Playing With: Anarchy Is Chaos

Basic Trope: With no rules, laws, or leaders to follow, society crumbles.
  • Straight: Tropestan has no government, and therefore everyone looks out only for their own interests, even at the expense of others.
  • Exaggerated: Tropestan is a Wretched Hive, always at war with itself, and everyone is destitute and perpetually in survival mode.
  • Downplayed: Tropestan gets along more or less - however they can't coordinate well enough to keep infrastructure maintained.
  • Justified:
  • Inverted:
  • Subverted:
    • Tropestan has no formal government or political leaders, but a tribal-like tribunal or "moderators" and everyone has a say, and there are behavioral standards that must be adhered to.
    • Or, with no formal government, the territory falls prey to foreign invasion from neighbors looking for valuable land and/or Balkanization as warlords and communities seek to instill order before total chaos can arise.
  • Double Subverted:
    • But then the informal leaders disagree amongst themselves, or the rules are not enforced effectively, or both, and chaos ensues.
    • The informal leaders simply cannot maintain infrastructure, no matter how hard they try.
  • Parodied: Anarchist characters will loudly proclaim their desire for chaos, acting on it in a ridiculously over the top manner.
  • Zig Zagged: Tropestan's government collapses, and in the wake of it things appear to go well for a while, but then devolve into violent chaos.
  • Averted: Tropestan has a fully-functional government.
  • Enforced:
  • Lampshaded: "You can't drive without traffic laws! Think of the pedestrians!"
  • Invoked:
    • King Bob the Nth dies, leaving no heirs behind (and no one who really liked his ways anyway). The people have no leader until further notice.
    • Not only does lack of government result in chaos, but anarchists explicitly want this, and will actively destroy/fight any order that emerges, whether or not it's oppressive.
  • Exploited: Anarchist characters use this reputation to their advantage, such as by intimidating enemies with fake Ax-Crazy behavior.
  • Defied: Someone steps up and does things to keep peace and order.
  • Discussed: "What would the world be like with no religious or political leaders, everyone just doing what they want?"
  • Conversed: "I don't know...I suppose it would depend on the people in a given society, and whether they pull together, or whether they look out only for themselves."
  • Implied: The word anarchy is never used except in a negative context, or as a synonym for chaos.
  • Deconstructed: The plot is set in a place where a government either does not exist, or has collapsed, exploring whether this anarchy must necessarily also equal chaos.
  • Reconstructed: Anarchy does result in chaos, and the reasons why are shown (perhaps despite the efforts of real anarchists, who come off as well-intentioned but still misguided). Conversely, a plausible scenario for an orderly anarchy is presented.

Back to Anarchy Is Chaos