I think as anarchists we need a simple way to convey the true nature of government to people who support it. “Governments are bad”, “governments are inefficient”, “governments are this,that and the other” we say. A lot of times we delve into opinion and that’s fine. But I wanted an easy and memorable example – something that doesn’t rely on how we feel about actions that the government takes.
How about a single question and answer with less that 20 words total? Okay, let’s give it a shot.
How many fingers does Mickey Mouse have? And just so there’s no confusion let’s include thumbs in the category of fingers.
Okay so it’s a bit of a trick question, but I think most people will say that Mickey has eight fingers altogether. But that’s factually wrong.
Mickey Mouse doesn’t exist and things that don’t exist can’t have fingers. The actual answer is Zero. Fictionally: 8 fingers. Factually: 0 fingers.
That trick was a bit dirty so my bad.
It might feel a bit silly that I would make a distinction like that but it’s actually pretty important. It’s going to teach us about the reality of government.
So, let’s take a look at the Constitution of the United States of America, and let’s go with the original draft. How many words are in the Constitution? This should be less of a trick question because it relies on the same trick as the first question.
There are zero words in the Constitution because the Constitution doesn’t exist. This one might draw some eyebrows. What do you mean the Constitution doesn’t exist?
Well if I were trying to convince you that Mickey Mouse was a real guy – or mouse I guess… or a man mouse – and I pointed to a picture of Mickey Mouse as my proof, would that be compelling to you at all? I hope not!
In the same way, if someone points to a piece of paper with words on it, that in no way proves the existence of any Constitution. All it proves is that there’s a piece of paper with words on it. Even if the word Constitution is on that paper, it’s no different than having a picture of Mickey Mouse with the words Mickey Mouse somewhere on the same paper. Labeling it doesn’t take it from the imagined to the real. If that’s all the constitution is, then it’s just as fictional as Mickey Mouse.
And since constitutions are the basis of governments, we know that governments don’t exist either. The judges, cops, the white house, congress peoples, and presidents don’t make the constitution a real thing, just as animators, writers and various Disney theme parks don’t make Mickey real.
The emperor has no clothes and Mickey has no fingers. It’s that simple.