The Truth About Anarchy: Past, Present and Future

in politics •  7 months ago

With negative portrayals throughout mainstream culture, anarchy remains a term tainted by unfavorable associations and perceptions of unbridled chaos. A recent article titled "Anarchy: What It Is and Why Pop Culture Loves It" attempted to explain anarchism - and it unfortunately fell short. Dave Smith joins Stefan Molyneux to discuss the recent article by Kim Kelly, common misconceptions about anarchism and why it may hold the key to the future of freedom.

Dave Smith is a stand-up comedian, political commentator, the host of the Part of the Problem podcast, the co-host of “The Legion of Skanks” podcast and his debut comedy special 'Libertas' is available now.

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While Anarchy sounds very alluring to most freedom lovers

I'm still waiting for someone to put forward a manifesto or even some practical suggestions as to how Anarchy could be implemented in such a way that it affords freedom to the people without rapidly turning into free for all for all kinds if criminal gangs, warlords and tyrants.

I could imagine it working if everyone was good and honest and honourable. Unfortunately that is not the case in any place I've ever heard of. So unfortunately there's nowhere that it could possibly be put into practice and work successfully.

I believe that since we're not all good, honest etc. we're never going to achieve a successful Anarchy and will(albeit reluctantly) have to settle for something a little less ambitious but obviously something that affords the highest levels of freedom attainable under the given circumstances.

To the best of my knowledge, historically Constitutional Republics have afforded higher levels of individual freedom than any other kind of system. While these were far from perfect and usually eventually became corrupted and devolved into socialism which evolved into Tyranny or communism(which is itself a tyrannical system).

So they can afford a high degree of freedom for a limited period of time. However I believe that if they were properly implemented Constitutional Republics could indeed be sustainable and the key to the proper implementation is the Constitution itself. Since it's non-adherence to the Constitution that ultimately leads to the Republic’s destruction.

You might notice that the American Constitution, although it lays down a large set of rules which the Government is to follow, it doesn't prescribe any penalties or punishment for those who violate, conspire to violate or advocate the violation these rules.

So why would "bad" leaders adhere to the Constitution when they could gain advantage by violating it and if they are ruled against, nothing bad happens to them. It just means they're supposed to stop that particular violation so they're inclined to move on to some other profitable violation and so on.

With a myriad of these type of incidents constantly occurring it's no wonder the Constitution's power and authority becomes weakened and diminishes over time.

However if these violations were punishable with stiff penalties (which they should be, since they erode the very core of our civilization) for those who inspire, implement, support, and facilitate them, this kind of corrosion could 'for the most part' be stopped.

While there are many other flaws in the American Constitution none is as dangerous to the wellbeing of the Republic as this one.


"without rapidly turning into free for all for all kinds if criminal gangs, warlords and tyrants."

Gangs = Police, enforcing licensing rules on lemonade stands

Warlords = Politicians

Tyrants = Tyranny of the masses can be as oppressive as a single tyrant. If 51% of the population decides that it is okay to steal half of your property, that does not make stealing your property moral. It happens though, and nobody even talks about it. It is just accepted as necessary.

You are forced to fund indoctrination of children by government schools else you be thrown in a cage. Once people accept that certain people in their society get a special pass on morality and are able to steal, kidnap, and even murder other people on behalf of society, your society will corrode. The initiation of force is immoral. If your society is based on the initiation of force, the expectation of virtue from that society is naive.


This is all the usual "boiler plate" rhetoric we constantly get from the anti the initiation of force Libertarians, but it's seriously flawed, since, for one thing it doesn't take into account the nature of mankind.

As you should know, the vast majority of ordinary people are good at heart. Though many are led astray or for many other circumstantial reasons end up doing bad things. However this doesn't mean the are basically bad people and for the most part can reform themselves or be reformed by others.

On the other hand we have a small proportion of people who are basically bad evil people. Sociopaths and psychopaths who steal and kill, slander etc. simply for advantage to themselves or even for enjoyment and have no sense of empathy or remorse etc.
These people are irredeemable and will always represent a serious threat and danger to any society unless they are forcibly prevented from carrying out their evil acts. Since force is the only language the respond to.

I'm never quite sure what Libertarians mean by "the non initiation of force" and I'm not even sure they know themselves. For example, in an Anarchical society, if there's someone living in an area who is known to be a murderer, who would do what about it, and how would they go about doing it?

But even before that. How would someone or some group go about establishing an Anarchical society in the first place?

Also all the complaints you have about the current system are not intrinsic to a Constitutional Republic per se.

E.G. the 51% thing is not valid since the Constitution (when properly implemented)protects minorities through the bill of rights.
The same goes for being forced to fund indoctrination of children by government schools.

Unfortunately the expectation of virtue from any society is naive, unless the UN-virtueous can be kept under control and the only way that can be achieved is through the use of force .


Interesting point that the American Constitution contain laws the government should follow, but no specified punishment if they didnt not follow them.
Though to address your point of and anarthist system containing tyrants, gangs and warlords. Is an oxymorron I would say. As anarchy does not mean without rules, and for it to have any way to function, it would need rules to prevent it being taken over by archons. Meaning the moment any tyrant , warlord or gang leader emerges, that would then be against the rules set in place to keep it an anarchist system.

So if what you referred to was to happen, that when in that instant change it into not an anarchist system.

There is villages being established that is anarchist today, to work out ways it can work; like Liberland and Liberstad. And there is a town in Mexico that kicked the government out to organize itself and thus in essence is anarchist. where Luke from WeAreChange and Jeff from TheDollarVigilante went to see how it worked. And Luke is working on putting together a small documentary about it.


I wasn't implying that somehow just the Anarchist system contained tyrants, gangs and warlords, but that these types exist everywhere, and given half a chance will take over anywhere.

You say "it would need rules to prevent it being taken over by archons". So who would make these rules?
Presumably some group or groups would have to come together to establish these rules. Once that's been done you have a Government. since that's what a Government is. A group of people who establish the rules and laws for a society.

Governance means management which requires control, since it's not possible to manage something that you don't control.

It seems to me that you are right back in the situation of the founding fathers. So why try to re-invent the wheel when we can instead examine the Constitution and see when, where, how and why it has failed to live up to expectations and make any and all necessary adjustments so as to prevent such failures in the future.

It should be interesting to see Luke and Jeff's take on these experiments.


Govern (control) mente(mind) So not Quite the meaning you infer. Though in concept sure its Managerial structure. But a centralized one, not decentralized.
Who whould make the rules in an Anarchist Society? They whould be decided upon by consensus of all who takes part and enters into that society. I.E some core rules could be decided upon by the once that first start it. Then all who enter choose to either agree or take an interest in looking at the rules and talk it over with others in that society to see if they are good enough to server the people and freedom.

Though ofc if the mentality is too lazy of most of the once in an anarchist society, it can happen that a group takes over and manage to change it, but at that moment its no longer an anarchist society. So you could in a sense then say that; you cant prevent stupidity or ignorance.

So it does depend on the members having a sertain degree of integrity and responsability. Genuine people you could say. This is true in however we end up doing stuff if we are to come into any form of freedom.

SO if you want to define every individual in the society to be "the government" then thats up to you. But the concept is decentralized.

While how USA started may contain some aspects of what could also be the start of an anarchist society, how it was started was not decentralized and anarchist. It was a centralized hierarchy at the very beginning from what I understand. So its not quite reinventing the wheel.

Oh, and Liberstad and Liberland isnt Luke and Jeff's projects. Although Jeff is very much involved in Liberland if im not mistaken. They did however visit that village that got rid of theyre government. And documented stuff from that place that is yet to be released.


I appreciate you efforts to explain this, but I can't really see what's the difference between what the founding fathers did and what you're suggesting.

And if it worked in the way you explained it, I would expect it to come out with a set of rules similar if not identical to what they came out with, if it was to afford the maximum amount of freedom for the individual given the circumstances.i.e taking into account the likely presence of would be tyrants, gangsters, warlords, criminals etc.

I don't see how you make out that it would be decentralized. And if it was based on consensus it would of necessity be democratic in nature.

To my mind a Constitutional Republic with Direct Democracy similar to Switzerland (rather than a representative Democracy like in most Western countries)is probably the best solution to the Governance/Management problem.

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C'mon. Anarchy is that brief period of chaos between rulers. Nature abhors a vacuum. Especially a power vacuum.