Are You An Anarchist?

anarchRegardless of what your answer is, David Graeber’s classic essay “Are You An Anarchist? The Answer May Surprise You” is food for thought regarding what is possible. Via the Anarchist Library:

Many people seem to think that anarchists are proponents of violence, chaos, and destruction, that they are against all forms of order and organization, or that they are crazed nihilists who just want to blow everything up. In reality, nothing could be further from the truth. Anarchists are simply people who believe human beings are capable of behaving in a reasonable fashion without having to be forced to. It is really a very simple notion. But it’s one that the rich and powerful have always found extremely dangerous.

At their very simplest, anarchist beliefs turn on to two elementary assumptions. The first is that human beings are, under ordinary circumstances, about as reasonable and decent as they are allowed to be, and can organize themselves and their communities without needing to be told how. The second is that power corrupts. Most of all, anarchism is just a matter of having the courage to take the simple principles of common decency that we all live by, and to follow them through to their logical conclusions. Odd though this may seem, in most important ways you are probably already an anarchist — you just don’t realize it.

Let’s start by taking a few examples from everyday life:

If there’s a line to get on a crowded bus, do you wait your turn and refrain from elbowing your way past others even in the absence of police?

If you answered “yes”, then you are used to acting like an anarchist! The most basic anarchist principle is self-organization: the assumption that human beings do not need to be threatened with prosecution in order to be able to come to reasonable understandings with each other, or to treat each other with dignity and respect.

Everyone believes they are capable of behaving reasonably themselves. If they think laws and police are necessary, it is only because they don’t believe that other people are. But if you think about it, don’t those people all feel exactly the same way about you? Anarchists argue that almost all the anti-social behavior which makes us think it’s necessary to have armies, police, prisons, and governments to control our lives, is actually caused by the systematic inequalities and injustice those armies, police, prisons and governments make possible. It’s all a vicious circle. If people are used to being treated like their opinions do not matter, they are likely to become angry and cynical, even violent – which of course makes it easy for those in power to say that their opinions do not matter. Once they understand that their opinions really do matter just as much as anyone else’s, they tend to become remarkably understanding. To cut a long story short: anarchists believe that for the most part it is power itself, and the effects of power, that make people stupid and irresponsible.

Are you a member of a club or sports team or any other voluntary organization where decisions are not imposed by one leader but made on the basis of general consent?

If you answered “yes”, then you belong to an organization which works on anarchist principles! Another basic anarchist principle is voluntary association. This is simply a matter of applying democratic principles to ordinary life. The only difference is that anarchists believe it should be possible to have a society in which everything could be organized along these lines, all groups based on the free consent of their members, and therefore, that all top-down, military styles of organization like armies or bureaucracies or large corporations, based on chains of command, would no longer be necessary. Perhaps you don’t believe that would be possible. Perhaps you do. But every time you reach an agreement by consensus, rather than threats, every time you make a voluntary arrangement with another person, come to an understanding, or reach a compromise by taking due consideration of the other person’s particular situation or needs, you are being an anarchist — even if you don’t realize it.

Anarchism is just the way people act when they are free to do as they choose, and when they deal with others who are equally free — and therefore aware of the responsibility to others that entails. This leads to another crucial point: that while people can be reasonable and considerate when they are dealing with equals, human nature is such that they cannot be trusted to do so when given power over others. Give someone such power, they will almost invariably abuse it in some way or another.

Do you believe that most politicians are selfish, egotistical swine who don’t really care about the public interest? Do you think we live in an economic system which is stupid and unfair?

If you answered “yes”, then you subscribe to the anarchist critique of today’s society – at least, in its broadest outlines. Anarchists believe that power corrupts and those who spend their entire lives seeking power are the very last people who should have it. Anarchists believe that our present economic system is more likely to reward people for selfish and unscrupulous behavior than for being decent, caring human beings. Most people feel that way. The only difference is that most people don’t think there’s anything that can be done about it, or anyway — and this is what the faithful servants of the powerful are always most likely to insist — anything that won’t end up making things even worse.

But what if that weren’t true?

And is there really any reason to believe this? When you can actually test them, most of the usual predictions about what would happen without states or capitalism turn out to be entirely untrue. For thousands of years people lived without governments. In many parts of the world people live outside of the control of governments today. They do not all kill each other. Mostly they just get on about their lives the same as anyone else would. Of course, in a complex, urban, technological society all this would be more complicated: but technology can also make all these problems a lot easier to solve. In fact, we have not even begun to think about what our lives could be like if technology were really marshaled to fit human needs. How many hours would we really need to work in order to maintain a functional society — that is, if we got rid of all the useless or destructive occupations like telemarketers, lawyers, prison guards, financial analysts, public relations experts, bureaucrats and politicians, and turn our best scientific minds away from working on space weaponry or stock market systems to mechanizing away dangerous or annoying tasks like coal mining or cleaning the bathroom, and distribute the remaining work among everyone equally? Five hours a day? Four? Three? Two? Nobody knows because no one is even asking this kind of question. Anarchists think these are the very questions we should be asking.

Do you really believe those things you tell your children (or that your parents told you)?

It doesn’t matter who started it.” “Two wrongs don’t make a right.” “Clean up your own mess.” “Do unto others …” “Don’t be mean to people just because they’re different.” Perhaps we should decide whether we’re lying to our children when we tell them about right and wrong, or whether we’re willing to take our own injunctions seriously. Because if you take these moral principles to their logical conclusions, you arrive at anarchism.

Take the principle that two wrongs don’t make a right. If you really took it seriously, that alone would knock away almost the entire basis for war and the criminal justice system. The same goes for sharing: we’re always telling children that they have to learn to share, to be considerate of each other’s needs, to help each other; then we go off into the real world where we assume that everyone is naturally selfish and competitive. But an anarchist would point out: in fact, what we say to our children is right. Pretty much every great worthwhile achievement in human history, every discovery or accomplishment that’s improved our lives, has been based on cooperation and mutual aid; even now, most of us spend more of our money on our friends and families than on ourselves; while likely as not there will always be competitive people in the world, there’s no reason why society has to be based on encouraging such behavior, let alone making people compete over the basic necessities of life. That only serves the interests of people in power, who want us to live in fear of one another. That’s why anarchists call for a society based not only on free association but mutual aid. The fact is that most children grow up believing in anarchist morality, and then gradually have to realize that the adult world doesn’t really work that way. That’s why so many become rebellious, or alienated, even suicidal as adolescents, and finally, resigned and bitter as adults; their only solace, often, being the ability to raise children of their own and pretend to them that the world is fair. But what if we really could start to build a world which really was at least founded on principles of justice? Wouldn’t that be the greatest gift to one’s children one could possibly give?

Do you believe that human beings are fundamentally corrupt and evil, or that certain sorts of people (women, people of color, ordinary folk who are not rich or highly educated) are inferior specimens, destined to be ruled by their betters?

If you answered “yes”, then, well, it looks like you aren’t an anarchist after all. But if you answered “no’, then chances are you already subscribe to 90% of anarchist principles, and, likely as not, are living your life largely in accord with them. Every time you treat another human with consideration and respect, you are being an anarchist. Every time you work out your differences with others by coming to reasonable compromise, listening to what everyone has to say rather than letting one person decide for everyone else, you are being an anarchist. Every time you have the opportunity to force someone to do something, but decide to appeal to their sense of reason or justice instead, you are being an anarchist. The same goes for every time you share something with a friend, or decide who is going to do the dishes, or do anything at all with an eye to fairness.

Now, you might object that all this is well and good as a way for small groups of people to get on with each other, but managing a city, or a country, is an entirely different matter. And of course there is something to this. Even if you decentralize society and puts as much power as possible in the hands of small communities, there will still be plenty of things that need to be coordinated, from running railroads to deciding on directions for medical research. But just because something is complicated does not mean there is no way to do it democratically. It would just be complicated. In fact, anarchists have all sorts of different ideas and visions about how a complex society might manage itself. To explain them though would go far beyond the scope of a little introductory text like this. Suffice it to say, first of all, that a lot of people have spent a lot of time coming up with models for how a really democratic, healthy society might work; but second, and just as importantly, no anarchist claims to have a perfect blueprint. The last thing we want is to impose prefab models on society anyway. The truth is we probably can’t even imagine half the problems that will come up when we try to create a democratic society; still, we’re confident that, human ingenuity being what it is, such problems can always be solved, so long as it is in the spirit of our basic principles-which are, in the final analysis, simply the principles of fundamental human decency.

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  • decentralizedimproviser

    Big L, little a

  • decentralizedimproviser

    Big L, little a

  • Mamagriff50

    Really broad statement……Most people are antarchists. They just choose to conform to what society expects, until conforming really affects them in a bad way. Then they try the proper route, paper chase. When that doesn’t work they become real anarchists. They fight dirty. An eye for an eye, as the saying goes. Anarchy! Anarchists can and do topple governments and greedy corporations. Remember, they’re people too. The U.S. Supreme court says so. If standing up for your rights means anarchy then so be it. We need anarchists!

  • Mamagriff50

    Really broad statement……Most people are antarchists. They just choose to conform to what society expects, until conforming really affects them in a bad way. Then they try the proper route, paper chase. When that doesn’t work they become real anarchists. They fight dirty. An eye for an eye, as the saying goes. Anarchy! Anarchists can and do topple governments and greedy corporations. Remember, they’re people too. The U.S. Supreme court says so. If standing up for your rights means anarchy then so be it. We need anarchists!

  • Tio Holtzman

    I enjoyed this.  Thanks, disinfo.

    • Hanzo

      Indeed.

  • Tio Holtzman

    I enjoyed this.  Thanks, disinfo.

  • Tio Holtzman

    I enjoyed this.  Thanks, disinfo.

  • Mr Willow

    Why, yes. A social anarchist, more specifically. Pleasure.

    Fantastic summary and/or introduction, particularly “Do you really believe those things you tell your children (or that your parents told you)?” section. 

    One point I would ever so slightly disagree with, however: 

    anarchists believe that for the most part it is power itself, and the effects of power, that make people stupid and irresponsible.

    Not so much ‘stupid and irresponsible’ as paranoid and selfish. People with power automatically assume their power is threatened by someöne else who wants the power they have for themselves. Ergo, they imagine vast conspiracies plotted against them, and in general the same could be said for individuals who lust after power, in that they imagine others are after the same power they are after, thus, they are unwilling to trust others because they always presume an ulterior motive—like they always visualize a knife in the hand obscured by the one extended in friendship. In doing so, they always conceal their own blade, for when the time comes for this (presumed and in all likelihood fabricated) inevitable betrayal. 

    Of course, these things only apply to those who cannot tolerate sharing power. Either they control the system, or the system will burn. Generally, I think, the system could benefit from a bit more participation in its workings—and by ‘a bit’, I mean a tremendous amount.

  • Mr Willow

    Why, yes. Yes I am. 

    Fantastic summary and.or introduction, particularly “Do you really believe those things you tell your children (or that your parents told you)?” section. 

    One point I would ever so slightly disagree with, however: 

    anarchists believe that for the most part it is power itself, and the effects of power, that make people stupid and irresponsible.

    Not so much ‘stupid and irresponsible’ as paranoid and selfish. People with power automatically assume their power is threatened by someöne else who wants the the power the have for themselves. Ergo, they imagine vast conspiracies plotted against them, and in general the same could be said for individuals who lust after power, in that they imagine others are after the same power they are after, thus, they are unwilling to trust others because they always presume an ulterior motive—like they always visualize a knife in the hand obscured by the one extended in friendship. In doing so, they always conceal their own blade, for when the time comes for this (presumed and in all likelihood in a majority of cases fabricated) inevitable betrayal. 

    Of course, these things only apply to those who cannot tolerate sharing power. Either they control the system, or the system will burn. Generally, I think, the system could benefit from a bit more participation in its workings—and by ‘a bit’, I mean a tremendous amount.

  • Mr Willow

    Why, yes. Yes I am. 

    Fantastic summary and.or introduction, particularly “Do you really believe those things you tell your children (or that your parents told you)?” section. 

    One point I would ever so slightly disagree with, however: 

    anarchists believe that for the most part it is power itself, and the effects of power, that make people stupid and irresponsible.

    Not so much ‘stupid and irresponsible’ as paranoid and selfish. People with power automatically assume their power is threatened by someöne else who wants the the power the have for themselves. Ergo, they imagine vast conspiracies plotted against them, and in general the same could be said for individuals who lust after power, in that they imagine others are after the same power they are after, thus, they are unwilling to trust others because they always presume an ulterior motive—like they always visualize a knife in the hand obscured by the one extended in friendship. In doing so, they always conceal their own blade, for when the time comes for this (presumed and in all likelihood in a majority of cases fabricated) inevitable betrayal. 

    Of course, these things only apply to those who cannot tolerate sharing power. Either they control the system, or the system will burn. Generally, I think, the system could benefit from a bit more participation in its workings—and by ‘a bit’, I mean a tremendous amount.

  • Mr Willow

    Why, yes. Yes I am. 

    Fantastic summary and.or introduction, particularly “Do you really believe those things you tell your children (or that your parents told you)?” section. 

    One point I would ever so slightly disagree with, however: 

    anarchists believe that for the most part it is power itself, and the effects of power, that make people stupid and irresponsible.

    Not so much ‘stupid and irresponsible’ as paranoid and selfish. People with power automatically assume their power is threatened by someöne else who wants the the power the have for themselves. Ergo, they imagine vast conspiracies plotted against them, and in general the same could be said for individuals who lust after power, in that they imagine others are after the same power they are after, thus, they are unwilling to trust others because they always presume an ulterior motive—like they always visualize a knife in the hand obscured by the one extended in friendship. In doing so, they always conceal their own blade, for when the time comes for this (presumed and in all likelihood in a majority of cases fabricated) inevitable betrayal. 

    Of course, these things only apply to those who cannot tolerate sharing power. Either they control the system, or the system will burn. Generally, I think, the system could benefit from a bit more participation in its workings—and by ‘a bit’, I mean a tremendous amount.

  • BuzzCoastin

    Anarchy usually gets a bad rap
    when all it really is
    is a desire to live unmolested
    by the warlords who masquerade as government.

    • BAMmer

      Anarchy deserves a bad rap
      because by definition it is
      a lawless “wild west” where criminals could get away with murder

      Not everyone in government is a warlord.

      • Jin The Ninja

        Incorrect again. It is not the wild west, it is a voluntary union of distinct peoples who form a society based on direct democracy without hierarchichal institutions such as capitalism or republicanism.
        An anarchist society would have: free healthcare, free education, trade unions, organic/local food production among other things.

        Anarcho-Capitalism or American Libertarianism- now that IS the wild west. crazed profit seeking zombies slowly urbanising entire continents in search of mineral, timber, air, and water. I imagine enormous slums and a military police. Perhaps Walled techno city states?

        • Bruce Wayne

          An anarchic society sounds a bit like pure Communism… particularly the parts where everyone gets along and free health care aspects.

          • Jin The Ninja

            So because most of the industrialised world has nationalised healthcare- most of the industrialised world is “communist”? faulty logic.

            and anarchism does share the left spectrum with communism, but the main difference is anarchism is democratic and non coercive. that difference is quite expansive.

          • Jakobijnen

            Well, anarchism has a sub-branch called “anarcho-communism”. and most anarchists are also communists.

          • Dirk

            I’ve been born in a communist country and I can tell you that anarchism and communism are so distinct. They really do not go together at all.

          • smooth_operator

            Goddamn the propaganda has worked wonders on your brain.  Since when is Communism synonymous with free health care?

          • RKDBH

            Actually, free health care is more along the lines of a Socialist ideology. Free education (including public school systems that are already in place) are also socialist ideologies as well. Not sure if a government being involved in the free education system would still allow it to be considered socialist, though.

        • $4251815

          And rainbows and Skittles for all! Free ponies and gumbdrops! What are you, 15?

          • Jin The Ninja

            Come up with a real critique and i will respond in kind;)

            thanks

            Jin

        • Trent Thompsonnn

          Where will the funding for this “free everything” society come from???  A big government (Democratic) setup???  If you historically analyze history you’ll see the more control a government gets the more corrupt it becomes…  Less government regulation and less control are what we (Anarchists) want.  We want rational decision making. That’s all… 

          • Andrew

            Funding is a philosophical problem, as money is a human invention that behaves according to rules we made up.  So there’s no conflict between “free everything” and “less government regulation.”

      • BuzzCoastin

        If you can name one leader of any country
        that does not have an army or police force
        at his/her command
        I will concede the war lord part.

        It is possible to have rules, guide lines and even laws
        without needing a government to make them work.
        Humans have spent more time existing without governance than with it.
        Anarchy is not always orderly
        but neither is the slavery of government.

        • BAMmer

          The non-existence of a country
          without an army or police force
          should itself demonstrate that the anarchy experiment
          is not sustainable
          or desired by the majority.

          Laws without government are not laws
          unless they can be enforced by an authority.
          Humans have spent more time struggling for basic necessities of survival
          than living in our modern industrial complex.
          I doubt most people would choose to go back to the way things were pre-govt.

          • BuzzCoastin

            BAMmer : The non-existence of a country
            without an army or police force
            should itself demonstrate that the anarchy experiment

            What it clearly demonstrates is
            that it takes force to rule people and
            that people do not submit to that rule without force.

            BAMmer : Laws without government are not laws
            unless they can be enforced by an authority.

            Nonsense,
            the golden rule was in existence long before “legal authorities;”
            the war lords have only been in power for the last 5,000 years
            humans go back a little further than that.

            BAMmer :I doubt most people would choose to go back to the way things were pre-govt.

            Just because many people are dull witted and compliant
            doesn’t necessarily mean that everyone should be compelled
            to follow their lead.
            This was Thoreau’s main point in “Civil Disobedience.”

          • Missa

            Actually, earlier forms of subsistence offer people the most amount of leisure time and the best diet with the least amount of work.  It’s not until we get to horticulture and agriculture that things begin to change and that forms of government come into play.  

            Foraging cultures who are forced into a more structured form of society fare much worse than they did before.  

            I’m not saying that there can be no merit to government, but this “struggling to survive” view is not all that accurate.  We have never seen a large population without a governing body.  We wouldn’t know what it would be like.

          • Jin The Ninja

            Actually ‘horticulture’ as the practice of the growing of  diverse wild crops was practiced by nearly all north american aboriginal and many asian and south east asian cultures well beyond 5000 years ago. And in fact there is quite a bit of evidence to suggest MANY cultures who did become settled and agricultural in nature remained highly egalitarian. I am not an anarcho-primitivist in the least, but i do agree with several of your points other than those i mention.

            http://www.eleuthera.it/files/materiali/David_Graeber_Fragments_%20Anarchist_Anthropology.pdf

          • Dirk

            Oh yes. You can clearly your claim on earlier subsistence, if you open a history book of Europe, go 2000 years back and compare how well the pre-agricultural societies lived compared to the farming ones.

            But even if your claim were true, have a look how many people lived than on this planet and then have a look how many we are now. I want to see 7 billion people living in a less structured form for their own good.

          • Jakobijnen

            That anarchism is undesired by the majority is a truism, but it’s also a fallacy if used as an argument.

      • mayday

        Bammer did You actually read the article??

        • BAMmer

          Of course I read the propaganda you refer to as an article above, it makes anarchy sound like the solution to all life’s woes. “The most basic anarchist principle is … the assumption
          that human beings do not need to be threatened with prosecution in order
          to be able to come to reasonable understandings with each other”

          If that is the case, then the most basic anarchist principle is flawed. The problem is, some (probably the majority of) human beings do need the threat of consequence because we are animals. We all have the capability and the tendency to act in selfish and destructive ways. In an anarchist society, we’ve eliminated the military, police and the courts. When the selfish inflict harm on others to benefit themselves, are there no repercussions? 

          What this loveletter to anarchy describes is not true anarchy, at least not by what the majority of the populace considers anarchy.  For this reason the movement will gain no traction. I will say that many of the principles it describes I agree with, but to label them anarchist guarantees they will fail to be adopted by the majority.

          • Bambambam

            God thats a depressing view. In reply it seems that many of the selfish do get away with being selfish to benefit themselves in this western-capitalism system, (also many fair people are locked up). Have you considered that there is reason to why you associate negative connotations to “Anarchy”? Not the fact that every single system is against it (due to a loss of power) and have raised their populace to believe that its a bad thing, where bad things happen and anything good you ever had would be lost. (you clearly don’t think to highly of the populace anyway, such social control shouldn’t be too hard for you to understand).

          • Jakobijnen

            Anarchism does not eliminate courts though. It still has a form of court-system base on participatory justice (or what is now known as alternate dispute-resolution).

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_76KIB6NCYIJYOSBNC267HHVPLY Tristan M

        the wild west barely existed, has very little to do with anarchy (sheriffs existed) and basically..look up the wild west…what people think is not what happened. hell here you go
        http://www.unpopulartruth.com/2009/04/myths-of-old-west.html
        http://mises.org/journals/jls/3_1/3_1_2.pdf    *very long*
        http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/viewpoints/articles/0717hill0717.html

        you could even just read the wiki.

      • Gnostic

        Did you even bother to read the article????

  • http://buzzcoastin.posterous.com BuzzCoastin

    Anarchy usually gets a bad rap
    when all it really is
    is a desire to live unmolested
    by the warlords who masquerade as government.

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    There is another history to anarchism…which unfortunately tarnishes the entire concept. No small number of the classical anarchist cells of the previous couple centuries broke down and spiraled into violence…among the most famous incidents being the one in which a French anarchist bombed his own cell…because they became bogged down in parliamentary procedure…which he considered antithetical to the purpose of anarchism. 

    I could never be characterized as anarchistic…even though I’d ideally love a world where consensus ruled peacefully…because I possess either an excess of cynicism or a dearth of naivete…depending on how people view it. Human nature does not allow for such a non-system system to thrive on any scale but the tiny. What might work in a single mellow commune of like minded individuals…inevitably fails everywhere else.

     As horrifying as ‘the rule of law’ often is…in the sense that it becomes easily corrupted and transforms from a protection of individuals against predation by the unethical…INTO a form of predation BY the unethical…the best system seen yet is that in which checks and balances are placed upon the enforcement and enforcers of law. If our society is faced with a current crisis of confidence in the rule of law…at the root of that crisis is the slow removal of checks and balances that once guarded people from abuse by their so-called protectors…(or as I’ve said so often before…it isn’t the metaphorical car’s fault…its that we’ve let maniacs do the driving.)

    (Side note: one of my old chums actually wrote the only biographical work on the life of a dead French anarchist…whose name I can never properly recall…complete with travel, research and interviews with elderly surviving acquaintances. Mind you…this was done some twenty years ago…and even then only distributed to universities…but i still commend him for literally ‘writing the book’ on the subject of that particular gentleman.)

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    There is another history to anarchism…which unfortunately tarnishes the entire concept. No small number of the classical anarchist cells of the previous couple centuries broke down and spiraled into violence…among the most famous incidents being the one in which a French anarchist bombed his own cell…because they became bogged down in parliamentary procedure…which he considered antithetical to the purpose of anarchism. 

    I could never be characterized as anarchistic…even though I’d ideally love a world where consensus ruled peacefully…because I possess either an excess of cynicism or a dearth of naivete…depending on how people view it. Human nature does not allow for such a non-system system to thrive on any scale but the tiny. What might work in a single mellow commune of like minded individuals…inevitably fails everywhere else.

     As horrifying as ‘the rule of law’ often is…in the sense that it becomes easily corrupted and transforms from a protection of individuals against predation by the unethical…INTO a form of predation BY the unethical…the best system seen yet is that in which checks and balances are placed upon the enforcement and enforcers of law. If our society is faced with a current crisis of confidence in the rule of law…at the root of that crisis is the slow removal of checks and balances that once guarded people from abuse by their so-called protectors…(or as I’ve said so often before…it isn’t the metaphorical car’s fault…its that we’ve let maniacs do the driving.)

  • http://twitter.com/HooTsH Hesham Mohsen

    I agree with most of the principles, and I have some very positive views on anarchism from the philosophical point of view.

    But to speak practically, some places in Egypt (where I live), were EXACT applications of what you said here during  the 25 Jan revolution….let’s just say it was a bit ugly, it is true that a lot of people were astonished that Egyptians could be so well organized during chaos…some formed checkpoints and others local police groups…etc.
    However in some places gunfire was going on non-stop for days.
    Also people could not go to work for days, they had to stay in their neighborhood because they knew no “organization” was protecting their families while they were away.

    It is also a fact of today’s world that there are guns involved in the equation, and lots of people have guns, to speak for myself, some places in Egypt had kids running around playing football while holding local-made handguns in their hands, during local policing activities after the revolution.

    If policing was restricted to voluntary organizations there will be a huge number of problems involved with it, like in the places that I just mentioned (where guns are everywhere) one fight between two families turns really ugly really fast.

    An idea of a law is that it benefits the society as a whole by protecting it from any individual’s carelessness or evilness, if it was up to people to stop people from doing bad things we will see many many bad things happen around us where people will just be indifferent because they don’t want to get hurt themselves.

    Also armed gangs would be easier than ever to make now. And what comes next? Voluntary armed policing units?  How will they conduct investigations, how will they conduct interrogations, what if some people within the armed policing units decide to turn evil? (which DID happen in Egypt) More and more blood everywhere. Until you reach the point where people will be stopped in the middle of the street and frisked just for going to work. It is also worth noting that the voluntary policing units I assumed will not be able to exist everywhere, some of the simplest factories contain millions of dollars worth of machinery and products.

    Also in the few places in Egypt that does not have any sort of governmental presence, laws are gradually substituted with common law, and a form of dictatorship of those that are considered “wise”.

    I believe policing should be decentralized, as in police stations everywhere should be publicly monitored and managed by the people whom the station covers, that would solve many problems. And the same with all the other organizations.
    But the idea of a society without laws have been tried and tested many times before, and people get tired quickly, so they seeks laws one more time, they will not wait it out till solutions are figured out, they will just demand that laws are made and enforced.

    So even if the people wanted such an anarchist system, their children will demand the restoration of law enforcement. Even if that system was applied anywhere, its end is inevitably close in time to its beginning, it will not live for more than a couple of decades.

    In conclusion, unless public CONTROL of ORGANIZATIONS is considered a branch of anarchism, I say I believe anarchism is both impractical and impossible.

    • Jin The Ninja

      http://www.infoshop.org/page/AnAnarchistFAQ

      democratic control of any ‘institution’ is a key princple of social anarchism.

      • http://twitter.com/HooTsH Hesham Mohsen

        I see. 

        Thanks for the informative read.

  • http://twitter.com/HooTsH Hesham Mohsen

    I agree with most of the principles, and I have some very positive views on anarchism from the philosophical point of view.

    But to speak practically, some places in Egypt (where I live), were EXACT applications of what you said here during  the 25 Jan revolution….let’s just say it was a bit ugly, it is true that a lot of people were astonished that Egyptians could be so well organized during chaos…some formed checkpoints and others local police groups…etc.
    However in some places gunfire was going on non-stop for days.
    Also people could not go to work for days, they had to stay in their neighborhood because they knew no “organization” was protecting their families while they were away.

    It is also a fact of today’s world that there are guns involved in the equation, and lots of people have guns, to speak for myself, some places in Egypt had kids running around playing football while holding local-made handguns in their hands, during local policing activities after the revolution.

    If policing was restricted to voluntary organizations there will be a huge number of problems involved with it, like in the places that I just mentioned (where guns are everywhere) one fight between two families turns really ugly really fast.

    An idea of a law is that it benefits the society as a whole by protecting it from any individual’s carelessness or evilness, if it was up to people to stop people from doing bad things we will see many many bad things happen around us where people will just be indifferent because they don’t want to get hurt themselves.

    Also armed gangs would be easier than ever to make now. And what comes next? Voluntary armed policing units?  How will they conduct investigations, how will they conduct interrogations, what if some people within the armed policing units decide to turn evil? (which DID happen in Egypt) More and more blood everywhere. Until you reach the point where people will be stopped in the middle of the street and frisked just for going to work. It is also worth noting that the voluntary policing units I assumed will not be able to exist everywhere, some of the simplest factories contain millions of dollars worth of machinery and products.

    Also in the few places in Egypt that does not have any sort of governmental presence, laws are gradually substituted with common law, and a form of dictatorship of those that are considered “wise”.

    I believe policing should be decentralized, as in police stations everywhere should be publicly monitored and managed by the people whom the station covers, that would solve many problems. And the same with all the other organizations.
    But the idea of a society without laws have been tried and tested many times before, and people get tired quickly, so they seeks laws one more time, they will not wait it out till solutions are figured out, they will just demand that laws are made and enforced.

    So even if the people wanted such an anarchist system, their children will demand the restoration of law enforcement. Even if that system was applied anywhere, its end is inevitably close in time to its beginning, it will not live for more than a couple of decades.

    In conclusion, unless public CONTROL of ORGANIZATIONS is considered a branch of anarchism, I say I believe anarchism is both impractical and impossible.

  • Dane Collins

    I was annoyed by this just the other day, when I saw Kieth Olbermann (who it seems would know better) discussing the guys in Oakland who started the bonfires, and he kept asking if they were just a group of anarchist.  It seems to me like this entire movement is based on anarchistic principles, whether people know it or not.  But his implication was that the protesters are capitalists with minor grievances, while the people who turn violent are anarchists.

  • Dane Collins

    I was annoyed by this just the other day, when I saw Kieth Olbermann (who it seems would know better) discussing the guys in Oakland who started the bonfires, and he kept asking if they were just a group of anarchist.  It seems to me like this entire movement is based on anarchistic principles, whether people know it or not.  But his implication was that the protesters are capitalists with minor grievances, while the people who turn violent are anarchists.

  • Shanxonvox

    I’m a little concerned with your views on a “democratically run scoiety” free from centralization. Democracy is antithetical to anarchism. It’s still majority rule, which allows for the oppression of a less populated volutary class. But, all oin all, you hit the nail on the head!

  • Shanxonvox

    I’m a little concerned with your views on a “democratically run scoiety” free from centralization. Democracy is antithetical to anarchism. It’s still majority rule, which allows for the oppression of a less populated volutary class. But, all oin all, you hit the nail on the head!

    • Jin The Ninja

      No, actually DEMOCRACY (as in ‘direct’ or ‘consensus’) is inherently anarchist.

      The minority protections in the US constitution, as i’ve noted in the past, were primarily to protect the landowning aristocratic class(es) from an overly democratic egalitarian society.

      check out this link and the one after for a great overview/analysis of anarchism in politics.

      http://infoshop.org/page/AnAnarchistFAQ

      or

      http://propertyistheft.wordpress.com/

      • BAM

        Anarchy is a lack of government.  Democracy is a form of government. 
        An anarchist democracy is an impossibility.

        This article must have been written by a christian athiest.

        • Jin The Ninja

          Incorrect. Direct Democracy or Consensus Democracy is at the heart of any anarchist society.

          It is not only possible, but historically demonstrable.

          click the links i provided above-specifically the FAQ- it uses the academic tradition of anarchism to provide a theoretical outline of an anarchist society.

          • BAMmer

            Incorrect. From Merriam Webster:
            Definition of ANARCHY
            1a : absence of government Definition of DEMOCRACY1a : government by the peopleName one anarchist “democracy”. 

          • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

            Go visit Wikipedia and educate yourself on the topic. If you can take the time to look up the definition of a single word…you can take the time to look up a political movement that has a long history of democratic principles of inclusion and governing by consensus. It isn’t as simple as a one word definition…and a great deal has been written on overcoming exactly the issue you mentioned.

            I still don’t think a government based on modern anarchist theory is capable of thriving…so in a way I agree with you…but I formed that opinion after reading their proposals, critiques, essays, ideas and theories…not after reading the definition of the word anarchy in a dictionary. Basically…what I’m saying is…if we’re going to be on the same side of this debate…please don’t make the rest of us look ignorant.

          • BAMmer

            Citing the dictionary in order to correctly define a word (that some want to change the meaning of) is not a demonstration of ignorance.

            Citing wikipedia in order to claim anarchy and democracy are complimentary is disingenuous at best. The wikipedia article on anarchy doesn’t even mention the words “democracy” or “democratic”.

            I’m not looking for you or anyone else to be on my side. Anarchy is well defined in the dictionary. Go and take your argument to Merriam Webster if you wish to change/distort the definition.

          • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

            Okay…at least we’re clear.

            You really are that ignorant. The definition of a single word is sufficient for you to define a hundreds of years long historical political movement. Okay…run with that. Hope it works out for you. 

            I’m glad you want no one on your side…its a wish that will probably stay true without much effort.

          • BAMmer

            Accusations of ignorance will not do anything to win others over onto your side, although it does demonstrate a level of maturity that seems consistent with all the masked black hooded anarchists we’ve seen vandalizing property in the streets lately.

            It is beyond sane to attempt to argue the definition of a word that is so clearly defined.  Please provide a reputable source that backs up your claim that anarchy consists of “democratic principles of inclusion”.

            Please enlighten us, oh wise one. 

          • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

            Okay…heres some enlightenment.

            No one is debating the word’s dictionary meaning…except you. Everyone else is talking about the actual ‘real world’ meaning of anarchistic political systems…except you. You’re all by yourself…making an argument that because the dictionary defines the use of the lone word one way…that the same definition automatically applies to the entire history of anarchism as a political movement. Do you realize how foolish that really looks? Hanging your whole contribution on the difference between the dictionary approved use of the word and the real world application of it? Seriously? No one is debating the definition of the word…its ironclad. Its also irrelevant to the centuries of evolving political discussion of anarchism as politics. Totally unrelated.

            I should apologize though. I’m sorry…I didn’t use the word ignorant as a personal insult…it was meant as a literal fact. There isn’t a better word for such a situation. Even Mirriam Webster would approve of my use of it in this case.

             Noun: the state or fact of being ignorant; lack of knowledge, learning,information, etc.

             The sad part is I’m generously assuming you aren’t trolling…mostly because if you were…you’d be failing at even that.

          • Slick Rick

            VoxMagi, no need to be a dick.

          • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

            Okay…I have to admit that I was harsh…but let’s face it man…if something gentler would have made a dent…it would have already done so by now. The faint of heart should not rage against the Internet Hate Machine. I got compared to a black bloc anarchist and sarcastically referred to as wise for not being clear enough the first time…so I let the good times roll and the hate flowed forth. I have no regrets. :-)

          • Slick Ricky

            1. Who compared you to a black bloc anarchist?
            2. What’s so bad about black bloc anarchists?

          • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

            Still…I’ll be extra generous just in case you might actually be interested in reading. You probably aren’t…but if you are…some of this will help you to get onto the same page as the rest of the class:

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pierre-Joseph_Proudhon
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Anarchist_Congress_of_Amsterdam
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_anarchists
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anselme_Bellegarrigue
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_Camus

          • Jin The Ninja

            Much obliged, Vox!

          • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

            It’s a fine state of affairs when two people with opposite viewpoints have more in common. :-) What I like about discussing/debating things with you…is that we both know what we’re dealing with…for better or worse, opposed or agreed.

            But this train wreck on this page today…makes me despair of the internet. Say for instance…you say “Let’s drive over the curb.”…and I respond “Let’s not drive over the curb.” We enter into the debate aware of the curb, the curb’s location, its consistence, its legal ramifications, its history, and its context in our society…

            …and then a third voice chimes in and says “It’s not a real curb because the paint isn’t the right shade of yellow.”

            Facepalm…here I come.

          • Jin The Ninja

            lol, i totally agree.

            but seriously you and i DO have a lot philosophically in common, while we may have disagreements, I can respect your opinion because you can always describe WHY you feel a certain way. It’s the same with several other posters. I know i am a bit radical, so i always factor that into my level of tolerance for dissenting opinion. I do NOT expect everyone to be as radical as i. Temperance was a theme of catholic school i actually took to heart lol!

          • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

            Likewise.  I must admit…those Jesuits do a fine job teaching debate and logic. I didn’t enjoy Catholic school the one year I went there (my parents hoped it would improve my temperament if I was in a more polished environment…unfortunately my problem was a short fuse when people tried to intimidate me…and since social bullying is universal…it ended about the same as anywhere else. Someone’s attitude ran into my temper…and their face ran into my fist. Thus ended my stint at St. Josephs.)

            I had a few years of forensic debate in school…but most of the serious reading came after I was off to college and had access to a university library. (That and being blessed with friends who include a military historian, an anthropologist, a philosophy professor, a forensic anthropologist…it gives a fellow a nice wide range of interesting topics and kind of forces you to work to keep up with the conversation!)

            If your ideas and ideals are perhaps a little more radically left than most…I have to admit that mine are probably tainted by my excessive cynicism about human nature. Just the same, at least we both want a world where justice isn’t measured out according to the size of cash contributions…and where people are actually free to live to their potential…not crushed underfoot while struggling just to survive.

          • Slick Ricky

            What curb?  There is no curb. You’ve both been drinking, especially if you consider this page a train wreck.

            Welcome to democracy, where everyone has a voice. That is the great thing about the internet. Why does this give you cause for despair?  Cheer up, it’ll all get better once you realize that you don’t know everything.

          • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

            Hey champ..I was nice up above…but if we’re gonna get like this…

            …No one suggested an absence of voice. He used his…we used ours…he came to the gunfight carrying a spoon…it ended predictably. Democracy and free speech worked. If you’re unhappy with the outcome…you’re entitled to that opinion, but if you take the light-hearted chatter as seriously as the hard info…you may run into problems.

            And no one here thinks they know ‘everything’. Coming into a discussion on anarchism in politics…is only helped by at least knowing a little about anarchism in politics. Kind of like coming to dig a ditch and remembering to bring a shovel. It isn’t a matter of knowing everything…but showing up with an intact clue is helpful.

            If it was discussion of particle physics…I wouldn’t be here because I’d have nothing to say on a topic where I’m uninformed…I might read it to inform myself better…but I’d also have the good sense to STFU when I’m intellectually outgunned.

            …knowing that much…is half the battle.

          • JoeThePlumber

            Too funny.  You guys… no need to be childish.

          • JoeThePlumper

            Although this is quite comical, I must say.  Please continue this lovely debacle.

          • Jin The Ninja

            Rick, Bam and Joe. It’s quite apparent you are multiple personalities of the same person….

          • Jin The Ninja

            I like your new screen name ‘Bam.’

          • BAMmer

            Yeah thanks.  I added “mer”.

          • Jin The Ninja

            I also like ‘Ricky’ and ‘Joe’.

          • Slick Ricky

            Aw thanks, I like you too.
            Not in a gay way.

          • Jin The Ninja

            lol.

          • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

            lawl…technically…I’m not sure I’m capable of any other kind of ‘liking.’ Which kinda raises the question…since I’m gay…if I like someone…not matter how much or how little…isn’t it always in a ‘gay way’ by default?

          • Jin The Ninja

            that’s what i thought…lol

          • Jin The Ninja

            “Citing wikipedia in order to claim anarchy and democracy are
            complimentary is disingenuous at best. The wikipedia article on anarchy
            doesn’t even mention the words “democracy” or “democratic”.”

            Oh Really!? I beg to differ.

            “Social anarchism calls for a system with public ownership of means of
            production and democratic control of all organizations, without any
            government authority or coercion. It is the largest school of thought in anarchism.”

          • Jin The Ninja

            “Social anarchism calls for a system with public ownership of means of
            production and DEMOCRATIC control of all organizations.”

            Just thought i’d doubly emphasis that citation for you.

          • Jin The Ninja

             On the right hand sub menu of the anarchism wiki entry, under the heading of “theory practice” lies this entry:

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

            wikipedia offers cursory and accessible definitions- if you can’t even be bothered to READ it, then what is the point of trolling- unless simply to spam my posts, a seemingly favoured past time of yours.

            I am flattered though, that you consider me a rival, even if intellectually, you are (by far) the inferior opponent;)

          • Slick Ricky

            Finally a voice of reason!  Anarchists are notorious for their destructive ways.  They don’t want to be democratic, they want to abolish all order.

          • Jin The Ninja

            Echo Chamber. I like that you made yourself out to be so reasonable:P

          • Ian Galope

            So dictionarys can always provide objective meanings is what you’re implying…

          • Slick Ricky

            Well as it’s been stated already there is a difference between Anarchy and Anarchism. 

            But the word “objective” can have multiple meanings.  I assume you mean “not influenced by personal feelings, interpretations, or prejudice; based on facts” (full disclosure: that came from a dictionary).  Are you really asking if dictionaries provide fact based meanings of words?

          • Jin The Ninja

            Incorrigible.

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2G6kf7XM9Nk

            A definition of “Anarchy” is not the same as the defintion of the political-philosophy of “Anarchism.”

            Anachronistic anarchisms include: The Pre-Roman Celtic Nations, Haida, Cree, Metis, Onaida, Plains Sioux, Hmong, Minangbakau, San Peoples, Inuit, Kuna People of Panama. Among many others.

            Modern Anarchist Societies: Paris Commune, Anarchist Catalonia, Shinmin Autonymous Region, Free Territory of the Ukraine, Any number of voluntary and intentional communities including Quakers and Diggers.

            Daoism, Liberation Theology, Christian Pacificism, Islamic Banking, Ancient Christianity, Engaged Buddhism, Kibbutzim among many other practices/ideologies incorporate anarchist tendencies.

          • BAMmer

            Yes, yes, very impressive. Isn’t it amazing how these great “anarchist” societies have grown to be the most efficient, longest lasting, and largest democracies of all time? 

            Paris Commune: March 1871-May 1871
            Anarchist Catalonia: 1936-1939
            Free Territory of the Ukraine: 1918 – 1921

            True anarchy is unsustainable.

          • Jin The Ninja

            It’s not ‘anarchy’ it is ‘anarchism.’ an important distinction. Many of the indigenous civs i listed have history in excess of 5 thousand years.

            seems to have a longevity to it, no?

            and why, when capitalism, is the fevered mantra of imperial and hegemonic forces, would a society (such as anarchism) so anti-thetical to capital’s perverse valuation of society, be allowed to exist?

            I suppose colonialism and capitalism are not immediately related in your opinion?

            america’s long history of illegal interference in latin america, non existant?

            capitalism, is truly unsustainable as a global system.

          • Ian Galope

             Oh man are you one of those anarchists that hates anarcho-capitalists?

          • Mr Willow

            There’s quite a lot of those, actually.

            http://theanarchistlibrary.org/docs/aboutus.html (scroll down to the paragraph headed by broad does not mean infinite)

            Besides, in America at least, they just call themselves Libertarians.

          • Jin The Ninja

            I am rather of the mind, ‘anarcho-capitalism,’ is simply a co-option of the term anarchist, and solely and firmly entrenched in a dystopian paradigm akin to that of a william gibson novel, where we live at die at the whim of corporations and the ‘market.’

          • Mr Willow

            The Paris Commune technically was not an anarchist society as they still retained a representative democracy—the same system we currently suffer, though admittedly more vague—in the form of an elected council. Predictably, the longer that council was in place, the more isolated it became from the remainder of the population, and thus began to protect itself from ‘the revolutionaries’. The reason it failed, however, was that the French Army marched through the area and slaughtered 30,000 people, forcibly reïnstating government. (http://libcom.org/history/1871-the-paris-commune)

            Anarchist Catalonia suffered from propaganda from Communists and liberal Republicans, who accused them of not fighting hard enough, during the Civil War that was occurring at the time, against the Nationalists. Their slander including labeling anarchists (and, interestingly, Marxists) as fascists, in the tradition of war-mongers being single-minded and prone to using scare tactics, the same way Republicans in the US keep calling Obama a socialist/communist/fascist. Again, the people ate up the lies and mischaracterisations and governmental rule was begrudgingly restored. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anarchist_Catalonia)

            Finally, the Free Territory of the Ukraine was defeated by the Bolshevik propaganda machine (and the Red Army), which claimed it to be a warlord regime, that those elected within the territory were secretly appointed by Nestor Makhno, who was largely responsible for the Free Territory’s establishment, and that Makhnovist militias were responsible for various terrorist attacks on Soviet convoys and cities. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_Territory)

            In all cases, the ‘anarchist societies’ did not dissolve naturally, nor were they proved to be impractical. Rather, they were the victims of the propaganda and massacres perpetrated by (surprise, surprise) outside groups vying for power and influence, the exact antithesis of anarchist theory.

          • Jin The Ninja

            Great post. You may have already read this link, but if you haven’t it’s excellent!

            http://www.eleuthera.it/files/materiali/David_Graeber_Fragments_%20Anarchist_Anthropology.pdf

            Very much in line with what you wrote (exploring external problems of anarchist democracies) as well as including several large segments on ‘indigenous’ anarchism.

          • Jin The Ninja

            To add on to Mr. Willow’s very informative below post,

            The Shinmin Autonomous Region, fell due to the very similiar problems Mr Willow outlined for the Ukraine Free Territory. They had to simultaneously engage both Japanese Imperialist saboteurs from within and the Stalinist invasion from Russia. It did not “fail” organically.

            http://anticafta.tripod.com/id344.html

            I should also included the Zapatista Movement in Mexico under the subheading of modern anarchisms. althought technically they are council communist, they adhere to the same de centralised democratic principles of anarchism.

          • Jakobijnen

            Nonsense. If I forfeculy crush your society by means of military force it does not somehow prove your society does not work.

            The fact that the Bolsheviks crushed the Free Territory does not prove Bolshevik (or statists in general) are right.

            Just like the fact that the the Vietnamese beat the US forces does not somehow prove Marxism-Leninism is better than capitalism.

            Those anarchist societies did not collapse on their own, they were made to collapse by an external force, and hence the collapse does not indicate an intrinsic flaw in anarchist practice.

          • Mr Willow

            From Merriam Webster:

            Definition of ANARCHISM

            1: a political theory holding all forms of governmental authority to be unnecessary and undesirable and advocating a society based on voluntary cooperation and free association of individuals and groups

            2: the advocacy or practice of anarchist principles

            Suffixes, in some cases, count for quite a lot. 

          • BAMmer

            Incorrect. From Merriam Webster:
            Definition of ANARCHY
            1a : absence of government.

            Definition of DEMOCRACY
            1a : government by the people.

            Name one anarchist “democracy”.

          • BAMmer

            Definition of an ANARCHIST DEMOCRACY
            1a: absence of government by the people.

    • tooCents

      Democracy is antithetical to anarchism? I don’t follow.

      • Jin The Ninja

        exactly…sensing a troll- the sort whom shows up when certain keywords are in a specific story…

        • Slickie

          STFU Jinny, your condescension makes me want to puke.

          • Jin The Ninja

            Well, at least my writing has largesse enough to provoke a reaction;)

            I would consider it to be successful prose if that is the case.

          • BAMmer

            Yeah sorry I overreacted a bit.  :P
            Largesse?
            You keep using that word.  I do not think it means what you think it means.

          • Jin The Ninja

            “Generosity in bestowing money or gifts upon others.”

            The ‘gift’ in this instance, was knowledge-inflected of course with condescension (part of the DEFINTION of ‘largesse’);)

  • Anonymous

    No, actually DEMOCRACY (as in ‘direct’ or ‘consensus’) is inherently anarchist.

    The minority protections in the US constitution, as i’ve noted in the past, were primarily to protect the landowning aristocratic class(es) from an overly democratic egalitarian society.

    check out this link and the one after for a great overview/analysis of anarchism in politics.

    http://infoshop.org/page/AnAnarchistFAQ

    or

    http://propertyistheft.wordpress.com/

  • Anonymous

    If not for the fear of the government, people would swallow each other alive. You think they’re bad with rules? Just wait till you get humanity without rules.

  • Anonymous

    If not for the fear of the government, people would swallow each other alive. You think they’re bad with rules? Just wait till you get humanity without rules.

  • Anonymous

    If not for the fear of the government, people would swallow each other alive. You think they’re bad with rules? Just wait till you get humanity without rules.

  • Anonymous

    If not for the fear of the government, people would swallow each other alive. You think they’re bad with rules? Just wait till you get humanity without rules.

  • SF2K01

    If not for the fear of the government, people would swallow each other alive. You think they’re bad with rules? Just wait till you get humanity without rules.

    • Jin The Ninja

      Anarchism is not a society without rules…

      • SF2K01

        Well it is without government, which is the main point. People will act nice standing in line because it doesn’t take much to do so, although it’s really just a small social construction. It gets a lot more complicated as the article mentions when you start dealing with all the bigger issues that the government exists to address.

        • Jin The Ninja

          Your main point is moot, if you don’t properly characterise the system you are critiquing. Anarchism has ‘gov’t’ it is a society ruled by democracy and consensus making. including a judicial system (vastly different than now) a set of codified laws, and even a mutualist or participatory economy (or others depending on who you read). It does not have a state or hierarchichal institutions which is the difference between anarchism and what we have now. Many societies in history have been anachronistically ‘anarchist’ and several short instances of modern history have had society organised in an anarchist way.

          Anarchism does not claim to be a blueprint to utopia, and any anarchist that claims it is- is lying outrightly. However, it is a way forward to an egalitarian democratic society.

        • Carla

          How can you possibly know what people who have never been allowed to will do when left to act on their own. Most of your citizens do not know what free thinking is. I went to school in the states for quite a few years and it was hard to take all the fairy tale versions I was being fed of world events that they said was history. I,m not saying that my country is perfect but I know that in a squeeze you can rely on a kiwi to muck in and most of us can still figure things out. People have a way of sorting out the bad eggs if they are allowed to

          • SF2K01

            Seriously? People have been around for a lot longer than government has, and some societies still do live in such a way. Some ancient governments more or less fit the bill of what this article calls anarchy, but I still wouldn’t want to live amongst them.

    • BAMmer

      You know it’s a sad state of affairs when the grim reaper makes the most sense.

      Anarchy, aka lawlessness, would allow those who don’t care about the well being of others (today’s and tomorrow’s criminals) to do anything they wanted without repercussions.

      It sounds all nice and good when you try to alter the definition of anarchy to make it smell like a rose, but the reality is the current systems of government (as corrupt as they are) provide value to society. 

      We can talk about changing our current systems to be truly democratic, but this is not what anarchy is.

      • Jin The Ninja

        Actually that is exactly what ‘Anarchism’ is, and it is has nothing to do with lawlessness. Good ole’ try Bam, but fail. massive fail;)

    • GNOSTIC

      That is a cynical view.

      Granted.. I have been there.. I still feel similarly at times. HOWEVER.. the more I understand about Anarchy the more I realise that it is an evolutionary IDEAL… something that HUMANS SHOULD strive for  and are possibly capable of.. IF they work at it.

      Could Anarchy as a system of “organizing” humanity take place tommorow?  NO.  We are not EVOLVED enough to do so.. but they are important concepts about human behavior.. Natural Law, personal responsibility that we should take within ourselves and contemplate rather than merely just surrender to the idea that we are all animals.. and we will forever be just animals.. Can we be better? Can we evolve?…

  • Anonymous

    Anarchism is not a society without rules…

  • Anonymous

    Well it is without government, which is the main point. People will act nice standing in line because it doesn’t take much to do so, although it’s really just a small social construction. It gets a lot more complicated as the article mentions when you start dealing with all the bigger issues that the government exists to address.

  • Anonymous

    Your main point is moot, if you don’t properly characterise the system you are critiquing. Anarchism has ‘gov’t’ it is a society ruled by democracy and consensus making. including a judicial system (vastly different than now) a set of codified laws, and even a mutualist or participatory economy (or others depending on who you read). It does not have a state or hierarchichal institutions which is the difference between anarchism and what we have now. Many societies in history have been anachronistically ‘anarchist’ and several short instances of modern history have had society organised in an anarchist way.

    Anarchism does not claim to be a blueprint to utopia, and any anarchist that claims it is- is lying outrightly. However, it is a way forward to an egalitarian democratic society.

  • http://twitter.com/janachristy jana christy

    Hey Anarchists! the book “A Child’s Guide To Anarchy” is available for free download in honor of the Occupy movement! Enjoy! http://www.flotsamandjetpacks.com/auntieuncle/occupy-us/

  • http://twitter.com/janachristy jana christy

    Hey Anarchists! the book “A Child’s Guide To Anarchy” is available for free download in honor of the Occupy movement! Enjoy! http://www.flotsamandjetpacks.com/auntieuncle/occupy-us/

  • http://twitter.com/janachristy jana christy

    Hey Anarchists! the book “A Child’s Guide To Anarchy” is available for free download in honor of the Occupy movement! Enjoy! http://www.flotsamandjetpacks.com/auntieuncle/occupy-us/

  • http://twitter.com/janachristy jana christy

    Hey Anarchists! the book “A Child’s Guide To Anarchy” is available for free download in honor of the Occupy movement! Enjoy! http://www.flotsamandjetpacks.com/auntieuncle/occupy-us/

  • Carla

    How can you possibly know what people who have never been allowed to will do when left to act on their own. Most of your citizens do not know what free thinking is. I went to school in the states for quite a few years and it was hard to take all the fairy tale versions I was being fed of world events that they said was history. I,m not saying that my country is perfect but I know that in a squeeze you can rely on a kiwi to muck in and most of us can still figure things out. People have a way of sorting out the bad eggs if they are allowed to

  • Anonymous

    Democracy is antithetical to anarchism? I don’t follow.

  • Anonymous

    exactly…sensing a troll- the sort whom shows up when certain keywords are in a specific story…

  • Anonymous

    Seriously? People have been around for a lot longer than government has, and some societies still do live in such a way. Some ancient governments more or less fit the bill of what this article calls anarchy, but I still wouldn’t want to live amongst them.

  • Slickie

    STFU Jinny, your condescension makes me want to puke.

  • BAM

    Anarchy is a lack of government.  Democracy is a form of government. 
    An anarchist democracy is an impossibility.

    This article must have been written by a christian athiest.

  • BAMmer

    You know it’s a sad state of affairs when the grim reaper makes the most sense.

    Anarchy, aka lawlessness, would allow those who don’t care about the well being of others (today’s and tomorrow’s criminals) to do anything they wanted without repercussions.

    It sounds all nice and good when you try to alter the definition of anarchy to make it smell like a rose, but the reality is the current systems of government (as corrupt as they are) provide value to society. 

    We can talk about changing our current systems to be truly democratic, but this is not what anarchy is.

  • BAMmer

    Anarchy deserves a bad rap
    because by definition it is
    a lawless “wild west” where criminals could get away with murder

    Not everyone in government is a warlord.

  • Anonymous

    Well at least my writing has largesse enough to provoke a reaction:P

  • Anonymous

    Incorrect. Direct Democracy or Consensus Democracy is at the heart of any anarchist society.

    It is not only possible, but historically demonstrable.

    click the links i provided above-specifically the FAQ- it uses the academic tradition of anarchism to provide a theoretical outline of an anarchist society.

  • BAMmer

    Incorrect. From Merriam Webster:
    Definition of ANARCHY
    1a : absence of government Definition of DEMOCRACY1a : government by the peopleName one anarchist “democracy”. 

  • BAMmer

    Yeah sorry I overreacted a bit.  :P
    Largesse?
    You keep using that word.  I do not think it means what you think it means.

  • BAMmer

    Funny how the anarchists in the Occupy movements seem to be the ones who are on video breaking windows and vandalizing things.

    This is what anarchy offers.

  • Anonymous

    Incorrect again. It is not the wild west, it is a voluntary union of distinct peoples who form a society based on direct democracy without hierarchichal institutions such as capitalism or republicanism.
    An anarchist society would have: free healthcare, free education, trade unions, organic/local food production among other things.

    Anarcho-Capitalism or American Libertarianism- now that IS the wild west. crazed profit seeking zombies slowly urbaning entire continents in search of mineral, timber, air, and water. I imagine enormous slums and a military police. Perhaps Walled techno city states?

  • BAMmer

    Funny how the anarchists in the Occupy movements seem to be the ones who are on video breaking windows and vandalizing things.

    This is what anarchy offers.

    • Jin The Ninja

      ‘Anarchism,’ as a political philosophy, does not specifically encourage the use of those tactics, although most anarchists debate and encourage a DIVERSITY of tactics.

      That is not to say the ones whom appear on video are not agent provocateurs. Do you understand what that word means?

    • Gnostic

      You just committed a Logical Fallacy.

      You are erroneously assuming and linking the general ideology of Anarchy  to the actions of a few. 

      “Some did this, therefore ALL believe in those actions therefore the entire movement is bad”..

       

  • BAMmer

    Incorrect. From Merriam Webster:
    Definition of ANARCHY
    1a : absence of government.

    Definition of DEMOCRACY
    1a : government by the people.

    Name one anarchist “democracy”.

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    Go visit Wikipedia and educate yourself on the topic. If you can take the time to look up the definition of a single word…you can take the time to look up a political movement that has a long history of democratic principles of inclusion and governing by consensus. It isn’t as simple as a one word definition…and a great deal has been written on overcoming exactly the issue you mentioned.

    I still don’t think a government based on modern anarchist theory is capable of thriving…so in a way I agree with you…but I formed that opinion after reading their proposals, critiques, essays, ideas and theories…not after reading the definition of the word anarchy in a dictionary. Basically…what I’m saying is…if we’re going to be on the same side of this debate…please don’t make the rest of us look ignorant.

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    Go visit Wikipedia and educate yourself on the topic. If you can take the time to look up the definition of a single word…you can take the time to look up a political movement that has a long history of democratic principles of inclusion and governing by consensus. It isn’t as simple as a one word definition…and a great deal has been written on overcoming exactly the issue you mentioned.

    I still don’t think a government based on modern anarchist theory is capable of thriving…so in a way I agree with you…but I formed that opinion after reading their proposals, critiques, essays, ideas and theories…not after reading the definition of the word anarchy in a dictionary. Basically…what I’m saying is…if we’re going to be on the same side of this debate…please don’t make the rest of us look ignorant.

  • Anonymous

    Incorrigible.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2G6kf7XM9Nk

    A definition of “Anarchy” is not the same as the defintion of the political-philosophy of “Anarchism.”

    Anachronistic anarchisms include: The Pre-Roman Celtic Nations, Haida, Cree, Metis, Onaida, Plains Sioux, Hmong, Minangbakau, San Peoples, Inuit, Kuna People of Panama. Among many others.

    Modern Anarchist Societies: Paris Commune, Anarchist Catalonia, Shinmin Autonymous Region, Free Territory of the Ukraine, Any number of voluntary and intentional communities including Quakers and Diggers.

    Daoism, Liberation Theology, Christian Pacificism, Islamic Banking, Ancient Christianity, Engaged Buddhism, Kibbutzim among many other practices/ideologies incorporate anarchist tendencies.

  • Anonymous

    Incorrigible.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2G6kf7XM9Nk

    A definition of “Anarchy” is not the same as the defintion of the political-philosophy of “Anarchism.”

    Anachronistic anarchisms include: The Pre-Roman Celtic Nations, Haida, Cree, Metis, Onaida, Plains Sioux, Hmong, Minangbakau, San Peoples, Inuit, Kuna People of Panama. Among many others.

    Modern Anarchist Societies: Paris Commune, Anarchist Catalonia, Shinmin Autonymous Region, Free Territory of the Ukraine, Any number of voluntary and intentional communities including Quakers and Diggers.

    Daoism, Liberation Theology, Christian Pacificism, Islamic Banking, Ancient Christianity, Engaged Buddhism, Kibbutzim among many other practices/ideologies incorporate anarchist tendencies.

  • Anonymous

    Incorrigible.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2G6kf7XM9Nk

    A definition of “Anarchy” is not the same as the defintion of the political-philosophy of “Anarchism.”

    Anachronistic anarchisms include: The Pre-Roman Celtic Nations, Haida, Cree, Metis, Onaida, Plains Sioux, Hmong, Minangbakau, San Peoples, Inuit, Kuna People of Panama. Among many others.

    Modern Anarchist Societies: Paris Commune, Anarchist Catalonia, Shinmin Autonymous Region, Free Territory of the Ukraine, Any number of voluntary and intentional communities including Quakers and Diggers.

    Daoism, Liberation Theology, Christian Pacificism, Islamic Banking, Ancient Christianity, Engaged Buddhism, Kibbutzim among many other practices/ideologies incorporate anarchist tendencies.

  • Anonymous

    Incorrigible.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2G6kf7XM9Nk

    A definition of “Anarchy” is not the same as the defintion of the political-philosophy of “Anarchism.”

    Anachronistic anarchisms include: The Pre-Roman Celtic Nations, Haida, Cree, Metis, Onaida, Plains Sioux, Hmong, Minangbakau, San Peoples, Inuit, Kuna People of Panama. Among many others.

    Modern Anarchist Societies: Paris Commune, Anarchist Catalonia, Shinmin Autonymous Region, Free Territory of the Ukraine, Any number of voluntary and intentional communities including Quakers and Diggers.

    Daoism, Liberation Theology, Christian Pacificism, Islamic Banking, Ancient Christianity, Engaged Buddhism, Kibbutzim among many other practices/ideologies incorporate anarchist tendencies.

  • Anonymous

    “Generosity in bestowing money or gifts upon others.”

    The ‘gift’ in this instance, was knowledge-inflected of course with condescension (part of the DEFINTION of ‘largesse’);)

  • Anonymous

    “Generosity in bestowing money or gifts upon others.”

    The ‘gift’ in this instance, was knowledge-inflected of course with condescension (part of the DEFINTION of ‘largesse’);)

  • Anonymous

    “Generosity in bestowing money or gifts upon others.”

    The ‘gift’ in this instance, was knowledge-inflected of course with condescension (part of the DEFINTION of ‘largesse’);)

  • Anonymous

    “Generosity in bestowing money or gifts upon others.”

    The ‘gift’ in this instance, was knowledge-inflected of course with condescension (part of the DEFINTION of ‘largesse’);)

  • BAMmer

    Citing the dictionary in order to correctly define a word (that some want to change the meaning of) is not a demonstration of ignorance.

    Citing wikipedia in order to claim anarchy and democracy are complimentary is disingenuous at best. The wikipedia article on anarchy doesn’t even mention the words “democracy” or “democratic”.

    I’m not looking for you or anyone else to be on my side. Anarchy is well defined in the dictionary. Go and take your argument to Merriam Webster if you wish to change/distort the definition.

  • BAMmer

    Definition of an ANARCHIST DEMOCRACY
    1a: absence of government by the people.

  • BAMmer

    Yes, yes, very impressive. Isn’t it amazing how these great “anarchist” societies have grown to be the most efficient, longest lasting, and largest democracies of all time? 

    Paris Commune: March 1871-May 1871
    Anarchist Catalonia: 1936-1939
    Free Territory of the Ukraine: 1918 – 1921

    True anarchy is unsustainable.

  • Anonymous

    It’s not ‘anarchy’ it is ‘anarchism.’ an important distinction. Many of the indigenous civs i listed have history in excess of 5 thousand years.

    seems to have a longevity to it, no?

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    Okay…at least we’re clear.

    You really are that ignorant. The definition of a single word is sufficient for you to define a hundreds of years long historical political movement. Okay…run with that. Hope it works out for you. 

    I’m glad you want no one on your side…its a wish that will probably stay true without much effort.

  • BAMmer

    Accusations of ignorance will not do anything to win others over onto your side, although it does demonstrate a level of maturity that seems consistent with all the masked black hooded anarchists we’ve seen vandalizing property in the streets lately.

    It is beyond sane to attempt to argue the definition of a word that is so clearly defined.  Please provide a reputable source that backs up your claim that anarchy consists of “democratic principles of inclusion”.

    Please enlighten us, oh wise one. 

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    Okay…heres some enlightenment.

    No one is debating the word’s dictionary meaning…except you. Everyone else is talking about the actual ‘real world’ meaning of anarchistic political systems…except you. You’re all by yourself…making an argument that because the dictionary defines the use of the lone word one way…that the same definition automatically applies to the entire history of anarchism as a political movement. Do you realize how foolish that really looks? Hanging your whole contribution on the difference between the dictionary approved use of the word and the real world application of it? Seriously? No one is debating the definition of the word…its ironclad. Its also irrelevant to the centuries of evolving political discussion of anarchism as politics. Totally unrelated.

    I should apologize though. I’m sorry…I didn’t use the word ignorant as a personal insult…it was meant as a literal fact. There isn’t a better word for such a situation. Even Mirriam Webster would approve of my use of it in this case.

     Noun: the state or fact of being ignorant; lack of knowledge, learning,information, etc.

     The sad part is I’m generously assuming you aren’t trolling…mostly because if you were…you’d be failing at even that. 

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    Still…I’ll be extra generous just in case you might actually be interested in reading. You probably aren’t…but if you are…some of this will help you to get onto the same page as the rest of the class:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pierre-Joseph_Proudhon
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Anarchist_Congress_of_Amsterdam
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_anarchists
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anselme_Bellegarrigue
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_Camus

  • Anonymous

    “Citing wikipedia in order to claim anarchy and democracy are
    complimentary is disingenuous at best. The wikipedia article on anarchy
    doesn’t even mention the words “democracy” or “democratic”.

    OH really?

    “Social anarchism calls for a system with public ownership of means of
    production and democratic control of all organizations, without any
    government authority or coercion. It is the largest school of thought in anarchism.”

  • Anonymous

    “Social anarchism calls for a system with public ownership of means of
    production and DEMOCRATIC control of all organizations.”

    Just thought i’d doubly emphasis that citation for you.

  • Anonymous

    Much obliged, Vox!

  • Anonymous

    Much obliged, Vox!

  • Anonymous

     On the right hand sub menu of the anarchism wiki entry, under the heading of “theory practice” lies this entry:

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

    wikipedia offers cursory and accessible definitions- if you can’t even be bothered to READ it, then what is the point of trolling- unless simply to spam my posts, a seemingly favoured past time of yours.

    I am flattered though, that you consider me a rival, even if intellectually, you are (by far) the inferior opponent;)

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    It’s a fine state of affairs when two people with opposite viewpoints have more in common. :-) What I like about discussing/debating things with you…is that we both know what we’re dealing with…for better or worse, opposed or agreed.

    But this train wreck on this page today…makes me despair of the internet. Say for instance…you say “Let’s drive over the curb.”…and I respond “Let’s not drive over the curb.” We enter into the debate aware of the curb, the curb’s location, its consistence, its legal ramifications, its history, and its context in our society…

    …and then a third voice chimes in and says “It’s not a real curb because the paint isn’t the right shade of yellow.”

    Facepalm…here I come.

  • Anonymous

    lol, i totally agree.

    but seriously you and i DO have a lot philosophically in common, while we may have disagreements, I can respect your opinion because you can always describe WHY you feel a certain way. It’s the same with several other posters. I know i am a bit radical, so i always factor that into my level of tolerance for dissenting opinion. I do NOT expect everyone to be as radical as i. Temperance was a theme of catholic school i actually took to heart lol!

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    Likewise.  I must admit…those Jesuits do a fine job teaching debate and logic. I didn’t enjoy Catholic school the one year I went there (my parents hoped it would improve my temperament if I was in a more polished environment…unfortunately my problem was a short fuse when people tried to intimidate me…and since social bullying is universal…it ended about the same as anywhere else. Someone’s attitude ran into my temper…and their face ran into my fist. Thus ended my stint at St. Josephs.)

    I had a few years of forensic debate in school…but most of the serious reading came after I was off to college and had access to a university library. (That and being blessed with friends who include a military historian, an anthropologist, a philosophy professor, a forensic anthropologist…it gives a fellow a nice wide range of interesting topics and kind of forces you to work to keep up with the conversation!)

    If your ideas and ideals are perhaps a little more radically left than most…I have to admit that mine are probably tainted by my excessive cynicism about human nature. Just the same, at least we both want a world where justice isn’t measured out according to the size of cash contributions…and where people are actually free to live to their potential…not crushed underfoot while struggling just to survive.

  • Slick Rick

    VoxMagi, no need to be a dick.

  • Slick Ricky

    This article does its best to portray the a beautiful picture of anarchy that is inconsistent with reality.

    “Two wrongs don’t make a right”  is a simple rule that is easy for children to understand.  The real world is more complex.
    Should we not take away a rapist’s freedom?
    Should we not execute a genocidal maniac?

    Lack of government is a recipe for chaos.

  • Slick Ricky

    This article does its best to portray the a beautiful picture of anarchy that is inconsistent with reality.

    “Two wrongs don’t make a right”  is a simple rule that is easy for children to understand.  The real world is more complex.
    Should we not take away a rapist’s freedom?
    Should we not execute a genocidal maniac?

    Lack of government is a recipe for chaos.

    • Jin The Ninja

      If you want to debate, pick a personality, and read something so we can debate- it is obvious you are being reactionary and choosing to troll this page.

      • BAMmer

        Unproven accusations don’t do much to help your argument.  But I couldn’t help but notice you avoiding answering the real debatable questions.

        • Jin The Ninja

          Such as? it’s you who is afraid of debate. Unable to pick a screen name, and unable to respond with substance to my or anyone else’s posts. If you do not bother to engage with the original source material and continuously refer (incorrectly) to the topic with such a limited sphere of knowledge- the terms of the debate are made impossible. I sure you are well aware of this.

      • Slick Ricky

        Reactionary?  How so?  It is obvious you are attempting to change the subject and hurling insults without reason. How do you say… ” the terms of the debate are made impossible. I sure you are well aware of this. “

        • Jin The Ninja

          You completely mischaracterise the article. If you want to discuss ‘anarchism’ as a political philosophy i’m open to discuss. YOU change the subject, divert, and disseminate misinformation. Using multiple screen names doesn’t help your case.

      • hmmmm…

        that was somewhat uncalled for…

        • Jin The Ninja

          Not really. It’s true. and you should know 1 post wonder.

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    Okay…I have to admit that I was harsh…but let’s face it man…if something gentler would have made a dent…it would have already done so by now. The faint of heart should not rage against the Internet Hate Machine. I got compared to a black bloc anarchist and sarcastically referred to as wise for not being clear enough the first time…so I let the good times roll and the hate flowed forth. I have no regrets. :-)

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    Okay…I have to admit that I was harsh…but let’s face it man…if something gentler would have made a dent…it would have already done so by now. The faint of heart should not rage against the Internet Hate Machine. I got compared to a black bloc anarchist and sarcastically referred to as wise for not being clear enough the first time…so I let the good times roll and the hate flowed forth. I have no regrets. :-)

  • Slick Ricky

    Finally a voice of reason!  Anarchists are notorious for their destructive ways.  They don’t want to be democratic, they want to abolish all order.

  • Slick Ricky

    Finally a voice of reason!  Anarchists are notorious for their destructive ways.  They don’t want to be democratic, they want to abolish all order.

  • Slick Ricky

    What curb?  There is no curb. You’ve both been drinking, especially if you consider this page a train wreck.

    Welcome to democracy, where everyone has a voice. That is the great thing about the internet. Why does this give you cause for despair?  Cheer up, it’ll all get better once you realize that you don’t know everything.

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    Hey champ..I was nice up above…but if we’re gonna get like this…

    …No one suggested an absence of voice. He used his…we used ours…he came to the gunfight carrying a spoon…it ended predictably. Democracy and free speech worked. If you’re unhappy with the outcome…you’re entitled to that opinion, but if you take the light-hearted chatter as seriously as the hard info…you may run into problems.

    And no one here thinks they know ‘everything’. Coming into a discussion on anarchism in politics…is only helped by at least knowing a little about anarchism in politics. Kind of like coming to dig a ditch and remembering to bring a shovel. It isn’t a matter of knowing everything…but showing up with an intact clue is helpful.

    If it was discussion of particle physics…I wouldn’t be here because I’d have nothing to say on a topic where I’m uninformed…I might read it to inform myself better…but I’d also have the good sense to STFU when I’m intellectually outgunned.

    …knowing that much…is half the battle.

  • Anonymous

    I like your new screen name ‘Bam.’

  • Anonymous

    Echo Chamber. I like that you made yourself out to be so reasonable:P

  • JoeThePlumber

    Too funny.  You guys… no need to be childish.

  • JoeThePlumper

    Although this is quite comical, I must say.  Please continue this lovely debacle.

  • JoeThePlumper

    Although this is quite comical, I must say.  Please continue this lovely debacle.

  • JoeThePlumper

    Although this is quite comical, I must say.  Please continue this lovely debacle.

  • JoeThePlumper

    Although this is quite comical, I must say.  Please continue this lovely debacle.

  • JoeThePlumper

    This is a test, this is only a test, please delete

  • JoeThePlumper

    this is only another test, please delete

  • Anonymous

    Actually that is exactly what ‘Anarchism’ is, and it is has nothing to do with lawlessness. Good ole’ try Bam, but fail. massive fail;)

  • JoeThePlumper

    For real the Final last test please delete

  • JoeThePlumper

    this text is squished off the page.  please delete

  • Anonymous

    Rick, Bam and Joe. It’s quite apparent you are multiple personalities of the same person….

  • Anonymous

    ‘Anarchism,’ as a political philosophy, does not specifically encourage the use of those tactics, although most anarchists debate and encourage a DIVERSITY of tactics.

    That is not to say the ones whom appear on video are not agent provocateurs. Do you understand what that word means?

  • Anonymous

    If you want to debate, pick a personality, and read something so we can debate- it is obvious you are being reactionary and choosing to troll this page.

  • http://buzzcoastin.posterous.com BuzzCoastin

    If you can name one leader of any country
    that does not have an army or police force
    at his/her command
    I will concede the war lord part.

    It is possible to have rules, guide lines and even laws
    without needing a government to make them work.
    Humans have spent more time existing without governance than with it.
    Anarchy is not always orderly
    but neither is the slavery of government.

  • Anonymous

    This Anarchist is very Dangerous for the Country Security.The Government Must always to action against Anarchist to Protect the Country law and Order.

    http://overstockcouponcode1.tumblr.com/post/12319113631/fragrances-everlasting-gifts-for-men-and-women

  • BAMmer

    Unproven accusations don’t do much to help your argument.  But I couldn’t help but notice you avoiding answering the real debatable questions.

  • Nicky

    The above read is big pile of poppy cock stupidity.  Grow a brain.

    • Jin The Ninja

      Nicky= Ricky. 1 post troll.

    • BAMmer

      Careful, Nicky. Dissent will get you labelled an ignorant schizophrenic reactionary troll by the regulars.

      But at least that demonstrates the true nature of said regulars and their inability to engage in a real debate without resorting to childish insults and erudite vernacular utilized irrespective of necessity.

      • Jin The Ninja

        Debate?

        You are incapable of it.

      • chaote

        BAMmer you’re simply being stubborn. Power corrupts. You know the rest. Even if “anarchy” isn’t the exact “solution”, the current system of every government at the moment isn’t quite doing it for me either. A democracy as described in Chris Hyatt’s “Undoing Yourself” would be a nice spin on things, but with technology these days it could all still be easily rigged. Anyway though I disagree with what you say I’ll fight to the death for your right to say it.

        (also this whole argument reminds me of something:
        “Honey, come to bed…”
        “I can’t; This is important.”
        “What?”
        “Somebody is WRONG on the internet!”
        Just respect each other’s opinions and get on with your lives!)

        • Slick Ricky

          Echo chamber.  Jin = chaote.  Jin the Ninja you fail. It is you who cannot let it go, you always have to have the last word!  Oh now it makes sense, Jin the Ninja has no wife.

          • Jin The Ninja

            Actually I ALWAYS use my own screen name “Jin”- i thought you told me i was too prolific on this site! lol.

            And i am married, but not to a “wife” :P but thanks for your concern.

            And who is trolling this article? AGAIN 1409 comments to your 10 and most made on this article. Whom is the troll? You Bam, you are the troll.

  • Nicky

    The above read is big pile of poppy cock stupidity.  Grow a brain.

  • mayday

    Bammer did You actually read the article??

  • BAMmer

    Of course I read the propaganda you refer to as an article above, it makes anarchy sound like the solution to all life’s woes. “The most basic anarchist principle is … the assumption
    that human beings do not need to be threatened with prosecution in order
    to be able to come to reasonable understandings with each other”

    If that is the case, then the most basic anarchist principle is flawed. The problem is, some (probably the majority of) human beings do need the threat of consequence because we are animals. We all have the capability and the tendency to act in selfish and destructive ways. In an anarchist society, we’ve eliminated the military, police and the courts. When the selfish inflict harm on others to benefit themselves, are there no repercussions? 

    What this loveletter to anarchy describes is not true anarchy, at least not by what the majority of the populace considers anarchy.  For this reason the movement will gain no traction. I will say that many of the principles it describes I agree with, but to label them anarchist guarantees they will fail to be adopted by the majority.

  • BAMmer

    The non-existence of a country
    without an army or police force
    should itself demonstrate that the anarchy experiment
    is not sustainable
    or desired by the majority.

    Laws without government are not laws
    unless they can be enforced by an authority.
    Humans have spent more time struggling for basic necessities of survival
    than living in our modern industrial complex.
    I doubt most people would choose to go back to the way things were pre-govt.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_76KIB6NCYIJYOSBNC267HHVPLY Tristan M

    the wild west barely existed, has very little to do with anarchy (sheriffs existed) and basically..look up the wild west…what people think is not what happened. hell here you go
    http://www.unpopulartruth.com/2009/04/myths-of-old-west.html
    http://mises.org/journals/jls/3_1/3_1_2.pdf    *very long*
    http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/viewpoints/articles/0717hill0717.html

    you could even just read the wiki.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_76KIB6NCYIJYOSBNC267HHVPLY Tristan M

    the wild west barely existed, has very little to do with anarchy (sheriffs existed) and basically..look up the wild west…what people think is not what happened. hell here you go
    http://www.unpopulartruth.com/2009/04/myths-of-old-west.html
    http://mises.org/journals/jls/3_1/3_1_2.pdf    *very long*
    http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/viewpoints/articles/0717hill0717.html

    you could even just read the wiki.

  • Jman

    Silly anarchists… you really need to rebrand yourselves.

  • Jman

    Silly anarchists… you really need to rebrand yourselves.

    • Mr Willow

      Somebody tried that already.

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

      Interestingly, that form of anarchism has caught on quite well in the US. Go figure.

    • Jin The Ninja

      I doubt we need silly cogs like you to lend us advice on how to create a discussion of our practices.

  • Anonymous

    Such as? it’s you who is afraid of debate. Unable to pick a screen name, and unable to respond with substance to my or anyone else’s posts. If you do not bother to engage with the original source material and continuously refer (incorrectly) to the topic with such a limited sphere of knowledge- the terms of the debate are made impossible. I sure you are well aware of this.

  • Mr Willow

    Somebody tried that already.

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

    Interestingly, that form of anarchism has caught on quite well in the US. Go figure.

  • Hanzo

    Indeed.

  • Anonymous

    Nicky= Ricky. 1 post troll.

  • Anonymous

    I doubt we need silly cogs like you to lend us advice on how to create a discussion of our practices.

  • BAMmer

    Careful, Nicky. Dissent will get you labelled an ignorant schizophrenic reactionary troll by the regulars.

    But at least that demonstrates the true nature of said regulars and their inability to engage in a real debate without resorting to childish insults and erudite vernacular utilized irrespective of necessity.

  • BAMmer

    Careful, Nicky. Dissent will get you labelled an ignorant schizophrenic reactionary troll by the regulars.

    But at least that demonstrates the true nature of said regulars and their inability to engage in a real debate without resorting to childish insults and erudite vernacular utilized irrespective of necessity.

  • BAMmer

    Careful, Nicky. Dissent will get you labelled an ignorant schizophrenic reactionary troll by the regulars.

    But at least that demonstrates the true nature of said regulars and their inability to engage in a real debate without resorting to childish insults and erudite vernacular utilized irrespective of necessity.

  • BAMmer

    Careful, Nicky. Dissent will get you labelled an ignorant schizophrenic reactionary troll by the regulars.

    But at least that demonstrates the true nature of said regulars and their inability to engage in a real debate without resorting to childish insults and erudite vernacular utilized irrespective of necessity.

  • BAMmer

    Careful, Nicky. Dissent will get you labelled an ignorant schizophrenic reactionary troll by the regulars.

    But at least that demonstrates the true nature of said regulars and their inability to engage in a real debate without resorting to childish insults and erudite vernacular utilized irrespective of necessity.

  • Anonymous

    Debate?

    You are incapable of it.

  • Anonymous

    Debate?

    You are incapable of it.

  • BAMmer

    Yeah thanks.  I added “mer”.

  • BAMmer

    Yeah thanks.  I added “mer”.

  • Anonymous

    I also like ‘Ricky’ and ‘Joe’.

  • http://buzzcoastin.posterous.com BuzzCoastin

    BAMmer : The non-existence of a country
    without an army or police force
    should itself demonstrate that the anarchy experiment

    What it clearly demonstrates is
    that it takes force to rule people and
    that people do not submit to that rule without force.

    BAMmer : Laws without government are not laws
    unless they can be enforced by an authority.

    Nonsense,
    the golden rule was in existence long before “legal authorities;”
    the war lords have only been in power for the last 5,000 years
    humans go back a little further than that.

    BAMmer :I doubt most people would choose to go back to the way things were pre-govt.

    Just because many people are dull witted and compliant
    doesn’t necessarily mean that everyone should be compelled
    to follow their lead.
    This was Thoreau’s main point in “Civil Disobedience.”

  • Anonymous

    I like anarchism. Just like every other political ideology, it has its pros and cons. What i like best about it is the idea of creating ways to live in solidarity and freedom. My one complaint is, that no two anarchists can agree on what anarchism is. Then again, the same could be said for any political party.

  • Anonymous

    I like anarchism. Just like every other political ideology, it has its pros and cons. What i like best about it is the idea of creating ways to live in solidarity and freedom. My one complaint is, that no two anarchists can agree on what anarchism is. Then again, the same could be said for any political party.

  • http://nakeddissidence.wordpress.com/ pointax

    I like anarchism. Just like every other political ideology, it has its pros and cons. What i like best about it is the idea of creating ways to live in solidarity and freedom. My one complaint is, that no two anarchists can agree on what anarchism is. Then again, the same could be said for any political party.

    • Jin The Ninja

      dissent and discussion are two important features of democracy. i think we forget sometimes.

    • Mr Willow

      I always considered that to be the beauty of it, myself: that we would have a continuous conversation about some aspect or another that was working, or wasn’t working, and how things could be changed on a whim. The spontaneity would keep things from anything becoming too dogmatised. 

      In keeping with Sartre’s idea of a perpetual revolution. 

  • http://www.gunnook.com Cbirdsell

    anarchy helps the world go round

  • http://www.gunnook.com Cbirdsell

    anarchy helps the world go round

  • Anonymous

    dissent and discussion are two important features of democracy. i think we forget sometimes.

  • Mr Willow

    I always considered that to be the beauty of it, myself: that we would have a continuous conversation about some aspect or another that was working, or wasn’t working, and how things could be changed on a whim. The spontaneity would keep things from anything becoming too dogmatised. 

    In keeping with Sartre’s idea of a perpetual revolution. 

  • Mr Willow

    From Merriam Webster:

    Definition of ANARCHISM

    1: a political theory holding all forms of governmental authority to be unnecessary and undesirable and advocating a society based on voluntary cooperation and free association of individuals and groups

    2: the advocacy or practice of anarchist principles

    Suffixes, in some cases, count for quite a lot. 

  • Mr Willow

    The Paris Commune technically was not an anarchist society as they still retained a representative democracy—the same system we currently suffer, though admittedly more vague—in the form of an elected council. Predictably, the longer that council was in place, the more isolated from the remainder of the population, and thus began to protect itself from ‘the revolutionaries’. The reason it failed, however, was that the French Army marched through the area and slaughtered 30,000 people, forcibly reïnstating government. (http://libcom.org/history/1871-the-paris-commune)

    Anarchist Catalonia suffered from propaganda from Communists and liberal Republicans, who accused them of not fighting hard enough, during the Civil War that was occurring at the time, against the Nationalists. Their slander including labeling anarchists (and, interestingly, Marxists) as fascists, in the tradition of war-mongers being single-minded and prone to using scare tactics, the same way Republicans in the US keep calling Obama a socialist/communist/fascist. Again, the people ate up the lies and mischaracterisations and governmental rule was begrudgingly restored. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anarchist_Catalonia)

    Finally, the Free Territory of the Ukraine was defeated by the Bolshevik propaganda machine (and the Red Army), which claimed it to be a warlord regime, that those elected within the territory were secretly appointed by Nestor Makhno, who was largely responsible for the Free Territory’s establishment, and that Makhnovist militias were responsible for various terrorist attacks on Soviet convoys and cities. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_Territory)

    In all cases, the ‘anarchist societies’ did not dissolve naturally, nor were they proved to be impractical. Rather, they were the victims of the propaganda and massacres perpetrated by (surprise, surprise) outside groups vying for power and influence, the exact antithesis of anarchist theory. Go figure.

  • Ian Galope

     Oh man are you one of those anarchists that hates anarcho-capitalists?

  • Ian Galope

    So dictionarys can always provide objective meanings is what you’re implying…

  • Mr Willow

    There’s quite a lot of those, actually.

    http://theanarchistlibrary.org/docs/aboutus.html (scroll down to the paragraph headed by broad does not mean infinite)

    Besides, in America at least, they just call themselves Libertarians.

  • Anonymous

    Of course, there is no other kind of anarchist.

    Anarcho-capitalism is a perversion of the individualist strain of european anarchism mixed with american homesteader-ism. It is not a ‘real’ ideology- it is rather some kind of strange mental illness cum minor political philosophy.

  • Anonymous

    http://www.infoshop.org/page/AnAnarchistFAQ

    democratic control of any ‘institution’ is a key princple of social anarchism.

  • Anonymous

    To add on to Mr. Willow’s very informative below post,

    The Shinmin Autonomous Region, fell due to the very similiar problems Mr Willow outlined for the Ukraine Free Territory. They had to simultaneously engage both Japanese Imperialist saboteurs from within and the Stalinist invasion from Russia. It did not “fail” organically.

    http://anticafta.tripod.com/id344.html

    I should also included the Zapatista Movement in Mexico under the subheading of modern anarchisms. althought technically they are council communist, they adhere to the same de centralised democratic principles of anarchism.

  • Anonymous

    Great post. You may have already read this link, but if you haven’t it’s excellent!

    http://www.eleuthera.it/files/materiali/David_Graeber_Fragments_%20Anarchist_Anthropology.pdf

    Very much in line with what you wrote (exploring external problems of anarchist democracies) as well as including several large segments on ‘indigenous’ anarchism.

  • chaote

    BAMmer you’re simply being stubborn. Power corrupts. You know the rest. Even if “anarchy” isn’t the exact “solution”, the current system of every government at the moment isn’t quite doing it for me either. A democracy as described in Chris Hyatt’s “Undoing Yourself” would be a nice spin on things, but with technology these days it could all still be easily rigged. Anyway though I disagree with what you say I’ll fight to the death for your right to say it.

    (also this whole argument reminds me of something:
    “Honey, come to bed…”
    “I can’t; This is important.”
    “What?”
    “Somebody is WRONG on the internet!”
    Just respect each other’s opinions and get on with your lives!)

  • Anonymous

    No I am not Anarchist  but People are More struggle to fight against their own right.what is the main reason for expand a anarchist in the country?when People are not satisfy their own government then People are raise the step to Protest against government.
    http://acailipo.org/cheapoair-coupon-codes-cheapoair-promo-codes.html

  • http://twitter.com/HooTsH Hesham Mohsen

    I see. 

    Thanks for the informative read.

  • JoeThePlumper

    BlackMask anarchists = police agent provocateurs
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I-h-YIj4jRw

  • JoeThePlumper

    BlackMask anarchists = police agent provocateurs
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I-h-YIj4jRw

  • Rob

    Definition of Anarchist:2.a person who seeks to overturn by violence all constituted forms and institutions of society and government, with no purpose of establishing any other system of order in the place of that destroyed.
    3.a person who promotes disorder or excites revolt against any established rule, law, or custom.What you’re describing in this post isn’t an anarchist. It’s a person. And your examples don’t make sense. The first example is common morals; the second is a democratic decision. Neither of these examples illustrate your point at all.Saying that anarchists aren’t violent is the same as saying atheists don’t believe that there is no good. You can call yourself by that title all you want, but that doesn’t mean it applies to you. In this case, you can call yourself an anarchist all you want, but that doesn’t mean the definition of anarchist suddenly changes to apply to you. You are not an anarchist. You are something else similar to an anarchist, only without the violence, that has no name as of yet.

    • Jin The Ninja

      http://www.infoshop.org/page/AnAnarchistFAQ

      i don’t know what article you read, but completely and patently false- pretty much all of what you said.

      check out the link above for some clarity.

      Anarchism is a long running and anachronistic political philosophy. Democracy is inherent within said philosophy.

      I’d also recommend some paragraph breaks…

  • Rob

    Definition of Anarchist:2.a person who seeks to overturn by violence all constituted forms and institutions of society and government, with no purpose of establishing any other system of order in the place of that destroyed.
    3.a person who promotes disorder or excites revolt against any established rule, law, or custom.What you’re describing in this post isn’t an anarchist. It’s a person. And your examples don’t make sense. The first example is common morals; the second is a democratic decision. Neither of these examples illustrate your point at all.Saying that anarchists aren’t violent is the same as saying atheists don’t believe that there is no good. You can call yourself by that title all you want, but that doesn’t mean it applies to you. In this case, you can call yourself an anarchist all you want, but that doesn’t mean the definition of anarchist suddenly changes to apply to you. You are not an anarchist. You are something else similar to an anarchist, only without the violence, that has no name as of yet.

  • sxfxhxcx

    Anarchist idiots are a police force’s dream. Causing crime doesn’t
    deter the police, if there isn’t enough crime the police break the law
    themselves! Crime keeps the cops in business, if everything’s peaceful the
    police become obsolete. No wonder the cops love these guys, they dress up like
    them and cause as much chaos as they do, they support the media/public’s opinion
    that all protesters are like this, so the average person is actually glad to
    hear when protesters’ rights are abused.

    • Jin The Ninja

      WTF are you on about?

      • Guest
        • Jin The Ninja

          Right- so the police are corrupt. this is not new news. how does this have anything to do with anarchists?

          not all anarchists are black bloc, and IF the police engage in being agent provocateurs- that is even more explicit evidence of police /state corruption- not of a de-legitimisation of anarchism as a political philosophy.

  • sxfxhxcx

    Anarchist idiots are a police force’s dream. Causing crime doesn’t
    deter the police, if there isn’t enough crime the police break the law
    themselves! Crime keeps the cops in business, if everything’s peaceful the
    police become obsolete. No wonder the cops love these guys, they dress up like
    them and cause as much chaos as they do, they support the media/public’s opinion
    that all protesters are like this, so the average person is actually glad to
    hear when protesters’ rights are abused.

  • Anonymous

    http://www.infoshop.org/page/AnAnarchistFAQ

    i don’t what article you read, but completely and patently false- pretty much all of what you said.

    check out the link above for some clarity.

    Anarchism is a long running and anachronistic political philosophy. Democracy is inherent within said philosophy.

    I’d also recommend some paragraph breaks…

  • Anonymous

    WTF are you on about?

  • Anonymous

    Oh Bam.

  • sxfxhxcx
  • Jin
  • Jin
  • ireishman2

    Well said.

  • Anonymous

    Well said.

  • Anonymous

    Right- so the police are corrupt. this is not new news. how does this have anything to do with anarchists?

    not all anarchists are black bloc, and IF the police engage in being agent provocateurs- that is even more explicit evidence of police /state corruption- not of a de-legitimisation of anarchism as a political philosophy.

  • Anonymous

    Anarchy is the major Problem in the Every country.How to avoid the anarchy by the government?
    http://goarticles.com/article/What-Sorts-of-Options-Available-for-Cheap-Flights-to-Orlando/5631507/

  • Rus Archer

    i like anarchy to much to buy into anarchismor any -ism for that matter
    well, except maybe the one that starts with a j

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=773433966 Rus Archer

    i like anarchy to much to buy into anarchismor any -ism for that matter
    well, except maybe the one that starts with a j

  • tooCents

    I thought about this article when in line at the Post Office and feeling the impatient vibes, hearing a couple of moans and seeing a face or two glare. I thought about this piece and the rhetorical questions it asks
    while in traffic and at work.
    I confess I do not believe in people enough to be a true anarchist. I hope I am wrong about our species.

  • Anonymous

    I thought about this article when in line at the Post Office and feeling the impatient vibes, hearing a couple of moans and seeing a face or two glare. I thought about this piece and the rhetorical questions it asks
    while in traffic and at work.
    I confess I do not believe in people enough to be a true anarchist. I hope I am wrong our species.

  • Slick Ricky

    Well as it’s been stated already there is a difference between Anarchy and Anarchism. 

    But the word “objective” can have multiple meanings.  I assume you mean “not influenced by personal feelings, interpretations, or prejudice; based on facts” (full disclosure: that came from a dictionary).  Are you really asking if dictionaries provide fact based meanings of words?

  • Slick Ricky

    1. Who compared you to a black bloc anarchist?
    2. What’s so bad about black bloc anarchists?

  • Slick Ricky

    Aw thanks, I like you too.
    Not in a gay way.

  • Slick Ricky

    Reactionary?  How so?  It is obvious you are attempting to change the subject and hurling insults without reason. How do you say… ” the terms of the debate are made impossible. I sure you are well aware of this. “

  • Slick Ricky

    Echo chamber.  Jin = chaote.  Jin the Ninja you fail. It is you who cannot let it go, you always have to have the last word!  Oh now it makes sense, Jin the Ninja has no wife.

  • Anonymous

    You completely mischaracterise the article. If you want to discuss ‘anarchism’ as a political philosophy i’m open to discuss. YOU change the subject, divert, and disseminate misinformation. Using multiple screen names doesn’t help your case.

  • Anonymous

    lol.

  • Anonymous

    Actually I ALWAYS use my own screen name “Jin”- i thought me told you i was too prolific on this site! lol.

    And i am married, but not to a “wife” :P but thanks for your concern.

    And who is trolling this article? AGAIN 1409 comments to your 10 and most made on this article. Whom is the troll? You Bam, you are the troll.

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    lawl…technically…I’m not sure I’m capable of any other kind of ‘liking.’ Which kinda raises the question…since I’m gay…if I like someone…not matter how much or how little…isn’t it always in a ‘gay way’ by default?

  • Anonymous

    that’s what i thought…lol

  • Missa

    Actually, earlier forms of subsistence offer people the most amount of leisure time and the best diet with the least amount of work.  It’s not until we get to horticulture and agriculture that things begin to change and that forms of government come into play.  

    Foraging cultures who are forced into a more structured form of society fare much worse than they did before.  

    I’m not saying that there can be no merit to government, but this “struggling to survive” view is not all that accurate.  We have never seen a large population without a governing body.  We wouldn’t know what it would be like.

  • Anonymous

    Actually ‘horticulture’ as the practice of the growing of  diverse wild crops was practiced by nearly all north american aboriginal and many asian and south east asian cultures well beyond 5000 years ago. And in fact there is quite a bit of evidence to suggest MANY cultures who did become settled and agricultural in nature remained highly egalitarian. I am not an anarcho-primitivist in the least, but i do agree with several of your points other than those i mention.

    http://www.eleuthera.it/files/materiali/David_Graeber_Fragments_%20Anarchist_Anthropology.pdf

  • Anonymous

    Actually ‘horticulture’ as the practice of the growing of  diverse wild crops was practiced by nearly all north american aboriginal and many asian and south east asian cultures well beyond 5000 years ago. And in fact there is quite a bit of evidence to suggest MANY cultures who did become settled and agricultural in nature remained highly egalitarian. I am not an anarcho-primitivist in the least, but i do agree with several of your points other than those i mention.

    http://www.eleuthera.it/files/materiali/David_Graeber_Fragments_%20Anarchist_Anthropology.pdf

  • hmmmm…

    that was somewhat uncalled for…

  • Jin Onikoroshi

    Not really. It’s true. and you should know 1 post wonder.

  • Jlkirschner

    No, I am not. This article is more optimistic than I am regarding how self-policing humans can be. How shall we go about the utopian wealth-redistribution mentioned in the article if we abolish all forms of authority through which to enact those reforms? Surely not the free market. Likewise, if we got rid of police, lawyers, etc., how would we ensure the protection of anyone? The article describes politicians as “selfish, egotistical swine”, yet proposes that no one would dare elbow their way to the front of a bus line (let alone more serious societal offences that would go unchecked in an anarchistic society).
    To conclude, I would like to address one more quote from the article:
    “In many parts of the world people live outside of the control of governments today. They do not all kill each other. ”
    This seems quite contrary to both history and our present global reality. What would the author say about Somalia? While it is true that an authoritarian government can also have negative consequences, democracy and its variants provide alternatives that balance control and safety with freedom.

    • Jin The Ninja

      http://www.infoshop.org/page/AnAnarchistFAQ

      the free market has nothing (underline) to do with it, and democracy everything to do with it.

      and regarding Somalia: decades of colonial and imperial exploitation have transformed into what it has become. paired alongside decades of civil war, and a high volume of cheap weapons. It has no resemblance to anarchism as social/political organisation, and to suggest that is an obfuscation of the highest order. chaos is not the same as anarchism.

      read more about somalia here:

      http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?aid=17549&context=va

  • Jlkirschner

    No, I am not. This article is more optimistic than I am regarding how self-policing humans can be. How shall we go about the utopian wealth-redistribution mentioned in the article if we abolish all forms of authority through which to enact those reforms? Surely not the free market. Likewise, if we got rid of police, lawyers, etc., how would we ensure the protection of anyone? The article describes politicians as “selfish, egotistical swine”, yet proposes that no one would dare elbow their way to the front of a bus line (let alone more serious societal offences that would go unchecked in an anarchistic society).
    To conclude, I would like to address one more quote from the article:
    “In many parts of the world people live outside of the control of governments today. They do not all kill each other. ”
    This seems quite contrary to both history and our present global reality. What would the author say about Somalia? While it is true that an authoritarian government can also have negative consequences, democracy and its variants provide alternatives that balance control and safety with freedom.

  • Jlkirschner

    No, I am not. This article is more optimistic than I am regarding how self-policing humans can be. How shall we go about the utopian wealth-redistribution mentioned in the article if we abolish all forms of authority through which to enact those reforms? Surely not the free market. Likewise, if we got rid of police, lawyers, etc., how would we ensure the protection of anyone? The article describes politicians as “selfish, egotistical swine”, yet proposes that no one would dare elbow their way to the front of a bus line (let alone more serious societal offences that would go unchecked in an anarchistic society).
    To conclude, I would like to address one more quote from the article:
    “In many parts of the world people live outside of the control of governments today. They do not all kill each other. ”
    This seems quite contrary to both history and our present global reality. What would the author say about Somalia? While it is true that an authoritarian government can also have negative consequences, democracy and its variants provide alternatives that balance control and safety with freedom.

  • Jin Onikoroshi

    http://www.infoshop.org/page/AnAnarchistFAQ

    the free market has nothing (underline) to do with it, and democracy EVERYTHING to do with it.

  • Bruce Wayne

    An anarchic society sounds a bit like pure Communism… particularly the parts where everyone gets along and free health care aspects.

  • Josh

    This is all great. Until someone violates the non-agression principle. Until someone decides to game the system, because there’s no institutional structure in place to prevent them from doing so. Yes, living under a state of coercion, mercantalist oligarchs, warlords, inequality, and corrupt officials sucks. But on the other hand, living in a stateless state of anarchy would invite rotten individuals to institute new forms of tyranny, anyway. Not everyone wants to play by the rules. And I don’t buy the argument that the reason this is the case is because of the fact that there are rules.

    The reason people break rules is because some people are just going to be rotten human beings, no matter what.

  • Josh

    This is all great. Until someone violates the non-agression principle. Until someone decides to game the system, because there’s no institutional structure in place to prevent them from doing so. Yes, living under a state of coercion, mercantalist oligarchs, warlords, inequality, and corrupt officials sucks. But on the other hand, living in a stateless state of anarchy would invite rotten individuals to institute new forms of tyranny, anyway. Not everyone wants to play by the rules. And I don’t buy the argument that the reason this is the case is because of the fact that there are rules.

    The reason people break rules is because some people are just going to be rotten human beings, no matter what.

  • Bambambam

    God thats a depressing view. In reply it seems that many of the selfish do get away with being selfish to benefit themselves in this western-capitalism system, (also many fair people are locked up). Have you considered that there is reason to why you associate negative connotations to “Anarchy”? Not the fact that every single system is against it (due to a loss of power) and have raised their populace to believe that its a bad thing, where bad things happen and anything good you ever had would be lost. (you clearly don’t think to highly of the populace anyway, such social control shouldn’t be too hard for you to understand).

  • BLAMEHEURISTIC

    So everyone is going to create public goods out of the goodness of their hearts are they? I really see that happening.

  • BLAMEHEURISTIC

    So everyone is going to create public goods out of the goodness of their hearts are they? I really see that happening.

  • Anonymous

    I think that Anarchy is the major cause for expand the Violence in the country.
    http://www.etrebon.com/forum/member.php?446589-Lanserti

  • Ibileconfirm

    Am rita 27years old , i meet a professor infect is a great and is power work for me, if you need any type of spell caster contact him with is private email address on professorpelleribi@gmail.com for more conversation and for him to tell you what to do to overcome your problem..

    Good lock.

  • Yodamac892

    I’m just waiting for Muad’Dib and his son the Tyrant Man-that-is-Worm God-Emperor to put in place a 3000 year omnipotent Empire.

  • Yodamac892

    I’m just waiting for Muad’Dib and his son the Tyrant Man-that-is-Worm God-Emperor to put in place a 3000 year omnipotent Empire.

  • Fred

    The problem with anarchism, and psuedo anarchism like Libertarianism, is that it provides no defence against systemic problems or an aggressor with superior organisation. Both problems require an anarchistic society to organise, and stay organised, in a manner that might as well be called a government, as a successful defence requires the use of greater-than-personal force (wether military, judicial or social).

    Anarchism assumes that, to paraphrase mencken, the people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard. Do you really think that anybody truly knows what IS ‘good’ for them? Or just what they Want? It further assumes people know what is good for each other, AND care enough to provide that good to them at an equitable rate. Alot of people THINK they know what is good for others, but they are often wrong; is this not extremely caustic to an anarchistic society? It is bad enough in representative democracies where only a tiny percentage of those who think they know get any real power, AND they can be voted out. How would it work in an anarchistic society?

    This is not a death knell to anarchism, that mencken quote applies to democracy (and representative democracy) as well. Indeed many nominally anarchistic societies have and do exist, but it is telling that they tend to be small and that they are often attacked or destroyed by those societies around them that are larger and more organised (wether thay be statist, corporate or themselves anarchistic) such as christiania which survives only because to some degree it is tolerated by the danish government, and yet it is plagued by social problems; by people moving in who dont care one bit for the survival and unity of christiania, they just want access to what it provides (drugs and a hippy-ish lifestyle).

    Christiania has 350 residents, what happens when you have 1 million residents? Or when your residents are split across, say, 700 square miles? Technology helps with these problems, but central organisation helps more.

    • Jin The Ninja

      I especially like that the subtext of your post has fascist leanings, in defensive of a highly centralised military state.

  • Fred

    The problem with anarchism, and psuedo anarchism like Libertarianism, is that it provides no defence against systemic problems or an aggressor with superior organisation. Both problems require an anarchistic society to organise, and stay organised, in a manner that might as well be called a government, as a successful defence requires the use of greater-than-personal force (wether military, judicial or social).

    Anarchism assumes that, to paraphrase mencken, the people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard. Do you really think that anybody truly knows what IS ‘good’ for them? Or just what they Want? It further assumes people know what is good for each other, AND care enough to provide that good to them at an equitable rate. Alot of people THINK they know what is good for others, but they are often wrong; is this not extremely caustic to an anarchistic society? It is bad enough in representative democracies where only a tiny percentage of those who think they know get any real power, AND they can be voted out. How would it work in an anarchistic society?

    This is not a death knell to anarchism, that mencken quote applies to democracy (and representative democracy) as well. Indeed many nominally anarchistic societies have and do exist, but it is telling that they tend to be small and that they are often attacked or destroyed by those societies around them that are larger and more organised (wether thay be statist, corporate or themselves anarchistic) such as christiania which survives only because to some degree it is tolerated by the danish government, and yet it is plagued by social problems; by people moving in who dont care one bit for the survival and unity of christiania, they just want access to what it provides (drugs and a hippy-ish lifestyle).

    Christiania has 350 residents, what happens when you have 1 million residents? Or when your residents are split across, say, 700 square miles? Technology helps with these problems, but central organisation helps more.

  • Fred

    The problem with anarchism, and psuedo anarchism like Libertarianism, is that it provides no defence against systemic problems or an aggressor with superior organisation. Both problems require an anarchistic society to organise, and stay organised, in a manner that might as well be called a government, as a successful defence requires the use of greater-than-personal force (wether military, judicial or social).

    Anarchism assumes that, to paraphrase mencken, the people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard. Do you really think that anybody truly knows what IS ‘good’ for them? Or just what they Want? It further assumes people know what is good for each other, AND care enough to provide that good to them at an equitable rate. Alot of people THINK they know what is good for others, but they are often wrong; is this not extremely caustic to an anarchistic society? It is bad enough in representative democracies where only a tiny percentage of those who think they know get any real power, AND they can be voted out. How would it work in an anarchistic society?

    This is not a death knell to anarchism, that mencken quote applies to democracy (and representative democracy) as well. Indeed many nominally anarchistic societies have and do exist, but it is telling that they tend to be small and that they are often attacked or destroyed by those societies around them that are larger and more organised (wether thay be statist, corporate or themselves anarchistic) such as christiania which survives only because to some degree it is tolerated by the danish government, and yet it is plagued by social problems; by people moving in who dont care one bit for the survival and unity of christiania, they just want access to what it provides (drugs and a hippy-ish lifestyle).

    Christiania has 350 residents, what happens when you have 1 million residents? Or when your residents are split across, say, 700 square miles? Technology helps with these problems, but central organisation helps more.

  • Fred

    The problem with anarchism, and psuedo anarchism like Libertarianism, is that it provides no defence against systemic problems or an aggressor with superior organisation. Both problems require an anarchistic society to organise, and stay organised, in a manner that might as well be called a government, as a successful defence requires the use of greater-than-personal force (wether military, judicial or social).

    Anarchism assumes that, to paraphrase mencken, the people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard. Do you really think that anybody truly knows what IS ‘good’ for them? Or just what they Want? It further assumes people know what is good for each other, AND care enough to provide that good to them at an equitable rate. Alot of people THINK they know what is good for others, but they are often wrong; is this not extremely caustic to an anarchistic society? It is bad enough in representative democracies where only a tiny percentage of those who think they know get any real power, AND they can be voted out. How would it work in an anarchistic society?

    This is not a death knell to anarchism, that mencken quote applies to democracy (and representative democracy) as well. Indeed many nominally anarchistic societies have and do exist, but it is telling that they tend to be small and that they are often attacked or destroyed by those societies around them that are larger and more organised (wether thay be statist, corporate or themselves anarchistic) such as christiania which survives only because to some degree it is tolerated by the danish government, and yet it is plagued by social problems; by people moving in who dont care one bit for the survival and unity of christiania, they just want access to what it provides (drugs and a hippy-ish lifestyle).

    Christiania has 350 residents, what happens when you have 1 million residents? Or when your residents are split across, say, 700 square miles? Technology helps with these problems, but central organisation helps more.

  • Jin Onikoroshi

    So because most of the industrialised world has nationalised healthcare- most of the industrialised world is “communist”? faulty logic.

    and anarchism does share the left spectrum with communism, but the main difference is anarchism is democratic and non coercive. that difference is quite expansive.

  • Jin Onikoroshi

    I especially like that the subtext of your post has fascist leanings, in defensive of a highly centralised military state.

  • Jakobijnen

    Well, anarchism has a sub-branch called “anarcho-communism”. and most anarchists are also communists.

  • Jakobijnen

    That anarchism is undesired by the majority is a truism, but it’s also a fallacy if used as an argument.

  • Jakobijnen

    Anarchism does not eliminate courts though. It still has a form of court-system base on participatory justice (or what is now known as alternate dispute-resolution).

  • Jakobijnen

    Nonsense. If I forfeculy crush your society by means of military force it does not somehow prove your society does not work.

    The fact that the Bolsheviks crushed the Free Territory does not prove Bolshevik (or statists in general) are right.

    Just like the fact that the the Vietnamese beat the US forces does not somehow prove Marxism-Leninism is better than capitalism.

    Those anarchist societies did not collapse on their own, they were made to collapse by an external force, and hence the collapse does not indicate an intrinsic flaw in anarchist practice.

  • Jakobijnen

    I do not agree with the part on “power”: anarchists are not opposed to power an sich, but to [social] hierarchy. Anarchists stress an equal distribution of decision-making power, and thus the absence of hierarchy.

    Anarchism=equal distribution of decision-making power
     
    Which means anarchism is;
    politically: participatory democracy
    economically: workers’ self-management

    We know for a fact workers’ self-management works. We know for a fact participatory democracy works (see EZLN). And there is no reason why both couldn’t work side by side, in fact they would be complementary to one another. Therefore, we know anarchism works.

  • Jakobijnen

    I do not agree with the part on “power”: anarchists are not opposed to power an sich, but to [social] hierarchy. Anarchists stress an equal distribution of decision-making power, and thus the absence of hierarchy.

    Anarchism=equal distribution of decision-making power
     
    Which means anarchism is;
    politically: participatory democracy
    economically: workers’ self-management

    We know for a fact workers’ self-management works. We know for a fact participatory democracy works (see EZLN). And there is no reason why both couldn’t work side by side, in fact they would be complementary to one another. Therefore, we know anarchism works.

  • Gnostic

    Did you even bother to read the article????

  • Gnostic

    You just committed a Logical Fallacy.

    You are erroneously assuming and linking the general ideology of Anarchy  to the actions of a few. 

    “Some did this, therefore ALL believe in those actions therefore the entire movement is bad”..

     

  • GNOSTIC

    That is a cynical view.

    Granted.. I have been there.. I still feel similarly at times. HOWEVER.. the more I understand about Anarchy the more I realise that it is an evolutionary IDEAL… something that HUMANS SHOULD strive for  and are possibly capable of.. IF they work at it.

    Could Anarchy as a system of “organizing” humanity take place tommorow?  NO.  We are not EVOLVED enough to do so.. but they are important concepts about human behavior.. Natural Law, personal responsibility that we should take within ourselves and contemplate rather than merely just surrender to the idea that we are all animals.. and we will forever be just animals.. Can we be better? Can we evolve?…

  • Anonymous

    @pointax:disqus ….Тhis is сrаzу…Мy friеnd`s sistеr mакеs 78/hr оn thе intеrnеt. Shе hаs bееn unеmрlоуеd fоr 11 mоnths but lаst mоnth hеr incоmе wаs 7985$ јust wоrкing оn thе РС fоr а fеw hоurs. Read about it here …….http://alturl.com/a4d6t

  • Anonymous

    Goddamn the propaganda has worked wonders on your brain.  Since when is Communism synonymous with free health care?

  • Anonymous

    Goddamn the propaganda has worked wonders on your brain.  Since when is Communism synonymous with free health care?

  • ZombieSlapper

    And rainbows and Skittles for all! Free ponies and gumbdrops! What are you, 15?

  • Jin Onikoroshi

    Come up with a real critique and i will respond in kind;)

    thanks

    Jin

  • http://www.facebook.com/sickbunny Bunny Sick

    and it should be the constant state an-archy = against-rulers, and we should rule ourselves with online direct democracy…the freedom the 1% is currently enjoying, that belongs to all of us and if we do not take control of the vote with online verification we will stay powerless as the representatives continue to only represent the highest bidders…the politicians sell favors like a stock market of their time…we need to end this and create a living online vote, 24 hours a day you can log on and change your mind up until the official vote day, and everyone can watch the tally trending one way and the other.

  • http://www.facebook.com/sickbunny Bunny Sick

    and it should be the constant state an-archy = against-rulers, and we should rule ourselves with online direct democracy…the freedom the 1% is currently enjoying, that belongs to all of us and if we do not take control of the vote with online verification we will stay powerless as the representatives continue to only represent the highest bidders…the politicians sell favors like a stock market of their time…we need to end this and create a living online vote, 24 hours a day you can log on and change your mind up until the official vote day, and everyone can watch the tally trending one way and the other.

  • Dirk

    In my personal opinion Anarchism has the same flaws that the previously existing communism had. It’s a great idea in itself, with some good beauty in it and it could indeed work out. But only if everyone buys into the ideology.And that means a number of things. You need to put in constantly resources in teaching and “marketing” that ideology, to keep everyone on the same page. You will not be able to tolerate capitalist oriented people amongst your anarchistic society or communist elements, as their continued voice will erode your anarchistic identity. If you cannot allow any opposing (or let’s call them competing) ideologies to be practised in the same society, how do you deal with these “others” and how reasonable will it feel to these people you’re dealing with? And what happens if over time two each other opposing anarchistic philosophies emerge?I also want to see the elementary assumptions work out if you put some modern Greek anarchists into the same spot as some Indian rural illiterates and Papuan cannibalistic living Korowai. Let’s see how reasonable these people will be with each other.And at the very end you also have to look at Anarchistic societies that existed in the past. And I’m not just look at Spain. The Arabian peninsula was more or less governed until the 40s by tribal anarchy. These societies simply could not afford standing armies or police, so effectively were living anarchistic. It was a constantly unstable, where people raided other peoples properties, took slaves and killed each other. I’d argue that the majority of people would choose any (even tyrannic) form of government over instability.

  • Dirk

    In my personal opinion Anarchism has the same flaws that the previously existing communism had. It’s a great idea in itself, with some good beauty in it and it could indeed work out. But only if everyone buys into the ideology.And that means a number of things. You need to put in constantly resources in teaching and “marketing” that ideology, to keep everyone on the same page. You will not be able to tolerate capitalist oriented people amongst your anarchistic society or communist elements, as their continued voice will erode your anarchistic identity. If you cannot allow any opposing (or let’s call them competing) ideologies to be practised in the same society, how do you deal with these “others” and how reasonable will it feel to these people you’re dealing with? And what happens if over time two each other opposing anarchistic philosophies emerge?I also want to see the elementary assumptions work out if you put some modern Greek anarchists into the same spot as some Indian rural illiterates and Papuan cannibalistic living Korowai. Let’s see how reasonable these people will be with each other.And at the very end you also have to look at Anarchistic societies that existed in the past. And I’m not just look at Spain. The Arabian peninsula was more or less governed until the 40s by tribal anarchy. These societies simply could not afford standing armies or police, so effectively were living anarchistic. It was a constantly unstable, where people raided other peoples properties, took slaves and killed each other. I’d argue that the majority of people would choose any (even tyrannic) form of government over instability.

  • Dirk

    I’ve been born in a communist country and I can tell you that anarchism and communism are so distinct. They really do not go together at all.

  • Dirk

    Oh yes. You can clearly your claim on earlier subsistence, if you open a history book of Europe, go 2000 years back and compare how well the pre-agricultural societies lived compared to the farming ones.

    But even if your claim were true, have a look how many people lived than on this planet and then have a look how many we are now. I want to see 7 billion people living in a less structured form for their own good.

  • Anonymous

    basically what reason for coming a anarchy in  every country.
    http://lombardclub.ru/member.php?139893-Aviana

  • RKDBH

    Actually, free health care is more along the lines of a Socialist ideology. Free education (including public school systems that are already in place) are also socialist ideologies as well. Not sure if a government being involved in the free education system would still allow it to be considered socialist, though.

  • Trent

    Where will the funding for this “free everything” society come from???  A big government (Democratic) setup???  If you historically analyze history you’ll see the more control a government gets the more corrupt it becomes…  Less government regulation and less control are what we (Anarchists) want.  We want rational decision making. That’s all… 

  • Andrew

    Funding is a philosophical problem, as money is a human invention that behaves according to rules we made up.  So there’s no conflict between “free everything” and “less government regulation.”

  • Andrew

    Funding is a philosophical problem, as money is a human invention that behaves according to rules we made up.  So there’s no conflict between “free everything” and “less government regulation.”

  • Andrew

    Funding is a philosophical problem, as money is a human invention that behaves according to rules we made up.  So there’s no conflict between “free everything” and “less government regulation.”

  • Andrew

    Funding is a philosophical problem, as money is a human invention that behaves according to rules we made up.  So there’s no conflict between “free everything” and “less government regulation.”

  • UnionJackJamesBond

    I said yes to most of these things, but sadly I am not an anarchist. I believe in Neo-Monarchy, an ideology I made (no, the Republicans didn’t give me the idea for the name. XD). I said yes to most of these things (except the inferior people one) because they make sense, and my ideology is based upon sense. However, I also believe in fairness, so that means the the hegemonistic corporate empire the US and it’s businesses have created is an enemy of mine. I believe in true capitalism, everyone has an equal opportunity to get rich as long as they work hard for it. “But what about poor families? How do they move up?” you ask. Simple; you give them education. If the government’s of the world supported paying for university for poorer families, we would have more doctors, scientists, teachers and more! This makes sense because it makes our countries work better, plus businesses will actually have PROFESSIONAL workers. How this doesn’t make sense to the Republicans and other “capitalists” I will never understand. But, food for thought, just wanted to get more reknown for this ideology before I can actually go public with it.

    Have a good day!

  • nick sack

    to put a label on yourself such as “anarchist” or “communist” etc. is to divide people anyways. kind of self defeating if you ask me. how about we’re all “human beings” with different experiences who never chose to be born on this planet. we’re products of circumstance and that is why we should accept each other and quit telling others how to live their lives. sadly that is not very realistic considering there are now about 7 billion people on this planet, but it’s nice to have hope.