Enemies of Liberty are ruthless. To own your Liberty, you'd better come harder than your enemies..

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Consider: Anarchy

In the political sense, Anarchy is the absence of government.

The best pop culture depiction of anarchy in America of which I can think is the series Deadwood in the episodes prior to annexation by the Dakota Territories. There was no government in place, though the people did have an ingrained sense of the parameters of civilization, most having lived at one time or another in a place where government was in place.

The daily functioning of the camp relied upon the basic sense of morality embodied in each individual, blended with the reality that the tougher and best armed and wealthiest had advantages in true power.

Al Swearengen was the power center in the early days of Deadwood. Why? He was there early, he was tough of mind and body, had men who would do violence on his behalf, and he built wealth in commerce with the people who came to camp.

Our modern politicians would label him a criminal, warlord, and enemy of the people.

But the camp not only functioned under such rules, it flourished. Even men like Swearengen knew there were limits to his ability to be tyrannical, if he were of a mind to be so. A stronger, meaner, or larger group of men willing to do violence would burn him out and kill him, or chase him from the camp, if it came to that. But it didn't come to that.

Men were left to conduct commerce among themselves. Men were left to settle their problems amongst one another. You'll notice there was no prison. Men settled their problems, and men who were genuine threats, like rabid dogs, were killed or run from camp.

I'll consider the evolution of Deadwood's government another time. For the purpose of this piece, it is enough to know that the most powerful men in camp gathered (some were wealthy, some were powerful with their guns or fists, but power comes in many forms) and decided to set up a "proper" government, because they knew that Government from the East was inevitable.

Now take what we know about the anarchistic period of Deadwood and envision how that would play out today in your AO.

What comes to mind first? To my mind, the first understanding is that Darwinism would once again reign. The strongest and smartest would do very well.

But what if your suburb no longer had a zoning commission and city-level enforcers? The house next to yours in the suburb might let their grass grow high. One family might raze their house and put up a 6-story apartment shanty, ignoring safe building codes. The folks down the street might set up a whiskey distillery and the folks across the street might open a meth lab. There would be fires in suburbs, and explosions, and chaos...

...or would there?

Perhaps the most stupid among us would kill themselves in explosions and fires. Perhaps the foolish folks who recklessly endanger "decent" folks would simply end up in ditches. Perhaps moral strong folk would be a counter-weight to amoral and immoral bad folk.

Either way, think about it.

We may be back to such a state of Anarchy in the near future, regardless of our personal preferences and choices. If so, the ride from here to there will be bumpy...



1 comment:

  1. Hate to say it but I truly believe it would be better with less 'organized' government and a return to self-government in my area; would at this point like to see it happen (sadly).


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