[Excerpt]..."If not for a group of lawmakers telling the rest of us how to behave, we would all act like stupid, irresponsible, violent animals."
This claim implies one of two things. Either:
(a) We normal people have no idea what is right and wrong, unless and until politicians tell us; or
(b) The only reason we want to do the right thing and coexist peacefully is because politicians told us to.
A quick examination of your own motivations will show you that neither is true.
It's particularly odd to make this argument in a society where politicians are voted into power. If the people themselves have no moral code and no conscious and are just stupid, violent animals, why does almost everyone want government to keep the peace and protect the innocent? Would a population of vicious, heartless, evil people try to elect good people to keep the evil people in line? Obviously not.
The goodness and desire from order and peace comes from us, not the lawmakers we vote into office.
The implication is that the average person can't be trusted to run his own life but can be trusted to choose someone to run other people's lives.
Government is not a civilizing influence. It's actually an un-civilizing influence. People who would never personally rob their neighbors constantly use government to do it for them by way of taxation. People who would never dream of trying to control minute details of their neighbors' lives think it is just fine to vote for politicians to do it instead. Government gives everyone the opportunity and encouragement to rob and control other people without risk.
So, government, rather than serving as a check against the imperfections of our nature, instead amplifies our greed, irresponsibility, and malice toward other human beings by giving us a legally acceptable and risk-free way to interfere with the lives and choices of our fellow men and women. It brings out the criminal and busy-body in everyone.
In contrast, in the absence of a ruling class, people would lose the ability to ask lawmakers to interfere with their neighbors' lives. And we would not have law enforcers who avoid responsibility for evil deeds by claiming they were just following orders.
Throughout history, far more theft, assault, oppression, and even murder has been committed by those acting on behalf of a supposed authority by anybody else. Even basically good people, when they believe in government, will condone things or do things which they know would be wrong if they did them on their own.
Ask yourself this: Have the thousands of laws, regulations, and taxes imposed on you by politicians made you a better person? Have they made you more productive or more caring?
Is society really best served by a small class of people forcibly imposing a centralized master plan on everyone else? Can the orders and threats of a ruling class make the world what it should be? Or would society be better served by human freedom and respect for individual rights? By voluntary cooperation and peaceful organization?
Say these words: "trust, voluntary cooperation, and peaceful organization."
Now say these: "obligation, limitation, and force."
[:end from scott]
If the second option sounds better to you, maybe you should learn more about Anarchism.
Some dismiss Anarchism as a "Utopian idea" that would only work if everyone were generous and compassionate. Obviously, everyone is not generous and compassionate all the time. Look at the other side of the coin: If people are too stupid, greedy, and malicious to be free, aren't they too stupid, greedy, and malicious to be trusted with power over others?
Whether people are inherently good, bad, or some of each, giving a person power over others is not going to make that person better. In fact, power has historically been known to corrupt people or make them worse. Whereas, the discipline imposed by the equal freedom of everyone else brings out the best in human nature.
Most people today believe we need some form of government because they mistakenly believe that obedience to authority makes us all more civilized, moral, and peaceful. In reality, it has always done exactly the opposite.
Everyone knows that governments _can_ be corrupt, abusive, inefficient, counter-productive, even tyranical. Most people assume the way to fix that is to get the _right_ people into power. People have spent centuries trying to create a good society using different kinds of ruling classes, different legal structures, different ways of choosing rulers, and so on. But every governmental construction has resulted in freedom and riches for some and oppression, violence, and poverty for others.
What if, instead of deciding what the throne should look like and who should sit on it, all people of good will embraced the Non- Aggression Principle (NAP)?
What if, instead of looking to a ruling class to impose our values on society, we embraced the concept of Self Ownership?
These principles are simple and easy, to the point of being self evident. But they are diametrically opposed to the authoritarian principles that most of us have been indoctrinated with.
Anarchism does not mean chaos and violence or "every man for himself". Having no government does not mean having no morality, no organization, and no cooperation.
Simply put, Anarchism does mean no one is your master and no one is your slave.