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Anarchy is as Much a Fantasy as Socialism

Anarchy violates human evolution. Or, if  you don’t believe in evolution, it violates the will of God. Either way, human nature abhors anarchy.

That may sound odd since anarchy is defined as an either “a state of disorder due to absence or nonrecognition of authority” or an “absence of government and absolute freedom of the individual, regarded as a political ideal”. You may think that is the natural state of man. It’s not though.

It’s not that I don’t understand why people want to dream about anarchy. It’s not that they want the world to burn, they just want to be left alone. And I don’t mean alone as in with no other persons around. I mean left alone as it – stop telling me what to do. When people come together they can accomplish incredible things, the benefits are tremendous but so are the dangers.

Mixing with others is a mixed bag of mixed outcomes and that fact can get some people – well – mixed up.

 

Obviously chimps aren’t humans. I know many reading will immediately try to brush away any arguments by pointing that out. No analogy is perfect and trying to make it so only serves to miss the point being made. I find this is often the intent. So if you point out that chimps aren’t humans, you’re missing the point of the analogy.  Humans tend to act like chimps when it comes down to it. When the rubber hits the road as it were. This is because we have been part of social hierarchies for hundreds of millions of years. As much as thumbs and walking upright are part of us this too is built into the creature.

Though it is true that we won’t always have a republic, or other sophisticated form of government I contend we will always have some form. It springs naturally from our sociality. Two men on an island will naturally form a structure within which they both can exist together on that island. That is government. Basic, streamlined, and simple, but government nonetheless.

So dreaming of anarchy is just as much a fantasy as dreaming of socialism.

Both equally represent a world in which only perfect humans can live because anyone who doesn’t fit into that specific mold, who doesn’t comply, ruins the whole thing.

It’s easy to see that in communism or socialism anyone who has a desire or want that isn’t allowed is proof that it can’t work. It only requires one person to say “no” to what is offered and the group is faced with the reality they must force him. Once that happens then it’s no longer this community of utopians but a group of wolves ripping apart a sheep.

Anarchy is much the same. The moment you get one person who desires to rule other men, the anarchy is gone. Instantly because the individual has set themselves up as a government. But also because of what comes next. How do you stop him? If you are bigger, stronger, braver, perhaps you can destroy him mono a mano. But what if you aren’t? What if you are the tiny fellow with no ability of arm or sword? What then? In an effort not to succumb you and your neighbor decide to work together to destroy him. Now, you have a government and anarchy is gone. Anarchy requires no one to wish to rule or guide and it requires that no one disagree with the man who wants to rule.

And that’s what government has always been about really, protection in numbers. Protection of life and property. That’s the essence of government and its purpose. Nature really is red in tooth and claw and humans are not, as is well evinced by our history, exempt from that. I content that those who think anarchy can exist and are serious about it, just don’t define “government” properly.

Government -noun
  1. the political direction and control exercised over the actions of the members, citizens, or inhabitants of communities, societies, and states; direction of the affairs of a state, community, etc.; political administration:

All the other things people term government are contained within that definition. From the vast republic to the “no girlz allowed” fort you built out of cardboard boxes as a kid. You won’t escape human nature and human necessity.

That is why we shouldn’t eschew government totally and why we can’t expect government to do everything for us. Socialism and anarchy, two extreme ends that suffer from the same fate, are impossible things. Instead we should be looking to that form of government which performs the essential tasks for which humans seek it. It’s not possible to say if defense came before cooperation on common matters. Both are part of the need for government. That cooperation is a purpose of government is often what confuses people into wanting more government. If a little cooperation is good, they think, then more must be better. Not so of course. Humans want help with those things they want help with and no more. Just because they want help with defense, doesn’t mean they want help with educating their children. Just because they want help educating their children doesn’t mean they want someone to tell them what their lifelong employment will be.

People who call themselves anarchists think that it is nothing more than a system that frees them and gives them control of their own lives and allows them to govern themselves. It may do that. It may. But it will, sooner or later, run up against a need that requires government. They think that when they gather with other men on a voluntary basis that this isn’t government, this is just everyone volunteering to do something with each other. I’ve got news for them – that IS government. In reality, they believe what Jefferson believed, that the best government is that government which governs least. Anarchy is the wrong word to describe that kind of thinking.

A government that respects individual liberty and unalienable rights is the greatest form of government there is.

We have to convince people that what Jefferson wrote is true. Jefferson also wrote “we hold these truths to be self-evident” but sadly they aren’t. While the Founding Fathers may have seen them that way the fact is, most people don’t. They have to be taught about rights. Certainly most people feel upset and frustrated when their rights are violated but they don’t always know why and can’t always pinpoint their feeling to the loss of a particular right. I’ve heard it before, “that’s just wrong!” But what is wrong? Why is it wrong? They can’t always say. They just know it, intuitively, because that is how humans beings are. We want help, we want others to work with us toward common goals, but we don’t want people telling us what to do.

free will cartoon

But anarchy isn’t the answer, socialism isn’t the answer. Respect for agency is the answer. Respect for the fact that people have a God-given right to make their own minds up, to set the direction for their lives.

There are some who argue that freewill is an illusion. They can think that if they want. I know it isn’t true. It is not the product of mere biological functions. Though we may argue that forces shape our choices, in the end individuals do get to choose. Far from being an illusion, freewill is something we humans cling to. People are free to choose liberty or captivity but what Jefferson taught is that no one is free to make that choice for someone else. Anytime someone attempts to force another they learn just how much individuals value their right to choose. It takes propaganda and trickery to con them out of their will, or worse, force.

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