Saturday, November 5, 2011

Anarchy, Hierarchy, and Equality

I once read from an anarchist that to be an anarchist, in the vein of Henry George not Murray Rothbard, you need to be an atheist.  This is largely because of the anarchist natural rejection of the hierarchy and thus, you cannot have a God or gods or Flying Spaghetti Monster (mmm spaghetti…) over you.

I suppose this is sound logic, but it also highlights why I reject traditional anarchism and instead am more favorable to anarcho-capitalism.  Note that I am not a full anarcho-capitalist nor am I a minarchist.  I believe that government is optional but still can exist in some form.  Anyway, it highlights a fundamental rejection of human nature and ability, which often the failing of most Utopian visions such as anarchism, communism, etc.

The nature of human beings fits into how they come about into this world.  No two people are exactly the same and everyone has their own interests, gifts, and skills which they can use and apply in various ways throughout their lives.  The natural flow from that is always some kind of hierarchy.  This is because each person’s gift is not equal to another.

Equality is a pipe dream and probably one of the biggest shams on mankind in the modern era.  However, because of some misguided notion of equality, so many great wrongs have been thrust upon mankind throughout the years.  When the Soviets were operating their industrialization, they pulled farmers from the fields and put them in factories.  Unfortunately, this lead to more equipment breakage than productive sectors of the economy.  This is not to say that farmers wouldn’t be able to learn, but that they were better served on farms than in factories where their expertise was best utilized.

The point is, we all have our own part to play out in life, however significant or insignificant it might be.  While the human heart is fundamentally important for life, a fingernail can scratch an itch while a heart cannot.  In other words, while not everyone is equal, the roles we have are not necessarily unimportant given the right circumstances.

There is, however, one thing that makes all men and women equal: our capacity for evil.  We all can commit acts of evil and inflict it upon others at any time.   Government has largely been designed to combat this human condition and Utopist ideas have sprung forward in order to deal with problem of evil.

I do believe that anarchists, anarcho-capitalists, and minarchists have excellent ideas for dealing with the common problems of evil, probably better ideas than how we handle things now.  Most aspects of justice can and probably should be privatized and defense from foreign invasion is certainly something I would be more comfortable in the hands of accountable parties rather than a giant, mindless bureaucracy managed by power-hungry sociopaths.

But to completely and flatly reject the natural human tendency to develop hierarchies is just about as bad as rejecting a human being’s natural tendency toward evil.  It is a foolish and quixotic endeavor by my estimation.  Human beings will always have a natural tendency to move toward the path of least resistance and a hierarchal society is always going to exist is some form or another.  It is just a question who is going to be ruled or administered by whom really.

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