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Subject: The Anarchism thread rss

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Daniel
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First off, I don't fully ascribe to anarchy (whether it be anarcho-capitalism or anarcho-syndicalism). Every thread I've posted on RSP questioning the main underlying assumption of the state being good, benevolent, or "us" usually runs into the argument that libertarians/anarcho-capitalists live in a simplistic dream land. The state is necessary, they say, (some will even admit to the true violent and coercive nature of the state if they think it through), because in their view anarchy just means a dog-eat-dog world where everyone is killing everyone and rugged individualism would simply be mean selfish survival a la Mad Max. They usually say "anarchy=somalia therefore you're dumb" if they're forced to reply to an argument that questions the state's benevolence or inherent rightness (justified by some social contract).

I found this quote today, thought I'd share it, and open a thread on debating the merits if there are any on society without the state.



And just so everyone is properly offended, because we already know liberals love the government, let's attack conservative's main love affair: the US Constitution. It was a document designed to limit the state. It has failed miserably because it put the government in charge of limiting its own power. I firmly believe that minarchism (small government) is a great ideal, but once power is given it will grow and grow and grow. As the great American anarchist Lysander Spooner said in No Treason, Constitution of No Effect:

Quote:
Inasmuch as the pretended "constitution" was never signed, nor agreed to, by anybody, as a contract, and therefore never bound anybody, and is now binding upon nobody; and is, moreover, such a one as no people can ever hereafter be expected to consent to, except as they may be forced to do so at the point of the bayonet, it is perhaps of no importance what its true legal meaning, as a contract, is. Nevertheless, the writer thinks it proper to say that, in his opinion, the pretended "constitution" is no such instrument as it has generally been assumed to be; but that by false interpretations, and naked usurpations, the gang of terrocrats has made in practice a very widely, and almost wholly, different thing from the intended "government" the supposed "constitution" itself purports to "authorize." He has heretofore written much, and could write much more, to prove that such is the truth. But whether the pretended "constitution" really be one thing, or another, this much is certain - that it has either "authorized" such a "government" as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it. In either case, it is unfit to exist.
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True Blue Jon
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Have you read Jennifer Government?
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Sorry but even agreeing that gov't does not work as well as it should (for the sake of argument) why should be believe anarchism is better? True, it's not done horrible things yet but that may simply be because it has not had the chance. No one has ever tried it.

Anarchism strikes me as having the same flaw as Communism and every other attempt at a utopian society. Namely, it might work if all people were always selfless and no two people disagree, but in the real world that can't happen.
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Daniel
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whac3 wrote:
Sorry but even agreeing that gov't does not work as well as it should (for the sake of argument) why should be believe anarchism is better? True, it's not done horrible things yet but that may simply be because it has not had the chance. No one has ever tried it.

Anarchism strikes me as having the same flaw as Communism and every other attempt at a utopian society. Namely, it might work if all people were always selfless and no two people disagree, but in the real world that can't happen.


I don't think anarchist claim to be molding a utopia. They claim to have the only moral society in mind which lets people own their own self.
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Daniel
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quozl wrote:
Have you read Jennifer Government?


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jennifer_Government
No but the wikipedia entry is entertaining. How does the US take over most of the world after abolishing taxation?
 
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True Blue Jon
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dandechino wrote:
quozl wrote:
Have you read Jennifer Government?


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jennifer_Government
No but the wikipedia entry is entertaining. How does the US take over most of the world after abolishing taxation?


That's not the point. I believe in the ideal of anarchism. The book has the best argument I've read against it, as strong morality is necessary for anarchism to work. In the absence of morality, we need government.
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dandechino wrote:
whac3 wrote:
Sorry but even agreeing that gov't does not work as well as it should (for the sake of argument) why should be believe anarchism is better? True, it's not done horrible things yet but that may simply be because it has not had the chance. No one has ever tried it.

Anarchism strikes me as having the same flaw as Communism and every other attempt at a utopian society. Namely, it might work if all people were always selfless and no two people disagree, but in the real world that can't happen.


I don't think anarchist claim to be molding a utopia. They claim to have the only moral society in mind which lets people own their own self.

Yes, but that is a utopian ideal even if the word is eschewed. The triple purpose of gov't is to establish a system of justice for tort and criminal law, to provide mutual protection of the citizen body both domestically and abroad and to maintain infrastructure that everyone needs but no single individual and reasonable afford such as schools, highways, etc.

In an anarchist society, instead of removing the violence of gov't, one is only substituting the violence of the every powerful individual. Instead of a moral society, one has a society without restraints of any kind on behavior. The idea that this would somehow lead to a moral society instead of brutality and oppression ignores all recorded history.
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Daniel
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quozl wrote:
dandechino wrote:
quozl wrote:
Have you read Jennifer Government?


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jennifer_Government
No but the wikipedia entry is entertaining. How does the US take over most of the world after abolishing taxation?


That's not the point. I believe in the ideal of anarchism. The book has the best argument I've read against it, as strong morality is necessary for anarchism to work. In the absence of morality, we need government.


But in the absence of morality, shouldn't granting a monopoly on violence to one group in society be even worse?
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True Blue Jon
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dandechino wrote:
quozl wrote:
dandechino wrote:
quozl wrote:
Have you read Jennifer Government?


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jennifer_Government
No but the wikipedia entry is entertaining. How does the US take over most of the world after abolishing taxation?


That's not the point. I believe in the ideal of anarchism. The book has the best argument I've read against it, as strong morality is necessary for anarchism to work. In the absence of morality, we need government.


But in the absence of morality, shouldn't granting a monopoly on violence to one group in society be even worse?


Who's granting a monopoly? Surely not armed U.S. citizens!
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Daniel
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whac3 wrote:

Yes, but that is a utopian ideal even if the word is eschewed. The triple purpose of gov't is to establish a system of justice for tort and criminal law, to provide mutual protection of the citizen body both domestically and abroad and to maintain infrastructure that everyone needs but no single individual and reasonable afford such as schools, highways, etc.

In an anarchist society, instead of removing the violence of gov't, one is only substituting the violence of the every powerful individual. Instead of a moral society, one has a society without restraints of any kind on behavior. The idea that this would somehow lead to a moral society instead of brutality and oppression ignores all recorded history.


Granted. I always loved the exchange between Rothbard and Friedman: "So you believe the government should build the roads? That makes you a road socialist!"

But if the quote in the OP is true, then with Thomas Jefferson I would say:"I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it." It seems like fullscale brutality and oppression is only possible with the state.
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Daniel
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quozl wrote:
dandechino wrote:
quozl wrote:
dandechino wrote:
quozl wrote:
Have you read Jennifer Government?


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jennifer_Government
No but the wikipedia entry is entertaining. How does the US take over most of the world after abolishing taxation?


That's not the point. I believe in the ideal of anarchism. The book has the best argument I've read against it, as strong morality is necessary for anarchism to work. In the absence of morality, we need government.


But in the absence of morality, shouldn't granting a monopoly on violence to one group in society be even worse?


Who's granting a monopoly? Surely not armed U.S. citizens!


Well the word "grant" is a poor choice of words and implies consent. Not everyone consents but here we are. Lysander Spooner's work quoted above goes into this heavily. It's not hard to imagine the US outright banning 2A in the future when it becomes more convenient.
 
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The people, unrestrained, will form into groups and slaughter each other according to their whims.

The state, unrestrained, will herd people into groups and slaughter them according to its whims.

Surely there is something workable in the gaping middle there.
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Eric "Shippy McShipperson" Mowrer
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This thread has been done before many times.

What we really need is more movies that illustrate the various positions people are taking. What are some good Mad Max rebuttals I can watch?
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Daniel
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ejmowrer wrote:
This thread has been done before many times.

What we really need is more movies that illustrate the various positions people are taking. What are some good Mad Max rebuttals I can watch?


I don't think it's an anarchist film but Joyeux Noel is a great one about the insanity of nationalism and war.
 
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ejmowrer wrote:
This thread has been done before many times.

Did BJ ever address this in one of those? Cause I'm still hoping for a response.

garygarison wrote:
Utrecht wrote:
OK - if you are looking for an answer - no, unfettered free-market is not the answer.

You OK with this, BJ? I'm just looking for the right wall on which to frame your comments.
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dandechino wrote:
quozl wrote:
dandechino wrote:
quozl wrote:
dandechino wrote:
quozl wrote:
Have you read Jennifer Government?


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jennifer_Government
No but the wikipedia entry is entertaining. How does the US take over most of the world after abolishing taxation?


That's not the point. I believe in the ideal of anarchism. The book has the best argument I've read against it, as strong morality is necessary for anarchism to work. In the absence of morality, we need government.


But in the absence of morality, shouldn't granting a monopoly on violence to one group in society be even worse?


Who's granting a monopoly? Surely not armed U.S. citizens!


Well the word "grant" is a poor choice of words and implies consent. Not everyone consents but here we are. Lysander Spooner's work quoted above goes into this heavily. It's not hard to imagine the US outright banning 2A in the future when it becomes more convenient.


I think the majority do consent. That's the problem.
 
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William Boykin
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quozl wrote:
dandechino wrote:
quozl wrote:
Have you read Jennifer Government?


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jennifer_Government
No but the wikipedia entry is entertaining. How does the US take over most of the world after abolishing taxation?


That's not the point. I believe in the ideal of anarchism. The book has the best argument I've read against it, as strong morality is necessary for anarchism to work. In the absence of morality, we need government.


This was always the heart of my arguments with Joey (GAWD- now since long gone from these forums, but I bet he still lurks).

His conception of anarchism would only work under the context of a Universal Morality, which for him, would be a variation of the Catholic Church.

It would, however, require the forced conversion of everyone who wasn't Catholic.....

I think Jon's identified the essence of the argument- without a commonly held ideal of morality that is applicable across all cultures, anarchism (probably) would never get off the ground. This is the conclusion of a lot of French anarchists in the Inter-War period of the 1920s-30's, who started more or less 'disconnecting' from society to live their own lives they way they wanted with as little footprint with the greater society around them as they could.

Something to be said about that...

Darilian
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Darilian wrote:
...more or less 'disconnecting' from society to live their own lives they way they wanted with as little footprint with the greater society around them as they could.

Something to be said about that...

We should be reminded that this doesn't necessarily imply hippie commune fantasyland. As Rawlie Thorpe in Bonfire of the Vanities said, “If you want to live in New York, you’ve got to insulate, insulate, insulate, meaning insulate yourself from those people.”
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Daniel
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Why is a common morality only a limiting factor for state-less societies? In states, you give one group a badge and a gun. The morality may be common or not. But in the scenario with the "badge and gun" group, they can me as immoral, amoral, or moral as anybody else.
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Rich Shipley
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This always made the most sense to me:

Larry Niven wrote:
Anarchy is the least stable of social structures. It falls apart at a touch.
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Xander Fulton
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ejmowrer wrote:
What are some good Mad Max rebuttals I can watch?


Not just "Mad Max rebuttal", but rather "why is every-nation-in-Africa-or-Latin-America-ever that lost their organized government and descended into Anarchy to become a brutal hellhole somehow NOT going go to happen, here?"

The fundamental problem is that we are the product of millions of years of very cruel evolution. Nature doesn't care much for kindness, and so even humanity with all our capacity for thought ultimately ends up barbarians at the drop of a hat.

And it's not like this is an untested theory - take away a structured hierarchy from government, and people instantly create a structured hierarchy of their own.
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dandechino wrote:
Why is a common morality only a limiting factor for state-less societies? In states, you give one group a badge and a gun. The morality may be common or not. But in the scenario with the "badge and gun" group, they can me as immoral, amoral, or moral as anybody else.


Hmm? The state's laws are the common morality.
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XanderF wrote:
ejmowrer wrote:
What are some good Mad Max rebuttals I can watch?


Not just "Mad Max rebuttal", but rather "why is every-nation-in-Africa-or-Latin-America-ever that lost their organized government and descended into Anarchy to become a brutal hellhole somehow NOT going go to happen, here?"

The fundamental problem is that we are the product of millions of years of very cruel evolution. Nature doesn't care much for kindness, and so even humanity with all our capacity for thought ultimately ends up barbarians at the drop of a hat.

And it's not like this is an untested theory - take away a structured hierarchy from government, and people instantly create a structured hierarchy of their own.


It did. It's called The Postman.

The bigger question is why does the wastelands turn into some big ol' BDsM club, with chains, chokers, leather, and ass-less chaps?
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dandechino wrote:
Thomas Jefferson


Never quote Jefferson. Ever. For every quote you find where he seems to support one position, you'll find either a quote or an action that will support its opposite. He was a great thinker but unable to realize the ideals he wrote so eloquently about either in his personal or political lives.
 
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dandechino wrote:
In states, you give one group a badge and a gun.


Ummm, are you living in Judge Dredd's universe or something? We also hand that group a pile of laws and (if we're doing our jobs) making sure that they're abiding by the as they enforce them. Last time I checked, the cop that pulls you over for a speeding ticket doesn't pull out a blank sheet of paper and start creating charges to file against you.

We define how we'll live together through our laws. That there are people out there to enforce the criminal codes strikes me as being necessary. In your anarchist world, who deals with theft when it occurs? If it's "the individual" or "whoever the individual can convince to help him," then that's a recipe for abuse far worse than what we've got today.
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