Written by John Hasnas, Associate Professor, Georgetown University, J.D., Ph.D, LL.M.
“You see, but you do not observe.”
Sherlock Holmes to Dr. John Watson in A Scandal in Bohemia
In this article, I have been asked to present an argument for anarchy. This is an absurdly easy thing to do. In fact, it is a task that can be discharged in two words–look around. However, because most of us, like Dr. Watson, see without observing the significance of what we see, some commentary is required.
Anarchy refers to a society without a central political authority. But it is also used to refer to disorder or chaos. This constitutes a textbook example of Orwellian newspeak in which assigning the same name to two different concepts effectively narrows the range of thought. For if lack of government is identified with the lack of order, no one will ask whether lack of government actually results in a lack of order. And this uninquisitive mental attitude is absolutely essential to the case for the state. For if people were ever to seriously question whether government actions are really productive of order, popular support for government would almost instantly collapse.