Mar 18, 2014

The Great Flaw of Anarchism [by Prince Jonathan]

  Anarchism is, in its most fundamental concepts, entirely correct. The structure and concept of the State, as it is known today, is nothing more than a vast mechanism for tyranny. It takes away freedom, harms the common good, and commits acts of unjustified violence simply by existing; all of which it attempts to justify using elaborate political theories with deeply flawed foundations. Edan is not statist. I am not statist. To be otherwise is to be fooled. All this I believe and admit freely, yet I am still not an Anarchist. Indeed, both I and the Kingdom are very strongly anti-anarchy. And how, you ask, is this possible? Is that not a paradoxical position? Why do we oppose both the State and its absence?
  Because we recognize the great flaw of Anarchism. We see that it has developed from its perfectly rational basic principles into a greater philosophy that is largely false. Anarchists do not just wish to abolish the State, they wish to abolish all political action, all authority, and the entirety of the social sphere except for economics and the family, and some of them even the latter. This is the absolute height of foolishness, and Edan thus rejects Anarchism, as I shall now explain.
  Man is, as a very wise man once observed, a political animal, and this truth cannot be denied. Throughout all the history of all the world, government and political association has developed amongst civilized men. Furthermore, contrary to the common belief of Anarchism, it has largely done so in a non-aggressive way. After the gradual collapse of the Roman Empire, there was no government in France, Italy, Spain, or Western Germany. This meant that the only people with power in those places were the land owners, and the only material order their employment of tenant workers. Over time, these landowners, these counts and dukes, made deals amongst themselves, refined their feudal (that is, contractual) relationship with their tenants, and appointed some of their number as kings. Although violence and coercion were certainly involved in some times and places, the origin of government in Western Europe was accomplished through nothing more than the ownership of property, which I highly doubt any true anarchist will criticize. Similar origins may be found for much of the government of the ancient world, though, again, coercion is not completely absent from history.
  And, once more contrary to the typical beliefs of libertarians and anarchists, Anarchism has also been found throughout history. Far from being the first authentically new political development in three thousand years, absolute individual freedom with no form of government or authority has been seen in many different times and places. We find examples in the Judges period of Israel, Pre-Islamic Arabia, and Pre-Cromwellian Ireland, to name just a few. It is not necessary here to rely solely on those societies incapable of developing government; anarchy has existed in the world through the Age of Exploration. Indeed, considering the nations that evolved in Southern Africa and Polynesia, it could be argued that even the most technologically primitive societies are capable of forming governments, though most of them abstain. What is interesting here is that all examples of anarchy found historically, no matter what their culture, religion, or level of technology, share a few basic traits: continuous, bloody warfare, the normalization of atrocities, and a lack of any meaningful development in technology or art. Every time it as been implemented, anarchy has had a terrifyingly negative impact on the civilizations it affected. Even the most stable and moral examples, such as Pre-Cromwellian Ireland, were plagued by war and violence.
  Now, these facts alone would not be enough to condone statism. The ends do not justify the means; we cannot use tyranny and violence to end tyranny and violence. It is, as the majority of anarchists observe, utterly irrational. However, it is more than possible to form governments and establish the rule of law without recourse to coercion. A state-like order can be created in a completely permissible way, so why should anarchy be permitted to survive? If a truly lawless condition leads to such horrid things, why do we not agree to create law?
  So we see that Anarchism is disproved by history, but it is not even necessary to resort to that approach. Reason can also be used to show its flaws, and to demonstrate that a moral society is neither anarchy nor the State, but rather a proper, feudal government.
  It is natural for people to turn a blind eye to the errors in their own position. That is simple human nature, and it cannot be totally avoided, only fought. Anarchism, however, suffers from a general naïveté in excess even of that. Possible abuses of its systems and flaws in its concept of legality are ignored utterly, or supposedly defeated with the argument that market forces will eventually lead to their destruction. Even the most legitimate concerns are given no thought, as a rule.
  For example, let us say that there is a particular factory that produces car frames, and, in order to cut costs and run more efficiently, they switch from their existing chrome-coating method to one involving a much more volatile compound. The run-off and pollution from this compound quickly spreads off the lot of property that the factory is built upon, and begins to poison the water supply of a neighbouring residential district. The factory owner has harmed the health of many other people, so is he accountable to pay damages and switch back to the older, safer method? How much money should he pay out? How is that determined? Suppose the people in the district hire one security company to force him to pay out a large sum of money to them, but he claims that he owes much less, and hires a rival company to defend himself. Or suppose that he even claims that he isn't responsible at all. What happens next? Who determines which side is right? If the side that is wrong wins, who can step in to fix it?
  As another problem, is airspace property? Can sections of the sky and upper atmosphere be claimed, bought, and sold? It's an interesting question when there is no central law regulating it, but it is not the problem here. The problem is what happens when there is a dispute. If a road-owning company claims that it owns the air above its property up to the limit of the atmosphere, and a air-liner company holds that airspace cannot be owned because it cannot be worked, who wins the dispute over the first company charging tolls on passing planes? Let's say that the air company refuses to pay the demanded tolls, so the road-owners call in a private security company that agrees with their claims to force the matter, and then the air company calls in their own security that agrees with them. If negotiations fail, a shooting war will result. This is something of an extreme example, but it is entirely possible, and does a good job of illustrating this sort of problem. In a state of true anarchy, serious problems arise because of a lack of authority. Does this not mean that, according to the very laws of success and failure that Anarchism itself upholds as its unique practical advantage, authority will inevitably result? Is it not in the common interest of everyone to not just agree on a standard convention for such matters, but also create some way of solving similar difficulties in the future? And since this authority is so intimately linked to defence and enforcement, doesn't it make sense that it, the police, and the military should be a united organization? We find here the genesis of good government, and, indeed, of all government.
   And so we can see that Anarchism is neither foolish nor evil, but the belief that it can survive for more than a few generations without descending into violence and disruption is most certainly the former. Anarchists are correct in observing that the way things are today is critically flawed, but they fail to see the flaws in their own ideas again and again. Ultimately, they are, as a movement, over-idealistic. Even if they do not consciously realize it, their system is completely reliant on the total or almost-total eradication of human stupidity, selfishness, and disputes.
  In Edan, however, we recognize that such a utopian event is impossible. So we reject the State, then reject Anarchism, and finally establish ourselves to be a voluntary government. We seek to create the authority, stability, and public beneficence of a well-run State, while still maintaining the proper morality and rationality at the heart of Anarchism. Though this may be difficult, it is still worth striving after; and it is an ideal that we will not abandon for as long as the Kingdom survives.
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