Government is a group of people who claim a monopoly on the initiation of the use of violence in order to suppress the freedom of the individual. Anarchy is the absence of government and the absolute freedom of the individual. Anarchy by definition does not mean that there are no rules or organisation. It simply means without a ruler. Anarchists want to live their lives without been ordered around by people with guns.
Anarchy is found in everyday life. There are many areas of daily human existence that do not call for government intervention. Making friends, dating, and falling in love are things that do not require political coercion. They exist in a state of anarchy. If the government were to begin regulating this part of people’s lives there would be much resistance. People are ambivalent about anarchy. They want it in their personal lives because it is good. They don’t want it for everyone else because they fear that without a government, evil people will destroy everything they value.
Anarchists are stereotypically viewed as violent people who commit acts of terrorism. This is a myth perpetuated by the media and rulers to reinforce the current political system. The myth is helped in part by people claiming to be anarchists while committing acts that contradict the principles of anarchism. These are not anarchists but rather revolutionaries who hate the current political system and want to replace it with a political system they think would be better. Anarchists do not want a political system as they call for the end to all political systems.
A group of people exists that gain profit, prestige, and power from the existence of government. They also have control and influence over the minds of children, as the government educates the majority of children for most of their formative years. As such, most children who come out of government school are indoctrinated into believing that government is good and anarchy is bad.
People believe that the role of government is to solve the “problem of the commons” and provide services that the market allegedly cannot supply. Where collective ownership occurs, individual exploitation results as there is no incentive for long-term maintenance. From this springs the argument that self-interest is destructive. The “solution” is to introduce more collective ownership by government intervention in the market.
Democracy is the idea that the majority of people are wise enough to know how society should be run but at the same time yield to basic moral rules. They do this by voting. Voters are allegedly wise and virtuous enough to judge various complex proposals, refrain from imposing their will arbitrarily upon minorities, and will accept being overruled by a majority, waiting until the next chance to vote. This is the basis of modern government, and it is a contradiction. If most people are wise, virtuous, patient, and willing to put aside their self-interest for the common good, why is government needed? When this argument is made, another contradiction arises through the response that most people are evil and government is needed to protect the minority of good people. The contradiction is that if most people are evil, why is there democracy?
Violence is the initiation of the use of force. The addition of violence to specific acts make them evil rather than neutral or good. Sex plus violence is rape. Remove violence and one has love-making. Property transfer plus violence is theft. Remove violence and one has trade, charity, borrowing, or inheritance. Government taxes people, which is the transfer of property with the threat or use of violence. If one refuses taxation, they are issued a financial penalty. If they refuse to pay, they are issued a court date. If they refuse to attend, they are confronted with people with guns that want to kidnap them. If they resist, they will be shot.
War is violence and is funded by violence. Money is stolen by government from people who may not support war. People are enslaved by a military draft if one exists in their country, whether they support war or not. Without taxation there can be no war. Without governments there can be no taxation. Governments are the first cause of war.
If people believe that violence is a valid way to achieve moral ends, such as helping the poor, the logical approach to create economic “equality” is to let those below certain levels of income to steal the difference from others. Since the government takes a cut of the money they steal, why not eliminate the middleman and let the poor steal from richer people? There are those that claim this would mean society would degenerate into armed gangs of the poor rampaging through wealthier neighbourhoods and would undermine the incentive to create wealth. What they are really saying is that the poor lack restraint and judgement. If this is the case, why are they involved in the democratic process? If this is not the case, then the poor are rational, able, and willing to defer gratification.
If the poor lack wisdom, knowledge, and good judgement, and have been educated by the government, two things are known: people believe the poor can be educated; and the government is to blame for failing to educate them.
There is a perception that government can be reformed, that the system can be improved through democratic means, and that if one wants to criticise they should get involved. Everyone can bring their ideas to the “marketplace” of democracy. This has nothing to do with democracy. If people want a certain product at the shop they do not lobby, get petitions signed, or join a committee. They either ask for it to be stocked or find another shop. If someone wants to date another person, they do not lobby, get petitions signed, or make speeches. They walk up to that person and ask. Individuals make major and essential life decisions all the time without consulting the majority. Most of an individual’s life is anti-democratic, insofar as they make their own decisions and mistakes without subjecting them to the authority of others.
A justification for government is the “social contract.” Because one is born in a geological location, they “owe” the government their allegiance, time, energy, and money for the rest of their lives, or as long as they stay. The “contract” can be renegotiated by getting involved in the political process. However, children cannot enter into contracts, and adults cannot have contracts imposed upon them against their will. “Social contracts” will not be defended by government if anyone outside government attempts to use them.
Many people have a vested interest in the continuation of government. The main group is the politicians and those that lobby them for favours and handouts. People give money to politicians to get them elected so that they will fulfill promises they made in return for donations. These promises are not enforceable like a contract but the more money that is donated, the more likely it is that the politician will fulfill the promise.
Anarchism is not discussed in academia, and is in fact constantly scorned, feared, and derided, because academics have a vested interest in maintaining the current political system. In a market they would not have the same benefits they enjoy now. Tenure, paid leave, paid conferences, and long vacations. They would either see a drop in wages or their job requirements rise. In order to protect their careers they use the unions to lobby government to keep their jobs the way they are. To criticise government with a philosophy like anarchism would result in a loss of all their benefits. Academics and economists who express ideas of economic liberty are guilty of hypocrisy. Economic liberty requires a free market, one where government is not involved in economic matters, yet they have careers that are dependent on government intervention in the market. Not many people will accept what they say if they do not live with integrity.