Perspectives: Anarchy is looking better all the time

OPINION – The word “anarchy” sends shivers up the spines of most people. This is not by accident either. We’ve been carefully indoctrinated to think of it in the most violent and chaotic terms possible.

But anyone with even a sliver of intellectual curiosity will quickly discover that it’s a word that has been given a bum rap.

The distorted definition of an anarchist brings to mind images of the wild-eyed bomb-thrower who lives to create chaos and suffering. The actual definition is considerably less sensational.

Anarchy” is derived from the Greek words “anarkhos” and “anarkhia.” Broken down into its etymological elements, “an” meaning without and “arkhos” meaning chief, it simply means “without ruler.”

To many Americans that have been trained since childhood to view government as a hybrid parent/god, the thought of not being ruled over is terrifying. This past week has been filled with outbursts of pants-wetting hysteria over a so-called government shutdown that nonetheless still had nearly 80 percent of federal employees on the job.

It would be laughable if it didn’t reveal the submissive mindset that has taken hold over much of the American public.

We’ve allowed ourselves to be convinced that lack of a ruler is the same thing as a complete lack of rules. But human nature is remarkably adaptive to spontaneous organization when problems arise. Absence of the state doesn’t turn us into animals.

Just a couple of years ago in Logan, Utah, a motorcyclist collided with and was trapped beneath a burning automobile. As this video shows, without waiting for the lone authority figure on scene to direct them, the bystanders spontaneously lifted the burning car and dragged the man to safety.

No ruler had to tell them what to do. These citizens simply assessed the situation and then did what was necessary to save the man from a deadly situation. They acted without the state’s direction.

Now contrast their response with that of first responders in Alameda, Calif., who were handcuffed by their bureaucratic rulers’ inflexible policy. These police and firefighters stood by for an hour as a man eventually succumbed to hypothermia in neck-deep water in San Francisco Bay.

The excuse they gave for not rescuing him? Budget cuts and city policy had kept them from obtaining the necessary training and cold water gear. In the end, it was a private bystander that eventually retrieved the man’s body.

But even this travesty pales in comparison to the British man who drowned in waist-deep water as rescue crews spent more than 45 minutes donning health and safety gear. Initially, a policeman and a paramedic both begged to wade into the shallow lake and save the victim, but were ordered by their superiors not to do so.

Such incidents make a strong case that there are drawbacks to the mindset that we must be ruled in all things.

One of the greatest self-deceptions of our time is the notion that we rule ourselves under our current system of government.

In reality, we are being ruled by a thoroughly corrupted cabal of political opportunists who stake their claim to power on the perverted concept of majority rule. Their preferred term is “democracy,” but as Hans-Hermann Hoppe has pointed out, the immoral end result is still the same. As Hoppe explains, “It allows for A and B to band together to rip off C.”

Hoppe understood that where a monarch has real incentive to leave his kingdom in good order for his descendants, democratically elected rulers have only a short window in which to fleece those they rule.

We can see this insidious mindset at work in the ruling class that occupies Washington D.C. The domestic and foreign policy decisions of our rulers are driven by reckless spending and lust for power. They show little regard for the consequences to future generations or us. Their claim of legitimacy is now based primarily upon a monopoly of force – not consent.

A reluctant anarchist, Joseph Sobran said it best:

Democracy has proved only that the best way to gain power over people is to assure the people that they are ruling themselves. Once they believe that, they make wonderfully submissive slaves.

This is why the American people are expected to be nervous when our rulers fight amongst themselves over imaginary money that they don’t even have.

We don’t need to be ruled in this manner. We’re fully capable of ruling ourselves and organizing ourselves as necessary. In this sense, it’s high time to give the concept of anarchy another look.

Self-rule is starting to look a lot less scary than what our democratically elected thugs have in mind for us.


Bryan Hyde is a news commentator and co-host of the Perspectives talk show on Fox News 1450 AM 93.1 FM. The opinions stated in this article are his and not representative of St. George News.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @youcancallmebry


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  • Allie October 3, 2013 at 1:07 pm

    I agree. These thugs are no more than terrorists. The Patriot Act even defines them as such. They should be arrested and taken to Gitmo where we won’t have to listen to them cry like babies about Obamacare. The healthcare issue should have been studied and debated 4 years ago. Next they’ll want to tear apart the Constitution. There is enough waste in the spending bill to be deleted, allowing the spending ceiling to be the same, or more likely less even with Obamacare.

  • DoubleTap October 3, 2013 at 1:22 pm

    Once again, Bryan is spot-on right.

    We don’t need no stinkin’ rulers!

    • Bender October 3, 2013 at 5:08 pm

      Double Tap’s on board Bryan! Now that the gun nuts are a go, you just need to round up the biker gangs and the meth chemists. Pro tip: If you can’t wait for anarchy to take root here, a move to Somalia might be in order. They’re all big Ayn Rand fans over there.

      • DoubleTap October 4, 2013 at 9:16 am

        I don’t need to move anywhere. Thanks to your idol Obama, it will very soon be happening here. All I can say to you is….just be prepared. And when TSHTF and
        you are on the wrong end of the situation….I will only look at you and try reall hard to feel sorry for you……NOT!

  • Karen October 3, 2013 at 2:01 pm

    To use the most obvious example, I wonder what Mr. Hyde would suggest when one of those freeways he travels needs repairs. Would he gather up a few of his neighbors and stand there filling potholes while the cars going 80mph whiz around him? I doubt it.

    Anarchy thoughout history was, is, and will be a terrible word. Mr. Hyde suggests it as an alternative because he is sure that those that don’t agree with him are dependent nitwits who have been “trained since childhood to view government as a hybrid parent/god”. Only in FoxNews land do people really think that.

    In the 80’s such people were afraid of the “welfare queens” taking away their dollars. Now it is the “new face of food stamps – the surfer guy” to whom Fox devoted an entire special. Fox News preaches fear, pure and simple.

    • DoubleTap October 3, 2013 at 2:24 pm

      Karen: Brainwashed be her ruler(s).

    • Erik October 3, 2013 at 3:26 pm

      But… but… muh roads!!! Sorry, this has been addressed so often that it’s a punchline in libertarian / anarcho-capitalist circles (there’s even a Facebook group called “Muh Roads”). A road is not a terribly complex thing. I’m having a hard time to imagine, as Tom Woods put it, my house being over here and the Apple Store being over there and everybody standing around scratching their heads with no roads. Some possible solutions:

      My HOA maintains the landscaping in our neighborhood, why not the roads as well?
      Shopping centers maintain their parking lots, why not the roads that connect them?
      Roads could be built and maintained through sponsorships, donations / community organizations, tolls, and plenty of other ways. These have all actually been used right here in the US – there were plenty of roads before the government started building them.

      People always come together when things need to be done. Roads are not special in that regard. Would there be some freeloaders? Sure, why not? Who cares? There are plenty of those anyway with governments doing things. No system is perfect, but voluntary systems move faster and better at correcting themselves.

      • Bender October 3, 2013 at 5:01 pm

        Now there’s a comforting thought… HOA’s running the country’s infrastructure. You’ve picked out the only type of organization less functional than congress.

      • Karen October 3, 2013 at 5:09 pm

        In case you didn’t notice, I said freeways, not roads. The system is named for President Dwight D. Eisenhower, who championed its formation. Construction was authorized by the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956. Now, I don’t know about you but it might be somewhat hard to get volunteers to work on maybe the Virgin River Gorge that so many in St. George frequent on their way to Vegas and CA. Or maybe like some in the Republican party it is time to go back in time to the “good old days” before freeways.

        • Roy J October 3, 2013 at 8:02 pm

          The idea of the bomb throwing anarchist is not distorted, it is 100% spot on. Anybody who has read anything about 19th century Europe should know that. Even the Wikipedians know that. Historical facts trump modern word games every time. Read a book.

          • Richard October 4, 2013 at 12:26 pm

            ACTUALLY there are no “anarchists” that throw bombs. Bomb throwers have used the title “anarchist” in the past but they are only confused statists. Trust me. People who throw bombs wish to terrorize and control others. That is not even remotely in keeping with the idea of anarchy and the abolishment of violent rulers. Throwing bombs, destroying property, murder, and violence is in keeping with statism, not anarchism. Statism teaches you that anarchism means chaos, destruction, and violence. Statism lies. Look at the most violent, goverment controlled, and bankrupt cities in America like Detroit. Statism did that. Not anarchism.

          • Anton October 6, 2013 at 5:24 pm

            Have anarchists thrown more bombs than republicans?

        • Richard October 4, 2013 at 12:15 pm

          Even the freeways are not a huge issue. International travel wasn’t started by governments, it was started by private industry because we needed a way to get goods across the country faster, easier, and cheaper. That’s how the railways first started. Without government monopolizing roads, the market will likely innovate and fine a cheaper and more efficient way for people to travel across the country, in the same way that it did in the earlier days of our country when people were worried about throwing out the idea of slavery because “Oh my goodness, how will we ever pick the cotton!?” The market responded and today nobody bats an eye at the issue. We have giant machines that pick all the cotton requiring minimal operation. The slave owners had no idea these machines would ever exist, just as us arguing about “who will build the roads and highways?” is a pointless argument. Leave it to the market and the market will find a way to make it work or replace it with something far better for everyone.

          • Roy J October 4, 2013 at 2:44 pm

            Auguste Vaillante. Like I said, even the Wikipedians know it. Sorry Richard.

          • Roy J October 4, 2013 at 2:48 pm

            Also, if a somebody calls himself an anarchist, who exactly is Richard to tell them otherwise? More importantly, who is Richard to tell someone who has thrown bombs as an anarchist to say he is not an anarchist?

        • Anton October 6, 2013 at 5:22 pm

          Well, Karen, if you’re asking how anarchists would go about building a system of roads named for General Eisenhower, I have no answer for you. But if you’re saying that limited-access highways (unlike other kinds of roads) cannot be built except by a violent monopoly, well, I have to ask why not?

      • NO_SIX October 4, 2013 at 8:27 am

        I’m OK with toll roads as long as Govt at all levels that collect taxes for road construction and maintenance eliminate those taxes. Probably not going to happen. I don’t want to pay taxes and tolls.

  • Tyler October 3, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    Wow, very impressive for local news! Seriously!

  • Dave Nielsen October 3, 2013 at 2:16 pm

    incredible article. thank you for making us who believe in individual responsibility seem a little more sane 😉

  • Matt October 3, 2013 at 3:09 pm

    Is this…is this a mainstream media outlet allowing the true definition of anarchy to the masses? Am I seeing things?

    I would like to add that there are several stripes of “anarchy”. I recommend people to beware of communist/socialist anarchy, which demands that people all share, regardless of whether they want to share or not. This is basically just another state.

    In voluntaryism (black/yellow anarchy), all legitimate interaction between people MUST be voluntary, lacking coercion of any sort, lest they be just another state as well. This is in stark contrast to government, which can only use violence and threats of violence to achieve its desired outcomes.

  • Adam October 3, 2013 at 5:42 pm

    This article is excellent. I linked to it on my site. I can’t wait to see the likes of Bill O’Reilly and Rachel Maddow attacking these ideas. You’ll know just how huge and unstoppable it is once they do.

    In Liberty!

    • Bender October 3, 2013 at 6:00 pm

      Bill O’Reilly and Rachel Maddow? I think you’re mixing your metaphors bub.

      • Adam October 3, 2013 at 6:46 pm

        There are no metaphors to be had in my comment, “Bub”.

        Maddow and O’Reilly are both mainstream shills. When they start attacking the ideas of liberty, such as those outlined in this article, you’ll know anarchy’s time has come.

        • Bender October 3, 2013 at 8:35 pm

          Let us know when the attack from both right-wing narcissist demagogue O’reilly and left-wing partisan Maddow goes down. This is not a joke. They have both your teeth and your lifted 4×4 bugged. We’re counting on your intelligence and steely nerve, Adam, to fend off the onslaught from the mainstream.

          • Adam October 4, 2013 at 6:46 am

            Ha! You are very well read, sir. I can tell you know what you’re talking about by your incessant ad hominems. Your razor-sharp sarcasm and wit have undermined and destroyed the ideas of anarchism, completely. I’m throwing in the towel against your unbeatable arguments. I’m going back to the statism and violence-loving that I so foolishly eschewed years ago.

  • Bender October 3, 2013 at 6:12 pm

    Bryan, you failed to mention that the Alameda, CA man who drowned committed suicide. What’s a libertarian to do… save a man against his will or let the individual determine his own destiny. I think Ayn Rand would have stayed on the beach.

    • Gene October 3, 2013 at 9:35 pm

      Ayn Rand was not an anarchist, nor was she a libertarian.

      • Bender October 4, 2013 at 12:20 am

        Rand’s confused philosophy, which she named Objectivism, mingles minarchist thought, Laissez-faire economics and egocentric behavior. Minarchism, per its name, is a kissing cousin of anarchism. Rand may have disliked the Libertarisns of her era but modern day Libertarians and Objectivists are increasingly hard to differentiate.
        Rand still would have stayed on the beach.

  • BeVoluntaryist October 3, 2013 at 6:18 pm

    Well written. I do suggest that anyone who has qualms with casting off the ruling cast look into the philosophies of Voluntaryism, the logic, the books and reams of debates and discussions happening all over the place before making bold claims such as “who will fix the roads”. Think of cell phone technology and if government doubled down on 1991 2G technology and made a bunch of towers because we need to “connect the people”… even if by force… that is what happened with roads. If they hadn’t taken tax money and doubled down on roads then we might have the 4G LTE of roads right now instead. That is the point of Voluntaryism and voluntary exchange, we can’t possibly know what the person next to us, us in the future, or our children will value, it is all subjective, so trying to control it all from a central ruling class is asinine, resulting in a lower quality of life.

    • Bender October 3, 2013 at 9:18 pm

      Bryan, you’re bringing them out of the woodwork tonight.
      It’s ironic that you would mention the electromagnetic spectrum. Libertarians pretend that the “Tragedy of the commons” can’t happen in a free society because of private ownership of all resources. This line of thinking works swimmingly while you are pleasuring yourself in front of a computer screen but falls down hard on the floor in the real world. It’s impossible that the radio spectrum would be managed, in any sense of the word, by covenant communities, voluntary societies, or whatever libertarian/anarchist/Randian assemblage you dream up. What one group does with the radio waves impacts another group. The same goes for issues like pollution of the air and water.
      You guys would be funny if your day dreaming and disengagement from real world politics didn’t affect the rest of us. Like it or not we are all, in aggregate, the government. The “government” needs everyone’s voice, oversight, participation and support. “One nation, under God”. We fail when we stop trying. You nuts advocate giving up and moving to a pretend fairyland.

      • Anton October 6, 2013 at 5:27 pm

        “We fail when we stop trying” — yeah, because the system can’t be at fault. Blame the victims whenever possible!

        A common-law system of ownership in radio spectrum was developing before Our Savior The Government nationalized it. At least it didn’t give the Navy the radio monopoly it wanted.

    • philiplo October 4, 2013 at 7:50 am

      “Think of cell phone technology and if government doubled down on 1991 2G technology and made a bunch of towers because we need to “connect the people”… even if by force… that is what happened with roads. If they hadn’t taken tax money and doubled down on roads then we might have the 4G LTE of roads right now instead.”
      So government is the reason we don’t have the flying cars promised to us by The Jetsons?? I WANT MY 4G LTE CAR RIGHT NOW! Government thugs get out of my automobile!

  • terrymac October 3, 2013 at 9:34 pm

    Many who fear voluntaryism can think only in terms of a false dichotomy – either the government does it, or it won’t get done. Perhaps this is a sure sign that government schools have done their allotted task: rotted a great many brains.

    In India, the land which gave us the phrase “red tape”, is very fond of posting regulations, but too poor a country to enforce them. Parents in the poorest provinces, noticing this lack of regulatory muscle, have begun supporting parent-funded government-free schools in such numbers that 50-80% of students are taught without government intervention. This is, mind you, in the poorest of provinces, where parents earn perhaps $30/monthly. James Tooley and his team have tested over 32,000 such students in India, Africa, China, and S. America, and have discovered that they do a better job of teaching English and Maths.

    Future generations may set “Government: what is it good for? Absolutely nothing!” as their slogan.

  • tom October 3, 2013 at 9:39 pm

    Anarchy = lack of hierarchy = power vacuum = (Somalia and most of the middle east and wet dreams for people like the Koch brothers and Ted Cruz and Mike Lee)

    • Anton October 6, 2013 at 5:31 pm

      If there’s no hierarchy in most of the Middle East, then what was “Arab Spring” rebelling against?
      Hint, it wasn’t anarchy that set it all off by driving a Tunisian fruit vendor to suicide.

      Most of Somalia’s troubles come from people trying to restore government. Horrible chaotic Somalia was (I haven’t heard whether it still is) doing better than most of Africa in literacy, vaccination, child mortality, telephone service …

  • Chris October 4, 2013 at 9:21 am

    I find the discussion very interesting and confess that I share much of the anarchist sentiment. However, I have a couple questions that, maybe, one of the anarchy sympathizers here may answer. Are there any examples of where “voluntaryism” has functioned adequately in a large community to the extent that conventional governmental institutions became unnecessary? Also, considering that the author is, I believe, a devout member of the LDS church, how do you reconcile anarchy with the words of Joseph Smith–“We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law”?

  • crick October 6, 2013 at 6:29 pm

    “Even an oppressive government is preferable to a state of lawlessness and anarchy in which the only ruling principle is force and every individual has a thousand oppressors. (See D&C 134:6.)” -Dallin H. Oaks

    For full context see:

    I would also add that reading history–especially American history–gives greater perspective on where we are now and where we have been. We have our problems but they are not worth living in fear or wringing our hands over. We can get to work just like our forbears and do the work allotted us. I am grateful for our government in spite of its problems. When one understands the Gettysburg address, he or she understands that saying one is grateful for his or her government is the same thing as saying is grateful for their country. In America they are one and the same.

    (And if you haven’t read the Gettysburg address lately, I highly recommend it:

  • Center for a Stateless Society October 6, 2013 at 8:16 pm

    Why can’t the U.S. military — a jobs program for sociopaths and the Wermacht of our time — leave the “libertarian” paradise of Somalia alone?

    In Somalia, Navy SEALs attacked the house of an Al Shabab militant thought to be connected to the shopping mall massacre in Kenya last month….
    It remains unclear exactly who the SEALs were targeting in Somalia, but media reports suggest the raid failed.

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