Anarchists
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20-02-2011, 02:34 AM (This post was last modified: 20-02-2011 03:01 AM by sosa.)
RE: Anarchists
(19-02-2011 04:21 PM)gaglamesh731 Wrote:  sosa

I'm a bit confused , the link you provide states that all anarchy forms are opposed to capitalism - what about Anarcho-capitalism ?

Second , what is the difference between government and state ? They both are institutions that hold a monopoly on legal force ?

Last why do you think a decentralized autonomous community can survive in our demographic and technological age ?

Last - against your better judgment , what pro-state ideas can you recommend ? I would like to see both sides of the coin.

I'll go into better detail later when I'm not as tired but...

1. Anarcho-capitalism is not part of the wider Anarchist tradition. It has nothing to do with traditional anarchism or any anarchist schools of thought.

2. I meant to say that there is a form of governance not a government institution. Anarchism does not mean there is chaos and disorganization, there's governance through direct democracy and various forms of anarchist organization. Noam Chomsky has a pretty good book on Anarchism that I would recommend for beginners.

3. Forgive me if I misunderstand your question as I'm extremely tired...but don't you mean HOW it can survive instead of WHY it can survive?

4. There are some elements that I believe should be defended. For example, social institutions that make sure children are fed is something that would need to be defended by those who would want to end funding for social programs.

btw, I don't speak for any other anarchists....and anarchists hold many different views on economic organization and such. Anarchism isn't ONE way of doing things, but the common denominator is putting the decision in the hands of the people.

I would suggest:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libertarian_socialism

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_anarchism

"Liberty without socialism is privilege, injustice; socialism without liberty is slavery and brutality." Mikhail Bakunin
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20-02-2011, 04:08 AM
RE: Anarchists
OK , I'll do some more reading and get back to you when I have some questions.
Noam Chomsky then...

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20-02-2011, 10:38 AM
RE: Anarchists
Sosa, thanks for the anarchist literature. Not only am I more knowledgeable on a new subject, but I'm now on a government watch list (if I wasn't already for my reading habits and/or outspoken atheism). I do have a few other questions though.
1. How would this society you envision be brought about?
2. What size society do these ideas apply for? A small group? A large country? Everyone?
3. In regard to direct democracy, how would you combat the problem that Socrates had with democracy? (Namely widespread ignorance)

And I've always meant to read Chomsky, I'll have to look for his book on anarchy.

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20-02-2011, 01:23 PM (This post was last modified: 20-02-2011 02:05 PM by sosa.)
RE: Anarchists
(20-02-2011 10:38 AM)cfhmagnet Wrote:  Sosa, thanks for the anarchist literature. Not only am I more knowledgeable on a new subject, but I'm now on a government watch list (if I wasn't already for my reading habits and/or outspoken atheism). I do have a few other questions though.
1. How would this society you envision be brought about?
2. What size society do these ideas apply for? A small group? A large country? Everyone?
3. In regard to direct democracy, how would you combat the problem that Socrates had with democracy? (Namely widespread ignorance)

And I've always meant to read Chomsky, I'll have to look for his book on anarchy.

1. It can only come about through class consciousness. The people themselves are the only ones that can bring that about. I don't think that it'll ever be achieved in my lifetime but I think we are seeing sparks of that coming about. If you look at Spain 1936, France 1968 and more recently in Tunisia, Egypt, Wisconsin, etc. I think people are becoming more and more aware that they need to take matters into their own hands instead of electing people to make decisions for them.
I think the ultimately it'll come through armed struggle. But it has to come from the majority of the people.

2. Ideally this would be worldwide. It can apply to any situation. We have seen this work in Spain during the Civil War, the Paris Commune, on a smaller scale, but the goal would be to have a borderless world. The concept of "country" is not something you will find in anarchism.

3. There are several models of direct democracy that have been worked out. You can look at the Parecon model which also translates well. I don't think there is one way that would work. Anarcho-syndicalist and Anarcho-communist models could also work, Mutualism as well. Again, there isn't one blueprint, the idea is that it becomes democratic and the majority decide the best way to set up a model of decision making. It could be a hybrid of many of these models. The only cure for ignorance is quality education, thats why I think it's imperative that everyone has access to it.

The Zapatistas in Mexico are a good contemporary example of autonomous communities that govern themselves through participatory democracy.

I wrote and compilled this guide in order to give a basic understanding of anarchism, and to differentiate the different types of (social) anarchism. It should be noted that this guide does not venture into individualistic anarchism, although individualist anarchists are quoted.

What is anarchism?

Anarchism is a political theory which aims to create anarchy, "the absence of a master, of a sovereign." [P-J Proudhon, What is Property , p. 264] In other words, anarchism is a political theory which aims to create a society within which individuals freely co-operate together as equals. As such anarchism opposes all forms of hierarchical control - be that control by the state or capitalist - as harmful to the individual and their individuality as well as unnecessary.

In the words of anarchist L. Susan Brown:

"While the popular understanding of anarchism is of a violent, anti-State movement, anarchism is a much more subtle and nuanced tradition then a simple opposition to government power. Anarchists oppose the idea that power and domination are necessary for society, and instead advocate more co-operative, anti-hierarchical forms of social, political and economic organization." [The Politics of Individualism, p. 106]

However, "anarchism" and "anarchy" are undoubtedly the most misrepresented ideas in political theory. Generally, the words are used to mean "chaos" or "without order," and so, by implication, anarchists desire social chaos and a return to the "laws of the jungle."

This process of misrepresentation is not without historical parallel. For example, in countries which have considered government by one person (monarchy) necessary, the words "republic" or "democracy" have been used precisely like "anarchy," to imply disorder and confusion. Those with a vested interest in preserving the status quo will obviously wish to imply that opposition to the current system cannot work in practice, and that a new form of society will only lead to chaos. Or, as Errico Malatesta expresses it:

"since it was thought that government was necessary and that without government there could only be disorder and confusion, it was natural and logical that anarchy, which means absence of government, should sound like absence of order." [Anarchy, p. 12].

Anarchists want to change this "common-sense" idea of "anarchy," so people will see that government and other hierarchical social relationships are both harmful and unnecessary:

"Change opinion, convince the public that government is not only unnecessary, but extremely harmful, and then the word anarchy, just because it means absence of government, will come to mean for everybody: natural order, unity of human needs and the interests of all, complete freedom within complete solidarity." [Ibid., pp. 12-13].

Are anarchists socialists?

Yes. All branches of anarchism are opposed to capitalism. This is because capitalism is based upon oppression and exploitation. Anarchists reject the "notion that men cannot work together unless they have a driving-master to take a percentage of their product" and think that in an anarchist society "the real workmen will make their own regulations, decide when and where and how things shall be done." By so doing workers would free themselves "from the terrible bondage of capitalism." [Voltairine de Cleyre, "Anarchism," pp. 30-34, Man 33;, M. Graham (Ed), p. 32, p. 34]

(It must stressed that anarchists are opposed to all economic forms which are based on domination and exploitation, including feudalism, Soviet-style "socialism" and so on.).

Individualists like Benjamin Tucker, along with social anarchists like Proudhon and Bakunin proclaimed themselves "socialists." They did so because, as Kropotkin put it in his classic essay "Modern Science and Anarchism," "so long as Socialism was understood in its wide, generic, and true sense -- as an effort to abolish the exploitation of Labour by Capital -- the Anarchists were marching hand-in-hands with the Socialists of that time." [Evolution and Environment, p. 81] Or, in Tucker's words, "the bottom claim of Socialism [is] that labour should be put in possession of its own," a claim that both "the two schools of Socialistic thought . . . State Socialism and Anarchism" agreed upon. [The Anarchist Reader, p. 144] Hence the word "socialist" was originally defined to include "all those who believed in the individual's right to possess what he or she produced." [Lance Klafta, "Ayn Rand and the Perversion of Libertarianism," in Anarchy: A Journal of Desire Armed, no. 34]

However, the meanings of words change over time. Today "socialism" almost always refers to state socialism, a system that all anarchists have opposed as a denial of freedom and genuine socialist ideals.

Social Anarchism

What do social anarchists demand?

To quote Rudolf Rocker, "in common with founders of Socialism, Anarchists demand the abolition of all economic monopolies and the common ownership of the soil and all other means of production, the use of which must be available to all without distinction...the Anarchists represent the viewpoint that the war against capitalism must be at the same time a war against all institutions of political power, for in history economic exploitation has always gone hand in hand with political and social oppression. The exploitation of man by man and the domination of man over man are inseparable, and each is the condition of the other" [Anarcho-syndicalism, p. 17].

What are the four different major trends of social anarchism?

Social anarchism has four major trends -- mutualism, collectivism, communism and syndicalism. The differences are not great and simply involve differences in strategy.

Anarcho-syndicalists, like other syndicalists, want to create an industrial union movement based on anarchist ideas. Therefore they advocate decentralized, federated unions that use direct action to get reforms under capitalism until they are strong enough to overthrow it.

Thus, even under capitalism, anarcho-syndicalists seek to create "free associations of free producers." They think that these associations would serve as "a practical school of anarchism" and they take very seriously Bakunin's remark that the workers' organizations must create "not only the ideas but also the facts of the future itself" in the pre-revolutionary period.

Mutualism (social) is based around a form of market socialism - workers co-operates exchanging the product of their labour via a system of community banks. This mutual bank network would be "formed by the whole community, not for the especial advantage of any individual or class, but for the benefit of all...[with] no interest...exacted on loans, except enough to cover risks and expenses." [Charles A. Dana, Proudhon and his "Bank of the People", pp. 44-45] Such a system would end capitalist exploitation and oppression for by "introducing mutualism into exchange and credit we introduce it everywhere, and labour will assume a new aspect and become truly democratic." [Op. Cit., p. 45] These banks are owned by the local community.

Anarcho-collectivists consider the end of private ownership of the means of production to be the key. Most anarcho-collectivists think that, over time, as production increases and the sense of community becomes stronger, money will disappear. They agree that, in the end, society would be run along the lines suggested by the maxim, "From each according to their abilities, to each according to their needs."

Anarcho-communists believe that the community should be the basis of society and is the communal ownership of means of production and of consumption. They also consider the abolition of money to be essential in an anarchist society. They also agree that, in the end, society would be run along the lines suggested by the maxim, "From each according to their abilities, to each according to their needs."

Anarchism in Practice

Looking at the theory is all very well and good, but what about its practical side? Has it ever been implemented? What are some examples of modern ‘anarchy in action’? The following link looks at this question:

http://www.infoshop.org/faq/secA5.html


Anarchism and Marxism

Anarchism developed in constant opposition to the ideas of Marxism, social democracy and Leninism. Long before Lenin rose to power, Mikhail Bakunin warned the followers of Marx against the "Red bureaucracy" that would institute "the worst of all despotic governments" if Marx's state-socialist ideas were ever implemented. Indeed, the works of Stirner, Proudhon and especially Bakunin all predict the horror of state Socialism with great accuracy. In addition, the anarchists were among the first and most vocal critics and opposition to the Bolshevik regime in Russia.

Nevertheless, being socialists, anarchists do share some ideas with some Marxists (though none with Leninist). Both Bakunin and Tucker accepted Marx's analysis and critique of capitalism as well as his labour theory of value. Marx himself was heavily influenced by Max Stirner's book The Ego and Its Own, which contains a brilliant critique of what Marx called "vulgar" communism as well as state socialism.

There have also been elements of the Marxist movement holding views very similar to social anarchism (particularly the anarcho-syndicalist branch of social anarchism) -- for example, Anton Pannekoek, Rosa Luxembourg, Paul Mattick and others, who are very far from Lenin. Karl Korsch and others wrote sympathetically of the anarchist revolution in Spain. There are many continuities from Marx to Lenin, but there are also continuities from Marx to more libertarian Marxists, who were harshly critical of Lenin and Bolshevism and whose ideas approximate anarchism's desire for the free association of equals.

"Liberty without socialism is privilege, injustice; socialism without liberty is slavery and brutality." Mikhail Bakunin
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20-02-2011, 02:54 PM
RE: Anarchists
Thank you very much Sosa, I am very glad to see all of this information on the topic. Will be reading up.

I'm not a non believer, I believe in the possibility of anything. I just don't let the actuality of something be determined by a 3rd party.
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20-02-2011, 05:25 PM
RE: Anarchists
Thanks man. Intriguing position. Will read up and mull it over.

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21-02-2011, 11:09 AM
RE: Anarchists
Sosa - just one thing bothers me :
Quote:"While the popular understanding of anarchism is of a violent, anti-State movement, anarchism is a much more subtle and nuanced tradition then a simple opposition to government power. Anarchists oppose the idea that power and domination are necessary for society, and instead advocate more co-operative, anti-hierarchical forms of social, political and economic organization." [The Politics of Individualism, p. 106]

combined with this :

Quote:1. It can only come about through class consciousness. The people themselves are the only ones that can bring that about. I don't think that it'll ever be achieved in my lifetime but I think we are seeing sparks of that coming about. If you look at Spain 1936, France 1968 and more recently in Tunisia, Egypt, Wisconsin, etc. I think people are becoming more and more aware that they need to take matters into their own hands instead of electing people to make decisions for them.
I think the ultimately it'll come through armed struggle. But it has to come from the majority of the people.

I hope I'm not cherry picking , but it goes against what you posted , so I'm seeing a bit of a paradox here.
Anarchism isn't violent but it can only be implemented through violence ?

Atheism is a religion like OFF is a TV channel !!!

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21-02-2011, 03:11 PM (This post was last modified: 21-02-2011 03:56 PM by sosa.)
RE: Anarchists
(21-02-2011 11:09 AM)gaglamesh731 Wrote:  Sosa - just one thing bothers me :
Quote:"While the popular understanding of anarchism is of a violent, anti-State movement, anarchism is a much more subtle and nuanced tradition then a simple opposition to government power. Anarchists oppose the idea that power and domination are necessary for society, and instead advocate more co-operative, anti-hierarchical forms of social, political and economic organization." [The Politics of Individualism, p. 106]

combined with this :

Quote:1. It can only come about through class consciousness. The people themselves are the only ones that can bring that about. I don't think that it'll ever be achieved in my lifetime but I think we are seeing sparks of that coming about. If you look at Spain 1936, France 1968 and more recently in Tunisia, Egypt, Wisconsin, etc. I think people are becoming more and more aware that they need to take matters into their own hands instead of electing people to make decisions for them.
I think the ultimately it'll come through armed struggle. But it has to come from the majority of the people.

I hope I'm not cherry picking , but it goes against what you posted , so I'm seeing a bit of a paradox here.
Anarchism isn't violent but it can only be implemented through violence ?

I personally think that armed struggle will be necessary for people to liberate themselves, absolutely. I believe that revolution will be necessary. Not all anarchists think this. I don't see the paradox. Can you go further to explain where the contradiction lies? Is there a contradiction if I said that violence (the American revolution) was used to implement a non-violent democratic government and liberate itself from the clutches of Monarchy? There is no contradiction there.

Violence is not part of an anarchist society, it is not a violent political theory. The statement made was to clear up the misconception that anarchist are all about violence and smashing things when this is far from the truth. Violence will be necessary during a revolution as in all revolutions. But that's my personal opinion.

There might be a subtle irony, in that violence would be necessary to liberate oneself from a violent regime and implement a non-violent society, but that's not unique to any one political philosophy. I think its more ironic than contradictory to be honest.

"Liberty without socialism is privilege, injustice; socialism without liberty is slavery and brutality." Mikhail Bakunin
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21-02-2011, 10:37 PM
RE: Anarchists
I am all for direct democracy; heck, it works just fine in Switzerland. But direct democracy and anarchism are two different things. A direct democracy is still a form of government, while anarchy is the absence of government.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not one of those who believe that anarchy is equivalent to chaos; I used to be an anarchist when I was a lot more optimistic in life. The problem with this theory, though it is an appealing one, is that it is not practical. It echoes sentiments of true Marxism - again, an appealing idea - but it has yet to unfold as Marx envisioned it. Marx too wanted to get rid of a governing body, but most of the systems so far that have started out emulating his ideals have at the very least not achieved a government-less status, and at the very worst fallen to tyrannical dictatorships :/

Basically, without any government control over the economy, what ends up happening is free-market capitalism, which only benefits those who start out on top. How do you suppose that an anarchist country would control its economy? Keep in mind that all the developed and developing nations are connected to the global markets, and are thus susceptible to the fluctuations caused in other nations. Or would the anarchist country cut itself off from other nations and retreat from the world economy (which, depending on the country, may or may not be plausible)? If this hypothetical anarchist country is cut off from the rest of the world, won't this pose a problem for any of its members who seek to interact with the rest of the world?

"Remember, my friend, that knowledge is stronger than memory, and we should not trust the weaker." - Dr. Van Helsing, Dracula
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21-02-2011, 11:01 PM (This post was last modified: 21-02-2011 11:10 PM by sosa.)
RE: Anarchists
(21-02-2011 10:37 PM)SecularStudent Wrote:  I am all for direct democracy; heck, it works just fine in Switzerland. But direct democracy and anarchism are two different things. A direct democracy is still a form of government, while anarchy is the absence of government.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not one of those who believe that anarchy is equivalent to chaos; I used to be an anarchist when I was a lot more optimistic in life. The problem with this theory, though it is an appealing one, is that it is not practical. It echoes sentiments of true Marxism - again, an appealing idea - but it has yet to unfold as Marx envisioned it. Marx too wanted to get rid of a governing body, but most of the systems so far that have started out emulating his ideals have at the very least not achieved a government-less status, and at the very worst fallen to tyrannical dictatorships :/

Basically, without any government control over the economy, what ends up happening is free-market capitalism, which only benefits those who start out on top. How do you suppose that an anarchist country would control its economy? Keep in mind that all the developed and developing nations are connected to the global markets, and are thus susceptible to the fluctuations caused in other nations. Or would the anarchist country cut itself off from other nations and retreat from the world economy (which, depending on the country, may or may not be plausible)? If this hypothetical anarchist country is cut off from the rest of the world, won't this pose a problem for any of its members who seek to interact with the rest of the world?

Apparently you are not familiar with Anarchist political thought. Direct democracy is a tool, a form of democracy. Are you saying that you cannot have direct democracy without a state? your questions seem to echo many misconceptions about anarchist economic theories. Anarchist country is an oxymoron. I suggest reading the information I posted to get a better grasped as those questions are easily put to rest.

Karl Marx did not want to get rid of a governing body. On the contrary, he wanted the people themselves to make up the governing body. You make the same mistake I have already addressed. Anarchism does not mean there is no organization or governing.

Check out these links:
http://www.infoshop.org/page/AnarchistFAQSectionI3

http://www.infoshop.org/page/AnarchistFA...nI2#seci23

If you are serious about Anarchism and its political philosophy I suggest reading books by Peter Kropotkin, Rudolf Rocker, Emma Goldman, Makhail Bukanin. All of your misconceptions about it are addressed. You say you were an anarchist, however I am skeptical that you were one yet do no understand the very basic elements of its political implications.
http://www.infoshop.org/page/AnarchistFAQSectionI

"Liberty without socialism is privilege, injustice; socialism without liberty is slavery and brutality." Mikhail Bakunin
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