Society without Government — by Larken Rose

Statists often say, “Show me an example of where society without government (anarchy)
has worked.” Of course, since they are speaking of societies consisting almost entirely of
thoroughly indoctrinated authoritarians, human society without a ruling class is rarely
even contemplated, much less attempted. Yet the Statists use the fact that they have never tried true freedom — because the concept is completely foreign to their way of thinking — as proof that a stateless society “wouldn’t work.”

This would be akin to a group of medieval doctors who all use leeches for every ailment, arguing, “Show me one case where a doctor has cured a headache without the use of leeches.” Of course, if none of them had ever considered any treatment other than leeches, there would not be an example of alternative methods “working.” But this would be a testament to the ignorance of the doctors, not the ineffectiveness of treatments which have never been tried.

But the more important point is that “anarchy” is what is. To say that society cannot exist
without “government” is exactly as reasonable as saying that Christmas cannot occur
without Santa Claus. Society already exists without “government,” and has from the
beginning. It has been the people imagining an entity with the right to rule — Hallucinating a thing called “authority”— which has made the story of mankind consist largely of oppression, violence, suffering, murder, and mayhem.

Ironically, statists often point to the death and suffering which occurs when two or more
groups are fighting over who should be “in charge,” label that as “anarchy” and cite it as
evidence that without “government,” there would be chaos and death. But such bloodshed and oppression is the direct, obvious result of the belief in “authority,” not the result of a lack of “government.”

It is true that, compared to life under a stable, entrenched authoritarian regime, life in a country where the people are fighting over who the new “authority” should be (via rebellions, civil wars, one nation conquering another, etc.) can be a lot more dangerous and unpredictable. As a result, people living in war-torn areas often wish only for there to be an end to the conflict, for one side to win and become the new “government.”

To such people, a stable “government” may represent relative peace and security, but the underlying cause of the oppression committed by stable regimes and the bloodshed which occurs during struggles for power is the belief in “authority.” If no one believed in a legitimate ruling class, no one would fight over who should rule. If there was no throne, no one would fight over it. All civil wars, and nearly all revolutions, rest on the assumption that someone should be in charge. Without the superstition of “authority,” there would be no reason for such things to happen at all.

By its very nature, “government” adds nothing positive to society. It creates no wealth
and generates no virtue. It adds only immoral violence and the illusion that such violence is legitimate. Allowing some people to forcibly dominate all others — which is all that “government” ever does — does not contribute to society one speck of talent, or ability, or productivity, or resourcefulness, or ingenuity, or creativity, or knowledge, or compassion, or any other positive quality possessed by human beings. Instead, it constantly stifles and limits all of those things through its coercive “laws.”

It is destructive and insane to accept the notion that civilization requires the forcible limiting of possibilities, and the violent restraint of the human mind and spirit — that civil society can exist only if the power and virtue of every individual is forcibly overcome and suppressed by a gang of masters and exploiters — that the average man cannot be trusted to govern himself, but that politicians can be trusted to govern everyone else — that the only way for the morality and virtue of mankind to shine through is to crush the free will and self-determination of billions of human beings, and to convert them all into unthinking, obedient puppets of a ruling class, and a source of power for tyrants and megalomaniacs — that the path to civilization is the destruction of individual free will, judgment, and self-determination.

That is the foundation, the heart and soul, of the superstition called “authority.” When
people are ready to recognize that heinous lie for what it is, and begin to accept personal
responsibility for their own actions, and for the state of society — and not one moment
before — then true humanity can begin.

People can desperately wish for “peace on earth” until they are blue in the face, but they will never see it, unless and until they are willing to pay the price, by giving up one tired, old superstition.

The solution to most of society’s ills is for you, dear reader, to recognize the myth of
“authority” for ‘what it is’, give it up in yourself, and then begin efforts to deprogram and
wake up all of the people you know who, as a result of their indoctrination into the cult of “authority-worship,” and in spite of their virtues and noble intentions, continue to support and participate in the violent, anti-human, destructive and evil oppression and aggression machine known as “government.”

Contrary to what nearly everyone has been taught to believe, “government” is not
necessary for civilization. It is not conducive to civilization. It is, in fact, the antithesis of
civilization. It is not cooperation, or working together, or voluntary interaction. It is not
peaceful coexistence. It is coercion; it is force; it is violence. It is animalistic aggression,
cloaked by pseudo-religious, cult-like rituals which are designed to make it appear
legitimate and righteous. It is brute thuggery, disguised as consent and organization. It is
the enslavement of mankind, the subjugation of free will, and the destruction of morality, masquerading as “civilization” and “society.”

The problem is not just that “authority” can be used for evil; the problem is that, at its most basic essence, it is evil. In everything it does, it defeats the free will of human beings controlling them through coercion and fear. It supersedes and destroys moral consciences, replacing them with unthinking blind obedience.

It cannot be used for good, any more than a bomb can be used to heal a body.
It is always aggression, always the enemy of peace, always the enemy of justice. The
moment it ceases to be an attacker, it ceases to fit the definition of “government.” It is, by
its very nature, a murderer and a thief, the enemy of mankind, a poison to humanity. As
dominator and controller, ruler and oppressor, it can be nothing else.

The alleged right to rule, in any degree and in any form, is the opposite of humanity. The
initiation of violence is the opposite of harmonious coexistence. The desire for dominion
is the opposite of love for mankind. Hiding the violence under layers of complex rituals
and self-contradictory rationalizations, and labeling brute thuggery as virtue and
compassion, does not change that fact.

Claiming noble goals, saying that the violence is “the will of the people,” or that it is being committed “for the common good” or “for the children,” cannot change evil into good. “Legalizing” wrong does not make it right.

One man forcibly subjugating another, no matter how it is described or how it is carried out, is uncivilized and immoral. The destruction it causes, the injustice it creates, the damage it does to every soul that it touches — perpetrators, victims, and spectators alike — cannot be undone by calling it “law,” or by claiming that it was necessary. Evil, by any name, is still evil.

The ultimate message here is very simple. All of recorded history screams it, yet few
have, until now, allowed themselves to hear it. That message is this:

If you love death and destruction, oppression and suffering, injustice and violence,
repression and torture, helplessness and despair, perpetual conflict and bloodshed,
then teach your children to respect “authority:’’ and teach them that obedience is a
virtue.

If, on the other hand, you value peaceful coexistence, compassion and cooperation,
freedom and justice, then teach your children the principles of self-ownership, teach
them to respect the rights of every human being, and teach them to recognize and
reject the belief in “authority” for what it is: the most irrational, self-contradictory,
anti-human, evil, destructive and dangerous superstition the world has ever known.

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