Tag Archive: constitution: Social Memory Complex

Anarchism and the Constitution
Thoughts on Obamacare from an anti-statist perspective

So the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) is constitutional, according to the Supreme Court. Does it actually conform to the United States Constitution? And does that question actually matter to anarchists? I'd argue "no" on the first question, but I think the latter is a more important question if we are to be effective in building institutions and relationships that serve our interests and crowd out the state's monopoly on legitimacy.

As anarchists, we find ourselves in an environment run by statists who attempt to get away with all manner of illegitimate actions and policies. For us, those acts and policies are not illegitimate because they are inconsistent with the state's own internal rules. We believe there are no rules that can justify the state or its coercive actions.

However, the statists who claim to rule us are in thrall to the myth of the constitution's legitimating power. Of course they get away with a lot that any plain reading of that document prohibits. This is the origin of "loose construction" in the first place: if they could just ignore the constitution to get what they want, they wouldn't bother framing their acts in any construction of the constitution at all. Clearly, the constitution doesn't matter to them in the way it's supposed to, but it does play some sort of role in the state's performative exercise of authority and power.


Written on Thursday, June 28, 2012
Tags: constitution, anarchism