the built environment of a stateless society

ana003: Antarchitecture | Anarchic Alternatives

Introduction to the philosophy of anarchism, and an exploration of anarchic approaches to developing the built environment. This is the third and final episode in the Foundations Series.

The Scales Framework rises from the ashes of #ana002 to make it’s heroic final stand against tyranny. A non-aggresive heroic final stand, of course.

Use hashtag #ana003 to reference this episode in a tweet, shared post, or comment.


Ant colonies are often seen as the archetype of a top-down, centralized society. Is this really the secret to their success?


  • Three possibilities for an anarchic society
    • No more initiation of force
    • Unanimous consent
    • Rethinking legitimacy
  • What Anarchism is not
    • Chaos
    • Lawlessness
    • Might makes Right
    • Pacifism
    • A complete moral theory
    • Minarchy
    • Libertarianism
    • Pro-big business
    • Anti-big business
  • The Left-Right paradigm
  • Expanding the political spectrum: The Means and Ends chart
    • Example: Oil or Gas Pipeline
    • Example: Nature Reserve
  • Return of The Scales Framework
  • House Scale
    • Anarcho-parenting
    • Resilience
  • Property Scale
    • Home Security
  • Neighborhood Scale
    • Anarcho-party crashing
    • Anarcho-Playgrounds
    • Anarcho-Trash removal
    • The solution to boundary conflicts
    • Voluntary communities
  • Metropolis Scale
    • But who will build the roads?
    • Anarcho-Sewage
    • Monopoly and competition
    • Anarcho-Police
    • Anarcho-Firefighters
  • Region Scale
    • Anarcho-Electricity Networks
    • Remote land development and distorted markets
    • Anarcho-Immigration
    • Anarcho-Tourism
  • Global Scale
    • International relations are anarchic
    • “Free Trade” or 15th century mercantilism?
    • No State, no war?
  • Conclusion


Adelaide's Warbler on a branch

"Goodbye Neighbors" - A shrubbery so thick and bushy you sunbake nude!

Anarcho-privacy in Australia

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  1. You speak of the possibility of private fire departments where homeowners would pay for their services. But if your neighbor’s house catches on fire, and he has decided not to pay for the fire department’s services, that is endangering your house. You may argue that at this point, you would be willing to let your fire dept. fight the neighbors house fire because it is now in your best interest, but why should you be forced into that decision because of a cheap or inconsiderate neighbor.
    I guess this goes to the deeper question of what you do with people who don’t want to participate in an anarchic society? As you mention with democracy, even if someone is voted in by 90% of the population, there is still 10% of the population who are not getting what they want. What do you do with the 10%, 5% or even 1% of people who wouldn’t want anarchy?

    Also, would the private fire departments still be available to burn books?

    • Joe

      2016-03-19 at 8:57 am

      Nate, your scenario is similar to the “hoarder” example that we discussed in the episode, but with more serious consequences.
      In this case you would be able to sue the neighbor to recoup the cost of the firefighters and any property damage. His flames trespassed onto your property and caused damage, or at least presented a “clear and present danger” that would justify your use of force to recoup costs.
      This is generally what happens now in a similar situation. Your insurance company would claim against his insurance, or against him personally if he was uninsured.
      Under socialized firefighting, you are already forced to pay for others who may be less responsible. There may be a “tragedy of the commons” problem here, where people don’t see the direct cost for firefighters, so they may be less inclined to protect against fire by other means, e.g. smoke detectors, sprinkler systems.
      Maybe more people would buy fire suppression systems rather than subscribe to a firefighting service, especially in less densely populated areas.
      So what may look like a “free rider” problem (implying that firefighting is necessarily a “public good”) can be addressed by the more diverse range of solutions that would be available if people could choose the most appropriate solution for themselves.
      I think the “hoarder” problem that we discussed is more difficult, since force would not be justified on your part. The solution? Shrubbery.

      A minority of people who didn’t want to live in an anarchic society would be free to form their own “government” within it. This is an “opt-in” rather than an “opt-out.” The catch is that whatever laws they pass would only apply only to them, not to anyone who hasn’t voluntarily joined their little club. So you couldn’t have 10% of the people taxing the other 90%, or forcing them to wear funny hats or whatever.
      Anarchism can tolerate socialists, but socialism cannot tolerate anyone but socialists.
      Instead of “one size fits all” government, you could subscribe to Obama, or Hillary, or Bush, or Vermin Supreme. These forms of “government” could all coexist, but none of them would be a “state” with a monopoly on force. They would be some form of corporations.
      This concept is sometimes called “Panarchism” meaning “all governments” but they’re really just different service providers within a broader framework of anarchy.
      I shudder to think what services Hillary or Bush (any Bush) would have to offer. Maybe the book burning.

    • There could be incentives for your neighbor to subscribe to fire service. If he had a home loan, his lender may require him to subscribe as a condition of the loan, just as lenders now require people to have homeowners insurance. His insurance provider may also require subscription to a fire service or provide this subscription as part of their coverage. If you live in a condo development, the condo may require you to subscribe to fire service.

      But if he has none of these incentives and still chooses not to subscribe to fire service, you may want to pay for additional coverage for your fire service to protect your house from a fire at his house. This is similar to buying collision coverage for your car to protect you from an uninsured driver who hits you.

      There may also be means for the fire service to show up at an unsubscribed house, put out the fire (perhaps with the owners consent on the scene), and send them the bill later. This is similar to an uninsured person showing up at an emergency room and getting billed after treatment.

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