“Anarchy” is one of those words that many people react to emotionally – having been conditioned to do so.
The word has become generally synonymous with chaos and disorder. Dog eat dog. As EPautos’ king troll (Clover; see here for more about him) puts it, anarchy means “do whatever the hell you like.”
Anarchy, strictly defined, means simply the absence of government.
It does not mean people won’t – much less can’t – govern themselves.
The fact is most people do exactly that.
And they do it without government.
Do you need government – its threats and laws – to keep you from taking a ball peen hammer to your neighbor’s head? Would you transform, like Wolfman, into a run-amok creature “doing whatever the hell you like” if Congress, the president and every federal and state bureaucrat got Jesus Hoovered into the sky tomorrow?
Well, you might do many things currently not legal.
There are many possibilities – given that almost everything is currently illegal unless done precisely the way the government demands it be done.
But it’s not likely you’d become a murderer or a thief, even if government disappeared tomorrow. Because you – like most people – are capable of self-government. Have no desire to hurt others and so try to avoid doing so, law or no law.
Which is what anarchy’s all about.
It does not mean the absence of rules or order.
It certainly does not mean chaos.
That is merely the bogeyman presented by those hoping to delegitimize opposition to top-down control of every last detail of our lives by remote, centralized authority. It’s not unlike the scarecrow in Wizard of Oz. He did not need the Wizard to give him a brain; he already had one.
Similarly, people are capable of self-government without needing government.
Do you behave a certain way when you are a guest in someone’s home? Do you behave that way because of government? Or because you self-govern?
Consider your interactions with neighbors and friends and co-workers. Are you only behaving decently because you dread “the law”?
Would you rip-off your customers if there were no law that said otherwise? Beat your children? “Do whatever the hell you liked”… regardless of consequences, no matter who you hurt?
Of course not.
Because like most people, you are probably not a narcissist or a sociopath or a psychopath. Such people are, according to academic studies of the matter, always a small minority of the general population. You will, however, encounter them regularly in government, which attracts defective people afflicted by the sick desire to lord it over others.