Anarchist Aunt – Tommy Hobbes – 18th November

Dear Anarchist Aunt,

I write to you today in a fit of rage, for my mother has just taken away my PlayStation, contending I am spending too much time on it, rather than focusing on my academic pursuits. Whilst I gleefully accept the legitimacy of an all-powerful, unaccountable monarchy, I will not stand for the impetuous behaviour my mother is displaying – demanding I utilise my time on something productive as if she herself was monarch of this household. I fear life here may become rather nasty, brutish, and short in the case of my mother, if all this bossing around continues. To pour further flames on my rage, father has just demanded I begin exercising in the garden every morning. My belief is I should use my time as I want to, to further my natural interests – those that can be found controller in hand, gaining pleasure by material means – not running round in circles at the pleasure of my father, chasing after some higher form of satisfaction. I was hoping you would be able to talk some sense into your brother and sister-in-law and try to put an end to this impulsive behaviour. I fear there is a leviathan brewing inside me that could well see a reverting to the anarchic state of nature in this household – something I think we can all agree is best avoided.

All the best,

Tommy Hobbes

Anarchist Aunt replies:

Dearest Tommy,

I can’t say I take pleasure in reading your conservative twaddle, but it is good to hear something from you after all this time. I must say I understand your parents’ actions. In society today, the position of authority they find themselves in, parenthood, blinds them to your humanity. They will work you like a dog until you can no longer stand it, until you break free from the shackles of society, forming a paradise where authority no longer exists: an anarchic state. I digress; your fear of such a state strikes me as rather naive, and I have tried to teach you to have a little faith in humanity. I know it can be hard being surrounded by those parents of yours, but an anarchic state is certainly no bad thing. Your parents would not have the blinding light of authority making them stop you from following your interests and passions.

My good friend Max Stirner, not that I can picture his face now I mention him, argues you should be able to do whatever you want, no matter what the consequences for other people. This means you would be able to play on your PlayStation as much as you desire, without fear of upsetting your parents, and you would not have to share it with your brother; instead you could fight him for it, however I do fear this may not work out in your favour. You could always buy a second one! Or, if worse comes to worst might I suggest you take a leaf out of Mr. Kropotkin’s book, and perhaps follow intellectual pursuits where you could possibly learn to not split your infinitives, a cardinal sin against the English language. If you really feel your parents are subjecting you to a neglectful childhood, I might point you in the way of Murray Rothbard. He would tell your parents to sell you, a win-win. This ‘flourishing free market in children’ would provide you with a loving home, and your parents with compensation for selling you, although I can’t imagine it would take much to heal the wounds of your departure. As ever it is great to catch up with you.

Yours truly,

Anarchist Aunt

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