Anarchy is understood by the mainstream to mean chaos and disorder, but that is not what anarchy actually means. All anarchy means is “no ruler,” not no rules. Anarchy is the absence of a central authority that wields a monopoly on violence.
True societal order is not something that is created from the top down. It isn’t created by a strongman dictator or by lots of rules and lawmaking. Authentic societal order is created spontaneously, by everyday people who just want to make their lives better. Order is created through ordinary individuals exercising their freedoms. The best and most authentic types of orders are spontaneous orders. They are self-governing, self-teaching, and highly dynamic and pluralistic. Understand that freedom, self-organization, and decentralized markets is where true order and prosperity comes from.
When you dive into the history of law, courts, and justice in the United States and England, you will find that Anglo-Saxon common law, which is the foundation for our justice system, came into existence through competitive market and evolutionary forces. The laws that were used for dispute resolution and that were found to be most effective were not laws that were written by politicians, but laws that were discovered by judges, juries, precedent, and a case-by-case evolutionary process.
This is unlike the type of order that exists in a command and control type of society. That type of order isn’t so much order but rather true chaos. A powerful group of professional criminal elites running the government, making decisions for society, deciding how to spend the entirety of the fruits of your labor, that isn’t order, that is chaos and tyranny. When you have looters and criminals running the government, that influences the standard of morality in society. If the people in charge are corrupt and blatant about their thievery and chicanery, then people all throughout society will believe that the best way for them to get by is also by cheating and lying.
If you look at all of the countries that had very strong command and control type of regimes, you will see that the people that lived under those regimes lived within certain types of chaos. Just look at today’s Venezuela, where the people are living under a socialist police state with its high crime rate, high poverty, and rampant monetary inflation. Venezuelans are for all practical purposes living in complete chaos.
And so this is the paradox that we were never told – prosperity, societal flourishing, and social cooperation come from free people making choices for themselves. Chaos, societal downfall, and economic collapse all stem from big government and authoritarian socialism. Instead we were told the opposite, that without government we’d have nothing but chaos. That could not be further from the truth. Big government tyranny is what creates chaos.