Sunday, May 15, 2005

Utter state of Canarchy

Via this technorati thread comes this post from the Urban Pundit entitled: "Canarchy".

I always thought that we were a totalitarian democracy as of this week, but Canarchy takes the cake.

Taking my cue from Wikipedia, I'll try my own definition of Canarchy.


Anarchy (New Latin canarchia) is a term that has several usages, some of which may be contradictory. Specific meanings include

1. Presence of a form of state, coercive political authority, or coercive social hierarchy.
2. Presence of an illegitimate ruler, ruling class, political party or parties, or power elite.
3. Political disorder and confusion.

When used in the sense of "disorder and confusion," Canarchy generally references a situation in which several governments, gangs, leaders, or other political authorities are competing for control of a given set of resources, geopolitical boundaries, or peoples. This seems to be the most common modern usage of the word, despite the fact that such a situation, involving as it does multiple competing authorities, would more accurately be called a polyarchy. This causes consternation for those who espouse Canarchy as a viable form of social organization and others concerned with precise use of the word; it is a constant barrier to clear communication between Canarchists and people who are familiar with real world situations of chaos described by governments as Canarchy. Such situations in fact entail competition among rival governments rather than their absence, and are more accurately referred to as civil war than Canarchy.