Far from the truth, the above image is the caricature that surfaces in one's mind when contemplating anarchy: the unkempt, disorderly, and violent rioter causing annoyance and disruption to peaceful people on a perpetual basis and gangs of thieves marauding innocent bystanders. 1
The typical anarchist, as I have found, is not someone interested in violence as an actionable tool in any situation. In fact, the fundamental premise of anarchism- that no one should have rule over or molest any other person's property- would logically prohibit the aggressive use of violence! 2 Simply put, anarchism is life "without rule." Although this concept is inherently peaceful and is clearly desirable, a world without authority can seem daunting and overwhelming to imagine. However, a compelling and beautiful case that can be made for an anarchical society- a life based on voluntary interaction of your choosing in all facets of one's life.
As one travels philosophically outward from the concept that each person and everything they justly own is their own property, a consideration of anarchism logically follows. In most areas of your life you have the power to choose what good or service to buy based on price and quality. However, when dealing in areas the government controls, you always sacrifice both. So, even a minarchist- someone who would prefer to "deal" with the government the least- must ultimately reconcile this fact and consider eliminating even the most traditional government functions. The protections that flow from what the minarchist would call the "necessary functions of government" will, in fact, be found to benefit from privatization. This reveals head-spinning implications to contemplate! 3
While practicality is certainly important (even crucial when it comes to the fundamentals in a civilized society)- morality also demands adherence to these principles. For if it is wrong for a thief to coerce someone into handing over their money by pointing a gun at them, it is also wrong when someone from the government makes the same threat. And if it is right for you to be free to choose what restaurant, what coffee shop, what repair station to patronize, it is also right that you should be able to choose from different service providers when it comes to security and justice, disaster protection, and monetary unit. Clearly, coercive acts are impractical and immoral- not just in certain situations, but in all situations! A world without coercion can only be construed as a world without rule.
The question is not, then, upon the practicality or morality of an anarchical society- but of how to achieve such an environment so we can all prosper and flourish. Unwinding the coercive monopoly of government in all of the areas it has asserted its authority is not an impossible task, and the services provided by the government would be provided by someone else. As an example, Dr. Walter Block has worked out a solution when it comes to roads and highways.
This video from The Anarchast goes into the subject of what anarchy is, and what a world in anarchy would look like:
1. Murry Rothbard famously called the government a gang of thieves writ large!
2. However, not everyone is typical, and those who forget this lesson will surely be sensationalized by the State to further the crucial fallacy at hand- that without the government society will descend into chaos, and that anarchism=violence.
3. Thus, the joke- What does it take to get a libertarian to become an anarchist? About six months