Liberty Commentary

Anarchy: Should we care what the ancient Greeks meant by it?

from ZAP

no-anarchy-iconThose who like to deploy the word anarchy often tell me that it merely means “no ruler.” This is indeed what the ancient Greeks meant by the word. But…

  • I’ve never had a conversation with an ancient Greek
  • I’ve only conversed with modern Americans
  • And to them the word anarchy means something very different

It means lawlessness, chaos, disorder, criminality, and an absence of institutions.

Words are defined by their current usage, not by their ancient origins. No person who adheres to the Zero Aggression Principle should ever describe him or herself as an anarchist. The current meaning contradicts the principle.

For those of us who want true governments, and therefore advocate a stateless society, labels like anti-statist and post-statist should be preferred.