OPINION – The word “anarchy” sends shivers up the spines of most people. This is not by accident either. We’ve been carefully indoctrinated to think of it in the most violent and chaotic terms possible.
But anyone with even a sliver of intellectual curiosity will quickly discover that it’s a word that has been given a bum rap.
The distorted definition of an anarchist brings to mind images of the wild-eyed bomb-thrower who lives to create chaos and suffering. The actual definition is considerably less sensational.
“Anarchy” is derived from the Greek words “anarkhos” and “anarkhia.” Broken down into its etymological elements, “an” meaning without and “arkhos” meaning chief, it simply means “without ruler.”
To many Americans that have been trained since childhood to view government as a hybrid parent/god, the thought of not being ruled over is terrifying. This past week has been filled with outbursts of pants-wetting hysteria over a so-called government shutdown that nonetheless still had nearly 80 percent of federal employees on the job.
It would be laughable if it didn’t reveal the submissive mindset that has taken hold over much of the American public.
We’ve allowed ourselves to be convinced that lack of a ruler is the same thing as a complete lack of rules. But human nature is remarkably adaptive to spontaneous organization when problems arise. Absence of the state doesn’t turn us into animals.
Just a couple of years ago in Logan, Utah, a motorcyclist collided with and was trapped beneath a burning automobile. As this video shows, without waiting for the lone authority figure on scene to direct them, the bystanders spontaneously lifted the burning car and dragged the man to safety.
No ruler had to tell them what to do. These citizens simply assessed the situation and then did what was necessary to save the man from a deadly situation. They acted without the state’s direction.
Now contrast their response with that of first responders in Alameda, Calif., who were handcuffed by their bureaucratic rulers’ inflexible policy. These police and firefighters stood by for an hour as a man eventually succumbed to hypothermia in neck-deep water in San Francisco Bay.
The excuse they gave for not rescuing him? Budget cuts and city policy had kept them from obtaining the necessary training and cold water gear. In the end, it was a private bystander that eventually retrieved the man’s body.
But even this travesty pales in comparison to the British man who drowned in waist-deep water as rescue crews spent more than 45 minutes donning health and safety gear. Initially, a policeman and a paramedic both begged to wade into the shallow lake and save the victim, but were ordered by their superiors not to do so.
Such incidents make a strong case that there are drawbacks to the mindset that we must be ruled in all things.
One of the greatest self-deceptions of our time is the notion that we rule ourselves under our current system of government.
In reality, we are being ruled by a thoroughly corrupted cabal of political opportunists who stake their claim to power on the perverted concept of majority rule. Their preferred term is “democracy,” but as Hans-Hermann Hoppe has pointed out, the immoral end result is still the same. As Hoppe explains, “It allows for A and B to band together to rip off C.”
Hoppe understood that where a monarch has real incentive to leave his kingdom in good order for his descendants, democratically elected rulers have only a short window in which to fleece those they rule.
We can see this insidious mindset at work in the ruling class that occupies Washington D.C. The domestic and foreign policy decisions of our rulers are driven by reckless spending and lust for power. They show little regard for the consequences to future generations or us. Their claim of legitimacy is now based primarily upon a monopoly of force – not consent.
A reluctant anarchist, Joseph Sobran said it best:
Democracy has proved only that the best way to gain power over people is to assure the people that they are ruling themselves. Once they believe that, they make wonderfully submissive slaves.
This is why the American people are expected to be nervous when our rulers fight amongst themselves over imaginary money that they don’t even have.
We don’t need to be ruled in this manner. We’re fully capable of ruling ourselves and organizing ourselves as necessary. In this sense, it’s high time to give the concept of anarchy another look.
Self-rule is starting to look a lot less scary than what our democratically elected thugs have in mind for us.
Bryan Hyde is a news commentator and co-host of the Perspectives talk show on Fox News 1450 AM 93.1 FM. The opinions stated in this article are his and not representative of St. George News.