Arizona Daily Wildcat
Thursday, August 26, 2004
"Anarchy" is a word that has taken on a variety of meanings. Commonly, it is assigned a negative meaning - its connotations being those of a world of chaos and destruction, where disorder reigns.
However, when anarchy is defined strictly in a philosophical sense, it refers only to a society in which the controls of government are seen as an unnecessary evil. On to this definition, anarchy assumes the best of human nature. It trusts that people will conduct themselves in a virtuous and ethical manner, without the regulations of a controlling body.
In April of this year the state of Arizona passed a bill extending the last call for alcohol sales by one hour. In some ways, one can see this as a small step towards the philosophical meaning of anarchy - a sign that the state trusts us to be responsible in regards to drinking.
As college students, this bill seems particularly pertinent, given that alcohol usage is nearly inevitable in social settings and staying out for another hour saves us the boredom of going back home to watch TV.
This is not a matter of the state acting as a parent, pushing back curfew so that us young people can scamper around until bedtime comes.
Yet we must keep in mind the deeper implications of rolling back last call.
This is not just a simple matter of the state acting as a parent, effectively pushing back curfew so that us young people can scamper around town until bedtime comes.
This is a tangible gesture made by legislators that demonstrates they believe we can be trusted, that we can decide how to conduct ourselves properly.
Objectors to the new time for last call fear that reckless behavior in the form of increased incidents of drunk driving and assault will result - essentially, the negative definition of anarchy.
However, advocates see the 2 a.m. cut-off point as a means to discourage binge drinking, allowing partygoers an extra hour; thus, not giving them a desperate sense that they need to get hammered in the precious few moments they before the bar closes.
As a social group, college students are heavily targeted for drinking offenses. No doubt in the upcoming months following this bill, local authorities will be even more critical of our behavior. Though we are given this small freedom in the form of one more hour out on the town, we must realize that this law requires that we make concessions to the state in the form of increased maturity and the knowledge we are accountable for our actions.
Our new last-call time will challenge us to decide which definition of anarchy we will try to emulate.
Staff editorials are the opinion of the Arizona Daily Wildcat opinions board. Its members are Susan Bonicillo, Nate Buchik, Brett Fera, Caitlin Hall and Andrea Kelly.