Reasoned application of natural and human laws


The debate that summarizes mankind involves determining which particular means of existence is best. Social, political and economic constructs have been developed and implemented throughout the last thousand years. Throughout this time, different forms of government and social organization arose out of idealistic thought and well reasoned application of natural and human laws. Today, this potential has been realized in our current forms of society. The Western world lives in a democratic, or so it seems, state of being. Is this best? What is the best? Is there even a best way to go about doing this?

The validity of any proposed social, economic or political theory is required in order for a collective group of people to move forward and adopt the principles that they suggest. Anarchy and anarchism are terms that are gaining relative popularity in today’s hectic and turbulent world. American interests are very wide and deep and often very contradicted and hypocritical. This democratic way of life is preferable over anarchy or any of its different sects that may promote the ideals and essence of its principles. The purpose of this essay is to discredit anarchism as a valid social, economic and political theory tha, would not create a better world if it was implemented in widespread fashion. I’ll explain my position examining this vast and complicated system through the different lenses of several social and political theories expressed throughout academia today and empirically demonstrated in the past.


Before discrediting anarchy as a valid way of existence, it is first important to understand what anarchy is and investigate some of the historical ideals behind this term and how it is accepted in today’s vernacular and social conscience. Marshall’s (1991) lengthy tale explained how anarchy has started and where it ends up today. Essentially no complete definition is available, however he summed up anarchy as a system, philosophically and rationally based where advocation of no state authority is required to temper the ultimate superiority of individual freedom and unregulated autonomy. In simpler terms, anarchists do not believe in official state governments as they are unethically and unprincipled in nature. The idea rose approximately 250 years ago in a call for ultimate freedoms and individual prosperity.

Marshall explained how anarchy has certain spiritual and religious roots, specifically originating from eastern philosophical settings, and these roots are ultimately responsible for the actions of individual freedom and individual choices. This evolution of individual freedom has evolved alongside with society itself. Nation-states and political organizations are the results of societal evolution while individual freedom seems to be always sacrificed as a consequence of this procedure and growth. Anarchy is more than just wild freedom, it is an approach to self-regulation and responsibility. Anarchy is to be accepted by those who are ready for it and not for mass populations who have limited and diminished intellectual capabilities.

Within this history of anarchy several instances have demonstrated temporary success worthy of examination. However all these examples also resulted in a failed state and soon people exposed to this form of regulation ultimately regressed to an authoritative state of existence. Anarchy is hard to generalize and very little consensus amongst its believers are unified on any one topic other than individual freedom. In many anarchist traditions state institutions are required and actually encouraged. This distortion helped contribute to the limitations of this philosophy and mostly distracts from other more productive means of social and political coexistence.

Many different sects of anarchy have resulted from this split amongst the philosophical core of limited state authority. This consistent and always present paradoxical nature of escaping from one’s parental and authoritative figure must somehow harmonize with the individual’s quests to understand and proceed with a personal mission in life. Can this coexistence ever be attained? It is unlikely in my opinion as I will continue to highlight different examples of how anarchy does not validate the human experience.


Social limitations of anarchy and its possible means of guiding and directing its citizens properly towards an ultimate potential and realistic understanding described a position of admirable optimism yet simultaneously displayed pragmatic doubt. Before applying a certain type of government or political system, society itself needs to be defined and put in some sort of segmented barrier. Society is a macrocosmic representation of individuals, all exercising their individual will into some greater and collective unit. Can society be controlled? Can societies be understood? At what point does a society not become a society and just is a group? Where is an individual’s placement within the society? These questions are probably impossible to answer and we have only partial answers to these problems. While I am not proposing I have a solution to every problem I can demonstrate that anarchy is not the panacea to our society’s problems.

Watner (2010) in his defense of synergizing anarchist themes into today’s society originated from an admirable position. Nonviolent resistance to the state, as he claimed, illuminates the best of what human nature has to offer in terms of individual relationships and golden rule philosophy. Unfortunately this falls short when he vehemently denies the use of force being wholly unusable. Ignoring the natural laws of force and discipline, does not stand to make a useful social argument. Yes, adhering to violent means and coercion does not necessarily promote the things that are the best in humanity, but the truth does not allow for its omission unfortunately.

Social scientists have been trying to organize and quantify human behavior since the beginning of the scientific method hundreds of years ago. Anarchy and the anarchic style of social coexistence has been also examined from a calculated standpoint. Grossman et al. (2000) highlighted the ridiculousness of this particular exercise. Mathematically equating human behavior is a risky proposition and can usually lead to a distortion of the truth instead of revealing it. Creating a model such as Grossman’s, where complicated algorithmic functions representing human decisions, exposes the desperation of today’s critics of social behavior into controlling the uncontrollable. The results of this modeling concluded that anarchy is a fragile phenomenon that rarely appears and is a result of competition for resources and a balance of available resources. While I agree with the ultimate conclusions of this study, I disagree with the means of how they identified this certain fragility.

Ayn Rand (1963) perhaps makes the most credible argument for the anarchist movement in her explanations for social control. In asking why men should need an institution to govern their lives, she declared that an intellectual renaissance is required to escape such backwards thinking. Highlighting the values of both knowledge and trade, she demanded that these ideals trump any requirement for communal equality. Rand made a very poignant proclamation when she claimed that “the fundamental difference between private action and government action, a difference thoroughly ignored innovator today, lies in the fact that government holds a monopoly on legal use of physical force.” Lawful coercion, although practiced dominantly by state institutions, do not monopolize this business however. While the hands of the state are often brutal and overreaching, no one is being forced to succumb to these demands. True freedom occurs when the one who is being coerced can forgive the one doing harm. Until this fact is understood, a partial portrayal of the solution seems only possible.

Rand proclaimed “under a proper social system a private individual is legally free to take any action he pleases while a government official is bound by law and has every official act. A private individual may do anything except that which is legally forbidden, a government official big a thing except that which is legally permitted. ” This scathing criticism once again hits to the heart of American democracy, but did not offer any viable solution. Eradicating the state would still allow for certain deficiencies within any social system. In answering her critics, the call for selfishness Rand demands appears to me as unkind and unreasonable. Eliminating the idea to help one’s neighbor seems out of place with the laws of nature and the successes of humankind. Domination over one another does not seem to be the right way, however, passively laying down and allowing the wheels of state institutions to continually run over and slowly diminish capabilities of individual freedom and action is not acceptable either.

The social constructs of organized civilization are complicated and often times not identifiable. The validity of any such construct needs thorough investigation and ample time for populations to assimilate and disseminate the principles to such a position. Perhaps taking the finer points and general principles that anarchy and anarchists hold will allow for new and creative ways of combining and melding theories and philosophies into something that can be appropriately applied to society in today’s world where new problems and obsolete solutions often collide in today’s environment. These collisions often appear as anarchy as strife war and discourse dominate social landscapes of today.

While some may argue that everyone social life is nothing but a testament to Ward’s anarchy does not hold true for all of society. Yes, while free will controls almost all of our daily decisions and lifetime decisions such as where to attend school, who to marry, what to do for a career or even what to have for breakfast is somehow missed his the ultimate requirement of succumbing to something greater than oneself as seen in natural law and all except a generalized ideals which govern society truly, in my opinion.


If politics is the art of human coexistence then anarchy stands in a very particular light to the art form. The political world often seems as if it is a true and honest representation of the anarchist model of discourse. Individual and special interests dominate the visions of the greater common good seen in today’s political landscape. Representation through democratic processes has brought us this form of compromise. To me this seems completely and utterly lacking of what is necessary to ultimately reach the potential that humanity has in store for itself. War is often the result of democratic methods. Despotism and dictatorship stand as true defenders of order and government mandates. How does anarchy relate to such behavior? Is it better? I will explore how anarchy is not better than even our poor forms of government and political communication and discourse.

Yarborough (1995) highlighted important and relevant facts of this argument in Henry David Thoreau’s inciting essay “Resistance to Civil Government.” Thoreau’s emotional manifesto demanding alternative courses of action to government appealed to many because of its nonviolent nature and its anti-slavery stance. The author discredited Thoreau as he proclaimed his words as not having contextual basis for today’s world, and I tend to agree. It is easy for one to be critical of slavery after the fact of its benefits to one’s stance in life. I agree with Rand in this case where domination over fellow humans provides a certain gamesmanship to the backgrounds of our lives. Compromising on political issues such as slavery, or in today’s world of globalization and anti-capitalistic stature, are not always artistically or emotionally pleasing, almost in all cases will reveal the truth of a political issue, and therefore demanding more respect for its words to learning and understanding these specific ways of academic investigation.

Epstein (2001) injected interesting comments about this discussion as she conflated the radical traditional liberal viewpoints with anarchy in general. She is right in some ways by equating the major radical political stance of today’s world in an anti-global, anti-corporate types where communal and individual freedoms are respected. The World Trade Organization is not a fine example of a successful or moral or even ethical or political organization, and Epstein’s anger is somewhat justified when she desperately clings to the anarchic viewpoint as a solution to these problems. Anarchy is not the solution to the coercion and detrimental treatment by organizations such as the WTO and World Bank, creating a positive example, a positive control system where individual freedoms in the microcosmic sense are completely and utterly aligned with the macrocosmic sense.

Wolf (1970) presented the most reasonable, yet still invalid, argument for the inclusion of anarchy as an acceptable form of political discourse. Wolf defined politics as “the exercise of the power of the state, or the attempt to influence the exercise.” He further defined the state as “a group of persons who have and exercise supreme authority within a given territory or over a certain population.” Authority and the right to command over someone else stands opposed to the individual autonomy and, as Wolf proclaimed abstract thoughts from our ideal human conquests. While these comments are inspiring, they are also inadequate. Supreme authority resonates like a dogmatic phrase. I do not believe anyone actually believes their own supreme authority and this argument is therefore based upon a false premise. Furthermore, influence is much too relative of a concept to adequately include into any suitable or practical definition.

Anarchy is not the right answer, history has taught us this in Spain, pre and post-revolutionary times in almost all countries, and even today. It is my understanding that today’s political structure is very much based upon anarchy and is therefore invalid. There is no order in today’s world where justice and fairness are often, if not mostly ignored by those we have chosen to lead us into our ultimate destination. Wolf’s classic dialectic of authority vs. autonomy is nothing new and does not create a new practical way of dealing with the political problems of today. Self-realization and self-consciousness appears to be more productive in these types of situations.

Political power is imagined and not real, and it is only imposed upon one because those who choose to impose it upon themselves desire it and need it. Anarchy does not escape this problem. Anarchy still does not solve the age-old problem of authority and the economy that is at the heart of all of these political discussions. Finding your own true path and not relying on other systems for so much of your development seems to be a better approach to this unfortunate issue of society’s problems. Anarchy merely misplaces the individual duty to act responsibly onto a system that is not entirely real. The illusion of government control and political power is strong and needs to be addressed in this discussion as well.

As Wolf interjected Rousseau’s “Social Contract” into his writing, it becomes evident that his pleas for anarchy are merely a call for another form of authority. Escaping authority in my opinion, can only be done when one becomes an authority and releases the potential in those close and near to the heart. Wolf relied on chance and probabilities to summarize his argument succinctly. I disagree with this approach . Ignoring what humanity is potentially capable of and placing these concepts in the hands of blind faith and choice describes a desperate and hopeless situation, not an inspiring and optimistic outlook. Majority ruling over the minority seems to be removed from any type of anarchical political system, but this is not true. Majority and minorities are not relevant to the argument when discussing and identifying individual and relative problems, the source of all political discourse.


To me, it is quite obvious that anarchy does not resolve many problems our society faces today. It is politically infeasible and stands as pessimistically-based jargon. Individual freedom and the economy are very important however, so important that no such political or social construct does adequate justice to the term. The problem truly lies in the social and political ideas of the community in themselves and the unsolvable nature of human existence. The paradoxical understanding of the situations helps bring about relevant and useful solutions to modern problems that seem otherwise unsolvable with our current tools and approaches.

History has also taught us that anarchy does not work. Today, anarchy in the form of democracy has failed in many ways completing a cycle of failed civilizations that is most likely inescapable. Conscious effort to develop new and relevant techniques of exploring empathetic behavior towards one another will contribute more to solving these problems that political systems that have failed at in the past. Individual reliance upon skills and knowledge is what is most important. Relying upon others to decide what’s best for the individual does not serve the individual or society appropriately. This attitude is often hard to maintain due to the human nature of inclusion and acceptance. Breaking free of this weakness will help those to explore and ultimately reach new levels of understanding and potential that could help eradicate ignorance and allow for sustainable and profitable means of existence for up-and-coming generations and for all those in the future.

Works Cited

Epstein, Barbara 2001. “Anarchism and the Anti-Globalization Movement.” Monthly Review,104, 1-6.

Grossman Herschel I., Minsong, Kim and Mendoza, Juan 2000. ” Decisivenness and the Viability of Anarchy.”

Herbst, Jeffery, 2001. “Let Them Fail: State Failure in Theory and Practice.”

Marshall, Peter H. 1991. Demanding the Impossible: A History of Anarchism. New York: Harper Collins.

Rand, Ayn 1963. “The Nature of Government.” The Virtue of Selfishness USA: Penguin. ment.

Watner, Carl 2010. “Civil Disobedience: An Overview of Nonviolent Resistance.” Strike the Root. Accessed April, 18, 2011.

Wolf, Robert P. 1970. In Defense of Anarchism. University of California Press.

Yarborough, Wynn 1995. ” Readings of Thoreau’s ‘Resistance to Civil Government.'” American Trancendentalism Web. Accessed April 18, 2011.

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