Considering Anarchism

by Peter Saint-Andre


While out mowing the lawn today, the following question occurred to me:

If you can conceive of morality without God, why can you not conceive of society without government?

I'm not an anarchist -- yet -- but I do think there is an interesting analogy here between faith and force. The conventional view is that there can be no morality without god -- that only faith can provide ethics with objective rules and limit individual behavior (recall Dostoevsky: "Without God, anything is possible"). Another conventional view is that there can be no society (only a Hobbesian state of nature) without government -- that only a monopoly on the use of force can provide objective rules and limits to social behavior. Is it possible that both conventional views are wrong? Do not both views deny the power of self-ownership, self-responsibility, self-government? Did Rand once again not go far enough by shutting out religion but leaving the door open even just a crack for government? Something for me to think about. I've never even considered anarchism. I think it's time for me to do some reading on the subject, because if I'm going to reject it, at least I want to know what I'm rejecting.

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