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Tyranny of One, Tyranny of All

Is Total Anarchy Possible?

Written by Darrell Anderson.

People who study philosophy and political theory eventually mature to understand the straightforward definition of anarchy. Anarchy merely means “without rulers.” Anarchy means self-government. Anarchy means no statism or centralism.

Anarchy sounds idealistic. Imagine all people living quietly and peaceably, never using force and coercion or the threat of violence except for self-defense; using persuasion and cooperation to make this world a better environment to live. All contracts and exchanges are entered into freely and voluntarily. Yes, sounds rather idealistic.

Realistic too. Ask many people and my guess is that most would welcome such a world. Most would embrace such a world. Then they pause and ask, “Yeah, but how would we pay for . . . .” Roads. Schools. Health care. Military.

“How would we stop criminals? Where would we put them?”

Such questions are not cavalier — they are legitimate questions. Most questions, however, deal with the interaction of free association and voluntary exchange. How do people pay for schools? The same way they pay for everything else — they enter the market and trade their skills and talents. Yet, after decades of mindless group-think, most people who would like to embrace an anarchist world regretfully cannot see the light.

What do people do about criminals? The first priority would be to acknowledge that each individual possesses the full and natural right to protect person and property. So as much as I prefer quiet and peaceable living, the answer is rather simple. Defend yourself and most criminals disappear. Or to be more blunt, in violent situations, some folks just need killing.

What do people do with criminals? One word: restitution. No prison terms, just restitution. What if restitution is not forthcoming? One word: outlawry.

Such responses seem simplistic, but what is difficult for many people to realize is that anarchy is a rather straightforward process. Anarchy can be summarized by the principle of not trespassing. Simple.

Yet, many people continue to resist the idea of anarchy, and continue to provide legitimacy to the philosophy of statism. The simple reason is that a life of self-government is scary for many people. Most do not want to be self-responsible. Most want a mommy to take care of them.

Is anarchy possible? Reasonable? Rational? Practical? Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes.

Will the world ever see anarchy? I don’t know. I only can hope and do my part to live a quiet and peaceable life to provide an example.

Finis.

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