Watch out…Anarchist Aboard!!

Watch out…Anarchist Aboard!!

Anarchism conjures up images of late 19th and early 20th century radicals who chose violent means to push for political change. They sought to create terror and chaos. It is also associated with 1980’s skaters and punk rockers, many of whom advocated the same violence and chaos of their earlier peers. Real anarchy is not synonymous with chaos, but is really a different way to look at society and human organization.

When I speak of anarchism what I mean is a stateless society and a society without hierarchy or rulers. I am not speaking of society without rules or laws. Yes, I believe that human beings can live in peaceful relations with one another without a central state to guide and rule over them. I am not talking about some anarcho-libertarian utopia. We live in an imperfect world and doing away with the state will no more bring us to a perfect utopian world than will living in a controlling state that beats and cages its citizens.

It is possible to enter into peaceful relations with other human beings as long as there is a true respect for property rights, and by extension, the right of association (please see my previous post “Living in Line with Rights – Without State Intervention). If we have protection for an individual’s property rights, and people are free to associate as they see fit, then we can build communities where like minded people can organize in any manner they see fit without the need to resort to state run coercion.

Another aspect of anarchy would be the ability to move freely from one community to another as one saw fit. Without borders and authorities people would be able to move where the greatest opportunity existed or where they could be with others who shared the same or like values. Every community could compete in a free and open market to attract people to their community by offering a living situation suited to the unique needs of a wide variety of individuals.

Laws would be in place to guide the citizens of a given community and if they disagreed with the way the community was run they would have the choice of opting out and choosing a community more to their liking. We do not have this in our current top down society as the Federal and State governments give dictates that communities must follow in order to gain political largesse. Also, most communities are organized in similar fashions, and do not allow for a wide variety of societal organization, as we have become conditioned to accepting particular political and legal institutions without any thought, or debate about whether these institutions are truly the best ways to organize and govern human interactions. We have lost our ability to think creatively about society.

Anarchy does not consist of slipping into a state of nature where it would be man against man, nor do I think we can just dissolve our current political setup and just go into a state of anarchy. We first need to open people’s minds and just challenge them to think differently about human relations and interactions and consider that their might be another way to organized society. We need an understanding that the institutions that our country were founded on are flawed and do not offer the protections to our freedom and liberty as we have been taught to believe.

If you have an interest in thinking more deeply on this subject I suggest the following resources:

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