Many forms of government exist, international relations often recognize the form that is found in a nation, and educational capital is generally substantial among judges, speakers, and, although arguably less so, heads of state, so that familiarity with multiple forms of government should generally be at least adequate. However, by tradition, application of the norms regresses to reliance on a single head as the plenipotentiary for the nation. The head is functionally, as far as all other nations are concerned, a monarch heading a straightforward monarchy.
The only exception recognized by the norms is for one or more high judges, who get their authority from nations and internationally help determine the norms, including through legally binding decisions. While the head and a high judge may be the same person, the norms recognize both roles and presume that they are separate persons. Thus, a ruling by a high judge need not be a declaration of war, even if the same statement by the head would be.
Speakers also determine the content of the norms but, by the norms, need not have any particular nationality or any at all or be associated with any nation about which they function as speakers.
Anarchy as a Special Case
An absolute anarchy is a society in which no one is responsible for anyone else, so that each individual has all of their own responsibility. (The term absolute anarchy is a redundancy but, without the adjective, would confuse the people who would blend relative anarchies in; the latter are discussed infra.) At the risk of this sounding like a farce, some facets of anarchy should be described; if it does sound farcical, it may be because this form of government is far from our experience. At any place where every individual is responsible to themself only and is in charge of no one else (the case of children and other dependents will be discussed infra), a head of state is responsible for themself only and everyone is a head of state. Therefore, multiple individuals of which each one is anarchic is a set of nations equal to the number of individuals. Each nation would consist, therefore, of one individual plus any nonhuman resources (e.g., land) which that individual claims, at least if without a contrary claim by anyone else or by the world generally (e.g., the open seas available for international transport).
If there is a conflict only between anarchists and if direct negotiation and third-party mediation fail, the norms would still be enforceable. However, the norms permit enforcement by war, war is inherently antianarchist, and belligerents are inherently antianarchist. Thus, the absolutely anarchic nations could include only allies and neutrals, so that the only method of resolution that would be left would be agreed-upon randomness, e.g., a coin flip, and otherwise the conflict would be impossible for an absolute anarchy to resolve, although (presuming the anarchists remain anarchist) at least no war would ensue between anarchists.
Conflicts arise in other ways, too. To ensure multigenerational survival of absolute anarchies, parents would likely have to give up all of their babies to wild environs. The parents would have to let the young ones grow ferally and make their own decisions, although babies probably would die if not guided away from dangers they do not yet know enough to recognize on their own. Given that almost no feral babies would survive to reproductive age, the women would have to be pregnant likely as often as physically possible. However, a duty subject to enforcement is antianarchist, so the high frequency of pregnancy would have to be by choice each day for the woman and by choice for any man who might impregnate her. Our experience with other societies tells us that if a society will die unless its members reproduce women are usually socially pressured into pregnancy, and that pressure would often be antianarchist. Nearly continuous pregnancies are contrary to our experience today in nonanarchies, especially in nations that are doing relatively well in economics terms and therefore have more resources besides children for thriving in the future.
Relying on the very few babies surviving to reproductive age to carry the absolute anarchy forward has risks even for the children’s adulthood. Since most people try to survive by being normal and not outliers, they probably wouldn’t be absolutely anarchist. If they aren’t that way in childhood, there’s a good chance they won’t be that way in adulthood or in the raising of the next generation.
Other dependents raise other problems. Some may gain dependency support without being placed under someone else’s control. Some may become self-supporting and nondependent if anarchy is consistently held to. Some others would act nonanarchistically, e.g., by violating the limits of anarchy to take a resource required for survival. The rest would die, which may be unacceptable to some anarchists, leading to a debate on and possibly a change in the governance system, such as to a relative anarchy.
If these internal difficulties don’t terminate all of the absolute anarchies, any absolute anarchy would likely be externally challenged by a nonanarchist nation. The norms generally favoring the militarily strong over the militarily weak, an absolute anarchy is almost inherently going to lose to a nonanarchy, and sooner rather than later.
The norms present problems peculiar to absolute anarchies, probably causing them to cease existing. The norms permit, for example, a generally more powerful nation lawfully to secure the loyalty of generally weaker neighbors, including for general agreement on foreign policy and alliance in war, not just neutrality, and requiring not just subservience of the absolute anarchy to the more powerful nonanarchist neighbor but secondary dominance by the absolute anarchy over still-weaker neighbors on behalf of the more powerful nation. That would require the absolutely anarchist intermediary to abandon absolute anarchy.
Thus, for several reasons, by the norms, absolute anarchy is almost impossible.
Relative anarchy is closer to absolute anarchy than is any other form of government. Each relative anarchy could consist of one nondependent maintaining any number of dependents, typical of single-parent families. This could serve the long-term multigenerational reproductive interest of an anarchist society. Nonetheless, even if they reproduce, relative anarchies probably wouldn’t survive against nonanarchic nations, given the norms. The reasons would be similar to those for absolute anarchies, despite the difference in degree.
Value of Anarchy
Anarchy may be an incomplete model that can inform other forms of government, such as on questions of freedom and liberty vs. responsibility to a domestic community. That educational value and room for debate are beyond the scope of the norms.
Smallness of a nation might be attractive to its nationals but might make it more vulnerable to adversity from a larger nation. In the former case, its law may be more closely adapted to the needs and wants of its populace. In the latter case, the nation might be absorbed and thus might lose its smallness. Regardless, however, while absolute anarchies are necessarily small nations and relative anarchies are almost always small nations, smallness, except for a single-person nation, does not define a form of government.