Small Scale Anarchy

Common questions about anarchy involve how exactly it’s all going to work.  How will we care for the sick and needy?  Who will build the roads?  While potentially interesting, these discussions are misguided for a few reasons.  First off, the person asking them usually isn’t interested in an answer.  Disregarding the real virtues non-aggression, they just want to poke holes in the concept, ignoring the reality of their own horribly flawed society.  More importantly, a key component to a lot of Anarchist thought is that central planning is inefficient and immoral.  I don’t have all the answers.  I don’t think anyone can.  Knowing that, I would never dream of imposing my answers on you.  It all points toward a fundamental misunderstanding.  There is no plan, and there can never be.  Anarchy is a state of mind, and you can live Anarchy right now.

The crucial thing to remember is that just doing the right thing is important.  That’s the key.  The Stoics believed that.  They held virtue above all else and encouraged followers to live as such.  The Taoists echoed that with their own concept of wu wei.  I suppose someone could argue, or perhaps hold a different value.  But I personally can’t fathom consciously acting in error.  To me, knowing the right thing and then doing the wrong thing is either cowardly, or twisted.  I don’t want to be those things, so I work and try to live my life thus.

And with that, I know coercion and aggression are immoral.  That’s a value I hold.  It’s wrong to make people do things they don’t want to do.  I spend a lot of time and effort trying not to.  When I fail, I feel bad, and I need to fix that mistake.  In succeeding, I feel virtuous, fulfilled, and content.  We are individuals.  We are autonomous.  It’s important to respect that ideal.

Apparently though, society does not share that value.  The world as we know it rests on coercion.  People make rules.  Others are expected to follow them.  It is evil.  It’s wrong.  It’s still how things are.  It’s outside your sphere of influence and there’s no hope of changing it.

But while the world goes on being wrong, you can still be right.  You have problems?  You can solve them peacefully.  That’s fully within your power.  There’s something you see you need?  If it hurts others, you can find another way.  You owe that to the world.  How would we build the roads?  Nonviolently, of course.  You know what the right thing is.  You go on and do it.  The system exists, and it probably always will.  There will always be barriers and challenges.  Still, you can try to live your life better.  You can live your life as a Anarchist.

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