Title: Arch-anarchy
Author: Anonymous
Date: 1990, Winter
Source: Retrieved on January 19, 2024 from <arch-anarchism.blogspot.com/2023/11/arch-anarchy.html>
Notes: Originally published in Extropy #5, Winter 1990. Extropy was published by The Extropy Institute

Call to Arms

Down with the law of gravity!

By what right does it counter my will? I have not pledged my allegiance to the law of gravity; I have learned to live under its force as one learns to live under a tyrant. Whatever gravity’s benefits, I want the freedom to deny its iron hand. Yet gravity reigns despite my complaints. “No gravitation without representation!” I shout. “Down with the law of gravity!”

Down with all of nature’s laws!

Gravity, the electromagnetic force, the strong and weak nuclear forces — together they conspire to destroy human intelligence. Their evil leader? Entropy. Throw out the Four Forces! Down with Entropy!

Down with every limitation!

I call for the highest of all freedoms. Come, let us cast off all chains! We will make our own heaven. We will become our own gods.

I call for perfect self-rule; I call for arch-anarchy.

What is Arch-anarchy?

Arch-anarchy[1] represents the pinnacle of anarchy.[2] While regular anarchists reject the legitimacy of the State’s laws, as an arch-anarchist, I reject the validity of every law — be it human-made or otherwise — that hinders my will.

Anarchism encompasses diverse variations, yet they all ultimately converge towards arch-anarchy.[3] Arch-anarchy emerges directly from individualist anarchism, a form of anarchism that prioritizes the individual will over the directives of statists.[4] All alternative forms of anarchism eventually trace back to individualist anarchism. Why? Because it is individuals who make choices, not collectives. Therefore, any societal model an anarchist proposes requires convincing other individuals to embrace it. Should an anarchist attempt to impose their vision of utopia by force upon others upon failure, they become akin to yet another statist. This is a reality all anarchists must confront. Individualist anarchists not only acknowledge it but also embrace it. Consequently, once the supremacy of the individual will is recognized, the natural progression is towards arch-anarchy. Why settle for anything less?

Reality Explained

As an arch-anarchist, I view the universe as a battleground between two opposing forces: my will and the barriers obstructing it. My life’s ultimate objective is for the former to triumph over the latter.

The graph below sums up this world-view neatly. Axes charting the will and its obstacles cross at right angles.

Because one can will nothing or everything, and because one can face no obstacles or countless obstacles, the values of these two axes run from zero to positive infinity. At one extreme lies arch-anarchy: the point at which the will encounters no obstacles at all.

At the other extreme lies death: the point where obstacles to the will completely overcome it.


You can will whatever you want, but usually you can realize only part of it.

If you aim high and hope for more than you can achieve, then you reach into the realm of fantasy. If you aim low and accept less than you could possibly accomplish, then you sink into the realm of submission. On the graph of reality, the realm of fantasy occupies the area outside of the long curve sweeping down from arch-anarchy and over to death. The realm of submission falls inside this line.

The line itself marks the range of best limited worlds. A best limited world is a world in which, given certain obstacles, the will realizes its wishes to the greatest possible extent. For example, I can only achieve so much in the U.S. at present. I can travel pretty freely and buy a nice computer, but I can’t fly faster than light or interface with a Cray. Such wild hopes carry my will above the point on the graph marked “U.S. at present,” into the realm of fantasy.

On the other hand, many people not only fail to dream of a better world,they fail to even take advantage of the world they already live in.Some unquestionably accept outmoded beliefs. Some hide in their rooms. Some commit suicide. All of these people fall below the curve of best possible worlds into the realm of submission.

Personally, I like to push the limits of the possible, so I live right on the curve of best limited worlds.

Where are you on the graph of reality?

Why Fight It?

Where do you aspire to be? Personally, I aim to depart from the current U.S., move beyond minimal statism, and ascend beyond even anarcho-capitalism. My desire is to attain the unparalleled and absolute liberty of arch-anarchy. I seek to reach a godlike state and extend an invitation for you to join me.

Despite my emphasis on pursuing what I desire, I hold the same aspiration for my friends. When I talk about my self-interest, it extends beyond the interests of my physical form. I am nothing more than a specific configuration of information, a collection of data and processing protocols. To the extent that this configuration is shared with others, our personal identities are intertwined.

Given the benefits of my subjective standpoint, preserving my body and brain nearly always aligns with my self-interest.[5] However, if faced with a choice between safeguarding the information stored in my brain and that in the brains of all my immortalist, libertarian, extropian friends, serving “our” self-interest would mean saving “them” (us). So while I speak of my will, I encompass a broader definition.

Should others decide to join me on the quest for arch-anarchy, I won’t engage in conflict over the rewards of heaven; there should be an abundance of bliss for all. Instead, I will welcome them as my kin because all arch-anarchists share a passion for life and a thirst for freedom.

However, if you have no desire to join me in utopia, that’s your prerogative. If godhood doesn’t entice you, then we likely share little in common, and it probably isn’t in my self-interest to drag you into heaven. Perfect freedom isn’t an objective good that every moral being must crave.[6] There are no objective moral values, only the will and the impediments it faces. Yielding to entropy wouldn’t make you wrong; it would make you deceased.

Some political theorists might critique my blending of negative and positive freedoms. I acknowledge the distinction, though. I concur with libertarians that as long as we persist as political beings, we should only seek freedom from coercion, not freedom to possess others’ property. Yet, note the caveat: as long as we remain political beings. Currently existing in a Hobbesian world of scarce resources, conflicting objectives, and mutual threats, we libertarians opt to uphold solely negative rights as they offer the best compromise given our current limitations. Nevertheless, this could change. Technological advancements might provide us with limitless resources, or we might find ways to merge our identities into a unified entity pursuing a singular objective, or we might devise an impervious defense against all personal threats. If so, we could discard the distinction between negative and positive freedoms and return to our initial rationale for favoring one over the other: to maximize freedom for its essence.

Know Your Enemy

“Okay, I’m convinced that I should attempt to liberate my will from all obstacles,” you might say. “But how can we possibly overthrow the laws of nature? Aren’t they beyond all human control?”

As arch-anarchists, we wage a war against everything that obstructs our journey toward godhood. Let us, therefore, heed Sun Tzu’s advice: Know your enemy. A careful scrutiny of natural laws reveals that they possess far less power than people typically assume.

Natural laws are often idolized as immutable decrees that govern the universe and define the ultimate limits of human ambition. This perspective is especially popular among those who reject religion yet still yearn for some form of divine guidance. By venerating the laws of nature, they can relinquish their wills without feeling embarrassed in front of their scientifically inclined peers.[7] Perhaps these individuals confuse natural laws with statist laws. We breach statist laws only at the risk of suffering under those who claim authority from the State. However, natural laws are not conventional laws. They weren’t written by a legislature, enforced by an executive, or interpreted by a judiciary. Breaking a natural law doesn’t entail suffering the wrath of the “state of nature.”

So, what exactly are natural laws? Nothing more than observed constants. They don’t dictate how the universe must behave but rather how it has been observed to behave by specific scientists in particular labs, at specific times, and under certain conditions. There’s no guarantee these rules won’t change tomorrow; it’s a matter of faith. Yet, faith alone is insufficient. The laws of nature are weaker than commonly assumed. Astronomers once believed the sun circled the earth, physicists postulated phlogiston causing burning, and chemists asserted atoms were indivisible. All of these assumptions were proven wrong. Given science’s historical track record, it’s reasonable to question the durability of what we currently accept as the laws of nature.

Even if we had complete confidence in our scientists, the laws of nature wouldn’t inspire much confidence. According to the classical theory of general relativity, the universe occupied a point of infinite density and infinite space-time curvature at the inception of its “big bang.” It might return to this state during a “big crunch.” As Stephen Hawking noted, “All the known laws of science would break down at such a point.”[8]

All these examples underscore that the laws of nature don’t merit our reverence. They aren’t inviolable decrees from a higher power; they’re simply statistical generalizations about recent scientific observations. We’ve broken natural laws before, and we can do so again.[9] The key lies in desiring to control the laws of nature; the rest is merely technical details. Where there’s a will...[10]

Taking Arch-anarchy to its Illogical Extreme

Controlling the laws of nature would grant us the power to defy gravity, achieve immortality, and even create our own universes. We would ascend to the level of gods. But that’s insufficient. Mastering the laws of nature won’t allow me to realize everything I will, for I aspire to become more than just a god. I aim to become God, omniscient and omnipotent.[11]

However, a problem arises: an omniscient God knows everything, including the course of Its own will; an omnipotent God can do anything, including changing Its mind. Omniscience and omnipotence thus contradict each other. Traditionally, theologians have reconciled this by claiming that God transcends contradiction. If that’s what it takes to become a God, so be it: Down with the law of non-contradiction!

In Defense of Contradiction

Western philosophers often criticize contradiction, labeling it as the scourge of logic, the fatal flaw undermining any argument. But why has contradiction garnered such disdain? The problem, as they see it, arises from allowing contradiction into a train of thought—once permitted, it unfurls into anything, even the antithesis of one’s initial argument.[12] Consequently, contradiction engulfs all truths, spreading like wildfire. Western philosophers thus adopt the non-contradiction principle as one of the so-called “laws of thought”: Not both A and not-A.[13]

However, the principle of non-contradiction deserves even less respect than the laws of nature. While the downfall of the laws of nature will only occur with technological advancements, I can disprove the law of non-contradiction presently. Furthermore, I will do so using the terms of Western philosophy.[14]

Metaphysicians have long argued that no effect can possess more reality than its cause. For instance, Descartes explicates that “...there must at least be as much reality in the efficient and total Cause as in its effect.” Consequently, something more perfect, holding more reality within itself, cannot arise from something less perfect.[15]

Let’s compare the principles of contradiction and non-contradiction through this lens. We can effortlessly derive the principle of non-contradiction from the principle of contradiction—after all, anything can be generated from a contradiction.[16] However, starting solely with the principle of non-contradiction leaves us stuck; it lacks the capability to generate the principle of contradiction—instead, it explicitly rejects it.

Applying Descartes’ criteria, I therefore conclude that the principle of contradiction takes precedence ontologically over the principle of non-contradiction. In other words, rather than being impossible, contradiction is more real and more perfect than non-contradiction.

The Logical and Theological Considerations

Arch-anarchy necessitates the overthrow of the non-contradiction principle because only then can the will be liberated from all obstacles, whether they are statist, moral, natural, or logical. What would such perfect freedom feel like? It would resemble being God, as only God possesses the power to actualize whatever It wills.

How does Godhood feel? Theology presents proofs that God is perfect, omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent. From our limited perspectives, imagining possessing such immense powers is challenging,[17] but we can deduce some of God’s other traits from these qualities.

God is not an elderly Caucasian male with a long beard and a deep voice (that’s Santa Claus). God’s capacities cannot fit into a human form—hence my reference to God as “It,” rather than “He” or “She.” Even “It” serves as an imprecise shorthand, as God transcends all forms.

As omnipotence excludes competition, there exists only one God. Hence, I use “God” rather than “Gods.” All arch-anarchists aim for the same end, and those who reach it will merge into one being: God.

Since God is perfectly free, It is beyond the reach of moral rules. Kant explains that morals apply only to imperfect wills, requiring assistance to overcome weakness and ignorance. However, due to its inherent perfection, “no imperatives hold for the divine will.”[18]

By now, these theological considerations may unsettle my anti-religious readers. It’s important to note that theology need not imply religion. Arch-anarchists practice “reliberium,” not religion. “Religion” originates from the Latin roots re, meaning “again,” and Ligare, meaning “to bind.” Religion aims to “bind again” to God those who have escaped the grasp of the church. Arch-anarchists cannot help but take offense at such an idea. Hence, we reject religion for “reliberion” (from re plus liber) because we seek to liberate our wills from all the constraints to which they have been subjected.

By the same token, I’m willing to abandon “God” if you prefer less charged terms. Do you prefer “The Tao”? Robert Nozick prefers “Ein Sof.” Call it what you will; we require the ultimate end of escaping all limitations to give meaning to our lives.[19] Nozick elucidates: “The problem of meaning is created by limits. We cope with this by, in small or significant ways, transcending these limits.” Yet, whatever extent we reach in a wider realm also has its own limits, leading to the same problem. This indicates that the issue can only be circumvented or transcended by something without limits, something that encompasses all possibilities, all possible universes, and excludes nothing. For this limitless aspect, we shall also use the Hebrew term Ein Sof (meaning without end or limit).[20]

We now have an idea of what to expect if we succeed in achieving arch-anarchy’s goal—a will without limits. Let’s conclude with a more challenging question: Is it possible to achieve that goal? Or, in other words, can God exist?

In one sense, the question cannot be answered. As Nozick explains, “Terms demarcate things from other things and, therefore, describe limits and boundaries.” If Ein Sof was one way and also another, it would not be limited, nor describable by terms that we use. The unlimited is ineffable.[21] Because “existence” and “non-existence” are limiting terms, we cannot apply them to God (or the Tao or Ein Sof), which transcends all contradictions—including that of existence and non-existence. Therefore, when asked, “Can God exist?” we must answer, “Yes (and no).” However, while this response may be semantically correct, it fails to satisfy those of us who aim to become God. Granted that God may both exist and not-exist; we arch-anarchists wish to know whether we could ever become powerful enough to embody such a contradiction. As argued throughout this essay, nothing prevents us from doing so. Neither the laws of nature nor the principle of non-contradiction block the road to God. We need only time, wisdom, and luck. Hence, to this version of the question “Can God exist?” I reply, “Why not?”

I have asked “Can God exist?”—not the popular question “Does God exist?”—because I do not perceive God as our creator but rather as something that we will create. However, note that God does exist if and only if God will exist. Once we create God, It will transcend the barriers of time, moving backward through the years to exist now. God’s omnipresence spans across all dimensions. This raises the possibility that we might now worship the God that we will later become. However, I suspect that we would be better off keeping our prayers to ourselves.


I have advocated for the most radical form of anarchy: arch-anarchy. As an arch-anarchist, I adamantly refuse to recognize the validity of any obstacle to my will. Is this selfish? Yes, but my broad view of personal identity enables me to consider others’ interests alongside my own. Therefore, I invite you to join me in my pursuit of perfect freedom. Together, we will dismantle the laws of statists, moralists, nature, and logic. Our ultimate goal: attaining singular, perfect, omnipotent power, akin to that of God. Imagine the heights that we might achieve...

We stand solitary before the gates of heaven. Beneath us lie the smoldering remains of every law that once impeded our path, their claims to validity consumed in the critical inferno of arch-anarchism. Only our wills and the road to Godhood have endured. Having traversed that long road on our own feet, we do not prostrate ourselves and plead for entry into heaven. Instead, we storm its gates! They swing open to reveal an empty city, within which stands an empty castle, and within that castle, an empty throne, waiting for one daring enough to assume the mantle of God. Fearlessly, we ascend the dais of the throne, transcending the realm of mere words together.

[1] I thank Bretigne Shaffer for having inspired this article with tales of U.C. Santa Cruz’s Organization for the Abolition of Gravity. I also benefitted from Max T. O’Connor’s tolerant car and critical eye, and from the Peeaene company I found at Dave Pizer’s 1989 Summer Cryonics retreat.

[2] “Anarchy” comes from the ancient Greck word anarchos, a word formed from an (= “without”) plus archos (= “ruler”). But archos also means ‘main” or “principle.” By tacking it onto the front of “anarchy,” we get “arch-anarchy”: the principle against principles. This contradiction suits the term well, for I take anarchism to its logical extreme and beyond, to its illogical one.

[3] One possible ordering of types of anarchisms ranges them the Least to the most individualist, beginning with the French anarcho-syndicalists who denied even personal property and running on past Kropotkin’s communist anarchism to Bakunin’s collectivist anarchism, then to Proudon’s mutualism, ending at the individualist anarchism of Godwin and Stirner. Anarcho-capitalism like Friedman’s could fall anywhere along this spectrum, though Rothbard’s version favors the individualist end. Tolstoy’s pacifist anarchism floats somewhere off the spectrum.

[4] Among individual anarchists, Max Stirner comes closest to arch-anarchy: “Away, then, with every concer that is not altogether my concern! You think at Least the ‘good cause’ must be my concern? What’s good, what’s bad? Why, I myself am my concern, and l am neither good nor bad. Neither has meaning for me.” The Ego and His Own, translated by Steven T. Byington (New York: Libertarian Book Club, 1963) p 5.

[5] Thus I have recently signed up with Alcor to ensure the cryogenic preservation of my brain, should my body give out.

[6] For a ethical system completely compatible with these views, see Tom W. Bell, “Wisdomism” ( https://arch-anarchism.blogspot.com/2023/11/wisdomism-moral-theory-for-age-of.html)

[7] Voluntary submission to perceived natural laws has a long and rich history. The pre-Socractic Greck naturalists began the deceit. Aristotle continued the tradition by seeking the human good in the fulfillment of human nature. The Stoics saw natural law as an expression of God’s will. St. Aquinas grafted Christian doctrines directly onto the framework of Aristotle’s moral philosophy.
Spinoza went so far as to equate nature with God. This theological approach to natural law lingers on in modern science.
All of these doctrines make the mistake of submitting the will to the dictates of nature, but some are worse than others. If technology cannot provide any outs, Aristotle offers realistic advice on moral self-management and Stoicism provides cold comforts. But when the deification of nature goes too far it can render great minds weak. Witness how Einstein’s doctrine that “God does not play dice with the universe” shut him out of the quantum revolution.

[8] Stephan W. hawking, A Brief History of Time New York: bantanm books, 1988) p. 133.

[9] “Japanese scientists have reported that small gyroscopes lose wight when spun under certain conditions, apparently in defiance of gravity....
If substantiated by further tests, the finding could have a profound influence on physics and the study of the universe, and perhaps in the making of practical anti-gravity devices.” The Kansas City Times, Thursday December 28, 1989, C-10. The results of the two scientists, Hideo Hayasaka and Sakae Takeuchi of Tohoku University, were originally reported in the December 18 issue of Physical Review Letters

[10] in “Fragment of Nature” Goethe claimed that “The most unnatural also is nature... even in resisting her laws one obeys them; and one works with her even in desiring to work against her.” Following Goethe, skeptics might claim that because the laws of nature descri phenomena, rather than dictate it, one can never violate them. To put it another way, one never breaks a law of nature; One merely creates a new law.
But I want to realize whatever I will, even if each new act breaks all previous laws of nature. It stretches the meaning of the word “law” beyond recognition to claim that under such circumstances I still follow the laws of nature. In any case, the Goethe objection concerns mere semantics. And so long as I can do what I please, I don’t care what others call it.

[11] I Strictly speaking, I am only after omnipotence. Omniscience quickly follows, however, if we consider knowledge as power. And in any case, polly Wace alone generates contradiction. God could, for example, bring together an unstoppable force and an immovable object.

[12] As proof of this claim consider the following‘derivation, where I assume a contradiction an end up establishing the truth of a random sentence:
1) A &~A Given _
2) ~B Hypothetical assumption.
3) ~A From 1 by conjunction elimination
4) ~B->~A From 2 and 3 by Conditional proof
(discharging 2)
5) AB From 1 by conjunction elimination
6) B From 4 and 5 by modus tollens
Beginning at 1 with a contradiction, we end up proving a totally unrelated statement at 6. If l stood for “It is raining and it is not raining,” for example, 6 could stand for “Apples are blue.” This shows that we can derive anything from a contradiction.

[13] Symbolically: ~(A & ~A). The other “laws of thought” are the law of identity: A equals A, i.e. A=A; and the law of the excluded middle: Either A or not-A, i.e. (A v ~A). This set of laws has no particular Status within symbolic logic, however.

[14] I am not the first to defend contradiction. Zen Buddhists have long advocated it in their obscure koans. Such riddles fail to impress most Westerners, however.

[15] Reneé Descartes, “Meditations On First Philosophy, Part 3,” in The Philosophical Works of Descartes, Vol. I, trans. by Elizabeth S. aldane and G.R.T. Ross (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1967) p. 162.

[16] This can be seen by imagining that B in the footnote 9’s proof equals ~(C & ~C) — thus showing that we can derive the law of non-contradiction from a contradiction. Or, to put it another way, if we begin with the principle of contradiction, A & ~A, and refrexively substitute this same sentence for A , we get ( A & ~A ) & ~(A & ~A)—thus showing that we get both the principle of contradiction and the principle of non-contradiction.

[17] This ignorance by no means precludes our desiring Godhood; even as a virgin I knew that I would enjoy sex.

[18] Kant would of course disagree with most of the rest of my conclusions. Immanuel Kant, Foundations of the Metaphysics of Morals, translated by Lewis White Beck (Bobbs-Merril Educational Publishing: Indianapolis, Indiana, 1959; originally written in 1785) p. 30.

[19] Straussians take note: an arch-anarchist confronts the cold, infinite and cruel universe without blinking and offers her fellow humans hope, rather than comforting (but deadly) lies.

[20] Robert Nozick, “Philosophical Explanations,” Cambridge, Massachusetts: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1981) pp. 599–600.

[21] Ibid., p. 608.