'Easy choices, hard life. Hard choices, easy life.' -Jerzy Gregorek

You'll Never Have Your Anarchy

by Ethan Glover, Fri, Aug 21, 2015 - (Edited) Sun, Sep 10, 2017

Anarchy plays host to just as many flag waving, utopian simpletons as any other belief does. A simple definition of a utopian ideal is a system that is dependent upon everyones preferences and ideologies changing to unite under one singularity. The first time I saw this was in anarcho-communism.

For Marxist communism to work, people must reject the idea of working for an incentive other than the "common good." With no money, people can only do the hard, but necessary work, for the good of others. The failure lies in the fact that the "good of others" must be a universal agreed upon standard for the system to work.

This is why utopias fail. There is no such thing as a "common good" that everyone will agree to. So it's odd to me when anarcho-capitalists and libertarians take political views on anarchy. AnCaps generally take a stereotypical millennial position on most politics. That is to say, they're fiscally conservative and socially liberal.

Despite not believing in government, they fight for a specific ideal. They say it's "wrong" to ban guns, gay marriage, or drugs. From a political view it is ethically wrong to do these things. But from an anarchist point of view in which people agree to the system and rules they live under? Whose to say that the world of anarchy would be much different than it is today?

Anarchism doesn't mean a utopian libertarian ideological world where everyone can carry a gun, only citizens have cameras, and all drugs are legal everywhere. It means a world closer to the ideas of your local community. That includes the people who would vote for Trump, Cruz, or Hillary. Those people and their mindsets will never magically go away. Just as people will never magically decide that they don't need to get paid for their work.

Besides, if you're an anarchist, chances are you're just as dogmatic about the way things should be as everyone else.

An immediate anarchist society is not an ideal. In fact, it gives the dumb, average vote more power than he has now. This isn't a condemnation, but a recognition. Anarchy isn't about changing the world and how people think. It's about allowing change to happen in an organic and fluid manner. Without trying to force change through a slow, power hungry, bureaucratic government.

In historical anarchist societies, it was not the non-aggression principle that ruled. It was the people as a whole in collective decisions. Collectivism exists with or without a central organization proclaiming to know the decisions of the "collective." Neighbors influence one another and people will always have to make compromises for the sake of cooperation.

Having a choice of which court rules you submit to is still a submission to a system other than your own. But that choice is stronger than a vote. It allows you to compare different options at once. Rather than comparing presidents from different eras on their effectiveness ruling over all.

The free market isn't always a route to libertarian paradise. It's just more efficient and more ethical than democracy.

If the town you lived in were anarchist, would the community uphold your ideals? Unless you're delusional about the people around you, the answer will always be no.

Maybe marijuana would be legal under all policing options available to you. But maybe every major protection agency would disallow open carrying on property under their service.

It's not hard to imagine that these intricacies would exist. It's fair to take a moment to recognize that anarchism isn't a political war. It's not about changing people into thinking like you. No one has to accept your ideals and principles under anarchy. It's about allowing competition to do its thing, and allowing for the freedom of choice.

Even if your perfect choice doesn't exist, and you could never hope to find enough support to make it a reality, you should have the right to work towards that end.

Freedom of choice does not always mean your choice will be available to you.

Libertarianism has an image problem. And there's a simple solution.