So many times do I see predictions that basically everyone is just going to lose their minds and go murder and plunder without a government or that some “warlord” will suddenly appear and magically have the manpower to conquer huge populations. It’s absolute bull. Does the potential for somebody to murder or steal (which currently happens anyway) justify the entire oppressive, immoral, evil institute of government that kills and destroys the lives of way more people than any individual could ever hope to?
Imagine your friends/off-road club/church/social-group-of-your-choice existing without interference from a state. Are you going to rally together to murder the neighborhood on the next street over? Why would you do this? What are you getting out of it? Are you going to feel good about yourself? Is a “police force” the only thing stopping you from doing this now? What makes you think the people on the next street don’t have a neighborhood watch setup where there are always a couple armed people around keeping an eye out? Don’t even think “but there are people who would!” It’s irrelevant. Only think about what you would do. You are the average person. Sociopaths/psychopaths, contrary to what television would have you believe, are not the societal norm.
Stop thinking of government as something respectable or necessary or that it just needs to be fixed. (It’s working just fine!) The only reason it has the power it does is that people give it that power. Thousands of years of propaganda have thoroughly entrenched the idea that it is a “necessary evil” in the minds of most, and that is exactly why it still has the “authority” it does. It’s beneath all of us and needs to cease being an authority in your mind.
A common concern with anarchism is this: without a government-run police force, how can we stay safe? First, reconsider your ideas of what the police force’s job is, because they may not provide the safety that you think they do. The police rarely stop violent criminals in the act, only investigating and arresting suspects after the damage is done. Less than half of violent crimes in the United States result in an arrest, and less than 19% of property crimes (e.g. robbery, burglary, vehicle theft) result in an arrest, as reported by the FBI.
Building your own safety net isn’t paranoia like some people might have you think; you probably wear a seat belt in the car or have a fire extinguisher in your house, not because you intend to use them, but because the possibility is there. Here are some ways you can keep yourself safe:
Avoid high-risk behaviors and areas: One of the most important things you can do for the well-being of yourself and those around you is to avoid high-risk behaviors and areas. Avoiding danger in the first place makes it unnecessary to have to use physical force in defense. So what constitutes a “high-risk behavior” or “high-risk area”? You’ll have to use common sense on this one as it can depend on your situation. Some examples include associating with people who are prone to cause trouble or get in fights, traveling in neighborhoods with high crime rates, traveling at night in places with low traffic or low lighting, or attending events that have been known to erupt into violence.
Secure your home: There are many ways to secure your home, and combining your options will only increase your safety. The simplest measure is to have good locks and deadbolts for your doors, and make sure to lock them when you’re not expecting anyone to go in or out, especially at night. Some other measures you can take are placing motion-activated floodlights outside your home, installing an alarm system, and keeping a dog; you’ll have to decide on what’s right for your own situation.
Even if you consider your neighborhood a safe place, it’s still a good idea to secure your home to keep a safety net.
Learn self defense: Should you find yourself unavoidably in a potentially violent situation, try to de-escalate whenever possible. Don’t be confrontational; don’t try to push anyone’s buttons or be “witty”. If you’re being robbed, perhaps it is best to just hand over your wallet if it gets everyone out safely; however, this assumes that your assailant will just go away after being given the wallet or whatever it is he wants. Situations like that are completely up to your own judgement whether it’s best to give the assailant what he wants or to forcibly defend yourself.
It’s always best to avoid harming another person, but if you’re unable to avoid or escape the danger, there is nothing wrong with using force to defend yourself. If you choose to fight, a firearm, combined with the training and experience to use it effectively is invaluable. A small pistol can be easily kept on your person when away from home. There is plenty of debate as to what kind of firearm is best for self defense in the home; some argue for handguns, citing the maneuverability in tight quarters; others recommend a rifle or shotgun for the stopping power. If you’re uncomfortable with firearms, you might keep a non-lethal weapon like pepper spray or a stun gun/Taser.
These points are important in today’s society just as much as in a stateless one. The police are unable to know when you are in danger, and they cannot magically appear to help the moment you’re in trouble. Police can give a false sense of security to many people, and may even cause them to put themselves in more danger. We can only theorize, but in a stateless society, there may even be a market for private security forces similar to police that you would be able to hire to keep you safe. Regardless, now or in the future, it’s just common sense to take your safety into your own hands.
When I discuss anarchism with someone who has a strong belief in taxes and the need for “The State” I know one of two topics is going to come up, if not both. “The Roads!” and “what about the police and criminals”? The Roads is covered in another post (What About The Roads?) but I want to address personal protection. It doesn’t really matter if we live in a free society or the current statist society these ideas about self defense still hold true.
First I want to ask anyone that does not have plans for self defense and protection of their own family, “why should I value your life or your family member’s lives when it is apparent you don’t”? Is that harsh? Maybe, but it is based on logic and reason. The question isn’t meant to point fingers or make you feel like an outcast. The question is just to get you thinking. It doesn’t mean others shouldn’t help you, it just asks why should they be prepared for your defense and not you? Even if you feel you don’t have the physical strength or confidence to defend yourself you can still make plans. You can delegate it to a friend or lover, another family member, or pay for protection services but you still need a plan. If you have consciously agreed that you pay your taxes so you can have paid protection services then I can’t argue that you have not made a plan, but I do think that you are misguided, naive, and have a misunderstanding of government protection services.
If you and your family are the victims of a home invasion, the chance that any government agency will be able to arrive and defend you before any physical harm or theft takes place is very close to zero. Closer to zero than it is to 1%. At best, the police can return stolen property. They can not undo a rape, a murder, or a beating.
I’m not telling you that you can prevent all crimes against you. I am just telling you that if you prepare, you have a much better chance of avoiding violent crime, or defending yourself and your family from violent crime. The Public Safety Department as you know it does not provide this service.
Even if you are a trained defense professional, you need to ignore the bravery and recklessness you see in the movies. The most powerful self defense technique is to avoid trouble.
First you and your family should discuss the following list of self defense ideas.
Avoid high crime rate areas
Don’t travel alone
Add automated lighting for night time arrivals
Add an electric gate and/or guest arrival buzzers for your driveway
Add reinforcements to your doors so they can’t be kicked in
Be sure you know who is at your door before you open it
Get a watch dog
Add surveillance cameras
Learn gun safety and arm yourself and family
Learn to use a knife and/or pepper spray for self defense
Learn a self defense art like Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
All of these suggestions can help prevent or defend you against violent crime, today. If everyone learns self defense and all moral and honest people start protecting each other then even our current statist society will benefit. But how will it work in a stateless society?
First let me state that my personal belief is that a truly free society with no government will not exist until one of two things happen. A number of generations pass where a majority of people are raised by the non-aggression principal and just like slavery the government as we know it today will be banned as immoral. Or, failure of the current monetary system will send some of the largest countries into economic collapse and government will be ignored and over-ruled. I prefer #1 because that will be a beautiful thing but we will need self defense to be sure moral and good people survive and unite to defeat corruption and evil.
Just remember, if you are not willing to defend yourself and others then why should they defend you? It is really a simple answer to a common question. If you believe in freedom then don’t wait for it, start living your life the same way you say you will in a truly free society. Let’s start setting some examples.
Note: It is important to consider all firearms loaded regardless of what you think or are told about the weapon. Always keep firearms pointed in a safe direction regardless of what state or condition you believe it is in. Never put your finger on the trigger until the firearm is pointed at the target and you are ready to fire. That’s all it really takes to make them safe.
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu teaches smaller often weaker individuals to defend themselves against bigger and stronger opponents. The art focuses on leverage, joint locks, and choking techniques. These techniques, when applied properly, can overcome an opponent without causing serious injury.