Deus ex AnarchiaSubmitted by BILL3 on Thu, 02/06/2014 - 01:06
In the ancient theatre of Greco-Roman times, the play would often terminate a dead end in the plot with a God, deus, descending from the riggings above to move things along, and allow the play to proceed.
The phrase deus ex machina has its origin here, and has since been used in modern film criticism to denote a plot device for moving the story along by introducing an outside element that has no real business being in the story.
The wiki sums it up thusly: "a plot device whereby a seemingly unsolvable problem is suddenly and abruptly resolved by the contrived and unexpected intervention of some new event, character, ability or object."
Deus ex anarchia, then, is that unidentified, undefined social force that is just assumed, to perpetuate a state-less condition or anarchy once established, just because.
The anarchist theorist does not offer any reason why force, political power, would or could not be reintroduced by economic power, or why economic power would never concentrate in a state of full "freedom." This has always happened in history.
The late, great historian Will Durant, who wrote ten or eleven magisterial volumes of the best comprehensive historical scholarship concluded as one of his key takeaways that freedom is the precursor, always, to concentration of wealth in power. The simple fact of inequality, expressed most actively in the state of full freedom, guarantees this.
And as libertarian and social scientist Charles Murray (of Bell Curve fame or infamy) notes, as technology increases, the economy permits more and more division of labor, more and more degrees of inequality, and more and more social sorting by intelligence and wealth disparity.
Quite aside from all its other questionable suppositions, this supposition of perpetual anarchy proceeding from an original anarchical state is one is one of the more humorous, especially as it lends itself to the cool new phrase Deus ex anarchia.
So then, you anarchists in the machine, tell us what is the hidden something that perpetuates anarchy forever, once the board is cleared, it is established, and no political restraints exist? What, then, restrains the growth and development of economic, social and other forms of power?
What hidden mechanism prevents the power that grows up in anarchy from creating political power for itself?
Is that not what already happened? Did the State not grow out of the the non-State power, like Athena, sprung fully formed from the head of Zeus? Did the American state not grow out of conditions which are considered the closest in history to ideal anarchy?
Replying "the market will insure no concentrations of power emerge" is simply assuming the conclusion, but I predict that will be the most common reply, asserted without any actual argument of why. It must be assumed, in order for anarchy to be maintained.