‘The Anarchists’ on HBO Explores How an Anarchist ‘Paradise’ Became a Violent Hellscape

“Do you ever feel happy when you see children burn books?” asked the cheerful Nathan Freeman about the image of his kids tearing tomes and throwing them into the bonfire on the beach at the beginning of Blumhouse Television’s Anarchists. For most, the answer will probably be: never! Yet even those pursuing an anti-establishment lifestyle find little lasting joy in director Todd Schramke’s six-part HBO documentary (July 10), focusing on an annual event called Anarchapulco—Hold, as the title suggests, in Acapulco, Mexico—That brings together men and women who oppose the government and its corrupt, authoritarian social norms and rules. It’s a fascinating portrait of dissidents and their illusory dreams of true freedom, beginning with the promise and ending with the age-old lesson that you should be careful what you do. what you desire.

Initiated in 2015 by entrepreneur Jeff Berwick, Anarchapulco started as a temporary conference attended by several hundred people and staged without real structure — a one-size-fits-all solution. was founded on the ideals of autonomy and decentralization. Berwick distinguishes his ideology from the more traditional view of anarchy (i.e. violent insurgency) by explaining that he and Ron Paul’s revered countrymen share core beliefs about tax injustice and central bank evil. To them, anyone buying into the global model of “statistics” is an extremist and the only way is to band together to form a new community based on unbiased thought and action. constraint. So in more than one archival clip, Nathan makes you laugh at the word “allowed,” as it goes against the guiding ethos of this movement.

Nathan and his wife Lisa moved to Acapulco after the opening of Anarchapulco in 2015, whose creator Berwick embraced anarchism after he introduced G. Edward Griffin’s anti-Federal Reserve book Creatures from Jekyll Island. Berwick comes across as a hedonist with a lot of big ideas and not much nuanced thinking in his work. Anarchists, and scenes of him getting drunk on stage and rapping at nightclub parties only reinforce this notion. However, Berwick has tapped into a revolutionary sentiment of marginalized and underprivileged individuals who are angry with the world. Furthermore, he was wise enough to recognize the disruptive anarchy potential of cryptocurrencies and bitcoin in particular, and as that market grew in late 2017, so did Anarchapulco, attracting thousands of participants. new event and become a trendy meeting place for those looking to change the status quo.

Director Schramke records Anarchapulco from its inception, thus making Anarchists Comprehensive overview of the emergence of events. At the same time, it is also a snapshot of the personalities that dominate its southern frontier scene, led not only by Berwick and the Freemans, but also by Lily Forester and boyfriend John Galton, a pair of “anarchist-capitalist” hoodlums were injured in Acapulco after fleeing the United States for drug arrests that would have landed them 25 years in prison. The two fugitives broadcast their stories (details in a 2019 Daily Beast by Kelly Weill that is briefly highlighted in the archives) on social media, and they soon become local celebrities because they adhere to a much stricter anarchist standard than they believed to be being promoted by Anarchapulco.

Given by interviews with Berwick, Lisa Freeman, Lily Forester, and Lily’s best friend Jason Henz (who forced his wife to join him for Anarchapulco and was then abandoned by her after she lived) with a crypto guy who lives in a mansion in Mexico), Anarchists Using first-hand accounts, archives, and occasional hand-drawn illustrations to unravel the sordid mess that ensued, culminating in a gun attack that left Galton dead and Henza. survive. Many rumors suggested that cartel assassins were behind the murders, and the series strongly suggests that those criminals may have links to Paul Rightt. A military vet with severe PTSD, Rightt initially went to Anarchapulco on a yellow minibus to deliver crypto, an ATM (predictably never working), and he quickly became the fly that was nothing in the idyllic anarchist ointment desired. When Forester pointed the finger at Galton’s death, he responded by posting death threats to Henz online, all as Berwick attempted to turn Anarchapulco into a bigger phenomenon by killing fired loyal and devoted conference director Nathan.

When Forester pointed the finger at Galton’s death, he responded by posting death threats to Henz online, all as Berwick attempted to turn Anarchapulco into a bigger phenomenon by killing fired loyal and devoted conference director Nathan.

Then there was the chaos, which should have been right down the alley of these anarchists, but Anarchists there are quite a few gloomy laments about Anarchapulco’s demise following Nathan’s departure and Rightt’s insane behavior. The fact that none of these outsiders can turn to the police — or each other — for support in times of dire need makes their story the epitome of the maxim, “You have Make your bed, now lie in it.” Though Forester eventually realized the downside of living a truly “free” life of anarchy – an epiphany that’s not surprising considering her days and nights are shrouded in pain. sad and scared about the impending murder – she is one of the few. The overarching impression is that of one of those scattered, alienated loners searching for a community for their outside opinions over the internet, only to realize that perhaps those ideas aren’t as realistic as they might be. they desire, especially in a city like Acapulco, where – no matter Berwick’s comforting claims – crime is rampant and safety is anything but guaranteed.

The suicides, 2018 bitcoin crash, and crypto Ponzi scheme scandals all prove part of Anarchists‘cookbook, with Schramke evoking Anarchapulco’s initial enthusiasm and later, a more sobering reality about the risk of setting aside all social constructs. Like so many troves of documents before it, this six-part romance is unnecessarily stretched into its dynamicly challenging second half. However, it correctly identifies its audience as individuals linked by trauma and anger born of unhappy childhoods and dysfunctional family dynamics. Thus, the sad irony about Schramke’s series of non-fiction stories is that it resonates as a story of disparately damaged people who have chosen to deal with the holes in their lives. them by denying more of the world and everything it represents, instead of filling those gaps with what is very common (solidarity, trust, forgiveness, order) that matters most.

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