives. That’s the opposite of anarchy, isn’t it?
Not so fast. In an anarchy, the pursuit of power is unbound by legal, moral restrictions on man. Under socialism, the rich and powerful align themselves with big government, unbound by fealty to the rule of law.
Sepúlveda is neither an anarchist nor a socialist. She is a nihilist. Per Nietzsche, she idolizes the will to power, a narcissistic, destructive drive to, in Supreme Court justice Anthony Kennedy’s words, “define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe.”
The “old individualist system” (i.e., free-market reforms under Pinochet) has made Chile’s economy the envy of Latin America. Wealth and, consequently, power accrue to those who create value. Socialists reject the free market as a matter of course because it is inherently unequal. Nihilists reject the free market because they reject any qualification on the accumulation of power, except for exercising existing power.
Insofar as the free market is “individualist,” that is no sin. Radical individualism is a cornerstone of nihilism. But a nihilist who allies herself with “share-the-wealth” socialists cannot reveal this. Rather, she calls herself an anarchist, since her common cause with the socialists is bringing down the Chilean government, which enforces property rights to support the free market.
Power is the link between anarchy and socialism. They are both the nihilist’s means to the unmitigated right to inflict his will.
- A socialist cannot be an anarchist because he loves big government.
- An anarchist cannot be a socialist because he hates big government.
- A nihilist can be an anarchist and a socialist because both are means to the unmitigated right to inflict one’s will.
A twist on this theme appears at the Red Pill Report. Note the exchange with Tom Gualtieri in the comments.