Anarchism is a political system that holds there should be no government. Since the proper role of government is to protect individual rights, this would at first appear to be an argument against individual rights. This isn't necessarily the case, though. Anarchists believe the government does nothing that couldn't be done privately. Since government tend to use their power to initiate force on people anyway, Anarchism holds it to be an unnecessary evil.

Anarchism rests on a faulty notion of government. It misunderstand the most important component of government, and substitutes non-essential traits of existing governments. A government is the dominant force in a region that decides what actions by people are permissible. A proper government decides whether any act of force is an initiation of force or retaliatory force. It is also the agency that is willing and able to use force to respond to an initiation of force.

Anarchism is a rejection of this concept of government. It either requires that the government doesn't decided between the two uses of force, or it requires that no one group has the power to make their wishes clear. Thus anarchism as commonly conceived is essentially correct. It is the situation where the law is unclear or cannot be enforced. It is the situation where people fights in order to attempt to gain dominance, but are unsuccessful.

Anarchists generally deny that this is what they are promoting. Instead, they claim government as an agency of coercive force. To the extent that they are arguing against an improper government's use of force, they are being rational. But because they do not understand the nature of government, they cannot distinguish the good from the bad. Instead, they claim that any dominant force is evil if it enacts its view of right and wrong. This is covered above.

Anarchism is a call for disorder and injustice, hiding behind a facade of a promotion of freedom. In practice, it is violence and destruction.

Copyright 2001 by Jeff Landauer and Joseph Rowlands