The Anarchist Storyteller's Dilemma

Rebellion against a totalitarian government is an extremely common theme even in stories written by statists. Obviously, being an anarchist, I can't have a government in my story without portraying it as evil. But that's cliche. I want to make stories about something else. But what else can I do?

Why you should be an anarchist

Obviously government isn't the only kind of evil. But the only apparent option for me besides writing a rebellion story is, of course, setting a story in an anarchy. And I'd *love* to do that. There are so many awesome ideas for stories you could tell there, themes and tropes you could explore that can't really exist in a story set in a ruled society. It could be a great way to show how society could work without the violence of a government. Except... stories depend on conflict.

I feel like to set a story in anarchy, I'd have to have a powerful malevolent force to drive the plot, and no matter what I do with that it would be seen as, "What a cool exploration of the dangers of anarchy! It's a good thing our world isn't like that".

So I feel like I can't set a story in anarchy because it would be counterproductive to statist readers.

Maybe the solution is to write a story about a less life-threatening conflict. Having the conflict just be about the problems people face that don't involve any crime or things that people should consider criminal. I do believe it's possible for such a story to be interesting and have high "stakes". But I don't think I've ever seen such a thing done. I don't have any examples to learn from, and I've kind of been trained (and trained myself) to immediately associate stories with traditional conceptions of what "stakes" require.

There are some stories that sidestep this entirely, like Doki Doki Literature Club. But that requires a fairly narrow range of premises that I don't think I could do well, and even if I could it wouldn't be showing the beauty of anarchy.

Doki Doki Literature Club review


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