Peace & Harmony


This page is much shorter than the one about Chaos & Violence for there's not a whole lot to say. An anarchist society would be peaceful and harmonious because that is the natural way that rational humans like to live together and there would be no irrational government to disrupt them.

"Peace" is the absence of conflict, and since by definition anarchists seek to rule only their own lives, nobody elses', peace is what would prevail.

"Harmony" refers to a happy blending of a variety of interests, and that too is precisely what would happen in a society in which every participant sought only his or her own wellbeing. The Free Markets page details more about how those interests are harmonized, but here let's note the essential element in every inter- human transaction in an anarchist society: it is voluntary. If you think the school service is too expensive, don't buy it. If you're running a school and want more paying customers than you have, find out how to please more of those who might send you their children.

Instead of compulsion, by laws, every action is by invitation. The self- interest of the supplier is harmonized with the self- interest of the buyer, by the universal practice of voluntary exchange; again, no exchange is involuntary because no government exists to compel one.

We are all still quite familiar with such free market, voluntary transactions because in America there is still a huge number of them remaining; they form part of our everyday experience. Contrast a visit to a supermarket, competing for the favor of your business with its rival down the road, with one to a Post Office, where there is no incentive for anyone to care whether you shop there or not. We anarchists visualize a society in which all visits are like the former.


The question reasonably arises: What happens when someone is such an ideal society breaks the peace? - shoplifts, mugs, rapes, murders?

Note first that such a person is at that moment ceasing to be an anarchist, and trying to become a one-person government, at least in respect to his victim; he is trying to impose his will on someone else. That's the exact opposite of anarchism.

But it may happen. If it does, such a society will need a justice system to restore the harmony, and that's explored on our Justice page.

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