I just finished watching one of the most highly-anticipated movies of 2012 and in it, the antagonist releases people from prison, storms through business buildings, traps policemen under tunnels (hint hint ;D ) etc., establishing what’s known as extreme Anarchy. I’ve always heard of Anarchy – where man is not governed with human relations kept in mind, but I could never really visualise what it would be like…until now. The town was spread into chaos – RIOTS, LOOTING, SENSELESS VIOLENCE, and the list goes on.
This got me thinking, if such an ideology creates nothing but chaos, WHO IN THE RIGHT MIND EVEN THOUGHT OF IT?! Well, the human works in wondrous ways and I was determined to find out who created Anarchy and why he would even come up with such an ideology. Anarchy must have it’s good points, and I needed to know what they were.
That’s where fresh, new perspectives come in.
Prepare to be as surprised as I was when I learnt that Anarchy was ‘discovered’ in 6BC by Taoist Philosopher Laozi, where it was a big deal to create an ideology that would put tyrannical emperors in their place. Seeing from Laozi’s perspective made perfect sense to me – if an ideology seems to be all bad, the direct opposite must be all good…right? Well, back then, ALL THE WAY IN 6BC, MAYBE, but now? I have my doubts.
Georges Lechartier wrote that “The true founder of anarchy was Jesus Christ and … the first anarchist society was that of the apostles.” As true as it seems, it looks to me that this form of Anarchy was built on the basis of TRUST – Trust that everyone else can be trusted with the freedom of human rights. We all love human rights, but in a society where ideological differences, feuds and conflicts litter the streets, there needs to be some form of organised leadership, a method of maintaining checks and balances within society. Full human liberty can only go as far as a dream.
Dreams were meant to be achieved… right? Well yes, but sometimes there are limitations, and the dream of a liberal society is no different. Fortunately for you Anarchists out there, there are some ideologies which are actually based AROUND Anarchy and have similar characteristics, but of course, improved in a way that the flaws of Anarchy can be ridded. Anarchy is only one of many political ideologies that fall under Libertarianism – ideologies that emphasize freedom, liberty and voluntary association. There are many other ideologies that Anarchists can always turn to which are actually more practical than full Anarchy itself.
Like any other ideology, Anarchy exists because of its Utopian nature.
Like any other ideology, Anarchy’s utopianism is only on paper.
It’s with small adjustments that allow an ideology to be used, and Anarchy is no different. For example, I’ve learnt that Anarchy, being more of a diverse assemblage of political beliefs rather than a coherent philosophy, means that radicalism is the only thing that varies – from the belief of collective social action to illegitimate property protection!
In the end, it’s all in the palm of the Anarchist himself. How far does he/she want to take it? But of course, with every theory put into play, it’s all about finding the right balance, in this case, the degree of radicalism, because it’s a dark society out there, and when there’s people, there’s advantage-takers who can and will exploit what might otherwise seem like a peaceful, utopian belief.