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Is Anarchy Chaos?

Many people still think that anarchy means chaos. This is of course thanks to the brainwash we all receive starting from early childhood that conditions us to accept living like slaves while being ruled by a small elite. We’re forced to give up our freedom and conform to certain rules, or else risk getting punished by the ruling class.

As stated in the book What Anarchy Isn’t, “just as the word ‘monarchy’ means ‘rule by one person,’ the word ‘anarchy’ literally just means, ‘rule by no one.’” So where does this idea of anarchy being chaos come from?

If you’re a slave owner who wants to easily be able to control a group of slaves you can’t allow them to make use of their natural given rights. You can’t allow them to have their freedom and sovereignty. You’d want them to obey you and conform to the rules that you lay out for them. You’d want them to think and behave alike as much as possible. This leads to a certain level of uniformity which makes managing the slaves a lot easier.

However, if individuals in society would use their freedom and live their lives as they wished, then there would be no uniformity. Each individual would arrange everything in their life according to their own convenience and advantage as much as possible. And to the ruling class this lack of uniformity would seem like chaos. It’s very difficult to control a group of individuals where each one of them does their own thing.

Anarchy doesn’t mean out of control; it means out of their control. Jim Dodge

This is why a situation of anarchy is chaos for those who want to dominate and rule over others. It’s chaos for the rulers, but not for the individuals living their lives in freedom. For those individuals, anarchy is universal order.

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