This article was written by guest-author Bruce Balensiefer.


It seems to me that many of the common objections to the idea of a stateless civilization stem from a fallacy. It’s what I call the “people are inherently self-destructive” fallacy. This fallacy posits that if we don’t grant a centralized authority violent power over the citizens to enforce cultural norms (drug use/marriage/education), those citizens will devolve into stoned, slovenly, uncaring, violent, criminal, and unproductive louts and the civilization will crumble. I have three objections to this. The first is logical, the other two are empirical:

  1. The view of human kind as inherently self-destructive and in dire need of authoritarian guidance must apply to humans categorically in order to be an axiom and a basis for social policy affecting the entire society. If this is true of all humans, there are no humans who could effectively manage the affairs of other humans and central government is a farce. If this is not true of all humans, and some humans are in fact rational and capable of governing the affairs of the world properly (by way of centralization like representative government/voting/democracy/totalitarianism), you have violated the axiom. Also, this is called “elitism”.
  2. If the decision to do something is based solely on the current status of its legality according to the government, you can say goodbye to the Rosa Parks and Boston Tea Partiers of history because there will be no more. A great deal of human progress has been made by disregarding unjust laws.
  3. This is because government and law are TRAILING indicators of culture. Only after the CULTURE evolves to be more open-minded/less racist/less violent/more altruistic does any government policy then reflect the new sensibility. Using the guns of government to enforce behavior is trying to get the tail to wag the dog and ends up in things like our useless “drug war”.

The idea that people need to be watched over by Big Brother makes me think that big-government advocates have a dismal opinion of humanity to start with. This is a real shame because we are each free, beautiful, independent human beings who want to do great things for each other and with each other.

If you enjoyed this post, you can find other essays and articles by Bruce on his blog at