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  #51  
Old 03-07-2020, 07:43 PM
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A common technique of the Austrian "anarcho-capitalists" that visit here on occasion is the lengthy, empty citation of extensive partisan libraries.

We've actually seen it many times on the boards, dozens of libertarian books listed by an ideologue who only reads people they predominantly agree with. Echo chamber. If a point is mentioned in the partisan library, then it has been successfully "refuted" in their minds. Never mind that if they try to discuss mainstream thought, they can't actually manage to do it. Never mind that their moral intuitions don't match that of most of the rest of the population.

They don't know what other people think, because they don't actually listen to anyone who fairly represents a viewpoint outside of their bubble.

But I'll give those Austrian an-caps one point in their favor. They almost always make a sincere attempt to explain their silly ideas, in addition to dropping their circle-jerk list of books. The explication is never intelligent. But it's clear that they are deeply, even religiously, sincere, and they put in some minimum effort to share their good news. That's more than some others can say.

My thanks to those in this thread who have genuinely tried to explain what they believe, rather than hand-waving the task away. I still have no understanding of anarchism, but the attempt at least is appreciated.
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Old 03-07-2020, 07:54 PM
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this easy, digestible primer (which nevertheless is cited and full of further avenues of inquiry) could be a start.
Can you recommend a primer that we can read rather than watch?
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Old 03-07-2020, 09:09 PM
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Fascinating to hear what sort of government should be in place to ensure that there's no government in place.
BZZZZT. AGAIN.

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Can you recommend a primer that we can read rather than watch?
https://crimethinc.com/2017/11/28/fi...archist-primer

It's a bit on the flowery side I'm afraid, but does contain organically-sourced thought nutrients.
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Old 03-08-2020, 12:07 AM
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Were anarcho-syndicalism a viable political-social-economic system, wouldn't we see some surviving examples?
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Old 03-08-2020, 04:38 AM
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Were anarcho-syndicalism a viable political-social-economic system, wouldn't we see some surviving examples?
Were answering questions a viable method of fighting ignorance, wouldn't we see people stop asking the same ones over and over again ?
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Old 03-12-2020, 05:32 PM
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https://crimethinc.com/2017/11/28/fi...archist-primer

It's a bit on the flowery side I'm afraid, but does contain organically-sourced thought nutrients.
Organically-sourced thought nutrients?

I am so stealing this!
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Old 03-13-2020, 09:24 AM
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https://crimethinc.com/2017/11/28/fi...archist-primer

It's a bit on the flowery side I'm afraid, but does contain organically-sourced thought nutrients.
Cow manure is an organically sourced nutrient.

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Old 03-13-2020, 03:09 PM
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I will say "thought nutrients" is an apt phrase. Agree or disagree, it's definitely food fot thought.

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Old 03-14-2020, 12:26 AM
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I am so stealing this!
Use it in good health and with my blessings
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Old 03-14-2020, 12:28 AM
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Cow manure is an organically sourced nutrient.

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Well, it's your brain, man, you go fill it with whatever you prefer
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Old 03-18-2020, 11:35 AM
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Were anarcho-syndicalism a viable political-social-economic system, wouldn't we see some surviving examples?
The only viable ways for society to organize itself are those which currently exist? Or only those that have been tried at one time or another in the past? So there are exactly zero ways to improve, and the only option is to tread the same ground over and over?
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Old 03-18-2020, 12:22 PM
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https://crimethinc.com/2017/11/28/fi...archist-primer

It's a bit on the flowery side I'm afraid, but does contain organically-sourced thought nutrients.
You're a smart guy, you can't possibly take that seriously. I mean, it's like the Plan 9 from Outer Space of political manifestos. Every sentence is risible.

Life is short so I will pick one:
Quote:
Skip down the street if you’re happy, burn down a building if it outrages you.
No one objects to skipping, but what if it's my building? What if it's a building I need? What if "you" are militantly anti-abortion, and the building is a clinic?

Every sentence in the manifesto is equally dumb. It's long on platitudes and has no specifics. It talks about love and revolution, but not about infrastructure or health care. It speaks of individuals going their own way and tells them what to do. (To be fair it comes close to acknowledging the last point, but then hand-waves it.) It talks about non-violence, but then praises violence, including political assassination. It talks about how we have non-hierarchical gatherings and forgets that these take place within a hierarchical society.

Shit, right now we are living through the perfect example of why Anarchism is stupid. Let me talk about DC, where I live. Experts warned us to start practicing social distancing some time ago. Saturday, March 12th the bars were packed. There were massive St. Paddy's day (Observed) bar crawls. The next day local government imposed severe restrictions on bars and restaurants, and Tuesday closed them except for carry-out/delivery. This was a drastic measure that will save lives and protect our overburdened health care system. It's obvious the people weren't going to do this on their own. I can't see how an anarchist system would have dealt with the situation.
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Old 03-18-2020, 12:38 PM
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Too late to edit, but that bit about Darius and the Scythians is pure fiction. They cribbed it from Herodotus, not the most reliable narrator, and then they left out bits of Herodotus that were inconvenient. The Scythians did employ a strategy of strategic withdrawal, but they fought hard too. Their mounted archers were ferocious and skilled. They had kings who planned strategy. And Darius probably never intended to conquer them completely. (Yes, I did get all this from Google.)
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Old 03-20-2020, 06:51 AM
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I don't care if they call themselves anarchists or include vacuous statements like "chaos is order" in their manifesto, but you should definitely not listen to people advocating violence and assassination, if that's what they are really into.

In times of plague one hopes that the hypothetical anarchist city hosts as many health-care professionals per capita as any other city; I certainly would if I lived there.
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Old 03-21-2020, 01:39 PM
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You're a smart guy
You can't prove that .
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Old 03-21-2020, 03:02 PM
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It talks about how we have non-hierarchical gatherings and forgets that these take place within a hierarchical society.
And ? Does that make these gatherings any less non-hierarchical ? Does hierarchy have transitive properties ?
I mean, unless I miss your point, by that token you could say that anarchist thought or behaviour is in fact impossible because anarchists have grown up and live within hierarchical societies... but that would be a little daft to be saying.

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Shit, right now we are living through the perfect example of why Anarchism is stupid. Let me talk about DC, where I live. Experts warned us to start practicing social distancing some time ago. Saturday, March 12th the bars were packed. There were massive St. Paddy's day (Observed) bar crawls. The next day local government imposed severe restrictions on bars and restaurants, and Tuesday closed them except for carry-out/delivery. This was a drastic measure that will save lives and protect our overburdened health care system. It's obvious the people weren't going to do this on their own. I can't see how an anarchist system would have dealt with the situation.
Simple : anarchy is absolutely community-minded, and responsible - because we owe it to ourselves, and the people around us, and because *it's tangibly and objectively better that way, for everyone in the community*. The last thing one could ever accuse anarchists of is not *giving a shit*. Sometimes about the wrong shit, often aimlessly or misguidedly, but never without passion & conviction.

I'm an anarchist, quite possibly the most self-involved person you've never met, and I reserve the absolute right to break any rule or law the point or method I don't agree with... yet I wouldn't dream of breaking confinement (and wish, in fact, it had been clearly asked for much sooner - but much like in the US, in France reassuring the markets & preserving "the economy" was more urgent than protecting the people*. Which is insane even from a capitalist/greed point of view, since the people's work is what creates an economy in the first place...). In fact, right now it's causing a large strain on my love life because my (very recently) significant other lives on the other side of the city - but I refuse to go to hers and, while she's of course free to come to mine I've asked her to please not. We miss each other a lot, and sadness & frustration has a way to turn into anger or resentment...

And the reason I'm a large-federation-of-microcommunes kind of anar' is precisely because of shit like this : it's easy to be "brave" and not realise the impact of one's behaviour ; it's easy to listen to your immediate wants and emotional needs regardless of their impact on society when "society" is such an almost impossibly large thing to bear in mind or have empathy towards, when it's so easy to feel like ultimately nothing you do really matters because you're a drop in the sea so whatever, when you can imagine assholes doing "it" (whatever stupid or nefarious thing "it" might be) and so if they get to do it why not you ?, when you don't realize that "without drastically changing behaviours, vulnerable people *will* die" really means that going out for a pint means you might just cause the death of Mrs. Smith, the little old lady who keeps bringing cookies to the community meetings, and anyway you wouldn't want to give Mr. Jones the pub owner who knows your name a nasty flu. Also, informational trust is much easier to come by when "the government" is palpably, demonstrably and very practically "us" rather than some orange fuckface who lies all the time and diminishes trust in *every* institution, or profiteers keeping information secret long enough to make a quick buck out it and fuck all o' y'alls ; and when the doctor standing up at the podium to tell you not to be a fuckwit and stay home has treated your dad, your mum, and you for as long as you can remember and you know he's not trying to con you, isn't an imbecile, or a panicking headless chicken, or whatever reason people come up with not to listen to almost literally EVERY HEALTH PROFESSIONAL AROUND.

The situation you've observed in DC ; which is the same I've seen in Paris ; is not anarchy. At all. It's, in fact a direct result of hierarchy & capitalsim : mutual mistrust, resentment & defiance of authority because authority is clearly not on the side of the whole community and hasn't ever been, ignorance bred by hierarchy (some deliberately, some institutionally, some a byproduct of who gets to put the boot on whom and why), and on and on.
I don't believe for a minute it's "human nature", either. That just a lazy cop out.

*8 days (EIGHT DAYS) before the national lockdown, our President made a big show of going to the theatre with his wife to encourage people to live their best lives, go out, consume, not be afraid. 3 days before lockdown he was giving sermons on the irresponsibility of people still going out. 2 days AFTER lockdown he's now pressuring people to go back to work... UGH don't get me fucking started, my chronic lowkey derisive spite against him and his possee of greedy, pitiful clowns has turned into an acutely burning rage over the past weeks.
  #67  
Old 03-21-2020, 08:42 PM
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What Kobal2 said
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Old 03-22-2020, 10:00 AM
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And ? Does that make these gatherings any less non-hierarchical ? Does hierarchy have transitive properties ?
I mean, unless I miss your point, by that token you could say that anarchist thought or behaviour is in fact impossible because anarchists have grown up and live within hierarchical societies... but that would be a little daft to be saying.
OK, what i meant was simply that a dinner party can be as non-hierarchical as the folks want, but they can still draw on city services as needed. If there's an emergency they can call 911 (Or the equivalent where you live). When they are done cleaning up, they take out the trash and recycling and know that the city will pick it up later that week.

But another thing occured to me after posting. Dinner parties do have a hierarchy: Host and guest. The host can lay down rules and the guests either comply or leave. Usually the rules are pretty mild, like "Please remove shoes on entering house," But they're still rules. If you embarrassed by your ugly feet, you should decline the invite. The host can ask people to leave if they are causing problems, which has happened at a couple of parties I've been to.

I'll respond to the rest of the post in general.

You say that saying 'Human nature" is a cop-out. I have no idea how to respond to that other than to say "have you met humans?" Agent K was right. A person is smart. It's not that people are assholes. Most people are pretty cool. But there are a few genuine dangerous assholes out there and they can cause a lot of harm.

But the assholes aren't the big problem. The problem is the good people who are short sighted and, well, human. We aren't good at abstracting things.

Another Covid story. (And by the way, props to you for sacrificing your love life. Seriously.) I was taking my daily sanity walk the other day. Not best practice itself, I know. While I walked through the park I saw 5 guys practicing MMA, including close quarter boxing and grappling. I don't know these guys, but I doubt they were bad people. They seemed to take their sport seriously, they were encouraging each other and practicing safety. I'll bet if they saw someone in distress they would stop their training and render assistance. It's just at this point the whole virus thing is just too vague to comprehend.

During the early days of the AIDS crisis, health leaders begged gay men to stay out of bath houses. There was a revolt. And you know what, I'm sympathetic to the Gay men of the early 80s. They'd just gained a measure of social acceptance, they could be themselves without fear of arrest, and now that was being taken away from them because of some abstract thing they couldn't see? Fuck that. Eventually cities just closed the places. I'm even sympathetic to the spring breakers being mocked in the pit. They'll age out of spring breaks in a few years, this one time of their life is being stolen from them by this invisible thing? Again, fuck that.

It's a tragedy of the commons situation. People are unwilling to make major changes to be a tiny part of the good.

I'm talking about plague stories because that's what's happening now, but there are countless similar examples. Public parks without anti-litter ordinances and trash removal become a sea of garbage. Without draconian drunk driving laws people will drink and drive because how else are they going to get home from the bar. They've made it home safe so far. Again these people aren't bad in general. The litterers and the drunks may be absolute sweethearts, generous and kind. They just aren't willing to sacrifice a lot.

And this just isn't going to go away if we establish an anarchist society. It just isn't. People aren't all going to conform to the values of the lefty punk scene 1979-1986. Hell, I remember that scene and people in it didn't conform to those values.

And that brings me to point number two. How does this all work, exactly? How do you transition to this society and how do you maintain the large complicated processes of industrial/post-industrial society?

Transition: How do you change from what we have now to the society your manifesto outlined. Most people like having a fire department and city garbage services. Most people don't want your society. The only way to persuade them is to go full on Khmer Rouge. We're going to have a society of peace and love and anyone who doesn't comply will be shot.

Or persuade me otherwise. How does the transition work? Please give details.

Also, once the society is (somehow) established, how do the complicated things work?
You talk about a trusted family doctor. How did she become a doctor? How do you know she's qualified? Who decides where the highways go and maintains them. Don't say everyone. That's absurd on a planet with 7 billion people and you know it.

Say some people think having a high speed train in California is a good idea. Let's say there's a vote. It wins! Who plans the route? Who builds the thing--a complicated structure which needs expertise? Who assesses environmental impact?

There's a section in the manifesto that's actually called "Who collects the garbage" which is the stupidest part of a stupid manifesto. It opens with an anecdote of people driving a bus after the driver quits. I have no idea what buses were like in late 30s Catalan, but the idea of someone driving a DC metrobus without training is terrifying and hilarious. Even skilled drivers need training and a licence. I've peeked at the controls and some are completely unfamiliar. I doubt Parisian buses are less complex.

Then the manifesto simply forgets the question it was supposed to answer. I've been trying to imagine everyone in a big city all trundling down to the city dump with their personal garbage. Even if you staggered the days (Who's doing the staggering?) the lines would be interminable. How much better to have an organized system covering the whole city with specialized trucks collecting and compacting the garbage.

Sorry, TLDR. Human nature is real, Society has too many moving parts to be left up to people most of whom have no idea what they are doing, and there is no way to get from here to there without appalling Khmer Rouge style violence.

Last edited by Larry Borgia; 03-22-2020 at 10:04 AM.
  #69  
Old 03-23-2020, 12:39 PM
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Simple : anarchy is absolutely community-minded, and responsible - because we owe it to ourselves, and the people around us, and because *it's tangibly and objectively better that way, for everyone in the community*. The last thing one could ever accuse anarchists of is not *giving a shit*. Sometimes about the wrong shit, often aimlessly or misguidedly, but never without passion & conviction.

I'm an anarchist, quite possibly the most self-involved person you've never met, and I reserve the absolute right to break any rule or law the point or method I don't agree with...
The reason anarchy can't work is that there are lots of laws and rules that have to be obeyed, even, perhaps even especially, by those who disagree with them.

If everybody were community-minded and responsible, and always did what was in the best interest of everyone, anarchy would work. So would any other form of government. But they aren't.

Some people are sociopaths. Most people put themselves and their families before strangers. Everyone, at least once in a while, thinks he can break the "rules" just this once and it won't be such a big deal.

If I get drunk and drive a car, I might be able to convince myself that I am OK to drive, and besides, probably nothing will happen this time. I will be especially careful. But there needs to be somebody whose job it is to stop me, whether I agree or not.

So what if there's a quarantine? I feel fine, and I haven't been exposed to anyone with the virus, and I wash my hands. And I feel like the risk is overblown anyway - this is worse than the flu, but we don't shut down our society whenever a new strain arises and we survive. IYSWIM.
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If men were angels, no government would be necessary.
They aren't, and they show no sign of becoming so.

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Shodan
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Old 03-24-2020, 06:10 PM
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It is because humans are not angels that the anarchist says we must eliminate the structures that give a small number power over the majority: no one can be trusted to rule another. And the fact is most of is live most of our lives without the need for hierarchy and command and authority. It’s only when the jerks have the power of capital and the state that they become political problems. YMMV
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Old 03-25-2020, 07:39 AM
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The jerks are going to take power whether we give it to them or not. That's the problem, and it's not just a political problem. If we don't give the state power to defend the hierarchy that we choose, we are going to get a hierarchy that we don't choose.

And it's not true that most of us live without hierarchy. In modern societies, everything you do is subject to a hierarchy one way or another. We live under the rule of law, which is maintained and defended by the hierarchy of police and courts and legislatures. We depend on governments to enforce contracts. We depend on the military to defend us against other, outside hierarchies. We work at jobs where some people manage and supervise and direct.

Hierarchy is inescapable. It's just a matter of which hierarchy, and what kind.

Regards,
Shodan
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Old 03-25-2020, 07:53 AM
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BZZZZT. AGAIN.
Defining someone to be wrong does not make them wrong.

But let's move on from that, as it's likely derailing and would cause undue consternation.

Let's talk about one simple question: How does an anarchist system prevent genocide?
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Old 03-25-2020, 08:01 AM
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You say that saying 'Human nature" is a cop-out. I have no idea how to respond to that other than to say "have you met humans?"
I don't know what Kobal2 meant specifically by saying that, but there is a deeper point to be made here, even with an honest acknowledgement of human nature.




Human perfection isn't necessary for a better society. I mean, look, are you perfect? Are you a faultless being? Probably not, right?

Now imagine an earth where every other person in the world gets replaced by a perfect copy of you. All your copies retain the skills of the people they replaced. Doctor-you's still know how to doctor. Truck-driver-you's still know how to turn a semi in cramped streets. The earth hasn't lost any essential skills. But everybody is all you, imperfect you. (With the added note that all of these copies of you don't lose their mind from boredom. All of y'all can psychologically handle the burden of not having anybody new to talk to.)

Now... do you still need a state like the one we currently have? You're not perfect, sure, but do you still need courts? Do you need prisons? Do you need a national legislature? What's interesting about this is that you would, very likely, benefit greatly from property rights and money. Some of y'all need to work in the sewers. How do you collectively decide that? Well, probably with compensatory wages. Stuff you don't mind doing earns less. Stuff you abhor (but which still requires years of specialization and training, so you can't split the chore every other weekend) earns a helluva lot more. This is one obvious way to be fair with yourselves. Money could still be incredibly useful. Traffic tickets, not so much.




Now, human nature. Yes. It exists. Suppose we start seeding the World Of You with people who are Not You. We drop them in a few hundred at a time. Some of them are good people.

Others are not. Well.

We need to start talking about crime and punishment again. The Majority Of You should (I hope) want to be fair and impartial with the smattering of Not You's running around who occasionally commit crimes against the herd, or against each other. Now here's the issue: as you start to implement the normal features of a state, you're doing it from the opposite direction. Now you're implementing it from scratch, from the position of never having needed it at all.

So. Does all this state capacity have to look exactly like what we have now? Or can it be better? More fair? More Just? More in line with the society you had when it was all imperfect you's running around and nobody else? The Tragedy of the Commons is real. Prisoner's Dilemmas are out there all over the place. Yes. They are. Societies need practical ways to deal with these kinds of coordination problems among people who are not perfect copies of each other. But I think a key failing of our present system -- which we see play out over and over and over again -- is the presumption of Political Authority as a rightful thing in and of itself, rather than the limited solution to the limited numbers of problems which can't be solved in any other fashion.

The institutions you create for yourselves in a World Of You which happen to work out just fine when the Not You's show up would just, naturally, continue working without much interruption. You wouldn't have to fix anything. If working in the sewer earns more than brain surgery, well then, that's just how the world works because the sewer workers need compensated for the expertise they rather wished they didn't have. It would only be in those cases when your institutions did not work that you'd have the misfortune to bring out heavier tools to solve those problems. But the key here is that those heavy tools of state capacity would be used only for those specific cases where they were suddenly needed. All of y'all wouldn't even imagine thinking them up, until you were faced with a problem that couldn't seem to be solved any other way. And even then, a World Of You would (I hope) try to dream up the least coercive measure that would do the trick. You would pick the least heavy of the heavy tools available.

That is not what we do right now. Not even close.

The full coercive might of state power is brought to bear on many problems where it isn't remotely clear that it's necessary, and even in some problems where it's perfectly clear that it's not remotely necessary. There are many types of coordination failures in this world, many kinds of Tragedies and not just of the Commons. But that does not automatically mean that direct involvement of the state is either necessary, or even sufficient, to solve every single one of these coordination failures. There might be better solutions, at least for some of them, if we as a society were more willing to look for less-coercive alternatives.
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Old 03-25-2020, 01:35 PM
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Hellestal, I have to say when I asked how we transition to the new society, "Make everybody a clone of Larry Borgia" was not an answer I was expecting.
I think there would be a sustainability problem since it would be hard for me to reproduce by myself. Believe me, I've tried! And as a heterosexual and a person who likes women, I would miss them. Unless half of my clones were women. I dunno. I'm an average looking guy, but I think I'd make a really strange woman.

I Kid I kid.

Seriously though, you do not want to pick me for your template citizen. I'm not a great person. I don't think I'm a monster, but I'm very very self absorbed. I'm probably somewhere just on the back half of the bell curve of human decency. Honestly I think Kobal would make a better human template. Maybe that's why I'm more cynical about human nature than he is.

Anyway, all joking aside, I don't think we're in too much disagreement. I know I've been arguing the case for a state in this thread, but I'm well aware of its failings, which are numerous and terrible and growing worse with the new spread of authoritarianism around the globe. (That said, this trend rises from the people. Orban, Duterte, Erdogan, Trump and the rest all have a good deal of popular support. They aren't aliens who seized power over the objections of the people.) I'm all in favor of non-violence, cooperation, and a weak constrained state and the rule of law. But a constrained state is still a state. Coercion as a last resort is still coercion.

The bars in DC wouldn't have closed on their own. Not because the people involved are bad people. I hope they're not because I'm friends with a number of them! But the businesses want their money, the customers want a good time, and the virus is this unreal abstraction that has killed a whopping two people here. The only way this necessary step would have happened is by mayoral order.

Again, it's not the truly bad people that are the problem. I can see how a decentralized community could deal with murderers and rapists. But I can't see how they would deal with ordinary slobs like me. The original tragedy of the commons fable had about 10 people grazing their cattle on a commons. I can see how the ten people could come to an agreement and enforce it by social sanctions and persuasion. But I can't see that working with ten million people.

And also, we need some sort of organization for large projects like rail, highways, the internet, hospitals etc. Someone's got to make the decisions about who does what and what goes where. I have yet to see an anarchist propose a detailed solution to this problem. We need some sort of mix of state and private sector to create and maintain the things that people want in a post industrial society.
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Old 03-25-2020, 02:39 PM
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I think there would be a sustainability problem since it would be hard for me to reproduce by myself. Believe me, I've tried!
Heh.

But actually, the evolutionary angle is precisely the most interesting wrinkle in the thought experiment.

After game theory was developed for economic purposes, it was adopted by biologists to try to understand evolutionary equilibria. And honestly, the biologists do a better job with it than economists manage. Still, there is a long and deep inter-relationship betwen the two fields, going back to Adam Smith's influence on Malthus, and Malthus's influence on Darwin. The type of thinking really is similar.

It's much easier to understand why human beings have such deep coordination failures, when you can see why other species have had the potential for similar failures in their own evolutionary history. An economy consisting of perfect copies of one individual is fake, manufactured, did not evolve, and so was never subject to the biological and resource trade-offs that create such implacable coordination problems that plague real-world species. Like us.

I go back to this thought experiment quite a lot. I think it highlights certain aspects of the problem very well.
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Old 03-26-2020, 02:30 PM
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That actually all sounds interesting, Hellestal. Do you have any reading recommendations?

I'm still a little lost on the "You world." Is the idea that since I know what I'd do in any situation, I could predict and trust the actions of the other "mes?"

Last edited by Larry Borgia; 03-26-2020 at 02:31 PM.
  #77  
Old 03-26-2020, 03:19 PM
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Let's talk about one simple question: How does an anarchist system prevent genocide?
How do capitalist hierarchies do it ? Or rather, can you give a single example of one they have, in fact, ever prevented ? (the number they have enabled is, of course, pretty much all of them)

BTW Larry don't think I've forgotten you. A no doubt overly long post is slowly percolating in the ol' headmeat, but other concerns keep distracting me...
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Old 03-26-2020, 04:19 PM
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How do capitalist hierarchies do it ? Or rather, can you give a single example of one they have, in fact, ever prevented ? (the number they have enabled is, of course, pretty much all of them)

BTW Larry don't think I've forgotten you. A no doubt overly long post is slowly percolating in the ol' headmeat, but other concerns keep distracting me...
No rush. I'm literally not going anywhere.
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Old 03-26-2020, 04:42 PM
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How do capitalist hierarchies do it ? Or rather, can you give a single example of one they have, in fact, ever prevented ? (the number they have enabled is, of course, pretty much all of them)
Attacking another system does nothing to burnish yours.

More to the point, it does nothing to answer the question.

Therefore, what you posted is utterly irrelevant and without substance. Do you have any answer to my question?
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Old 03-26-2020, 05:16 PM
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Attacking another system does nothing to burnish yours.

More to the point, it does nothing to answer the question.

Therefore, what you posted is utterly irrelevant and without substance. Do you have any answer to my question?
Well, there's a fairly obvious answer to this question. A genocide needs a state to happen. Without the Nazi state there may have been individual attacks on Jews and even localized pogroms, but there would have been no Auschwitz. Without the Ottoman empire there would have been no genocide of the Armenians.

I mean, I've been arguing against anarchy in this thread, but on this point the anarchists win. Genocide needs a state to conduct it, just as a state is necessary for any highly complex social system.
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Old 03-26-2020, 06:09 PM
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That actually all sounds interesting, Hellestal. Do you have any reading recommendations?
This particular hypothetical, I came up with myself.

If you mean reading suggestions about coordination problems in general, Scott Alexander's Meditations on Moloch (long) is a good discussion from the tech-salvation perspective. I don't think all of his examples are quite apposite ("capitalism" is good or bad depending on how it's defined), but the essential importance of the idea is there.


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I'm still a little lost on the "You world." Is the idea that since I know what I'd do in any situation, I could predict and trust the actions of the other "mes?"
Yes. Exactly.

You underestimate your own success in a World Of You. Your ability to precisely predict what yourselves would do, and to implicitly trust those predictions, is RIDICULOUSLY valuable. On every level, in every way. World-Of-You global GDP (Gross World Product) would be at least double our regular Earth's within ten years.

Look at a Prisoner's Dilemma-style situation, except with a psychopath playing against a perfect copy of himself. Here's the key point of the situation: Each version cares only for himself, not for his copy. He'd be perfectly indifferent watching his copy burn to cinders. Yet he knows that his copy is a perfect copy. Each copy cares for only his own sentence, not the other's sentence, but they understand each other clearly. What do they do?

The Nash equilibrium here is that they each rat the other out. Both confess. This does worse for both of them than if they both stay quiet, but if one stays quiet, the other has incentive to rat. But if one is tempted to rat, then what about the other who is just like him?

This is a Newcomb-style problem.

I'd say that anyone who suggests the "rational" action for the psychopath to take is to rat himselves out is operating with a philosophically naive decision theory. The ability to predict the specific thought processes of the other to such an astounding degree should, at least for an intelligent person, change the calculus of the situation. Even for psychopaths. A person who can't coordinate with a perfect copy isn't merely lacking in empathy. He's just fucking stupid. And frankly, I think this is a common thread for real-world coordination problems. We are, as a species, not quite smart enough to think ourselves out of these problems. Frankly I doubt we ever will be.

We suffer, not just from a lack of empathy but from a lack of imagination.
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Old 03-26-2020, 06:23 PM
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Well, there's a fairly obvious answer to this question. A genocide needs a state to happen.
If you define any group capable of organized action to be a state, then that's obvious. However, anarchists don't; otherwise, they'd have to equally admit that their system would be incapable of roads or hospitals or anything else beyond what a single person or small family could accomplish. As a matter of fact, I'm more in line with your implied definition, but not to the benefit of anarchism: Anarchism is Majoritarianism in a funny mask, and suffers from all the same problems, including being unable to stop a majority from being horribly discriminatory against minorities.

As far as I'm concerned, any Anarchist system is founded on a lie, that lie being the notion that individual rights will be preserved without a rule-bound authority capable of exercising coercion. I maintain that Anarchism would have such a coercive authority, but one which is utterly uninterested in rules and, therefore, extremely dangerous to any individual the majority decided was bad. In short, Anarchism is Warlordism, and trying to convince me I'm wrong because someone defined Anarchism differently won't work.
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Old 03-26-2020, 06:37 PM
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Well, there's a fairly obvious answer to this question. A genocide needs a state to happen. Without the Nazi state there may have been individual attacks on Jews and even localized pogroms, but there would have been no Auschwitz. Without the Ottoman empire there would have been no genocide of the Armenians.

I mean, I've been arguing against anarchy in this thread, but on this point the anarchists win. Genocide needs a state to conduct it, just as a state is necessary for any highly complex social system.
Yup. I figured my answer implied as much, but apparently not clearly enough.

Besides, the question itself is begging the question : prevent *what* genocide ? The hell ae you even talking about, Derleth ? Is your question :
- how does an anarchist society prevent itself from committing a genocide (which is a non-starter, as an anarchist society by definition rejects any individual proposing violence or deprivations of liberty, to say nothing of organizing violence, mass incarcerations etc...) ; or

- how does an anarchist society prevents itself from being genocided ? (by force of arms if need be, how else ?) ; or

- how does it prevent a third party from genociding another, different third party ? Which isn't a fair question at all, esp. considering the track record of capitalist hierarchies in that regard. Anarchist communities can't disprove Russell's teapot, either, the useless gits. I do however expect anarchists to be a lot more welcoming of people fleeing from genocide than capitalist hierarchies... just as I expect any anarchist would volunteer to defend or protect the genocided, as happens in every genocide, at various levels and to various extents (hint : hiding Jews in the attic, in defiance of the law and under pain of death, based on nothing more than your humanity and convictions and without anything to gain from it in return ? That's hella praxis.)
  #84  
Old 03-26-2020, 06:43 PM
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If you define any group capable of organized action to be a state, then that's obvious. However, anarchists don't; otherwise, they'd have to equally admit that their system would be incapable of roads or hospitals or anything else beyond what a single person or small family could accomplish. As a matter of fact, I'm more in line with your implied definition, but not to the benefit of anarchism: Anarchism is Majoritarianism in a funny mask, and suffers from all the same problems, including being unable to stop a majority from being horribly discriminatory against minorities.

As far as I'm concerned, any Anarchist system is founded on a lie, that lie being the notion that individual rights will be preserved without a rule-bound authority capable of exercising coercion. I maintain that Anarchism would have such a coercive authority, but one which is utterly uninterested in rules and, therefore, extremely dangerous to any individual the majority decided was bad. In short, Anarchism is Warlordism, and trying to convince me I'm wrong because someone defined Anarchism differently won't work.
Ah, yes, those brutal, genociding warlords of Freetown Christiania...
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Old 03-26-2020, 07:30 PM
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Ah, yes, those brutal, genociding warlords of Freetown Christiania...
One neighborhood in one city in one First World country is not an Anarchist polity.

Microstates aren't real. Microstates inside real, functioning states are especially not real. You might be able to make half of a case for Sealand, but a "state" which is ruled by the laws of a real state isn't even trying.

I am a Realist. I adhere to Realism. Therefore, I am not impressed by technicalities or argument-by-definition.

Also, you still haven't answered my question.
  #86  
Old 03-27-2020, 12:12 PM
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- how does an anarchist society prevent itself from committing a genocide (which is a non-starter, as an anarchist society by definition rejects any individual proposing violence or deprivations of liberty, to say nothing of organizing violence, mass incarcerations etc...)
WADR, this kind of misses the point. What structures are in place in an anarchist society to make the decision to "reject" those who want to employ violence stick, in any meaningful way?

Read the story of David and Nabal in the OT. David has been driven out by King Saul into the wilderness, outside the power of the established hierarchy because Saul thinks David is trying to take over. It's not exactly an anarchy, but it is an area outside the purview of the kingship. And David sets up as something in that murky area between a shadow police force, and a protection racket. That is, according to the story, he does actually offer protection for the locals against bandits and Philistines and so forth. But at sheep shearing time, he shows up at the local rich guy's place with a not very thinly veiled demand for some of the goodies. And notice how David reacts when Nabal, the Bad Guy, sends his messengers off with contempt instead of tribute. David gathers his followers together and prepares to attack Nabal and grab what he wants by force. This is not really voluntary in a meaningful sense - give David what he asks, or else.

Now, of course, Abigail, Nabal's wife, who obviously knows which side her bread is buttered on, immediately gathers lots of goodies and runs out to David before he can attack and hands it all over with a pretty apology for her husband's dumbness in offending someone who has the power to make him sorry. And then Nabal dies, David marries Abigail, and that is the start of David setting himself up as a semi-independent king over the region.

The area is not really an anarchy, but they cannot call on the state to rescue them. If King Saul had any control over the area, David wouldn't be hiding out there. But there is no hierarchy of force they can call on - David holds the monopoly on force, whether the locals like it, or not. David being the One True King, they like it, but that's not the point.

Groups need protectors, from threats within and threats without. That's why things like feudalism develop. The lord, with his armed warriors, both protects and exploits his subjects, and is in turn protected and exploited by those above him.

Nature abhors a vacuum, and a power vacuum is no different. Somehow or other, someone will fill the vacuum and set up the hierarchy. Ideally, it's something like a republic, where people get to pick, and have overarching control, over those exercising power. But the vacuum is going to be filled one way or other.

Regards,
Shodan
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