Chaos & Violence

Warfare       Democide       Chaos       Summary


While a small portion of the violence and mayhem that infests society is caused by private criminals (in effect, miniature would-be governments) the overwhelming majority is caused by government. Every war in history, for example, was started and waged exclusively by governments.

It was therefore a stroke of evil genius to blame World War One, one of the most savage periods of bloodletting ever and the precursor of an even larger one twenty years after it ended, on a small group of "anarchists" in the Serbian capital of Sarajevo.

That enormous lie is still perpetrated in government-school textbooks and is responsible for many otherwise intelligent people closing their minds to the reasoning presented in places like this web site.

The fact is that WW-I was caused by all the governments of Europe - more or less equally - for no better reason than a wish to perpetuate their own several spheres of influence: Russia, Austria, Germany, Italy, France and Britain in no particular order. Those governments had set up interlocking alliances designed to start a major war if any one of them stepped across the borders of another.

The alliances worked; when the Austrian government sent troops into Serbia, an ally of the one in Russia, the latter "mobilized"; then so did the rest in sequence like dominos. The cause was the existence of the alliances and the absurd claims to power that they were meant to prolong; the small group which assassinated the Austrian Archduke and his wife wanted only that their homeland be freed of his government's influence. They were not anarchist in any sense; they were Serbian Nationalists, and if their aim had been fulfilled they would no doubt have gladly taken part in the government of a newly-independent Serbia.

In our own history the Civil War slaughtered the greatest number of human beings - half a million, or one person in every sixty. After the event, government school textbooks and teachers still allege that it was fought to abolish slavery, and memorials in D.C. support that myth.

Myth it is, though; contemporary names for it were less dishonest. It was variously called the "War Between the States" and the "War of Northern Aggression", though most accurately the "War of Southern Secession." Certainly, there was nothing "civil" about that bloodbath and certainly, it did nothing for the abolition of slavery that would not have taken place anyway within a decade or two, for economic and other reasons; every other developed country on the Planet abolished slavery without any war, several of them long before Lincoln did it here at the point of a gun.

Secession was its cause, or even more accurately the stubborn refusal of the Northern state governments to "allow" the Southern ones to secede. To preserve that political power, half a million Americans died and some of the thousands of war memorials acknowledge the fact by saying they did so to "Preserve the Union."

The history of nations and governments has been little more for 5,000 years than a sad and bloody catalog of the wars they fought, and even the list of other US wars is too long to record here. Suffice it simply to note that on the feeble pretext that it has a charter to "defend" the United States, the Federal Government has plunged into one foreign war after another for over 100 years, not one of which posed the Union any credible threat whatever. There was no threat to the USA in 1916 from any of the warring governments of Europe, nor any again in 1941; and the threat from Japan in that year was woven out of whole cloth by F D Roosevelt for the express purpose of distracting public attention from his total failure to end the Depression - itself a disaster caused by government.

The US entry into Vietnam likewise deterred no credible threat from the peasants of the North, and the latest offensive war at this writing (but stay tuned) was upon Iraq on the pretext that its government had a few of the kinds of mass-destruction weaponry that America's has been stockpiling for decades. So far, they have not been discovered.

The primary business of all governments is to wage war.  


Sociology Professor R J Rummel made the surprising discovery that monstrous though it is, the violence of inter-government warfare has not been their most lethal activity. They have, throughout history, actually killed more of their "own" people who were NOT in uniform, than those who fought for or against them in military service.

Genocide is one well-known example, but Rummel found the slaughter has not been confined to groups identified by race alone. So he coined a new word: "Democide"; the murder of people supposedly under the protection of a government, either actively or by passive noninterference. "Rummel's Law" is: "Power kills; and absolute power kills absolutely".

His thesis is that the less accountable to its population that a government is (ie, the stronger or bigger) the more of that population it is likely to murder; and vice-versa. He has not extended that finding to the "origin of the graph" as it were; he has not concluded that therefore, zero democide will accompany only zero government. Though that is a step of logic we do take here, Rummel is a scientist and observer; and one employed by a government university to boot. He has nonetheless made a major contribution to our understanding of the source of lethal violence and deserves rich credit.

His research led Rummel to conclude that in the 20th Century alone, the world's governments killed about 160 million civilians in their care.  


The word "chaos" means "disorder" or confusion. In society, it would mean that behavior is unpredictable; a person takes an action but the consequences of his doing so are unknown. The trains don't run on time, vendors fail to respond rationally to offers (so disrupting the supply of vital goods and services), systems do not function as advertised and random violence goes unchecked by proper justice.

Such conditions rapidly destroy normal life, and sometimes follow natural or military disaster. A hurricane or tornado takes out electric power and throws houses across the streets. A bombing raid firestorms a city. An epidemic fever decimates a population. Normal life, if any remains, is disrupted. Such followed the violent 2003 replacement of one government by another in Baghdad, and that in Germany in 1945.

Looting frequently accompanies such chaos, for a while; though not for long. In Baghdad, some of the stolen merchandise was actually returned, as a matter of conscience! But pro-government advocates hold that if the restraints of laws and police control are relaxed, such chaos will take place on an everyday basis. So do they keep us in thrall.

This dark view of human nature is rooted in the Judeo-Christian myth that humans are evil by nature, and must always be restrained lest the evil erupts into chaos. The mystery of how some of those "evil" men transmute somehow into a set "good" enough to restrain, control and direct the remainder has never been explained! - but the myth served well enough, for millennia, to sustain priesthood and government alike in comfort.

Anarchists take the different view that while men are obviously capable of great evil, most especially when handed power over others, there is no such inherent evil bias. We observe that when allowed to follow their own will humans interact peacefully, each seeking his own happiness as he defines and perceives it. We note that in times of disaster there are hundreds of acts of spontaneous kindness, courtesy and mutual help for every violent one the sensation- seeking media report.

The page on "Free Markets" on this site says more; but here we note that voluntary interactions produce the very opposite of disorder. To an outsider the sight and sound of bidding on the floor of a stock exchange appears sheer chaos! - but at day's end, thousands of voluntary transactions have been recorded, money has been made and lost, trends are being analysed and nobody was cheated. The same is true on Ebay, where millions transact and honesty is rewarded and dishonesty penalized - all without government interference.

Chaos, in contrast, is the normal consequence of government enterprise. Even in war, a field in which government is less inept than most, historians often observe that battles are won by the side that makes fewest mistakes; and in commerce, government intrusion distorts markets almost beyond their ability to function and the norm, not the exception, is for the outcome to be the very opposite of the purpose intended.

Example: since about 1840, grade schools have been almost fully under the control of government, with the stated aim of giving avery American a good "education". Yet today, 40% of government-school graduates cannot functionally read their own diplomas and few if any of them can think for themselves, about unfamiliar concepts such as this site expounds. Instead of being taught HOW to think, kids are taught WHAT to think; it is a 12-year camp for youth indoctrination. Yet in 1812, 95% of all children were able to read, write, and do arithmetic; a generation earlier, their parents had mastered the political philosophy in Thomas Paine's "Common Sense" - a book almost impenetrable to High School seniors today.

Item: since 1900, government has taken relentlessly increasing control over the health-care industry, which was previouly delivering the best of then-known medical science. Today, it is not permitted to self-medicate; the cost of medication is driven high by government regulation of the pharmaceutical trade, and may then be doubled again by the laws to make us obtain a doctor's prescription before it can be purchased. Good, low- cost care may have been the aim of all this chaos; the opposite resulted.

Item: since 1935, government almost monopolized retirement and sickness insurance, to give every American a decent old-age. The result has been to depress living standards among the elderly by a factor of more than two.

We could go on and on; as Libertarian Presidential Candidate Harry Browne wrote, "Government Doesn't Work" - the outputs do not match the inputs, the stated aims. Such a mismatch is one good definition of "chaos." On the "Free Markets" page here, we'll see why.  


Very simply: pro-government advocates claim that "anarchy" and "chaos" are terms almost interchangeable and that the latter will certainly follow, with violence, any establishment of the former.

FACT: "chaos", to a large and growing degree, is actually what we have today in a society saturated by government and its controls; and violence can be seen any day on any TV screen and nearly all of it is wrought by uniformed government thugs.

As Hitler said, "the bigger the lie, the more will believe it" and this site exposes that lie.  

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