“With no property rights established, we find that next to no other rights can be reasonably protected. There is no enforcement of the right to life if someone decides he wants what you have. There is no free speech, no right to assemble, no worship if your exercise upsets a person who has no reservations about using force. These are precisely the ingredients that make up a dystopia.”
This FEE.org article, especially the introduction, explains, to me, one of the reasons total anarchy doesn’t work.
Despite what my younger-self believed, anarchy is not lawlessness. It is a lack of any ruling individuals or institutions – “an-” greek for without, “-arkhos” greek for chief or ruler.
The U.S.A. founding fathers understood that anarchy has always led to the tyranny of the powerful by way of chaos. Anarchy creates the moral equivalent of the tragedy of the commons when it comes to defending property rights. It is in one sense a swinging of the pendulum from common ownership of property, to the opposite extreme; but in another sense, it creates the same outcome – no protection of property rights, so in terms of outcome, is on the same side of the pendulum.
Then there are the religious reasons that I reject total anarchy. I have often taught my children that just like the kingdom of God, our family is not a democracy. I want to also teach them that neither is the kingdom of God, nor our family, anarchy. As Joshua said to the Israelites, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” My wife and I do our best to have the Lord be the ruler of our home. He is definitely a lot more trustworthy with the control of how our family is run than I am, and despite her superior leadership skills and charm, my wife also.
My current passion is to explore the power of close-knit (and relatively small) communities and how to establish them as a structural unit of civil society. This article struck a chord on so many levels for me. I recommend reading it, and please let me know what you think of it, as well as my perspective, in the comments here.