(originally launched into cyberspace on 09/13/2007)
My Fellow Earthlings,
When faced with the suggestion of society without an authoritarian
command structure (i.e., "government"), most people--having been
indoctrinated into the bogus idea that obedience to authority
prevents mass chaos, mayhem, death and destruction--instinctively
react by asking how things will work without "government."
The reason I rarely address that question is quite simple: because
it is logically 100% irrelevant to WHY I believe in a stateless
society. Most anarchists I've heard reached their beliefs by
deciding that society would work better without a ruling class.
That is NOT how I got here. I ended up where I am by realizing that
"government" is NEVER legitimate; it cannot have the right to rule
me, any more than my neighbor has the right to rule me. It's
"authority" is completely mythical, and the idea that anyone has a
moral obligation to obey its "laws" is nothing but an irrational
Again, I compare it to telling someone that Santa Claus isn't real,
only to have him respond, "But how will Christmas work without
Santa?" How should I know? What difference does that make to
whether Santa exists or not? He's not going to magically come into
existence because Christmas would be inconvenient without him.
Likewise, "authority" is not going to magically become legitimate
and real because we don't know what to do without it.
One way to summarize the insanity of the myth of "authority" is
like this: Man is morally obliged to do what he believes is
immoral. Why? Because if "authority" is real--if someone has the
RIGHT to rule us, control us via "law," and if we therefore have
the moral obligation to obey their commands--then when our own
judgment conflicts with the commands of "authority," we are morally
obligated to do what we believe to be the WRONG thing. It's a
little weird to have to say this obvious truism, but here goes: One
cannot be morally obligated to do something immoral. As obvious as
that may seem, that simple concept rules out ALL possibility of
"authority." Like Santa Claus, it simply cannot be, no matter how
necessary or useful anyone insists it is.
Again, we can debate how to handle Christmas without Santa, but
NOTHING we say will have the slightest relevance to whether Santa
actually EXISTS or not. Likewise, I usually refuse to talk about
how we can survive, and live in relative peace, without
"authority," because such a discussion has NO bearing on whether
"authority" CAN exist in the first place.
There's another reason why I don't usually bother with such
discussions. In the authoritarian mindset, there are constantly top-
down, micro-managed, legislated "solutions" to all kinds of things.
They rarely if ever WORK, but at least an authoritarian can say,
"Here is the plan I want to impose on all of you!" An anarchist, by
definition, can do nothing of the sort. If you ask me how some
aspect of society will work without "government," I could GUESS, or
I could make SUGGESTIONS, but I couldn't say "Here is the solution
which will be imposed under my system." Why? Because there would BE
no "system" of centralized control. Ironically, lots of people ask
me questions which begin with, "Under your system, how would...?"
I'm not suggesting a system. I'm not running for the position of
Emperor of Anarchy. I'm suggesting we rid ourselves of an insane,
horribly destructive delusion. That's all. I have no new and
improved delusion to replace it with. How people will deal with
life without the delusion is up to six billion individuals to
decide. No one, including me, will be imposing any system on them,
and I highly doubt they're all going to come to ME to ask how to do
everything. (I hope they don't, because I have neither the desire,
nor the ability, to figure out how to make all of society work.)
Notwithstanding all of the above, and with great reluctance, I
decided to send to all of you a link to a story that shows a real-
life example of society without "government." But again, while it
shows that "anarchy can work," to me that is besides the point. If
"authority" is an illusion, a self-contradictory superstition (and
it is), discussing how we live without it, while interesting, is
logically irrelevant. Nonetheless, since so many people simply
refuse to even THINK about whether "authority" is real or not,
until someone paints for them a picture of life without it, well...
here you go:http://www.mises.org/story/2701