Political and religious ideologies propagate in a similar fashion. Most people believe in a government or priesthood because they are brought up in a social structure that favors having similar beliefs. Whether they are rational and moral or not is irrelevant. Others believe in them because they believe it is the only option they have. No matter what form of governmentalist you are – democratic, monarchical, aristocrat or any other, the basic premise is the same – faith in an authoritarian figure or institution. President, Zeus, State or the Church. Some argue that humans are not capable of living without some form of authority to look over them. So they form a government loosely based on votes of same non reliable mass.
Other governmentalists argue, “If anarchy is so great why isn’t there any anarchist nation?” I see this as a half ass-ed version of “You cannot prove there is no god, hence there is one”. Actually there are many examples of successful free societies, in recent history; Paris in the late 19th century, Spain and Greece. But ask yourself, can they last? Can powerful militant empires have examples of a better alternatives when they threaten their existence. (They were all destroyed by major military operations and coups).
And government fanatics like these are the very reason why there are no anarchist societies. For the same reason, India is still not a secular nation even in this age of rationality. These people are scared of responsibility and reality. They themselves help create the complex economic, political and social structures that suck every drop of life from their existence. They submit to god, to government.
Essentially they are same people who cheered for Chancellor Hitler as he ordered mass killing of Jews, who supported wars in Vietnam and Iraq, who let thousands of species go extinct, who want bombs in there backyards because of their never ending irrational fears. They support it just by not opposing it. You can only be for war or against it, there is no middle ground. “You cannot be neutral in a moving train” (Howard Zinn)
Worst part of this whole deal is that these people are not satisfied by being suppressed alone, they want their neighbors and everyone else to be ruled over as well, unreasonably taxed by their rituals like elections. It’s a taboo to talk ill of elections no matter how screwed up it is. No matter who gets majority of the votes the winner is always the ruling class and the business class. Try as hard you can to make yourself believe that these classes have interests of masses at heart. But I know you know better.
If you like and want to be ruled over, kept in sight, spied, inspected, directed, numbered, enrolled, indoctrinated, preached at, controlled, estimated, valued, censured and turned slave in body and mind… please do so. But for the sake of your god, the government should leave the people who don’t wanna be part of it alone. People who want to live their life on their own, mind their own business, exercise their own talents, pursue their own dreams, try to be what they believe they should be. I, myself, will not resign my conscience to some holy book, the legislature or the constitution, why then everyone has a conscience?
I often hear, ‘anarchy’ and ‘chaos’ being used as synonyms. The people who do so either have no knowledge about the field or they do it willingly to misrepresent it. In many cases they are individuals with some form of authority or at least someone to whom people listen to. I admit there have been incidences where someone calling themselves an anarchist has engaged in some form of violence against his fellow human. (Cases where anarchists use violence against cops or military forces has always been for self defense. And in all cases they have had no fatally harmful weapons. And damaging a McDonalds or Nike store cannot be considered violence against any human or nature). That being said, there are always people who think that violence can be justified in some weird way, be that a Hindu terrorist, Muslim terrorist , Maoist, Fascist, State army or police. But no one can come close to the amount of atrocity committed by the state – wars, state sponsored terrorist acts and so on. If your notion is that when a government kills, it is justifiable, then you are a fanatic.
I have never come across a single case of an anarchist killing an innocent civilian. There are cases where they have targeted businessmen or politicians but those cases don’t even reach in double digits. So if you are looking for synonym for “chaos”, “state” will be a better option.
It might be a good time to talk about few other misconceptions regarding anarchism. We don’t make bombs. We organize workers unions, support their struggles, 8 hour work days, anarchists fought for it, paid sick days, anarchists fought for it. Equal rights for women, blacks, immigrants, minority indigenous people, Against wars, Against nukes, Against fascism, Against structural adjustment policies of IMF. We are also not a bunch of school dropout uneducated people. Kropotkin (Geologist, Evolutionary biologist) Proudhon (Economist), David Graeber (anthropologist), Noam Chomsky (Linguists), Howard Zinn (Historian), just to name a few.
But this doesn’t mean they are/were superior individuals (Well they are in some fields though!), but what is and will always remain important is what anarchism stands for:
Fight on the side of the oppressed in every domain of life, from family, to culture, to state, to economy, to the now very visible international arena of “globalization,” and to do so in creative and courageous ways – Michael Albert