Is the Attorney General Embracing Anarchy?

I could hardly believe what I was seeing. Speaking in the aftermath of the murder of five policemen in Dallas, Attorney General Loretta Lynch urged people to seek “peaceful” alternatives, adding that “the answer is never violence.” I don’t know if she was sincere in what she was saying, or if she was only mouthing words that might sound good to the public, but it is clear that her comments negated the essence of political behavior. Coming from the federal government’s chief law enforcement official, her words were contrary to the universally accepted definition of the state as “an agency that enjoys a legal monopoly on the use of violence within a given territory.” They also ignore the fact that every mandate of government – from whatever branch they may derive – is enforced by the state’s use of coercion. Wars, capital punishment, prisons, eminent domain, conscription, asset forfeitures, genocides, taxation, fines, slavery, injunctions, police brutalities, are the more familiar expressions of governmental behavior, having in common the unrestrained power to enforce what those in control of the machinery of government want to accomplish.

As for truly “peaceful” alternatives, this is the sort of behavior one finds in the marketplace, where respect for the inviolability of the person and other property of each individual manifests itself in voluntary transactions between and among people. A society in which such mutual respect prevails is one in which men and women enjoy “liberty.” The philosophy that expresses this condition is “anarchy,” a word that literally means “without rule by government.” It is a concept that rejects institutionalized violence as a means of generating “order” in society. In the mouths of those who embrace the political establishment, “anarchy” is a word that challenges their violent rule. “Anarchists” are violent people, they assert, an act of psychological projection that conveniently ignores the fact that political systems, not anarchists, managed to slaughter some 200,000,000 people in the 20th century alone!

If the attorney general is sincere in her desire to rid the world of violence, I welcome her into that informal, non-political fellowship of men and women who, for decades, have sought peaceful ways for human beings to live in society. The word one uses to describe this condition is not as important as the condition itself. The word “peace” will suffice, a concept that former president Kennedy simply defined as “leaving other people alone.”


12:42 pm on July 11, 2016