Anarchism

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A true anarchist is not so much against authority or even rules. He wants authority over himself. He also does not want to rule over others but is just against man ruling over man.

Anarchism

Anarchism is defined as "belief in the abolition of all government and the organization of society on a voluntary, cooperative basis without recourse to force or compulsion."

If anyone is trying to abolish government through "force or compulsion", including hitting, punching, breaking or bombing things, they are not a true anarchist but something else entirely different like say fascists or just brutes and thugs.

According to Wikipedia, “Anarchism is a political philosophy which considers the state undesirable, unnecessary, and harmful, and instead promotes a stateless society.”

So if we look at some of the terms used to define "anarchism" we may refine our understanding of the word. One of the key words in this definition is the word "state". Man in the state of nature before social compacts might be said to be in a sovereign state of personal freedom with certain inalienable rights.

But what man or woman could say he or she is or has been born in such a state?

All mankind is born under the power and authority of their parents who they depend upon and are indebted to for their life. Your parents may depend upon others in ways that relinquishes their own natural sovereignty over their children by creating corporate, political or legal obligations to others. A common way this is done is by relinquishing the responsibilities of the pater Familias (natural father of the family) to the Pater Patriae the Father of the country. By turning over our natural responsibilities to others, we grant a right and authority through consent. That "legal right" grants an entitlement of state managed parental authority by default through Natural Law through consent and may become binding by terms of the social contracts, and those bonds may become bondage under systems of debt.

The student of anarchism may explore this premise here and at the links on these pages, along with the different variations of anarchism expressed or imagined by others. We will assist this process by defining and modifying words to identify different theories or opinions and by asking a series of questions and offering an answer.


Terms

  • Anarchism is from Greek word anarkhos ‘without a chief’ or ‘without a ruler’, later influenced by French anarchisme.

Does having no ruler in a state of nature mean having no government?

According to Wikipedia:

  • A state is a type of polity that is an organized political community living under a single system of government. States may or may not be sovereign.

If a state is not sovereign, they may be merely constituents or members of a state which exercises authority over them. If people depart from a state of nature through social compacts, they and their offspring may become less than sovereign through the elements of the world they are dependent upon.

According to Wikipedia:

  • Sovereignty is understood in jurisprudence as the full right and power of a governing body to govern itself without any interference from outside sources or bodies.

The first sovereigns were the parents of the first family. If those families invest some of their sovereign power in another individual or body they will have less rights. The individual is in a new "state" outside of nature with an individual or body holding the position of "father" of the people to one degree or another.

According to Wikipedia:

  • A government is the system by which a state or community is controlled.

When we say terms like government, we think of a form of government where the power of control is in the hands of a few people who control the actions of everyone else. Those few people who exercise control are the "arche" or rulers of society.

An anarchist is not really against control, but in fact desires the original control of his or her own life in a state of nature. In the beginning, man was endowed by natural right of dominion over himself and the world in which he lived, but not the dominion or right to rule his fellowman.

? Are there forms of government that accept and even promote the right of the people(sometimes called the power of choice or liberty) to control or to rule or "to govern" themselves?

If there is such a unique form of government, then anarchism is not without government or even without the power of the state. It would be any form of government that does not centralize, nor grant the rights of the people into the hands of an individual or a body of the people, whether: 1) they chose a small group of rulers or lawmakers; or 2) 51% of the people are granted the rights -- as we see in indirect or direct democracies, respectively.

A meritocracy is "government or the holding of power by people selected on the basis of their ability." That is generally incompatible with anarchy which is the absence of "rulers", men with power. There could be a form of meritocracy that is compatible with anarchy but the leaders selected would not have power over the people and their personal right to choose. They would have power over what the people freely chose to give them but not over the people themselves. In such governments there would be no forced tax or tribute, no draft or corvee. There are examples of such governments operating successfully in history but they are dependent on the intent and virtue of the people who freely assemble in them.

According to Wikipedia:

  • Forms of government, or forms of state governance, refers to the set of political systems and institutions that make up the organization of a specific government.
    • In the Commonwealth of Nations, the word government is also used more narrowly to refer to the collective group of people that exercises executive authority in a state.
It may be important to note here that "executive authority" may be over the people and their right to choose or only over things the people have freely chosen to grant the otherwise titular government.

Christian Anarchism

? Can there be something called Christian Anarchism?

Was Jesus an Anarchist?

Since he appointed a government to his apostles, and he told them not to be like the rulers or "archists" of other governments, it appears that he might be called the beloved anarchist.

Some claiming to be Christian anarchists say that Anarcho-capitalists[1] are either not anarchists or are not capitalists. Their conclusions seem to result from not understanding a free government of the people, by the people and for the people[2] and it is only attainable by those people with social virtues who are willing to attend to the weightier matters of law as if their own freedom depended upon it.

The seeming antithesis of Anarcho-capitalism is Anarcho-socialism which seems to be an oxymoron if you are not willing to change the definition of one of the terms.

Their argument is sometimes simply against capitalism, because they believe that "capitalism requires constant State protectionism of private property rights in order to function. All the unique characteristics of private property rights necessitate third party interventionalism, otherwise they aren't private property rights." That would be true if it was not for "those people with social virtues who are willing to attend to the weightier matters of law as if their own freedom depended upon it."

The truth is anarchism in any form does not work without virtuous people who care about others and their rights and their property as much as they care about themselves and their own property. Freedom is the habitation of the righteous, but the slothful should be under tribute.


In a pure republic the people rule over themselves individually, and their leaders are not rulers or lawmakers but merely titular representatives.

In a democracy, direct or indirect, the people as a collective may rule over each other by some form of majority. A democracy within a republic may grow in power, giving elected leaders more and more control by giving them more and more responsibility. When leaders promise the people liberty from their natural responsibilities within the family or within society, they will soon become rulers of the people and the people will be unable to retain their natural liberties.[3]

This pattern often repeats itself in history, and we find many like Plutarch and Polybius and even Paul and King David[4] who write about how society and the people are corrupted by different forms of welfare.


In that pure republic, the people would be sovereign over themselves, but not over their neighbor. Since the outside sources or bodies, including the elected government, are separate and titular, the government and whatever administration it was empowered with would be separate from the people.

In other words, what the people chose to give the government, the government would have power over, but the people themselves and their liberty to choose would remain intact, and they would not relinquish any of their personal liberty.

The term "government" could be referring to the titular representatives on the one hand, which would be separate from the people, or it may include, in the most general sense, the people who remain the rulers of their own lives and possessions. Together they are "one form of government".

Since "A state is a type of polity", it is important to understand the term and the types of entities the term "polity" may represent.

According to Wikipedia:

  • A polity is any kind of political entity. It is a group of people that are collectively united by a self-reflected cohesive force such as identity, that have a capacity to mobilize resources, and are organized by some form of institutionalized hierarchy.
    • An hierarchy (from the Greek ἱεραρχία hierarchia, "rule of a high priest", from ἱεράρχης hierarkhes, "leader of sacred rites") is an arrangement of items (objects, names, values, categories, etc.) in which the items are represented as being "above," "below," or "at the same level as" one another.
An hierarchy can link entities either directly or indirectly, and either vertically or diagonally.
  • Sovereign state, a sovereign political entity in international law, commonly referred to as a "country"
  • The Estates or the States, a national assembly of the estates, a legislature

Rechtsstaat, the legal state (constitutional state, state subordinated to law) in philosophy of law and as principle of many national constitutions.

  • Constituent state, a type of political subdivision of a nation
  • Federated state, a constituent state that is part of a federal model and shares sovereignty with the federal government


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Footnotes

  1. Anarcho-capitalism (also known as “libertarian anarchy” or “market anarchism” or “free market anarchism”) is a libertarian and individualist anarchist political philosophy that advocates the elimination of the state in favor of individual sovereignty in a free market.
  2. Introduction to the John Wycliffe Bible. "This Bible is for the Government of the People, by the People, and for the People." is attributed to the General Prologue to the John Wycliffe Bible translation of 1384, as quoted in Lincoln at Gettysburg : An Address (1906) by Clark Ezra Carr, p. 75.
  3. 2 Peter 2:3 ¶ And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.
    2 Peter 2:12 But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption; 13 And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you; 14 Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children:
    15 Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness;
    Luke 12:15 And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.
  4. Psalms 69:22 Let their table become a snare before them: and that which should have been for their welfare, let it become a trap.
    Romans 11:9 And David saith, Let their table be made a snare, and a trap, and a stumblingblock, and a recompence unto them: