The Role of Anarchy in Politics

By Nick Pugh

When we are thinking of politics, anarchy is often not the first word that comes to mind in a positive way. For the most part, we think, the political system is put in place to avoid anarchy. But is there more to the idea of anarchy than we are aware of?

In fact, there are many groups that are pro-anarchy. These groups believe that the system is broken and needs a complete overhaul. Here are three roles that anarchy plays in modern politics.

Looking Toward Revolution

Some of the most well-known anarchist movements are social movements, not political ones. Although there are political repercussions, the focus is more on social liberties than on political ones. In the United States, these have included the labor movement (including the International Workers of the World), some parts of the Civil Rights Movement, and more the recent Occupy Wall Street. The idea is to change the existing political system to one that is freer for all the people involved, putting a higher emphasis on liberty than on faith in a federal government.

Changing Definitions

Anarchy can be a social or political movement, but the goal is to minimize the role of the federal government. The most common definition of anarchy tends to paint a picture of chaos in the minds of people, but this is not necessarily the case. Merriam-Webster defines anarchy as a state of lawlessness or political disorder, but a second definition refers to a group of individuals who have complete freedom without government interference. This is a definition closer to the original intent of the word.

With the changing meaning of terms like anarchy and the different ways that it can be interpreted by the public, it is important to keep up with political jargon. This is especially true if you work in politics. The political field is changing quickly and those who work in politics need to stay up to date on the newest issues facing their countries. Programs like the George Washington University online degree in political management are designed to support people who are already working in politics and help them gain the most up-to-date information available.

Greater Political Activism

People who are not satisfied with the way things work tend to want to be able to effect change. This generally means becoming more vocal about the political processes that they are opposed to. Whether protesting or writing petitions, people who believe that anarchy means different things work to repair what they view as a broken or at least deeply flawed system.

For some, anarchy is a lack of rules and a descent into chaos. For others, anarchy is the desire to make the existing processes better for most of the citizens of a nation by minimizing government control. An online masters in political science or other studies can help an interested person learn more. By getting more involved in the political process, people can see what needs to be changed and help enact changes that work for the benefit of the people, and by recognizing both of those things, people can begin to work to change the system.

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