Before I begin, I would like to state that this article is not to educate you about the philosophy of anarchy. This is about my path of understanding.
I recently wrote an article describing why, in my opinion, both Marxism and Anarchism are not viable structures for civilization because they contradict human nature. I received many comments on that article by people who strongly disagree with me. I would especially like to thank @GlennVincentie for his input and attempts to help me understand the concept of voluntarism.
Anarchy is a philosophy that is based on non-violence, and I can definitely get on board with that. There are actually many flavors of this philosophy with nuances regarding specific details such as property ownership and the definition of violence. I would like to describe a basic logical pathway that, I believe, sums up one of the core ideas of anarchy. Glenn, or anyone else that feels this summation is in error, please correct me in the comments.
Anarchists are not opposed to leadership but are opposed to a structure of leadership that is not voluntary. In other words, anyone should be able to opt-in or opt-out at any time. The logical path that I want to describe goes something like this:
1. Human beings have basic rights, including the right to choose how they apply their personal resources.
2. The primary reason to have a government is to protect the rights of the people.
3. If the government has the power to compel the people through force (imposing taxes and forcing people to pay as an example), then it is by definition breaking its mandate to protect the people's rights.
This logic frames an understanding of human rights that rings with truth and starkly contrasts the structure of every civilization developed by humankind. I don't see a problem with this logic. The problem I see is with humans.
Every human being is a unique result of their experiences and genetics, and, unfortunately, those two factors are so intertwined (or we are so limited in our ability to divide them) that it is currently impossible to define exactly where human failings begin. I have personally experienced physical and mental abuse from a person who could justify any action they took to gain an advantage in life. This person was ruthless to their family including their own offspring, and they were raised in a rural area (it was calm and serene), in a home with no violence, and they never experienced abuse from someone else.
This person was not stupid, nor were they diagnosable as insane. To the contrary, they were deliberate and manipulative, and when it was functional, could be quite charismatic. My experience is anecdotal, but the point is that this type of person exists.
Keeping in mind that I believe that the traits of the person I have described are in fact failings of human nature, one must acknowledge that those same traits have been revered throughout human history. To that point, a person that is aggressive and lacks emotional connection would be an excellent resource under certain circumstances.
A trivial comparison would be how our culture admires the aggressive competition of American football, and to satisfy our hunger, the professional leagues draft the most competitively aggressive men they can find. These men are rewarded for violence and scouted for aggression, then encouraged to take action that is proven to cause brain damage. In the end, we are flabberghasted, and wonder why these "role models" have a problem with domestic violence. I digress; that is another topic.
At the same time, there are countless masses of people that are hungry on a desperate level for someone to lead them. These people fill arenas and pay through the nose to hear someone that has the charisma and willingness to guide them. The most desperate join cults (lookup "Heaven's Gate"), and there are many examples of people doing unspeakable things just so that they can feel like they are a part of something that gives them definition.
When the two types of people that I have described get together, awful things happen on a grandiose scale.
Meanwhile, anarchy is a philosophy that resonates with extreme conservatism. It is a philosophy that, more than any other, could be boiled down to one word: independence. By contrast, more extreme liberals are defined by dependence, which requires communication.
This is why, prior to the last election, all polls showed Hillary Clinton winning in a landslide. Liberals can't stop talking, while conservatives generally don't answer polls. Likewise, liberals can't stop themselves from gathering over any cause and shouting down those who disagree, while conservatives prefer their... independence.
In a world defined by values of independence and non-violence, once all of the tough talk about our ability to defend our own rights is out of the way, the hoards of mindless followers led by psychopaths will sweep across the landscape like a plague and leave the world in ruin.
OK, this may be an overdramatization, but the point is that conservatives don't ban together well, some human beings are very violent and crafty, and people who use logic and reason to guide their actions can't predict and don't understand people who don't.