Here’s an interesting question then – what is the anarchist standpoint towards gambling? Does the staunch anarchist enjoy a trip to the casino for a spin of the roulette wheel, a few hands of Texas Hold’em or perhaps to pit their wits against the dealer at blackjack? The question is a valid one because it, in some ways, pits the anarchists views of the profit motive against the willingness to permit freedom of action.
Of course the very nature of anarchism means that not all anarchists agree on what is regarded as permissible or not. To kick off, anarchists generally agree that the purpose of money is a practical necessity, a tool to ease the exchange of goods and services. Things change a bit when we move on to the profit motive; we could also call this capitalism and this is where things get more interesting. Most individual anarchists regard capitalism and the profit motive as exploitation, closely aligned with the government or state apparatus.
If this view all sounds a little on the socialist side, that’s not really a surprise and there’s no real reason why, if one believes this, it’s not the correct view. So now we come to the next salient point – the anarchists willingness to allow everyone to act as they want as long as there is responsibility for one’s actions. So can we then head down to the casino for some slot machine action, some dice-throwing on the craps table or some baccarat?
The general feeling is that, yes – one should be able to take part in those casino pastimes even though someone, somewhere is making a profit out of the whole proceedings. This is the convenient aspect of anarchism – there are no rigid rules and regulations which one must abide by. If some sort of dichotomy raises it’s head, well hey! This is anarchism, do whatever you want.
Whatever, I’m going to carry on playing poker – handing over my rake money to whichever online or offline casinos will have me, while away from the green baize, I’ll stick to my anarchist principles.