Understanding Anarchy

Over the past few weeks I've engaged a number of anarchists in discussion in an effort to further understand anarchy.  That is they support the idea of living without any form of government.  As a strict constitutionalist I'll admit up front that I don't agree with their views of total anarchy but much of what they said makes sense.

The whole discussion went along these lines, we all agree our current governmental system is broken.  We all agreed that the key reason for many of the problems we have today is due to government over stepping its bounds.  We also agree that in many cases a free market solution would solve many of the problems and create better solutions then anything the government could implement. 

The two areas we disagreed were roads and protection (military, police and fire) where I believe there needs to be some level of organization. But even if you disagree with the total concept of anarchy, I would still encourage you to read up on it.  I came out learning quite a bit from the discussion and while still not sold on the idea I feel a lot less threatened by the thought of anarchy then I do of more government.

One of the key issues I think that prevents people from accepting even exploring it is fear.  Fear of change.  That's a shared element of why we allow government to over step its bounds and continue to grow.  Who will care for the children, who will care for the poor, who will take care of the plants etc etc etc.  We've lost the concept of individual responsibility.

If we don't change, what will happen when more then half of our society can no longer produce or survive but instead lives as parasites off the other 49% or less?  That's where we are headed.  

I will close by sharing with you 10 quotes that can help explain that idea of anarchy or at least in my own case the idea of less government being the answer to our problems.

1) In our government-controlled schools we are taught that Lincoln was our greatest president because his war ended slavery and saved the Union. As usual, the other side of the story – the side that reflects poorly on the government – somehow gets lost. – Richard J. Maybury, The Abe Lincoln Hoax (I suggest you read it!)

2) Any people anywhere, being inclined and having the power, have the right to rise up and shake off the existing government, and form a new one that suits them better. This is a most valuable, a most sacred right – a right which we hope and believe is to liberate the world. Nor is this right confined to cases in which the whole people of an existing government may choose to exercise it. Any portion of such people, that can, may revolutionize, and make their own of so much of the territory as they inhabit. – Abraham Lincoln [!], January 12, 1848 speech in Congress (Hmmmm...)

3) If you would not confront your neighbor and demand his money at the point of a gun to solve every new problem that may appear in your life, you should not allow the government to do it for you. – William E. Simon

4) Fifty-one percent of a nation can establish a totalitarian regime, suppress minorities and still remain democratic. – Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn

5) The New Deal Court essentially told Congress: It doesn't matter what the Constitution says or what limits on government it establishes, you are empowered to spend money on whatever you please. And so Congress does, even though its profligacy has placed the nation in great economic peril. – Stephen Moore, Director of Fiscal Policy Studies at the Cato Institute, March, 1997

6) Experience [has] shown that, even under the best forms [of government], those entrusted with power have, in time and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny. – Thomas Jefferson 1779

7) Government is not the solution, but rather the cause of our problems. – Ronald Reagan

8) If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there'd be a shortage of sand. – Milton Friedman

9) Man is not free unless government is limited. There's a clear cause and effect here that is as neat and predictable as a law of physics: As government expands, liberty contracts. – Ronald Reagan, farewell address, 1/11/89

10) Whatever the issue, let freedom offer us a hundred choices, instead of having government force one answer on everyone. – Harry Browne