0117 Anarchy and the World of Tomorrow
(audio player below article)
Anarchy and the World of Tomorrow
by Ben Stone
Regular readers of Bad Quaker Dot Com and regular listeners of my podcasts know that I spend much of my energy on exposing the failures of the State and emphasizing its evil nature and origin. And I have stressed over and over that the State will fall no matter what is done to fix it or prop it up. As I have repeatedly said, the State is economically and morally unstable and is doomed by its own design, to collapse as soon as it outgrows its Earthly confines and consumes enough of its host. I have talked about the death of this Beast and how in the end it will thrash about killing its supporters and bringing general destruction on a scale the world has never imagined. Further, I have insisted that as soon as one full generation of humans lives from birth to the end of lives without the State we will make the leap and never be burdened by this hideous Dragon again. But the one thing I don’t talk much about is what the world will look like once a generation comes and goes without the fist of the State interfering in society.
One thing anarchists regularly say is that it’s not necessary to explain how each and every aspect of a free society would function. It’s only necessary to understand that the State is a figment of the imagination and all those important functions that people assume we need the State to do are actually done by people, not by the mythical State. If the State were gone tomorrow people would still be motivated to do all those important things in society, except they would be doing them without the theft, coercion, and aggression of the State.
Students of the Austrian School of economics know all too well that it’s impossible to predict with any accuracy, what preferences people will have and what choices they will make once the market is free of the distortions of State forced central planning. All anyone can say with any certainty is that people will tend to act in ways that they believe are in their best interest, or what some call “universally preferred behavior”. And considering natural market tendencies once those markets are truly free, life will improve for a number of reasons both economically and socially.
From a purely financial point of view, eliminating the burden of the State with all its waste, inefficiencies, and unpredictability will stimulate savings and investment bringing about an unimaginable generation of wealth. Also considering how many people currently spend the majority of their waking hours exhausting their creativity on the day to day functions of State aggression, and considering that if those people were free to invest that creativity productively rather than destructively, one can then assume that at least a good portion of that mental energy will go towards innovation and invention. And once the twin shackles of “Intellectual Property” laws and corporate favoritism are driven from the market, the resulting prosperity will cause the memory of the expansion of wealth during the industrial revolution to fade into history without much more than a foot-note to record it.
All of this being the case, trying to guess the specifics of what anarchy will produce in the world of tomorrow can be nothing but an exercise in futility. The greatest minds of the eighteenth century couldn’t see how steam and iron would reshape their world during the nineteenth century any more than their grandchildren could have guessed the murderous rampage the State would inflict upon the world in the twentieth. And since I believe the maturity and subsequent fall of the State is still several generations away, for me to prognosticate on the topic would serve no purpose other than to make me look foolish if anyone in the future stumbles upon my predictions.
What can we then say about a world, a true civilization not dominated by the jackboot and beaten into submission by the baton? What will a voluntary society look like when there is no central authority robbing the market of wealth and intellect? How will people in poor countries interact and how will goods and services be exchanged without the threat of instant death from silent drones circling the skies? How will global commerce take place without navies so powerful that a single ship can launch more assault aircraft than most countries posses and submarines with enough power to extinguish all humanity in a single day? Is it conceivable to the mind of the twenty first century reader, that diverse individuals around the world could interact peaceably? Are we so brainwashed by the State that we believe that people in distant lands who wear strange headgear, speak a strange tongue, call their deity by a strange name, or have a slightly different pigmentation to their skin are barbarians that must be beaten and subjugated in order for us to be safe?
The answer to these questions is found in the concept of universally preferred behavior. Sometimes humans forget that before we are anything else, we are animals. And every type of animal is governed by rules hard wired in its being. Lions don’t form a pride because a committee told them to do so. Geese don’t fly in a “V” pattern because congress passed a bill funding such activity. Squirrels don’t hoard nuts because of tax advantages. And rabbits don’t avoid wolves because of government mandated warning stickers. Surly then, it can be assumed that if a simple butterfly can make his way from the mountains of central Mexico to the plains of Canada by instinct, humans can function without overlords blessing or condemning their every action. Given the opportunity and considering the consequences of one’s actions, humans tend to cooperate and that cooperation improves the lives of everyone involved.
Sometimes we forget that the State as we know it today is only a little more than a few hundred years old. And although the State infected local cultures going back to the Bronze Age, other than the present day the vast bulk of humanity has been stateless throughout the ages. Before anything resembling the State existed, humans spread around the world, developed farming, animal husbandry, metallurgy, commerce, money, art, music, and interacted using a diversity of languages. Social cooperation is as much an aspect of human nature as honey making is to bees. Remember this fact, humans not only survived ice ages, the evidence indicates that we actually prospered during ice ages in an entirely stateless world. If we can see that humans have survived the ages and adapted to every challenge to become the top species on the planet, why would we doubt our ability to self govern?
So when we see the State as a temporary illness that will soon be resolved, and once we accept that the natural condition of humanity is liberty, and once we allow our minds to grasp the unimaginable wealth that the State consumes and destroys, and once we begin to see how innovation and invention are crippled by government interference, and once we let our fear of our fellow man fall away with the knowledge that people are all alike and they tend to cooperate peaceably, then we can begin to have hope for the future. The eyes of the mind begin to open and we begin a journey of thought. The world of tomorrow is no longer a socialist utopia where humans serve machines that serve the State, where life is the cheapest commodity and mankind is reduced to a series of entries in a spreadsheet. But instead Eden and Avalon are suddenly within reach. Not as a perfect heaven-like existence, but as a place where liberty and all the dangers and rewards that go with it await our children’s descendents. A place where people are free to succeed and reap all the rewards of their efforts and are just as free to fail and fall victim to their own shortcomings.
This is the world my heart longs for, where the sweetness of the honey includes the sting of the bee. Or as the crazed Scottish poet reminds us, He who made kittens put snakes in the grass. This is the world we were made for, where we and we alone own the rewards of both our labor and our mistakes. This will be anarchy and the world of tomorrow. And its as certain a future as it was our past.