Publisher’s Note: I welcome Travis’ energetic and scintillating attempt to refine the definitions of the stateless society he and I are trying to make a concrete idea for humanity. I use the term abolitionist now but he makes a string case for his choice. Enjoy. -BB
I have been thinking about the meaning of these words and of their reaction in society lately. There seems to me to be a very large majority of people who have a negative connotation to two of them and not so much knowledge of the last. So it is here that I will begin.
What Anarchy is and what it is not.
The vast majority of the public will react negatively to the use of the word anarchy. Through false description and definition imposed on them through government run schools and reinforced by media and social entertainment they have been lead to believe that only bad things could happen in a world with no government. Thunder Dome would become reality in their minds. Would it really though, would they allow that to happen in their presence, would everyone just go around murdering and looting?
“Anarchy is all around us. Without it, our world would fall apart. All progress is due to it. All order extends from it. All blessed things that rise above the state of nature are owed to it. The human race thrives only because of the lack of control, not because of it. I’m saying that we need ever more absence of control to make the world a more beautiful place. It is a paradox that we must forever explain.”
It is generally described to be a world with no government. The term goes deeper than that though. It leaves a world with no central government and not without rules. Rules would still be in effect throughout the world, it would only be the enforcement of those rules that would change. Webster defines Anarchy in the typical false way as its main definition (: a situation of confusion and wild behavior in which the people in a country, group, organization, etc., are not controlled by rules or laws). This is the definition that most people are taught as the truth but further definitions by the same source state (a: absence of government //b: a state of lawlessness or political disorder due to the absence of governmental authority//c: a utopian society of individuals who enjoy complete freedom without government) These are definitions that most self-proclaimed anarchist would somewhat agree upon.
The automatic connotation of Anarchy being a bad thing is something we must overcome. The changing of definitions is something that must be done through actions rather than words. So how do we expand the idea of peaceful anarchy and destroy a negative connotation to the word? To be sure this is a monumental task and one that would require the utmost care in its expansion. The idea that there are no rulers but rules still remain isn’t an easy sell for most people. The idea of self-reliance and self-control frightens people, and it should. They have lived in complete servitude to a government for too long. By relying on an outside entity to control the personal and economical habits they have castrated themselves from the ideas of freedom, free will, free choice, personal responsibility, and self- sufficiency.
Anarchy doesn’t have to mean the things that it is believed to mean now, and it will take some real positive work to bring a positive thought to the word. Through peaceful cooperation and discovering new ways to subvert the power of the state in our everyday lives we can bring the world to anarchy and not be a fearful thing.