The Idiocy of Anarchism

By John "Birdman" Bryant


The difference between anarchism and communism is that anarchism lasts as long as it takes a group of guys to double up their fists or pull out their guns; while communism lasts as long as there's enuf food and shelter produced by the slaves to keep the leaders from dying off. All of which is to say that anarchism and communism are very much alike in that neither will last for very long.

Another similarity between communism and anarchism is that both attempt to repeal the laws of nature. The law that communists attempt to repeal is the one which says that people work for personal reward, and the more reward they get, the more they work; while the law that anarchists attempt to repeal is that Nature abhors a vacuum, including a power vacuum; and if a vacuum exists, someone is going to step in and fill it.

As some writers on the subject have noted, the government is really just a protection racket that has wrapped itself in the flag. This, we may add, while being perfectly true, is not -- contrary to the implication of the accusation -- a reason for supposing government is evil. This is because people NEED protection, and they are willing to pay to get it; while the racketeers are eager to protect their customers -- in theory at least -- because they don't want some other gang to horn in on their business.

Which brings up another point that is rarely considered by anarchists, who are usually so enamored with the free market as to swoon into eclampsia whenever its Holy Name is mentioned. The point is that government is itself the product of a free market. That is, just as is stated above, people want protection and are willing to pay for it; and whatever gang can get their act together and call themselves 'government' will catch the brass ring by selling themselves to the people who want that protection. Naturally, government does not emerge full-blown from the head of Medusa, but rather follows a course of development much the same as would a group of security companies vying for people's business -- they start small, merge with other companies or are forced out of business, and the result eventually emerges as the unified snake-headed greedy grasping monster with which we are so familiar, waiting for a Perseus to cut off its head.

This observation, however, leads us to yet another point. It was Marx -- Karl, not Groucho -- who noted that capitalism tends toward monopoly. In this not only was Marx right, but he hit upon yet another law of nature that libertarians, in their Revealed Randian Wisdom, have been trying to deny all these many years. But Marx's insight -- important as it was -- can be generalized to ANY group of competing organizations, including governments. What this means is that, not only will government tend toward the functional monopoly known as totalitarianism, but that governments themselves, like competing businesses, will inevitably drive toward the ultimate monopoly of world government.

As noted above, libertarians -- and especially anarchists -- have attempted to deny the monopolistic proclivities of the marketplace. In this particular enterprise their method has been to invoke the dynamics of anabolism-catabolism, ie, they have maintained that the equilibrium of the marketplace is dynamic, involving both buildup tending toward monopoly, but also break-down tending away from it, so that true monopoly never becomes established. Perhaps this is true -- I only hope that it is -- but I fear that it is not, and in any event I am unwilling to take this particular leap of Economic Faith, as the Randians, Anarchists, and Other Libertarians appear to have done -- a leap which seems particularly dangerous in view of the events of the real world.

Now various and sundry of anarchists have taken the view that we do not need government law because private law is adequate for the task. Needless to say this is quite irrelevant in view of the foregoing, since if government is inevitable, then so is government law. But if we assume that government law is suspended, then we may ask how private law might fill in the gaps without the use of force, as the anarchists would require. One answer that the anarchists have provided is that a Bad Guy who went back on his agreements would be shunned, much as is done in the communities of the Pennsylvania Dutch. But would this be adequate to stop the Bad Guys? It might work in a small town, where everybody knows everybody else; but in a case like that, the Bad Guy would simply leave to ply his unfair trade in some place where he had never yet been seen. Of course there might be a government or private database that people might use to check him out -- tho obviously anarchists would not be too happy about this sort of thing -- but even if a Bad Guy could be checked on in this way, it remains a possibility that any person could have false information entered about him; and if this were the case, anarchists would evidently be faced with a humongous hole in their system.

We pointed out above that anarchists attempt to deny the law that Nature abhors a vacuum, including a power vacuum; but there is also another law that anarchists -- and indeed most libertarians -- seek to deny, which is that races and peoples are different. While we have discussed this fact and its relevance to libertarianism at length in another essay (Race and Groups: The Libertarian Blind Spot), it suffices to point out here that different forms of government have different suitabilities for different people, and that what is adequate for white Western man is completely unsuitable for those of African extraction, who lack even the ability to live in a modern society, much less build and maintain one. A similar statement may be made about Latinos, whose societies resemble those of whites but are considerably more tenuous. John Adams made the same point when he stated that our Constitutional government was created for 'Christian men', and is entirely unsuitable for any others. But anarchists, as well as all too many libertarians, are more than willing to assume that all men are created equal, and that what works for one will work for all. Nothing, of course, could be further from the truth; and it is not by accident that all the African governments which have survived the cull of the Darwinian struggle are those of tribalist dictators whose exercise of despotic authority is the only leavening with the least hope of making a black society rise.

In short, therefore, no philosophy can expect to survive except as an example of failure if it insists on denying the laws of nature; and in this sense anarchism is no better than communism. We can only hope that libertarians will not insist on committing suicide by the same route.


* * * Back to the Home Page of John "Birdman" Bryant, the World's Most Controversial Author * * *