“Anarchism: Moral but Naively Idealistic” – Of Wolves and Ravens – Political Science

Happy Mani’s Day


I want to go on record a saying the philosop[hy behind anarchism is morally pure because it is the only philosophy of government that gets rid of the two things that make government suck the most – control mechanisms and the removal of individual rights. Without a doubt, I do not argue with anarchists that their philosophy is good, just and perfectly thought out.  It is political idealism as its finest.

That said it is so idealistic that it will never happen.  Much life socialism has an idealistic view of economics but fails to account for the economic realities of the law of scarcity and that human beings are motivated by self-interest so taking that way you get a system that limits human achievement, option, and freedom. You basically also will find yourself taking rights from people, not granting them under a socialist system.

Anarchism does something similar – it doesn’t take into account another part of human nature that has evolved in us.  We are inherently tribal.  Tribalism has allowed human beings to band together against common problems or foes as long as the human race has been around.  it is part of our psychological makeup and it is why everyone will never accept anarchy as a form of government. There will always be the state no matter how it is set up.  As soon as people organize and set up a system of dealing with problems or issues, what they set up is ‘government’.

To the Wolves and Ravens:

“Feed the Wolves, but Listen to the Ravens first.”

Needs (Geri):

That said, I think the anarchists should keep advocating anarchy for one simple reason – it keeps us with the realization that the government doesn’t have to be involved in everything.  There is no need for the government but if we are going to have it it should do something we can all mostly agree it should do.  We need if anything, when the government is inevitably set up it, should be constructed in such a way it serves humanity, not the other way around. This is why most governments fail because they make slaves out of the populations under them and the tension for freedom is created that leads to their eventual downfall.

Wants (Freki):

So what we want is a government that serves us by: 1) recognizing that the citizens are the boss, government is the servant, not the master, 2) Having a great concern to defend the rights of individuals, in fact, it should be made as one of the central duties of government, and 3) the citizens should have the means to overthrow said government if it attempts to violate the two above.

Reason (Huginn):

While I can marvel at the ethical purity of anarchism given the above needs and wants, I have become practically a classical liberal libertarian. Not because I think having government isn’t immoral like the anarchist, but because I think it is inevitable that government will exist because of tribalism.  So if the government is rationally inevitable, it stands to reason that we keep it as small as people will allow and with the least amount of power necessary.  So far as I know the level of government of classical liberalism is the smallest that has been in history accepted by people. So it is practically viable and yet also respects individual rights and if done properly protects rights.

Wisdom (Muninn):

Wisdom finds itself in upholding the moral goodness of a particular philosophy but realizing the practical realities of experience and what human beings will actually do or accept. For me, classical liberal philosophy is the best compromise between the.purity of anarchism and the reality of human tribalism.  Anarchism, however, does bring to the wisdom table the constant reminder of trying to find a way to let people live in freedom and without coercion,  Well, at least as much as human tribalism will allow.


I like anarchists, even when they argue with me about this, but I have also frustrated them by saying I agree that they are morally the purest philosophy I have found in studying political science.  Then the discussion turns practical and they have to concede another point – when have human beings accepted anarchism as anything other than a short transitional time between governments?  They never have.

Next week I hit libertarianism and I will be dealing with classical liberalism or more appropriately why I am one.

I remain,

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.


One thought on ““Anarchism: Moral but Naively Idealistic” – Of Wolves and Ravens – Political Science

  1. Pingback: “Two Toms, John and Me” – Of Wolves and Ravens – Libertarianism | The Grey Wayfarer

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