Opinion | Opinie 15/03/2010

I don’t like anarchists

Theoretically, the best system to run a country (or anything) is anarchy. The problem with anarchy is that everybody needs to be of good will to make it work. Everyone knows that that is way beyond utopic.

The second best system is a dictatorship. In that case, you only need one person to be competent and of good will to make it work. The problem here is that the desire to be a dictator usually does not go together with being of good will (except with me – I am still considering what job to take up next).

But I also don’t think democracy is perfect

So, most happy countries in the world have settled for an even worse system, democracy. It also has flaws, one of them being that being a bad politician is actually rewarded because the general populace is too stupid to notice (when I defended my PhD thesis, one of my so-called “propositions” was that, given the average intelligence of voters, it was questionable that democracy is the best regime).

Usually democracy is fought by anarchists. And although I see many things wrong with democracy, anarchy is far worse (for one, not wanting to pay taxes is simply not done – however most anarchists are happy enough to benefit from other people paying taxes, so I find them hypocrites at best, criminals at worst), so I tend to disagree with them.

So I like the Power 2010 campaign!

Now however there appears to be a proper campaign to try and improve ‘our’ democracy, called Power 2010. Now that, I like. The first thing I did to support them is to sign their petition to get the bishops out of the House of Lords. Now they are trying to expose the worst of the MPs who have been fiddling with their expenses. Way to go!

I see they have five more petitions to sign – I will probably do so soon. Especially proportional voting is long overdue.

One thought on “Opinion | Opinie 15/03/2010

  1. Hello,

    I just came across your blog today and feel obliged to comment as an anarchist.

    I think you have it backwards when you say, “The problem with anarchy is that everybody needs to be of good will to make it work.” Obviously, not everyone is of good will and they never will be. Anarchists believe that people need protection services just like everyone else. The difference is that (most) anarchists advocate voluntary, consentual solutions to society’s problems, while statists advocate monopolistic solutions backed by the threat of violence.

    Personally, I would feel much safer in a society in which law enforcement and other protection services were distributed and kept in check by competition. If one police force becomes too corrupt or too violent, people can vote with their dollars and take their business elsewhere.

    In a democracy, however, we entrust one group of people with the absolute authority to use violence. We do this despite the fact that we know that not everyone is of good will and they never will be (including those entrusted with great power). In doing so, we create a system which is rife with corruption (and diminish the individual’s ability to exercise freedom).

    Regarding your comment about anarchists being happy to benefit from others’ tax money – most of the anarchists I know are not happy to use other people’s tax money because they believe that taxation is theft. To apply for government benefits is to become an accomplice in that theft. But at the same time, the government uses violence to forbid legitimate competition in the industries in which it participates.

    So even though I would much prefer to have roads that were built by private contractors (I believe they would be safer, cheaper, and more efficient), I have no choice but to travel the government roads. That is a situation which is forced upon me.

    For the record, I do pay my taxes – not because I believe that it is the right thing to do, but because I fear the alternative. Unfortunately, the government’s threats force me to choose between my convictions and my responsibility to provide for my family. And since I never ever use government services unless there is no other alternative (i.e. the roads), I end up being forced to pay for services I did not request and do not use.

    Your desire to clean up the current system is admirable. I am sure that you and I see many of the same abuses. The corrupt people in the system are not the problem, however. The problem is the system which allows corrupt people to leverage so much power indiscriminately against the rest of us.

    Thanks for your time.

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