Popular culture and whining teenagers would have us believe that anarchy is about floppy fringes, heavy metal, Satanism and self-harm but it could hardly be further from the truth. Seeing as the truth is very evident to anyone that has actually studied it, I may as well enlighten anyone that doesn’t know.
Anarchism derives from thought processes that centre on the idea of a society free from political law. So no hierarchy, no schools, no hospitals, no police, no military, no national borders etc. just people in what is called the ‘state of nature’. This means the condition that humans would be in without laws and society.
Most people would say that without rules and laws, people would run wild doing whatever they felt like all of the time, which includes murdering, raping, stealing etc. due to our natural impulses for self-fulfilment. Seems quite pessimistic but there you go. The funny thing is that an anarchist is someone who wouldn’t say that at all. They have faith in the human condition and the human capacity for kindness, generosity and the greater good.
The theory goes that if a state of nature were to be brought about in some fashion, humans would recognise that their needs coincide with the needs of their fellow humans. They would join together when they come to the honest realisation that we rely on each other and on the society our cooperation creates. Then, society would be rebuilt in social harmony. This would involve the same farming, building, gathering of resources and refining of production that led to our rise in capability to this point but with one defining difference. It would all be done in a fair and equal way; we would share everything we have; there would be no obsessive hoarding and there would be no poverty.
The key to this is that mankind would realise this independent of each other, meaning the change would occur within our minds and not due to legislation or social pressure. If anything, this makes anarchists the ultimate optimists, not the mindless destruction seeking people that they have a reputation for being.
If this harmony is to be desired then, understandably, the state of nature (as a necessary step) is also to be desired. It doesn’t specify whether we as individuals should endeavour to bring it about but it makes sense why someone would take that from it. Naturally this explains how anarchy has become something that moody teens and immature metalheads support (or think they support). To spell it out, the peace-loving, ever hopeful, hippie-esque anarchists spoke of a situation of adversity that would spawn a greater society and someone having a bad day read this idea and took from it that they should camp outside government buildings while refusing to shave and pretending to support bringing down the rather erroneous ‘the man’ and then some angry people overheard this and thought the best way to accomplish such a feat is to get pierced and tattooed then proceed to murder all their musical potential by doing the cheapest facsimile of music, not dwarfed until the arrival of Dubstep, by punching their dull, caveman arms into their guitar’s bridge, which is two and a half whole steps tuned down, and doing this alongside a tone-deaf bassist, an arrhythmic drummer and a ‘singer’ (I hesitate to use such a word) who spends every song trying to hack up the world’s largest hairball.
Long story short, death metal is terrible. And their use of the word anarchy betrays their secret, fairy-loving intentions hidden behind all those fake ‘pagan’ symbols and beard wax.