Most people see anarchy as an undesirable condition following the breakdown of society, where the strong take advantage of the weak and complete chaos reigns supreme. But that isn’t necessarily the case. In fact, viewing different systems purely from the moral point of view, anarchy has several preferable characteristics.
I really have nothing against “Society.” It’s the use of violence within a society that I object to, especially when the violence is considered “just” because it’s done in the name of the the State for some fabricated “mutual benefit,” “general welfare,” or “national security.”
Unlike some anarchists, who see the Society as the root of all evil, I attribute our problems to man’s fundamentally flawed human nature. This means that no society, not even anarchy, will ever be perfect and abuses will always exist. Anarchy, however, limits these abuses to the individual, or a most communal level, rather than letting them proliferate through a huge geographical area.
(If you’ve ever read any of Wendell Berry’s work you’ll know what I mean by “limitation of damage or abuse.” He talks about it in terms of technology — if I have a tractor, I can take out a hill in front of my house in a matter of hours, thus irrevocably harming the land. But if all I have is a shovel, then I’m limited in the amount of damage I can do.)
The same principle applies to governments. If all I have is my rifle, I’m limited in the amount of damage I can do. But an army of hundreds of men with rifles can effectively force an entire population to accept their every demand. In the same way that we must critically examine new technologies to determine their impacts, we must carefully consider the impact of government(s) on the health of our communities.
This leads to the Non-Aggression Principle. It is generally accepted that murder and robbery are serious crimes when committed by an individual. They are also considered serious crimes when committed by a group of people — say a gang of thieves. But it is considered a benefit to society when a certain group of people (called “Government”) steals, murders, and oppresses certain other people in the interests of the “General Welfare.”
Anarchists see this as the slavery it is. Any government that relies on coercion to further its ambitions is fundamentally immoral. And any government is composed of flawed individuals, thus leading to abuses of power which would be minimized in a stateless society. These are the two main reasons I would prefer anarchy to any other government system.