Dealing With Your Crazy An-Cap Friend

Note: If you don’t know what anarcho-capitalism, it’s simply someone who believes that a stateless Free Market society works the best. You can read more about it here.

Anarcho-capitalists are a special kind of political ideology.

They’re both equally crazy and equally sane.

If you don’t have a friend who’s an an-cap, chances are you’ve met a few of them.

For me, I have an an-cap friend, and I’ve met numerous an-caps online. I’m not gonna lie, it was hard to deal with them at first.

I remember the first time I met my an-cap friend. He asked if I knew who Ron Paul was. That should’ve been my first warning, but I didn’t think much of it.

But for the first year of our friendship we debated non-stop. It makes me cringe how much we argued during that time.

We argued in class, after class, during lunch break, and after school.

We argued online, through email, everywhere.

It was insane.

Now remember, I was a regular conservative back then (11thgrade I think). I didn’t have much in common with libertarians, much less anarcho-capitalists.

Our debates got pretty heated at times. It didn’t help that both of us were self-proclaimed rebels, and enjoyed our fair share of sarcasm.

I remember when he voiced his 9/11 conspiracy theories to me one day during lunch. Shit got real. One of my other friends almost lost it (which he rarely does), and I had to just walk away from the argument.

But you know what the funny part is?

Nowadays, the two of us are regular coffee shop philosophers (it’s a term, right?). Instead of arguing all the time, we now sit down and converse on different issues.

Granted, it helps that I’m a little closer to the libertarian side of things. But I like to think that we matured in our conversation and in how we address one another.

Not surprisingly, this story of my an-cap friend fits nicely into the message I’ve been preaching lately. Instead of arguing with people you disagree with, have a conversation with them. Don’t be defensive, be open minded and willing to listen.

Arguing Just Creates a Firestorm During Lunch Time

Driving by the church where our co-op held its weekly classes you would’ve thought a fight was going down.

That’s how it looked during almost every lunch break.

My an-cap friend and I would be sitting down eating our food, throwing out counter arguments. As usual, a crowd would start to gather. Most of our fellow students would just sit there listening to the two of us throw punches at each other.

It was fun, but it was also mentally draining. Not to mention frustrating at times.

Neither of us cared about listening and keeping an open mind. We just argued incessantly.

And we all know that argument don’t win over people.

But that’s the amusing part, people think arguing is productive. They think you can win someone over by “logically dismantling” their views, only to realize that the other person has their own logic and view of the world.

You think you’re winning.

All you’re really doing is creating a firestorm. Looks pretty cool, makes a great picture for National Geographic, but is always destructive.

Lunch Break Arguers to Coffee Shop Philosophers

How in the world did we go from creating firestorms at lunch, to sitting down at Starbucks and discussing the problems of the world?

[twirls a glass of wine snobbishly]

Part of it was probably maturity and a change of environments. We were no longer at the co-op. We were a little older. We were doing our own things.

But here’s the important part…we started to hangout because of a mutual interest in coding. To clarify, I had always wanted to code, and he was pretty darn awesome at it. So we got together to geek out.

Of course politics was going to come up sooner or later.

However, it was different this time.

We were calm, civil, and open minded. Things really do change when you’re both interested in what the other has to say.

We just meet up at a Starbucks, sometimes with our laptops, and chat. I’m pretty sure the baristas think we’re nuts. And our conversation definitely keeps all the basic white girls away, which is always a plus.

Composure, politeness, and an open mind do wonders.

How to be a Coffee Shop Philosopher

Talking politics, religion, and economics at a Starbucks might be attractive to you.

Or, you might just want to rid yourself of all the basic white girls that annoy you. Who knows?

Regardless of what your reasoning is, there’s a few pointers for being a “Coffee Shop Philosopher.”

First off, you’ve got to actually want a discussion.

Arguing isn’t allowed. Period.

Arguing is for annoying high schoolers who have nothing better to do than take up people’s time during lunch arguing about economics……yeah, sorry about that guys.

Coffee shop philosophers converse…and I can’t believe I’m saying “coffee shop philosophers.” I sound like some hipster theory student.

“Can I have a mocha jive skin milk fat fee whip latte?”

Anyway…

Secondly, you’ve got to be interested in the discussion. I like talking with my an-cap friend because his viewpoint is refreshing. He’s got a unique perspective.

You want to hear what they have to say. You want their opinion.

Thirdly, you need to embrace disagreement. It’s a great way to learn, and grow your own views. My an-cap friend and I agree on a lot of things, but we also differ too. It’s this difference that makes it fun.

Embrace the disagreement. Embrace the diversity, you cis privilege white person.

Sorry, feminist joke.

And lastly, and this is a twofer: find a respectable coffee shop, and a good friend to chat with.

That might make Starbucks unqualified for the job, but whatevs.

If you have a crazy an-cap friend, don’t dismiss them. And definitely don’t try to purposely piss them off.

Sit down with them and have a conversation about the issues.

Don’t create firestorms.


The article, Dealing With My Crazy An-Cap Friend, was originally published at thepoliticalinformer.com on October 16, 2015.

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