Anarchy Without Bombs

Cooperation Without Coercion

What is Anarchy?


Relax, this is a good thing.

What is anarchy?  The absence of government.  So what is government?  Legitimized aggression.  Thus, an anarchist is someone who doesn’t believe it is ever appropriate to be an aggressor: to initiate force or fraud against someone else.

Does that sound radical?  It shouldn’t: it is the way you try to live your own life, unless you are a career criminal or politician.  It is the way decent people treat each other all the time: with mutual respect.

The underlying principle of anarchy is that you own yourself.  From that, an obvious corollary is that other people own themselves.  Which leads to the reasonable conclusion that you don’t own other people.  Or, as anarchist Roderick Long put it:

Anarchy is the radical notion that other people are not your property.

For virtually all of recorded history, the idea that some people could own and control the lives of others was accepted: slavery was almost universal.  Then, starting a couple of hundred years ago, this idea was rejected throughout the world.  Unfortunately, they left in one exception: it remained acceptable for some people to own and control the lives of others, as long as the ones in charge did it in the name of “government.”  But the idea of self-ownership has continued to advance, and we will soon come to accept that the exception needs to go.

Anarchy is self-control.  Tyranny is controlling others.

Don’t be a tyrant: be an anarchist.


Written by Less

October 10, 2008 at 12:57 pm

Posted in Philosophy

One Response

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  1. “Don’t be a tyrant: be an anarchist.”

    Haha. I like it. Short, sweet and to the point.

    The Marja of Mars

    October 15, 2008 at 12:10 pm

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