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Anarchy: Chaotic Nightmare or Dream of True Liberty?

February 24, 2014

Clyde Gerome English 2010 Monday & Wednesday 1300-1420

Anarchy: Chaotic Nightmare of Dream of True Liberty? With the State of the Union Address now behind us, and a whole year of still undefined government plans on the horizon, I, personally, have wondered what it would be like to have no government at all. It seems illogical to think that people need government to ensure their general goodness. About a month ago, I finished a book by Robert A. Heinlein entitled The Moon is a Harsh Mistress The book is set in the future and discusses the life of a penal colony located on the moon (Luna), ruled over by the “Authority” based on earth (Terra). The Authority simply regulates grain shipments to earth, ensuring that quotas are met, however, prices are far from just as the people of Luna pay far more for goods from earth than the earth pays for goods form Luna—this places economic strain on the people of Luna. The protagonists—a computer technician, a fiery young female political agitator, and an elderly professor—work with a sentient computer to plan and carry

Anarchy: Chaotic Nightmare or Dream of True Liberty? February 24, 2014

out a revolution against the “Authority” and Earth’s oppressive rule over the moon. In the book Heinlein outlines the beliefs of the elderly professor, which become the main ideas for the revolution. The professor claims he is a “Rational Anarchist” he states:

A rational anarchist believes that concepts such as ‘state’ and ‘society’ and ‘government’ have no existence save as physically exemplified in the acts of self-responsible individuals. He [or she] believes that it is impossible to shift blame, share blame, distribute blame…as blame, guilt, responsibility are matters taking place inside human beings singly and nowhere else. But being rational he [she] knows that not all individuals hold his evaluation, so he [she] tries to live perfectly in an imperfect world…(Heinlein 83-84)

Most individuals are self-responsible, you could ask just about anyone who knows best when it comes to their lives, I’m sure the answer would be a

Anarchy: Chaotic Nightmare or Dream of True Liberty? February 24, 2014

resounding reply that they themselves know what’s best for their individual lives. Most people are capable of peaceable interaction with other members of the human race, without the need of a government, or even a written set of laws. Despite the idea that we as individuals are capable of taking care of ourselves, without an overlooking state, many feel that if government were to be abolished, man would resort to the Hobbesian idea of the natural man that is man is inherently evil, and chaos would commence. Robert P. Murphy, member of the Ludwig von Mises institute and scholar of the Austrian school of economics, discussed the idea of statelessness in his article What are You Calling Anarchy bringing up many of the common misconceptions individuals have with the idea of an anarchic world. Murphy cites the economist Jack Hirshleifer who had stated:
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What do the following have in common? (1) [I]nternational struggles for control of the globe's resources, (2) gang warfare in Prohibition-era Chicago, (3) miners versus claim jumpers in the California gold rush, (4) animal territoriality, and (5) male

Anarchy: Chaotic Nightmare or Dream of True Liberty? February 24, 2014

elephant seals who fight to sequester "harems" of females. Answer: They are all anarchic situations. (as qtd in Murphy What are You Calling Anarchy)

This is an inaccurate comparison as none of the above-mentioned scenarios were truly the result of anarchy. A member of a gang in Prohibitionera Chicago, much like a gang member of our current “Drug War” era, do not participate in anarchy. Because anarchy is “a state of lawlessness or political disorder die to the absence of governmental authority”; neither of the above mentioned gang members truly participate in an anarchic system as there is a government in place in both situations—both situations are actually caused by governmental intervention in the markets (Murphy What are You Calling Anarchy) Interestingly enough, I have yet to discover one instance were anarchy has been truly tried and tested, not that there isn’t one, I simply have not found one yet. Now, let us discuss the existence of government. As governments have been tried, tested, overturned, reinstated, revised, and even turned inside out, the world always ends up the same: One government that rules in tyranny

Anarchy: Chaotic Nightmare or Dream of True Liberty? February 24, 2014

over the people. The United States, for example, was an experiment in the ideas of the “Constitutional and
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Conservatives (as they are not always one and the same) hold the as



something not to be disturbed as it “limits governmental existence and power”. However, we have seen that this is simply not the case. Many members of the Judiciary system view the constitution as a “living document”; other members of the legislative branch find loopholes to pass legislation such as the phrase “to promote the general welfare”. So, as there are obvious flaws to the constitution—or any governing document that isn’t written by the hand of a deity—that do not allow for the permanent limitation of governmental authority, government will, therefore, always find a method to increase its presence. To analyze a few of the arguments that many have towards advocates of a stateless world, such as: “Who would provide for private protection—i.e. police, fire departments, courthouses, etc.” and “Who will regulate the economy?” I return to the book The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. The one of the

Anarchy: Chaotic Nightmare or Dream of True Liberty? February 24, 2014

protagonists, the computer technician (Manny), encounters a visitor form Earth (Stu). This visitor had found himself in a life or death situation with some other citizens of the Moon simply because he made the mistake of flirting with a woman and putting his hand around her hip—as women are a scarcity on the moon, they are highly protected by the men. The visitor from earth, after a beating from some lunar lads, was taken to a privatized court to receive judgment. It was in the courthouse that Manny encountered this stressful situation, as the Judge was nowhere to be found, Manny was asked to act as judicator. The situation was diffused quickly under Manny’s judgment, both parties, Stu and the lunar lads, were made to pay fines and a warning was given to Stu to follow the laws of Luna. This private court, operated by a private citizen, was capable of passing a judgment that did not require the loss of life, nor did it set justice aside for greed—as is seen in courts today. (Heinlein) Heinlein provides a glimpse into a life of privatized public servants, and unwritten social protocols, although the group of youngsters gave Stu a beating—something they were fined for—they still gave him a fair trial. The defense of scarce resources is part of natural law—in any society—and instinct. The example of a disproportionate ratio of men to women, outlined in

Anarchy: Chaotic Nightmare or Dream of True Liberty? February 24, 2014

The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, shows that humans will always defend their resources when said resources are in short supply. The same would happen with a shortage of food, water, or even money. What about economy that I mentioned above? Well for one, as we have seen that scarce resources have been, and always will be defended, by that same means should the economy be regulated. Economics is truly the one social science that governs the lives of everyone, not only fiscally, but physically as well, however, that is a topic that would require a whole different setting, but I will give one example: “Risk and Reward” is a law that applies to economics/finance but also is visible in human lives, mainly in relationships. Every day people risk humiliation and broken hearts to find that one person for him or her. He or she risks much to reap the lavish reward of having that one person by their side for the rest of their lives. This phenomenon is not brought about by government intervention, but by human instinct, and by that same means can the economy be regulated. Not by a centralized banking system that artificially fixes rates, but by humans who know how to manage their own welfare simply because it is natural instinct. I understand that anarchy would not eliminate violence in the world, nor crime in general, however, neither does government. Governments have

Anarchy: Chaotic Nightmare or Dream of True Liberty? February 24, 2014

come and gone, in all shapes and sizes, but always end up being the same, tyrannical. And with governments that have, since the dawn of their existence, robbed from their subjects, murdered innocents, and enslaved billions—doing all these things under the guises of “taxes”, “war”, and conscription economists (Rothbard and For a New such Liberty)— as Murray


Rothbard and Lysander Spooner argued for a voluntary system, anarchy is just that, voluntary. I see no reason why we shouldn’t attempt anarchy. If each human were permitted to live his life as he or she saw best, they would be able to realize the true meaning of freedom and liberty.

Anarchy: Chaotic Nightmare or Dream of True Liberty? February 24, 2014

Works Cited: "Anarchy." Merriam-Webster. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 03 Feb. 2014. Heinlein, Robert A. The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress. New York: Putnam, 1966. Print. Murphy, Robert P. "The Ludwig Von Mises Institute." What Are You Calling 'Anarchy'? LvM Institute, 1 Apr. 2005. Web. 27 Jan. 2014. Rothbard, Murray. For a New Liberty: The Libertarian Manifesto. S.l.: Ludwig Von Mises Inst, 2011. Print. Photo Index:

Image 1:The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress. Digital image. Io9. N.p., 18 Apr. 2011. Web. 4 Feb. 2014. Image 2: Robert P. Murphy. Digital image. Infinite Banking Institute. N.p., n.d. Web. 4 Feb. 2014. Image 3: Stearns, Junius B. Washington as Statesman at the Constitutional Convention. N.d. Oil Painting. Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, n.p. Image 4: Good Ideas Don't Require Force. Digital image. Anonymous ART or Revolution. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Feb. 2014. Cover Image: Keep Calm and Live Free. Digital image. Liberty.Me. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Feb. 2014.

Anarchy: Chaotic Nightmare or Dream of True Liberty? February 24, 2014

Anarchy: Chaotic Nightmare or Dream of True Liberty

Anarchy: Chaotic Nightmare or Dream of True Liberty? February 24, 2014