Anarchy Means Chaos — In Figments of the Blind

[Updated August 26, 2022]

The entire argument that “chaos will ensue” from lack or absence of authority – and I mean lock, stock, barrels and, of course, plenty of smoke – rests on nothing more than blind faith.

Look as hard and as far as you like. Blind faith is all you’ll find under all that adamant bluster.

No one yet has conducted intelligent, controlled, well-structured, well-performed studies to find out what actually happens when people try to manage their affairs under non-authoritarian conditions.

Find me even one such study and I’ll stand (trivially) corrected.

So, what actual, non-speculative, reliable data does the chaos-will-ensue argument rest on?

None.

At the very least, even if you did find a couple of such studies – which you won’t, but let’s just say you did – you would still need to be honest and admit that your belief (unless you happen to be an anarchist) that chaos would ensue from lack or absence of authority has, until now, been based on no such data because, until now, you knew of no such studies. So, your belief predates any discovery you might make of any such study, something that wasn’t even on your radar until now, after I posed the challenge to you.

Further, people who put that argument forward typically have no clue what non-authoritarian conditions even look like. Do you? What’s the viable alternative to law-and-order, to authoritarianism? Any idea?

So, how can anyone with no clue intelligently claim that chaos will erupt from anarchy when they can’t even describe the conditions which would supposedly create the eruption?

They can’t. They’re just making that shit up.

Or, maybe more accurately, they’re just regurgitating authoritarian propaganda they swallowed whole, uncritically, without questioning, like worms shoved down the gullets of nestlings, beaks wide and begging for it.

The closest thing to real examples of chaos-breeding anarchy that these knowlittles can muster are societies where people trained/conditioned/brainwashed their whole lives to live under authoritarian regimes — so they’re quite ignorant of viable anarchistic methods — suddenly and violently get their authoritarian props ripped out from under them. I think that law-and-order advocates, too, would freak out in a situation like that — despite their smug insinuation that those wild, chaos-prone fools stripped of rules and rulers would not behave nearly as well as “we” would; we the more educated, intelligent, moral, advanced, and “civilized” fools who love law and order.

Yeah, right.

We’re to believe that fools who freak out at the mere idea of having no bosses to tell them (but mostly to tell others) what to do would handle themselves better were there actually no bosses telling them what to do?

No, my poor, deluded (and racist?) archist, those fools over there really aren’t so different from the fool you are.

And maybe that’s the rub.

Maybe archists secretly realize that there, but for graces of legal systems and law enforcement, go they. Something has got to account for why they’re so desperately attached to systems and institutions designed solely for the purpose of repressing individual freedoms, which they construe as threats to safety, order, and the general good prior to — and notice this — prior to any consideration of facts, let alone any intention of ascertaining whether facts do indeed warrant the repression.

Archists don’t invoke authority in response to actual threats but in order to preclude the possibility of being threatened long before threats ever appear.

Authority is always invoked against hypothetical dangers and deemed justified regardless whether the dangers ever materialize or not.

Always hypothetical regardless. Think about that.

When it comes to actual threats, dangers, calamities, etc., once they confront us it’s too late to set up authorities and authoritarian structures.

So, authority is a function of response to calamities surmised, anticipated, and feared.

I dare anyone to clearly differentiate superstition from the presumptions and preconceptions that give rise to authority.

Failing that, it means that authority is, ultimately, a function of hysteria.

Apart from inordinate and dread concern for the hypothetical, the potential, the unproven, the occult, people would not sacrifice very real freedoms and take such great pains to secure a safety that they aren’t even sure for a fact is threatened.

This is worse than blindness. It’s paranoid delusion.

Authority and authoritarian programs and institutions are always propositions that claim to prevent potential terrors, not to manage real ones. Nothing could be clearer.

Cost-benefit analysis is never the basis for a decision to invoke authoritarian measures.

Once decided, authoritarian measures might be subjected to cost-benefit analysis in order to justify the decision to invoke them, but far more often they are not. The shock and awe of graphic but isolated incidents baselessly generalized over entire populations usually do the trick instead.

Witness the last three years of health scares and violent authoritarian overreach that have not abated even though the “emergencies” never materialized as predicted. And now, even the CDC has backpedaled — without admitting it, of course – and so-called “conspiracy theorists” who warned about the scamdemic and the dire effects of the “vaccines” and how they were exploited in an unprecedented shift towards totalitarianism are being vindicated more and more every passing day.

When someone actually does estimate or guess at the cost-benefit ratios of authoritarian measures, since the data that might support rigorous analysis are rarely collected, (although there’s no reason they couldn’t be,) what do they say?

Like John Mueller explained to Adrienne Arsenault in a 2011 CBC interview:

:

JOHN MUELLER: “Unless they can demonstrate that they have deterred, protected against, or foiled thousands of plots per year, the money simply is not justified by using conventional cost-benefit analysis.”

ADRIENNE ARSENAULT: “How many Times Square-type attacks a day would they have had to have foiled to make the trillion-dollar spending worth it?”

MUELLER: “Four.”

ARSENAULT: “Four?”

MUELLER: “Yeah, four a day.”

See the interview at http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/video-9-11-and-the-price-of-protection-1.980364

It’s not just that authoritarian measures fail cost-benefit justification – it’s that they fail miserably by orders of magnitude.

This is not the equivalent of blind leading blind, but of leaders denying the obvious and leveraging our blindness to create stampedes of senseless sheeple who trust their shepherds’ directions, unwitting that these “protectors” are duping them for profit without regard for their welfare, sometimes gleefully driving their flocks right off cliffs of financial ruin, wartime havoc and, now, environmental collapse.

Oblivion is rife on every level in the Land of Law and Order, especially oblivion to personal responsibility.

What is the single most important authoritarian control structure, without which wars simply could not be waged? The Alexandrite of authoritarian gems: chain of command. Apart from authority and authoritarian methods, organized conflicts up to and including war would be flatly impossible; while at the same time non-authoritarian methods like trust, peer-to-peer communication, and cooperation would continue to enable constructive, nonviolent pursuits.

And yet, to be fair, no amount of law-and-order stupidity could ensure that every claim they make is wrong. Even drunks and simpletons and fools get it right sometimes, if only incidentally.

So, are there really no examples of failed anarchy?

Let’s look at a couple of candidates commonly cited by archists.

Despite how some claim it is, Syria is not an example of what happens in a void of authority. Syria exemplifies the horrors of proxy-warring authorities — not a lack of authority but the furthest, most opposite extreme: excessive exercise of competing authority.

Confusing authority on steroids, like in Syria and similar conflicts, with the archist myth of calamitous authority deprivation isn’t just absurd.

It’s bizarre.

It can only be accounted for by the brainwashing that archists suffer under, powerfully so, enough to mistake up for down, black for white, and polar opposites for synonyms.

Maybe Somalia is a better example of what happens when authority suddenly implodes. Even if that were the case, (it wasn’t,) and if Somalis had attempted anarchy, (they didn’t,) would it have been any wonder that a population which had lived under a century of colonialism and dictatorship lacked the mental, emotional, and social means to conduct their affairs anarchistically? Was it really surprising that local authorities there each claimed supremacy and began infighting?

We call them “warlords“, not “war-peers”, for a reason.

Somalia is a good example of how authoritarians rush in to fill “power vacuums”, not of how anarchists fuck them up.

Both Syria and Somalia are both really, really bad examples if you want to argue that anarchy results in chaos.

For that matter, what are violence and conflict and the destruction they leave in their wakes, if not chaos? And where have violence, conflict and destruction always been most prevalent in the big picture? In homes tyrannized by abusers; on urban streets where gangs and crime bosses rule; in financial cross-fires between corporate board rooms and high-stakes traders that leave employees and customers bleeding hard-earned income and savings; on foreign battlefields where innocent young men, women and children lie dead and bleeding in cross-fires between government war rooms — all of which occur within and between authoritarian societies? Or does all that chaos ensue in and between anarchistic societies?

The real answer might surprise you.

The most prevalent violence, conflict, and destruction, by far, occur in none of the above.

The decimation by authoritarian regimes of their own citizens far exceeds all the others combined, and always has — even if you took into account only the confiscation and destruction of property, health, and lives of so-called “civilized” societies — but especially so when overt slavery and wage slavery and sweatshops and child labor and infanticide and ethno-genocide are taken into account as violent, destructive, humanity-obliterating practices targeting their very own “human resources”.

In contrast, any “chaos” you could find evidence of in and between anarchistic societies would amount to a puny drip lost in oceans of authoritarian atrocities.

But remember: you’d first have to find anarchistic societies before you could intelligently say otherwise.

So, what does that reveal the cocksure adamance of all-knowing authoritarians to be, when they’re completely ignorant of any such anarchistic society?

Wherever you find people justifying or excusing the chaos of violence and conflict, there you’ll find authority — because authority is none other than the go-to rationalization of irrational violence and conflict.


Whether it’s a street gang, organized crime, or the organized super-crime we euphemize as “government”, authority is indispensable at every level of programs of violence and conflict, because normal people are naturally averse to violence and tend to be conflict-avoidant. In order to engage in violence and conflict — especially as deliberate, planned, ongoing, coordinated efforts — most people need significant unnatural motivation and justification. Most normal people need to be brainwashed first. This is why propaganda exists; because authority and the violence and conflict it both foments and justifies are unnatural.

Normalizing the unnatural is why you went to school.

It’s why soldiers need boot camp.

It’s why both war and religion have always been glorified by media and use each other’s metaphors and memes.

The converse also holds: Not only do violence and conflict need authority to justify them, but apart from violence and conflict and the need to justify them to secure compliance and support for their perpetuation, authority would be seen for what it actually is: an absurdity. Insanity, in fact. Without violence to back up its threats, authority wouldn’t just be toothless and clawless, we’d see it as a nonsensical, infantile farce. Imposing authority on people who know how to share, get along, and take care of each other could only make sense to psychopaths who enjoy controlling others even when there’s no need for it, and who enjoy making everyone else suffer so that they can feel better about their own sorry asses.

So, the chaos of violence, conflict and destruction is inextricably and doubly connected to authority — not to the lack thereof.

A fair test of anarchy would be to see what happens when people who have a good grasp on non-authoritarian methods of conducting their affairs (not a non-existent one 🤣) are left to their own devices. Show me a population of any such people where their efforts failed on their own — not because some horde of authority-crazed idiots swept in and wiped them out (like what happened to Native Americans or Aboriginal Australians or the Albigensians and Catharism, as just three examples).

Please note that I didn’t claim there are no examples of failed anarchy. Maybe there are some. Besides, I try not to make baseless claims. How can anyone claim there is “none”, when in the next moment one might come to light?

No, I made a very different claim, and I’ll spell it out.

Although archists argue that chaos will certainly erupt under conditions of anarchy, those who argue this cannot in fact produce examples of their claim, because they are ignorant of any such examples, whether there are any or not.

My point has nothing to do with the question whether anarchy has ever failed and resulted in chaos. My point is: when archists claim that anarchy will certainly fail and result in chaos, they literally don’t know what the fuck they’re talking about. That is the problem.

Many archists actually know so little about anarchy that they sincerely believe it is none other than the deliberate pursuit of chaos! (OMG/WTF?!!) And the somewhat more informed ones who understand that anarchy simply means “without rulers” utterly lack factual basis for their claim that without rulers we’ll all degenerate into brutes and wreck the place. It’s actually quite a comical claim, when you think about it.

I have yet to meet an archist who had even heard of Zomia before I introduced them to it or who would admit that the Zapatistas and Christiania are two examples of successful anarchy. On the contrary — as soon as they heard mention, in knee-jerk reaction, these archists scrambled to argue that either these cases weren’t successful or they succeeded only to the extent that they involved authoritarianism. And so, (they almost beamed in triumph,) they are not authentic examples of successful anarchy.

What a riot!

From what rational, informed, reliably evidenced basis did these archists try to invalidate examples of anarchistic success when only moments before they had no clue about them, even of their existence?

There is no more biased, more circular, more obstinately ignorant and blind kind of faith than this, and it’s particularly characteristic of authoritarianism. No wonder, since authoritarianism is the common keystone of both secular and religious forms of fundamentalism. Authority is the millennia-old, ubiquitous super-belief on which every “civilization” we have record of rested and still rests, the original and enduring One True World Religion for which both atheists and believers of all sorts will inexplicably put aside their differences, unite, and then impulsively and desperately rush as one to defend.

Despite the claims of archists, there have been plenty of attempts at anarchistic societies, some of which we know of (e.g., Ireland in the “Middle Ages”, pre-Columbian North America, pre-British Australia, Zomia,) some of which continue today (e.g., Zapatistas, Zomia, and until recently, Christiania.)

None of these failed on their own.

Invariably, anarchistic societies got destroyed by authoritarian regimes precisely because they were succeeding, not because they were doomed to go down in the flames and smoke of violent chaos. The flames and smoke of chaos were wholly supplied by the authoritarians who attacked and destroyed peaceful societies, as they have done consistently to anarchistic societies in all ages all over the globe.

If anarchism is so certainly doomed, why don’t authoritarians just let anarchists fail, thereby proving the truth of their law-and-order fetishes?

Almost all aboriginal cultures have virtually been eradicated from Earth by “civilized” lovers of “law and order.” What a repugnant, deplorable joke.

No.

Anarchy “fails” by destructive authoritarian intervention, not flaws inherent in anarchism.

So, anarchy-brings-chaos proponents are fucking blind in that they have no basis in fact for their claim nor any intention of finding any, little to no discernibly sound logic in their argument, and they ignore (blindness, denial, or flat-out dishonesty?) the fact that anarchy works and has worked again and again when left alone, free from interference by authoritarians. Rather than admit examples like the Zapatistas in Mexico and the roughly hundred million people who for about two thousand years have lived in anarchy in Southeast Asia in a region recently dubbed Zomia by anthropologist James C. Scott, archists would love to pretend that such societies never existed.

Because archists are liars, up and down, through and through.

Most archists are blind even in a much more profound and basic way: They’re oblivious to the simple, everyday fact that our best, most ideal relationships and the best parts of our less ideal relationships operate on a peer basis. Genuine friendships and partnerships are peer affairs, not authoritarian ones.

Not only do we prize anarchistic relationships, but the reason we prize those relationships is precisely because they are anarchistic. They are trust-based, equitable, and revolve around appreciation and esteem for the preciousness and dignity of all involved, in glaring contrast to the freakish, self-proclaimed superiority of those who usurp pretenses of right to extort mock deference and obligate others to their will.

So why don’t I advocate anarchy?

I would, if anarchists were willing to go the whole nine yards and embrace a real anarchism: an uncompromising peer basis for society and zero tolerance for supremism.

Real anarchy = peer-based

It’s really just as simple as that.

To argue for authoritarianism is to argue antagonistically against peer-based human relations.

There truly is no middle ground on that issue.

2 thoughts on “Anarchy Means Chaos — In Figments of the Blind

  1. “The converse also holds: Not only do violence and conflict need authority to justify them, but apart from violence and conflict and the need to justify them in order to secure compliance and support for their perpetuation, authority would be absurd. Without violence to back up its threats, authority wouldn’t just be toothless and clawless, it would be a nonsensical farce. Imposing authority on people who know how to share, get along, and take care of each other could only make sense to psychopaths who enjoy ruling others even when there is no need for it.”

    From the Lord Acton Quote Archive, “Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men, even when they exercise influence and not authority; still more when you superadd the tendency of the certainty of corruption by authority.”
    http://www.acton.org/research/lord-acton-quote-archive

    I’ve actually been giving a great deal of thought to how we can deal with all of the psychopaths in power. I see now that new politicians via government could never be the solution, but anarchism via Ubuntu just might!

    Anarchism – “belief in the abolition of all government and the organization of society on a voluntary, cooperative basis without recourse to force or compulsion.”

    UBUNTU
    “A global movement of unity consciousness with members and supporters in over 200 countries, Michael Tellinger founded the global UBUNTU Liberation Movement of higher consciousness in 2010. Officially register in 2012 as a spearhead for a movement to plant the seed of consciousness into the political beast, UBUNTU promotes the transformation from a money-driven society to one fueled by people’s talents and passions for life – where everyone contributes to benefit the community.”
    http://www.gaia.com/bio/michael-tellinger

    Much I learn from you! Thanks, Millard!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for that Laurie! The Acton quote in its entirety is far more enlightening than the snippet we usually hear. I didn’t even know that “superadd” was a word, lol! And the world needs Ubuntu and the like. It’s dismal that after all this time humanity continues to concentrate its research and development efforts on domination and violence instead of cooperation and mutual support. You’d think that sharing and trusting required the equivalent of rocket science to make them workable, when they are the most intuitive, readily available and effective methods we have. It’s just insane.

      Liked by 1 person

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