Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Government by Nature

A couple of weeks ago, I was engaged in friendly debate with a few people on a forum about the viability of certain governments, and the ethics of rebellion. One individual was advocating anarchism as a valid social order. My opinion regarding the concept of social anarchy has been called negative by some, but I prefer the term "realistic". I shared my point of view in that particular discussion, and, based on the positive reception I received, I determined that it was worth showing it to anyone I can. The full body of it is posted below.

an·ar·chy ( P ) Pronunciation Key (nr-k)n. pl. an·ar·chies Absence of any form of political authority. Political disorder and confusion. Absence of any cohesive principle, such as a common standard or purpose.

The concept of anarchy is that there are no rules, no one watching, no one in control of anything. What that means is that there is no one to stop the strong from preying on the weak, which is inevitable. Without government, humanity will fall back on the Survival of the Fittest principle. Those will only survive that are fit to. It won't be long before the weakest are weeded out and destroyed, and only the strong remain. Then the next major principle will come in: Safety in Numbers. The strong will band together to protect themselves and their assets from the other strong. The strongest band wins, which means they will focus on having the greatest numbers. Eventually, enough people form together in large groups for form tribes. Not we have a tribal society.

Naturally, these tribes will not be able to exist cohesively unless someone is calling the shots, so someone will be put in charge, probably by way of meritocracy: the strongest rules. So now anarchy is gone, replaced by tribal society. The tribes will fight amongst each other, and the stronger, winning tribes will absorb the weaker, defeated tribes and grow larger. Eventually all the tribes in one region will have been assimilated into one, and the battle for dominance will become one of territory. We now have a Feudal society.

A feudal society is the immediate precursor to a monarchy, or other totalitarian regime. In each region, there will be one at the top, likely a King or similar title, and there will be lesser "nobles" running their own plots of land within the King's vast territory. As these feuding regions war against each other, once again the winners will conquer the losers, and their territories will expand. Within short order, these territories are worthy to be called nations. Now we have countries. At this point, the warring will abate somewhat, and treaties will be signed, agreements for import and export made, alliances forged. Most of these countries will be totalitarian regimes for a long time to come, but eventually other forms of government will evolve. Socialism, communism, theocracy, republics and eventually democracy.

In conclusion, if society gave up all government and fell to anarchy, it would only be reverting to humanity's baser roots, and all we'd be doing is starting the cycle of social evolution from the beginning. It's a good way to cut down the human population for a while, but we just end up back here anyway. Society is where it is now because this is how far we've evolved. We need to move forward, not backwards, and there are simply too many people too close together on Earth for anarchy to be even vaguely considerable.

1 comment:

Scatterbrane said...

I do agree that governments of some form would probably inevitably for within the context of an anarchic society, but not neccessarily that they would in doing so break the one 'rule' of anarchy, that there are no archons (i.e. rulers).

Try reading the Wikipedia articles on anarcho-capitalism and panarchism. (and btw, I'm too ignorant of contextual commands/lazy to link them.