Thursday, August 27, 2009

Directionless Bones: “Anarchism”?

‘Anarchy’ does not mean ‘chaos’. Well, to be fair, it does, but anarchists have spent the last 150-or-so years trying to redefine it. Success in winning the wider population to our usage has been…mixed.

Anyway, as defined by anarchists, ‘anarchy’ means organised society not based on coercion. By ‘not based on coercion’ I mean that things like allocation of resources, organisation of labour, maintenance of infrastructure, and so forth rely on free consent, not (as in our own society) on the threat and use of arrest and imprisonment: individuals are free to order their lives as they see fit, as long as they do not violently endanger others.


Anarchists are neither lovers of violence nor pacifists. They simply believe that if something would be wrong when done by an ordinary human being, it is wrong when done by the state and its representatives.


1 comment:

  1. Anarchy is by no means chaos. Anarchy is merely an absence of organized government.

    However, the idea seems as fanciful and fleeting as a world without religion. Supposing there even was a moment when government ceased to exist, it would reappear the following moment. As long as there are more than two people in the world, and some people can gang up on someone else, there will be politics and government.

    Of course, most anarchists don't intend to go this far.

    America did what you described, and this mess is what we got. We were supposed to elect people who would work to prevent the errant among us from doing harm.

    You know what would make someone like you and I both happy? A tabula rasa; a blank slate. Wouldn't it be interesting if tomorrow every law was erased, and all we were left with was the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the amendments?

    After centuries of accumulating laws spanning several ideologies, the situation we now face would be the same in another two hundred years or so. However, perhaps a reset button would still be beneficial.

    The problem is, the people who would be rewriting the laws are not acceptable, and I'm at a loss as to where to find ones that are.


If the post you are commenting on is more than 30 days old, your comment will have to await approval before being published. Rest assured, however, that as long as it is not spam, it will be published in due time.

Related Posts with Thumbnails