10 October 2009

The anarch - a wolf, a master spy?

It occurs to me that one could explain and differentiate the Anarch and the Waldgänger with at least a couple of analogies ....

One could bring the old English expression "a wolf in sheep's clothing" to bear on the Anarch, who appears to be like the masses around him but underneath is not at all. He can be social but he is not socialized. Unlike the socialized beings around him, he remains fundamentally a free loner, even with his sheep's clothing on. He has strong, sharp teeth, which he hides, so they are not pulled "for the common good of the herd" - he may need them in an emergency.

But the analogy only goes so far and the differences are equally revealing. The anarch's relationship to the sheep around him is not predatory - this wolf's enemy is the shepherd and his dogs, not the sheep. When he is smelled out, he is forced to throw off his disguise, run for the cover of the woods, use his teeth if necessary in defense - in short, become a Waldgänger.

Another analogy - this time not mine but Jünger's - is the master spy, who disguises his true nature and loyalties and lives smoothly integrated into a world that is essentially foreign to him. Like the Anarch, his true mission remains his secret and it is entirely different from those around him. Like the Anarch, he puts on a false mask, a foreign uniform and he must resist identifying with those around him and their causes - when the mission is a very long one, this difficulty is not to be taken for granted - spies are turned, as free souls are lost to the world. Lastly, the ordinary people around the spy are not his enemies but rather their master and his watchdogs. An Anarch with philanthropic tendencies, may even, like certain spies, come to empathize with the ordinary innocents around him, secretly feel that in his small way he may be helping to free them from a bad master.

As with the wolf analogy, the differences are also important to note here. The master spy knows from the start who he is and what his mission is; the Anarch has first to lose himself to society and then laboriously to rediscover his true identity, his true heimat, his mission in life. The Anarch has no aspirations to contribute, however indirectly, to the defeat of the society he is embedded in - he is not an anarchist. Though he may go to great lengths to serve an external cause, if his own integrity or the challenge appeals to him, he will not ultimately martyr himself to it. And finally, the Anarch works for no other master, he is his own.

5 comments:

Baroh said...

Well written.. and welcome back ;-)

Greg. said...

Simon, your great site has been quiet for a while -- looking forward to your return, either here on the Juenger list.

Daemeon said...

I was thinking this afternoon about the word "anarch" for a novel I am writing. Never heard the word before. Just came up with it. Started reading this evening only to find out that "anarch" is the best description of me that I've ever found. Very weird.

Simon Friedrich said...

@Daemon: whether you are an anarch or not is up to you to know. "No other judge above me" - from Eumeswil. In any case, reality will correct you and all of us at some point in our ideas about ourselves.

You might also like to read my blogs contrasting the anarch and anarchist - we'd hate you to be latter ;-)

Anonymous said...

A wolf in sheep's clothing is NOT "an old English saying" but a quote from the Bible! Jesus said "Beware of the false prophets who are like wolves in sheeps' clothing" (Matthew 7, verse 15)