In one of my recent “Blips” I wrote:
Is anarchy “a system”?
It comes down to what someone means by “system”.
If “system” means a general way to do things, sure.
But if they mean an institution with someone “in charge” who imposes their will, no.
Same word, used in different ways, depending on the motives of the user.
It’s the same way the word “authority” is used to mean two different concepts: a political bully or an expert.
A government-supremacist was whining that anarchy isn’t a system of government– and that’s apparently all he cares about. That’s the objection he kept harping on. It’s why he kept claiming that others were describing anarchy as though it were a system while at the same time indicating that it wasn’t a system of government. It was a distinction he couldn’t grasp for some reason.
So, yes, anarchy can be used as a system. It can show you a path to successful consensual interaction with others.
No, anarchy isn’t a system of government, but there is one system of government which is consistent with anarchy: You govern yourself and no one else. It’s the only legitimate form of government, being removed from politics.
Anarchy, as a system, means as long as I follow it I am not going to try to rule anyone, nor will I accept anyone’s attempt to rule me. It means I alone am responsible for my actions. It means I will respect the life, liberty, and property of others.
But there is no room in there for me to claim anarchy while trying to govern you. This use is outside of the “system” of anarchy. Completely. It’s as far from anarchy as slavery is from liberty.