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Anarchic Order
Spintech Magazine ^ | January 4, 2002 | Paul Hein, M.D.

Posted on 01/14/2002 6:38:35 AM PST by SteamshipTime

I believe it was Chesterton who remarked that Christianity had not failed; it had not been tried. And Ayn Rand described capitalism as the unknown ideal. I would like to suggest, in a similar vein, that anarchy has been tried, is being tried and is a universal success, but remains an unknown ideal. I’ll explain.

Anarchy, I must point out, is not synonymous, at least in my mind, with bomb-throwing lunatics, or rioting in the streets. It is as placid as a pond, as peaceful as a park. There is nothing chaotic about it. It is certainly not the absence of government, but only of government imposed by strangers. The anarchist governs himself, based upon principles found to be enduring and valuable: the Ten Commandments, for example. Anarchy has been the basis of society, long prior to the existence of government.

Does your family have bylaws? Are there regular elections, or meetings for the sake of writing new laws to cope with new problems? Do family members regularly charge one another with violations of the law, and demand justice, as meted out by strangers? Not in my family.

Family members may disagree, of course, but these disagreements are worked out and eventually settled without recourse to written statutes or judges. No lawyers are necessary. God’s law, we have been taught, is written on our hearts. We don’t need to quibble about the precise meaning of words in laws because we all know, instinctively, what is right and fair, and what isn’t. It is only when we leave the family that we encounter the world of legalisms.

As a physician, I am on the staff of several hospitals. All have staff bylaws. These are bulky multi-page documents, intended to deal with any and every circumstance surrounding a physician’s staff privileges. Before being accepted on the staff, you must sign the bylaws and agree to abide by them. Indeed, one hospital even affixes to its signature-line the jurat that the signer will be bound not only by these bylaws, but by any additions that may be made in the future.

Astonishingly, this absurdity seems to provoke little reaction from the doctors. Perhaps that is because they realize that the bylaws don’t mean anything anyway, but exist mainly to provide the hospital with justification for acting against a particular physician if his actions might be considered dangerous to the hospital. Strangers from hospital-accreditation, who, ultimately, control the purse strings, require them.

The laws of your local community, not to mention state and federal governments, are sufficiently numerous and complex that you cannot possibly know them, although ignorance of the law – an excellent excuse for any alleged lawbreaker—is considered no excuse by the lawmakers, who may profit from infractions. You manage your day to day activities quite nicely without reference to these countless regulations. Indeed, were you to consider them prior to acting, you would be reduced to inactivity; they would overwhelm you.

In fact, the innumerable laws which are said to apply to all of us are out of our thoughts. That undeniable fact is, in itself, an excellent argument for anarchy. We have government, with its innumerable laws, but we function as though we didn’t, because otherwise we’d spend more time pouring over the statute-books, and haggling over definitions, than doing our work.

Moreover, the government itself, though passing new laws with alacrity, pays little attention to them, at least where its self-interest is concerned. It does what it thinks it must do, and if its actions are prohibited by the laws, it ignores them. The proof of this is all around us. To wit: "No state shall make anything but gold and silver coin a legal tender for debt."

That constitutional provision would virtually eradicate our economic problems; the government not only ignores it, but violates it. Actions not specifically permitted to government by the constitution are denied it. Nearly all of the government’s actions are, by this constitutional standard, unconstitutional. Does anyone in Washington care? Do most Americans?

The written laws are tools to be used, when it is considered desirable to do so, against individuals and corporations, except the federal corporation, which ignores any laws it finds oppressive.

What keeps society together are not the myriad laws imposed by government, to be applied as needed; it is the law written on our hearts. The shootings at schools around the country have undoubtedly stimulated a new outpouring of laws, but there are already numerous laws prohibiting shootings at schools, or anywhere else. "Thou Shalt Not Kill" is the relevant law, and it’s already written, though not taught. Indeed, it is forbidden to be taught in many schools. Therein lies the problem!

There is freedom in the law, we are told, but that is only true if it is God’s law, not that of some strangers who call themselves government. Those laws bring slavery. Indeed, that may be their purpose.

Paul Hein, an ophthalmologist, is author of All Work and No Pay. His column, "Hein-sight," usually runs on alternate Fridays in Spintech.

TOPICS: Editorial; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: libertarians
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To: jeremiah
I agree with you whole heartedly. And I honestly wish that we could easily achieve that goal. But, until the "masses" wake up and begin to take responsible actions for their governance, we are going to be struck with what we have, perhaps with further erosion.

Semper Fi

61 posted on 01/14/2002 10:58:56 AM PST by Trident/Delta
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To: cdwright
Anarchic Order

All sufficiently-complex systems are self-ordering. Think of an ecology. The conifers grow on the hills and the cactii in the deserts. Nobody orders them to. It just happens. The same thing happens in an economy. We use the term "marketplace" to refer to this particular self-ordering mechanism.

When government imposes its will on society, this has the effect, not of imposing order on disorder, but rather of freezing motion. In other words, it does not impose order. It imposes stasis.

62 posted on 01/14/2002 11:02:03 AM PST by Architect
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To: jeremiah
Being close to anarchy is one thing.
Being at anarchy is something very different.

The former is what made this country great.
The latter is what made others "third world".

63 posted on 01/14/2002 11:04:04 AM PST by ctdonath2
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To: Trident/Delta
Financial institutions (and like it or not an insurance company is a financial instituion) are the bane of the anarchic society.

Why? Historically, insurance societies have been cooperative institutions set up by small groups like residents of a particular neighborhood or workers in a particular industry. The "institutionalization" of insurance is a recent phenomenon, dating back to the 1920s.

Not that institutionalized insurance requires government either.

As the article points out, people tend generally to ignore the law and work out their problems without it. Consider, for example, how credit cards now give you the option of resolving disputes through arbitration, not lawsuit. A good step in the direction of the de-legalization of business.

64 posted on 01/14/2002 11:08:52 AM PST by Architect
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To: cdwright
"Affirming a contradiction is insanity."

Dictionary definitions of anarchy include things like: chaos; lawlessness and disorder. But these have nothing to do with the meaning of "anarchy". They are at best an inference, and a possibly faulty one at that, of the consequence of anarchy.

It makes me wonder if there is a government conspiracy to, through the dictionary makers, corrupt the language to their advantage. For example, since the passage of Amendment XVI, wages are defined as income and of course they are taxed as income.

65 posted on 01/14/2002 11:09:15 AM PST by Aurelius
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To: Trident/Delta
Your points are well-taken, and the problem of guaranteeing property rights seems insoluble without raising an entity which has more guns than anybody else. Historically though, no such governing entity has ever contented itself with protecting property rights and in fact, begins actively working to destroy property rights. Further, nothing--not democratic elections, a written constitution, separation of governing powers--seems to have worked to limit government to date.

The answer to this conundrum may be a complete decentralization of security, rather than its centralization. This is merely an extension of the argument made by Second Amendment proponents.

I do think you are wrong in arguing that an anarchic system must be wrong because it hasn't been voted in. The majority of the electorate consists of net tax consumers who benefit greatly from the current social democratic system.

66 posted on 01/14/2002 11:10:27 AM PST by SteamshipTime
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Comment #67 Removed by Moderator

Comment #68 Removed by Moderator

Comment #69 Removed by Moderator

To: ctdonath2
I think if you visit the third world, you'll find that government and written laws can be found in abundance. In fact, the government purports to assure fair distribution of resources by keeping them out of private hands. The results have been "chaotic" (or anarchic, if you prefer).

Don't get me wrong; I agree anarchy is problematic, to say the least. Historically though, the inevitable consequence of government appears to be more government since government, with its taxing power and monopoly on offensive force, is able to win more converts to its cause than, say,

Solutions, anyone?

70 posted on 01/14/2002 11:20:24 AM PST by SteamshipTime
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To: cdwright
"if anarchy doesn't mean anarchy, what does?"

Anarchy does indeed mean anarchy (in affirming a tautology, you can hardly go wrong.)

The meaning of anarchy is simply: without a ruler or government.

72 posted on 01/14/2002 11:27:32 AM PST by Aurelius
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Comment #73 Removed by Moderator

To: SteamshipTime
I do think you are wrong in arguing that an anarchic system must be wrong because it hasn't been voted in. The majority of the electorate consists of net tax consumers who benefit greatly from the current social democratic system.

Thank you for your agreement, it is a pleasure to discourse with an intelligent person. Ref above. My intimation is not that a new system be voted in, but, rather, what form of control would be deployed to keep things on a level keel until a anarchic utopia could be legitimately achieved? I, for one, favor the near elimination of the FED and transfer to power to the inedividual states, but, that plan is rife with problems. Architect seems wrapped up in semantics with little attention to mechanics. What are your views.

Semper Fi

74 posted on 01/14/2002 11:29:06 AM PST by Trident/Delta
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To: cdwright
"It rather seems to me that words are being redefined in the ivory tower."

I have given you the original meaning f the word, the redefing being done is by the addition of terms not part of the original meaning, and which have the appearance, at least, of being politically motivated.

75 posted on 01/14/2002 11:32:51 AM PST by Aurelius
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To: cdwright
"Without order, in other words."

I would disagree, since the absence of order is not a necessary consequence of the absence of government.

76 posted on 01/14/2002 11:36:47 AM PST by Aurelius
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Comment #77 Removed by Moderator

New relevant question:
Assuming a government can be replaced with utopian anarchy, what's to prevent the re-formation of government?

Given a pure anarchy, some people will seek power, some will seek a leader, some will seek protection from attackers/robbers...causing formation of a government. Those who oppose the government being formed will have to similarly organize to create a viable opposition.

Government happens.

78 posted on 01/14/2002 11:39:00 AM PST by ctdonath2
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Comment #79 Removed by Moderator

To: BlackbirdSST
How much would it cost them to hire their own private investigator to do the job? Probably less than the taxpayers put out for the bogus 100,000 more cops on the streets. The point would be, private industry does everything more efficiently than gubmint. So, it would stand to reason private industry would be more efficient at catching bad guy's.

"Probably less"? You could be right that it would cost less for private investigators to catch criminals, but that misses my point: Why should the private property owner spend anything at all to catch a murderer? (Especially if the owner can more easily avoid bad publicity by quietly dumping the body.)

If the concern is to allay customers' fears about crime, it would make more sense for a business owner to spend money on better security than to pursue a criminal who might be long gone.

The one thing that grates at me more than any other single issue, is when election time roles around and they start screaming about, The American People want "fill in the blank". If they had any clue as to what the people want, or even cared, we wouldn't have this bloated power hungry beastly gubmint we have today. I liken an Anarchist to Lover of Freedom, always have and always will. Blackbird.

I share your frustration with the current state of affairs. But don't you see? The problem is that the people of the United State have accepted bigger government -- and in some cases welcomed it. If the same people found themselves in an anarchist utopia, how long would it be before they invited big government back?

80 posted on 01/14/2002 11:41:39 AM PST by Logophile
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