"Through some strange reasoning, the ideal of anarchy is inexorably linked to the notion of punk. I can make the connection, but it is only a slight one. People see punks shouting 'Anarchy in the UK!' and assume that all punks are anarchists (notice, however, that they do not assume the converse: they do not assume that all anarchists are punk). And so two ideas, which are in fact polar opposites, have become intertwined, if only by contumacious misinterpretation.
But they are different. Punk is a system of ideals: questioning conformity, questioning humanity, and questioning dogma. Anarchy, on the other hand, is a many-headed beast. There are those fools who define anarchy as total chaos. Then there are those who define it as the lack of a government.
First, let us discount the total chaos notion. Anarchy is not total chaos. How many times have we seen the anarchy symbol scrawled on a bathroom wall? How often did the people who left these symbols not grasp the significance of what they were inscribing? We can assume it is a pretty large majority of the time, since most of these people are high school (or younger) kids, and probably the only reason that they vandalized something with this symbol in the first place is it looks cool and anarchy is en vogue.
I have to laugh at the notion that high school kids think anarchy, total chaos would be cool. We must remember that human nature eventually defeats all idealistic concepts. Communism is one such concept. It never worked. Not because it was impossible, no, it didn't work because it was a system too trusting in human nature. People cannot share things equally, because power is a thing. Once a Communist leader lusts for power, nothing can stop him. The cognoscenti of government live in splendor and the proletariat, for which Communism is created, lives in squalor. People cannot be trusted.
Such is the concept of anarchy, only it is a hundred times more trusting that Communism. Anarchy places all faith in people, without the benefit of a police force. Let us take an example:
Mr. and Mrs. Farmer lead a bucolic life. They live in harmony with the land, growing and storing food in the warm months and living off their stash in the winter. One winter, their neighbors, the Sapiens family, finds out that it does not have any food. Seeing no other chance at survival, they kill the Farmers. Since there is no police force, there was no fear of punishment for the Sapiens. Someone had what they wanted, and they took it.
It would only become worse from this point. Once the entire population learned that there wold be nobody to punish them for wrongdoings, the world would go to hell. Chaos, yes.
And it is almost certainly a chaos in which those high-school vandals would not survive. It would be a Darwinian system all over again. Survival of the fittest. Or, put more bluntly, survival of the meanest. Those kids who promote anarchy would be dead within a month, with no cars, no TV, no microwaves. The power would certainly not work. What would keep people working at a power station when they could just take what they wanted?
This is a slight digression, but I suggest reading The Stand by Stephen King to get a glimpse on an anarchic society. In the story, a plague wipes out 99% of humanity. Suddenly, there are no laws. It is a fascinating glimpse into the heart of mankind.
We have seen what anarchy is. In an ideal world, it would work as Communism was supposed to. As we have seen, theory and practice are often miles distant.
Punk is an intellectual movement. It is enlightenment. How could anarchy, retrogression to the base nature of man, be linked with edification?
So what is the role of the punk in today's society? He cannot randomly shout out against the government because without the government he would almost certainly perish. Sadly, for those insurgents who hold on to their grandiloquent dreams of radical reform, it is not a romantic thing.
Foremost, every punk must vote. How are you to change the government if you do not try to do so? It is a sad thing to rail against the government, idly sit through the elections, and then complain when things are not going your way. If enough people get the initiative, then they can make a change.
Second, punks must get the word out. This is where Punk Rock comes from. What is Punk Rock if not a vehicle to distribute information? Bad Religion, Oi Polloi and Minor Threat all took this at face value and did a wonderful job of spreading the word. It is almost as if they are hiding necessary medication in their dog's food: the dog enjoys the food, the music, and maybe will get better after he ingests the pill, the message. Today, several bands are still carrying on this tradition: Propagandhi, Anti-Flag and Pennywise are three that come immediately to mind.
Finally, punks must constantly be re-evaluating themselves. After all, in the words of the Bad Religion song 'You are (the Government)': 'You are the government, you are jurisprudence, you are the volition, you are jurisdiction, and I make a difference too.' We are the decision-makers, but it starts with us. We must constantly make sure that we are doing not what is right for us but what is right for everyone. Altruism is almost out of the question, considering today's society. But being even a little selfless never hurt anybody, not even yourself.
And if you still want anarchy, there are untold millions of bathroom stalls and highway overpasses across the country, waiting for you to mark them. If you truly believe you can change the world with a can of spray paint and a crude symbol, by all means try it. If that is the way you think, it will keep you out of politics and away from doing things that will actually influence people."