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View Diary: Anticapitalist Meetup: So You Say You Want a Revolution? (54 comments)

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  •  How about this formulation? (5+ / 0-)

    The concept of natural law seems to be central in anarchism.  "The good people don't need law and the bad people pay no attention to it."  Anarchists posit that human beings can live together in harmony relying only on this sense of natural law--conscience in another context--without the need for a supervising authority.

    Anarchism is then, at least in part, an exploration of what constitutes that natural law.  Clues can be drawn from what anthropology can learn, taking something of a "before the Fall" approach.  But humanity's capacity for growth cannot be denied either.  The "natural law" may be in some sense yet to be discovered and practiced in full.  In some ways, that seems to me to be a more open approach than one that assumes humanity to be static.  That's what those who defend Capitalism argue, i.e. man is by nature competitive and grasping and Capitalism is the best way to channel those potentially destructive impulses in a relatively positive direction.

    Anarchists should be able to admit that it is not yet possible to articulate fully the content of natural law, but that a newly constituted society will be where that can fully explored.

    •  Totally. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mint julep, corvo, Cassiodorus, goinsouth

      The "natural" idea - a myth, or rather a useful counter-myth to the myths of capitalism. Having said that:

      I was in DC yesterday with my union(s), and even in this not-so-radical situation it was striking to see how far we were able to depart from the "normal" workplace situation of greed and grasping. After a while, every encounter becomes an either-or: either to push for capital and conflict, or anarchism and cooperation. You notice also that certain cultures are far less "selfish" than others. Most anarchist/workers' councils members in Europe came from backgrounds that were not at all "primitive" but were based on more cooperative peasant economies: Russia's a perfect example, Spain as well, even France until 1871. Finally, you notice that it's the "revolutionary" situation that allows these trends to come out, rather than creating them.

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