Monday, October 27, 2008


A Note on Anarchy
by Donovan (Honorary Junto Boy)

Anarchy. The word is defined as the complete absence of government and authority, allowing YOU the commoner to do literally anything you wish to do. When people think of Anarchy, thoughts of war, terror, and chaos are the first things to come to mind. I strongly disagree.

For a long while I had the thought and support of the anarchist state in the back of my mind, seeing it in a very different way, though I never openly professed it, mostly for fear of retribution. After all, the modern day anarchist is a feared and avoided individual.

If you were to line up my vision of anarchy in comparison to modern day society, it would actually not be much different. The only differences, really, is that we would no longer have to pay taxes, we would fend for ourselves, and whatever we needed we fetched with our own two hands, or with the help of our own city-state.

Let me give you a picture of what I see as anarchy in the United States. Anarchy would be declared, officially or unofficially, the government would be dissolved, and the political borders of the states would no longer exist. Rather, they would exist only in the mind sets of the average American as a region. For the first several weeks to the first month, looting bands of gangsters and would-be criminals would roam the streets, attempting to prey upon the weak and do as they please. This is the vision of anarchy, yes, but morally it is not right. Because of this, order would return without the government returning.

People would turn their eyes to their family, friends, churches, community, or what have you for guidance instead of the federal government. Families, neighborhoods, and towns would band together to form modern day city-states. When one of these roving gangs would try to attack a city state or loot a building, they would be met with angry townspeople armed with guns. Because the majority of Americans today own at least one weapon, these gangs would quickly be put down.

As the violence subsides, natural selection would take place. Now, I realize I will get a lot of flak for this, but you must face the inevitable truth of an anarchist society. Natural selection is the process of nature choosing the strongest individuals to survive. Because of this, a New York business man would not survive long indeed in an anarchist society, unless he can quickly learn the necessary skills to survive. These skills are hunting, building, crafting, etc... Those with weapons and those skilled in these crafts will become the leaders of these city-states, not corrupt politicians.

The average man wold look not to his company position, but instead to his own survival. He or she would begin to band with other people and join a city-state to survive. The skills he already has could be put to good use within the new civilization. For example, take my own father, a very accomplished and experienced psychologist, as well as having survival, hunting, and woodsman skills. His natural survival skills will allow him to survive and take care of his family, but his skills in psychology make him a great asset. In times of anarchy, he can be responsible for keeping morale high, thus making him a valuable member of society.

Technology would still survive, so long as it is maintained by the city-states. Telephone service could be maintained within a short distance if the city state learns how to operate the necessary equipment to keep phone lines running, etc... The same goes for computers and modern appliances. Electricity could easily be compensated for by attaining a generator. Perhaps even modern conveniences such as radio and television could still exist in the later years of anarchy, provided local programming.

The United States would still exist in the minds of every American in the new Anarchist society as an abstract ideal that inspires Americans. For this reason, people would still fly the American flag, call themselves Americans, and even band together to defend the country if need be. If the anarchist USA were to be attacked by a foreign nation seeking to take over the supposedly weak US, the people would band together and reactivate the old government war machines. Those skilled in using them would form the military to combat this danger, and though warfare would be waged differently, it would be waged in defense of our absolute, perfect freedom.

The economy of an anarchy would be very different. Instead of a common currency, bartering would be the main form of trade. There would be no organized market or prices... Supply and demand would still exist yes, but anyone is free to set their own prices. Joe could say he wants 300 logs for his herd of oxen, and Bob could decide to take it or not. This results in a traditional type of economy, one where people take care of each other and do what is necessary for their own survival and that of those around them.

The justification of anarchy is the ultimate American ideal of freedom. Freedom is this idea of being able to do as your own good morality dictates it, whether your morality be that of a crazed war monger, a gospel preaching witness, or what have you. The reason anarchy cannot exist at the present here-and-now is because too many people depend on the government... they literally do not make decisions for them selves, and instead look to the government for life support. Too many people would not know what to do with their new found absolute freedom, and would instead head north or south to socialist Canada and Mexico.

The ideology of a true anarchist is not that of a futuristic, war torn land scape...Why, even the Anarchist Cookbook is laughed upon by true freedom loving anarchists. The true goal of a true anarchist is having a society where there is no Man to bring you down, no government to pay tribute to, and the ability to live by YOUR rules, the way YOU want.

While anarchy is usually thought to be a radical left-wing ideal, I propose it is exactly the opposite. The right wing, lead by the Republican Party, is all about less government, capitalism, and lower taxes. Why not take it all the way?

There are many schools of thought on anarchy, and while it is true that many anarchists are radical communists or left wingers, true anarchy is absolute freedom. Individual anarchy is what I personally believe in. Individual anarchy promulgates the idea of private ownership; in essence, this is capitalism to the max, unlike the socialist anarchy screamed by Karl Marx and Peter Kropotkin. Socialist anarchy is basically anarchy where everything is publicly owned; this is not true anarchy in that you are required to share with others. If you so desire to not share, and you cannot, that defeats the ideology of the anarchist state.

The extreme and radical forms of anarchy include Anarcho-Feminism, which asserts that women should have absolute freedom over men, Green Anarchy, which states that all technology should be abolished in the name of “Mother Earth”, and Chaotic-Anarchy, which is basically the idea of an absolute war torn hell. Note that these all restrict liberty in some form or another, which defeats the true anarchist cause.

Modern day Anarchist promulgations include the Libertarian Party. While not truly anarchist, their basic ideas constitute getting as close to anarchy as possible without actually having the absence of government.

All in all, however, anarchy truly is the way of absolute, individual freedom. It allows you to think, feel, and do however you choose, whether that be a socialist or conservative mindset. Truly, should we all not wish for anarchy?


E said...

Personally I'd prefer freedom within the rules to freedom from rules, but that's me. This hunter-gatherer-psychologist you describe, this fellow will become very popular under conditions of anarchy and you will be wise to stay on his good side.

Thank you for blessing this junto with your well reasoned treatise!

Sir Saunders said...

I thought Donovan did an excellent job for an adult, much less a 14 year old. I sure wasn't thinking these thoughts in 1983

E said...

No question about that! I met up in 2006 with a guy I was friends with when we were 14 and he had kept a pretty complete record of our work at that age. (Which is a little disturbing if I think about it.) It was mostly moronic humor, of course, nothing near young Donovan's level of thinking. I did not mean to disparage his work, if you took it that way. Quite the opposite.

Tom said...

Donovan, your writing style is very direct and focused. I still find that the hardest thing to accomplish when I blog.

You're reaching conclusions about the nature of government I wouldn't really think about for another 6 or 7 years.

Dude said...

I appreciate the well-reasoned argument but like E, I'd prefer freedom within the rules to freedom from rules. You argue that city-states would emerge by Darwinian necessity, so ultimately, the politcal structure is reborn in time. The problem is that the structure resembles the Middle East much more than the civilized democratic ideal.

Post a Comment