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  •  Here we go with "anarchy" again. (15+ / 0-)

    Anarchy does not equal lawlessness.  The word comes from the Greek and means without a ruler.

    Prominent American anarchists include:

    1. Henry David Thoreau
    1. Emma Goldman

    Anarchism: What It Really Means

    1. Noam Chomsky
    1. Howard Zinn
    1. Naomi Klein

    For an example of an orderly, successful anarchist administration, check out Catalonian Spain, described by the well-know critic of State Socialism, George Orwell in his Homage to Catalonia:

       Along with the fight against fascism was a profound anarchist revolution throughout Spain.

       Much of Spain's economy was put under worker control; in anarchist strongholds like Catalonia, the figure was as high as 75%, but lower in areas with heavy socialist influence. Factories were run through worker committees, agrarian areas became collectivized and run as libertarian communes. Even places like hotels, barber shops, and restaurants were collectivized and managed by their workers. George Orwell describes a scene in Aragon during this time period, in his book, Homage to Catalonia:

          I had dropped more or less by chance into the only community of any size in Western Europe where political consciousness and disbelief in capitalism were more normal than their opposites. Up here in Aragon one was among tens of thousands of people, mainly though not entirely of working-class origin, all living at the same level and mingling on terms of equality. In theory it was perfect equality, and even in practice it was not far from it. There is a sense in which it would be true to say that one was experiencing a foretaste of Socialism, by which I mean that the prevailing mental atmosphere was that of Socialism. Many of the normal motives of civilized life--snobbishness, money-grubbing, fear of the boss, etc.--had simply ceased to exist. The ordinary class-division of society had disappeared to an extent that is almost unthinkable in the money-tainted air of England; there was no one there except the peasants and ourselves, and no one owned anyone else as his master.

       The anarchist held areas were run according to the basic principle of "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need." In some places, money was entirely eliminated, to be replaced with vouchers. Under this system, goods were often up to a quarter of their previous cost.

       Despite the critics clamoring for maximum efficiency, anarchic communes often produced more than before the collectivization. The newly liberated zones worked on entirely libertarian principles; decisions were made through councils of ordinary citizens without any sort of bureaucracy. (The CNT-FAI leadership was at this time not nearly as radical as the rank and file members responsible for these sweeping changes.)

       In addition to the economic revolution, there was a spirit of cultural revolution. Oppressive traditions were done away with. For instance, women were allowed to have abortions, and the idea of "free love" became popular. In many ways, this spirit of cultural liberation was similar to that of the "New Left" movements of the 1960s.

    Klein, in her documentary "The Take," describes a similar current movement in Argentina in the wake of the arrival of their "New Normal" a decade ago.

    Doesn't sound much like the way that Rand Paul would run things to me.

    Capitalism is the extraordinary belief that the nastiest of men, for the nastiest of reasons, will somehow work for the benefit of us all. - JM Keynes

    by goinsouth on Sun Aug 22, 2010 at 06:14:47 AM PDT

    •  anarchists could serve a purpose (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      eru, Whimsical, Kimball Cross

      for instigating change.... but you do understand that people are no where near evolved enough to govern themselves without leadership. If you don't then you do not understand human nature.

      •  You and Calvin certainly agree on that. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MrJayTee

        Calvin's solution was a theocracy in Geneva.

        Do your very negative assumptions about human "nature" derive from the Christian doctrine of original sin?

        Capitalism is the extraordinary belief that the nastiest of men, for the nastiest of reasons, will somehow work for the benefit of us all. - JM Keynes

        by goinsouth on Sun Aug 22, 2010 at 06:42:25 AM PDT

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        •  Much more recent than that. (0+ / 0-)

          Look at history and what humans have said and done throughout the years- up to and including the present.

          We're nowhere NEAR evolved enough to handle self-government responsibly.

          "The future of man is not one billion of us fighting over limited resources on a soon-to-be dead planet. . .I won't go back into the cave for anyone."

          by Whimsical on Sun Aug 22, 2010 at 06:50:25 AM PDT

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        •  No they don't (0+ / 0-)

          My negative assumptions about human nature are rooted in the here and now.

          One example would be a poll that shows more than half of the American people think Obama is a muslim.

          •  Nature or nurture? (0+ / 0-)

            I thought liberals tended to believe that human beings were shaped to a great extent by their environment, and that much negative behavior could be attributed to bad environment and thus susceptible to change.

            I thought it was the right wing that thought criminals were "bad people" who should be locked up forever.

            It would appear that you are not much of a believer even in representative democracy since so many people believe untrue things because of their "nature."

            You're not just anti-anarchist.  You're anti-democracy.

            Capitalism is the extraordinary belief that the nastiest of men, for the nastiest of reasons, will somehow work for the benefit of us all. - JM Keynes

            by goinsouth on Sun Aug 22, 2010 at 07:16:27 AM PDT

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      •  No state isn't plausible. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        goinsouth

        But I would like to see something like the Catalonian socio-economic system with a democratic state to take care of common tasks like education, environmental quality, law enforcement, defense of the frontiers, and protecting the rights of unpopular minorities.

        Sarah Palin ... speaks truth. It remains to be seen if this nation has enough sanity left to put her in office. -- A RW blogger.

        by Kimball Cross on Sun Aug 22, 2010 at 07:06:23 AM PDT

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        •  Sounds like a plan. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Kimball Cross

          And after people experience self-governance and gain skill at respecting minority viewpoints and rights, things could continue to evolve.

          But your solution sounds a hell of a lot better than living as disposable pawns in a world dominated by irresponsible and unaccountable institutions.

          Capitalism is the extraordinary belief that the nastiest of men, for the nastiest of reasons, will somehow work for the benefit of us all. - JM Keynes

          by goinsouth on Sun Aug 22, 2010 at 07:46:24 AM PDT

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        •  Link to more info about anarcho-syndicalism. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Kimball Cross, MrJayTee

          That's the term commonly used to describe what took place in Catalonia.

          Anarcho-syndicalism faqs.

          Capitalism is the extraordinary belief that the nastiest of men, for the nastiest of reasons, will somehow work for the benefit of us all. - JM Keynes

          by goinsouth on Sun Aug 22, 2010 at 07:58:42 AM PDT

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    •  Thank you (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      goinsouth

      That is the most reasonable and clear definition of Anarchism I've ever seen.

      Sounds a lot less scary when put that way.  

      In fact, I've been arguing for local control of things like police and fire and even snow removal forever and a day, so I guess I had "Anarchist" tendencies I didn't even realize were anarchist!

      Great comment - thanks again!

      Bob

      •  Better start wearing black. ;) (0+ / 0-)

        Anybody who's skeptical about the accountability of huge institutions, from governments to multinational corporations, can find some interesting ideas and solutions in anarchism.

        Capitalism is the extraordinary belief that the nastiest of men, for the nastiest of reasons, will somehow work for the benefit of us all. - JM Keynes

        by goinsouth on Sun Aug 22, 2010 at 07:12:32 AM PDT

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    •  What you describe isn't what I'd call anarchism. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      eru, ravenwind

      More like a form of democratic socialism.

      Which I'm in favor of in general principle, though IMHO, direct democracy frequently leads to bad results - California's Proposition 8 passed, did it not?  Colorado has to deal with TABOR, passed by referendum, California also has its insane Norquistian taxation restrictions, passed by referendum.

      Direct democracy is vulnerable to democratic self-immolation, which is why the Founding Fathers chose to build a representative democracy.

      Just MHO.

      I agree with you. I want to do it. Now make me do it! - Franklin Delano Roosevelt http://meldroc.com/

      by meldroc on Sun Aug 22, 2010 at 07:48:04 AM PDT

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      •  Lots of misconceptions about anarchism. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mnemosyne

        Your statement that a description of anarchism in Catalonian Spain in the 1930s sounds "like a form of democratic socialism" is telling.

        Democratic socialists, however, usually advocate a parliamentary style of representative, centralized government rather than local workers and community councils.

        Your concern about the rights of minorities applies to any form of government or administration.  The greater the centralized power, the greater the concern.

        The American Bill of Rights, whose most well-known advocate, Jefferson, was highly skeptical of strong central governments, is an attempt to ameliorate those natural effects of centralized government power.

        Anarchists employ procedural methods to preserve the rights of minorities, and an important one is mentioned in the comment to which you're responding: decision by consensus.

        This kind of direct democracy is hardly something alien.  PTAs, volunteer fire departments, credit unions, electric coops.  Not exactly scary institutions compared to the DoD, CIA, BP, JPM, BoA, etc.

        Capitalism is the extraordinary belief that the nastiest of men, for the nastiest of reasons, will somehow work for the benefit of us all. - JM Keynes

        by goinsouth on Sun Aug 22, 2010 at 09:17:45 AM PDT

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    •  Tipped for reading (0+ / 0-)

      Orwell. That is one great book.

      If men could get pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament.--A Boston cabbie, to Gloria Steinem, in the 1970s

      by Mnemosyne on Sun Aug 22, 2010 at 07:41:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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