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  #201  
Old 02-24-2012, 01:17 AM
MrDibble MrDibble is offline
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Sure No-one ever became an anarchist because they've seen the worst of what hierarchical states have to offer, nooo. They're all "malcontents and n'er-do-wells", right you are, Mr VictorianAnachronistLingo Rover
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  #202  
Old 02-24-2012, 03:52 AM
Kobal2 Kobal2 is online now
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Originally Posted by MrDibble View Post
Sure No-one ever became an anarchist because they've seen the worst of what hierarchical states have to offer, nooo. They're all "malcontents and n'er-do-wells", right you are, Mr VictorianAnachronistLingo Rover
I *think* you might have been wooshed.
Hardcore libertarians like Rover and anarchists have more in common than they'd like to begrudgingly admit sotto vocce. Then again, it's Rand Rover speaking, so who the hell knows.

Last edited by Kobal2; 02-24-2012 at 03:53 AM..
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  #203  
Old 02-24-2012, 06:27 AM
Untoward_Parable Untoward_Parable is offline
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Another thread about anarchism that doesn't understand the concept, wonderful.

1. Anarchism is a form of government.

2. There are laws in Anarchism.

3. Nothing about Anarchism prevents problems from being solved on any scale that can be solved now.

In Anarchism authority must justify itself to exist with a high burden of proof. You don't get to arrest people that aren't threatening the security and safety of others. You don't get to bomb people because you think they're up to something. You don't get to make big decisions without the agreement of the people affected. You don't get to monopolize resources or technologies.

Mostly Anarchism is not a settled system because it's barely existed. There are a lot of unknowns and trying to create an exact schematic for how it should work in fine detail would be a design for failure. However what most people think of when they think of Anarchism has nothing to do with what has actually been proposed and imagined for it as an organizational structure.
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  #204  
Old 02-24-2012, 07:02 AM
Left Hand of Dorkness Left Hand of Dorkness is offline
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Since I do not have such evidence either, I am attempting to settle for the next best thing: what evidence do I have about that which distinguishes successful states from unsuccessful ones? If I notice some qualities, can these qualities exist without the trappings of the state?
Now I see what you're suggesting. Sorry for my obtuseness earlier. You're right--it's a valid approach to the question.

That said, the traits generaly held by states that last a significant length of time (let's say, 50 years without a revolution?) are worth looking at. I'm almost certain that we'd be looking at a clear power structure in which certain people have a privileged use of violence, and others have a diminished right to use violence. Are there states in which that's not true?

Edit: successful states may also be examined in the context of the other organizational structures around them. What could succeed for a state (or other social oranizational structure) 10,000 years ago would probably not succeed today, given different technologies and ideas about how the world works.

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  #205  
Old 02-24-2012, 09:02 AM
erislover erislover is offline
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Originally Posted by Left Hand of Dorkness View Post
Now I see what you're suggesting. Sorry for my obtuseness earlier.
Yay.
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I'm almost certain that we'd be looking at a clear power structure in which certain people have a privileged use of violence, and others have a diminished right to use violence. Are there states in which that's not true?
I think there is universal agreement on two points. One, a sedentary lifestyle was only enabled by increased food production, which enabled a warrior class; two, the clear power structure which has executive power over a warrior class is the defining characteristic of a state. So a state is impossible without a warrior class; is a warrior class possible without becoming a state? (Rephrase of a rhetorical question I asked earlier in response to a question about whether anarchy could mount a reasonable defense against a state military.) Sure, it never happened that way historically, but that's not really an argument. Early societies also didn't have complex financial instruments and video games.
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Edit: successful states may also be examined in the context of the other organizational structures around them. What could succeed for a state (or other social oranizational structure) 10,000 years ago would probably not succeed today, given different technologies and ideas about how the world works.
Yes, definitely. Neighboring societies are like the climate.
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  #206  
Old 02-24-2012, 09:15 AM
Lumpy Lumpy is offline
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So a state is impossible without a warrior class;
In practice it's turned out that way; but at least at the beginning the founders of the United States had high hopes for not having a "warrior class". The ideal they pursued was to have little or no standing army, relying on mustering armed citizens into a militia when needed. And this being before the development of professional constabularies, civil law was mostly enforced by elected sheriffs, who if they needed extra help might deputize a "posse comitatus". The Founders would have regarded today's huge civil and military armed services as a prescription for dictatorship.
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  #207  
Old 02-24-2012, 09:32 AM
horhay_achoa horhay_achoa is offline
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I must politely dissent from this. I don't think that any thoughtful statist demands that the anarchic society arise magically overnight.

We (both sides) often use that phrasing as a simplified short-cut. "If such a society magically arose tomorrow..." But we all know that it would take time to found and to form, and that, if it did "magically" arise, it would arise with a history back-formed. It's just a way of saying, "If we suddenly made contact with an undiscovered anarchic society in a lost city in the Himalayas" or Barsoom, or whatever. It isn't part of the actual debate.
I am not sure if this is very useful. If most statists admit that viable anarchy is not possible now, then why are we having this discussion? But that is the point...anarchy is clearly not possible with how things are today. It will take a series of small changes over an extended period of time before anarchy is able to be considered. Capitalism has its mitts deeply implanted in just about every society and individual alive. Even non-capitalist countries are playing the game, or at least being used by the game. It is going to take a very, very long time to undue the types of values and incentives that capitalism has given rise to.



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As a good old-fashioned Hubert Humphrey liberal, I have no objection to "social engineering." I believe that one of the legitimate functions of education is to try to train people, from early youth, to be better citizens.

On the other hand, this makes me think of the Soviet Union attempting to create a "New Soviet Man," a socially-engineered citizen that was ready for full communism. I'm not sure... I don't know how much human nature can be tweaked...
Well, I am not sure I would call it social engineering...at least not how that term is typically used to describe a top down sort of brainwashing. Part of anarchism is giving people the power to do things themselves. I think it is within human potential to restructure society from the bottom up and not the from the top down. I think we are seeing some of these values now...co-ops, credit unions, the buy local movement...all of these things things are steps in the right direction. Anything we can do to strengthen community is a step in the right direction. But, nobody should be forced into it. When people see that being part of a co-op has benefits, they may eventually decide to join themselves. The success of a local currency like Ithaca Hours, can inspire other places to try developing their own local currency, in turn strengthening their community. So, I would say it is less social engineering, and more leading by example.



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See? I was typing faster than I was reading. Even if these small steps don't lead to a dramatic change in society, they're good ones, and so even a statist has no grave objections to them. I'll walk a ways down this path with you, even if our steps may separate later!
Sounds good!


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I agree...to a degree... Human nature has, I think, already dramatically changed in the industrial age (in the industrialized countries.) Education really does better the individual.

However, I still have concerns regarding rogue individuals, and violent criminality. I think that even the most advanced and humanistic anarchistic society will have a need for a jail...
Maybe...it is hard to know until we get there....
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  #208  
Old 02-24-2012, 09:34 AM
erislover erislover is offline
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Originally Posted by Lumpy View Post
In practice it's turned out that way; but at least at the beginning the founders of the United States had high hopes for not having a "warrior class". The ideal they pursued was to have little or no standing army, relying on mustering armed citizens into a militia when needed. And this being before the development of professional constabularies, civil law was mostly enforced by elected sheriffs, who if they needed extra help might deputize a "posse comitatus". The Founders would have regarded today's huge civil and military armed services as a prescription for dictatorship.
Without executive authority over the warrior class, I think most of the participants in this thread would suggest it were anarchy.
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  #209  
Old 02-24-2012, 09:50 AM
erislover erislover is offline
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Hardcore libertarians... and anarchists have more in common than they'd like to begrudgingly admit sotto vocce.
Libertarians of that sort are anarchists that lack the courage of their conviction. [/trolling]
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  #210  
Old 02-24-2012, 11:01 AM
Lumpy Lumpy is offline
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Libertarians of that sort are anarchists that lack the courage of their conviction. [/trolling]
Libertarians are anarchists who don't have a hate-on for private property or a free market.

Or more seriously, libertarians believe you can have private property and a socially benign free market without a state to enforce property rights.

Last edited by Lumpy; 02-24-2012 at 11:03 AM..
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  #211  
Old 02-24-2012, 12:43 PM
BrainGlutton BrainGlutton is offline
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I know! An anarchist society can avoid recreating government by . . . recreating goverment! As a LARP! First thing after the Revolution, the leadership cabal should suggest-the-creation of a new LARP, to be played at SF cons and such, called "United States Government," and anybody who tries to found or revive any organization by that name or even infringing on the creative concept of this thing called "government" gets their ass hauled into court for copyright infr-- . . . wait, this is an anarchist society . . . Back to the drawing board.
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  #212  
Old 02-24-2012, 12:56 PM
erislover erislover is offline
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I think any time anyone mentions freedom from now on, I'm going to accuse them of being anarchists. After all, any time anarchists mention rules, they've suddenly recreated an entire government.
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  #213  
Old 02-24-2012, 03:20 PM
Trinopus Trinopus is offline
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. . . any time anarchists mention rules, they've suddenly recreated an entire government. . . .
Seriously? Yes.

That's exactly the problem. If you have rules, and a mechanism for enforcing them, then...that is a government. (Or else you have absolute unanimity, which most of us think is not likely.)

You have never addressed this. You mock it, belittle it, roll your eyes... But you have never actually shown why it isn't so. Someone mentioned a place with laws against guns. Okay, and one guy says, "Nuts to that" and buys a gun. What now?
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  #214  
Old 02-24-2012, 03:55 PM
BrainGlutton BrainGlutton is offline
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Libertarians are anarchists who don't have a hate-on for private property or a free market.
True. Anarchism is a tradition very closely associated with Marxism, and most self-ID'd "anarchists" in history have viewed capital and the state as their conjoint enemies -- their class enemies, that is, the Marxist-Leninist parlance/paradigm translates exactly to the anarchist side. Any anarchist revolution is, at least in its intent, a class war.

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  #215  
Old 02-24-2012, 04:01 PM
erislover erislover is offline
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You have never addressed this. You mock it, belittle it, roll your eyes... But you have never actually shown why it isn't so.
I have addressed it at least three times. You're just not reading what I am writing.
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  #216  
Old 02-24-2012, 04:18 PM
Kobal2 Kobal2 is online now
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Originally Posted by Trinopus View Post
You have never addressed this. You mock it, belittle it, roll your eyes... But you have never actually shown why it isn't so. Someone mentioned a place with laws against guns. Okay, and one guy says, "Nuts to that" and buys a gun. What now?
I would imagine the community points a finger at the board where the rules of the community are posted, then another at the road leading out of Christiania. Believe it or not, a handgun does not grant one the power to hold 600+ people at gunpoint at once, much less force them to let one live among them.

Mostly however the problem simply does not present itself. Existing citizens agree with the rules they created implicitly. Immigrants implicitly think joining the community is more valuable to them than their gun rights. Which leaves tourists and people who come there just to score weed, and neither category has much vested interest in starting some shit.
Ironically, the only people who do regularly bring guns into the community in blatant disregard of the local laws... is the Copenhagen police.

That being said, as Untoward_Parable mentioned, anarchism isn't antithetical with government. It *is* a form of government. Anarchism is not chaos, and isn't antithetical to rules and laws either.

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  #217  
Old 02-24-2012, 04:54 PM
BrainGlutton BrainGlutton is offline
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Believe it or not, a handgun does not grant one the power to hold 600+ people at gunpoint at once . . .
No . . . but it will do for the one guy who actually tries to take it away from you.
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  #218  
Old 02-24-2012, 05:10 PM
Trinopus Trinopus is offline
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I would imagine the community points a finger at the board where the rules of the community are posted, then another at the road leading out of Christiania. Believe it or not, a handgun does not grant one the power to hold 600+ people at gunpoint at once, much less force them to let one live among them.
But the guy doesn't even need to point the gun. He simply ignores the pointing fingers. Sure, he could get tactical, and shoot the people who are pointing the most emphatically, but, if there are no means of compelling obedience, he can just shrug and continue polishing his gun.

Several people here have said that laws, and the means of enforcing them, are not the same as "a government." But no one seems to have drawn a completely clear distinction.

You, at least (and thank you!) are the first who has actually described a means of enforcement: the pointing of fingers. I hope you will forgive me for considering it an insufficient means, in the face of intransigence.

The guy says, "Nope. Ain't leaving." What next?

I guess a boycott might work; if no one engages with him in any way, he'll have trouble making ends meet. He'd have to start growing his own food, etc. Passive, non-violent social ostracism has had powerful effects in the past.

But, once more, it requires total unanimity. If even one guy says, "Whoa! I can sell him food! He might be willing to pay a bit more for it!" then the boycott fails. And, once again, how is the boycott enforced without some means?

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Mostly however the problem simply does not present itself. Existing citizens agree with the rules they created implicitly. . . .
As has been granted all along, if you have absolute unanimity, then, yes, certainly, this will work. Is this, perhaps, the mechanism? "In true anarchic societies, everyone will implicitly agree to the rules?" It seems contrary to the experience most of us have had of human nature...

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That being said, as Untoward_Parable mentioned, anarchism isn't antithetical with government. It *is* a form of government. Anarchism is not chaos, and isn't antithetical to rules and laws either.
I suppose so, but I don't see it. I'd sure like to know more about the actual day-to-day functioning, and how the rules are enforced. Heck, I'd like to know how the rules are created in the first place. Is there a democratic assembly? Or representation? What if there is a lone dissenter? What if there are large numbers of dissenters? How are property disputes settled? How are violent crimes dealt with?

If it is a government, then why does it have its own name. i.e., what makes it specifically not a democracy, or a representative democracy, or a republic, etc.?

And....what are the mechanisms that keep it stable, so that a small group of people do not alter the laws, contradict the intent of the founders, and usurp power? (The question in the OP.)
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  #219  
Old 02-24-2012, 05:35 PM
BrainGlutton BrainGlutton is offline
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True. Anarchism is a tradition very closely associated with Marxism, and most self-ID'd "anarchists" in history have viewed capital and the state as their conjoint enemies -- their class enemies, that is, the Marxist-Leninist parlance/paradigm translates exactly to the anarchist side. Any anarchist revolution is, at least in its intent, a class war.
And I'm sure My Favorite Anarchist, Leslie Fish, filk-artist and Wobbly (she showed me her Party/Union card once), would agree wholeheartedly.
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  #220  
Old 02-24-2012, 06:58 PM
Lumpy Lumpy is offline
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Originally Posted by BrainGlutton View Post
True. Anarchism is a tradition very closely associated with Marxism, and most self-ID'd "anarchists" in history have viewed capital and the state as their conjoint enemies -- their class enemies, that is, the Marxist-Leninist parlance/paradigm translates exactly to the anarchist side. Any anarchist revolution is, at least in its intent, a class war.
To an extent, although by the time of the Russian Revolution the Anarchists and the Bolsheviks were rivals and by the Spanish Civil War were flat-out enemies. Bakunin considered Marx a sell-out.
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  #221  
Old 02-25-2012, 02:06 PM
Left Hand of Dorkness Left Hand of Dorkness is offline
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I would imagine the community points a finger at the board where the rules of the community are posted, then another at the road leading out of Christiania.
Right--at which point someone gets sliced up and buried under a house, and the situation escalates until rival drug gangs are engaged in decade-long warfare between rival drug gangs. It sounds, from that brief overview, as though the problem finally ended with the victory of the Hell's Angels; is that accurate? And I remember reading folks talking about visiting Christiana and seeing pretty rough-looking skinheads glowering at them from the, er, hemp stands, suggesting that Christiana has an informal government-by-criminal-gangs; is that accurate?

There is a legitimate question of whether this needed Christiana in order to happen; I don't have an answer about that. We do need to be careful, however, about thinking that the threat is a single dude with a handgun. As I've been saying all along, the threat is really a bunch of dudes with a structure and a bunch of guns.
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  #222  
Old 02-25-2012, 03:03 PM
Lumpy Lumpy is offline
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Originally Posted by Left Hand of Dorkness View Post
As I've been saying all along, the threat is really a bunch of dudes with a structure and a bunch of guns.
Indeed, I don't see how anarchy/ libertarianism/ whatever can come about as long as humans have, in the absence of a government-imposed larger society, a seemingly innate tendency to form tribes. A non-tribal/gang society demands that you forswear vengence against someone who killed your parent/ sibling/ child/ spouse/ best friend, if your loved one was in the wrong and the stranger was in the right.

Last edited by Lumpy; 02-25-2012 at 03:04 PM..
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  #223  
Old 02-25-2012, 04:54 PM
Untoward_Parable Untoward_Parable is offline
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Indeed, I don't see how anarchy/ libertarianism/ whatever can come about as long as humans have, in the absence of a government-imposed larger society, a seemingly innate tendency to form tribes. A non-tribal/gang society demands that you forswear vengence against someone who killed your parent/ sibling/ child/ spouse/ best friend, if your loved one was in the wrong and the stranger was in the right.
Again this comes from a misapprehension. It's a straw man supposition. The basic idea in people's heads about an Anarchistic society is that it would be more fragmented and with fewer rules. This is not the case. Anarchy means "without rulers", which has been articulated as a political organization that those who rule are the people themselves. It is a type of democracy that is more organic, local when it's appropriate based on people affected by decisions and grassroots. Someone else asked why it needs it's own name if it's just a democracy. Well for one thing no government type on earth today is a democracy without special stipulations. I'm pretty sure they all have special names like republic, ect.

Libertarianism has many problems, mostly deriving from their position that individuals should never be prevented from doing anything that isn't on the property of another person or to their property or person. This creates the ability to hoard resources, accumulate power that compromises the entire basis of democracy as we see so clearly in modern times. Democracy is a social function, it's components include speech, access to information, voting, feasibility of anyone to run for office ect. While money is equal to speech and there are so many secrets or difficult to obtain information any form of democracy will fail. An anarchist society would seek to prevent these sorts of things with a different sort of constitution than we see today. One that protects the influence of every individual instead of special individuals and protects the independance of people in their affairs that are minimally impactful on others.

A caricature of any political system is going to make it seems absurd and unworkable and most societies socialize their populations to have this perspective about any system that is not entirely similar to their own.

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  #224  
Old 02-25-2012, 05:37 PM
BrainGlutton BrainGlutton is offline
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To an extent, although by the time of the Russian Revolution the Anarchists and the Bolsheviks were rivals and by the Spanish Civil War were flat-out enemies. Bakunin considered Marx a sell-out.
Still, the mainly Anarcho-Syndicalist Spanish Revolution was (at least in its intent) a class revolution, with workers seizing control of the factories (for real) and peasants seizing the land and everything.
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  #225  
Old 02-25-2012, 07:25 PM
Left Hand of Dorkness Left Hand of Dorkness is offline
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Again this comes from a misapprehension. It's a straw man supposition. The basic idea in people's heads about an Anarchistic society is that it would be more fragmented and with fewer rules.
Some people, sure, but that's not what's under discussion here. Ironically, your post itself, by suggesting that is what folks are discussing, is a straw man .

The basic idea we're discussing here is that an anarchist society lacks a clear formal hierarchy, and as such has trouble being as organized and efficient at many tasks (including coercive violence) as opposing social groups who have a clear formal hierarchy. It would be absurd, in my opinion, to dispute this, and I've known plenty of anarchists who freely admit that this is true; they're willing to give up efficiency in favor of social justice and liberty. As would I, if I didn't think that lack of efficiency at coercive violence compared to hierarchical groups were a fatal flaw.
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  #226  
Old 02-25-2012, 09:03 PM
Lumpy Lumpy is offline
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Libertarianism has many problems, mostly deriving from their position that individuals should never be prevented from doing anything that isn't on the property of another person or to their property or person. <snip>
An anarchist society would seek to (...)protects the independance of people in their affairs that are minimally impactful on others.
These two statements seem contradictory to me.
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  #227  
Old 02-26-2012, 12:25 PM
Untoward_Parable Untoward_Parable is offline
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The basic idea we're discussing here is that an anarchist society lacks a clear formal hierarchy, and as such has trouble being as organized and efficient at many tasks (including coercive violence) as opposing social groups who have a clear formal hierarchy. It would be absurd, in my opinion, to dispute this, and I've known plenty of anarchists who freely admit that this is true; they're willing to give up efficiency in favor of social justice and liberty. As would I, if I didn't think that lack of efficiency at coercive violence compared to hierarchical groups were a fatal flaw.
You've read the majority of comments in this thread? The OP?

Much of the dispute Anarchism has with other systems is the conjecture that hierarchy is not needed for organization. People can assume roles without assuming dominance. I'm happy to be absurd in any case. Absurdity is usually a social distinction rather than a logical one after all.

I don't know who these people calling themselves Anarchists are but in most cases more participation creates better efficiency not worse. The more centrally directed an economy is the less efficient it usually is unless you're the ruler and want the last dodo bird for dinner.

There are the inefficiencies in law enforcement now. People would prefer that drug offenses not be treated like violence or theft and yet they are. We would like to see real rehabilitation instead of places that turn out more virulent criminals. People do not trust the police and do not cooperate with them. The police themselves are unaccountable or much less so for their crimes.

One could also argue that much of US war is a PR campaign ala 1984's endless war prescription for keeping the domestic population docile and cooperative to the status quo. The modern economic practices that include virtual monopoly/oligopoly (microsoft, apple, cable companies ect), advertising over quality or safety (I've heard its over a trillion dollars a year, in relation GDP that doesn't sound like efficiency to me), the larger a company is the less likely it is to be interfered with by the government or even given tax gifts by it as they are able to manipulate regulators and elected officials, this is the opposite dynamic one would want if you were considering efficiency.

All of these things occur because of the power and unaccountability of hierarchies. No serious Anarchist believes that society would work worse without the hierarchies that prey upon humanity now.

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These two statements seem contradictory to me.
"minimally impactful" IE stay out of my bedroom, my church, my diversionary activities ect but don't expect society to stay out of your election rigging mountiantop removal mining, manufacturing explosives in a densely populated city ect.

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  #228  
Old 02-26-2012, 04:02 PM
Left Hand of Dorkness Left Hand of Dorkness is offline
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Much of the dispute Anarchism has with other systems is the conjecture that hierarchy is not needed for organization. People can assume roles without assuming dominance. I'm happy to be absurd in any case. Absurdity is usually a social distinction rather than a logical one after all.
Again, this is something of a straw man. Nobody here has said that hierarchy is needed for organization, nor does the bit that you quote. I suggested that hierarchy leads to more efficiency in organization.
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I don't know who these people calling themselves Anarchists are but in most cases more participation creates better efficiency not worse. The more centrally directed an economy is the less efficient it usually is unless you're the ruler and want the last dodo bird for dinner.
If by "participation" you mean "participation in decision-making," this is a bizarre stance. There's a reason why most corporations have a top-down structure, why there's not some workers-collective auto factory that outcompetes the ones with a strict hierarchy. I'm pro-union, but it's pretty well established that the advantage of unions is that they make workers' lives less hellish, not that they result in more efficient processes. There's a reason why anthills have one queen, why jellyfish haven't built the Taj Mahal, why there's a C in every CPU.
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No serious Anarchist believes that society would work worse without the hierarchies that prey upon humanity now.
"Worse"? I'm not disputing that; I'm suggesting that without those hierarchies, things are less efficient. Which is totally fine, and which even when I was organizing anarchist conferences was something totally obvious to me (and to many anarchists I knew). "No serious anarchist" may be a phrase like "No true Scotsman," in which case of course it's undebatable; but if it's something else, you need to be careful about more straw-manning with substituting "worse" for "less efficient."

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  #229  
Old 02-27-2012, 03:20 PM
erislover erislover is offline
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Originally Posted by Left Hand of Dorkness View Post
There's a reason why most corporations have a top-down structure, why there's not some workers-collective auto factory that outcompetes the ones with a strict hierarchy.
Up to now, I'd say the reason is that the top-down mentality people are the ones with capital, either explicitly or implicitly through its control (e.g. bankers loaning someone else's money). Since their practices generally ensure this remains so, I think that's enough of an explanation in itself.
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I'm pro-union, but it's pretty well established that the advantage of unions is that they make workers' lives less hellish, not that they result in more efficient processes.
Efficiency is just a measure. Right now, we agree on a particular few kinds of efficiencies as being good enough. I don't believe anyone has used them to demonstrate that unions are inefficient. (BUT I probably wouldn't be in a position to know if they did, either.)
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There's a reason why anthills have one queen, why jellyfish haven't built the Taj Mahal, why there's a C in every CPU.
Who is in charge, the mitochondria or the cell's DNA? Also, the queen has no power, she just does her job, same as the other ants. But I don't know if I should argue these analogies too much. I've been thinking about starting a thread on this exact topic.
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I'm suggesting that without those hierarchies, things are less efficient.
Using what definition for efficiency?
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  #230  
Old 02-27-2012, 07:21 PM
Lumpy Lumpy is offline
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Originally Posted by Untoward_Parable View Post
"minimally impactful" IE stay out of my bedroom, my church, my diversionary activities ect but don't expect society to stay out of your election rigging mountiantop removal mining, manufacturing explosives in a densely populated city ect.
How about "Don't hoard food"? Even if it's food you have because you worked to grow it? Or if you don't have enough food to keep your family from going hungry, but someone insists that others need it more? How about if your stubborn individualism and self-reliance, and that of like-minded others, is getting in the way of establishing Utopia? Collectivism presumes that ultimately everything impacts others.

Libertarianism takes as a premise that legitimate self-interest done right IS "minimally impactful" of others. But too many people seem to think that any private property or free trade invariably devolves into plutocrats enslaving the masses. This is exactly the counterpart of claiming that Anarchy inevitably devolves into Stalinism. LIbertarians don't want to see OmniCorp rule the world any more than Anarchists want to see the Politburo rule it.
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  #231  
Old 02-29-2012, 12:59 AM
Untoward_Parable Untoward_Parable is offline
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Originally Posted by Lumpy View Post
How about "Don't hoard food"? Even if it's food you have because you worked to grow it? Or if you don't have enough food to keep your family from going hungry, but someone insists that others need it more? How about if your stubborn individualism and self-reliance, and that of like-minded others, is getting in the way of establishing Utopia? Collectivism presumes that ultimately everything impacts others.

Libertarianism takes as a premise that legitimate self-interest done right IS "minimally impactful" of others. But too many people seem to think that any private property or free trade invariably devolves into plutocrats enslaving the masses. This is exactly the counterpart of claiming that Anarchy inevitably devolves into Stalinism. LIbertarians don't want to see OmniCorp rule the world any more than Anarchists want to see the Politburo rule it.
If you are 100% independent of society without harming society you can do whatever you want with the product of your labor. If you benefit from community industry and resources then hoarding food is you hoarding your production while others do not. Doesn't sound justified or reasonable to me. A world where food is scarce hasn't existed in some time, but there is always something each person would want to give to their clan more than to others. Nepotism is the main driver of injustice and hierarchy in the world imo, and with understandable and natural cause. You need mechanisms to prevent the natural tendency for people to help their own at the expense of others. To ask people to do that willingly is just a recipe for failure.

There are plenty of ways that people can be independent outside the spheres of society. Things that occur within the spheres of society are by their nature not individual even if some instincts, culture and learned adaptations make people behave as if they are.

Every society has dissenters, but societies that are democratic tend to treat them well, because the freedom to express your own ideas without reprisal is a powerful ingredient in quality of life and people tend to set things up to enhance their quality of life when they have the choice. The less democracy a society has and the more concentrated power it has is usually a direct relationship to how badly dissenters are treated.

Most political systems proposed claim that they want prosperity and freedom as a result of their recipe. You have to look at the mechanisms they have in their cookbook to really determine what would probably result from their implementation. Unrestricted private power will dominate society given any multi-generational length of time. What is needed is facilitation for control over all political and economic spheres of society by the greatest number of people possible. The idea that the mob will barbarically strip society down to savage levels of existence is a propaganda of the minorities in power throughout history.
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  #232  
Old 02-29-2012, 01:17 AM
Condescending Robot Condescending Robot is offline
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Anarchism -n.- political philosophy whose chief tenet is loudly asserting that any proposed definition of the term "anarchism" is incorrect
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  #233  
Old 02-29-2012, 08:37 AM
Lumpy Lumpy is offline
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Originally Posted by Condescending Robot View Post
Anarchism -n.- political philosophy whose chief tenet is loudly asserting that any proposed definition of the term "anarchism" is incorrect
Including that one.

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Originally Posted by Untoward_Parable
You need mechanisms to prevent the natural tendency for people to help their own at the expense of others. To ask people to do that willingly is just a recipe for failure
So now your anarchist, no-government, coercion-free society has a "mechanism" to get people to abrogate their self-interest in the name of the larger good. See Ayn Rand's "We The Living". My point is that we have ample evidence from experience that forced "unselfishness" is as great or greater an evil than "unresticted private power".
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What is needed is facilitation for control over all political and economic spheres of society by the greatest number of people possible.
How about no control at all? Isn't that the literal definition of an-archy? You seem to be defining (see top of post ) anarchy as "That system that will prevent the reestablishment of privately based oligarchic power". Again, libertarians don't want feudalism and they don't want OmniCorp. They want a non-coercive society.
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The idea that the mob will barbarically strip society down to savage levels of existence is a propaganda of the minorities in power throughout history.
The looting mob is actually an improvement over the People's Committe.

Last edited by Lumpy; 02-29-2012 at 08:40 AM..
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  #234  
Old 02-29-2012, 07:02 PM
Untoward_Parable Untoward_Parable is offline
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Originally Posted by Lumpy View Post
Including that one.

So now your anarchist, no-government, coercion-free society has a "mechanism" to get people to abrogate their self-interest in the name of the larger good. See Ayn Rand's "We The Living". My point is that we have ample evidence from experience that forced "unselfishness" is as great or greater an evil than "unresticted private power".
How about no control at all? Isn't that the literal definition of an-archy? You seem to be defining (see top of post ) anarchy as "That system that will prevent the reestablishment of privately based oligarchic power". Again, libertarians don't want feudalism and they don't want OmniCorp. They want a non-coercive society.
The looting mob is actually an improvement over the People's Committe.
Ararchism may not have a definite tradition to specify it's tenets however you like many in this thread begin by focusing on a very rare and unpopular version which begins and ends it's understanding with a Webster's dictionary.

Ararchism is not a literal translation of the root elements of the word anymore than any political philosophy is.

If you would like to excerpt the portions of Ayn Rand's argument and evidence you'd like me to consider go on ahead. I haven't looked deeply at her work but from what I have she always struck me as th ultimate narcissist, psychopathic and absurd, useless in any context other than as fodder for performance art, or as an honest expression of viewpoints to be feared by the 99.99%. (The 0.001% are the serial killers).

Here is an excerpt from an article by Chomsky on the issue, you can go through the rest of the article if you like and won't find much of this "no-government, coercion-free society" stuff you're referring to unless you quote out of context.

"Anarchosyndicalists sought, even under capitalism, to create "free associations of free producers" that would engage in militant struggle and prepare to take over the organization of production on a democratic basis. These associations would serve as "a practical school of anarchism."20 If private ownership of the means of production is, in Proudhon's often quoted phrase, merely a form of "theft" -- "the exploitation of the weak by the strong"21 -- control of production by a state bureaucracy, no matter how benevolent its intentions, also does not create the conditions under which labor, manual and intellectual, can become the highest want in life. Both, then, must be overcome.

In his attack on the right of private or bureaucratic control over the means of production,, the anarchist takes his stand with those who struggle to bring about "the third and last emancipatory phase of history," the first having made serfs out of slaves, the second having made wage earners out of serfs, and the third which abolishes the proletariat in a final act of liberation that places control over the economy in the hands of free and voluntary associations of producers (Fourier, 1848).22 The imminent danger to "civilization" was noted by de Tocqueville, also in 1848:



As long as the right of property was the origin and groundwork of many other rights, it was easily defended -- or rather it was not attacked; it was then the citadel of society while all the other rights were its outworks; it did not bear the brunt of attack and, indeed, there was no serious attempt to assail it. but today, when the right of property is regarded as the last undestroyed remnant of the aristocratic world, when it alone is left standing, the sole privilege in an equalized society, it is a different matter. Consider what is happening in the hearts of the working-classes, although I admit they are quiet as yet. It is true that they are less inflamed than formerly by political passions properly speaking; but do you not see that their passions, far from being political, have become social? Do you not see that, little by little, ideas and opinions are spreading amongst them which aim not merely at removing such and such laws, such a ministry or such a government, but at breaking up the very foundations of society itself?23

The workers of Paris, in 1871, broke the silence, and proceeded



to abolish property, the basis of all civilization! Yes, gentlemen, the Commune intended to abolish that class property which makes the labor of the many the wealth of the few. It aimed at the expropriation of the expropriators. It wanted to make individual property a truth by transforming the means of production, land and capital, now chiefly the means of enslaving and exploiting labor, into mere instruments of free and associated labor."

Link to full article on Anarchism by Chomsky.

Last edited by Untoward_Parable; 02-29-2012 at 07:05 PM..
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  #235  
Old 02-29-2012, 07:47 PM
Trinopus Trinopus is offline
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Originally Posted by Lumpy View Post
. . . The looting mob is actually an improvement over the People's Committe.
Whoo... I dunno... Both are pretty atrocious...

I guess you can always just lie face down and not move, and the looting mob might sweep past you without pausing to assault you... The people's committee will take more effort to search for you to send you to re-education camp or relocate you to a farming commune...

(Also, it's sometimes easier to join the looting mob than it is to join the people's committee...)

And yet the people's committee can base itself on rational principles and seek to build up a working economic system, whereas the looting mob cannot. The people's committee sometimes produces tractor factories and a space program. The looting mob can never build anything; it can only tear things down.

Damn nasty choice! Let's try to avoid having to make it!
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  #236  
Old 02-29-2012, 08:09 PM
Lumpy Lumpy is offline
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Originally Posted by Untoward_Parable View Post
If you would like to excerpt the portions of Ayn Rand's argument and evidence you'd like me to consider go on ahead. I haven't looked deeply at her work but from what I have she always struck me as th ultimate narcissist, psychopathic and absurd, useless in any context other than as fodder for performance art, or as an honest expression of viewpoints to be feared by the 99.99%. (The 0.001% are the serial killers).
We The Living is a novel set in the 1920's Soviet Union based on Rand's direct observation of what happened there. She doesn't present an "argument", she simply relates what happened then, which speaks for itself.

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Originally Posted by Untoward_Parable View Post
"Anarchosyndicalists sought, even under capitalism, to create "free associations of free producers" that would engage in militant struggle and prepare to take over the organization of production on a democratic basis. <snip>21 -- control of production by a state bureaucracy, no matter how benevolent its intentions, also does not create the conditions under which labor, manual and intellectual, can become the highest want in life. Both, then, must be overcome.
Except that a "free association" that "takes over" the organization of production must inherently become a bureaucracy, which is what this whole thread has been debating.

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Originally Posted by Untoward_Parable View Post
In his attack on the right of private or bureaucratic control over the means of production,, the anarchist takes his stand with those who struggle to bring about "the third and last emancipatory phase of history," the first having made serfs out of slaves, the second having made wage earners out of serfs, and the third which abolishes the proletariat in a final act of liberation that places control over the economy in the hands of free and voluntary associations of producers
If that's the case, then the Soviet Union reversed history, since it turned wage earners into slaves and serfs of the state; they just weren't privately owned.
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Originally Posted by Untoward_Parable View Post
to abolish property, the basis of all civilization! Yes, gentlemen, the Commune intended to abolish that class property which makes the labor of the many the wealth of the few. It aimed at the expropriation of the expropriators. It wanted to make individual property a truth by transforming the means of production, land and capital, now chiefly the means of enslaving and exploiting labor, into mere instruments of free and associated labor.
Ok, let's talk a little about property. Let's start with land, since other than the clothes on your back if anything is "yours" you need a place to keep it: a house with four walls and the land it sits on. I don't know about you but I like having possessions. I like having four walls around me where I can say "this is my place, this is where I can be alone if I want and no one can come in here without my permission. And all the things in my place are mine, and you can't just walk off with them". I can't imagine any fundamental human privacy or individuality without this.

If I'm to take arguments about abolishing property at face value, then they seem to be saying that this is wrong. That as long as anyone else might decide that they had a better use for it, that it was wrong of me to "expropriate" the land by building a house on it and calling it Mine. That as long as there's anyone on the face of the Earth who is homeless, that I have no right to deny them shelter. That as long as anyone has unmet needs that I have no right to any surplus beyond a bare physical existence. That the entire mass of humanity, simply by existing, nullifies any rights I have by majority vote. Instead of being a human being I am now one-seven billionth of "humanity", and have exactly a one-seven billionth share of anything "humanity" might exert a claim to. That my friend is the Collective.

Last edited by Lumpy; 02-29-2012 at 08:13 PM.. Reason: slight rewording
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  #237  
Old 02-29-2012, 08:21 PM
Untoward_Parable Untoward_Parable is offline
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Originally Posted by Lumpy View Post
We The Living is a novel set in the 1920's Soviet Union based on Rand's direct observation of what happened there. She doesn't present an "argument", she simply relates what happened then, which speaks for itself.

Except that a "free association" that "takes over" the organization of production must inherently become a bureaucracy, which is what this whole thread has been debating.

If that's the case, then the Soviet Union reversed history, since it turned wage earners into slaves and serfs of the state; they just weren't privately owned.
Ok, let's talk a little about property. Let's start with land, since other than the clothes on your back if anything is "yours" you need a place to keep it: a house with four walls and the land it sits on. I don't know about you but I like having possessions. I like having four walls around me where I can say "this is my place, this is where I can be alone if I want and no one can come in here without my permission. And all the things in my place are mine, and you can't just walk off with them". I can't imagine any fundamental human privacy or individuality without this.

If I'm to take arguments about abolishing property at face value, then they seem to be saying that this is wrong. That as long as anyone else might decide that they had a better use for it, that it was wrong of me to "expropriate" the land by building a house on it and calling it Mine. That as long as there's anyone on the face of the Earth who is homeless, that I have no right to deny them shelter. That as long as anyone has unmet needs that I have no right to any surplus beyond a bare physical existence. That the entire mass of humanity, simply by existing, nullifies any rights I have by majority vote. Instead of being a human being I am now one-seven billionth of "humanity", and have exactly a one-seven billionth share of anything "humanity" might exert a claim to. That my friend is the Collective.
The soviet union was not Anarchism.

Again you argue by making strange assumptions and imagination of a dystopian nightmare. What people would have dibs on in an Anarchist society would be democratically decided in the first place. I imagine as you seem to that most people would like their own place that they might share with family or friends or themselves only and creature comforts. What my excerpt was talking about in reference to property were the non-human means of production. Materials, technologies, equipment ect. Can you go through life not owning an industrial steel mill? I can.
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  #238  
Old 02-29-2012, 08:52 PM
Lumpy Lumpy is offline
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What my excerpt was talking about in reference to property were the non-human means of production. Materials, technologies, equipment ect. Can you go through life not owning an industrial steel mill? I can.
Fair enough, except where do you draw the line? Can someone own and operate a small shop? Can they farm a piece of land and keep what they grow?
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  #239  
Old 02-29-2012, 09:06 PM
Untoward_Parable Untoward_Parable is offline
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Fair enough, except where do you draw the line? Can someone own and operate a small shop? Can they farm a piece of land and keep what they grow?
I wouldn't draw the line, democracy would.
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  #240  
Old 03-01-2012, 11:18 AM
Lumpy Lumpy is offline
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I wouldn't draw the line, democracy would.
If only. What actually happens is that since the Revolution has to overthrow the Exploiters, if you vote to retain private property that brands you as one of the bourgeois, and therefore your vote doesn't count.

BTW, if it sounds like I keep setting up strawmen I'm sorry, but the whole history of Anarchism/Socialism is one long slippery slope of betrayal of ideals. First, Proudhon advocated that something like mass disobedience on the part of the masses could ignore the state out of existence. Then Bakunin declared that since the exploiting class would never go quietly, that an actual revolution was necessary. Bakunin's insistence that the Revolution had to come spontaneously from the masses was denied by Marx, who claimed that the masses had to be educated and regimented by a revolutionary cadre, who would decide which beliefs fit Socialism and which didn't. To win the Russian Civil War, the Bolsheviks had to found the Soviet Union by killing anyone who opposed the Party, and anyone who disagreed with the Party's political and ideological goals was automatically marginalized. Then, since in a revolutionary nation ideology equals power, factions played holier-than-thou and eliminated their political rivals by having them purged, ending up with Stalin as the Pope of Soviet Communism.

It just doesn't do any good to say "But that's not Anarchism" when the whole process has happened once already and no one can offer a plausible mechanism how you could avoid repeating it. Oscar Wilde presciently said that "If governments are to be armed with economic power", "if in a word, we are to have Industrial Tyrannies, then the last state of man will be worse than the first".
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  #241  
Old 03-01-2012, 04:02 PM
Untoward_Parable Untoward_Parable is offline
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If only. What actually happens is that since the Revolution has to overthrow the Exploiters, if you vote to retain private property that brands you as one of the bourgeois, and therefore your vote doesn't count.

BTW, if it sounds like I keep setting up strawmen I'm sorry, but the whole history of Anarchism/Socialism is one long slippery slope of betrayal of ideals. First, Proudhon advocated that something like mass disobedience on the part of the masses could ignore the state out of existence. Then Bakunin declared that since the exploiting class would never go quietly, that an actual revolution was necessary. Bakunin's insistence that the Revolution had to come spontaneously from the masses was denied by Marx, who claimed that the masses had to be educated and regimented by a revolutionary cadre, who would decide which beliefs fit Socialism and which didn't. To win the Russian Civil War, the Bolsheviks had to found the Soviet Union by killing anyone who opposed the Party, and anyone who disagreed with the Party's political and ideological goals was automatically marginalized. Then, since in a revolutionary nation ideology equals power, factions played holier-than-thou and eliminated their political rivals by having them purged, ending up with Stalin as the Pope of Soviet Communism.

It just doesn't do any good to say "But that's not Anarchism" when the whole process has happened once already and no one can offer a plausible mechanism how you could avoid repeating it. Oscar Wilde presciently said that "If governments are to be armed with economic power", "if in a word, we are to have Industrial Tyrannies, then the last state of man will be worse than the first".
Not sure how voting to retain private property means your vote doesn't count. If you don't win that vote you still got to have your say and your one person one vote like everyone else. If you're only happy with democracy when you win on your issues it doesn't sound like you actually like democracy other than for the veneer of legitimacy it provides. (Like most modern leaders in so-called democracies do today. Plenty of mechanisms to prevent an actual reflection of the people's wishes from happening.)

Socialism in it's current iterations are little better than more strongly capitalistic societies, both have their wealthy elite preventing the people from making real choices and simply baste their populations in slightly different docility/obedience tonics.

The history of movements proporting to be populist is a frustrating one, but that's true through all spectra of political movements. Every system has promised to elevate humankind and each has been designed/driven to diminish them instead.

Marx has proven to be a boon to authoritarians all over the world but democracy has rarely if ever been significant in those societies. Call a political/economic system whatever you like but if democracy isn't present it's just privileged families pulling strings every time, sometimes with more brutal results than others.

The comforting elixir we bathe in in western societies may seem secure but it comes at a price and is much more tenuous than it seems. In the US people are taught from birth to devalue one another and themselves, to sell themselves and their integrity in worse ways than a prostitute could ever match. We are pushed toward ignorance, stupidity, idolatry, empty distraction and fear constantly by the commercial-social web around us. The platitudes are all hollow and only meant to maintain obedience and confusion. Individualism is probably the most effective and meaningless. In this dawn of transcendent technology the potential for disaster in massive. It doesn't even require a mistake like nuclear war or global warming to annihilate any state of security we now feel. Artificial intelligence and robotics will eliminate the need for 99.9% of the population of the planet and then most people become only an obstacle for the entrenched elite to dispatch before moving forward into their utopia: The one where they no longer need the genetically similar cattle to feed off of, the cattle that always present a risk to their domination.

I agree that the road forward is difficult and even unlikely. Most probably we are doomed but my thinking will not allow me to settle for the transient luxury of pretending things are ok for now and that a better way should not be strived for.

I would like to mention again that I think the current system vs many potential anarchist models is vastly inferior in efficiency in all but special cases. For one the potential of humanity is being stunted by a short-sighted sequester of information. Proprietary information needed for the current incarnation of capitalism prevent the easy and free flow of relevant knowledge that could be used by interested people all over the world to develop new technologies and follow fewer misguided projects. To encourage innovation without this limitation a system of reward by society to innovators could be adopted that would allow all people access. The economic models of deception (marketing) are causing massive problems in health, education, family, community, environment, government ect.

Elites would prefer efficiency if it didn't cost them dominance, but when it does they do not care whatsoever for it. Better to be king of a lesser society than just another person in a better one. (In their minds)

Last edited by Untoward_Parable; 03-01-2012 at 04:03 PM..
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