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An Argument for Anarchism

Anarchism - the absence of government - is not utopian. As defined at Dictionary.com:

utopia - any visionary system of political or social perfection

Under anarchism violence against people and their property would still exist - just as it does under any form of statism. Anarchism is not utopian. Anarchism does not hail itself as social perfection.

Anarchism does not rest upon the ideal that man is perfectible. Anarchism rests upon the realization that man is not perfectible. History has shown that when man is given a monopoly on force, he will eventually use that monopoly for tyrannical purposes.

It is idealistic to assume that government can be perfected - that tyranny can be prevented when such an institution exists. The government should not be able to perform any action that is prohibited for the individual. Government should not be able to steal your money. Government should not be able to take your property. Government should not be able to murder you. Government should not be able to murder people in far off lands. However, as long as governments exist, they will perform these actions. It is unrealistic to think otherwise.

Where demand exists the market finds a way to supply it - given that the technological capacity exists to do so. People may ask, "who will build the roads?" Who builds the roads now? Answer: Construction companies. Would construction companies cease to exist if government ceased to exist? People may ask, "who would pay for the roads?" Who pays for the roads now? Answer: The people. Would people desiring roads refuse to pay for them if the government did not exist? All of the other possible "who would" questions could also be handled by the market.

One major "who would" question is, "who would protect us against foreign invasion?" Answer: The people - a well armed populace. It has been reported that Isoroku Yamamoto, Commander-in-Chief of the Imperial Japanese Navy during WWII, once said:

"You cannot invade the mainland United States. There would be a rifle behind every blade of grass."

One may rebut, "how can a well armed populace defend itself against a modernized army?" The united States military is the most technologically advanced military in the world. They have tanks, armored vehicles, advanced aircraft, superior body armor, superior weaponry, etc. How have they fared against the vastly less well trained, less well armored, and less well armed fighters in Afghanistan? At the apex of their power, the Russians failed there too.

To win a war, to take over a country, to govern a country successfully, it is not good enough to kill more of them than they kill of you. The consent (or complacency) of the people must be gained in the conqueror's favor. How hard do you suppose a free people fight? You can ask the British.

Government is not required - even for combating foreign invasion.

Why then do people allow government to rob them of 30%, 40%, 50%, ..., 99.999% of their labor? Why do people support a government that murders others at will across the globe? Answer: Complacency. People assume "this is how it always was, and this is how it always will be." What happens when "always" ends? What happens when the government collapses under its own weight? After all, history tells us that all governments eventually fall. Will the people ask for a king? Will the people ask the majority to enforce their will upon them once more? Will people forever seek to institute governments - even when it becomes known by all that tyranny will inevitably ensue?

Or, will people eventually break their chains and do away with government? Will people eventually service their needs solely through voluntary transactions in a free market?

Or, will people continue to keep doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results?

Anarchism is not utopian. However, limited government is an unachievable ideal that will always lead to tyranny.




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Fritz Kern

I've argued as much in your assessment. Especially your last sentence, I've also come across much desired material that helps to support an Anarchist society.

http://www.amazon.com/Kingship-Law-Middle-Ages-Constitution/...

This books looks into the decentralization methods employed throughout the Middle Ages, and the ideas upon which law was formed and how it came to be. A good review and guideline post can be found here:

http://bionicmosquito.blogspot.com/2013/02/decentralization-...

we need to ditch the word "anarchy"

There are too many knee-jerk reactions and misunderstandings. Instead, let's promote polycentric law:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polycentric_law

“With laws shall our land be built up, but with lawlessness laid waste.”
-Njal Thorgeirsson

I am sure I will get

I am sure I will get downvoted for this.

Anarchism is exactly like socialism/communism in that its perfect in "theory" but never works in practice.
Yes, people say that anarchy doesnt have to mean chaos, but forget the fact that human nature sucks. There will always be people that want to get by without trying to work for themselves beyond working to take stuff from other people. Until the day when everyone has all the resources they could possibly need, anarchy will never work.
Tell us, what separates modern anarchy from when most people lived in villages or tribes? Villages and tribes are how people have lived through the majority of history and would be created out of anarchy. These were never peaceful to begin with.
When it comes down to it, we might have more technology, but humans are still human and until the day when every need can be met on a whim, humans will seek to take what other humans have. Argueing against human nature is laughable.

To climb the mountain, you must believe you can.

sensible, levelheaded,

sensible, levelheaded, accurate.

yet another one-world government fan

Because that is what your argument amounts to, when you dig down to the details.

“With laws shall our land be built up, but with lawlessness laid waste.”
-Njal Thorgeirsson

yes they do not see that a

yes they do not see that a market is anarchy in action. If you are for free markets then you are for anarchy in that area of life. So, if human nature is all terrible and stuff like he said.. he would surely be a socialist which is anti-nature. They probably still think anarchy means no laws, no way to defend yourself through litigation etc. Why does our nature work in some markets and not others? Minarchist thinking is not principled nor continuous. Oh the animal spirits inside make it where certain markets have to be controlled by a gang... right...

Whaaa Whaa why the need for

Whaaa Whaa why the need for insults? lol

Fear-based thinking

is like a Chinese finger trap.

Violence emanates from lack of or poor communication.

First of all, let us hope that anarchism is as influential on policy as socialism and communism has been. If it is, there is hope for humanity that government will be minimized as much as possible over time - hopefully ending at a point where coercion by governments becomes extinct altogether.

You say:

people say that anarchy doesnt have to mean chaos, but forget the fact that human nature sucks.

So, I assume that you advocate putting some humans with sucky nature in charge of everyone?

The fact that man is corruptible lends itself to the argument for anarchy more so than it does for government. Fore, if man is corruptible, why should any group of men be given a monopoly of force to be exercised against the rest of us?

There will always be people that want to get by without trying to work for themselves beyond working to take stuff from other people.

Under government, these people are considered the entitled. Under anarchism, these people are considered thieves. Anarchism is not void of punishment for thievery.

Until the day when everyone has all the resources they could possibly need, anarchy will never work.

Under modern forms of government - where central banking exists - resources are more concentrated than could ever be possible where no government existed. Monopolies (and concentrated oligopolies) can only exist with an alliance from governments. Free markets result in the most even distribution of wealth. How do you suppose the middle class came to be in the US?

Tell us, what separates modern anarchy from when most people lived in villages or tribes? Villages and tribes are how people have lived through the majority of history and would be created out of anarchy. These were never peaceful to begin with.

The ease of communication separates modern anarchy from early villages and tribes. Violence occurs when communication breaks down or is nonexistent. Hence when a person about to fight says, "I'm done talking."

Further, did you ever live in one of those societies? How do you know "these were never peaceful to begin with"? Are you aware that Native American tribes recognized property rights? As well, do you suppose the arrival of (civilized) Europeans increased or decreased the violence in the early Americas?

When it comes down to it, we might have more technology, but humans are still human and until the day when every need can be met on a whim, humans will seek to take what other humans have. Argueing against human nature is laughable.

How many people that you know are murderers and thieves? What percentage of people that you have met over your entire life have been murderers and thieves?

This is a misconception. Very very few people are murderers and thieves.

However, murderers and thieves seem to get concentrated in the ranks of government. Nearly 300,000,000 people were murdered by governments in the 20th Century - the leading cause of unnatural death.

It is laughable to think that government will ever be any different that what it has proven itself to be over and over and over again.

It is an unavoidable fact that modern people have become very skeptical of governments. How long do you suppose it will be that this skepticism will result in humanity rejecting government altogether?

World anarchy and global

World anarchy and global governance is the same thing...that is the end game.

There is no state, no nation, only the self to rely upon. If somebody breaks into your home, and you have camera footage of the break in, who are you going to call? Brussels?

No judge, no jury...and no Bill of Rights.

Those who favor anarchy can not defend the Bill of Rights at the same time, because the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution are based upon the law.

"Do what thou wilt, and that shall be the law."

Satan is an anarchist.

Government is not evil, people are.

Never be afraid to ask simple questions.

Natural law...

is the only law that would have any bearing without the existence of a state - ie anarchy. The Bill of Rights is based upon natural law. So, your statement is inaccurate.

There was no state in any of

There was no state in any of the anarchist societies that have existed and none had natural rights the way we think of them. In fact religion took the place of natural rights.

Ventura 2012

"Those who favor anarchy can

"Those who favor anarchy can not defend the Bill of Rights at the same time, because the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution are based upon the law."

Amazing how this truism totally escapes the anarchist. If the Founders hadn't codified these principles 200+ years ago we'd all be in death camps by now. Its really funny in a sad way to see anarchists claim that under anarchy one would somehow be prohibited from selling themselves into slavery :/

"There are limits to the right to contract under some interpretations of anarcho-capitalism. Rothbard himself argues that the right to contract is based in inalienable human rights[26] and therefore any contract that implicitly violates those rights can be voided at will, which would, for instance, prevent a person from permanently selling himself or herself into unindentured slavery. Other interpretations conclude that banning such contracts would in itself be an unacceptably invasive interference in the right to contract.[37]"

This is the sort of mental masturbation and reverse-engineering of society we are subjecting ourselves to when we submit to these ideas.

Ventura 2012

Your statement is fallacious...

If the Founders hadn't codified these principles 200+ years ago we'd all be in death camps by now.

Your statement implies that any nation without our particular governmental foundation would "be in death camps by now."

However, there are multitudes of other countries that do not have our founding principles at the foundation of their governments that are not in death camps right now - and many of those countries are older than the united States.

Further, in the quote you posted, Rothbard is wrong (take notice that I don't worship any man or supernatural being). In a free society - in an anarchist society or any other - a person may choose to work for free or for only room and board. What more is a slave than a person that only works for room and board? Certainly, a person could subject themselves to such conditions without complaint from anyone.

#1 Im talking about my own

#1 Im talking about my own understanding specifically of US history. You extrapolated it to other countries.

#2 You are talking about an indentured servant. We are talking about actual slaves, chattel.

Ventura 2012

Okay... What?

Im talking about my own understanding specifically of US history. You extrapolated it to other countries.

Explain your concrete prediction how - uniquely - without the founding principles of the US, that Americans would now be in concentration camps. This has little (if anything) to do with history but has a lot to do with your speculation - namely, that without the Constitution or Declaration of Independence, Americans would be in labor camps as we speak.

You are talking about an indentured servant. We are talking about actual slaves, chattel.

This implies that a person cannot willingly sacrifice their rights. The notion is false. Haven't some people of today willingly sacrificed their right to privacy - the "I don't have anything to hide crowd"? People may later regret the decision, but they have the ability of sacrifice their rights. Of course, they can always choose to fight to attempt to reclaim their rights.

The fact that race-based

The fact that race-based slavery was so popular in the US leads me to believe that a eugenics based open imperialism would have taken root very quickly here. Probably by the time of FDR.

I'll let you try to figure out if you want to return to slavery or not. Im personally quite content that the "natural right" to sell yourself into slavery has been removed today :).

Ventura 2012

Question:

If government is a tool used to hinder the rich and powerful from eating up the poor and weak, than why are there a total of zero billionaires or multi-millionaires who are anarchists? Anyone?

Answer: Because nobody would ever be able to accumulate such gigantic piles of money without government. Can't happen. Ask any body with more than 10 million bucks if they could have gotten there without taking advantage of the laws (created for their benefit), or illegally via government bribes, or by taking advantage of mis-allocations in the markets created by government.

Again, here's Murray:
https://mises.org/media/categories/217/The-American-Economy-...
The last podcast is the first in the series. Murray goes through US history with emphasis on economics and religion (Something you never got in school. History cannot be told without these two elements.). The class is meant to illustrate how big business was unable to form monopolies until they completely controlled the government. From Teddy Roosevelt on, two large factions controlled the presidency and government. All industry was cartelized after Teddy. The series is not to be missed. By far the best US History class ever taught!!

I have used this argument to

I have used this argument to support libertarianism, but it doesnt follow for anarchism. It is like saying "why don't rich people worship mickey mouse? Mickey mouse worship is the answer!" You don't realize how absurd anarchism is to most people.

Ventura 2012

That is because they have been brainwashed forever.

I think it absolutely absurd that society needs a fictitious entity to grant certain individuals the right to steal, murder, imprison, and lie. I think it is perverse that 'most people' think the situation they are in (ie: robbed of half there income to murder folks in the ME so rich people can more easily steal their resources, while enemies are multiplying by the day because of this murder, and domestically the oh-so-benevolent entity pays corporations to build factories overseas, allows them to avoid tax, sticks their hands in our crouches, SWAT teams us, spies and records all electronic and communications, spies from the skies, and on and on and on) is perfectly normal.

The frogs are a-boilin'. Perverse!

Many words to merely refute

Many words to merely refute your own strawman; that minarchists are trying to "perfect" government.

Ventura 2012

No. Rather, it is an illusion that government can be limited...

for any substantial duration.

Hence the famous quote from Jefferson:

"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."

Another solution is to quit providing vehicles to establish tyranny.

You anarchists would be a lot

You anarchists would be a lot more effective if you used the Socratic method to move libertarians towards new ideas about free society instead of offering up nothing but savagery of ancient tribes and the dark ages as Golden Calves. I have used Rothbard, DFriedman, Gillory etc to write about privatizing police and courts.

Ventura 2012

Uumm. ت

http://www.dailypaul.com/291733#comment-3129580

I thought you called that verbal diarrhea just five minutes ago? lol.

Truce, my friend!

Those questions all imply

Those wall of text questions all imply total abolition of the State, I mean specific policies haha. Peace.

Ventura 2012

I don't agree

Desiring a limited government is no more idealistic than desiring anarchy. A limited government acknowledges the faults of humanity, and addresses those faults. It doesn't pretend to solve all of humanities problems. It just gives people the tools they need to deal with them.

Afghanistan was not an anarchy. The US under the Articles of Confederation was pretty close to an anarchy. Under the near-anarchy of the Articles of Confederation, the revolutionaries starved and froze to death while their countrymen feasted, unwilling to help. Congress had no power to enforce its demands to maintain or pay the army, no power to tax, no genuine authority. After the war, the States started to break up, good neighbors turning against each other. If another nation at that time had decided to attack one state, would any of the others have voluntarily helped? What if New York decided to assimilate Rhode Island? Could Rhode Island by itself have fended off New York?

Though anarchism is tempting because we are in a totalitarian state (even if it's one that hasn't become openly violent against its own people in huge numbers), it is just the opposite extreme of it, and is NOT better. The soldiers who fought under Washington were so disgusted by the lack of aid and lack of pay that they wanted to loot and steal their countrymen and crown their general king!

I highly recommend reading W. Cleon Skousen's book "The Making of America" to read the personal experiences the Founders had with near-anarchy.

Because men are fallible, a limited government is the best system we have available. Going from one extreme (totalitarianism) to the other (anarchy) is unwise.

"Moderation in temper is always a virtue; but moderation in principle is always a vice." -- Thomas Paine

I've never understood

Pointing out failures of the State in attempts to refute anarchy.

"The soldiers who fought under Washington were so disgusted by the lack of aid and lack of pay that they wanted to loot and steal their countrymen and crown their general king!"

So because soldiers who fought for a State were unhappy with their "lack of aid" and "lack of pay" from said State...um...then we need a State?

http://lionsofliberty.com/
*Advancing the Ideas of Liberty Daily*

I don't know what you missed in my argument

I'm arguing why anarchy cannot work, using the near-anarchy that the US was under with the Articles of Confederation as an example.

Under the Articles of Confederation, the United States was under near-anarchy. Because Congress couldn't tax, or enforce ANY law, and had no power to get aid from the states, Washington and his men suffered horribly as they fought for liberty, all while their countrymen wouldn't lift a finger to help them, nor would they sell to them (in fact, they gladly sold to the British soldiers). They starved unnecessarily, and froze to death without proper equipment, all because their fellow citizens refused to voluntarily help them. Virginia people wouldn't voluntarily travel across several states to fight the British in Rhode Island. Afterwards, one state would refuse to recognize another states' coinage, and they argued about who had to the right to navigate the rivers and lakes. They were breaking up into little gangs. People who were once good neighbors turned on each other. If another nation had decided then to attack and start claiming bits and pieces of the US for themselves, they would not have been able to fend them off.

Mind you, these were people who had a lot in common. Compared to today, the US back then was not very diverse. If near-anarchy almost allowed the British to win the war, and then afterwards nearly broke the states apart and left them vulnerable to other attacks and invasions from other nations, how would true anarchy prove better? It was the near ANARCHY that prompted the soldiers to long for a benevolent tyrant! The one extreme prompted the desires for the opposite extreme!

People can and will fight to protect their homes, after their tolerance level has been exceeded. Outside of their homes, however, it's a gamble as to whether they'd care. As we can already tell, a lot of people don't actually care about what happens outside of their immediate lives. That's why they shrug off such atrocities as the NDAA (how many of them have a friend who has mysteriously disappeared lately?), the Federal Reserve counterfeiting money (they are still eating, still getting water, can still buy clothes and go to the movies and pay rent and play on their expensive toys), the TSA ("meh, what's another scanner? It just proves that I'm innocent." And the more invasive searches are few enough that most people can go through the airport without seeing an incident), and so on.

"Moderation in temper is always a virtue; but moderation in principle is always a vice." -- Thomas Paine

You totally missed his point

The colonists were trying to defeat another GOVERNMENT with a very organized a powerful army. Reyaj's point is that the mostly "volunteer" unfunded army of Washington was hardly able to withstand the British, in fact we were lucky the French came in.

Ventura 2012

Just as the poor people of Afghanistan...

have hardly been able to withstand the American forces.

I addressed this argument in the OP.