The Two Anarchies

I've been thinking about the need to distinguish between two very different sorts of anarchy. The word comes from the Greek an archon, or no leader. The first type of situation in which there might be "no leader" gives us the common usage of anarchy: in a social order dependent (in some sense) on there being a leader, there suddenly isn't one. Thus, we get "Baghdad is in a state of near anarchy."

The second type of situation occurs when there is no leader, but the social order has evolved or been designed to function that way. That of course, is what most people who call themselves an "anarchist" mean to advocate. And that is why it is absurd to try to refute their position by saying, "Oh, you want anarchy? Just move to Baghdad."


  1. anarchy vs. diffused autocracy
    anarchy vs familiarchy?
    anarchy(bad) vs. anarchy (good)

  2. anarchy + crappy society vs. anarchy + good society

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