Funny, if it’s explained like that, huh?
And we have an update with part 2
Funny, if it’s explained like that, huh?
And we have an update with part 2
For many years I have been listening to sci-fi stories on Escape Pod. Great way to make your driving time more enjoyable. In the olden day when I drove much more I was always up to date with the latest episode but lately I have fallen seriously behind – not enough commuting (well, not too sad about that, though.)
On m,y last trip back from LA I listened to a classic, written in the 40s – Expediter by Mack Reynolds. Happy to report that there were anarchist that long ago.
I have to admit that my first understanding of anarchy was in line with the definition that most people use these days – chaos!
But if we look at the definition and root of this word, we find that chaos is not really part of it. It comes from the Greek an- + archos meaning no ruler. It is certainly true that the removal of an established ruler can easily lead to chaos.
Take, for example, a kid that is strictly controlled. Take this control away suddenly and you will most likely had a child that goes wild. But does that mean that the child will remain wild? With most sane kids – and most of them are sane – they will soon find a balance and become accustomed to the lack of control and will be as productive or unproductive as their inherent make-up is. This has been demonstrated in an experiment of un-schooling, where a group of kids were not forced to do anything. Certainly they first slacked off, but after a rather short time of turbulence they started to better themselves voluntarily. If you have ever experienced the difference between forced and voluntary learning you know how much more efficient learning is that you actually want.
But this is an experiment that needs to be run to its end result. A system that would want control could easily subvert the experiment by first taking away control, let the kids go wild and then, when chaos is at it’s best, step in, proclaim that freedom does not work, and put the control back on.
This is the same principle used to convince us that anarchy is not working. Governments want to keep their control because this is what they live on. Any instance where control slips for a while, for example after a revolution or war, is them used to rationalize that chaos ensued and that government has to be established again as soon as possible.
Let me give you another picture that demonstrated that perfectly and which you will have in mind from now on whenever you hear about anarchy. Think of cooking pea soup in a pressure cooker. All the ingredients go in the pot, the lid is closed (control) and heat is turned up. Soon boiling starts, steam develops, and pressure builds in the pot. Nothing dramatic happens. The valve in the lid of the pot will let off some of the steam occasionally in order to keep the pot from exploding.
Now, suddenly open the pressure relief valve and see what happens.
You will have pea soup all over the kitchen. Yes, I tried that and this is the reason I used pea soup for my example. All the pressure trapped within the peas suddenly has no opposition any more and goes everywhere and takes pieces of the peas with it. The conclusion could now be to never relief the pressure – which would be equivalent to the politician telling us that we need police and military and prisons and laws regulating everything from commerce to farting.
But there is also another solution, because, after all, we want to get to the delicious pea soup. That solution is to release the pressure gradually, or – in the more dirty alternative – don’t care about the mess in the kitchen. Either way, we can enjoy the pea soup.
The sweet taste of liberty and lack of legalized violence where personal interactions occur on a voluntary basis.
Back to the idea of anarchy, a society of ‘no ruler.’ To get there will require a total revamping of the up-bringing of the next generations. Right now, kids, that have a disagreement or fight, are taught to go to an authority who will decide for them who is wrong and who is right. That will have to change to teach them to solve their problems and disagreements amongst themselves. Certainly this will not happen in schools that are sponsored by those who want the status quo.
I see this state of mind appreciating a society based on voluntary interactions spreading and getting more and more into the main stream, Ron Paul being one of the examples for that. He had to fail because the bigger part of the people is still too afraid of pea soup all over the kitchen, but it appears to me that we are at this time in state two of the three stages of truth as described by Arthur Schopenhauer:
I just wonder when we finally get to stage three.
At the Porcupine Freedom Festival which is held annually in NH by the Free State Project, a person, who I only know as Emily, delivered the rant I want to present here in a free transcription.
The usual argument against a society without the state (anarchy) is that we would first sink into total chaos (another meaning of anarchy, yet not the right one) and then organized crime would take over.
Let’s assume that this is true – which it probably is not – but let’s just look at it for the sake of argument, and we find out quickly that we would still be better off with the Mafia than the current ‘state’ of affairs.
10. The Mafia has a sense of honor – when they say they do something then they do it. That is not the case with people running the state. (Ed. comment: this is self-evident if you look from which ‘professional’ group the members are generally recruited.)
9. The Mafia’s code of conduct is simple and clear. There is no legal double-talk and not millions of rules and regulations.
8. When two families of the Mafia go to war they do not create millions of fatalities as collateral damages. For the Mafia that would be just bad for business.
7. Instead of conducting a war on drugs the Mafia is happy to provide quality products to those people who desire them.
6. When you buy protection from the government, you get protection. The Mafia limits violent crimes in the area they protect instead of just giving you a phone number to dial when you become a victim of violence.
5. The protection of the Mafia is much less expensive at 10 to 15% of your profits versus at least 40 to 50% for the current legal syndicate.
4. Unlike the government the Mafia actually wants your business to succeed. They know that ruining your business makes you unable to pay for their protection. They also don’t impose a huge overhead of paperwork and force you to fill out reams of self-incriminating confessions (tax forms.)
3. The Mafia will not keep you from having guns to protect yourself. The Mafia will gladly sell you the means to protect yourself.
2. Different than the state the Mafia will not regulate what you do in your bedroom. Instead they will offer for sale all the things you might need to increase your enjoyment.
1. Members of the Mafia have style, dress much better and are a lot easier on the eye than government bureaucrats.
The added advantage of having the Mafia being in charge is that the ‘protected’ do not believe that the organized crime lords have a god-given right to rule us (as most people believe the government has.) This will make it much easier for competition which will then drive down prices – something that will always happen in a free society.
If you are interested in seeing a bit more clearly what is going on here, a good introduction is delivered by this video by Stefan Molyneux…
There are always two sides to a coin, and today I had to reflect on these two side in regards my my anarchistic conviction.
It is easy and righteous to be an anarchist, and to help as little as possible for all those things most of us abhor. War, extortion, corruption, etc. But there are a few things that I like that these guys are doing, like helping to get pictures like this…
This is just one sample of the pictures taken by astronaut Douglas H. Wheelock during his stay at the International Space Station just about 200 miles straight up. I can’t help considering other people who do not appreciate this venture out into space, just as I don’t appreciate beating up the Irakies or toppling a South American Dictator.
One of the most heard arguments against anarchy (in the sense of a society without a ruling government – not the definition of ‘chaos in the streets’) is “but somebody will have to build and maintain the roads!” On first glance that seems to be a valid argument, but thinking a bit further there are possibilities that don’t make it look so good. For one, a private builder who builds an area with houses he wants to sell, will make sure that there is a road that lets people get to these houses. Would make the houses probably a bit more expensive but considering that the buyer does not pay any taxes to a usually very inefficient government, the house with the street factored in would probably come cheaper than the house plus the taxes.
But what about highways and freeways? In part of the US we already have toll roads and they seem to be working just fine, and again the saving in taxes factored in, traveling might actually become cheaper. But lets assume that it would actually be more expensive to travel longer distances along toll roads – maybe other means of transportation would have been invented if they would be now more competitive without any government strong-arming the use of the road and car system. Maybe there would be already flying cars that don’t require expensive road building – or we would actually have the rolling roads of the early Heinlein – would THAT be cool!
Back to the space pictures. It might have take us a bit longer to reach the moon, but there is a good chance that we would have a flourishing space industry if there would have been no monopolistic government involved. A good chance that I might be able to afford a trip to Bigelow’s Space Hotel in one of Burt Rutan’s SpaceShip 4’s.
There would have been less people contributing to the cost of developing these space technologies, because right now each and every tax-paying citizen is a contributor. But if only the people who wanted it would be contributing, which is far less, it still could be more, as – first – an inefficient middle man is cut out of the loop, and – second – the people who do contribute really want it, and how much energy does does real intention add to the equation?
But despite all these ifs and whens I can still enjoy the great images from the ISS that were created with all our contributions – willing and unwilling – even forced. Here again the link to astronaut Wheelock’s images.
Synchronicities are always surprising and can, at times, be outright scary. Here is one that is somewhat in the middle.
Sometime last week I talked to somebody and the subject of Washington came up. The drives or walks along the impressive buildings oozing history, statesmanship and greatness of this nation. Did not really think much more about it and actually had the thought that I should take my son there and show him the sights that document how great this nation is.
This thought did not fit quite in with my latest subjects of study, my journey into the philosophy and realization of anarchy (*) but then again, I just had a chat with a friend who told me how she took her daughter to DC to show her the sights.
But the universe, or whoever that might have been, could not just let that sit there, no, it had to rub my nose into my glibness regarding this display of of state power, built in a way so that the people who actually build these temples for their masters, were even proud of their accomplishment.
So what did the universe (et al) do? – It threw this video into my general direction , so that I could not look past the facts any more…
Germania would have been bombastic, I’m sure, probably similar to how Washington, DC feels today to all the school children visiting the cradle of this greatest nation of the world, looking at the wonders and temples build to honor our politicians. I guess, as Hitler was not really a politician and lawyer, he was a lot more honest at what he was doing – Heil, Hitler! – for helping me to see a bit better what is going on and confirming the words of my two favorite anarchists (yes, I have two now!) – Larken Rose and Stefan Molyneux.
(*) anarchy: this word has two main meanings, one, that is often used in emotionally charged arguments, is a synonym for chaos and lawlessness, but the other one is the more objective definition of