Faced with repeated governmental failures, coupled with the success of voluntary cooperation in picking up the slack, it’s easy to come up with one simple solution to the world’s problems: get rid of the state. Without the government getting in the way of all that is holy and good, all things will spontaneously come to order, virtue and prosperity, right?
Wrong. Anarchy is not the solution.
Well, let me clarify that: anarchy isn’t the whole solution. Autrement dit, it isn’t the fact of having no state that causes a better world to magically happen. It’s what a society can accomplish through hard work, dedication and perseverance once a coercive government is out of the way.
Roads still need to be built. Communities kept safe. Poor and hungry fed. Not by the mystical power of the black-and-gold flag. Not by a society’s statelessness. Not by fervent belief in the Non-Aggression Principle. But by people. By individuals, companies, associations etc. who roll up their metaphorical sleeves and make their world a better place. Of course, they are most free to do so without a coercive government to stand in their way. But it still needs to be done. The reduction (and eventual dissolution) of government must go hand-in-hand with a concentrated effort to build up the voluntary sector to tackle all of society’s many challenges.
Anarchy isn’t the answer. It’s the precondition. Eroding the power of the government is a worthy endeavor. In the meantime, though, we have a lot of work to do.