If anarchy is violence, destruction, and mayhem, what is wise about that?
Of course, if anarchy meant that, then nothing.
Today many important words and phrases have skewed meanings. For example,
- “Social justice” means something other than justice.
- “Vaccine” means something other than immunity from a disease.
- “Climate change” means something other than eons of climatic change.
- “Capitalism” means something other than preferences for saving or using resources.
- “Anarchy” means something other than the absence of government.
What is this “something other”?
What do these “something others” have in common?
All share vagueness and subjectivity which make them invaluable for claiming some truth, but without having any specific details that can be contested.
The goal is to lend more credit to a particular view in a world that is always uncertain. It is human nature to fear and avoid uncertainty. In the quest for political power, the competitive forces know no boundaries in offering us a trade: their alleged security for our compliance. They gladly borrow and smear historical concepts and words in pitching this deal, even when the views violate common sense or are inherently hypocritical.
In this dilemma, we can see why one man’s truth is another man’s fake news.
How do we know the difference?
How do we know what is right or wrong?
Answering these questions is premature, if not fruitless. Ultimately, we can never fully separate bad facts from good facts in arriving at some accurate description of an event because many alleged facts are often dependent upon many variables, particularly the difference in witness perspectives, life experience, sensory abilities, etc. The validity of most truths remains in the eye of the holder. Plus, we never have direct experience of an event related to us by another. Even when we do, our senses can belie a deeper truth that may be counterintuitive to our initial impression. It pays to keep an open mind.
For the same reason, we can quit worrying so much about fake news, who has the facts and knows the truth. They are still important but there should be more to our analysis in making a judgment. Instead, let us focus, discuss and argue on which principles create the best lens for evaluating any news, fact, or truth, especially as they relate to justice — remembering that a greater state of justice necessarily trends toward greater peace and then prosperity.
Libertarianism provides just such a lens to evaluate the justness of any news or view, regardless of its factual content or alleged truth, and a body of common-sense principles to guide our subsequent reaction toward peace and prosperity. This is a better question than always gunning for factual accuracy.
Barring glaring falsehoods, it allows taking another’s view for its alleged truthfulness and bypassing the inevitable arguments that can be brought against it. It redirects our focus to higher standards. But there is a major hitch: libertarianism and government (not governance) are mutually exclusive — libertarianism can only provide greater justice in the absence of government — that is in an environment of anarchy.
Contrary to what most politicians and pundits assert, the “absence of government” does not mean the absence of leaders or law and order. Both existed prior to modern governments and there is no evidence that they cannot exist today without them.
In other words, the government is not required for governance. Like all services, governance is provided by people.
Not to mention, there is plenty of violence, destruction, and mayhem (what many would consider “anarchy”) in addition to graft, waste, and corruption that flow from government, the apologists for which claim as a necessary cost for our protection and well-being.
Is that logical?
Is that true?
Simple observation reveals that the not-so-invisible hand of government is a constant interference and restrictive force upon the well-being of every working person not enriched through protective legislation gained by special interests connected to government — to the extent that we have created a political class that effectively has enslaved the unconnected. The competition to become connected further accentuates bad governance and its use of force.
Government is no more than a legally sanctioned protection racket accepted by a critical mass of people. It is like the Mafia, but the latter does not lie and misrepresent its purpose.
Yet, those of us who know or should know better are responsible for ignoring this fact. We tempt fate when we conveniently move on letting the lies and resultant injustices accumulate.
This site is not about personal attacks on government employees or their supporters. There are good and bad folks everywhere. Most people are good most of the time. Otherwise, social cooperation could not have driven human progress for millennia, despite extended periods of warfare and long before the arrival of nation-states. We can never lose sight that the structures of governance under which we live and work influence and incentivize us to act in certain ways over time — it is human nature.
This site is about seeing government for what it is, assessing its structure as objectively as possible — examining its foundation and rules of operation. Then to recognize that it is inherently flawed because all forms of government contain the seeds of their own demise — they lack sustainability. Every great civilization has perished. Barring famine or other extraordinary natural events, abuse of power is the recurring theme in the lifecycle of governments and often the cultures subjected to their rule. No country or culture is immune.
No government has ever contained any reliable mechanism to consistently, peaceably, and sustainably control or cleanse the accumulation of bad characters and the abuse of power. Coups, wholesale revolution, and migration have usually been the cure, but with the unwanted side effects of loss of life, liberty, and property or worse, a total collapse of societal order.
Lord Acton was on to something when he was to have said that “power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” This could be why governments are always growing in power, influence, privilege, and committing ever greater acts of waste and graft. Accumulation of the bad eventually overflows, the pain spreads, and at some point, mass rejection results and disorder prevails.
Many industries and quasi-governmental organizations enjoy significant governmental protection and largess — finance, healthcare, energy, agriculture, and academia to name a few. Phrases like:
- Inflation Reduction Act
- Too big to fail
- Relief act
- Stimulus package
- Tax break
- Tax deduction
- Foreign aid (aid of any kind)
- Quantitative easing
- Target rate
- Stimulus checks
- Universal income
- Free education
- Free lunch
- Free “anything”
should alert us to the massive network of preferences extended to or through the politically connected. And then, much of the “aid” rarely reaches the intended beneficiaries. It often remains in government coffers or is disproportionately expended for administration.
These measures and programs are always at the expense of the unconnected – those without leverage, without influence, without a voice, without time, who are often too busy creating value through mutual consent without governmental assistance or protection.
They are in a constant battle to maintain what they have earned, always working against the ever-increasing taxation (confiscation of earned wealth) and the “printing of money” (devaluation of purchasing power). At heart, this is nothing but legally sanctioned theft through direct confiscation and the indirect confiscation of counterfeiting. Government officials are skimming their paychecks and their checkbooks.
Stripped of euphemisms, in what culture is such corruption moral? How and why is it being tolerated?
Objectively, there is no conceivable justice in this system of governance. Justice is nothing, if not consistent. The only consistency is arbitrary preference and ongoing injustice. There is no rule of law. To assert otherwise is pure fiction.
But should this state of affairs surprise us?
Is it reasonable to expect justice from a system of governance that is based upon force and injustice?
And no cop-outs. These deficiencies are not a “necessary evil” or the “price of democracy” or the “lesser of two evils”. That is absolute nonsense.
The status quo in governance is unacceptable, if for nothing else because there is clearly a better and more just way. But change will require a mass of folks to think in these terms, then stand up in sufficient concert to challenge the authorities – good old-fashioned resistance, if not revolution, just as prescribed in the Declaration of Independence. It states in part:
“…it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its Foundation on such Principles, and organizing its Power in such Form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”
Deconstruction of government is a moral right that trumps any constitution.
How could this be possible?
That is what some pundits thought of the emergence of democracy during the age of the great European monarchies.
But where are they now?
So, fundamental change is clearly possible, if not inevitable, as the early immigrants to the Americas found.
We must be responsible to ourselves and our children — to retain our self-ownership, to think, decide and act in ways that create and test principles to achieve more justice. We should treasure our individual sovereignty and not yield our power, i.e. our spectrum of choices, to anyone, except through individual consent. It cannot be over-emphasized: when justice is maximized, peace and prosperity necessarily follow. Governance can and will positively evolve.
How has the definition of “anarchy” evolved and what does it mean?
According to Wikipedia, the Grecian meaning was “without chief or ruler”. For the French, it became “without government”. A more modern definition includes “violence and mayhem” which is an evolving assumption as to what happens in the absence of government.
For many, those who commit any violence and mayhem, especially in masse with political motivation, are called “anarchists”. But this is incorrect. These are terrorists. A terrorist is “a person who uses unlawful violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims.”
As an example of this widespread inaccuracy, pundits called the violent and destructive rioters seen across the United States in 2020 anarchists. But destroying public and private property and injuring others was their political aim — not the wholesale elimination and replacement of government with something better. They are terrorists, not anarchists. Real anarchists want governance without government or rulers — just natural leaders serving on the level playing field in a free market.
Obviously, nobody owns language. Definitions often change over time organically or with the help of those in power or with other influences. Despite the possibility of confusion, the first meaning of “anarchy” is simple, concise, and historically appropriate for mankind’s love-hate relationship with rulers – not to be confused with the respect for natural leaders. “Anarchy” may be a provocative term today, but given our collective slumber, historical clarification and a little provocation are in order.
As counterintuitive as the “wisdom of anarchy” may seem, if one is willing to examine and challenge many of today’s sacred cows through libertarianism, greater revelations will occur. Except, unfortunately, they can only be gained through serious reflection and unlearning dogma reinforced over many years. However, as government failures mount and the pain increases, more will consider this alternative.
This site is dedicated to sparking interest and inspiration, encouraging self–education, and promoting action for the application of the Non-Aggression Principle (NAP) as the single rule of law in governing all social and economic interaction – both locally and globally.
There is no credit claimed for the libertarian concepts or phrasing found at this site, only that these principles have resonated across decades of experiences for which no other consistent explanation could be found.
Rest assured, these are not new ideas. Many of the components leading to the development of libertarianism, and this expression often sub-categorized as anarcho-capitalism, can be found in the writings of Aristotle, and then at various times later in history by other philosophers, social theorists, and economists such as Étienne de la Boétie, Anne Robert Jacques Turgot and Frédéric Bastiat.
But it was the development of the Austrian School of Economics first established by Carl Menger, then refined by Eugen Böhm von Bawerk, Ludwig von Mises, Murray N. Rothbard, Hans-Hermann Hoppe, and Joseph Salerno, among many others, who in time logically deduced libertarianism, a socio-economic-apolitical philosophy, that is entirely aligned with human nature — one that is internally consistent and arguably unassailable — that is a monumental achievement, and not surprisingly the reason why most people have never heard of it, much less taught anything about it. It threatens the status quo of the political class and special interests.
The NAP is the core principle of libertarianism. It states:
That no man or group of men may aggress against the person or property of anyone else. Aggression is defined as the initiation of the use or threat of physical violence against the person or property of anyone else. Aggression is therefore synonymous with invasion and such action is always wrong.
The basis for this principle is that each person owns his body i.e., where any form of slavery is wrong. One’s body is sovereign relative to any other entity. When other laws fail to respect this maxim, injustice necessarily results.
Property is defined as an extension of one’s body when it has been acquired and is under his control without violation of the NAP. Property is acquired by either finding it (where it is not under the ownership or control of others), gift (by voluntary transfer of ownership), purchase or barter (by voluntary transfer of ownership for consideration or trade), or production or products (by literally mixing one’s body with other property to create new property, whether making things individually or in some concert with others), or provision of services (by using one’s mind and/or body in the service to others.)
The application of the NAP necessarily demands a state of anarchy – again the absence of government (not governance) — and certainly not the assumed disorder and violence thought by some to result without it.
The existence of government is founded upon force and theft of property, clear violations of the NAP. The logical conclusion of the NAP is the death knell to the political class. This most just principle is never a part of any curricula in a public school or university. In most circles, discussion of the NAP is taboo. If raised, it often subjects one to ridicule.
The NAP allows for maximum freedom because anything is allowed that does not violate it. But conversely, it imposes maximum accountability because all violations are rooted in a person’s or group of persons’ acts or omissions.
There is beauty in its simplicity and symmetry. It encompasses many diverse cultural and religious maxims that make it more than suitable as the legal foundation in resolving any dispute. It is easily communicated, in the present and across generations. There is awe in its potential to create maximum and sustainable justice as the only rule of law.
And this is only the beginning. Persons can agree to modify their freedoms and responsibilities to each other to the extent that the arrangement does not violate the NAP as it relates to others outside of their agreement. This is the basis of contract law which allows for the exchange of resources that further empowers human ingenuity, entrepreneurialism, and the specialization of labor – all foundational elements for any economy and increasing our well-being.
Because every service or product is made by human beings mixing their energy with property, either individually or through the successive efforts of many persons, every known human activity can be justly gauged by the NAP for the application of maximum justice.
With an honest understanding of current dogma, the balance and brilliance of the NAP shine.
However, like any law or principle, a sufficient number of people must understand and respect the NAP before any benefit may be had by mainstream application. And by definition, the NAP always remains rooted in mutual consent. Implementation by force and intimidation cannot occur without hypocrisy.
Thus, education is the sole means by which the NAP can become the rule of law.
That may sound like a non-starter. Although self-ownership and property rights cannot be obtained through force, they are nothing if they cannot be defended and preserved through force. And therein lies the key to expanding and maintaining the use of the NAP — preventing, resisting, and eliminating present oppression. It is everywhere.
As this effort gains momentum, the security and protection of persons and property become solely the function of providers in the free market and the application of the NAP can spread more easily and quickly.
As with any law, there will always be differences in interpretation, and the same will be true in the application of the NAP. And like security and defense services, for all the reasons previously noted, there is no logical reason why all judicial services cannot be privatized to interpret whether the NAP has been violated or a contract has been breached. Lawyers will return to their roots in advocating for truly equitable outcomes, a framework that will lead to faster and more efficient settlement of disputes.
All human action can be evaluated by and enforced under the NAP through free market-based services, especially in cases upon consensual exchange for any type of product or service which constitutes all economic activity.
The free market alone is not enough to maximize and sustain justice and all the benefits that flow from it. However, when the NAP is applied as the only boundary for the free market, sustainable justice, peace, and prosperity can be maximized, and will naturally trend positively over time. Conversely, accountability and restitution can be most equitably determined.
Legally and economically, libertarianism is best understood and applied to human activity through the study of common law, contract law, and the Austrian School of Economics. This lineage of law and economics supports the provision for maximal choice in the peaceful creation and consensual movement of people, goods, services, and ideas, subject only to the NAP.
Although perfect justice and total equality can never exist, the application of these ideas organically creates a socio-economic-apolitical environment that more justly, quickly, and efficiently self-corrects for abuse of power and undue concentrations of wealth. Thus, cultures and traditions ever trend toward greater and more sustainable justice, peace, and prosperity for all persons – all without the positive force, control, bureaucracy, lag, and hopeless centralized planning associated with any form of government.
The key to creating this environment lies in achieving a critical mass of the population who understand the NAP and act for its application. At the tipping point, government becomes helpless. It erodes and collapses because free-market participants have supplanted its ineffective services. Although this progression toward free-market solutions has been growing for decades, a proactive interest to use the NAP and resulting principles will help will speed and ease the transition.
Critics of libertarianism contend that it is utopian and idealistic. But to paraphrase Murray N. Rothbard, the central figure in the final development of libertarianism, what is utopian and idealistic is believing that government can centrally plan and provide for the endless needs and desires of constituents in increasingly pluralistic or diversified societies – easy examples are the ongoing failures of public education, national security, healthcare, and social security.
In all forms, government based upon force (subsisting from confiscation via taxation and counterfeiting) is inherently unjust and hypocritical. Even democracies, while often deemed the best form of government, still suffer from this fatal flaw. They may even be more detrimental to society over the long run, given the revolving door of political offices fails to incentivize the creation of fiduciaries for long-term planning and maintenance of assets, all while the underlying bureaucracy expands its power at the expense of the consensual working class.
As history has shown in the rise and fall of past civilizations, government as a form of human organization, when based on force, has always been and will continue to be a hypocritical and unsustainable venture. A deeper examination of logic and history shows why libertarianism is the best foundation of any just effort for fundamental change — not more government and laws.
Fortunately, due to entrepreneurial advancements in technology such as the decentralization in knowledge (internet resources and online libraries), communication (internet, cellular and satellite services), energy (distributed renewable energy such as geothermal, solar, and wind power), and money (open-source cryptocurrencies), more people will better physically, mentally, and spiritually understand the fallacy of government and how libertarianism would result in the most decentralized and sustainable system of governance where both individual choice (freedom) and responsibility (accountability) are simultaneously maximized; and by extension, the well-being of society as a sum of its individuals.
Humanity has not only survived without government but has significantly evolved in spite of it. Only individuals can think, feel, decide, and act, regardless of the type of entity through which they work. With the exception of the political class, government hinders the expression of everyone’s unique abilities. If there is to be a level playing field, no government can exist.
At heart, there is no government per se, only individuals acting through its fundamentally unjust structure. Dismantle the structure of government and there will be no political class, no special interests, no protected big business, or preferential treatment along with the long-term abuse of power and the disproportionate distribution of wealth. A true and just meritocracy would arise where any monopolistic and oligopolistic players never last for long.
Many ignorantly call the current U.S. economic system capitalistic. In fact, if not ironically, it is more socialistic and fascist (think executive orders terminating continental pipelines, mask mandates, forced business closures, and other unilateral decrees).
Unlike other “isms”, capitalism happens naturally, with or without government, as a result of changes in individual time preferences for the use of scarce human resources e.g., money or other resources (in whatever form) – whether to spend or invest one’s capital today or to spend or invest it at some point in the future. It is about how and when one uses his resources.
Socialism and fascism are simply variations where a smaller group of persons who claim superior knowledge but can never comprehend the infinite knowledge and options within the marketplace, unjustly impose their also unescapable self-interest and deficient decision-making upon others through the force of government — and without any effective and non-violent checks and balances. In time, this structure always ultimately begs for revolution. And it is happening before your eyes.
The degree to which capitalism currently operates exists at the pleasure of our socialistic rulers, bureaucrats, and special interests. Do not confuse capitalism with crony capitalism which is really just socialism and fascism.
Regardless that some forms of government like democracy or monarchy are deemed better than others, the overwhelming and undeniable evidence proves that all forms of government have failed and will continue to fail their constituents.
Although everyone has been born into this bondage, people live in the present, and it is incumbent upon each person to understand, discuss, and implement worthy and consistent principles that conserve time, space, and resources to improve ourselves and our relationships with each other and the environment, and to enhance our individual physical, mental, and spiritual well-being, and by summation that of society.
This is the wisdom of anarchy.