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Anarchism – the philosophy

inspirational words from an original anarchist.

A new friend at the OU directed me to this link and I found it inspirational – I think I had always confused Anarchy with Activism and believed it to be rather chaotic.

I now have another area of study to delve into. So little time and so much to learn 🙂

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1 Comment

  1. A good way to understand anarchy is to imagine a set of basic universal moral rules (it’s immoral to steal, assault, murder, rape, coerce, kidnap etc) and then imagine a society actually applying those universal moral rules, er, universally.

    What you end up with is a society where NOBODY has the moral right to steal, assault, murder, rape, coerce, kidnap etc. Of course people can still engage in these behaviours, but they will suffer negative consequences. Nobody would be able to claim their immoral actions were LEGITIMATE (ie “But I’m allowed to steal your wages every week!”) … or rather they could, but nobody would accept that claim.

    Logically, any laws which are invented in such a society cannot violate those moral rules (at least not if those laws are to be considered legitimate), and neither can any agency of law enforcement.

    And there you have it…. anarchy!

    Anarchy just means a society based on rules …… or rather, if a society were to ever be based on rules, it would end up being anarchic. A ‘rule’ means a universal condition ie ‘theft is always wrong’.

    We do not currently live in a society based on any rules. Instead of rules what we have is ‘rulers’ and ‘laws’. Rulers are people who claim a monopoly on the right to VIOLATE basic moral rules. A ‘law’ is a demand backed by the willingness to use force. A law certainly can reflect a rule, but it does not have to.

    In our current society there are no rules against theft, assault, kidnapping, murder and coercion. If there were then the people in government would be guilty of violating those rules because they engage in all of those activities on a daily basis. The fact that most people regard the government as a legitimate organisation proves we do not currently live in a society where theft, coercion, murder, assault and kidnapping are considered against the rules.

    In an anarchic society anybody who committed theft, assault, coercion, kidnapping or murder would be treated the same – whether or not they happened to work in a fancy building on the bank of the Thames. In an anarchic society theft, assault, coercion, kidnapping or murder would NOT be considered legitimate ways to achieve your objectives.

    We *almost* live in an anarchic society today…. but not quite. In most of our daily personal and business transactions rules DO apply and the principles of anarchy DO apply. In ordinary society if anybody steals, murders, assaults, coerces or kidnaps we DO recognise they are behaving immorally and if they claim to be our ‘rulers’ who have the right to behave immorally we do NOT accept that as a legitimate excuse!

    But we still make one exception – the people who call themselves ‘government’.

    But we do NOT apply universal moral rules to the group who call themselves ‘government’. We let them violate all basic moral rules, and we still consider their immoral behaviour to be legitimate – even though if anybody else behaves as they do we call them criminals.

    Allowing one single group to violate with impunity otherwise universal moral rules is more disastrous for society than not having any moral rules at all.

    War, persecution, genocide, tyranny, economic crashes, poverty, starvation, the huge rich / poor divide, social dysfunction and massive corruption are the price we pay for not living in a state of anarchy …. which is to say, for not applying basic universal moral rules universally.

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