I hate labels, I really do. I hate it when people say I’m a conservative, a libertarian, or anything else derogatory they might come up with. I’m just me; Neal H. Ross, an individual. I don’t belong to any group or category of people. However, if you wish to attach a label to me, I suggest you call me what I am, an anarchist.
I think people get the wrong impression when one says the word anarchy; I think they envision a state of complete lawlessness-chaos; kind of like those Purge films where one day out of the year people are free to commit whatever crimes they want. But even in the Purge movies, those in power, (i.e. government), were shielded from the actions of the ordinary citizens. Had it been complete freedom to do as they please they’d most likely become the first targets of people’s anger and aggression…but I divert from my intended topic; and I promised not to.
Anarchy is defined as: a state of disorder due to absence or nonrecognition of authority. I don’t necessarily accept that definition; I think it is flawed. To understand why I say that you have to understand the purpose authority is supposed to serve, where it comes from, and the purpose laws are supposed to be written for; along with the power to enforce those laws. If you can’t understand that, then anarchy might certainly appear to be a state of disorder, or lawlessness.
If you believe that anarchy is lawlessness, chaos, then think about something Thomas Jefferson wrote back in 1819, “…law is often but the tyrant’s will, and always so when it violates the right of an individual.” Notice that Jefferson didn’t say certain groups of people, or society in general; he specified the individual. So the law, according to Jefferson, should serve to safeguard and protect the rights of each and every individual; and not punish some for the actions of others.
Therefore, our lawmakers, or government if you will, either serves that purpose or it doesn’t; it either preserves liberty or denies it. There is no middle ground on this, regardless of which political party is in control of government; either government secures our liberty or it seeks to limit it; and it is all but a matter of degrees depending upon which party is in power.
It all boils down to the purpose the voters think government is supposed to serve. If people think that government is supposed to do WHATEVER is necessary to provide for their needs, their safety, their comfort then government will have to violate the rights of others to accomplish those goals. If, on the other hand, you think that the law should only punish those who violate the rights others, then you’re coming dangerously close to anarchism.
That is why I use this quote often, as it best describes the reason governments are supposed to be instituted among men, “What, then, is law? It is the collective organization of the individual right to lawful defense.
Each of us has a natural right—from God—to defend his person, his liberty, and his property. These are the three basic requirements of life, and the preservation of any one of them is completely dependent upon the preservation of the other two. For what are our faculties but the extension of our individuality? And what is property but an extension of our faculties?
If every person has the right to defend—even by force—his person, his liberty, and his property, then it follows that a group of men have the right to organize and support a common force to protect these rights constantly. Thus the principle of collective right—its reason for existing, its lawfulness—is based on individual right.”
People talk about their civil rights all the time, but did they know that those civil rights are derived from their Natural Rights? Thomas Paine believed they were, stating, “Hitherto we have spoken only (and that but in part) of the natural rights of man. We have now to consider the civil rights of man, and to show how the one originates from the other. Man did not enter into society to become worse than he was before, nor to have fewer rights than he had before, but to have those rights better secured. His natural rights are the foundation of all his civil rights.”
The power that is given to government to act on our behalf derives its authority from our power, or sovereignty, as individuals; and our freedom, or liberty, is given to us by God. We cannot give to government any more power than we each held as an individual; meaning if we cannot violate the right to life, liberty, or property of others, we cannot bestow that power upon any form of government without violating Natural Law; for no man can subject others to bondage and servitude to any system without violating the rights of those that system subjugates.
If you believe that government is the only entity that has the right to become both the lawmaker, and the enforcer of justice, then yes, anarchy is lawlessness. But, if you believe there is a higher power, and that our rights and liberty are derived from that higher power, then any system that denies those rights, that liberty, is, in fact, in violation of that higher power.
Prior to the constitution, for that’s when it all started to go to shit, many, if not all of the people living in America believed that their rights and liberty were derived from their Natural Rights, or their rights under a State of Nature.
That is why Samuel Adams wrote the following in 1771, “Among the Natural Rights of the Colonists are these First. a Right to Life; Secondly to Liberty; thirdly to Property; together with the Right to support and defend them in the best manner they can–Those are evident Branches of, rather than deductions from the Duty of Self Preservation, commonly called the first Law of Nature.”
Adams didn’t say the first law of government, he said the first Law of Nature, referring to Natural Law. But then Adams goes on to say, “All Men have a Right to remain in a State of Nature as long as they please: And in case of intollerable Oppression, Civil or Religious, to leave the Society they belong to, and enter into another.”
No man can be forced to accept a system that denies their unalienable rights, or restricts their liberty without admitting that you are imposing bondage and servitude upon them. And, as Adams said, if such a system exists it is the right of ALL MEN to leave that society, be it religious, or civil, and enter into another to regain their rights and liberty.
Yet people today deny that right, saying we must stick together as a Union because without government to protect and provide for us there would be lawlessness; chaos. People cling to this system because they have been taught that there is no alternative. That’s simply not true, there is an alternative, and it is in anarchism.
To understand that concept you have to accept that there is a higher power than government, or the individual for that matter. That higher power, (and for most people it is God), is the bestower of all our rights and our liberty. If you don’t believe me just read the Declaration of Independence where it says, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
Therefore, to defend those rights, that liberty, is to be in accordance with the will of that Creator, i.e. God. As Jefferson also said, “God who gave us life gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure if we have removed their only firm basis: a conviction in the minds of men that these liberties are the gift of God?”
If you believe that your rights and liberty are given to you by government, and can therefore be limited or restricted by government, then you are denying the belief that those rights and that liberty comes from God. It’s that simple. And if you believe that, then you are placing your rights and liberty into the hands of men, and men are susceptible to all manner of evil and vices. I’d much rather place the security of my rights, my liberty, into the hands of the person who has my best interests in mind…ME! As much as I trust some of my friends, I still believe the person best suited to, and qualified to defend my rights is me. To deny that is to deny Natural Law, for under Natural Law each man is judge jury and executioner when it comes to infringements upon their rights and property.
If government would adhere to the Jeffersonian belief of, “a wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government” then maybe I could tolerate living in a world where there is government. Unfortunately government does not limit itself to those few purposes, and therefore government has become tyrannical and oppressive; denying me my God-given gift of liberty and my unalienable rights.
Must I submit to the authority of a system that does not serve the purpose for which we were promised it would serve, or are we free to remove ourselves from the authority of that system and return to a status of being governed by Natural Law only? That is what anarchy, at least according to how I understand it, is.
Anarchy is not the freedom to do as one pleases; even if it violates the rights of others. Anarchy is a state of perfect rightful liberty where all men enjoy liberty, while at the same time respecting the rights of their fellow man. Jefferson defined it as follows, “Liberty then I would say that, in the whole plenitude of it’s extent, it is unobstructed action according to our will: but rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will, within the limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others.” If such a state existed there would be no need for government, for all men would treat each other as they expected others to treat them. In a state of perfect rightful liberty there wouldn’t be chaos, there would be peace, for there would be no greed, no envy; each man would be content to seek their fortune according to their own wit and skill, and they would not seek to take from others that which was not rightfully theirs.
How could that be considered chaos?
Anarchism is the perfection of liberty, at least that’s how I see it. Yet people fear it because it imposes a heavy burden upon each and every one of us. If anarchy were to exist in America each person could not demand that some entity, such as government, provide for their comfort, their needs, and their security; for that would be THEIR responsibility.
In a perfect state of anarchy people would not be punished for protecting or defending their lives, their property, or their rights; only those who violated, or infringed upon those things would be punished.
Anarchy is about defending the rights and liberty of the individual, while its counterpart, Statism, is a collective concept where an entity, such as government, is responsible for determining the extent to which people can exercise their Creator given rights to life, liberty and property. In one you have a system that is in accordance to Natural Law, and in the other you have a system that violates Natural Law and replaces it with laws made by men.
Therefore, if you support a system in which laws come from men, and not the State of Nature, i.e. our Creator, then you are in opposition to the will of that Creator; meaning the other guy – the devil.
And if you refuse to accept that, then I pray for your soul when the day of judgment comes and you’re asked why you did not defend to your last breath God’s gift of liberty against any and all who would take it from you.