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View Diary: why aren't republicans called anarchists? (74 comments)

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  •  I think I consider the term to be more generic (3+ / 0-)
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    ZhenRen, dsb, OooSillyMe

    I've always thought that there could be lots of flavors of being an anarchist, just as there can be many flavors of being authoritarian, and many flavors of being a monarchist.

    •  There a few different flavors (5+ / 0-)
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      MrJayTee, RUNDOWN, Mentatmark, koNko, Urizen

      But authentic anarchism of any flavor is based on the principle of not allowing unjustified authority.

      Thus, it is not at all correct to use the term to describe authoritarian systems.

      Capitalism is authoritarian by definition, and for that reason the term anarchism does not apply to the so-called "free" market, which in capitalism is anything but free.

      True anarchists are all anti-capitalist, and against wage slavery, because these are authoritarian in nature. There are no exceptions.

      You can use the term anyway you like, but I will point out incorrect usage if I'm around to comment.

      "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

      by ZhenRen on Sat May 11, 2013 at 10:55:09 PM PDT

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    •  You're not actually helping to repudiate... (3+ / 0-)
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      Mentatmark, koNko, Urizen

      republicans or conservatives by calling them anarchists, since these capitalists are highly authoritarian, and support not bottom up direct democracy, but rule by the wealthy class. Calling them anarchists gives them way too much credit, and is a misnomer, and an oxymoron.

      "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

      by ZhenRen on Sat May 11, 2013 at 11:02:51 PM PDT

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      •  not trying to repudiate... (1+ / 0-)
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        I guess I disagree that the term anarchist is inherently a compliment.  I tend to say that there are good anarchists and bad anarchists.  It just seemed possible to me that if we take Grover Norquist at his word, then we could call him an anarchist...with no intended offense toward great anarchists in past, present or future.

        •  You're inventing your own definitions (4+ / 0-)
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          RUNDOWN, Mentatmark, Joieau, Urizen

          base on popular myths and misconceptions. You've obviously not informed yourself on the topic.

          Not to be too critical of you, because you're hardly alone. Most people know next to nothing about the term, but use it to mean what they please.

          But calling conservatives anarchists is tantamount to calling unbridled, unrestricted profiteering communism.

          It is so far off that it is an oxymoron.

          "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

          by ZhenRen on Sat May 11, 2013 at 11:20:39 PM PDT

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          •  I have a big problem calling (1+ / 0-)
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            the nutjob teabagging Republicons "conservative." Which they absolutely are not, and haven't been for a long time.

            Words that might apply include "reactionary" and "radical," but I agree "anarchistic" isn't a very good description. Apart from the fact that they want no part of government applying to themselves or their corporate heroes (beyond guaranteed gub'ment sponsored and protected wealth transfer), but they do want as much intrusive government control of the lives and deaths of everybody who isn't them.

            Just rubs me the wrong way every time I see these wannabe destroyers of all things civilized called "conservative."

            •  Yep... (1+ / 0-)
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              The word "conservative" doesn't really nail it.

              I think a big confusion here about the term anarchism is uninformed people think anarchism is summed up by being anti-government. That is not accurate. Anarchism is against all unjustified authority, including central government bureaucracy but also the authority of the owners of the means of production (the bosses and masters of the workplace). It is NOT against organization, as long as the community organization is self-managed by the entire community, with no fixed rulers/officials/representatives who make law as they please. Anarchist communities instead create agreements that all mutually have a voice in creating, and thus these agreements are mutable. If you prefer, the agreements could be called "laws" or "rules" but the difference is the agreements are subject directly to the will of the community, who can change them immediately and relatively easily compared to the much greater immutability of government decrees.

              Here is a more accurate description of anarchism:


              "Anarchism", from The Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1910.
              Peter Kropotkin

              ANARCHISM (from the Gr. av, and aoxn, contrary to authority), the name given to a principle or theory of life and conduct under which society is conceived without government - harmony in such a society being obtained, not by submission to law, or by obedience to any authority, but by free agreements concluded between the various groups, territorial and professional, freely constituted for the sake of production and consumption, as also for the satisfaction of the infinite variety of needs and aspirations of a civilized being. In a society developed on these lines, the voluntary associations which already now begin to cover all the fields of human activity would take a still greater extension so as to substitute themselves for the state in all its functions. They would represent an interwoven network, composed of an infinite variety of groups and federations of all sizes and degrees, local, regional, national and international temporary or more or less permanent - for all possible purposes: production, consumption and exchange, communications, sanitary arrangements, education, mutual protection, defence of the territory, and so on; and, on the other side, for the satisfaction of an ever-increasing number of scientific, artistic, literary and sociable needs. Moreover, such a society would represent nothing immutable. On the contrary - as is seen in organic life at large - harmony would (it is contended) result from an ever-changing adjustment and readjustment of equilibrium between the multitudes of forces and influences, and this adjustment would be the easier to obtain as none of the forces would enjoy a special protection from the state.

              If, it is contended, society were organized on these principles, man would not be limited in the free exercise of his powers in productive work by a capitalist monopoly, maintained by the state; nor would he be limited in the exercise of his will by a fear of punishment, or by obedience towards individuals or metaphysical entities, which both lead to depression of initiative and servility of mind. He would be guided in his actions by his own understanding, which necessarily would bear the impression of a free action and reaction between his own self and the ethical conceptions of his surroundings. Man would thus be enabled to obtain the full development of all his faculties, intellectual, artistic and moral, without being hampered by overwork for the monopolists, or by the servility and inertia of mind of the great number. He would thus be able to reach full individualization, which is not possible either under the present system of individualism, or under any system of state socialism in the so-called Volkstaat (popular state).

              The anarchist writers consider, moreover, that their conception is not a utopia, constructed on the a priori method, after a few desiderata have been taken as postulates. It is derived, they maintain, from an analysis of tendencies that are at work already, even though state socialism may find a temporary favour with the reformers. The progress of modern technics, which wonderfully simplifies the production of all the necessaries of life; the growing spirit of independence, and the rapid spread of free initiative and free understanding in all branches of activity - including those which formerly were considered as the proper attribution of church and state - are steadily reinforcing the no-government tendency.

              As to their economical conceptions, the anarchists, in common with all socialists, of whom they constitute the left wing, maintain that the now prevailing system of private ownership in land, and our capitalist production for the sake of profits, represent a monopoly which runs against both the principles of justice and the dictates of utility. They are the main obstacle which prevents the successes of modern technics from being brought into the service of all, so as to produce general well-being. The anarchists consider the wage-system and capitalist production altogether as an obstacle to progress. But they point out also that the state was, and continues to be, the chief instrument for permitting the few to monopolize the land, and the capitalists to appropriate for themselves a quite disproportionate share of the yearly accumulated surplus of production. Consequently, while combating the present monopolization of land, and capitalism altogether, the anarchists combat with the same energy the state, as the main support of that system. Not this or that special form, but the state altogether, whether it be a monarchy or even a republic governed by means of the referendum.

              "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

              by ZhenRen on Sun May 12, 2013 at 12:29:46 PM PDT

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        •  Here... check this out: (3+ / 0-)
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          RUNDOWN, Mentatmark, Urizen

          Is "anarcho" capitalism a type of anarchism?

          Anyone who has followed political discussion on the net has probably come across people calling themselves "libertarians" but arguing from a right-wing, pro-capitalist perspective. For most people outside of North America, this is weird as the term "libertarian" is almost always used in conjunction with "socialist" or "communist" (particularly in Europe and, it should be stressed, historically in America). In the US, though, the Right has partially succeeded in appropriating the term "libertarian" for itself. Even stranger is that a few of these right-wingers have started calling themselves "anarchists" in what must be one of the finest examples of an oxymoron in the English language: "Anarcho-capitalist"!!!

          Arguing with fools is seldom rewarded, but to let their foolishness to go unchallenged risks allowing them to deceive those who are new to anarchism. This is what this section of the FAQ is for, to show why the claims of these "anarchist" capitalists are false. Anarchism has always been anti-capitalist and any "anarchism" that claims otherwise cannot be part of the anarchist tradition. It is important to stress that anarchist opposition to the so-called capitalist "anarchists" do not reflect some kind of debate within anarchism, as many of these types like to pretend, but a debate between anarchism and its old enemy, capitalism. In many ways this debate mirrors the one between Peter Kropotkin and Herbert Spencer (an English capitalist minimal statist) at the turn the 19th century and, as such, it is hardly new.

          The article is far longer than this short excerpt. Click on the link to read the entire section.

          "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

          by ZhenRen on Sat May 11, 2013 at 11:26:33 PM PDT

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        •  Conspicuous conservatives lie. (1+ / 0-)
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          They lie out of disrespect and to call attention to themselves. Taking them at their word is a big mistake.

          We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

          by hannah on Sun May 12, 2013 at 01:57:34 AM PDT

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        •  I agree. Your main point is excellent, imo. (0+ / 0-)

          Despite how left anti-capitalist anarchists and black bloc-ers define themselves, most of society would define "anarchist" as meaning opposing governmental structure.  Pro-chaos, even.

          But the subject is rife with confusion, sensitivity, history, elitism, naivete, so it's not surprising you ran into criticism.

          Norquist, Paul, etc would have the state replaced with an individual- and family-based warlordism.  Little groups holed-up defending themselves or strutting around with weapons.  In their 18th-century imagination this equates with freedom.  Anarchy in the popular sense.

          •  Rand Paul... (1+ / 0-)
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            And the others, as I understand it, want a minimal government that defends rights (the "right" of private property especially).

            Employers would be free to exploit and enslave workers even worse than they do now. This does not logically fit the term anarchism, nor has that been the historical usage.

            Read the link I gave up thread for an understanding of what anarchism has historically meant. The public has misinterpreted the term in large part because most haven't bothered to read about anarchism and its history.

            "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

            by ZhenRen on Sun May 12, 2013 at 10:46:33 AM PDT

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            •  In Ursula LeGuin's The Dispossessed (1+ / 0-)
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              The opposite of "anarchist" is "propertarian".

              It's well worth a read for anyone interested in late 20th century ideas about anarchism.

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