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Anarchy is Order
Originally written for Everything2
Fri Jul 25 2008 at 23:52:48

A famous quote from Pierre Joseph Proudhon's The Confessions of a Revolutionary in 1849, and the origin of the famous anarchy symbol Ⓐ.

For a person unfamiliar with the ideas of anarchism, this quote appears to be a contradiction. After all, if anarchy means no laws and regulations, why wouldn't there be more random murders and rapes?

It would depend on your definition of anarchy. If you define it as a free-for-all, where everybody (or almost everybody) only cares about themselves, and nobody tries to protect the freedom of others, then that's a completely different situation than a society where everybody (or almost everybody) believes in protecting eachother's freedoms.

The second scenario is what most anarchists mean when they are trying to spread the ideas of anarchism.

Any organization can become corrupt, whether it's a union, a corporation, or a government. Even if you didn't have organizations, you could still have individuals running around behaving like mafia or a member of an unaccountable army.

When you say a person is sovereign or an organization is sovereign, you also have to consider how other sovereign individuals / organizations will react when this one attempts to harm others.

If we assume an anarchist society is populated mostly by anarchists and that anarchists agree that they will protect eachother from hierarchy and coercion, then I don't think society has to worry about a few random rogue individuals that don't agree with freedom for everyone.


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