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22-02-2011, 01:47 AM
RE: Anarchists
(21-02-2011 11:01 PM)sosa Wrote:  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.

Apparently I have absolutely no understanding of anarchist economic theories. Which is why I am asking questions, which you have not answered. Instead of berating me, why don't you clarify instead? I asked questions about how an anarchist country (not an oxymoron; I'll explain why, and why I used that word, in a moment) would interact with the global economy. Since neither your summary nor the links you provided appear to deal with this subject, I had to ask about it in order to get your opinion on the matter. However, if I have simply missed this section in the links you provided, please point them out to me, or (which may be easier) you can simply answer my questions.
How would an anarchist country interact with the rest of the world? How does an anarchist economy interact with a globally capitalist economy? I feel like these are legitimate questions that I do not know the answers to, and would like somebody who professes themselves knowledgeable on the subject to provide some.

(21-02-2011 11:01 PM)sosa Wrote:  Anarchist country is an oxymoron.

I do not think so. A country is a geographical location with an arbitrary border. Now, unless an anarchist society is on an island, its borders are going to be determined by the countries around it. Also, if an anarchist society wants to interact with the rest of the world, then it needs to be recognised as a country by other nations, even if only to identify who/what/where they are talking about.

(21-02-2011 11:01 PM)sosa Wrote:  I suggest reading the information I posted to get a better grasped as those questions are easily put to rest.

I read over the information, and I stand by my statement. It still sounds like Marxism, which is fine with me. Syndicates, confederacies of syndicates, and federations which monitor different levels of the economy (similar to the municipal, provincial, and federal branches of government) sound like the equivalent of a governing body. Can you explain to me, please, what the difference between a governing body and a government are then? Because I cannot see the distinction.

(21-02-2011 11:01 PM)sosa Wrote:  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.

I don't understand this assertion. Marx stated that a Dictatorship of the Proletariat would be instituted to ease the shift from capitalism to communism, but the last step in his ideology is to disband this body.

(21-02-2011 11:01 PM)sosa Wrote:  Anarchism does not mean there is no organization or governing.

No, the common consensus is that anarchy is a lack of government; i.e. a lack of a governing body. As soon as a governing body is introduced into a society, that society ceases to be an anarchy. These are the most common definitions of anarchy, and if you are using a different definition, then perhaps it might be more clear to define your ideology using a different term? It's just that I feel like we are arguing semantics here, not ideas.

(21-02-2011 11:01 PM)sosa Wrote:  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.

What gives you the authority to say whether I was or was not an anarchist? So, because I was not your definition of an anarchist, I wasn't one? If you must know, my ideology at the time was based on the philosophy of Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, who I am hoping you won't deny was an anarchist.

"Remember, my friend, that knowledge is stronger than memory, and we should not trust the weaker." - Dr. Van Helsing, Dracula
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22-02-2011, 02:40 AM (This post was last modified: 22-02-2011 03:23 PM by sosa.)
RE: Anarchists
You seem to fall into the most basic misunderstanding of what Anarchism is and I pointed that out earlier. Anarchism means more than anti-state. Anarchism ultimately means lack of social hierarchy. That's why anarchism oppose the state, the church, and capitalism. Anarchism is also incredibly similar to Marxism in what it proposed economically. Most Anarchists propose a system of recallable delegate from workers assemblies to coordinate production. Anarchists aren't opposed to voluntary democratic organization (what is being referred to here as "government"). The founder of Anarchism and the guy who coined the term, (Proudhon, as you mentioned you followed) as well as just about every other anarchist writer in history has supported democratic coordination of economic affairs as I described above. Anarchism is anti-archy (that is unequal social relations, hierarchical authority), not just "anti-state". Dictionaries are not particularly good at describing complex political ideologies.

Unfortunately, sometimes Government and State are used interchangeably which add to the confusion and misunderstandings.

State: Professional and bureaucratic coercive instrument of class rule. A hierarchical institution controlled by a small segment of the population that uses force (standing/professional military/police) to coerce the population into accepting certain inequalities (so power inequalities generate income inequality, for example)

Government: A mechanism of social decision-making

Perhaps you should find the time to read the anarchist FAQ?

Here is one of many economic models:

The "free-market" allows for economic exploitation of others and operates under an economic set up lacking in democratic control. Under capitalism the person with the most influence in the operation of the economy is the one with the most money.

You can look at Anarcho-communism, for example, where the basis of society is governed by the community. Anarchist communists propose that the freest form of social organization would be a society composed of self-governing communes with collective use of the means of production, organized by direct democracy or, and related to other communes through federation. Although some reject direct democracy in favor of consensus democracy.

The basic principles of anarcho-syndicalism are workers' solidarity, direct action, and workers' self-management. Workers’ solidarity means that anarcho-syndicalists believe all workers, no matter what their gender or ethnic group, are in a similar situation in regard to their bosses (class consciousness). Furthermore, it means that, in a capitalist system, any gains or losses made by some workers from or to bosses will eventually affect all workers. Therefore, to liberate themselves, all workers must support one another in their class conflict.

Anarcho-syndicalists believe that only direct action – that is, action carried out by the workers themselves, which is concentrated on attaining a goal directly, as opposed to indirect action, such as electing a representative to a government position – will allow workers to liberate themselves. Moreover, anarcho-syndicalists believe that workers’ organizations – the organizations that struggle against the wage system, and which, in anarcho-syndicalist theory, will eventually form the basis of a new society – should be self-managing. They should not have bosses or "business agents"; rather, the workers should be able to make all the decisions that affect them themselves.

Rudolf Rocker was one of the most popular voices in the anarcho-syndicalist movement. He dedicated himself to the organization of Jewish immigrant workers in London's East End and led the 1912 garment workers strike. He outlined a view of the origins of the movement, what it sought, and why it was important to the future of labor in his 1938 pamphlet Anarcho-Syndicalism.

In his article Anarchism and Anarcho-Syndicalism, Rocker points out that the anarcho-syndicalist union has a dual purpose, "1. To enforce the demands of the producers for the safeguarding and raising of their standard of living; 2. To acquaint the workers with the technical management of production and economic life in general and prepare them to take the socio-economic organism into their own hands and shape it according to socialist principles." In short, laying the foundations of the new society "within the shell of the old." Up to the First World War and the Russian Revolution, anarcho-syndicalist unions and organizations were the dominant actors in the revolutionary left.

Noam Chomsky was influenced by Rocker, writing the introduction to a modern edition of "Anarcho-syndicalism: Theory and Practice". A member of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), Chomsky is a self-described Anarcho-Syndicalist, a position which he sees as the appropriate application of classical liberalist political theory to contemporary industrial society: "Now a federated, decentralized system of free associations, incorporating economic as well as other social institutions, would be what I refer to as anarcho-syndicalism; and it seems to me that this is the appropriate form of social organization for an advanced technological society in which human beings do not have to be forced into the position of tools, of cogs in the machine. There is no longer any social necessity for human beings to be treated as mechanical elements in the productive process; that can be overcome and we must overcome it to be a society of freedom and free association, in which the creative urge that I consider intrinsic to human nature will in fact be able to realize itself in whatever way it will."

Inclusive Democracy is a political theory and political project that aim for direct democracy, economic democracy in a stateless, moneyless and marketless economy, self-management (democracy in the social realm) and ecological democracy.

Participatory economics, often abbreviated parecon, is an economic system proposed by activist and political theorist Michael Albert and radical economist Robin Hahnel. It uses participatory decision making as an economic mechanism to guide the production, consumption and allocation of resources in a given society. Proposed as an alternative to contemporary capitalist market economies and also an alternative to centrally planned socialism or coordinatorism, it is described as "an anarchistic economic vision", and it could be considered a form of socialism as under parecon, the means of production are owned by the workers.

The underlying values that parecon seeks to implement are equity, solidarity, diversity, workers' self-management and efficiency. (Efficiency here means accomplishing goals without wasting valued assets.) It proposes to attain these ends mainly through the following principles and institutions:

-workers' and consumers' councils utilizing self-managerial methods for decision making,
-balanced job complexes,
-remuneration according to effort and sacrifice, and
-Participatory Planning.

Just some random stuff to let you know.. All anarchists are socialists in some form. A very large portion of anarchists are communists, but there are also collectivists and mutualists. Communism itself is stateless and classless. It is not true that the USSR, PRC, DPRK, or any of the other "communist" countries are actually Communist. They never claimed to be communist. They actually claimed to uphold socialism. Anarchists and many Marxists argue they aren't even socialist. Socialism, to Anarchists and, I believe, some Marxists, entails democratic control of the economy and the workplace.
Extended Reading on Anarchism

The Anarchist FAQ: Section I - What Would An Anarchist Society Look Like?
A 271 page long description of the anarchist alternative to capitalism

The Conquest of Bread
by Peter Kropotkin
A classic description of an Anarcho-Communist Society

From Riot to Revolution
This was written for the situation in Argentina but most of the ideas can be generalized.

Beyond Resistence: A Revolutionary Manifesto For the Future
From the Anarchist Federation (Britain/Ireland)

A Modest Proposal for How the Bad Old Days Will End
Advocates Libertarian Communism

by Daniel Guerina
This is one of the more popular introductory books on Anarchism. Section Two contains a description of how an Anarchist society would function.

Common Sense Reasons For Worker Self-Management -- Recommended Reading
A short & simple introduction to self-management.

By Rudolf Rocker
This book is a basic intro to Anarcho-Syndicalism and contains a description of the kind of society they aim to achieve.

Anarchism, As We See It
Part Four Has a Short description of an Anarcho-Communist society

Aspects of Anarchism

After the Revolution
by Diego Abad de Santillan
A description of an anarcho-syndicalist society; comes close to being a blueprint

Programme of Anarcho-Syndicalism

Libertarian Communism
by Isaac Puente
Pamphlet from the 1930s

Anarchist Alternatives to Capitalism

There are many real life examples of anarchy in action, such as the Ukraine Revolution and the Spanish Revolution ( you can read more about the Spanish Revolution at )

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