Whether you celebrate the holidays with ornamented trees and nativity scenes, Menorahs and dreidels, meditating on your life during Siku ya Taamuli, celebrating the birth of Sir Isaac Newton, getting gifts from a magic fat guy with flying reindeer, or even airing your grievances; one thing is certain: anarchy is the reason for the season.

The holidays are a time of celebration, optimism, and general good times; something the State just can’t comprehend. Every year the State grows, and in so doing it destroys more of the world. This year the government of the United States was discovered to be spying on its own citizens as well as having torturing detainees, and the abuses of power inherent in the police structure have come to the forefront of the public mindset. In the light of all this, you’d think that people would be depressed, downtrodden, or at least turned off to the idea of an entire month of celebration; but in face of this evil, everywhere you turn you see holiday cheer. People are still putting up lights and trees, still buying gifts, still helping one another in total rebellion against the destruction and depression the State is trying to force on us. This is because the anarchistic nature of day to day life and the market (even if its current shackled form) is giving us something to celebrate. While the State’s thugs are killing our brothers and sisters, our neighbors are standing up to defend them. While the State is using drones to kill innocent people over seas, the market is using them to deliver our gifts. The inherent anarchism in our every day interactions are an active rebellion against the State, and it gives us something to celebrate.

One of the greatest thing about the holidays is the diversity of it all. You want a holiday with an aluminium pole and wrestling, there’s a holiday for that; want to celebrate the birth of a 17th century scientist, there’s a holiday for that; hell if you want to get gifts from a guy decked out in red with flying deer, there’s even a holiday for that; even better these traditions are always evolving. No where is the market place of ideas more vigorous than in the holidays. Now compare that diversity to the State, the entity that’s entire existence focuses on halting progress, micromanaging every aspect of life, and actively encourages stagnation of technology and ideas. No bureaucrat could come up with one of these holidays let alone all of them. This is the Hayekian knowledge problem of the holidays, these celebrations evolved out of decades (sometimes centuries) of traditions across cultures and no one person (especially one that acts through the coercion of the State) could create anything like it; it is only possible through the voluntary anarchistic interactions between individuals that we can get such joyous diversity.

First and foremost, the holidays are a time to spend with friends and family. Working together within our community to celebrate and help those in need is the hallmark of the holidays and this time together provides some of our most cherished memories. War, violence, coercion; these things have no place in the holidays but the are the only things the State knows. An entity entirely ran on theft and fueled by coercion, the State is the antithesis of the holiday season. Anarchy, on the other hand, relies entirely on voluntary interactions, on building systems in which we are able to live in peace and help one another when we are down on our luck. These values; community, charity, joy, peace; perfectly mirror those of the holidays, and makes the holidays some of the greatest examples of anarchistic interaction and non-violent rebellion against the State. Every time you give your friends gifts, help your neighbor put up their lights, and have a feast with your loved ones you are wholly rejecting the violence of the State in favor of the peace and community inherent in anarchism.

So as you wrap up finals or take time off for work, as you return home to your loved ones or host them in your home, remember that it is all possible thanks to the voluntary interaction between free individuals. Remember that regardless of your religious beliefs and cultural background; it is the values of community, charity, and peace that fuel the holidays. So happy holidays and season greetings, have a merry Christmas, a joyous Kwanzaa, a happy Hanukkah, a memorable Solstice, and an especially enjoyable Festivus; but no matter what remember, anarchy is the real reason for the season.