My explanation of anarchy/voluntaryism is long winded but that’s because so many of us have been brainwashed by our communities, the state and the state schools that we don’t know what freedom is anymore. Our morality has been corrupted by having two classes of men, those who can commit aggression and those who cannot. So unfortunately, explaining what freedom and liberty are is not a short conversation since I must break through layers of unconscious propaganda to help you understand and even then you may not.
The founding principles of anarchy/voluntaryism are: you own yourself, the zero aggression principle and property rights.
Two podcasts to help you understand what liberty is:
The zero aggression principle:
As a result of you owning yourself, you own the fruit of your labor thus any person or criminal gang(government) who comes to take your money without your consent is claiming to own you and is initiating force against you. Anarchists believe it is ok to use force in defense of yourself or your rightfully gained property, but not to INITIATE force against peaceful people. That’s the big difference between anarchy and statism, statists believe it is ok to INITIATE force against others because 51% of the VOTERS(not even 51% of the population) said so.
We voluntaryists/anarchists believe it is ALWAYS wrong to use force or aggression to get what you want. We have identified the main problem with the world, the misplaced belief in authority. You see, when I go to my neighbors house and demand a portion of his income, he will laugh and ask me to leave, should I persist he will rightfully defend his property. Yet if a man in a suit from the monopoly gang goes to his house and demands a portion of his income, he must oblige that man and give over whatever he demands. Another example; it is seen as perfectly acceptable for swat teams to go around kicking down peoples doors because they are the “authority” but what if I got a group of friends together and we put on shiny badges we made up, does that give us the right to go around kicking in people’s doors who might have drugs? The problem with the world today is the believe in authority, consider all the soldiers who were “just following orders”.
Anarchists do not believe in worshiping the state. Statism is a religion which worships flags, human sacrifice(soldiers dying for the state and innocents being killed in the process), aggression and violence. We do not need presidents or rulers, if you think you need someone to rule and dominate your existence that is your choice and do not force us to be a part of it. The morality of any system can be measured by your ability to opt-out of it.
Consider that in our current system, in the “land of the free” no one can actually own land. If you have to pay property taxes on something you “own” and those who you pay can take your land for not paying, then you DO NOT own it. They own you and they own your land.
Anarchists/voluntaryists believe that we own ourselves. The state also claims to own your body by using force against you for putting things which the gang/collective disapproves of into it and claiming to own a portion of your labor(they are taking between 40-60% of our labor now when you add in direct taxes, taxes on goods, hidden taxes like taxes the companies who produce your products had to pay to make it are passed on to the consumer). Drug use is a victimless crime, the act of ingesting a substance harms no one else but the one ingesting it, as a result, the state initiates force against peaceful people who chose to alter their consciousness. By claiming the right to initiate force against you for doing what you will with your body, they are claiming they own your body.
Government was not created for the common good or to ensure order, it was created for the use of force. As such, it is funded through theft and its dictates which are called law but are not law are enforced at the barrel of a gun. Should you disobey one of the hundreds of thousands of laws they claim the right to force upon you, you will first be threatened, should you resist you will be caged, should you resist caging you will be killed. Government is nothing more than force.
As a contrast, statists have NO principles. They say the believe in equality, yet they believe in two classes of men, those from the government who can essentially do whatever they want-and are immune from the moral consequences of their actions because of their various legal immunities and they are part of a “collective” and thus not an individual-and the rest of us who must submit to them. Statists claim to believe in freedom, yet they violate its fundamental nature by forcing their will on others and violating their property rights to fund it, they don’t believe in the axiom: “do what you will so long as you don’t harm anyone else or their property”. Statists want to use the gun of the state to force their morality on others for example; the drug war, illegal prostitution, illegal gambling, smoking bans, speeding tickets, owning guns, any initiation of force is immoral.
Voluntaryists/anarchists believe in a free market. If you want to start a business, start one, you don’t need “permission” from “authority” to start a business. Just do it, as long as you don’t violate someone else’s rights. Under the current system you have to ask permission from the master to go fishing, drive a car, own a house, own a gun, start a business, basically everything. That is not freedom, that is slavery. Permitting and regulation are ways that big corporations can prevent little guys from competing with them. Corporations are actually legal constructs of the state, they derive their power from the state and they would not have the kind of power they have now in a free society as they would be unable to use the force of the state to shut out their competition and gain unfair advantages.
Because we believe in a free market, we believe the market can provide all the services people want that the state currently provides. For example; statists always say, “but who will build the roads?” Answer; people will. If there is a need for something, the market will provide it, entrepreneurs and inventors will make it so. The market puts people in space and makes iphones, surely it can find a way to provide roads without the use of force. The same could be said for security services. Security could be provided for through voluntary means, such as security insurance. Dispute resolution companies(private arbitration) would work to resolve disputes among people and businesses as they do now. The difference between the statist society and the free society is that the security companies, road builders, etc actually have an incentive to provide a good product and service because people actually can withdrawl their support. We have an abusive police force now because it is a MONOPOLY. We all learned that monopolies are bad and provide bad service and even kill people in the case of the police because they are immune from prosecution(for the most part) and have no incentive to do a good job since we are FORCED to pay for them. If we could bankrupt them by not paying their salary and they had to compete for our business against other security forces, the drug war would end, so would swat raids and all the other abuses of police because the market would incentivize them to give the people what they want or go out of business. In regard to law and order or any other service that government does a crappy job of providing now, if there is a demand for it, it will be provided for by the market and done so voluntaryily. In Detroit, private police are protecting the people much better than police ever did and they are doing it without initiating force against people. They receive payments from willing customers and are so successful they are able to protect the poor people for free. They just protect life and property, they are not going around drug busting people so they can get more fedgov money.
“BUT WHO WILL BUILD THE ROADS?!?!?!” answered:
In a voluntary society, if you wanted to start a socialist/communist/whatever society with other people that would be fine, go ahead have your experiment as long as noone is FORCED to be a part of it and people who don’t want to participate are left alone-their property rights un-violated. Of course socialism/communism would fail since it has no price mechanism as history has demonstrated, but you may have your experiment anyway. In a voluntary society you can do whatever you want so long as you don’t commit aggression against another. Again, the main points to remember are that you own yourself(and all the results of this realization), property rights and the zero-aggression principle.
It should be noted that anarchy/voluntaryism IS NOT A SYSTEM. There is no anarchy president or voluntary ruler. We do not believe in systems, we believe in freedom, liberty and free markets. We believe that systems are unnecessary and that the market/nature/god(whatever you want to call it) will provide everything we need and do so more efficiently than any government ever could and most importantly without using force, fraud, coercion or violence.
We are all slaves now, just because you think your free doesn’t mean you are. There is no such thing as half-free, your either free or you’re a slave and we are most definitely slaves.
Here is a good essay on what anarchy is: