What is anarchy?
Would an anarchist society work?
Anarchy is really living a life without rules. It’s about not answering to anyone, other than yourself. So if you lived in an anarchist society, you would be forced to be self-sufficent. You wouldn’t be able to scrounge of the government, because there wouldn’t be one. If you wanted something, you’d have to go out an get it.
This, as an idealism, sounds really positive, something that would encourage people to take responsibility for themselves, and not blame their worthless existance on those around them. But it would also mean no order. So whilst you will have people who would go and work for what they want, you would also have people who will not work, and just steal what others have worked for. This would then lead the ‘victim’ to look to punish the person who profited from their hard work. And this…is order. Something that true anarchism is against.
So it’s hard to see how an anarchist society would work, as people automatically will try and establish some kind of order to the chaos, therefore taking away from the level of chaos. It is something that makes people feel safe. It’s similar to the whole ‘knowledge is power’ mantra. If you know how a particular person (or group of people) is supposed to act, then it is settling, makes a person feel better. It’s like we are built in a way, that if we are aware of what is going on in the world, we will live happier in our own lives.
So whilst anarchism comes across as a nice idea, we will get to a point where we will crave the routine and the structure organised society brings. It would turn into a case of ‘the grass is greener on the other side’. Again, something which is in our nature. As people, we are constantly looking for something that works best for us, and like to think that if things did change, what would we get out of it. Everything we do, it comes down to how it would effect our lives, because that is all we know. Our own lives.
Now, I have been a part of the Scottish punk rock scene for the last 4/5 years of my life. Whilst it is centred around music, there are always going to be the fact that much of the roots of punk are based in the idea of anarchy. The degree in which people employ anarchy and punk in their lives varies, with some people spending their lives unemployed because they don’t want to conform. Others, like me, work a steady job, but try to live their life the way they want to, and fight for what they believe in. What ever part of the punk spectrum people fall into, there is no way around the fact even being unemployed is filling out a role in society.
Is the whole ‘I am unemployed because I’m an anarchist’ idea as flawed as I think it is? Most people who are unemployed get money from some kind of benefits, provided by the state. The state, get the money for these benefits from those who work and pay taxes. You form part of a system, something that anarchists are against. So unless you live off no money, don’t purchase anything at all (especially not those new Dr Martins you have there) and contribute sweet F.A. to the world around you, then NO! You are not a true anarchist.
Me, you, your neighbour? We are all part of something bigger than us, somthing that goes beyond modern society, back to our traits as pack animals. You can’t just opt out of that, because as a human, you need people around you. Contributing something, no matter how unimportant, will always make you feel distinguished because it is part of our psychology.
I have barely touched anything on this topic, and I really could go on more. I will possibly post more, but the whole ‘anarchy’ thing has been running through my head all day.