Anarchy vs. Barney Fife
by Mark R. Crovelli
If you ever fell victim to the prejudice that people today are smarter and more intellectually sophisticated than the people of the 1st or 13th centuries, you need only ask your friends and neighbors about the terrifying word “anarchy” to prove to yourself that our generations are just as stupid and foolish as any others. Even mentioning the word with a straight face is bound to put your acquaintances on edge, which is remarkable in itself. But, once they recover their senses from hearing the word pronounced out loud without a clap of thunder following on its heels, they will usually offer an argument against anarchism that rivals in its sheer stupidity any arguments that the flat-Earthers ever gave in antiquity.
It usually goes something like this: Human nature is so intrinsically evil and depraved that, without cops walking the streets, judges locking up potheads, and politicians buying hookers and crack in Washington, the entire world would devolve into a horrifying bloodbath. Murder and rape would run rampant as soon as the “criminals,” (that is, all of us, as per our shared evil nature), got word that the police were no longer in the business of shooting, beating and incarcerating them. Virtually everyone and everything would be killed or destroyed in the ensuing mayhem. Cannibalism would probably even reappear for the barbaric survivors of the initial anarchic bloodbath. That’s right, cannibalism.