clipart showing a black flag waving

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.

Author: Mister Bump UK

Designed/developed large IT systems, interrupted by a stroke in 2016, aged 48. Now mix development of health-related software with voluntary work and writing. Married, with an estranged daughter.

10 thoughts on “Unruly”

  1. Thanks for your thoughts Pete! They’re excellent! I suppose at one time anarchy was a valid choice, given that there were ‘evil’ overlords and serfs really had it bad, being free of that kind of oppression must have seemed like heaven. But the reality is (and I’m borrowing from another discussion I had with someone yesterday) like the home we thought it would be ‘cool’ to own, there are always strings attached. We become the responsible ones when we ‘do exactly as we please’ and there are consequences.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s really the key to everything, don’t you think? Whatever we do, there are consequences? It’s an attractive thought, though. A place without any rules, just because there’s no need for ’em.


  2. But everybody would need to agree up front to behave themselves and that, of course, is why it couldn’t work.
    You got it.
    Partly because everyone’s idea of behaving themselves may be a little different; partly because we have basic reactions that we must curb or face consequences. As someone once said, speaking of rights: “Your right to wave your fist ends where my face begins.”
    One day I read a brief biography of famous US lawyer Clarence Darrow, and he was a believer that people would do right naturally if laws were removed and society would give everyone a fair chance. His court arguments that “It’s not my client’s fault, he’s just an innocent victim of an unjust society,” seem to have actually changed the mindset of our society. So now if I’m a crook, it’s always society’s/the govt’s/ my parents’/someone else’s fault. A cocktail of anarchy & humanism.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re in luck then John because that’s pretty much what we have. 🤣 Seriously, everyone wants a minimal state but I reckon everyone will have a different idea what minimal is. There’s a lot it sounds like that model doesn’t include, like education, healthcare.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. This California lawyer had judges and juries in tears over the sad upbringings of his clients, got mobsters and obviously guilty types acquitted with his eloquent pleas. The article said lawyers today still study his defense arguments.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Social systems are essential, and glorious! But, when they are all that we have a staleness settles in that doesn’t encourage progress or movement between social classes. There is an edge that is lost when systems supersede creativity. While I definitely no anarchist, I know a key-component of their beliefs is direct democracy whereby everyday citizens are invited to vote on topics instead of electing officials. If I could dream up a Utopian world, it would be more like that. Of course, in reality it’d be more like Lord of the Flies . 😂


    1. Yep, y gut feel is to settle things more by referendums, as far as practical. But you have to put quite a bit of thought into the questions you ask, I think, just so you don’t end up with contradictions. But, as guiding principles, a framework within which bureaucrats/politicians work, definitely..

      Liked by 1 person

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