The Official Anarchism Thread
Since people keep bringing up politics and we keep hijacking threads in the recurring discussions of anarchism, I figured I'd bring it all to one thread and point other people to this thread when they have problems. I don't even remember how many threads got dragged off-topic. I apologize for anyone who's thread that happened to.
If you have questions about anarchism, ask them here and I'll do my best to answer them. If you have objections to anarchism, say them here and I'll do my best to rebut them.
A few common questions/objections that I've seen here.
"Government is necessary."
No it isn't. This seems to be just something people reflexively say without thinking much about it. The government does provide certain services which could aptly be considered "necessary" such as defense, protection, roads, courts, and other things. It is not necessary for government to provide these things. The market can and will offer them if the government is not there. If the government ceased providing those services, (and it does not have to provide those services,) no part of the government would be "necessary" and thus government itself would become unneccessary.
"No anarchist nation has ever succeeded."
I forgot what thread I was in that I got this one. Anarchism literally is "ana-archon", without rulers. Because rulers are ineffective where their rule cannot be enforced, everyplace is anarchy where there is not a police officer or representative of the ruler (or government) present to enforce the ruler's will. Anarchy is not a form of government which a nation has, and happens to be none. Anarchy is the absence of government. An "Anarchist nation" is a contradiction in terms. Also, the amount of success a nation has is proportional to the amount of anarchy within it. That's why the USSR collapsed. That said, there have been successful regions of land which had no effective government. Celtic Ireland, ancient Iceland, early Rhode Island, and the "Wild West" (which by the way actually had lower crime rates than the east coast) are examples. Celtic Ireland was eventually conquered by the British. Not surprising because Britan was a major power at the time. It still took even Britan a long time to do, because no existing power structure was there for them to take over to relay orders.
"Anarchy is chaos."
As I said above, we live our day-to-day lives in anarchy (unless you're a cop or bureaucrat), and those lives are not chaos in the sense "Anarchy" is typically used to illustrate. Anarchy being chaos is contradictory to experience.
"Without government, land ownership is impossible."
No it's not. Land is just like everything else we own. It's just less mobile. We do not need governments to own our clothes, nor our cars. The same applies to land.
"Most people need leaders."
Let them choose their own leaders.
Now, I came to arrive at anarchism (my particular type being market anarchism, or "Anarcho-capitalism") by being a consistent libertarian. Libertarians believe in a moral law of non-aggression: theft, slavery, and murder are wrong. Very few people dispute this for most people. Libertarians differ from most others by applying this moral law to all people. Because the government consists of people, they are not exempt. Theft, slavery, and murder are wrong, even when called tax, law, and war. How libertarian a person is can be measured by how consistently they apply this to government.
Anarchists identify everything that makes the government "the government" as aggressive. Claiming jurisdiction over land they do not own is theft. The courts, consisting of people, cannot aggress against other people, including those in competing court systems (this was just for you, YN5).
Anarchism is not about causing chaos and rampant violence, it's about ending the chaos and rampant violence committed regularly by governments. Anarchists do not believe governments are sacred.
A small portion of anarchists consider themselves "Agorists". I'm part of that small portion. Agorists are free-market anarchists who believe that the solution to the problem of the government is to replace it with non-aggressive alternatives. Because the government is not a big fan of that idea, this just so happens to involve a lot of activity on the black market or gray market.
Agorists have a class-theory somewhat like Marxists (I don't like marxism, I'm not trying to identify with it), but without Marx's overt stupidity. Marx cited the owners of the means of production (capitalists, "borgeoisie") as the oppressive class, Agorists cite the owners of the means of destruction (statists, political class) as the oppressive class. Marx believed the surplus of value created by workers was being stolen by capitalists. Agorists believe the value created by the host population is stolen by the government (called "taxation"). The pattern follows, correcting much marxist idiocy along the way.
Most of the attacks directed at capitalism by the leftists and commies make ten times as much sense if you replace the words "capitalists" with "government", "workers" with "taxpayers", and so on. For example, Capitalism is not creating a powerful elite class that can do as it likes (as MattShizzle pointed out an hour or two ago in another part of the RRS forums). Government is creating a powerful elite class that can do as it likes. It happens to be friends with big business, and so, when not politically posturing and interfering with big business, it tends to be in bed with it behind closed doors. If capitalists are extremely powerful, it's because the government is there for them to take control of. The solution is not to abolish capitalism, but to abolish the government. Leftists ignore this because they have a fetish for big government.
A free market in everything the government presently does would be superior to what we have now. Disjunction between payment and service under government create uneconomic allocation of resources which creates shortages and surpluses, which would be solved by a free market, where you choose how much of what you want. Elimination of competition under government (government has a monopoly military, police force, road ownership, etc) increases costs, decreases quality and quantity produced, creates waste and inefficiency, et cetera, which are all solved on a free market which allows competition.
Example: Would you rather send packages USPS or FedEx? If the government didn't make it illegal for anyone other than USPS to deliver non-urgent letters under $1, do you think you'd rather send mail via USPS or FedEx? Did you know the USPS doesn't meet it's costs from the user fees (stamps and such), so it has to dig into tax money to pay the extra? The USPS is subsidized, so part of it's costs are hidden. Would you rather the USPS just do everything, or should UPS and FedEx be allowed to compete? Other examples of market vs government look a lot like this one. The market is economic anarchism. The government is it's polar opposite.
Are there any more questions about how I think, what I think, why I think what I think, et cetera? I'll just refer people to this thread whenever they ask me about it from here on, so the earlier you ask, the more people will see it.