I’ve been making a bunch of jokes about being an ironic Ba’athist and such recently, which lead me to realize I’ve never clearly laid out what I actually believe. This is an effort to do some of that, and to generally express my political philosophy in order to facilitate any future discussions I may have.
I’m essentially a philosophical anarchist, of the “skeptical of authority but not eliminative of it” type. What this means is that I don’t think any state, political body, or whatever has special “legitimacy” in the same way that I believe, for example, God does. Robert Paul Wolff’s In Defense Of Anarchism (specifically the first part, “The Conflict Between Authority and Autonomy”) explains this idea and makes the case for not thinking any body can have legitimate authority better than I ever could, so if this is an interesting idea to you go read that link. But to put the main conflict in my own words, I don’t think there are any laws that must be obeyed for their own sake that aren’t moral laws; there is no human authority that has a “right to be obeyed.” I don’t think you’re obligated to obey a law or comply with a state simply because it exists, and only because it exists, so laws and states have no inherent, legitimate, de facto (etc. etc.) authority. I guess a government could become legitimate if God himself came down and said “SERBIA CHOSEN LAND THIRD ROME ANYWHERE A SERB BLEEDS IS SERBIAN LAND AND THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN IS SERBIA TUPAC ALIVE IN SERBIA” or something, but that’s just my personal belief as a Christian and not anarchist orthodoxy.
I have a few other objections to the idea of legitimate authority. First, I am a Christian (hey guys I’m Christian did you know that I’m a Christian) so there is only one legitimate authority and it is God (and Muhammad is his prophet PBUH). Second, it’s clear that the existence of any state restricts the freedoms of everyone living under it (and others outside it, as long as borders are a thing), and though I think the trade-off can be worth it, government is still an inherently oppressive concept.
However, I said I’m not eliminative of the state, and in fact I think that despite all these problems the state can be justified- and I even believe that it’s morally necessary to establish some kind of state in most situations where there are enough people and resources. I strongly believe it’s not moral to exist in a situation where inaction and lack of organization allows people to die and suffer; because even if the oppression of a state is bad the oppression of death and violent anarchy is even worse. So I, in rather roundabout fashion, arrive at basically the same place Locke and Rousseau and all the others do. But I’m a horrible commie bastard so I think the state has a shit ton of obligations and duties towards the governed because you really have to be making the world a lot better than it would be in the state of nature (and I’m a horrible commie bastard so that means giving them free shit). But I think the attitude of the governed towards their governor should be one of healthy suspicion and vigilance, I’m not a fan of all the tankie glorious patriotism stuff.
That’s about all I have to say for now. I might do a part two talking more specifically about how I think governments should be organized (homonationalism)/foreign policy (full and eternal support of the Lion of Damascus, Bashar al-Assad) stuff but I doubt it. This writing and topic is uninteresting to me.