From Webster’s New Universal Unabridged Dictionary (Based on the Broad Foundations Laid Down by Noah Webster): Anarchism: [from anarch, n. (Gr. anarchos, without head or chief.)] n. 1. the theory that formal government of any kind is uneccessary and wrong in principle; the doctrine and practice of anarchists. 2. anarchy; confusion; lawlessness.
Webster’s 1847 edition, which I had the pleasure to see a while back, gave the etymology as private rule.
Webster’s Unabridged again: Anarchy: [Gr. anarchia, lack of ruler or government, from anarchos, without chief or ruler, an private; and archos ruler.]
Private rule. Formal government is uneccessary. That is, we rule ourselves. Each and every one of us, as adults, are capable of doing so. This is, after all, what we mean by adult. Without direction or laws from any outside source, except our Creator.
All governments and people in entrenched positions of power fear this word and concept and treat it with the greatest of hate and loathing, for it would, you see, put them directly out of business. Our rulers have no desire to be put out of the business of telling us what to do and taxing us because they work so hard telling us what to do. Therefore, they have smeared and emasculated this word and concept every chance they got, down through the bloody centuries of human history until the connotations of "anarchy," self-rule, have come to mean lawlessness, bomb-throwing, disruptions, mayhem, riots, everything scary to a law-abiding citizen. This is how the word is currently used, although it means something entirely different, and always has. It means Rule Yourself.
Listen to our rulers and others in power and you will hear them use this word often. Should there be a trial jury that decides upon its conscience that a law is unjust and unfair and so vote aquittal, listen to the rulers howl: "There will be anarchy!" Should the people decide not to send their children to public schools for the common sense reason that schools no longer teach anything worth learning, listen to the education bureaucrats howl: "There will be anarchy!" Should a colonial people decide to rule themselves according to the laws of Nature and of Nature’s God, listen to the King howl: "There will be anarchy!" Should Americans wish to uphold their God-given right to bear arms, listen to the elites howl: "There is TOO MUCH FREEDOM! There will be anarchy!" In other words, you people cannot rule yourselves! WE must rule youu2014or else "there will be anarchy!"
Home rule. Private rule. Self rule. Responsibility for self and family. Willingly taking on the care of ourselves. Limiting ourselves in times of hardship when we must, and going without. Defending our own lives and properties. Using the brains God gave us to learn what is best for us, and knowing in our hearts our Creator’s laws and most important of all, following them. This, it seems to me, is what is meant by self-rule, and forgive me, but by anarchy.
And keeping the money that would be taken by "rulers," as taxes, to ourselves, thank you very much.
Is it any wonder, really, that our rulers cry "anarchy" whenever the people seem like they might make a common sense decision, all by themselves, without all the layers of "experts," lawyers, doctors, clerics, professors, politicians and all the rest of the crass parasites of the "ruling class"? This ruling class did not become rich and powerful without a few tricks up their sleeves, after all, and a damn good propaganda wing, and without being willing to be as brutal as need be when they deemed it necessary to send us cowering into our corners, willing to hand over the fruits of our labors for their "government."
The question is simple: can you govern yourself, or do you need to be governed?
An immoral and irresponsible people are not capable of anarchy, of ruling themselves. However, there is no such thing as a perfectly moral and responsible people, though humans have come close a few times. There is no utopia here on Earth, but we can take a few steps in the right direction.
As for me, I willingly submit to the laws of Nature and of Nature’s God, but by God, I have an anarchistic heart. Let those who purport to be my rulers hear this.
Patricia Neill is managing editor of a scholarly journal on the life and work of William Blake, the 18th-century artist and poet.