Is there no greater evil than Anarchy? #GoodHistory

Other | Wednesday 27th February 2019 | Saskia

Anarchy is something we do not want to have. Anarchy is chaos and disorder and thus nothing we could ever wish for. Or so we are taught at least.


First of all, people who support the idea of Anarchy do not want a society in which only the strongest survives, in which any atrocity is just and in which the only rule which counts is called “violence”. That however is what we were taught when we learnt what Anarchy meant.


Anyhow, this understanding of Anarchy is plainly wrong. Anarchy does not aim for chaos and distraction. As a matter of fact, its goal is the complete opposite.


Anarchy merely means that you do not need any authority, that is, no state, no government, no executive force, no monopoly of power in order to have a working society. Anarchy just means that people manage to regulate themselves and to respect each other.


Currently, we are under a social contract in which we all gave our power to the state and trust that it does not exploit its power. Anarchy would mean that you keep your power and do not give it to any institution. Of course, that comes with more work, with more responsibilities and does not really suit a lazy citizen. Maybe that is why we were not taught anything positive about Anarchy in school. Maybe the state wants us to be lazy. That is a pitty, since there are examples of Anarchy in history which definitely prove that Anarchy is possible!



Look at the Prague Spring for instance, people were rebelling against the state and the new laws. They ended up without a state. Society started to invent itself without a government in quite a positive way. Nothing was really organised and nobody had given any orders. Nevertheless, people knew what ought to be done, they regulated and governed themselves. Workers were even offering to work on their free Saturdays in order to contribute to society and people found a way to solve the shortage of bread.


People supported and took care of each other without anybody telling them to or how. It all seemed very natural.


Another historical event which gave rise to Anarchy was a nationwide revolt, namely the Hungarian Revolution of 1956. Admittedly, the beginning of the revolution started with ferocious violence, but after being without an authority for a while the Hungarians were able to organise themselves.

Violence was less than without a government, antisemitic acts decreased rapidly, drunkards and larceny were not even existent and everybody tried to solve existing problems as the shortage of food together. Yet, the Soviet forces crushed the revolution and people had to adjust to a system in which they were not autonomous anymore.


I could go on with listing historical examples in which a society existed and did more than well. The fact that those examples exist but are concealed or at least not talked about in class makes me question how objective our history courses actually are.


But what really kept me thinking is that Anarchy already existed and nobody is talking about it. Maybe the state wants its citizens to stay lazy. Maybe the state does not want what is best for the people who gave it their power but what is best for itself. Why would it badmouth the possibility of another social system otherwise?