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In the first diary I talked about my radicalization and how I came to identify as an anarchist.(Go read that diary now if you haven't.) In this diary I am going to talk more about what anarchism is and what my anarchism looks like.  This will be a less personal diary and focus more on the history, philosophy and practice of anarchism.  I apologize for how long it took me to get to this second diary, but I've been overloaded at work (Yes! Anarchists have jobs.)

I want to start this diary in a different way than I did the last, with a quote from and a link to what I consider to be one of the best philosophical essays on Anarchism.  On Violence by Robert Paul Wolff.

On the basis of a lengthy reflection upon the concept of de jure legitimate authority, I have come to the conclusion that philosophical anarchism is true. That is to say, I believe that there is not, and there could not be, a state that has a right to command and whose subjects have a binding obligation to obey. I have defended this view in detail elsewhere, and I can only indicate here the grounds of my conviction. Briefly, I think it can be shown that every man has a fundamental duty to be autonomous, in Kant's sense of the term. Each of us must make himself the author of his actions and take responsibility for them by refusing to act save on the basis of reasons he can see for himself to be good. Autonomy, thus understood, is in direct opposition to obedience, which is submission to the will of another, irrespective of reasons. Following Kant's usage, political obedience is heteronymy of the will.

Now, political theory offers us one great argument designed to make the autonomy of the individual compatible with submission to the putative authority of the state. In a democracy, it is claimed, the citizen is both law-giver and law-obeyer. Since he shares in the authorship of the laws, he submits to his own will in obeying them, and hence is autonomous, not heteronymous.

If this argument were valid, it would provide a genuine ground for a distinction between violent and nonviolent political actions. Violence would be a use of force proscribed by the laws or executive authority of a genuinely democratic state. The only possible justification of illegal or extralegal political acts would be a demonstration of the illegitimacy of the state, and this in turn would involve showing that the commands of the state were not expressions of the will of the people.

But the classic defense of democracy is not valid. For a variety of reasons, neither majority rule nor any other method of making decisions in the absence of unanimity can be shown to preserve the autonomy of the individual citizens. In a democracy, as in any state, obedience is heteronymy. The autonomous man is of necessity an anarchist. Consequently, there is no valid political criterion for the justified use of force. Legality is, by itself, no justification. Now, of course, there are all manner of utilitarian arguments for submitting to the state and its agents, even if the state's claim to legitimacy is unfounded. The laws may command actions that are in fact morally obligatory or whose effects promise to be beneficial. Widespread submission to law may bring about a high level of order, regularity, and predictability in social relationships which is valuable independently of the particular character of the acts commanded. But in and of themselves, the acts of police and the commands of legislatures have no peculiar legitimacy or sanction. Men everywhere and always impute authority to established governments, and they are always wrong to do so.

Minus the gendered language what I find to be the most compelling ethical argument for anarchism is this: "Each of us must make himself the author of his actions and take responsibility for them by refusing to act save on the basis of reasons he can see for himself to be good."  What this says to me is that "I was just following orders" is not an excuse, whether it is an action that directly does harm or indirectly does harm.

The crux of the argument here is that there is an irresolvable tension between ethics and relinquishing authority to the state, AKA the government to use the American term. We must recognize that the government is primarily concerned with authority, not ethics.  When I am given a law to obey, be it something as simple as a stop sign, I have to ask myself if I should always obey that law.  If we relinquish our own accountability to the authority of the state then we must say that obeying that law is always the correct course of action.  We must obey the letter of the law because when we relinquish authority we agree that those who possess it must always be obeyed.  If we reject that law, even once, then we reject the authority of the state.  If the state says "You may not possess marijuana," and I say, "No, I am going to have some marijuana" for whatever reason, then the fact of the matter is that I do not accept the authority of the state.  I do not accept the state as a legitimate authority.  Although I may accept the state as a de facto authority.

Of course, in this broad sense we are all a bit anarchistic.  Who hasn't broken the speed limit or rolled a stop sign or broken any other of a number of laws that we simply see as not pertaining to us, because we know better?  I would say that the number of people who don't fall into that category are exceedingly small.  We all know better than the authority of the law at some point.  And of course we do, because we have to live a real life, not just the theory the law is based on, written by people who have probably never been where we have.  How is a white, straight christian senator from Alabama going to tell a black lesbian from Oakland, California how to live her life?  But they do, but that's what government is.  Telling people, in more or less subtle ways, how to live their life.

Of course, all this belies the real argument that people make against anarchism; not that it lacks a philosophical basis, but that it lacks a practical basis.  What amazes me most about this is how much the argument has changed over the years.  The first time I ran into the practical argument it was the most basic form:  "Who will take out the trash?"  After that it was "Who will grow the food?"  And, most recently it has become "Who will be the police?"

I want to address the first two together, because they are important questions, and clearly would be the downfall of a political system if not addressed.  Both of these are at their root the same question: How will we get people to do work, hard work, if we don't have the threat of force behind making them do that work?  But this question is based on faulty assumptions, specifically that people need the threat of force to motivate them.  I know from personal experience that they don't.  The idea that people could do something to help others without a threat is both endemic to our society and easily shown to be false.  People regularly do things out of altruism.  People make whole careers out of altruism.  The facile answer to that, and the one that I too often use, is that if taking out the garbage is really the only thing stopping us from living in an anarchist society then hey, the anarchists will do it!  Of course, this isn't really an answer, because each of these tasks represents a much larger set of tasks that people generally don't want to do.  The final nail in this coffin came from the national exposure that Liberty Plaza got.  We took out our trash, we made our food, we even had people in charge of getting people bedding.  All without the threat of violence.  In fact, all of that happened in spite of the threat of violence against us for doing it.  Not only that but there are other examples in history, the most commonly cited being that of Revolutionary Catalonia.  Although there have been no lasting examples, but that is a function not of the failures of the societies but of the fact that every single one has been overwhelmed by outside forces that seek it's destruction through overwhelming violence.

The final question is more complicated.  The quick answer is that there will be no police.  Of course, the quick answer isn't completely correct.  But the question brings up an important point: what are the police?  The police are the domestic method that the state uses to employ violence.  They are the institution that enforces policy through the use of violence.  Of course, most people don't think of them like this because they have other functions as well.  The authority of the police is used in numerous ways, some of those are rather good.  The state needs the police to do those good things to justify the use of force in other areas.  For example, there's no reason that we need the same people that direct traffic during a parade to be the same people that forcibly evict people from their homes.  In fact, we don't need police to direct traffic at all, pretty much anyone can do that with a bit of training, or with no training.  There are times when using force is necessary to ensure that people aren't oppressed.  If someone is being attacked it's necessary to defend them.  Unfortunately the police generally don't serve this function except where it is beneficial to the state.  There is no reason that we can't set up a system of accountability and a way to defend people outside of the state apparatus that would be focused on actually helping people and not on enforcing policy.  

The point here isn't to discuss all of the solutions in detail but is to show that while there are problems to be worked on in an anarchist society they are not the overwhelming problems that they seem.  In fact most of these problems have solutions for which we can find historical examples.

Ultimately what anarchism is for me is an answer to the problem of oppression.  The state has through out time been the number one means of oppression.  It has been the biggest murderer.  It has been the biggest purveyor of injustice.  The idea that it can be reformed strikes me as hopelessly naive.  To end oppression we need to work outside of the state instead of directing state violence as a tool.

You might be wondering at this point why I'm on this site given that I'm an anarchist and reject government.  It's simple, while I reject the legitimacy of government I don't reject the existence of government.  I may be idealistic but I'm not stupid.  Checking the government's oppression, even if just some of it, is important.  Making sure women have access to abortions is important.  I could go on with the various specifics, but what it boils down to is the fact that this is me being a pragmatist.  I organize outside of the electoral and state apparatus but I have no doubts about the pervasive power that apparatus has.  I don't however operate under the assumption that government is actually going to stop any of these oppressions but instead hope to mitigate them as best possible.

In the next and final part of this series I'll talk about the different strains of anarchism and, at long last, the black bloc.

Originally posted to AoT on Sun May 27, 2012 at 08:47 AM PDT.

Also republished by ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement, Progressive Hippie, and Occupy Wall Street.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (16+ / 0-)

    There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

    by AoT on Fri May 25, 2012 at 02:11:40 PM PDT

  •  What is the anarchist solution (7+ / 0-)

    for global warming?

    How do you propose to solve this pressing problem the world faces?

    What about my Daughter's future?

    by koNko on Sun May 27, 2012 at 08:51:11 AM PDT

    •  Given that the existing solution is to bury our (4+ / 0-)

      collective heads in the sand, I'm not sure this is a distinguishing question.

      Our current system does occasionally solve the problem of the commons to some extent in some situations (e.g., overfishing). So the anarchist solution to one where the current system has managed to control or to solve the problem (ozone?) would be more appropriate.

    •  The vast majority of the problems the world faces (8+ / 0-)

      are a result of the way we organize ourselves.  What anarchism proposes is a radical turn from those top down methods of organization that have gotten us to this point and instead to use horizontal methods of organization.

      There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

      by AoT on Sun May 27, 2012 at 09:03:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Spot ON, AoT! (4+ / 0-)

            I know of your fine work!   Keep Fighting!

        ! The swinistic greed and racial hatred of the American ruling elite is abysmal !

        by joe wobblie on Sun May 27, 2012 at 09:45:29 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah, but... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        johnny wurster, rcnewton, koNko

        ...koNko asked a specific question.

        "What is the anarchist for global warming?"
        Our current system has the ability to solve the problem. We need to win several elections and impose top-down, hierarchical, authoritarian rules that limit people's Freedom to burn greenhouse gases.

        The Anarchists have no solution whatsoever.

        •  Winning elections in the US isn't going (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          wu ming, joe wobblie, glitterscale

          to stop global warming.  It may mitigate our contribution, but there are plenty of other contributors.  The anarchist method is mass direct action against the sources of greenhouse gasses and in tandem grass roots building of an alternative structure of power and transportation.  To a small extent the former is happening and the latter is gaining momentum.  These aren't solutions that require an anarchist society to implement.

          There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

          by AoT on Sun May 27, 2012 at 10:07:19 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Let's cut the fancy words. (5+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Wee Mama, FG, johnny wurster, rcnewton, koNko

            By, "mass direct action against the sources of greenhouse gasses", do you mean a mob armed with pitchforks and torches storming a power plant?

            If not, please give some examples of what you mean.

            •  Well, there are the tree sits in old growth forest (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Renee, joe wobblie, glitterscale

              as one example of direct action.  And no, I don't mean storming a power plant.  I should have added "non-violent" in there because I think that's the way it should be done.  Putting yourself in the way of the machinery that is killing the planet along with large numbers of other people.

              And while you claim that our current system has the ability to solve the problems unless it actually does then I would say you are wrong.  There may be a theoretical solution, but having that actually happen is a completely different matter.

              There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

              by AoT on Sun May 27, 2012 at 10:34:05 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  how is this different from a hobbesian (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                rcnewton, Neuroptimalian

                war of all against all.  because if its tree sitters v. a corp with its own pitchforks, I'd bet the latter will prevail.  

                •  The idea of a Hobbesian is based on what is (0+ / 0-)

                  frankly a racist view of history and pre-history.  There was never a time when there was a war of all against all.  It's a myth based on an ideological view of "the savage" AKA barbarians AKA people who aren't white.  Mutual aid and cooperation is far more common in species of higher intelligence than is competition.

                  There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

                  by AoT on Sun May 27, 2012 at 07:50:15 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

          •  Winning elections can work. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            wu ming, Wee Mama, rcnewton

            If the US Government decided that stopping global warming was a national priority we could use our political, economic, and military influence to force a global solution.

            We did it for CFCs.

            It would also help if anti-GW candidates won elections in other countries as well.

            •  I somehow doubt that we are going to impose (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              joe wobblie, glitterscale

              anything on China.  I'm not an optimist about our chances of avoiding serious global warming.  There simply aren't enough people willing to take the problem seriously enough at this point, and by the time there are it will be too late.  We've got the corporate think tanks churning out propaganda as fast as ever and the "solutions" being thrown out there won't actually fix the problem.  Setting aside the ideological issues we are talking about I simply don't see the problem being fixed by the government.  It's up to us to do what the government won't, as a practical matter.

              There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

              by AoT on Sun May 27, 2012 at 10:43:51 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Gosh Manhattan man (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              joe wobblie

              What does your crystal ball say about the next election where billions are gonna be spent in telling us what to think. You think those fellows bankrolling Romney are gonna wanna slow down carbon emissions? Like the tar sands project? And people are that dumb that billions in advertising WILL make a difference in how they vote. Or give them reasons NOT to vote with sleazy assed innuendos.

              And oh by the way, how do we remove that big teat from wall street that congress is currently sucking? (the one that is backed by federal/tax payer dollars.) You think that they think of us as constituents? Maybe, but the banksters and the oil men and the insurance lobby are CLIENTS. Yes, we now have government run like big business.

              We only have a short window to fix the global weirding. And if you are expecting to do this by ballot, the time span will not be on our side.

              To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong. -Joseph Chilton Pearce

              by glitterscale on Mon May 28, 2012 at 10:26:18 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I'm not saying... (0+ / 0-)

                ...a solution is likely under our current system. I'm just saying that it's possible under or current system.

                The Anarchists have no solution at all. Their way is guaranteed failure. Our way is merely probable failure.

      •  anarchism and government (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AoT, Catte Nappe, glitterscale

        In theory, government is us, the people.  It was a way for us to organize to use our collective power to do beneficial things for us all that we could not individually accomplish.  In practice, government has become a way for an elite group of people to control the majority of us.

        So government itself is not necessarily wrong.  If we use government as a way of getting necessary things done (collecting trash etc) to benefit us all, then government is good.  What I have read in this diary is not that government is inherently evil, but it has been perverted away from its primary purpose of serving us to one of controlling us.  In that way, I completely agree.

        I hope am understanding where you are going with this series and I intended to re-read this diary again later to be sure my understanding is close to correct.  I truly appreciate your diaries in this series.

        "Growing up is for those who don't have the guts not to. Grow wise, grow loving, grow compassionate, but why grow up?" - Fiddlegirl

        by gulfgal98 on Sun May 27, 2012 at 11:09:09 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I don't like to use the word evil (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          gulfgal98, joe wobblie

          because I find that it is too tied up in an old Christian mindset that essentializes things and denounces them.  I do think it is necessarily bad.  e do have an incredible bad government right now, but I don't see that as an aberration, I see that as the norm.  Most governments are bad.  Our government has been incredibly oppressive for most of our history. In fact, one of the reasons that anarchism is not more of a force in our country is because of mass persecution of anarchists and leftists more generally.

          There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

          by AoT on Sun May 27, 2012 at 11:26:00 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Before I comment further (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            AoT

            because while I think I understand the problems you are articulating, I am not sure as of yet where this is leading.  Government can be as large as a nation or as small as in an organization.  So I try not to be judgemental of any comments on this subject and will to approach this series of diaries with an open mind in hopes of learning something.

            "Growing up is for those who don't have the guts not to. Grow wise, grow loving, grow compassionate, but why grow up?" - Fiddlegirl

            by gulfgal98 on Sun May 27, 2012 at 11:54:50 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I'm using government in regards specifically (5+ / 0-)

              to the government, not a general sense of how organizations are run.  The big difference being that I have a choice whether or not to participate in any organization other than the government.  If I don't like how a my church is run I can, in theory at least, simply leave that church.  With the government I have no choice in that regards.

              And approaching these diaries with an open mind is all I can ask.  I can hardly expect people who come to a site dedicated to electing democrats to suddenly convert to anarchism, and that isn't the point.  I want to explain where anarchists are coming from and start a conversation where we aren't constantly condemned.  It seems like with all the people who are sympathetic to Emma Goldman we could find some room for living anarchists as well.

              There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

              by AoT on Sun May 27, 2012 at 12:09:55 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Thank you for... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                AoT

                being open minded to my comment.  I promise that I definitely be open minded to what you have to say.  

                "Growing up is for those who don't have the guts not to. Grow wise, grow loving, grow compassionate, but why grow up?" - Fiddlegirl

                by gulfgal98 on Sun May 27, 2012 at 06:02:48 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  Do you believe that all humans will behave, ... (0+ / 0-)

            never harming anyone else in any manner?  And if not, how will the "police" in your utopia be any different than the police we currently employ to enforce the laws that protect us from those who'd run roughshod over everyone else if they could get away with it?

            "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity, and I am not sure about the universe." -- Albert Einstein

            by Neuroptimalian on Sun May 27, 2012 at 08:28:06 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  No, I don't. I don't believe in Utopia (0+ / 0-)

              I believe in a qualitatively better world.  I believe that the state facilitates oppression on a level that isn't possible without the state.

              There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

              by AoT on Sun May 27, 2012 at 10:42:33 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  How do you propose (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AoT

        To get that solution to work in time?

        This would require an overwhelming number (several billion) anarchists to reach a consensus on what and how to do what would be done, and very soon.

        This is a very immediate, complex and practical problem involving the entire world.

        What about my Daughter's future?

        by koNko on Sun May 27, 2012 at 07:05:02 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  There is already a consensus among a huge (0+ / 0-)

          number of people about the problem and what we need to do to solve it.  The argument is over how we get there.  If ten percent of people who work toward electing democrats put that energy toward direct action in defense of the planet we would see change in a very short time period.

          There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

          by AoT on Sun May 27, 2012 at 10:40:47 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Does a solution have to be tied to an ideology? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AoT

      Is there a 'conservative solution', a 'liberal solution', a 'centrist solution', etc?

      Do you have a proposed solution yourself?  If you present it, maybe AoT will turn out to be in agreement with you as to the validity of your proposal.

  •  Hoist High The Black/Red Banners! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Horace Boothroyd III, laserhaas

    Black masks and clothes are typical anarchist attire and should be highly welcomed at any ochlocratic emute!

    ! The swinistic greed and racial hatred of the American ruling elite is abysmal !

    by joe wobblie on Sun May 27, 2012 at 08:53:02 AM PDT

  •  Wow (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ManhattanMan, allergywoman, FG, rcnewton

    This is the polar opposite of everything that I believe.

    I could barely make it past this line:

    That is to say, I believe that there is not, and there could not be, a state that has a right to command and whose subjects have a binding obligation to obey.
    And then I read this one:
    Each of us must make himself the author of his actions and take responsibility for them by refusing to act save on the basis of reasons he can see for himself to be good.
    My coarse view of the world is that there are two camps of thought, with Kant and leftism on one side and Nietzsche and rightism on the other.

    This isn't just straying from the side of Kant, but overturning him entirely and embracing some things that I think lead to absolutely reprehensible and abhorrent outcomes.

    For the first time, I find myself wondering if the true political home of Anarchists should not be our right-wing party, the Republicans, rather than our centrist one, the Democrats.

    "I'll believe that corporations are people when I see Rick Perry execute one."

    by bink on Sun May 27, 2012 at 08:54:26 AM PDT

    •  So you don't think that we have to make individual (4+ / 0-)

      moral choices?  And the position you are arguing against is Kant's position.  This isn't a Nietzschean position.  The main thing about this is that it is the logical philosophical argument against the state, not the practical one.  Anarchism is not Libertarianism, it is for the most part collectivist not individualist in terms of methods of organization.

      There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

      by AoT on Sun May 27, 2012 at 08:59:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Uh (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        rcnewton

        "Refusing to act save on the basis of reasons he can see for himself to be good" does not sound like Kant ... at all.

        "I'll believe that corporations are people when I see Rick Perry execute one."

        by bink on Sun May 27, 2012 at 09:02:10 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That quote is exactly what Kant thinks (2+ / 0-)

          Kant's ethics are exactly that.  I thought the quote I included made that clear.

          There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

          by AoT on Sun May 27, 2012 at 09:05:32 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Kant's Ethics (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            AoT, cassandracarolina, rcnewton

            Are based on the idea that such considerations are not subjective, which is you are saying here: "... reasons he can see for himself to be good."

            I don't want to derail your diary, so I think I'll just quietly observe the rest of the discussion. Feel free to take the final word, though.

            This just isn't my thing. In fact, it sends shivers down my spine.

            "I'll believe that corporations are people when I see Rick Perry execute one."

            by bink on Sun May 27, 2012 at 09:10:10 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  For what it is worth... (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              AoT, Cedwyn, rcnewton

              I find these sorts of disagreements to be very useful in considering what the diarist is saying. I see it as less derailure than extension...

              Poverty = politics.

              by Renee on Sun May 27, 2012 at 09:16:20 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  This isn't derailing at all (3+ / 0-)

              It's very central to the point.  Kant's ethics are based on the idea that one needs to base one's morals on a rational analysis of the world.  I have some problems with the idea of a categorical imperative, saying that you should never ever lie seems  bit strong, but I think the idea that we need to look at our individual actions and decide what is right and wrong is very true.  The question, and I think possibly the real thread of contention here, is what we think our ethics should be based on.  I base my ethics on taking actions that are not oppressive and that work to end oppression and harm to other people.  Everything else flows from that for me.

              There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

              by AoT on Sun May 27, 2012 at 09:25:35 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Gee Whiz! and I thought (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                blueoasis

                all the while that 'anarchists' opposed authority and hierarchical organization in the conduct of human relations; advocating instead stateless societies based on voluntary associations...
                  Why all the pointles digression into ancient philosophy?
                (people long dead who tried to see things through a mirror darkly)
                    Very well, if you insist, don't forget Descartes!

                ! The swinistic greed and racial hatred of the American ruling elite is abysmal !

                by joe wobblie on Sun May 27, 2012 at 02:23:58 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  Here's my difficulty with this: (4+ / 0-)
        Each of us must make himself the author of his actions and take responsibility for them by refusing to act save on the basis of reasons he can see for himself to be good.
        I believe (and I believe there is abundant evidence to support that belief) that together we know more than any one of us alone can know. Since that is true, part of becoming a responsible individual is learning to recognize one's own limits of knowledge and those who are reasonably more knowledgeable in those areas. Given that, there will be times that one needs to trust another's judgment.

        Now, how to recognize one's own limits, how to recognize reliable sources are both big questions. But simply claiming that each and every person can and should be the final authority for all questions runs against most of my experience as an adult.

        Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? . . . and respect the dignity of every human being.

        by Wee Mama on Sun May 27, 2012 at 11:18:52 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's a very good point (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Renee, glitterscale

          And the argument is a very simplistic one.  In reality I do trust what others say on certain topics.  At the same time I think the point still holds in terms of legitimate government.  Either we accept that the government is legitimate or we don't, if I reject the laws of the government in a given situation then I am saying that I refuse to obey the government.  There's no way for me to say both that the government has authority and that I have a right to do what I think is right in a given situation.  The two are at odds with each other.  Of course, that isn't to say that following the aw is always a bad thing, but I don't follow the law because I think that the government has the right to command people I follow the law either because it is a good law or because I'm scared of the consequences.  Or because I have no reason to break it.  I mean, I don't smoke pot because I don't like too, not because it's illegal.  I think that's a bad law.

          There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

          by AoT on Sun May 27, 2012 at 11:32:43 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I should have read farther into the comments. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Wee Mama, joe wobblie

          You already wrote what I just posted, but without a lot of superfluous words :)

        •  I didn't think that was what he was saying... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          AoT, glitterscale

          I thought he was saying that making choices about one's own actions should always be one's own responsibility. And, therefore, one must exercise discernment. That discernment may include trusting collective wisdom. Anarchism is very much rooted in the collective. But for the collective to result in the best possible wisdom, each individual must actively participate and bring their own discernment to the table.

          And the collective must not impose decisions by force onto people who find they could not live with those decisions. The collective should be responsive to strong objections to decisions and consider and accomodate rather than use force to coerce someone to comply.

      •  The ignorant make poor choices. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wu ming

        And each of us is ignorant of many fields, simply because there is not time enough in our lifetimes to become truly knowledgeable about every field of endeavor.

        One reason that humans act in groups, and 'listen to authorities', is because it allows us to specialize, and to trust others who specialize in other fields, so that we can pool our ideas and present the best ideas from all of those involved.

        I don't have to understand the intricacies of some specific field, if I can find other trustworthy individuals who do understand that field to offer up their ideas on how to manage that field.

        We 'act' in thousands of ways every day that we do not individually validate as 'good', because someone else before us realized they were 'good ideas'.  Drinking fluoridated water, stopping for stoplights, etc.  We could 'refuse to take such actions' until such time as we could individually 'see for ourselves' the good inherent in such, but the result would be more cavities and more traffic accidents.

        While it's a good thing to understand your environment, simply rejecting anything out of hand before you take the time to find out whether or not it serves a 'good purpose' will automatically degrade the efficiency of such systems as a result of users who haven't had the time to discern the validity of the system.

        •  Thee is a huge difference between (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Renee, glitterscale

          an authority such as a doctor and a police officer.  I pay attention to what a doctor says for a number of reasons.  At the same time if I have a headache I generally don't go to a doctor for advice.

          While it's a good thing to understand your environment, simply rejecting anything out of hand before you take the time to find out whether or not it serves a 'good purpose' will automatically degrade the efficiency of such systems as a result of users who haven't had the time to discern the validity of the system.
          Part of the reason that we are ignorant of our environment is that we have had no say in creating that environment.  Obviously there's a gross physical environment that exists that we can't just tear up and change, but there's a legal environment that controls us, or attempts to control us, that has been built up over the years by people who are completely ignorant of our lives.  A small example of this is the fact that our laws in regards to stop lights and stop signs make no allowances for those of us who ride bikes.  I rarely come to a full and complete stop on my bicycle at a stop sign because it just doesn't make sense to roll up, stop, put my foot down, and then start going again.  So I break the law.  A law I had no say in making.

          There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

          by AoT on Sun May 27, 2012 at 12:33:19 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Nietzsche? Kant? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ZhenRen, laserhaas

      What the hell do they have to do with it?
      Try reading some 'Bakunin', sometime...

      ! The swinistic greed and racial hatred of the American ruling elite is abysmal !

      by joe wobblie on Sun May 27, 2012 at 09:13:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Anarchism (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AoT, wu ming, gulfgal98, Renee, glitterscale

      Anarcho-socialism, to be precise, is as far from Ayn Rand as one can get.

      In capitalism, some mythical nonsense called the "market" rules us all, and individuals are allowed to monopolize land and resources and the means of production, accumulating as much wealth, and thus power over others, as they can.

      With anarcho-socialism, the people collectively decide how to live. No one is allowed to have economic power over others.

      The 'means of production' is shared. Property is shared. There is no distant, central state to dictate to people how to live in local areas. People organize and govern themselves in local groups. Those groups in turn form federations with other groups. There is no state to rule people from on high.

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

      by ZhenRen on Sun May 27, 2012 at 10:16:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  "There is no state to rule people from on high." (0+ / 0-)
        With anarcho-socialism, the people collectively decide how to live. No one is allowed to have economic power over others.
        Well, Zhen...how would this ever work? It seems to me the most primative philosophy of the human condition is to amass unto himself money, power, property, etc. The Alpha male thing.

        I hear strains of Lennon's (John) "Imagine".

        The 'means of production' is shared. Property is shared. There is no distant, central state to dictate to people how to live in local areas. People organize and govern themselves in local groups. Those groups in turn form federations with other groups. There is no state to rule people from on high.
        I guess I'm just asking if you think such an arrangement would/could ever be realized? Would not eventually come along one who would declare unto himself "I want all  your stuff, NOW(!) Gimmie  it or I'll kill you."
        •  Here's the problem (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Annalize5, glitterscale
          It seems to me the most primative philosophy of the human condition is to amass unto himself money, power, property, etc. The Alpha male thing.
          And why do you believe that?  This is a constant theme running through our society and is strongly tied to the Darwinian capitalism we have.  It's been shown in many studies that cooperation within a social species is far more common than competition.
          I guess I'm just asking if you think such an arrangement would/could ever be realized? Would not eventually come along one who would declare unto himself "I want all  your stuff, NOW(!) Gimmie  it or I'll kill you."
          Well, people can defend themselves.  I mean, we're not talking about a world of idyllic pastors and white clad virgins wandering the landscape.  Anarchism is often presented as being Utopian, and while in some ways it may be I'm certainly not under the impression that all our problems would just go away.  I just see it as a better way to solve those problems.

          There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

          by AoT on Sun May 27, 2012 at 12:51:44 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  We've all been taught (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Renee, AoT, Annalize5, glitterscale

          for several hundred years that "greed" motivates humans above all else.

          That is the monarchists, feudal lords, capitalists, corporate bosses, and the wealthy -- in short, the so-called 1% -- telling us that.

          Of course this is the meme that is taught. If cooperation and mutual aid were taught instead, the wealthy would see that as a threat to their wealth and power.

          Read Kropotkin's book, Mutual Aid, for a different view. There are all sort of examples of people spontaneously coming together to work collectively.

          Greed of course exists. But it is not the only motivation that moves us.

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

          by ZhenRen on Sun May 27, 2012 at 01:09:52 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  And when members of the group are at odds? (0+ / 0-)

        And members of neighboring groups are at odds? If no agreement on "how to live" is achievable, what happens?

        from a bright young conservative: “I’m watching my first GOP debate…and WE SOUND LIKE CRAZY PEOPLE!!!!”

        by Catte Nappe on Sun May 27, 2012 at 02:18:02 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Kill them, of course (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Free Jazz at High Noon, AoT

          Use the power of authority and might to crush them.

          Kidding, kidding.

          Maybe if we approached other groups with the same spirit of mutual aid, cooperation, sharing, things would work out better than warfare brought about from attempts to dominate resources.

          We're still following the old model of colonialism. why not evolve a more successful approach?

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

          by ZhenRen on Sun May 27, 2012 at 03:07:40 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I've been thinking a lot about this lately (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          joe wobblie, Catte Nappe

          And it feels to me that what we have been done out of is community. So if, like AOT's church example, you are unhappy with the community and its vision and its manifestation of its vision, you have choices. 1) you can advocate for your vision, 2) you can create your own community or 3) you can find another community that more closely aligns with your vision.

          Right now, imo, our "communities are a hodgepodge. In my little 20 block square, we are surrounded by at least three churches, we have a "Squire Park Organization" and we have city and county services that provide fire protection, water, and street maintenance.

          But I don't feel that I am a member of any of it. So I am pretty much dreaming about creating a community that would nourish me.

          To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong. -Joseph Chilton Pearce

          by glitterscale on Mon May 28, 2012 at 10:50:13 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  what? anarchist is anti-authority. the right-wing (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AoT, glitterscale

      is very authoritarian.

      anarchism does not mean no government, it means that government should not use force. And the laws it creates should be with the consent of all the people. and that, as individuals, if we find the laws to wrong, we are accountable for getting them changed. and that may mean willful civil disobedience in order to get attention to and make a case for change.

  •  How would Anarchism deal with (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cassandracarolina

    Organized religion and neighboring countries/states?

    Obama 2012 http://whatthefuckhasobamadonesofar.com/

    by jiffypop on Sun May 27, 2012 at 09:06:00 AM PDT

    •  Neighboring countries (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      joe wobblie

      do tend to be a problem given that they have a bad habit of invading and suppressing through force.  There's some schools of thought that say that an anarchist revolution would have to be world wide for it to be successful.  I think that it would be difficult to deal with agents of foreign governments but I also think that it is a problem that we can overcome.  That is one of the weak points in term of past experience.

      Part of the answer is that different groups would deal with it differently.  Part of that is questioning what sort of interactions are necessary.  It is very possible that other governments would simply refuse to have relations with an anarchist country given the fact that there would be no people with the authority to negotiate.  Primarily dealing with other countries  would mean dealing with individuals and non-governmental entities.

      There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

      by AoT on Sun May 27, 2012 at 09:18:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Anything that needs to be worldwide to be (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AoT

        successful is not going to happen. Or most likely will quickly degenerate into another brutal dictatorship like communist revolutions.

        •  I don't know that it does need to be world wide (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          FG

          When there were examples of Anarchist societies they were in specific times and places where they were under attack.  It might be the case that this would happen to any anarchist community, but I can't say for sure.

          There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

          by AoT on Sun May 27, 2012 at 12:35:20 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  the essence of anarchy (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Horace Boothroyd III, Renee

      is ultimate personal responsibility.  if everyone lived that value, religion would die out.

      Die with your boots on. If you're gonna try, well stick around. Gonna cry? Just move along. The truth of all predictions is always in your hands. - Iron Maiden

      by Cedwyn on Sun May 27, 2012 at 09:52:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  For a planet of 7 billion persons to move forward (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cassandracarolina, allergywoman, FG

    in any sort of coherent manner is simply an impossibility without government. And this is coming from a person who has far more first hand experience with how bad government, and particularly our government, can be than you do.

    Our current government ain't great, but it only is what it is, and not nearly what it needs to be.

    There can be no protection locally if we're content to ignore the fact that there are no controls globally.

    by oldpotsmuggler on Sun May 27, 2012 at 09:13:54 AM PDT

    •  LOL (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wu ming, AoT, glitterscale

      It is "government" (as we conceive of it historically) that is destroying the world. The problem is centralized governments tend to become self serving to the interests of wealth and power, rather than the people.

      Anarchism isn't lack of government, rather, it is self-government and self management by collectives. Anarchism is highly organized in approach, but the organization comes from the people, together.  No one is given control, to the exclusion of others. The people rule by a horizontal approach in which everyone has a voice. Decisions are made, solutions are found, and people move forward together.

      The problems of the world often don't derive from too little action, too little government, but rather from too much. Leave things alone, and they take care of themselves. Quit trying to rule the world, and there is less eco-destruction.

      Humans and the planet have managed to survive for eons without state governments.

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

      by ZhenRen on Sun May 27, 2012 at 10:39:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  If you think it was at a planetary population of 7 (0+ / 0-)

        billion for eons, I'd suggest that you crack a book once in a while. If you suggest that we go back to the way life was for those alive during those eons, I'd like to hear your plan for picking the infinetesimal per centage of the current population that gets to survive.

        Oh, and that you volunteer to be one of the first casualties. The power over life and death has to be far less attaractive if you know that you're first in line on the wrong side.

        Now if you want to try to create The Second American Constitutional Convention, and then use that event to try to float some novelty called "The Anarchists Constitution", I could respect that.

        There can be no protection locally if we're content to ignore the fact that there are no controls globally.

        by oldpotsmuggler on Sun May 27, 2012 at 04:40:01 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  If you think we aren't facing a probable great die (0+ / 0-)

          off with our current system then you are sadly mistaken.  We are on our way down an ugly, ugly path and expecting the ideologies that led us there to save us seems like the height of absurdity to me.

          There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

          by AoT on Sun May 27, 2012 at 10:53:19 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  So your "answer" is to replace a probable (0+ / 0-)

            catastrophe with a guaranteed and far more massive catastrophe? The logic of that escapes me. Anarchism is, under the circumstances, surrender, and surrender is worthy of no respect.

            And I'm assuming that your lack of intellectual rigor explains why you have no appetite to fight for your point of view in a Constitutional Convention?

            There can be no protection locally if we're content to ignore the fact that there are no controls globally.

            by oldpotsmuggler on Mon May 28, 2012 at 09:53:57 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Tipped because it's thought provoking (8+ / 0-)

    But to be honest I see little difference between this explanation of anarchy and libertarianism. It's a rejection of government based on the oh so important autonomy and independence of each individual. And, yeah, that sounds great in theory but in practice it's anything but.

    Utah Phillips told a story about his favorite anarchist, who stood in front of a judge and said "To hell with your laws. The good people don't need 'em and the bad people don't follow 'em."

    But that's simply not true. And I reject the premise that government is inherently a force for evil. The people who believe that need to go serve on their local school board, or run for city council, or become the government that they reject, and then say that it's illegitimate.

    I find the idea of people living in this day and age and claiming this need to be respected as individuals first and foremost alarming. Yes, we are all special little snowflakes. But individualism does not work in society. It simply doesn't. You are a member of society. I am a member of society. And while I don't believe that we should tell each other how to live our lives, I do think that we have to have a structure in place to tell you what you can't do.

    Like the saying, your right to throw a punch ends when it hits my face. There is a reason that there are laws in place to tell you that you can't just walk up and punch me. If someone really wants to punch me, they're going to do it whether the law tells them they can or not. That's why we all know how bad it hurts to be punched. It's against the law, but it happens.

    And the law exists so that when you punch me in my face I have some sort of recourse, and you don't get to walk away and say "Well, I am an autonomous individual, and I reject the authority of the state."

    P.S. I am not a crackpot.

    by BoiseBlue on Sun May 27, 2012 at 09:15:34 AM PDT

    •  The huge difference between anarchism (6+ / 0-)

      and libertarianism is that libertarianism exalts the individual as the most important thing in and of itself while rejecting the idea of social goods that don't flow out of that ideal.  Anarchism is a communitarian political philosophy that sees social organization as a replacement for government.  Unlike libertarians anarchists don't think that just not having a government will make things better, what will make things better is organizing ourselves outside of the government as communities, not just saying "Yay!  No government!  Everything will be perfect now."  Which is the libertarian line.

      There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

      by AoT on Sun May 27, 2012 at 09:31:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, but it's still nonsensical and ignores the (6+ / 0-)

        realities of the world we live in and the nature of humans. You can't "replace" government, because whatever you replace it with becomes government.

        And the reason our government is so susceptible to corruption is because people are corrupt, and anything that you replace government with will not only then be the government, but it will also become corrupt.
         

        P.S. I am not a crackpot.

        by BoiseBlue on Sun May 27, 2012 at 09:39:22 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  for a while, (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Horace Boothroyd III, blueoasis

          my sig said "my goal is to make the world safe for anarchy - 4Freedom."

          so it isn't quite fair to say anarchists are ignoring reality; it's more a vision of how things should be.

          Die with your boots on. If you're gonna try, well stick around. Gonna cry? Just move along. The truth of all predictions is always in your hands. - Iron Maiden

          by Cedwyn on Sun May 27, 2012 at 09:53:22 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  We already have a vision of how things should (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            allergywoman, FG, Annalize5

            be. What's getting in our way? Number one: greedy people. People who put profit above all else.

            What do you suppose we do with all these people? When we replace the government with something better, do you think that greed will cease to exist? Do you think people won't find a way to corrupt the replacement in a way that makes them very wealthy?

            Yes, we know how things should be. And if we were all like me, peace loving tree huggers, anarchy would be easy. But that's not the world we live in. There are more greedy people in this nation than there are pacifists. And yes, pretending that isn't true is ignoring reality.

            P.S. I am not a crackpot.

            by BoiseBlue on Sun May 27, 2012 at 10:18:14 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  It's not just that there are greedy people, it's (5+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Cedwyn, wu ming, blueoasis, Renee, glitterscale

              that those greedy people have power and that we've structured our society in way that gives people power.  Take away that power and you get a more equal world.  Wealth isn't a given in society, it's a result of how we are organized.

              There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

              by AoT on Sun May 27, 2012 at 10:25:15 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  And what mechanism do you have in place to (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                allergywoman, Annalize5

                ensure that all stays equal? Without government or any authority, what do you have that corrects people when they attempt to gain more power?

                P.S. I am not a crackpot.

                by BoiseBlue on Sun May 27, 2012 at 10:44:37 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Collective ownership for one (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  wu ming

                  And I should have talked more about economics in the diary.  A big part of power distribution has to do with economics and the authoritarian nature of our economic system, which was a major problem with the Soviet Union as well.  If you look at where people derive their power it is most often from economic control, take that away and you have far less problems.

                  There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

                  by AoT on Sun May 27, 2012 at 11:00:44 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  That doesn't answer the question of how that (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    allergywoman, Annalize5

                    is enforced. It's a simple question.

                    P.S. I am not a crackpot.

                    by BoiseBlue on Sun May 27, 2012 at 11:18:09 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Could you give me an example of what you mean? (0+ / 0-)

                      I don't understand the question.

                      There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

                      by AoT on Sun May 27, 2012 at 12:36:24 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I asked what mechanism you have in place to (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        condorcet

                        ensure that the greediest among us do not gain power. You answered that you correct that with collective ownership, but that doesn't answer the question.

                        You say that in your vision, we are all equals. That's a lovely thought, but human nature tells us that we will never eliminate greed among humans.

                        So, without any authority, how do you enforce your vision of equality? What mechanism do you have in place to make sure that the greediest among us don't amass power? Collective ownership does not answer that question, it begs it.

                        You say that if we take away their power it eliminates their power. Without any government or authority, what eliminates their power? What stops them from corrupting your system of collective ownership?

                        Okay, let's put it this way. Let's use the "anarchists won't take out the trash" example. Your answer is collective ownership.

                        Well, that may be fine. I am part owner, but I still don't feel like taking out the trash. So I pay someone to do it for me. I mean, we all presumably have food and other goods that can be traded. So I offer a kid down the street to take the trash out and I'll give him a pineapple whenever he does. So, he does it. (Note, I can't get someone else to do it for me out of the kindness of their heart. They are going to want some kind of currency.)

                        So he's essentially now my employee, providing services that I pay for. What structure do you have in place to make sure that we remain equals, and not two people with an imbalanced and unequal relationship?

                        P.S. I am not a crackpot.

                        by BoiseBlue on Sun May 27, 2012 at 12:54:26 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  See? I asked this question almost two hours ago (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          AoT

                          And none of the people advocating for anarchy can answer it.

                          P.S. I am not a crackpot.

                          by BoiseBlue on Sun May 27, 2012 at 01:50:12 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  It was a nice day and I decided to spend it (0+ / 0-)

                            not on the internet.  I don't begrudge you this comment because I've made the same a million times.

                            There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

                            by AoT on Sun May 27, 2012 at 11:19:31 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Maybe it is because you want a process (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            joe wobblie

                            or "mechanism" for doing something. The question that is more important is what is that something.

                            AOT was talking about economic equality. That could mean many different things depending upon your vision. It could, for example, mean that instead of for profits there are community owned entities like banks, like health care services, like schools, like utilities (or like utilities USED to be). But you could also have income redistribution, or you could have resource allocations, or both using some kind of tax structure. Remember it isn't necessarily so that you lose structure, more that your structure is close to home rather than imposed from some lofty capital building.

                            Remember too, Ghandi's big thing about employment which is another way you could look at AOT's equality. Everybody is provided with gainful employment and the community and the individual is much better for that. The HOW is decided by the community. But the NEED is decided by the vision and the integrity of the members. What has been truly lacking in our communities is the "vision thing" and the lack of ethics and integrity.

                            What would happen, for example, if we owned up to the fact that consumerism is killing us? What would happen if we owned up to the fact that our demand for beef is killing us? What would happen if we owned up to the fact that our government is not protecting us, but opening the gates to harm to us, via FDA and oil extraction and such?

                            But before that could happen, we would have to pull our focus in on something that has not be allowed in the public discourse. It would mean that we have to have more and more diaries like AOT, where we explore the heretofore less explored ideas.

                            We desperately need to pay more attention to that local structure anyway. We are in imminent danger of being ALECed to death by the Kochs.

                            To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong. -Joseph Chilton Pearce

                            by glitterscale on Mon May 28, 2012 at 11:14:26 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                        •  Well, there's a number of things that stop (0+ / 0-)

                          the accumulation of power.  Let me address an important point first.

                          (Note, I can't get someone else to do it for me out of the kindness of their heart. They are going to want some kind of currency.)
                          Actually there are plenty of examples of people doing social goods for reasons that are neither out of the kindness of their heart nor for currency.  The pay off, since you seem to think that every action requires a pay off, is that you live in a better society because of what you do.

                          Greed requires a social structure that enforces private ownership of property.  If we remove social support for private ownership of property, as opposed to possession, then greed will be minimized.

                          There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

                          by AoT on Sun May 27, 2012 at 11:18:28 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

            •  That's why the official goal of Russian Communist (0+ / 0-)

              party back in the 20s was to create a new type of people who will not be greedy. We know how that turned out. I don't think anarchism will turn out any differently.

        •  POP! Goes the weasel! (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          blueoasis

          Keep chasing your tail like that and you'll turn into a pool of melted butter!

          ! The swinistic greed and racial hatred of the American ruling elite is abysmal !

          by joe wobblie on Sun May 27, 2012 at 10:05:06 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  libertarianism? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        blueoasis, AoT

        In the US the term libertarian commonly refers to those of a 'conservative' position.  As such it is but a putrid euphemism for 'neo-fascism'.

        ! The swinistic greed and racial hatred of the American ruling elite is abysmal !

        by joe wobblie on Sun May 27, 2012 at 09:58:17 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  It's interesting... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AoT, ManhattanMan, FG

    I read these articles and read about black bloc tactics and the rational behind them sound great. Then I hear some black bloc kid, one that I respect, say "Go away Liberals, this is our revolution".

    Oh, really? Since when did you take ownership of the revolution and do you even know what a Liberal is? Do you know that you're anarchism is not the only kind of anarchism?

    No Revolution can be won without the support of the people, particularly so called Liberals, unless it's a fascist revolution.

    I am both an anarchist and a Liberal and I vote because my ancestors fought for that vote. I have no problem being all of these things and the alternative to allowing the Republicans to control this country and my body is too awful to contemplate.

    Occupy Wall Street was founded on the principals of "exercising personal and collective responsibility".

    When you use Liberal and Pacifist as dirty words without understanding what those words really mean (like understanding anarcho pacifism and no, Gandhi did not invent it & no, he was not perfect), you are alienating people from the movement. You are not practicing solidarity.

    Whose Revolution? Our Revolution!!!
     

    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." (Edmund Burke)

    by resa on Sun May 27, 2012 at 09:37:06 AM PDT

    •  I've been wanting to get this off of my chest for (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ManhattanMan, AoT

      a while.

      "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." (Edmund Burke)

      by resa on Sun May 27, 2012 at 09:39:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  There is a lot of unnecessary animosity (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      joe wobblie, wu ming

      at this point between the more militant anarchists and liberals because there was a rhetorical attack on anarchists that seemingly came out of no where.  The most visible part of it was the Chris Hedges article but there were people in Oakland and NYC who were talking about purging anarchists from Occupy.  One of my goals in this series is to start a meaningful discussion so that there is some understanding between the two groups.  Because we really need to not have that divisive crap.  Part of the anger is because it was so sudden.  Out of nowhere people we had been working with were attacking "anarchists" often not realizing that anarchists were who they were talking to.

      When you use Liberal and Pacifist as dirty words without understanding what those words really mean (like understanding anarcho pacifism and no, Gandhi did not invent it & no, he was not perfect), you are alienating people from the movement. You are not practicing solidarity.
      I agree completely. We need to stop attacking broad groups as being a problem in the movement.  There are people who use liberal arguments and/or pacifist arguments as attacks on the movement and/or anarchists and we need to call out those arguments and not paint everyone with a broad brush.

      There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

      by AoT on Sun May 27, 2012 at 09:52:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  See, this is why... (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BoiseBlue, bink, FG, Catte Nappe, condorcet

    ...we can't have nice things.

    Scratch an Anarchist and you'll find a Libertarian. Always. They may not admit it, they may not even know it, but that's what they are.

    All this anti-government stuff always leads to the same place. Galt's Gulch. Our Diarist says:

    "The state has through out time been the number one means of oppression.  It has been the biggest murderer.  It has been the biggest purveyor of injustice.  The idea that it can be reformed strikes me as hopelessly naive.  To end oppression we need to work outside of the state instead of directing state violence as a tool."
    Once they remove power from the state, who's left standing? Criminals, Corporations, Crazies, and the Free Market.  Who will defend the weak? Who will pave the highways?

    The Republicans want to repeal Obamacare but they won't say what they want to replace it with. Anarchists want to repeal civilization.  When asked what will replace it, they offer:

    "...a system of accountability and a way to defend people outside of the state apparatus that would be focused on actually helping people and not on enforcing policy. "
    If you are able to "defend people" you are using force. And if you are "outside of the state apparatus", that means you are unaccountable. You can't be recalled in an election, you can't subpoenaed, you can't be made to answer a Freedom of Information Request. The romantic young Anarchist may be envisioning Batman...but a realistic view of human history shows that we're more likely to get Don Corleone. Or even Jack Merridew.

    What we have isn't perfect. But allocating power based on elections is the best thing the human race has come up with. Unless the Anarchists can articulate something better (they so far have not) they need to stop breaking windows and setting fires.

    Also, Liberals need to recognize that Anarchists are not allies. The KKK is an extreme version of a Republican, and the Klansman can be relied on to vote Republican when the time comes.

    Anarchists are not extreme versions of Liberals. They are not us, and share no values with us. They are not interested in electing More And Better Democrats. They are not interested in electing anybody. All they do is make us look bad, and they should be refuted and condemned wherever they are found.

    •  You obviously missed some of what I wrote (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wu ming

      Especially the end where I noted that I do vote.

      And I am most certainly not a libertarian.  As I wrote in a response above an anarchist society is not merely the lack of a government it is the existence of social institutions that take the place of government.

      There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

      by AoT on Sun May 27, 2012 at 10:12:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't think I am misunderstanding... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BoiseBlue, FG

        ...you, but please set me straight if I am.

        You vote, but not because you believe in Democracy. You vote because the Oakland Police Department is too strong for you to defeat with violence. Your vote is just something you do while you are gathering the power to overthrow (peacefully or not) our system and replace it with your system.

        As to not being a Libertarian, I say you are. You want to implement "social institutions that take the place of government".

        As long as these "institutions" have the power to compel behavior and allocate resources, they are the government. Except without those pesky ballot boxes.

        If they don't have these powers, then you are back to Libertarianism. You may not exalt individual freedom and write bad novels about individual freedom, but that is what you are offering.

        •  I don't believe that (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ManhattanMan

          democracy is legitimate, but I believe that it exists.  I'd like to see an argument for it's legitimacy that doesn't rest on the round that lots of people support it.

          There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

          by AoT on Sun May 27, 2012 at 10:28:37 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  May argument for Democracy... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            AoT

            ...is that gives us the least chance of violence or oppression. It also gives us a reasonably good chance at maximizing the use of resources.

            A Democracy will be violent to a small number of people. A Democracy will oppress a small number of people. A Democracy will be wasteful of some of our labor and resources.

            But overall, it is the best solution I have seen.

            The Founding Fathers said they were forming a "more perfect" union. I think they understood it the same way that I do.

            If you want to get me on the Anarchist side, you need to show me that:

            1) You've got a better idea that will give better outcomes, and
            2) Your ideas can't be implemented within the US Constitution.

            So far, I have not seen that.

            •  In terms of legitimacy I meant less of a practical (0+ / 0-)

              question than a moral one.  As I said, the practical question really is the real question.

              Looking at the United States as an example of a democracy I would dispute the accusation that democracy is violent to a small number of people.  We are violent to a huge number of people in our own country and are purveyors of violence both directly and by proxy to huge numbers in other countries.

              In regards to what you would need to see to get you on board I'd point again to revolutionary Catalonia and the Free Territory.  Both were organized on anarchist lines and both ere successful until they were attacked by their overwhelmingly powerful neighbors.

              I think the second one is interesting because I don't know that we would have to throw out the constitution to have a functional anarchist society.  In theory we could rework it in such a way that we would still technically have a constitutional government but functional it wouldn't do much of anything.  Part of the reasons for avoiding that is that I think the amount of resources spent on electoral politics could be better used for other things.

              I'll be honest, my point in doing this series isn't necessarily to convert folks to anarchism.  This is a Democratic blog and that would definitely be outside the goals here.  What I do want to do is get rid of some of the misconceptions about anarchism and anarchists, because in a very real sense you and I are working toward the same goal:  A more just world with less oppression.  I think we can work together to reach that goal.

              There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

              by AoT on Sun May 27, 2012 at 11:20:11 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Since the US Constitution can be amended (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              AoT

              any idea can be implemented "within the US Constitution" so restriction 2) is meaningless.

              •  Whoops. Stop. I completely misread your (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                AoT

                statement.  I read it as "CAN be implemented" not "CAN'T be implemented."

                Just completely ignore the comment.

                Ah, for the ability to delete a comment within a few seconds of putting it up.

      •  How is a 'social institution' that performs the (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wu ming, BoiseBlue, Catte Nappe

        tasks of a government (ie, 'takes the place of government) simply not a government in and of itself?

        •  Because it isn't imposed on people through (0+ / 0-)

          violence, it is created by people through cooperation.  People organize to do things that the government does all the time.  What is it that the government does that makes it the government is I think your question.  And the answer is that it forces people to obey it.

          There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

          by AoT on Sun May 27, 2012 at 12:39:07 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  I just donated $50.00 to ... (0+ / 0-)

    ... President Obama's campaign and $25.00 to Tom Barrett's. Man, I feel good! I think they both have grown-up, sober and important visions for our country.

    I would tip you, but the man took away my tips.

    by Tortmaster on Sun May 27, 2012 at 10:21:32 AM PDT

  •  quakers are anarchist (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AoT

    in that they reach their consensus through nonviolent discussion, and don't use a church hierarchy to simply force acceptance of what the leadership wants (because there is no church leadership or hierarchy).

    my family is anarchist, in that my wife and i pool our common resources and figure out what we're going to do through discussion, not from either one of us ordering the other around, or using violence to force compliance. some families work differently in that regard, and i tend to view them as deeply dysfunctional if not outright abusive.

    we live these principles in many aspects of our lives, more or less depending on the community we live in. the huge cognitive leap for many is in entertaining the possibility that nonviolence consensus systems, or government/community organizations without coercive violence, could possibly manage complex systems, or deal with existing problems of violence, antisocial behavior, or situations where the community is not of a single mind.

    i tend to be more of a social democrat the bigger the governmental arena, and an anarchist the smaller and more local, but i tend to be pretty convinced by much of the anarchist critique of The Way Things Are, the state and violence, etc. i'm less confident in their prescriptive solutions than their analysis, but then in a world where all the status quo coercive structures are corrupt or collapsing, i'm willing to hear them out when they have ideas about how better to provide things that communities need to have done.

    i have been pretty impressed by how well the various occupations have tried to demonstrate how it might work, when they weren't being attacked by the cops. i wish they would be left alone more, to see if they really can do what they claim they can.

  •  The thing is that anarchists will not take out (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BoiseBlue

    the trash. You run into the tragedy of commons and have no way to get out of it. Libertarianism is at least logical, anarchism is a fantasy that assumes that people are better than they really are. Otherwise it simply becomes libertarianism.

    •  Yup (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FG
      anarchism is a fantasy that assumes that people are better than they really are
      It assumes that humans all have the same wants and desires. Like I said, if we were all tree hugging pacifists like me, anarchy would be easy.

      But we're not, so the idea is hopelessly naive. I mean, if we were all better people we would need the concept of anarchy anyway.

      P.S. I am not a crackpot.

      by BoiseBlue on Sun May 27, 2012 at 12:04:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Um, I take out the trash on a regular basis (0+ / 0-)

      In the anarchist controlled areas of Spain during the civil war anarchists took out the trash.  It's not that hard to do.

      Libertarianism is at least logical
      No, it definitely isn't.  Regardless of what you may think of anarchism Libertarianism is in no way logical.  It makes unsubstantiated claims and is based on falsehoods.  Philosophical Anarchism, or the rejection of the claims to legitimacy of any state, is logical.  

      There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

      by AoT on Sun May 27, 2012 at 12:15:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Taking the trash out of the house and taking it to (0+ / 0-)

        the landfill/recycling is not exactly the same thing. I assume you do the former. Anarchists during Spanish civil war didn't govern all that differently from other left-wing groups.

        I think there is simply a lot more evidence that free market is functional (despite its failures and brutality) than that people can govern themselves collectively on large scale. Collective governance is certainly possible locally. But even that wouldn't really be proper anarchism.

        •  Libertarianism isn't just a free market (0+ / 0-)

          It's based on a flawed view of the individual as being an autonomous entity that exists as a rational actor, all things we know for a fact to be wrong.

          And no, I don't take the trash to the land fill currently, but there are in fact people who do that under the current system.  I do make as little trash as possible, which is the only long term solution to the problem, not making trash.

          There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

          by AoT on Sun May 27, 2012 at 12:45:02 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  So you know that (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            FG
            It's based on a flawed view of the individual as being an autonomous entity that exists as a rational actor, all things we know for a fact to be wrong.
            You know that is wrong, but you believe that replacing government with individual, autonomous people that form a collective ownership is right?

            P.S. I am not a crackpot.

            by BoiseBlue on Sun May 27, 2012 at 01:01:26 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  You clearly base your idea of human nature (0+ / 0-)

              on American society.  Some how humans are both greedy and lazy and yet magically managed to collectively subdue the entire world through organization.

              There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

              by AoT on Sun May 27, 2012 at 11:28:12 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  If people are not rational individually, why (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            BoiseBlue

            would they be rational in a group?

            •  It's human nature to act rationally as a group! (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              FG

              Didn't you get the memo?

              (Don't say groupthink, don't say groupthink, don't say groupthink, don't say groupthink, don't say groupthink, don't say groupthink....)

              Shit, I just said it, didn't I?

              Hmmm. I'm remembering something about how the "common good" was once "What if it was YOUR daughter [that wants to marry a black man]" and the groups of people who thought that was an assault on all that kept us civilized reacted very rationally, did they not?

              It's a good thing we didn't have government interfering in THAT battle. Sheesh. There might have been violence!

              (Sorry that at this point I'm getting snarky, but none of the relevant points have been addressed so far, just this stubborn insistence that humans can act rationally and non-violently without any authority. We already know that is not true.)

              P.S. I am not a crackpot.

              by BoiseBlue on Sun May 27, 2012 at 01:13:19 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  So you think that people act rationally in (0+ / 0-)

              as economic actors?  Despite the obvious evidence to the opposite.

              There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

              by AoT on Sun May 27, 2012 at 11:29:19 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  at all the occupations i've seen (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AoT

      they do a pretty decent job of taking out the trash, until the police raid them and throw everything in garbage trucks.

      •  I'm not sure if you can equate occupations with (0+ / 0-)

        the ideal anarchist society. And on small, local scale collective governance certainly works. In fact, this is how humans governed themselves for millenia.

      •  And all those people at the occupations share the (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Catte Nappe

        same goal.

        You are all trying to argue that because it works in occupation camps it will work on a large scale. If that was true, OWS wouldn't even exist. We'd all be working towards the common good instead of having to form incredibly small camps (in relation to the population in general) to fight back against the problem of greed in our society, the need for government.

        I can get a group of people to work together towards a common good if those people believe that it IS a common good. I can get plenty of people to ride their bike with me to work and then daydream about a world with no cars.

        But that doesn't mean that it's a practical goal. It may work for a group of twenty. It WON'T work for a group of millions unless I have a central authority that imposes that will upon others.

        P.S. I am not a crackpot.

        by BoiseBlue on Sun May 27, 2012 at 01:05:50 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  i am not making that argument (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          AoT

          i am refuting the absurd claim that "anarchists don't pick up trash," when as far as i can tell, they do pick up the trash pretty effectively wherever they are allowed to run their small scale things. i'm skeptical as to whether that scales up, personally, but then i'm not the one making easily disproven blanket statements.

          •  Sure. They "pick up" trash but where do they put (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            FG

            it? In garbage cans provided..... by the government.

            So we lost all the infrastructure that government provides and assume that the anarchist will pick it up? Where do they take it? What do they do with it? And most importantly, since NO ONE will answer this question:

            Who ensures that it is done? There is no legitimate authority in this anarchy, so if no one picks up the trash, everyone just lives among trash.

            Or wait for an altruistic group of anarchists to come by and pick it up, I guess.

            P.S. I am not a crackpot.

            by BoiseBlue on Sun May 27, 2012 at 01:46:08 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  all the anarchists I know are very responsible (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AoT

      about the commons.

      •  Yes, they are. (0+ / 0-)

        They are in the commons that are currently provided by the government, and they are using that infrastructure to clean up after themselves.

        When that infrastructure is gone, who is going to clean up? NO ONE will answer that question. Yes, the people in Occupy camps are taking out their trash. Wonderful! But they are taking it to government funded and controlled areas. When those are gone, who really takes out the trash?

        P.S. I am not a crackpot.

        by BoiseBlue on Sun May 27, 2012 at 01:55:14 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  so, when the colonists overthrew the British (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          AoT

          Government, were there people around like you saying, "but who will dispose of the garbage?"

          Anarchism is not about lack of governance. It is about participatory governance and governance via consent.

          People may take on roles, but they would do it with the consent of others and with full knowledge that the role could be taken away from them if people find they are not serving the common good.

          It is a specious argument to be claiming that no one would take out the trash. Humans have always figured out how to deal with the practical. Collective tribal societies did not leave behind a trash-strewn world.

          In fact, it could be argued that in our current system, we are not dealing with out trash. We are letting our government hide it out of our site, but it is piling up in enormous quantities and we are refusing to deal with. Perhaps, if it piled up closer to home, we'd stop generating so much and would find creative ways to minimize how much ever gets generated.

          If your biggest worry is whether your trash will get stashed out of site so that you don't have to think about it, you have one lucky life. That you think trash is more important that the inhumanity of ruling via force is simply tragic.

          •  In theory (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            FG, BoiseBlue, AoT

            That's how it is supposed to work now

            People may take on roles, but they would do it with the consent of others and with full knowledge that the role could be taken away from them if people find they are not serving the common good.
            from the trash collector to the Senator.
            People are chosen to collect the trash, but their contract can be terminated; people are chosen to manage the land-fill, but they can be removed. As a group, citizens can choose to have a larger or smaller police deparment, public pools or not, etc. "We" decided at some point that it would be helpful to have an army to protect us from violenct intrusion. The devil is in the details of implementation. One of which is the accretion, for various reasons, of rules on top of the rules.

            from a bright young conservative: “I’m watching my first GOP debate…and WE SOUND LIKE CRAZY PEOPLE!!!!”

            by Catte Nappe on Sun May 27, 2012 at 02:28:34 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  the problem with what we have now is, as you (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              AoT

              say the accretion of rules upon rules.

              And our willingness to acquiesce power. That we sit by while our government makes more and more draconian laws, that we have allowed elections to be ruled by money, and therefore our government and control of our military is controlled by those with the most money, means that we long ago ceded our power to "representatives".

              It is not enough to say "you have a vote" when the elections are bought. Or when the choices are limited to such similar options that you're still stuck with oppression.

              Why exactly, do we all sit around while our government directs drones to kill people extra-judiciously? Because we have ceded our authority.

              Five people are sitting in solitary confinement this week with trumped up terrorism charges. What began as a federal investigation was somehow abandoned by the feds, but the local police went ahead and stormed a building - without being ready to prove probably cause - and took them by force - while terrorizing other people in the building, too - and they have not been given access to their lawyers. We have allowed our government to create this extra-judicial space of "indefinite detention" and our own citizens are being tortured and terrorized by our own government. Well, not my own. It is the government of the 1%. Still, as those very young men are being driven insane in hospital white rooms with zero stimulation or human contact, we all just sit here.

              That is the result of our current system, wherein we cede our personal responsibility for everything from inhuman atrocities to the destruction of the planet.

              But, hey, anarchism is probably impractical, so didn't give it a second thought. (not directed at you Catte.)

              •  I agree with what you said (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Catte Nappe

                But no one here has any practical answer for how anarchy prevents or corrects any of those things.

                Every single thing you listed that's wrong with this world happened because some people are greedy or power hungry, and other people are lazy.

                No one here addresses how an anarchy deals with the inherently greedy or the inherently lazy. No one.

                P.S. I am not a crackpot.

                by BoiseBlue on Sun May 27, 2012 at 03:07:37 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Ceding the power of our voices (0+ / 0-)

                That is the key. The system we have now is ingeniously designed, and has every opportunity to be successful - IF we collectively and fully participated. Of course we don't. Many do not participate, whether by taking the time and effort to be informed, or involved in dialogue, or even showing up to vote. Changing the system does not overcome those flaws.

                As to the accretion of rules upon rules;I once had a unique and fascinating and informative opportunity to see that in action.  A new environment, new leadership, new participants - great opportunity to shed those layers of rules. It was a great vision. And this went wrong, and that didn't work, and these were disturbed, and those problems occured, and slowly (but not teribly slowly) those rigid rules re-emerged.

                from a bright young conservative: “I’m watching my first GOP debate…and WE SOUND LIKE CRAZY PEOPLE!!!!”

                by Catte Nappe on Sun May 27, 2012 at 05:04:18 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  They had this evil thing called government. (0+ / 0-)

            And another evil thing called market.

        •  The commons are not created by the government (0+ / 0-)

          They exist separate from the government.  The government is one way to determine what we do with the commons.

          There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

          by AoT on Sun May 27, 2012 at 07:28:12 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Anarchism is inherently unstable, (0+ / 0-)

    as is its close philosophical relative, libertarianism.

    People will try to grab private power.  Some of them will have some success.  Once they have some power, they will use it to try to hang on to it and expand it.  Eventually you will end up with feudalism, and the new aristocracy will invent ideologies to support their position.

    You can support a democratic state without giving up your philosophic independence.  The ideas of John Locke and the Declaration of Independence give a guideline on when you should consider withdrawing your allegience if a state no longer functions on behalf of its citizens.

    As for reconciling the various interests of different people in society, there is not and there never will be a perfect solution.  We just have tomuddle through as best as we can.  Society is messy.

    In the end, there are only 3 possible societies.  Monarchy (in the original sense of rule by one person), feudalism, or democracy (including republics with broad suffrage).  Real societies have a bit of all of these.  Society is messy.

    "The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt." Bertrand Russell

    by Thutmose V on Sun May 27, 2012 at 02:51:42 PM PDT

    •  It's interesting that you bring up (0+ / 0-)

      supporting a democratic state while maintaining philosophical anarchism, because that's exactly what Wolff does.

      There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

      by AoT on Sun May 27, 2012 at 06:48:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I am sorry I am slow to the party (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    joe wobblie

    Anarchism requires thinking and the vast majority of folks do all kinds of things so they don't have to do the thinking. It is my firm belief that a lot of folks go to church just to have somebody else do their thinking for them.

    And some of it is what I think of as learned helplessness that is only gonna get worse with the no child left untested. It is interesting that the testing boards are only concerned with what they think of as "right" answers and not how somebody might argue with them.

    How many of us thought the superman joke was not a joke? (Obama at the first press club thingy). How many of us are now going oh sh** when we see things like SOPA and CISPA and NDAA unlimited detentions and we see whistle blowers harassed, intimidated and tortured?

    Some of the problems too, is how we think of ourselves.
    So if we think of ourselves as consumers, that causes all kinds of problems for ourselves and others. If we think of ourselves as autonomous humans, what would that be like? I, personally, think if I label myself a member of a community that implies some obligations and responsibilities.

    So it is important to take those labels we give ourselves and air them out and dust them off. I think this is the function of the anarchists.

    To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong. -Joseph Chilton Pearce

    by glitterscale on Mon May 28, 2012 at 10:16:36 AM PDT

  •  how is THIS vision of the future (0+ / 0-)

    setting with you?

    ask the citizens of josephine county, oregon, how they like having "no police", "no government", etc.

    your "ethical argument" here:

    "Each of us must make himself the author of his actions and take responsibility for them by refusing to act save on the basis of reasons he can see for himself to be good."
    is fine well and good UNTIL someone doesn't adhere to your "philosophy" or "ideology".

    ask the people of josephine county who have been victims of major crimes (murder, rape, etc.) what justice they will have when there are no police to investigate and find evidence to convict those who committed the crimes against them.

    what?

    josephine, oregon?

    well, that county is now an anarchist's paradise.  personal responsibility and all that... because they rejected the bond issue to PAY for public safety... so, now the "public" is on its own!

    the police have laid off all officers but four who will ONLY be on duty during the daytime hours (NO overtime, so don't get robbed, attacked, beaten up during the night, folks of josephine).  the major crimes unit is shut down.  packed up and closed.  

    the juvenile detention center is closingand they are looking for beds for those kids who have been arrested and held for committing crimes

    SOUTHERN OREGON

     • The Josephine County Sheriff's Office plans to lay off 70 workers, including 21 deputies, after a public safety measured failed. The juvenile department will close and beds will be rented from the Jackson County jail. KDRV, 5/16/2012

    (hey, just let them accept their own "personal responsibility for their actions", right?  turn 'em loose!

    people are charged and released because there are no funds to hold people committing crimes.

    but...

    we ALL "know" that the police are BAAAD and should be "f*cked", right?  well, one of the major problems in josephine county is the large marijuana grows, protected by guns, armed growers, etc.  this ain't your mama's weed - it is weed grown by organized cartels who are making enough money to shoot those who try to stop them, even the bumbling ones who stumble across the growing fields.

    but,

    ftp.

    who needs 'em?

    josephine county is about to become an anarchist "test case" - let's see how that county fares and how long before the good citizens discover there are some bad citizens among them who aren't playing by their ideological rules.

    ah, but there could be neighborhood watches?  

    harummmpffff.

    i'm sorry - (well, actually, i'm not) - but anarchy is a mental "mindgame" (i DID refrain from using another term due to rexymeteorite's wonderful accentuation on courtesy).  

    this type of idealistic political behavior is a game where real people lose when real bad people realize that there is no "order" - just "anarchy".

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