Oh No! Science Supports... The Anarchists!!
by Paul Rosenberg
by Paul Rosenberg: A
Longitudinal Family of Mankind
I'm talking about the real anarchists here, not
bloody bomb-throwers or anti-capitalist window breakers. I'm referring
to people who have faced the scary fact that all coercive power
corrupts and that it always will.
The great argument against the anarchists has always
been that of the esteemed Thomas Hobbes: That humans are brute beasts,
and that left to their own devices, they will break, steal, rape
and murder in a never-ending orgy of death.
Anarchists always presented examples of cooperation
to counter Hobbes, but images of bloody fear sell much better than
images of cooperative workers. And beside, every powerful and authoritative
voice on the planet says Hobbes is right, and not many people would
dare cross them.
So, most people became comfortable in their conclusion
that, while the anarchist next door was a nice guy, his ideas could
never work in the real world.
Last week, however, science lined up on the side
of the anarchists. On January 16th, the Medical University of Vienna
released a serious scientific study that produced this headline:
Behave Socially and 'Well' Even Without Rules
You can click on the link above to get the whole
story, and you can follow links in it to reach the scientific paper
itself, but here was the experimental setup:
Millions of human interactions were assessed
during the study which included actions such as communication, founding
and ending friendships, trading goods, sleeping, moving, however
also starting hostilities, attacks and punishment. The game does
not suggest any rules and everyone can live (in the virtual world)
as they choose.
And here was the result:
"The participants organise themselves as
a social group with good intents. Almost all the actions are positive."
Take that, Hobbes!
Of course, the author says "the result of
this is not anarchy," but he or she is confusing the peaceful
"anarchy" with violent "chaos." Regardless,
the results of the study speak for themselves.
Of course most people behave fairly well most of
the time Ė we all live in that circumstance every day. The fear
mongers just don't want us to realize it... and that just got a
little harder for them. :)
Rosenberg [send him
mail] is the author of Free-Manís
Perspective, a monthly dispatch on the important things of life:
virtue, courage, science, art, history, philosophy and personal
growth. This was excerpted that newsletter.
© 2011 by LewRockwell.com. Permission to reprint in whole or in
part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given.