Anarchy is for Lovers
This article was written by Sterlin Lujan and originally appeared on www.turncoatresource.com
Too many of us view anarchy as mayhem and violence. We envision anarchy as a system built on the bedrock of dog-eat-dog and all-versus-all. The media and authorities pelt us with images of punk-rock kids wearing Mohawks, dressed in jumpsuits, waving black flags, armed with bomb-filled messenger bags, and hyped up ready to kill. All prior education trained us to see it as a wild and anxious state of nature, where lawlessness descends into law of the jungle, and gangs battle across parking lots with rifles and grenades, like a video game. Because of these false and dishonest associations, we equate anarchy to bloodshed and chaos. In reality, lovers value it. It opposes strife and disorder; it shuns the fighters, warmongers, slave-holders, and tyrants. It instead upholds peace, nonviolence, prosperity, and human decency.
Many people compare anarchy to a political system. But anarchism opposes systems. People do not implement it. They do not place a key in an ignition, rev it up, and start it; nor does it require men in distant office buildings decreeing laws, caging and killing people. Defined, anarchy means “without rulers,” and spontaneous organization develops as a consequence of this freedom and refers to people’s tendency to work together without an enforced central plan. To impose government on total freedom then is to impose artificial restrictions on human action, subvert peaceful people, and rend apart voluntary association. It means to jam the gears of humane, prosperous, loving, and forward-moving societies.
But before people accept anarchy they must disabuse themselves of the fallacy that it equals mayhem. They must open themselves to the love blooming inside of what they perceive as unchecked chaos.
People claim that human nature undermines anarchy by turning the world into a coliseum of murder and misery. But if human nature predestines people for violence, then no hope for individual choice of peace and love exist. Yet many people prefer peace over war; love over hate; nonviolence over violence; and morality over immorality, which denotes that peace or violence reflect opposing points of “human nature.” Indeed, people do not live in a vacuum of unalterable, cyborg-like behavior. For example: one cannot argue that all humans commit violence, when many commit good; one cannot argue that all steal and kill, when many choose trade and love; one cannot argue that all want government, when some do not. The argument from nature relies on faulty reasoning because humans employ distinct personalities, not entirely geared toward destruction and death. Committing violent or peaceful acts are independent choices; they are not ordained as if the expulsion from Eden twisted man into an ugly, violent thing. Additionally, debating against anarchy with the human-nature-equals-violence argument implies the blind faith that a group of men harbor moral perfection; but if men instead possess moral imperfection and a fistful of power, it gives them access to an unlimited supply of armies and weapons. These men, then, strive for the subjugation of humanity as their goal. Therefore, an intelligent species does not relinquish its authority and strength and weapons to the few at the expense of the many.
Likewise, people often forget nurture and focus on nature when perceiving the violent consequences of anarchism. But nurture and nature work together. Biologists refer to this as the epigenetics of gene expression. This suggests that the environment switches genes on or off. For example, alcoholism may crop up in a person if they associate with people who drink, use drugs, or gamble. However, just because a genetic trait exists does not imply submission to that trait. Human psychological nature is not ironclad. It is malleable. It changes based on environmental stimuli. The University of Utah website restates this about epigenetics: “The genome dynamically responds to the environment. Stress, diet, behavior, toxins and other factors activate chemical switches that regulate gene expression.” From this, one draws the conclusion that human tendencies shift according to nurture and development. Humans express either violence or love according to their surroundings. This implies that anarchism does not automatically devolve into madness and chaos. Instead, society under anarchism organizes according to peoples individual choices. People live based on the genes that they exercise control over, rather than submitting to an uncaring, automaton-like aggression filled lifestyle.
Those seeking to discredit anarchy say, “We need government to protect us from murderers and robbers,” but this argument misses key points, besides being utterly contradictory. For instance: merchants and philanthropists do not run government; the people in it do not rely on business exchanges or charitable donations. In reality, government consists of people with a monopoly on the illegitimate use of violence over a geographical region. This suggests that the State takes its earnings by brute force, rather than as a gift or through trade; this means that government contributes to violence rather than combats it, and that it constitutes criminals rather than angels. Indeed, if governments focus on violence to accomplish goals then it metes out social justice the same as street gangs. Therefore, governments fail to protect and defend people from criminals, and instead commit criminal acts against everyone, at all times and places. This question captures the argument from protection, “how can the State protect us from murderers and robbers when it is itself made up of murderers and robbers”?
“Under anarchy the poor and infirm suffer the most due to the madness and disorder caused by freedom,” they say. This argument devalues the fact that people organize regardless of governments. Voluntary association and cooperation blossoms in the absence of political power. Goodwill and philanthropy remain a integral part of social and group dynamics. Already, without government, millions benefit from the generosity of kind people. To say that the poor and infirm continue to suffer is to say that regular people are incapable of helping; it is to say that only the angelic and godlike men of political power maintain the means to aid the suffering. However, since governments consist of criminals, no sane person appoints them to care for the meek. It would be like charging Jeffry Dahmer with housesitting children or running a nursing home, a decidedly ignorant decision. In this regard, true concern allows voluntary, peaceful, and free people to care for and aid those in distress. An example of freedom’s ability to produce this love lies in charity; An article from Huffington Post discussed novelist J.K. Rowling’s donations. The article explained that Rowling lost her “billionaire” status by contributing 160 million dollars to charitable causes, and she accomplished this without a gun pressed against her temple. That is love.
Again, a fallacy: “In the absence of Big Brother roving bands of gangs rise to establish dominance over everyone, therefore abolishing government spells disaster.” But if government already equates to a group of violent criminals as previously demonstrated, then the fear that violent criminals might usurp it echoes as illogical, circular reasoning. It would be like saying that if people abolish chattel slavery, it would return a decade later; if people remove an inflamed appendix, it will grow back and become inflamed again; if people eradicate human sacrifice it will reestablish itself down the road. Indeed, no one dying of cancer opts out of surgery for fear that the cancer might return if undergoing the operation saves their life. No person worries about imagined consequences if they benefit from an immediate action, especially if waiting results in death or continued suffering. Furthermore, In a situation where moral action faces a practical one the moral action takes priority because the “practical” one results in evil. Too many people fall for the charm of “practicality,” because it appears logical, even though choosing it allows for certain death, enslavement, rape, robbery, and genocide – all opposites of the love and morality spurred by anarchy.
When freedom advocates argue for total liberty, people say, “move to Somalia.” They assume that Somalia represents an alternate-dimension wasteland, like Stephen King’s Dark Tower series, insofar that violence and bloodshed arise out of the stateless environment, and that Somalians murder each other for control of people and property. In reality, the government collapsed in Somalia due to inherent corruption and instability. And in the aftermath, Somalian gangs murder each other to regain that power; but not because anarchy molds people into killers, but rather lust for political violence lures and charms sociopaths. If anything, the “argument from Somalia” validates anarchy. It demonstrates that people go great lengths to gain political pull and that assaulting and murdering typify these lengths. Therefore, If the idea of government-as-necessity turned into a myth tomorrow, then the roving gangs transform into criminals rather than the politicians, Nobel Prize winners, and world leaders they dream of becoming. In addition, although gang warfare consumes Somalia, the private sector still blossoms; outside of rampant gang warfare the market thrives, and the standard of living continually increases and cost of goods and services continually decreases. Robert P. Murphy wrote a brilliant article entitled “Anarchy in Somalia” that referenced these stats in 1996:
Life expectancy – 46 years
Birth rate – 46
Death rate – 19
GDP per capita – $210
Infant mortality. – 116 deaths
Safe water – 35%
Adult literacy – 24%
Index 2011 (or latest)
Life Expectancy – 50 years
Birth Rate – 44
Death Rate – 16
GDP per capita – $600
Infant Morality – 109 deaths
Safe Water – 29%
Adult literacy – 38%
Some statistical problems exist in the article. Access to safe water serves as an issue, since it decreased, which implies a number of unconsidered variables. Birth rate declined, which is ambiguous. However, the overall stats showed that society does not crumble in a state of freedom, but grows and begins to prosper, with few drawbacks. This is the spontaneous organization and human decency finding home among the havoc.
When people think “anarchy,” they often think “chaos,” much like the preconceived image of Somalia. But anarchy moves our lives. Government stays out of many personal areas, allowing us freedom to make decisions. Yet people revile the idea of anarchy and label it a dangerous evil. Stefan Molyneux expresses this fear: “We love the anarchy we live, and fear the anarchy we imagine.” In fact, every time we brush our teeth, use the bathroom, watch television, go for a hike, cook hamburgers, or make love – we are living anarchically. Furthermore, everyone enjoys intimate time with their spouses and lovers; everybody embraces freedom to join a chess club, bridge club, or Toastmasters; everyone chooses their work and career path; everyone places emphasis and pride on their hobbies, tastes, likes and dislikes with minimal government involvement. All of these areas where Big Brother abstains anarchy flourishes. This represents the freedom that we cherish and uphold, and which we would defend if government attempted to interfere with or regulate. Therefore, condemning anarchy equates to condemning and distrusting our own lives and decisions. It means supporting the fighters, warmongers, slave-holders and tyrants. It damns us to the uncivil ghost-town of bloody oppression, and denies the compassion and cooperation embedded in absolute freedom.
Portrayals of anarchy fester with images of bedlam and mayhem due to the Utopian dream of the centrally planned heaven, which rests on the idea that with enough restrictions and guns, social bliss unfolds and blooms like a flower. The truth dramatically contradicts this idea and remains the freewheeling fact that human happiness, kindness, equality, and freedom directly correspond to the individuals ability to live his own life, unburdened by controls and threats. Indeed, lovers value anarchism because chaos and violence represent the opposite inclination of love: hatred. And it’s this hatred everyone must steer from for the sake of the future. If the responsibility granted by freedom fails to take hold, the consequences bear down hardest on the children, who represent everyone’s appreciation of liberty, since the lovemaking that creates children results from uninhibited and unscathed, raw anarchy.
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