FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Is this site really about anarchy or is that just a clever name for a zany webcomic?
So you’re an anarchist? What does that mean?
What type of anarchist are you?
Don’t most governments have the consent of the governed?
What constitutes explicit individual consent?
Do you mind if I repost one of your comics on my site?
How do I make a suggestion for a cartoon?

Should I violate copyright laws?
How do you protect your intellectual property?


 

Why aren’t there any new comics?

It was an interesting run, but doing comics was something of an experiment for me and I’m not really interested in pursuing it further. I still plan to make occasional posts to this site but they will rarely be comics. The archive remains for your perusal.

Is this site really about anarchy or is that just a clever name for a zany webcomic?

Yes and yes.  I have made comics about anything I think would be entertaining, and many would say I have a bizarre and zany approach to humor. Also, while most of the comics have some sort of social or political statement to make in the process of entertaining, not all do, and the comic seems to have broad appeal from a lot of different viewpoints. I do frequently address principles of an anarchist philosophy, but my primary slogan for my site speaks to what I believe to be pretty broad appeal:

When it comes to politics, I find it all worthy of ridicule, so no matter what your personal views are, sooner or later I’m bound to make fun of someone or something you love to see ridiculed.  But the name also speaks to something zany and off the wall, which is also a good description of much of the comics, and I think it inspires enough curiosity to get people to at least take a look at the site.

So you’re an anarchist?  What does that mean?

I do reluctantly accept the label of anarchist for myself at the risk of  being tragically misunderstood due to a word that has been broadly redefined into something scary-sounding by the powers that it threatens.  By my take on the word, it amounts to a rejection of archons (false leaders) and hierarchies.  It’s common for some to use violence and fraud to control and exploit others; to maintain those hierarchies and different classes of people.  I consider arbitrary rankings of people into categories such as politicians, judges, police, and military to be irrationally derived notions of authority.  I consider the only true source of authority to be explicit individual voluntary consent based on peaceful cooperation, completely absent duress or fraud.

It’s my opposition to that violence and fraud which is the foundation for my notion of anarchy.  It depends on what meaning others ascribe to the word as to whether they would apply the label to me. Statists, such as politicians, judges, military, police, bureaucrats, and those who blindly accept their claimed authority, use the word to terrify, implying that if you don’t accept their rule over you, society will devolve into chaos and mass destruction.  Other self-proclaimed anarchists claim I’m not a real anarchist.  I’m okay with that because I’m not terribly concerned with labels and semantics.  Labels are inherently deceptive, trying to sum up nuances in philosophies that can be quite varied from one person to another into one short word, but If someone wants to use a different label to describe me, I’m okay with it as long as they don’t misrepresent.  At the foundation of my beliefs is a rejection of violence and fraud in favor of peace and honesty.  Statism, on the other hand, is an epic fraud that’s used to justify epic violence.

Now it’s important to say what being an anarchist doesn’t mean to me since your imagination may be running wild right now.  As I emphasized repeatedly, I am ardently opposed to violence.  In fact, that’s why I’m an anarchist. While I oppose governments in their current violent forms, I have no interest in using violence to overthrow governments.  I’ll not harm government officials or hurl Molotov cocktails at government buildings.  Not only do such actions thoroughly disturb me, but they’re harmful to any movement that purports to achieve more freedom from such oppressive institutions.  The line between victims and victimizers needs to be crystal clear.  We can only evolve the human race by enlightening individuals to the absurdity of using violence to solve problems and the way to do that is to practice what we preach as consistently as possible.  Violence begets more violence.

These views are in line with the vast majority of other anarchists I have befriended and interacted with personality, particularly here in New Hampshire where there is quite a variety of efforts for peaceful progress toward more personal freedom and less government intrusion into our lives.  Unfortunately, those who disagree with my non-violent approach tend to stand out and get more attention making it a difficult task to dispel such stereotypes.  Part of my motivation for creating a comic was to present a peaceful anarchist viewpoint in an entertaining and non-threatening way and hopefully help burst some of those violent stereotypes.

What type of anarchist are you?

This is a strange question to me.  A lot of anarchists have a qualifier they like to use, e.g. “anarcho-whatever”.  I’m familiar with a lot of these but not a fan of using them myself.  They seem based on predictions of how a freer society of people will interact.  I like to describe myself as agnostic as to what to expect from a freer world.  I’d like to see as much violence and fraud removed from human inter-relations as possible.  I’m confident we’ll all be much better off as we move in that direction.

Don’t most governments have the consent of the governed?

Absolutely not.  They sometimes achieve the consent of a majority, but first of all, that’s not sufficient to logically establish authority over non-consenting minorities.  Justifying violence with numbers is just ganging up on the weak and has been a pathetic justification for one atrocity after another– slavery, apartheid, genocide, misogyny.  It’s a horribly flawed philosophy of might-makes-right.  A might-makes-right philosophy might make sense in the animal kingdom where a creature’s ability to survive and prosper is in its physical traits*, but it epically fails to capitalize on the greatest strengths of humanity.  Secondly, the way governments typically achieve consent is through fraud and duress.

It is fraud when we are indoctrinated from an impressionable early age into the irrational belief that without violently imposed rulers, we cannot achieve peaceful order.  It is fraud when we are indoctrinated into believing that we are not slaves because we can choose our masters.  It is fraud when we are indoctrinated into believing we are even choosing our masters when we have only a meager influence on the slim choice of masters presented by our violent political systems.  We are controlled first with lies and fraud and only secondly with duress– threats of punishment backed by threats of violence if we dare to step out of the herd as free-thinking individuals.

It is duress when we are told our rights are privileges and those rights then taken away under threat of punishment if we do not comply.  For example, when you sign a government contract to obtain permission to travel, under threat of punishment if you do not sign, then the contract was signed under duress.  That’s just one example.  Truly free people need no permission to engage in activity that harms no one.

* Where does a 500 pound gorilla sleep? Answer: Wherever it wants to!

Do you believe there is such a thing as a rational justification for authority?

I believe so.  Legitimate authority is established by the explicit voluntary consent of individuals absent both fraud and duress.  If someone offers me something I want in exchange for doing something for them, and assuming they were honest and non-threatening, they are merely persuading me to obey them in some limited context.  That’s an example of a mutually beneficial relationship and I have chosen to respect their authority to some reasonable extent.

Good leaders inspire people to follow them voluntarily. Good leaders are very unlike a politician who may manage to achieve the consent of some sort of majority and use their support to gang up and impose his will on everyone in a sweeping manner. Practically all current notions of government are based on exactly that horribly flawed notion of leadership.

Do you mind if I repost one of your comics on my site?

No, I don’t mind at all as long as you leave the images unaltered. In fact, I consider it good promotion. If you alter my comics, or show only a portion of a comic out of context, you may be misrepresenting my actual views.

How do I make a suggestion for a cartoon?

Just send an email to dale at anarchy in your head dot com. I have a lot of ideas in the queue so don’t get your hopes up but a number of my cartoons are at least loosely based on suggestions people have made.

Should I violate copyright laws?

Absolutely!  Well, with respect to my site anyway.  I won’t sue you.  If you do it elsewhere, great, but it’s at your own risk.

My comics are theoretically protected by U.S. copyright law, but to an anarchist like myself that’s a bit like an atheist expressing knowledge of the ten commandments of Christian mythology.  I don’t really support notions of copyright.  I do support notions of common courtesy as well as intellectual property, but I consider it my own responsibility to protect my rights.  When I release content into the countless bit streams of the Internet, I can’t reasonably claim the right to restitution if someone reproduces said content without any harm to myself.  Suffice to say that I won’t be using lawsuits to extract payment from you if you reproduce my cartoons yourself.

How do you protect your intellectual property?

First of all, I make every attempt to insure that my work gets credited to me. As long as that happens, I feel like I will obtain some benefit from the free proliferation of that content, even if it’s just more regular visitors to my sites which potentially raises my ad revenue and helps me sell products related to my comics and ideas.

In addition, I create the cartoons on this site with a vector graphics program which allows me to generate images at various resolutions without ugly artifacts. I try to keep those vector images secure. The graphics I upload to the store are generated at a substantially higher resolution (about 5x the height and width of the website image) so you’re paying for quality. Cafe Press protects this content for its customers by contract. So you could download an image from my site, create your own product from it (though in violation of Cafe Press’s terms), and avoid the modest commission I get from my products. However, you’d be going to a lot more trouble, using a resolution far below the specifications called for by the printers, and at best would only save a few bucks. My commission on products like t-shirts is only about $1 or $2 in most cases. The bulk of the price is in the production by Cafe Press. That $1 or $2 savings would likely result in a really crappy-looking product.