The (hu)man(archist)

Vincent Avatar


The sign on the left says: Poverty. Whoever You Vote For. It STILL EXISTS.

The sign on the right says: Like Democracy. Hate Politicians. Try Anarchy. It’s Democracy without Politicians.

I like the idea of self governance. It is the application of self governance I am opposed to. Governance without government means a return to a “Warring States” period like the one China experienced.

Anarchy, the notion of self governance, makes the fatal assumption that man is at his core altruistic. Those who believe that anarchy is a viable form of government, must accept that his or her fellow citizens subscribe to the like belief that they have a moral obligation to sacrifice self interest at the benefit of others.

I am not going to argue the existence of altruism. I don’t have the patience. I believe (sort of) it is a measure of ” The Good” Plato speaks about in Republic. I don’t think anyone wakes up with the desire to purposefully do “bad.” “Bad” occurs when an individual’s or a group’s “good” is in conflict with another’s. This is where anarchy fails.

In order to do “good” or to act altruistically the doer must be firm in his or her belief that the act he or she is engaged in

  1. benefits the person or persons being acted upon
  2. and puts at risk his or her own personal peace or safety.

This second characteristic is in direct opposition to our survival instincts. Without thought, without influence, our base nature is towards self preservation. It could be argued that those who commit suicide do so because they see it as the only way to “preserve” themselves and not because they have conquered our natural penchant for survival. So a situation has been created where suicide is philosophically not the discontinuance of a life but a way to “move on” or “get by” in life.

I am not promoting suicide. I think it is romantically beautiful but realistically wasteful. Suicide is one person too self absorbed in his or her own problems to foster and protect his or her community.

Just like suicide is a romantic notion that looks better in books and movies, anarchy is a daydreamer’s paradise that has no real benefit in the real world. This is not to be cynical and say, people are bad. People are not bad. But sometimes good people in conflict with one another do bad things.

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