A few days ago, a good friend and I had our weekly yogurt meeting and continued our often-spirited, yet cordial, debates. One topic that we continued discussing was whether anarchism would work.
He argued that society requires a central authority to protect us from predators, enemies, and so forth; otherwise, there would be chaos.
I argued that giving all the power to a few people is dangerous because it takes all the power out of our hands and gives it to those whose interests probably do not coincide with ours.
My friend doesn’t believe anarchism would work because he has been conditioned to think so by the very same authority he believes is serving his best interests.
Why is it wrong to question authority? We are electing officials–public servants–to represent us. Their decisions represent our decisions, so we should have an interest in how they decide to do things. Why is it wrong to question why we are declaring war on other countries or cutting funding for public education? We should not follow blindly because some authority figure says it’s okay or because it’s the law. We should all be actively participate in our society, but we don’t because we have been conditioned not to do so.
What is to say that we wouldn’t build strong communities that can co-exist with one another? Certainly, people would not kill each other, steal from each other, harm each other if we lived in a society with no central authority to regulate the laws that they create and enforce by their own interpretation. What is wrong with promoting strong community bonds, giving gifts, and helping each other?
Private property is an interesting idea. We have been conditioned to believe that having more is better than not having anything. While I’m not saying anarchism has all the answers, I am certainly arguing that it’s not wrong to question those who have all the power.