The following is an excerpt from my forthcoming guide, How to Be an Individualist Anarchist, which will be released on June 2. Visit the guide page for more information and links to related content.cat

One of the easiest ways to grasp how anarchism functions is to realize it is how most people conduct their daily lives. They live without the state and without realizing the fact. Anarchism is how they function with family, friends, business associates and even strangers. When a person wakes up in the morning, no law forces him to feed his children breakfast or to kiss his partner rather than beating her. When he carpools with friends to work, the presence of a policeman doesn’t make him refrain from picking their pockets. As he moves through the day, no bureaucrat hovers to make sure he pays for a cup of coffee or contributes in his share of the lunch tab. As he walks down the street, he doesn’t punch random strangers in the nose. In driving home at night, it is not fear of the state that prevents him from running down pedestrians.

It is civil society that does so. Civil society is naturally peaceful because it consists of voluntary exchanges rather than forced ones. It is from civil society that men acquire the habits and rewards of cooperation. Otherwise stated, most individuals already deal with each other as though they live under anarchy.

The state is not inevitable. The state constitutes the chains binding men and denying their freedom. That freedom lives in one word – the ability to say”no.” When that word can be spoken without fear, then a far more important one can occur throughout society – “yes.”

The preceding was an excerpt from my forthcoming guide, How to Be an Individualist Anarchist, which will be released on June 2. Visit the guide page for more information and links to related content.