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I am an Anarchist. Not what is commonly called an Anarcho-Capitalist. The difference being, ironically, not in my view of Capitalism, but in my understanding of social hierarchy.
Anarcho-Capitalists commonly define Anarchy as a social order without coercion; accepting an array of "voluntary hierarchies" as morally neutral or good.
I would like to dispute this definition, and show how any social hierarchy holds within it a logical error that always leads to abuse, coercion, and everything that is not freedom.
An "accepted hierarchy" is an oxymoron.
Hierarchy is, "any system of persons... ranked one above another." - Reference.com
Anarchy is a, "lack of obedience to an authority;" - Reference.com
In our strictly social context, a hierarchy is whenever one person can command another, while their group or society agrees with it. The original context, and the context that is still most relevant today, is when commanding a person under moral authority.
The best example of the fault in allegedly non-coercive hierarchies are cults.
In a cult, any member you would ask, will tell you that they participate and accept the authority of their leaders willingly and freely. Even when a cult does not yet decree or enforce moral rules, this structure is still given credence. There is no evidence to them being immoral, at that point.
However, eventually the hierarchy is normalized. Then, it has become socially acceptable for a higher-up to enjoy different moral standards than their lowers. This is encouraged through criticism & the threat of ostracizing, that only higher-ups can apply to their lowers. Everything a higher-up wrongly does is either misunderstood or untrue, while anything they claim about an underling is accepted, and acted upon immediately. The burden of proof is always on the underlings.
And that's when we point at them and say, "Cult!", and fear them. We fear them, because we know that the underlings will always consider it morally right to obey their highers. In the extreme, they will turn into consciousless murdering soldiers, with the pride of the group or society on display.
This is why I am deeply bothered when Anarcho-Capitalists, such as Stefan Molyneux, define hierarchy as, "a dentist that knows better than I do", while ignoring the historical context of the term!
For example, when a dentist is elevated in a society, even only in dentistry, they turn to decree their dental wisdom on others. As preposterous as it may sound, they are soon-enough accepted as morally righteous in doing any horrid act against the dentistry of others. Because, "they know better", and they are, "the authority", and to dispute them is to dispute the social order itself.
This is how ancient behaviors that reflect basic necessities are now illegal & taboo in the majority of the modern world:
- Catching or recycling your water.
- Growing your own crops & animals in unoccupied land; while subsidized industrial farmers produce inedible crops, such as animal-feed corn, while poisoning the land.
- Growing, trading, or consuming a variety of useful plants, such as cannabis & psilocybin mushrooms; while harmful synthesized pills are being sold as medicine.
This is all because popular professionals turn into leaders, and leaders turn into priests; the ever righteous priests of their own personal agendas.
No hierarchy is ever benign. In both language and practice, no person should ever be accepted as an "authority" on any matter. It may seem trivial to point out the social authority people gain. After all, what is a popular dentist or author to me? But soon enough it bites everyone back on the heine, if not marked out as unreasonable, and a danger to our well-being.