By David Forrest
For a few years now I have been giving much thought to living “off-grid” and asking any family and friends who would want to join me to do so. I have felt that this would further separate me from the world I am growing to dislike. Coupled with that idea, I have very recently been coming to question many things around me from beliefs, to material things, to science and government. I would imagine that those who founded this country had a much different vision than where we find ourselves today. Not that they were perfect and infallible, but the Constitution indicates that they were on to something important. I feel we are at a point where the state is no longer serving its intended purpose. To be completely honest, as I study the scriptures more, I have begun to ask myself if the state serves any purpose other than ensuring its own survival. When Christ returns, what type of government will He put in place? The scriptures say that He will be our King and rule over the whole earth; but will it really be a government in the sense of what we see in the world today? Hardly. Christ having had all things made subject to Him does not force us to submit. With that being so, why on earth would he change that? The state rules by force and coercion through fear. Christ operates on a much different frequency. It brings to mind a statement made by Joseph Smith, that we all are familiar with, that he made when questioned about how he can govern such a great number of people:
“I teach them correct principles, and they govern themselves.”
With that being said, do we human beings have the capacity to govern ourselves without intervention on the part of the state? Does necessity really breed invention in the case of the state? Are the current ills of society merely a product of government rule and the state’s ability to convince us of the necessity of its survival? I recall speaking with a friend once on the subject of communism. He spoke highly of it and even remarked that the intellectuals should rule because they know what’s best since they are smarter than those they rule. I can understand why my friend and others think communism is a good idea. Everyone has a job, food, clothes, shelter, etc. However, nearly all aspects of your life are controlled or owned by the state. There is little to no room for free will and what is a man without his agency? It is the total embodiment of Lucifer’s plan. How can people progress or prosper under such a system? Where can we find true liberty and the total embodiment of the Father’s plan?
During the course of these thoughts, and in no way by accident, I had been introduced to a new idea. I maintain a blog and a fellow member of the church and blogger left me a comment concerning one of my posts. Upon visiting his site, something struck a chord in me. I had found the answer to the question I hadn’t realized I was asking myself. The answer was Anarchy. Growing up in a system of state funded and state controlled ”education”, I had been given the impression that anarchy was somehow a bad thing for it was lawlessness and chaos. Maybe at one point in time, or even from someone else’s perspective, that was true. However anarchy, as what I have come to find out for myself, is merely the absence of the state. It is the epitome of free agency, but that does not mean it must be free agency without consequence. Law and order can still exist, just in a different and more natural way than what we are used to. If the state exists, it should only exist to protect the liberty of its people and I think that was the original vision of this country. The question to ponder though is: “What is the state doing for/to us?” Is the state protecting our liberty? Or, is it just finding new and craftier ways of taking it from us without us knowing? If you wanted to steal something from me, the easiest way would be to distract my attention away from that which you are trying to take. Could we be a prosperous people in this age of existence without the state?
Even though our beliefs might differ, we can still find common ground as human beings who both acknowledge the other’s free will. How is it that we can send satellites into the far reaches of space, but we still rely on those who are equal to us, not greater, to rule us? Even if I were to believe that a person lives in sin, it is not God’s way, or will for that matter, for me to try and force that person, through legislation or other “legal” means, to live as I believe. Now I can however share my beliefs in a loving manner and I might even call that person to repentance, but nowhere in the scriptures am I commanded to become that person’s ruler because of their views or way of life. When it comes down to it I alone will be held responsible for my behavior. It says the following in D&C 101:78-79:
“That every man may act in doctrine and principle pertaining to futurity, according to the moral agency which I have given unto him, that every man may be accountable for his own sins in the day of judgment. Therefore, it is not right that any man should be in bondage one to another.”
Now to the original question: “Am I an Anarchist?” The more I study and ponder the subject I can comfortably say, “Yes”. While I do feel order is necessary, I do not feel an ever increasingly intrusive form of government is synonymous with order. Ruling people through fear is not order. Order is peaceful, but people ruled by fear is a volatile situation just waiting for the catalyst that will surely erupt into chaos. If anarchy were to prevail, then it is not to say that corruption shall be put to rest. However, if all men are free then one man’s corruption will not have the impact it has today. I do not believe that everyone in a position of power is corrupt, but I do believe the corruption present, warrants a change in the way things are done. I would say that many people don’t want things to change because they are afraid of how they will be affected and that change might require more than we are readily willing to sacrifice. Affluence makes humans lazy, but we have the capacity to make dramatic changes and create history. History is often the best promoter in the creating of itself. Humans have the power to change their environment if they so desire. Although much like everything else in the gospel, it requires action. Affluence and ease of life has created too many distractions to keep our focus on things that are not important. Anarchy might not be the medicine to cure the sickness of the world, but I feel it is a step in the right direction.