The Simple Difference between Anarchism and State.

Although Anarchism is a complex topic, I thought it would be prudent to outline some basic differences between Anarchist philosophies and structures, and State based, centralized government structures as well as some basic economic differences using simple, plain, examples for the purpose of comparison.

Let's start right away:

I will use something we can all relate to - our own families and everyday life experiences to offer a simple comparison of the two social structures.

State based Government

In a state based, or authoritarian based social system, you have one or several people who assume a position of authority and power, who make the rules, enforce the rules, and the rest simply follow along. In a family based example, this would be akin to say, one parent making all decisions with very little input from other family members.

The rules, although some may be legitimate and logical, are strictly set, and so too is the punishment with little regard to individual circumstances, and with little regard to the fact that the rules may not even benefit the family. For example, while rules may state that certain people have certain chores, the burden of the chores may be undue on one person, or unmanageable, or even unreasonable.

Other rules for the household may be so arbitrary that the family finds them to be a burden on them. Essentially, you get a dictator like rule with one person saying do as I say, or pay the consequences.


In a similar fashion, the Anarchist household will allow the adults in the house to have some form of authority over the children, but not each other. Their authority of the younger ones is based on a sliding scale with consideration for the child's age, experience, knowledge and ability. Rules are common consensus, and agreed upon by both adults and children, to a reasonable extent, and the rules are often not even spoken.

The family "rules" are flexible and subject to change according to the family's needs. Leadership by way of teaching proper behavior and responsibility is a matter of discipline, not punishment, and, no one has total authority or final say with regards to family decisions.

Most families actually work like this. It's a natural state of living to find ways top work collaboratively and come to compromises and general rules more so than having one authority deciding everything for everyone else.

We rarely need a mediator or law system to hash out disputes, and come to agreeable terms. As reasonable humans, we do this ourselves. Although sometimes a mediator is called for, they have no more authority over anyone else, they simply help everyone calm down, see things rationally from a non participating point of view.


Again, I will use similar examples.


Capitalism is the most sought after form of economics by State based governments, as the world sees a need for "free" trade.

In a family, Capitalism would work like this:

One family member is the head of the household. Much like a CEO, President, or upper management, they get to make the rules, Dictate working conditions, set the schedule, the wages, and reap the benefits while they juggle the paperwork.

All other family members would be "workers" who are assigned chores and duties, and are paid for their work according to their "market value". (IE< they get an allowance). The allowance is then used to purchase the use of products in the home, or as rent, etc. Those with the least attractive jobs get less than those with "better" household chores.

The CEO and upper management family members reap the benefits of a clean, well ordered house, without actually having to do the grunt work themselves. Plus, with allowances being paid in, they get a profit, too.


In an Anarchist set up, each family member contributes equally, to the best of their ability, and everyone reaps the rewards. Working collaboratively they get the house clean, the bills paid, and chores done in half the time, with a fraction of the effort and hassle required by it's opposite, Capitalism.

Often times people call tis call for more benefit with less work lazy. Anarchists call it working smarter, not harder.

Again, this is how most families work. The work load is shared, as are the benefits, and, although one family member may rise to a leadership position in one area (say, finances) and others in other roles (say, cooking, or tending the children) the work load is still shared, and "cooperative leadership" not authority is what makes it run smoothly.

It is what provides the greatest benefit with the least resistance.

You can also make the comparison with something as common place as splitting the dinner bill.

A capitalist would enter into say, a pizza parlor, decide s/he wants a gourmet pizza that is very large 9by default, not choice) and costs $20. S/he will buy the pizza, eat a few slices, and take the rest home. S/he may eat a few more slices the next day, but after sitting in the fridge a few days, the rest will essentially walk itself to the garbage bin.

An Anarchist would look at the same pizza, say, I don't want to spend $20 on something I couldn't possibly eat all myself, and calls a few friends.

Between four people, the whole pizza is eaten, and it only cost each of them $5.

Which sounds better?

I am unsure of why the concept of sharing - money, power, prestige - makes people so uncomfortable, or, for that matter why the notion that working smarter and not harder across the board is something bad in everyone's eyes.

Maybe someone could enlighten me as to why sharing workloads AND the benefits is so scary?

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