Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
Can the adjective mere apply to "anarchy"? I've always taken it to mean the same thing as "only", in a dismissive way. E.g He's merely a baby. -> He's only/just a baby.
So does the phrase mere anarchy mean that the anarchy was nothing serious, not much to worry about?