Anarchism

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anarchyisbliss
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Anarchism

Post by anarchyisbliss »

Is anarchism chaos? How is the chaos caused by anarchism different from the chaos found in any other society? Who here agrees with the philosophy of anarchism? Who doesn't? Why? Please use good arguments not just " ooh cause its stupid and we need government?
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Scott
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Post by Scott »

I consider myself an anarchist. To paraphrase Proudhon, I believe liberty is not the daughter but the mother of order.

Anarchism is not chaos. Archism is chaos. It is a chaotic society when people are trying to dominate each other and when people are offensively attacking each other. The lack of sociopolitical dominance is referred to as anarchy.

An anarchist society is one without chaos. It is a society in which people neither attack each other nor try to dominate each other. It is a society where people respect each other's freedom.
Henry David Thoreau wrote:I heartily accept the motto, 'That government is best which governs least'; and I should like to see it acted up to more rapidly and systematically. Carried out, it finally amounts to this, which also I believe--'That government is best which governs not at all'; and when men are prepared for it, that will be the kind of government which they will have.
Last edited by Scott on March 12th, 2008, 8:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
My entire political philosophy summed up in one tweet.

"The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master."

I believe spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) manifests as bravery, confidence, grace, honesty, love, and inner peace.
Invictus_88
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Post by Invictus_88 »

But do you think it possible?
anarchyisbliss
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Post by anarchyisbliss »

not at all because the poeple of all of these Imperial countries are too used to having an established order they wouldnt be used to the radical change
"If there is hope, it lies in the proles." - George Orwell, 1984
jrscott
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Post by jrscott »

Scott wrote:It is a chaotic society when people are trying to dominate each other and when people are offensively attacking each other. The lack of sociopolitical dominance is referred to as anarchism.

An anarchist society is one without chaos. It is a society in which people neither attack each other nor try to dominate each other. It is a society where people respect each other's freedom.
Do you honestly believe that a society without any government will be without attempts to dominate? Do you really think that self-interest vanishes with the establishment? I believe one of the priimary roles of the state is to lay down the basis upon which conflicts of individual interest are decided. The more democratically this basis is chosen, the better. But without any guidance, there is no discernible means of resolving disputes. To believe that people will unite behind a common goal, the greater good, or will abandon all attempts to impose their will upon others, is in my view fanciful. Anarchism could only lead to desirable outcomes if human nature were so noble and selfless that the need for a state would never have arisen at all.
redrighthand
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Post by redrighthand »

jrscott wrote:
Scott wrote:It is a chaotic society when people are trying to dominate each other and when people are offensively attacking each other. The lack of sociopolitical dominance is referred to as anarchism.

An anarchist society is one without chaos. It is a society in which people neither attack each other nor try to dominate each other. It is a society where people respect each other's freedom.
Do you honestly believe that a society without any government will be without attempts to dominate? Do you really think that self-interest vanishes with the establishment? I believe one of the priimary roles of the state is to lay down the basis upon which conflicts of individual interest are decided. The more democratically this basis is chosen, the better. But without any guidance, there is no discernible means of resolving disputes. To believe that people will unite behind a common goal, the greater good, or will abandon all attempts to impose their will upon others, is in my view fanciful. Anarchism could only lead to desirable outcomes if human nature were so noble and selfless that the need for a state would never have arisen at all.
Anarchism isn't the lack of government, per se. Instead, Anarchism is all about direct democracy and worker self management. Through this, each individual will be able to reap the sweat of their own brow instead of exploiting others and buying labor as cheaply as possible. Too many people aren't ready for for this pure, unadulterated form of democracy (see anarchist Catalonia and the Ukrainian Free Territory).


I'm sorry, but human nature is the worst example that people try to use to dismiss systems like Anarchism and Communism (which are very closely related). Human nature, if it even exists, is so fickle and filled with anomalies that it is impossible to even define it. Different people have different instincts that make them choose to behave differently. While some are social, some are antisocial. While some are greedy, some are generous. There are millions of examples that refute the existence of or popular notions of human nature.
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Scott
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Post by Scott »

Also, it's the very fact that humans aren't "noble" and "selfless" that means that no human can be trusted with the power of government. In fact, if humans were perfectly "noble" and "selfless," then government might work because governors would use their power to help people rather than oppress them. But that is not the case. People cannot be trusted with the a legal right to infringe on other people freedom. People cannot be trusted to govern other people.
My entire political philosophy summed up in one tweet.

"The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master."

I believe spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) manifests as bravery, confidence, grace, honesty, love, and inner peace.
Invictus_88
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Post by Invictus_88 »

Scott wrote:Also, it's the very fact that humans aren't "noble" and "selfless" that means that no human can be trusted with the power of government. In fact, if humans were perfectly "noble" and "selfless," then government might work because governors would use their power to help people rather than oppress them.

...

People cannot be trusted to govern other people.
More than that; if people were perfectly noble and selfless, then it's not that government might work, but that government may not even be necessary.

...

People can be trusted to govern other people, provided they can be rigorously held to account by the governed.
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Scott
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Post by Scott »

Invictus_88 wrote:People can be trusted to govern other people, provided they can be rigorously held to account by the governed.
If the so-called governors are rigorously held to account, then I would say they are not being trusted. Perhaps what you are calling government is what an anarchist would call non-governmental leadership.

In the political sense, I would only call it governance when the "governed" are offensively forced to obey the "government's" commands; and, in that case, the governed are not able to rigorously hold the government to account because if they object they are forced to submit.

To deal with people's natural non-selflessness, I believe the solution is to have a society in which no person or group can offensively coerce (i.e. govern) another person or group. Thus, it is up to each person to take care of themselves, and all interactions and organizations must be voluntarily formed. Since people tend to act out of self-interest, voluntary interactions and voluntarily-formed organizations would tend to be the most mutually beneficial.

I generally don't consider it 'governmental' to defend oneself or others from governance or archism. In other words, I feel it is compatible with anarchism to use defensive force to stop rapists, murders, batterers, etc.
My entire political philosophy summed up in one tweet.

"The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master."

I believe spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) manifests as bravery, confidence, grace, honesty, love, and inner peace.
Mike_A
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Morality within

Post by Mike_A »

I would say I was an Anarchist, but what 'Anarchist' means is one cause for contention.

Anarchists share the belief that people are good, and that morality is something within each of us; so I would disagree with those 'anarchists' that do not admit of Man's nobility (and Womans); this, of course, is not to say that there is a code of morality, or a morality that each Individual ought to adhere to - nothing of the sort- it is a Morality that is unwritten, that is not an authority over other Anarchists - however, it is a morality that each Anarchist will recognize, that is to say, the 'Morality imbibed within each Individual.'

It is difficult to say what a 'government' would look like in an anarchist society or community - because the way people understand 'government' is out of kilter with 'Anarchy' as the epicentre of its meaning is a Non-hierarchical community of Individuals all co-operating.
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Re: Morality within

Post by Daniel Owen »

Mike_A wrote:I would say I was an Anarchist, but what 'Anarchist' means is one cause for contention.

Anarchists share the belief that people are good, and that morality is something within each of us
I disagree. I'm an anarchist because I'm a pessimist about human nature. I think the State allows people to get dangerous amounts of power.
It is difficult to say what a 'government' would look like in an anarchist society or community - because the way people understand 'government' is out of kilter with 'Anarchy' as the epicentre of its meaning is a Non-hierarchical community of Individuals all co-operating.
Well, government from the bottom up is what I'm for. Stronger government, too, with tougher justice. A free society cannot exist if it tolerates threats to freedom. Community self-rule, economic self-management -- that's what anarchism means to me.
"What does not kill me, makes me stronger." Friedrich Nietzsche
Mike_A
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Re: Morality within

Post by Mike_A »

Daniel Owen wrote:
I disagree. I'm an anarchist because I'm a pessimist about human nature. I think the State allows people to get dangerous amounts of power.
Well, there are many 'pessimists' out there, but not all are anarchists. You should have more than this reason for being an anarchist.

The 'State' allows? How do you figure?

Well, government from the bottom up is what I'm for. Stronger government, too, with tougher justice. A free society cannot exist if it tolerates threats to freedom. Community self-rule, economic self-management -- that's what anarchism means to me.
'Justice' is one of the concepts that is often grappled, and it isn't easily achieved in any agreed form. Your idea of justice may be a threat to my freedom, however I will remain an anarchist.
Daniel Owen
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Re: Morality within

Post by Daniel Owen »

Mike_A wrote:
Daniel Owen wrote:
I disagree. I'm an anarchist because I'm a pessimist about human nature. I think the State allows people to get dangerous amounts of power.
Well, there are many 'pessimists' out there, but not all are anarchists. You should have more than this reason for being an anarchist.
I'm a consistent pessimist. The utopian fairy-tale spun by Marxists would be nice to believe, but I don't because I'm a pessimist. The bottom line is "liberty, equality, fraternity."
The 'State' allows? How do you figure?
Seems obvious. great power is concentrated in the hands of a tiny minority.

Well, government from the bottom up is what I'm for. Stronger government, too, with tougher justice. A free society cannot exist if it tolerates threats to freedom. Community self-rule, economic self-management -- that's what anarchism means to me.
'Justice' is one of the concepts that is often grappled, and it isn't easily achieved in any agreed form. Your idea of justice may be a threat to my freedom, however I will remain an anarchist.
Ah, but things aren't relative.
"What does not kill me, makes me stronger." Friedrich Nietzsche
Dewey
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Anarchism

Post by Dewey »

anarchyisbliss asks: “Is anarchism chaos?”

The answer depends on how you define anarchism. Originally, it meant absence of government, plain and simple. Under that definition, yes, it is chaos. The world has chaos; it lacks a world government. The U.S. has order; it has a national government. (That is not to say we have utter chaos or complete order. Everything is relative.)

Most anarchists have retreated from their espousal of absolutely no government or other collective authority. If I understand them correctly, now they would like to replace our coercive form of government with a non-coercive form involving local cooperative groups such as assemblies and councils. They believe that the people, thus freed from the harsh controls of formal government, would accomplish their common purposes more efficiently and harmoniously. Under such an arrangement, their answer is that no, it is not chaos.

The anarchists’ search for a better way is certainly to be applauded. They get my “E” for intent and effort. But it just won’t work. Indeed, I fear it would lead to national chaos.

As poorly as our government now is serving us, we must remember it is still the government of, by, and for us. The ogre-in-chief is us. We are choosing those incapable or unjust servants. We are allowing them to stick around as long they don’t harm me more than you. We have a democracy with representative government and separation of powers. Our forefathers made it work pretty well. If we educate ourselves to their level of knowledge and resolve, we can too.

Or consider, on the other hand, our prospects in the kinder, gentler environment of the anarchy. We rid ourselves of the government miscreants who served us so poorly. We do the job ourselves when and how as we decide, unhampered by restrictive laws and officials. The anarchists expect that, with this new liberty, all individuals will experience improvement in their human nature. Everyone will be less selfish, more respectful of the human rights of others. That, the anarchists conclude, is how we will more efficiently and harmoniously accomplish our common purposes.

The advantage of anarchism is the greater reliance that can be placed on commitments that are voluntary rather than forced. More individuals may promise to respect the rights of others and fewer will recant. Nevertheless, as under a system of coercive laws, a great many of us will fail to truly reform in this respect. (The religious ones voluntarily go to church, confess their sins, and promise to do better -- the same people week after week after week.)

Was it was Socrates who thought people would educate themselves to realize that happiness was observing the rights of others? Well, we’re not there some 2,000 years later, and it doesn’t look like we will get there for at least another few thousand. In the meanwhile, we will best save ourselves from utter failure – and chaos – by hanging on to our firm rules and laws and the agencies that enforce them.


Dewey
craig hambo
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Post by craig hambo »

hi scott i agree with you (as always)but i feel the fundamental floor in anarchy is education.
when i mention im an anarchist peoples eyes usually light up in the fear im going to burn their car and violently rob them until i can explain the basics of the belief.
unfortunately it is the media which has hijacked the name and misrepresented it to help fuel the fear the run on.
the internet is the best hope of getting the true meaning of anrchy to those who otherwise may only be subjected to the corporate media.

thanks craig :D :idea:
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