… By “violence” here, I do not mean that anarchism will completely eliminate human violence – the violence that I am talking about here is the morally “justified” and institutionalized initiation of force that is the foundation of State power. The State is by definition a group of individuals who claim the right to initiate the use of force against legally-disarmed citizens in a specific geographical region.
Thus, I think it is reasonable for us to take the approach that if it were possible to run society without a government, this would be a massive net positive.
When we have governments, we inevitably get wars, politically motivated and unjust laws, the incarceration of nonviolent “criminals,” the over-printing of money and the resulting inflation, the enslavement of future generations through immoral deficits, the mis-education of the young, rampant vote buying, endless tax increases, arms sales around the world, unjust subsidies to specific industries, economic and practical inefficiencies of every conceivable kind, the creation of permanent underclasses through welfare and illegal immigration, vast increases in the power and violence of organized crime through restrictions on drugs, prostitution and gambling – the list of State crimes is virtually endless.
When we choose to justify governments, we inevitably choose to justify the crimes of those in power. Choosing government is also choosing war, genocide, enslavement, financial, moral and educational corruption, propaganda, the spread of violence and so on.
You can never get one without the other. Imagining otherwise is like imagining that you can choose to justify the Mafia without also justifying the violence that it uses to maintain its power. We may as well imagine that we can support the troops without simultaneously supporting the murders they commit.
Given the number of bloody and genocidal crimes that orbit the power of the State, surely we can at least be open to the possibility that society can be organized far more effectively and morally without such an evil power at its center. If it turns out that society can run without a State – even haltingly, even imperfectly – then surely we should accept such practical imperfections for the sake of avoiding such rampant and bottomless crimes against humanity. Surely, even if anarchy were proven to produce fewer and worse roads, we could accept some mildly inconvenient and bumpy rides for the sake of releasing billions of people from direct or indirect enslavement to their political masters.
An excerpt from ‘Practical Anarchy’ by Stefan Molyneux