STIGMERGY: The C4SS Blog
ISIS Fundamentalists Square Off With Tyrannical And Corrupt U.S. Backed Iraqi Government

Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) militants recently launched a major offensive in Iraq. They managed to seize territory from fleeing Iraqi government/police forces. These Islamic fundamentalist fighters are basically engaged in behavior no better than what the Iraqi government does. Their behavior deserves no support from friends of liberty. There is a statist impulse similar to that of the U.S. government/U.S. supported Iraqi government animating them.

A general statist culture pervades Iraq. The main factions see possession of the central government or state as an institution that can protect them from the dominance of the others. Anarchism would strike at the root of this problem and do much to alleviate it. It wouldn’t be enough though. There are other destructive cultural trends at work in Iraq. One is clearly fundamentalist Islam, and its basic anti-liberty premises. These premises are the absolute reliance on divine authority, and the aggressive violence required by its particular brand of Islamic law. An uprooting of this element is also necessary in a struggle for individual freedom in Iraq. This is only my particular left-libertarian market anarchist view though.

The practical means of uprooting statist and fundamentalist Islamic culture are bound to be peaceful ones. The firepower possessed by a U.S. backed regime is too immense to do armed battle with. The ISIS forces probably also possess considerable arms. They would not otherwise have made the progress they did. It would be advisable for freedom loving individuals in Iraq to begin a campaign of informing people of the possibilities of civil or peaceful criminal disobedience. The word criminal here pertains to violations of unjust laws and not criminality in the sense of violating the non-aggression principle. This civil or criminal disobedience is preferably aimed at both the rule of the Iraqi regime and ISIS militants. Both are authoritarian forces bent on the imposition of laws requiring the aggressive use of force.

A movement for the rights of all Iraqis could begin with peaceful disobedience, but it may involve instances of individual or collective self-defense too. This is especially true with respect to the emergence of a liberated territory under statist assault. Violence is preferably not a first resort and is best avoided as much as possible though. Its defensive potential is only magnified by the participation of a sufficient number of others. This is why isolated acts of violence are likely to be ineffectual and potentially immoral due to this lack of effectiveness.

We left-libertarian market anarchists in the U.S. can do all we can to support Iraqi comrades in creating a free society.

Get on it! Liberty lovers.

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