Safety

Jim asks

What if someone a lot bigger, and more heavily armed than you wants to beat the crap out of you? Seriously, how does that go in your system?

In anarchy, people would band together with others in their community to stop a bully. Community self defense can be very effective.  

In statist systems, no one is bigger or more heavily armed than the state. They have a monopoly on legitimate violence and they use it to set up a protection racket: If you don’t do what their violent thugs (cops) say, they have the power to beat you up with minimal consequences. And if you don’t work to make profit for the their elite or don’t pay their protection fee (taxes), their thugs (cops) will force you out of your home, beat the crap out of you if you resist, and put you in a cage (prison). The state is responsible for more violence than any individual bully (or crime syndicate) could ever dream of. 

Who would build the roads?

Calvin asks:

Without the government, who will build the roads?

This is a classic question with an easy answer: People who want to build roads would build the roads.

Someone thinks a road is needed, talks to the community to see if others agree, and then those with skill and interest go out and do it. Or maybe there is a collective who contributes to the community by building and maintaining roads.

Here’s a great example of this in action: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/anarchists-fixing-potholes-portland_n_58caaa7be4b0ec9d29d9575b

Definition of Anarchy

Sarah asks “Sorry if I missed this somewhere on your site, I’ve only skimmed through a couple of the questions, but what is your general definition of anarchy? And, what are you imagining that a world with anarchy would look like? I’m not sure if your definition of anarchy is the one I typically imagine when I hear the word (it sounds like probably not 🙂 Thanks! Interesting site!”

The greek origin of the word “Anarchy” means “without ruler.” Anarchists today generally think of it more generally as “without any hierarchies of power” so that also includes being against forms of oppression that give some groups more power like racism, sexism, classism, ablism, etc.
We at Ask an Anarchist believe in one broad branch of anarchism generally called “social anarchism” that has a few principles describing what it is for:

Social Anarchism – A vision of shared resources and community support built around the empowerment of the individual and the decentralization of power.

  • Individual Sovereignty – You are the exclusive controller of your body, energy, and life. You contribute your energy on your own terms.
  • Mutual Aid – Acting together for shared benefit through the voluntary exchange of resources and services.
  • Distributed Power – No one has more power than anyone else. People work together on equal footing.
  • Direct action – Creating change or highlighting issues in a community without relying on government or other indirect methods to accomplish goals.