Michael Malice: Anarchy, Democracy, Libertarianism, Love, and Trolling | Lex Fridman Podcast #128 | Summary and Q&A

October 2, 2020
Lex Fridman Podcast
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Michael Malice: Anarchy, Democracy, Libertarianism, Love, and Trolling | Lex Fridman Podcast #128


Anarchist political thinker Michael Malice discusses the potential of anarchism in promoting love, decentralization, and individual empowerment.

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Key Insights

  • 🗣️ Language is a powerful tool that has emerged naturally and beautifully without centralized control, demonstrating the potential of anarchy in societal organization.
  • 🏛️ Anarchism challenges the idea that those who need leaders are qualified to choose them, highlighting the flaws in democracy and centralized power.
  • 💡 Decentralization and individual empowerment, key principles of anarchism, can limit corruption and abuse of power that often occur in government systems.
  • 🌐 The internet has the potential to facilitate decentralized information networks, enabling diverse perspectives and challenging the dominant narratives pushed by the corporate press.
  • 🌍 Anarchism is not a utopia but rather a relationship that can be fostered through individual autonomy and the rejection of political authority.
  • 🤝 Encouraging love and kindness on the internet can help counteract the divisive and aggressive nature of online discourse, fostering deeper connections and understanding.
  • ⚖️ Anarchy does not mean chaos or lawlessness; rules and agreements based on shared values can still exist without the need for centralized control.
  • 💪 Anarchy challenges the assumption that human nature is inherently evil, arguing that individual empowerment can lead to stability and a thriving society.


the following is a conversation with michael malus an anarchist political thinker author and a proud part-time andy kaufman-like troll in the best sense of that word on both twitter and in real life he's a host of a great podcast called you're welcome spelled y-o-u-r i think that gives a sense of his sense of humor he is the author of dear reader t... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: How does Michael Malice define love in the context of anarchism?

According to Michael Malice, love in the context of anarchism is the strong attraction toward another person, entity, or place that leads to disproportionately positive reactions and a sense of connection and validation.

Q: Does Michael Malice believe that anarchism can address the darker side of human nature, such as corruption and abuse of power?

Yes, Michael Malice argues that anarchism, through decentralization, can limit the power of corrupt individuals and promote accountability and voluntary cooperation within communities. He believes that humanity's darkest aspects are a concern in any system, but anarchism provides a structure that hinders nefarious outcomes.

Q: How does Michael Malice view the role of government and politics in society?

Michael Malice sees politics and government as problematic, arguing that the centralized authority restricts personal freedom, lacks accountability, and often perpetuates corruption and abuse of power. He advocates for a society without external authority, where individuals have agency and power in their own lives.

Q: What are some potential challenges in implementing anarchism in society?

One of the challenges of anarchism is addressing potential mob rule or manipulation within communities. Michael Malice recognizes this concern but believes that decentralized systems and individual empowerment can serve as checks and balances against such issues. Maintaining self-enforcing communities and promoting critical thinking are crucial aspects of making anarchism work.


This conversation is with Michael Malice, an anarchist political thinker and author. Malice discusses his views on love and how it can be increased on the internet. He also talks about his belief in anarchism and the problems he sees with democracy and government. Malice discusses the power of mockery and how it can render those in authority powerless. He also touches on the social and psychological effects of lockdowns and social isolation. The conversation concludes with a discussion on language and the beauty and power of its emergence.

Questions & Answers

Q: What is the problem with democracy?

The problem with democracy is that those who need leaders are not qualified to choose them. Democracy allows for the election of authorities, but individuals may not have the knowledge or ability to choose leaders effectively.

Q: How can love be increased on the internet?

Love can be increased on the internet by making others feel seen and validated. Showing kindness and understanding to others can help create a sense of love and compassion online.

Q: Is mockery an effective tool against those in power?

Yes, mockery can be an effective mechanism against those in power. By using humor and wit to mock authority figures, their claims to legitimacy can be undermined, rendering them powerless.

Q: What are the consequences of social isolation due to lockdowns?

Social isolation due to lockdowns can have severe consequences on mental health, including increased rates of depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation. It is a serious problem that needs to be addressed.

Q: Can society function without centralized control?

Yes, there are examples, such as language and emergent behavior in ants, that demonstrate how decentralized systems can function and result in stability and beauty. Anarchism seeks to apply this concept to human society.

Q: What is the hope for anarchy?

The hope for anarchy is to create a society where individuals voluntarily come together under a set of shared principles and rules. The belief is that without centralized control, individuals can self-organize and create a functioning society.

Q: Can anarchy lead to less corruption and abuse of power?

Anarchy has the potential to lead to less corruption and abuse of power because without a centralized authority, there are fewer opportunities for individuals to exploit their positions for personal gain.

Q: What is one example of anarchism in action?

Language is an example of anarchism in action. It is a decentralized system that emerges naturally without a central authority. The beauty and flexibility of language demonstrate the potential of decentralized systems.

Q: What are the problems with corruption in the world?

The problems with corruption are widespread and have severe consequences. Corruption allows those in power to exploit their positions for personal gain, perpetuates inequality, and undermines trust in institutions.

Q: Can mockery render those in power powerless?

Yes, mockery can render those in power powerless by undermining their claims to authority and exposing their flaws and hypocrisy. By using humor and wit, individuals can challenge the legitimacy of authority figures.


In this conversation, Michael Malice discusses the power of love, the problems with democracy, and the potential of anarchism. He argues that love can be increased on the internet by making others feel seen and validated. He also highlights the importance of mockery in challenging those in power and rendering them powerless. Malice believes that anarchy has the potential to lead to less corruption and abuse of power, as well as a more decentralized and self-organized society.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Michael Malice believes that anarchism, a society without government or centralized authority, can lead to more love, decentralization, and individual empowerment.

  • He argues that current political systems, such as democracy, suffer from corruption, abuse of power, and lack of individual agency.

  • While some critics see anarchism as a utopian vision, Malice believes it is a practical and realistic alternative, emphasizing the importance of personal responsibility and voluntary cooperation.

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