“Anarchy can never work?”

Shamelessly ‘ripped’ in its entirety from The Art of Not Being Governed

Republished here for the enjoyment of readers whose brains have not atrophied.

“Anarchy Can Never Work”?

Written by Robert F. Eschauzier.

Semantic precision – for the purpose of this post, “anarchy” means a complete absence of coercive rulers; “social good” means a beneficial economic or social result for ALL participants in a given transaction or activity.

Frequently we hear statists proclaim that anarchy can never work. Let’s give that some thought.

For starters, they invariably neglect to define that term as they understand its meaning. The implication that must be drawn however is that they view anarchy, not as defined above, but as just another political system like democracy. The thought that anarchy, since it involves no ruler(s), is in fact the absolute opposite of a political system never seems to occur to them.

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The idea that anarchy should or could somehow be made to work (or not) is utter nonsense.  Anarchy is best described not as a working system but as a “state of being”. A society or division of labor process that is in anarchy is in constant spontaneous flux. Its observable rate of change takes place at such a rapid rate and with such near infinite numbers of variables and combinations as to be impossible to catalogue, let alone be managed with any justifiable confidence in the outcome.

Then there is another conveniently overlooked question. To what ends any social “system” is supposed to work is never spelled out or discussed. If asked, they will respond with such vague collectivist bromides as “why, the common good, of course”. When one probes, “for the common good” always means “for the majority” and thus is not “common” at all as it excludes (victimizes) the “minority”. A logical fallacy if ever there was one.

As Leonard Reed’s brilliant 1958 essay “I Pencil” illustrates, even something as apparently simple as making it possible for you to buy a pencil involves voluntary cooperation between countless individuals and groups spread out over vast geographical distances with constant micro adjustments to myriads of changes, all in such numbers and at such velocities as are only possible in near complete anarchy. In defiance of this, there have been and continue to be many well documented attempts by the operators of collectivist nation states to (coercively) manage these processes. All have failed miserably if their goal was to improve the process.

Another interesting and completely overlooked aspect of the story of the pencil to which can be added countless others such as fashion design, religious congregations, work tools, scuba diving, cell phones and GPS devices, to name just a few random examples, is how these processes and activities exist and flourish in comparatively high (not complete) states of anarchy. The significance of this becomes especially apparent when one observes how processes and activities which have been co-opted by the state and no longer exist in a meaningful state of anarchy have in the most extreme cases been severely corrupted and/or rendered near dysfunctional. “Licensed” taxi services, “public” education, major transportation, the automobile and healthcare industries among many others, come to mind.

So far we have focused primarily on empirical observation. This analysis would be incomplete however without also examining the case for anarchy from an “Austrian” perspective, which demands that one set aside all empirical evidence in favor of strictly logical proof. What can be logically deduced without difficulty is that only voluntary non-coercive interaction (possible only in anarchy) between people or groups can be undeniably beneficial to ALL participants, thus producing social good as defined above.

CONCLUSION: The degree of social good derived from a transaction or social process is proportionate to the degree of anarchy in which it exists. One can therefore propose to define a positive law of social causality. I shall call this the Law of Anarchy, which states that “Any given division of labor or other advanced social activity will produce the highest degree of social good if it takes place in the greatest possible state of anarchy”.

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Bill
Bill
6 years ago

We can be pushed into anarchy if we like it or not, because once the government and its anarchist agents begin murdering your family and friends like Hitler and Mussolini did, then you will be forced to pursue anarchy stances any which way you can, and with like minded people. This I pray never occurs but in the state our nation is in and the invasion of illegal alien islamics, central and south Americans, Africans, Caribbean people which bring with them there vile Marxist ways, everything is open and on the table now. we might not even exist as a nation two to three years from now,so we must prepare ourselves and gird our loins to protect our families, this is right to do and God expects us to do it.

JMarshalek
JMarshalek
6 years ago

There is one kind of anarchy that brings no social good.

Psa 2:1
Why do the nations rage,
And the people plot a vain thing?

Psa 2:2
The kings of the earth set themselves,
And the rulers take counsel together,
Against the LORD and against His Anointed, saying,

Psa 2:3
“Let us break Their bonds in pieces
And cast away Their cords from us.”

There is another kind of anarchy that brings peace and freedom…
1Jo 2:15
Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

1Jo 2:16
For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world.

1Jo 2:17
And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.

The only real question is this: Do we want to be loved by the world or by the Father. If our choice is the Father, He will establish in us a true understanding of anarchy which will cause the world to hate us.

Hans
Hans
6 years ago
Reply to  JMarshalek

Mr Marshalek --

This is the second time you have “rained” scripture in response to my posts.

Nowhere within the article is any attempt made to “take counsel together, Against the LORD and against His Anointed”.

Nor is there any encouragement for men “to be loved by the world” in lieu of the Father.

Please take your bible-thumping elsewhere.

Thank you,
Hans

Brian WIlson
6 years ago

Any god or any religion inserted into any discussion of Anarchy is, by its subjectivity, irrelevant and immaterial. The beauty of Anarchy, in conjunction with non-aggression, allows the religious fanatic and the atheist to productively co-exist. Passions notwithstanding, god will sort it out later.
Or not.

Hypo
Hypo
6 years ago
Reply to  Brian WIlson

Amen. LOL. Great response. Theocrats compel you to worship and serve something other than themselves. Statists want you to worship the State and themselves as the Head of the State. It is still compulsory.

I’m in the, I want there to be a Just God category.

Jimmy the Saint
Jimmy the Saint
6 years ago
Reply to  Brian WIlson

“The beauty of Anarchy, in conjunction with non-aggression”

But therein is the rub -- anarchy only works in conjunction with non-aggression. As soon as a couple of folks realize that they can simply take through force, it all rapidly becomes warlordism and plunder. There’s nothing terribly surprising about it -- throughout nature, the stronger dominate (or prey upon) the weaker.

In a world of perfectly honest people, anarchy could work; indeed, there would be little need for much, if any, government. In the world we have, not so much, unfortunately.

ghostsniper
ghostsniper
6 years ago

So the natural solution, of course, is to appoint a whole nuther level of thugs to try to corral the imagined set of thugs that you fear. Never mind that the appointed thugs have no obligation to you in the first place.

Your fears are not my chains.

BTW: Your notion of how anarchy *works* is flawed from the gitgo, go figure out why.

Bill
Bill
6 years ago

was not our government formed via revolution, so we dont know how it would go if it did occur. many of the founders waffled on revolt till they truly saw the light of the wickedness of British Rule and the King. Do we not have a king ruling over us now and his name is Obongo, so if it does come it wold be wise to be with people of like mind. in numbers there is safety. but in God there is salvation and protection.

Brutus
Brutus
6 years ago

Isnt that true of the society we live in under government? What is ultimately the guarantor of our freedom? What currently stops the guy walking down the street from punching you in the face? Its surely not ‘law.’ There was an FBI study of violent criminals, they concluded that the #1 threat they were worried about was an armed victim, state cops were way down the list. Where are the govt agents, with no constitutional duty to ‘protect,’ when those home invaders come knocking on your door at o’dark thirty? The argument that with government, we don’t have warlords and plunder and a society where the stronger dominate the weak is laughable on all accounts. Most notably because the state just becomes the warlord and dominates the weak, and they have ‘legitimate’ approval by the populace, but on another level it doesn’t stop common crime either.

Essentially what you are saying is if a coercive government didnt exist to rule over everyone, the worst thing we’d have to live under is what we have today.

buffy
buffy
6 years ago

More infiltration by the leftist anarchists.

Ned
Ned
6 years ago

Good essay. Seems when anarchy is mentioned in the comments section of either a conservative or prozi website, someone invariably cites Somalia as a version of anarchy, with instructions to “move there.” It’s impossible to cure stupid, so the discussion ends there. To these folks, warlord despot = anarchy. Unbelievable.

Same people don’t understand that a closed system -- central government -- suffers from entropy, and so more and more attempts at control is employed to attempt to stabilize the system. The more control exerted, the more chaos ensues, until the system totally breaks down. IMO, anarchy tends to stabilize the system via cooperation.

Oregon Hobo
Oregon Hobo
6 years ago

While I agree that the human impulse to excessively control leads to misery and ruin, I also remain unconvinced that pure anarchy is viable.

As attractive as the non-aggression principle is (I hope I’m not too far off the mark by assuming this as a cornerstone of your anarchist worldview), here’s where I see it break down: fraud and theft. While it is entirely possible for someone to defraud or steal from me without initiating or even threatening to initiate physical aggression, this puts me in the unfortunate position of being very unlikely to retrieve my property nor to dissuade the perpetrator from further transgressions upon myself or others without initiating or threatening to initiate physical aggression. Yet I would argue that such initiation of violence would absolutely be morally defensible.

This is even further complicated by the unavoidable fact that very many of us (humans in general, not necessarily readers of this blog) have limited capacity for exercising violence, whether initiated or purely defensive, due to physical disability, or simply lack of physical strength/skill. Thus arises a market demand to delegate/hire out this function, which in turn creates financial conditions conducive to development of an enforcer profession.

One could argue as to whether such professions should be publicly funded and regulated, or whether they would better serve society as private contractors. Either way there is the question of who controls the enforcers (ie the wealthy or the politically connected), as well as who enforces rule of law upon the enforcers themselves when they begin to see themselves as the masters.

Also regardless of whether a free market or socialist approach is used (or perhaps some mix of the two), the vast potential for abuse in turn brings demand for a codification of conditions under which such violence is deemed justified, lest the situation devolve into either outright mercenary warfare between professional factions/guilds or outright enslavement by the enforcers and their masters.

My time being limited, I’ll wrap up simply by saying that I believe this is one of our greatest obstacles as we fumble in the general direction of rightful liberty, and I don’t really see how pure anarchism offers solutions to these needs nor their implications any more than does iron-fisted top-down control.

Happy trails,

#OREGON HOBO#

Fabbersmith
6 years ago
Reply to  Oregon Hobo

Typically, the non-aggression principle is defined as not initiating force or FRAUD, not just force. Almost all fraud involves lying at some point, which nullifies contracts. If the contract for a sale is not valid, I get my money/item back. If you refuse to the point of force, you initiate the violence, I’m justified in responding. Like similar situations now, it can be a mess, but unlike now, there’s no monopoly government to prevent anything at all from happening if the vending machine takes your money(I’d predict anarchist vending machines to be built like tanks).

The question of “who watches the watchers” is a different one, and the main argument is mostly the fact of a lack of monopoly entity that can choose whether or not someone can form a body of watchers. There will certainly be no monopoly on the ability to create Samuel Colt’s “equalizer” and it’s progeny, not that there is any now.

This is coupled with my belief that our slide into anarchism will be gradual--just as we went from Rome to Magna Carta to Constitution, we’ve gone from quill to press to internet, and revolution flows at the speed of information. Still, far too many people are not going to be comfortable with anarchism until it is demonstrated in stages that no paper bounds and limits will control government, and we will divide in half until we reach zero.

John N
John N
6 years ago
Reply to  Oregon Hobo

The non-aggression principle does not refer exclusively to physical aggression. Fraud and credible threat of force also qualify as aggression. Responding to fraud or a threat of force is not initiating aggression, but responding to it in self-defense.

Paul Bonneau
6 years ago
Reply to  Oregon Hobo

See my post below. The short answer is that you don’t have to buy the package if you don’t want to. You just have to be willing to leave anarchists, those who do buy it, alone.

John N
John N
6 years ago

Detractors — the vast majority of whom don’t remotely grasp the fullness of the concept — in their thoughts and arguments compare anarchy to utopia. If it can’t be described and explained in detail as offering perfection in human relations, it must be worthless. I like the “what baffles me” insert above. If a government, or a ruler, is coercive and corrupt — as all I know anything about have been — why would one choose it? Why would one turn over his/her own moral authority to those most desirous of owning it? The people who want authority over us should be rejected by that very desire.

anon
anon
6 years ago

Good men and women have no use for laws, politicians, or borders; as good men and women know that with liberty comes responsibility, and an individual’s rights end where another’s begins.

J Marshalek
J Marshalek
6 years ago

You who strive to establish principles of anarchy as a means by which men ought to live, fail to recognize the fallen nature of man. The Founding Fathers willingly recognized this precept. Why do yaw’ll reject it?

Fabbersmith
6 years ago
Reply to  J Marshalek

But we don’t, indeed we embrace it by proposing a society where corrupt men cannot acquire monopoly power and force their evil on others. Non-aggression after all does not reject defending oneself from aggression, simply starting it. The bully cannot exist for long in an anarchist society, there is no state to trick into protecting him.

The Founding Fathers recognized it and attempted to address it by placing limits on the power of the government. But it can never stay limited, as history has repeatedly shown. Rather than try to limit the government power a corrupt man can hold, we reject him being able to hold the monopoly at all.

JMarshalek
JMarshalek
6 years ago
Reply to  Fabbersmith

By your statement, you believe that there are enough good people to overcome those who live according to the ways of this world. So it seems that the system of anarchy is dependent upon a moral and not intellectual foundation. History does not support your hope.

John N
John N
6 years ago
Reply to  JMarshalek

By your statement you believe that there are enough good people to exercise authority over you and that democratic means will find and choose them to do so. History does not support that belief.

Bill
Bill
6 years ago
Reply to  J Marshalek

you are right, but they did rebel against the King. Yes the founders knew all to well about anarchy and rebellion, but after much debate they had no other choice in the end. We have an illusion of liberty at this moment , but we are truly not free. our nation has fallen into anarchy ( coup d’etat ) at the hands of very bad EVIL people and with EVIL intentions for us. What does one do wait for the gas train to pull up and we all get on board. for me and my household we will not board the train of death. that will be a decision each person and family must make at that time. the motto is LIVE FREE OR DIE, you choose.

J Marshalek
J Marshalek
6 years ago
Reply to  Bill

Abraham of the Scriptures is for us in this time a good example.

Paul Bonneau
6 years ago

Let us prove that anarchy can’t work:
http://strike-the-root.com/let-us-prove-that-anarchy-cant-work

And for those who can’t quite swallow the idea of anarchy, there is a solution: Panarchy. You don’t have to be anarchists after all, and no anarchist would force you to be. Just leave the anarchists alone to do their own thing. Problem solved.
http://strike-the-root.com/panarchy-not-anarchy-is-answer

J Marshalek
J Marshalek
6 years ago

I read both articles, and to me, you are suggesting a form of laissez faire anarchy. Is this not another example of humanism? The chief end of one’s existences is to strive to achieve happiness.

The question is then, how does a population living in close proximity to one another, coalesce around a notion of what makes them happy? Is happiness, in your mind, the substance for the hope of living in community?

Hans
Hans
6 years ago
Reply to  J Marshalek

Mr Marshalak -- an error in your logic is that you seem to expect all individuals to embrace your particular theologic worldview.

There is no reason to expect individuals in proximity to one another to coalesce around a single notion of happiness. Each individual is at liberty to define his or her own happiness so long as the means and the ends do not encroach upon others.

The “chief end of one’s existence is” for each individual to define. For you, that may be a life of service to the Lord. Others are free to pursue any goal or end state that does not transgress upon the equal rights of others.

As Brian Wilson said in an earlier comment: “The beauty of Anarchy, in conjunction with non-aggression, allows the religious fanatic and the atheist to productively co-exist.”

While I am neither, I am quite willing to accept both as neighbors so long as they respect my Rightful Liberty (defined in my prior comment).

Your rhetoric implies that you refuse to respect my / our Rightful Liberty.

JMarshalek
JMarshalek
6 years ago
Reply to  Hans

The hope of humanism, to find what makes one happy, will never exist in a non-aggressive environment. Liberty will always be intruded upon by the pursuit of happiness absent the acknowledgement that there is absolute truth and that truth exists in the Word of God.

Through the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, man always succumbs to a lifestyle which encroaches on another’s liberty. Liberty without absolute truth is an illusion.

To embrace my “theologic worldview” one has to submit to the lordship of Christ. And the Scriptures state that most, in this life, will reject the truth.
That is why we find ourselves searching for a system of community which will satisfy everyone. Anarchy will only intensify the storm that we are in.

Cain killed Abel because Cain was a son of Satan, and Abel was a son of God. Those who live according to Cain are subject to the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. Corruption and destruction is the fruit of a life in bondage to this worldly system of logic. Peace and joy is the fruit of a life that seeks the wisdom that comes from the Word of God.

Hans
Hans
6 years ago
Reply to  JMarshalek

Mr Marshalek --

You have confirmed your disrespect for my Rightful Liberty.

Any further comments by you, to this article or others I may post in the future, will be removed as SPAM.

Hans Mentha

John N
John N
6 years ago
Reply to  Hans

I wouldn’t do that. He is a respectful foil and apparently a good person with what we think is a naive view of human relations. There is value in seeing what respectful detractors think and say.

Bill
Bill
6 years ago
Reply to  Hans

without God you have no freedom/Liberty and where do you think liberty derives from? Only through God and observance of his statutes can a nation be free, as long as that nation and its leaders observe the Oracles of God, once they stray from those laws, then destruction arrives at the doorstep over a period of time. Why do you think our nation is in the condition it’s in, our leaders and peoples have strayed from the observance of fearing God. When there is no fear of God any longer then God brings judgement . In essence God removes his restraining hand for you to wallow in your own sin which brings destruction to ourselves and the entire nation.

LT
LT
6 years ago
Reply to  Bill

Bill,
Do you not know that God causes the rains to fall upon the good and evil alike? And if this is so, then surely it encompasses those who do not believe, as well as those who do, correct?

And if you believe, as do I, that all goodness comes from God, and He makes those good things available to all, to whatever extent pleases Him, then of what matter is it whether your neighbor believes as you do, so long as he *adheres* to the same basic foundation of morals and ethics?

Perhaps he is the ‘prodigal son’… and as yet has not returned to his Father’s house? But regardless, his free will is as legitimate as yours; else there is NO possibility of liberty or redemption for ANY… even you or I, in our faith.

But I here refer back to something I wrote a number of years ago --
Only the individual can appreciate and pursue liberty; only the individual can experience justice or suffer injustice; only the individual possesses the power to choose and act in the real-time/real-world environment of life, towards success or failure.

Where life itself is an ongoing concern of the individual who has developed and continues to practice said choice successfully, there is liberty. Where life is an ongoing battle of the individual to mitigate the efforts of others to subvert and control the individual, there is tyranny.

Liberty admits only free men, and these only with their active consent – a free man is also free to enter bondage, if that is his choice; but he may recant, and reclaim his liberty, should he so desire, and be committed to such a course thereafter. A free man is born into dignity, and should he live a dignified life, his dignity is also his reward, even in death…

Collectivism does not admit any; rather, it demands that all be enrolled regardless of their will, and has as a core value that there should be no free choice anywhere – even outside the collective; no man, once enrolled by the collective, may recant his entry thereto, for the collective releases those who dissent only by death. Even death is denied it’s dignity by the collective.
~~

Do you see the beauty in this? Look through the eyes of your faith, and see that Liberty is but a manifestation of Grace. Grace is not predicated upon faith or belief -- Grace must PRECEED faith, and thus must be manifest to all, because it is part of the Creative act, itself.

Men were made for community, not the other way around. Natural Law is the law of *every* real community, and it is equally apparent to any willing to look upon themselves and the world with honesty. Place not a stumbling block before the community which is His will to establish for all, and remember the admonition of St. Francis of Assisi -- Preach the Gospel at all times; [even] use words if you must.

Charity; Honor; firm adherence to Natural law -- these are the ways by which we preach without using words. With these you will be well received of ALL men.

J Marshalek
J Marshalek
6 years ago

SPAM -- removed by author of post.

Bill
Bill
6 years ago

you are right but many times in life of what appears to be good fruit turns out to be sour , then rots, the scripture is riddled with examples of good seed and bad seed. this is the same with people. Don’t forget , Christ warns us in these last days beginning with the cross there would come many false prophets bringing heresies and damnable lies, and more so in our day, so it would be wise to ensure that all in your household be right with with God. As for me and my household we will do what is right in the sight of God. Joshua was a great man of faith and loved the Lord dearly but he would not back down from speaking the truth and if need be go to war for it, he would stand upright as Moses did to protect the people from wickedness and we must do the same in our day at any cost no matter what the consequences. God gives us many ways to protect ourselves and our families and we must utilize them. just as Peter struck the ear off the guard in the garden God never instructed Peter to throw his sword away he told him to put it back in its sheath, in other words what Peter did was not sinful by cutting off the guards ear it was him interfering with the will of God. we must do all we can in these last days to protect our families and friends an if it means by cutting off the guards ear, so be it. The old testament was not done away with in our time , it was only fulfilled in the law of the prophets, God did not come to destroy the law . but to fulfill. In many cases the old testament ways hold true to today, please remember that dearly.

John N
John N
6 years ago

To Hans:

I accept your judgment on the question… You’ve clearly had more exposure than I.

Thanks for the response.

Phil
Phil
6 years ago

you have no free will in the sense that you conduct the full affairs of your own life, that is not found in scripture like so many believe, it is a false doctrine perpetrated on the church over centuries thru the gnostics and other false so called christian churches . God chooses you when he wants to thereby giving you Grace ( Pardon ) from your wretched sins. there after the growth occurs thru your faith. You grow in grace and faith thru the reading of his word and the holy spirit, without the Holy spirit you go no where, but stay stuck in the mire of sin and depravity.