I read one of Melanie’s Share Your World posts the other day. One of the questions was hypothetical, along the lines, would you be in favour of suspending rules for the day?
I also follow several bloggers who take part in this prompt, and so one by one I saw the responses come in. I think it was unanimous -nobody wanted to see them suspended.
It’s funny (well, sad!), because one of the things I toyed with as an adolescent was which system of government would be best. And, anarchy, was right up there. Which, of course, means “no rules”. That notion of doing as you pleased certainly had attractions. It is certainly a better system than some.
Of course, there had to be strings attached. You had to think in terms of a colony (i.e. someone joins willingly) rather than a nation (which you “join” unwillingly, based on your birthplace). And, one of the conditions is that nobody screws over anybody else. Beyond that, you do what you want. No rules. Anarchy – as long as everybody agreed to it.
This was quite a real concept maybe a hundred years ago. Back in the Spanish Civil War of 1936-9, one of the Republican factions was the Anarchists. They marched under a plain black flag. So there were people willing to stand up and fight for this ideology back then.
When you think about it, Anarchy falls short. It is that tendency to act as an individual. Looking after Number One is good up to a point, but if we think in a more “social” way we can pool our resources and have buildings, schools, roads, hospitals etc. that we’d be unlikely to have if we acted individually. Even battleships, if we’ve a mind. I’m sorry to anybody who has been conditioned to think that socialism is evil, but every time we leave our houses, we enjoy its benefits. Even the mechanic who is able to fix our car because of the education we, as a member of society, afforded them.
And certainly in the context of something global, like climate change, it is even more obvious. You can’t really afford to be an anarchist. We need to pull, together, in a certain direction and anarchy means the exact opposite.
Anyway, I thought it was an interesting question, that and the spinoff about how you could make a “no rules” society work. That’s one of the ways in which it might work. But everybody would need to agree up front to behave themselves and that, of course, is why it couldn’t work.