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What Made you an Anarchist?

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posted on Apr, 19 2007 @ 12:28 AM

Originally posted by StandAloneComplex
Im not sure if this is a good place for this, but I am not an anarchist nor do I think anarchy would work as a system of government...

First off 'anarchist government' is an oxymoron.

Why is it impossible? We lived for centuries before governments came along and we're still here, so it can't be too bad can it?

Secondly Anarchism is not a lack of order. Anarchism is a society that is ordered from the bottom up, as apposed to top down that we have now.
Humans naturally move to wards order is correct, but we don't have order in our society we have control.

Of course there is chaos when government is taken away because that is what we have been taught. We are not taught to be self reliant and take responsibility for our own governance. In your city example it’s not lack of government that causes the chaos but lack of organization. We don’t need government to organize, Human nature does that for us, but society is so used to being controlled the first place we look for answers is some authority. We are not savages that need constant control.
Of course people form societies, government has nothing to do with that.

"Individuals are certainly capable of evil . . . But individuals are capable of all sorts of things. Human nature has lots of ways of realising itself, humans have lots of capacities and options. Which ones reveal themselves depends to a large extent on the institutional structures. If we had institutions which permitted pathological killers free rein, they'd be running the place. The only way to survive would be to let those elements of your nature manifest themselves. Chomsky

"If we have institutions which make greed the sole property of human beings and encourage pure greed at the expense of other human emotions and commitments, we're going to have a society based on greed, with all that follows. A different society might be organised in such a way that human feelings and emotions of other sorts, say, solidarity, support, sympathy become dominant. Then you'll have different aspects of human nature and personality revealing themselves." Chronicles of Dissent, pp. 158 Chomsky

Government is control of the masses for the benefit of the few. Government has nothing to do with Human nature other than the bad sides of our nature, like greed and killing in the name of some god or other, that are perpetuated to keep us enslaved in a system designed for and by the wealthy elite. We are taught that conflict and control is normal and without some governing body to keep us in line we'd start killing each other. Which is ridiculous, because we would have killed ourselves off centuries ago if that was true.
In other words hierarchical organisations bring out the worse in human nature.
The privileged become corrupted by power and the powerless (The rest of us) become servile. Except for the few rebels who are then labeled cranks, cooks, criminal, terrorist etc…

"It is a characteristic of privilege and of every kind of privilege to kill the mind and heart of man . . . That is a social law which admits no exceptions . . . It is the law of equality and humanity." God and the State, p. 31 Bakunin

Anarchists just want a society that is not based on privilege but on what everyone needs to enjoy the gift of life they have been given. True liberty there cannot be with governments. It is a fallacy that we need protecting by an authoritative coercive governing body.

The man
Of virtuous soul commands not, nor obeys:
Power, like a desolating pestilence,
Pollutes whate'er it touches, and obedience,
Bane of all genius, virtue, freedom, truth,
Makes slaves of men, and, of the human frame,
A mechanised automaton. Percy Shelley

"Anarchism consists in things of utility and beauty, in things which help to create strong, beautiful bodies and surroundings inspiring to live in . . . [Our] goal is the freest possible expression of all the latent powers of the individual . . . Such free display of human energy being possible only under complete individual and social freedom," in other words "social equality." Red Emma Speaks, pp. 67-8 Emma Goldman

Read here what happened in Spain during the revolution 1936-1939, and you’ll see how anarchism was put into practice by the farmers and other working class groups and was quite successful. Its downfall was the fascists, who they were fighting as well as trying to organize their existence without centralized government, in the build up to WWII. Put into context they were very successful but were not organized enough, and many gave up planning to continue after they had beet the fascists which we know they didn't unfortunately.

posted on Apr, 24 2007 @ 09:02 PM
Thank you Anok for that well written rebuttal
That has helped me see more on both sides here. In anarchy many people would suffer, and die.
Mostly the old folk would go first, no meds being delivered. Food supply would be crazy.. To many people, to little forest with live game.. One man goes in to get some food for this family.. yet there are 500 other men that have families. Everyone has a gun, and theres not enough wild life to support our hunger. Groups would gather into guilds, and military power in numbers.. The government sertinly has us all by the "balls".

posted on Apr, 24 2007 @ 11:51 PM

Originally posted by zysin5
Thank you Anok for that well written rebuttal:up...


Many people suffer and die now. This system causes suffering and death daily. You've heard about the war in Iraq and Afghanistan right? What about the 100,000 people a year killed by doctors mistakes. Mistakes often made because corners are cut to make more money. This wouldn’t happen as much if profit wasn’t the motivator.

It also depends how it would come about. Not many Anarchists, including me, advocate an overthrow of the government without first having the majority of the population educated and organised.

"To make a revolution it is not enough that there should be [popular] risings . It is necessary that after the risings there should be something new in the institutions [that make up society], which would permit new forms of life to be elaborated and established." Kropotkin, The Great French Revolution, vol. 1, p. 200

But I don't see why not having a government would cause people to stop doing their jobs. The government doesn't hold every ones hand. We don't need the government to tell us what we need to do to survive. In fact government is completely out of touch with what we really need. Government is more concerned with managing their military and expanding their power base than helping the people.

As far as not being enough wildlife, again we don’t need government to run farms. The farms ran fine in Spain and people actually had more than they did before. Everyone has a job to do their part within society, and they receive the benefits of that society for their labours. Anyone who doesn’t pull their weight wouldn’t benefit from that labour, and would have to fend for themselves.

But of course if we were to overthrow the government without first educating people to change their attitude to wards how society is organised, then of course there would be chaos (btw Anarchism does not mean chaos as it is often miss-used).

The difference in Anarchism to what we have now is that society would be controlled from the bottom instead of from the top down. So as intelligent socialised creatures we would naturally organise, and if done correctly then the infrastructure would work pretty much like it is now, except all involved would profit equally from their labours (and equally doesn't necessarily mean the same). Instead of the few exploiting the many for their own ends, all the efforts of our production would be available for all who participate.

You won't have millionaires but you wouldn't have poverty either. And being a millionaire, when other people have nothing, is a perversion imo.
It won't be a perfect system, none can be, but it would be more fair.
And as people realise that by joining a collective (COOP) they are in fact benefiting themselves as well, then people would embrace it.

For example. You work at Joe Blogs factory. You're paid a wage by the owner. Joe Blogs factory makes loafs of bread. You get paid on Friday and on Saturday you give Joe Blogs owner your wages back to buy the loaf of bread you made. But if all the workers owned and ran Joe Blogs factory then you would all gain from the money made and your bread would be free because you made it. That’s a very simple example but gives you an idea of how it works.

Like I said any Anarchist that advocates overthrow of the government are stupid and naive. I wouldn't even call them Anarchist.

I hope that makes some sense. It’s very complex subject and hard to describe in a few paragraphs. Especially when the concepts seem so foreign to us.

posted on Jun, 12 2007 @ 04:48 PM
Anok put it this way, liberty, equality and solidarity are they key objects for us to live, for us to survive...

But lets put it this way, if we are all being treated as equal, and no poor, and no millionaires exists, what drives the poor to work harder, towards there goals? And what drives the millionaire to work at all?
If Anok's form of anarchism worked at all, humans will live according to one law, the law of survival, we work together to survive and live our lives the way we want it to live. What's the purpose of that? It is not the end of the line that is important, it is the journey towards it. The journey towards our goal is one where we learn, where our knowledge expands, and where every aspect of life comes on our path. Take away this path or this journey, by creating everybody equal and so obtaining the goal very easily, the importance of a goal makes no sense anymore.

If everybody live their lives for one purpose, survival, their lives would be boring, and above all, the same as everyone elses lives. A person who is about to die hopes he has made a diffrence in the world, that he has meant something for the world, not that he worked his whole life for his survival and that of others, and then die... The only reason your form of anarchism, or libertarian socialism, has followers, is because these people believe they can make a diffrence, make the world a better place. That is what drives us, we live not because we have to, but to make a change. Take away a persons ideal to be diffrent, and what would his life purpose be?

If we live in a libertarian socialist society, there will be one purpose and goal for all: Survival of ourself and more important, of others, we will have no needs, limited desires because a doctor can't have any examples and role models, not even the toilet cleaner would have higher job ambitions, for all, why should they?

"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intent of arriving in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid broadside, thorougly used up, worn out, and loudly proclaim 'Wow, what a ride!'"

posted on Jun, 13 2007 @ 12:43 AM

Originally posted by Forest Lion
Anok put it this way, liberty, equality and solidarity are they key objects for us to live, for us to survive...

Anarchists reject the narrow concept of life which consist[s] in thinking that profits are the only leading motive of human society. Peter Kropotkin, Fields, Factories and Workshops Tomorrow, p. 25

Capitalism does more to stifle our development than anything. You are assuming that capital is our only motivation to better our lives. That is far from the truth. For example, we could have had clean free energy years ago. But because it would be free capitalists were not interested and it’s development was stifled, along with many other technologies that would hurt some ones profit. This should tell you that capitalism is not for any ones benefit but the capitalist.

”Studies Find Reward Often No Motivator..." Boston Globe, Monday 19 January 1987. Kohn notes that "a related series of studies shows that intrinsic interest in a task... the sense that something is worth doing for its own sake... typically declines when someone is rewarded for doing it.

You seem to think without the profit motive we would all just lay around and not do anything. You obviously have little faith and know even less about your own species. If money is your only motive to do things then what a sad life you must live.

There have been studies on work done for commission, and work done for pleasure by Theresa Amabile, associate professor of psychology at Brandeis University.

Some students then were given a list of extrinsic (external) reasons for writing, such as impressing teachers, making money and getting into graduate school, and were asked to think about their own writing with respect to these reasons. Others were given a list of intrinsic reasons: the enjoyment of playing with words, satisfaction from self-expression, and so forth. A third group was not given any list. All were then asked to do more writing.

"The results were clear. Students given the extrinsic reasons not only wrote less creatively than the others, as judged by 12 independent poets, but the quality of their work dropped significantly. Rewards, Amabile says, have this destructive effect primarily with creative tasks, including higher-level problem-solving. 'The more complex the activity, the more it's hurt by extrinsic reward, she said.

In another study by James Gabarino of Chicago's Erikson Institute for Advanced Studies in Child Development, it was found that girls in the fifth and sixth grades tutored younger children much less effectively if they were promised free movie tickets for teaching well.

The study, showed that tutors working for the reward took longer to communicate ideas, got frustrated more easily, and did a poorer job in the end than those who were not rewarded.

Point being is that financial reward is not the prime motivator capitalists would like us to think it is, and is not even the best way to motivate.

Kohn noted…

…they also challenge the behaviourist assumption that any activity is more likely to occur if it is rewarded... Amabile concludes that her research "definitely refutes the notion that creativity can be operantly conditioned...

Capitalism creates so much waste, thousands of people the world over employed to produce consumer goods that they will never see any benefit from but poverty wages. While the owners get richer and richer, and the corporations get bigger and bigger, society sells it’s soul to the almighty dollar.

Anthropologists have proven that early human evolution depended on cooperation and social interaction, not competition and exploitation. This led to us developing culture.

According to the findings of Khon there are three principle consequences of competition:

Firstly, it has a negative effect on productivity and excellence. This is due to increased anxiety, inefficiency (as compared to co-operative sharing of resources and knowledge), and the undermining of inner motivation. Competition shifts the focus to victory over others, and away from intrinsic motivators such as curiosity, interest, excellence, and social interaction. Studies show that co-operative behaviour, by contrast, consistently predicts good performance--a finding which holds true under a wide range of subject variables. Interestingly, the positive benefits of co-operation become more significant as tasks become more complex, or where greater creativity and problem-solving ability is required (as indicated above).

Secondly, competition lowers self-esteem and hampers the development of sound, self-directed individuals. A strong sense of self is difficult to attain when self-evaluation is dependent on seeing how we measure up to others. On the other hand, those whose identity is formed in relation to how they contribute to group efforts generally possess greater self-confidence and higher self-esteem.

Finally, competition undermines human relationships. Humans are social beings; we best express our humanness in interaction with others. By creating winners and losers, competition is destructive to human unity and prevents close social feeling.

Anarchism/libertarian socialism is much more natural for us than authoritarian capitalism. But that's just my opinion, based on what the 'experts' say...

Alfie Kohn

posted on Nov, 7 2007 @ 01:06 PM
there are many different types of anarchist.

social anarchists and individualist anarchist are the two main types (with varying degrees within them)

i am more defined as an individualist anarchist (which started mainly in the US in the 1800s, by Lysander Spooner, Benjamin Tucker, and others).

in the individualist anarchist movement i am more inclined to the anarcho-capitalist movement (which is seen by some social-anarchists as contraversial). an anarcho capitalist is more likened to the American Libertarian. We believe in property rights (your body is your property as is your labor), and personal freedoms (which stem from property rights). Democracy does not precipitate freedom

"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote."- Ben Franklin

I am sure many social-anarchists would disagree with anarcho-capitalism in that it still has a hierarchy, but the fact is, anarchy can never be bunched into one pile. Anarchism is a diverse (in opinion) group, ranging from ignorent teenagers ticked off at their parents to highly educated individuals with actual responses to criticism (like many on the this thread).
Anarchy has a wide array of ideas and SOLUTIONS for todays problems, it is not chaos, it is merely the removal of a massive centralized governmental system and allowing people to rule themselves.

there are many things that most anarchists agree with though. one is that they believe that violating only a written law and no-ones individual rights is not criminal(i.e. victimless crime). Another commonly held belief is that using coercion (force) to meet ones own ends is wrong and unjust. With these two fairly common foundational values, the anarchist is not for CHAOS, that is merely a term used by those that do not understand what anarchy is about. It is more about natural order, not artificial (government created) order.

in Greek anarchy means 'an' (the absense of) and archy (a ruler), not the absense of order.

edit: grammer

[edit on 7-11-2007 by DINSTAAR]

posted on Nov, 7 2007 @ 05:31 PM
No offense mate but I see 'anarcho'-capitalism as an oxymoron. Only in America would there be such a thing...

Proudhon must be rolling in his grave.

Historically Anarchism has been a movement of the working classes in their struggle against the capitalist bosses. It came out of left socialist thought.
'Anarcho'-capitalism has no ties with the traditions of true Anarchism, which has always been a socialist movement opposed to government and exploitation.

"Another criticism of anarchism is that it has a narrow view of politics: that it sees the state as the fount of all evil, ignoring other aspects of social and economic life. This is a misrepresentation of anarchism. It partly derives from the way anarchism has been defined [in dictionaries, for example], and partly because Marxist historians have tried to exclude anarchism from the broader socialist movement. But when one examines the writings of classical anarchists. . . as well as the character of anarchist movements. . . it is clearly evident that it has never had this limited vision. It has always challenged all forms of authority and exploitation, and has been equally critical of capitalism and religion as it has been of the state." ["Anthropology and Anarchism,"…Anarchy: A Journal of Desire Armed no. 45, p. 40

Even Anarcho-communist Peter Kropotkin described Anarchism as the 'No government form of socialism.', and the individualist-Anarchist Benjamin R. Tucker called for “The abolition of the State and the abolition of usury.”

(Usury: Interest on loans etc…)

"anarchism does derive from liberalism and socialism both historically and ideologically . . . In a sense, anarchists always remain liberals and socialists, and whenever they reject what is good in either they betray anarchism itself . . . We are liberals but more so, and socialists but more so."…Nicholas Walter, Reinventing Anarchy, p. 44

‘Anarcho’-capatilists are really right-wing libertarians not Anarchist…

posted on Feb, 13 2008 @ 03:15 PM

Historically Anarchism has been a movement of the working classes in their struggle against the capitalist bosses. It came out of left socialist thought.
'Anarcho'-capitalism has no ties with the traditions of true Anarchism, which has always been a socialist movement opposed to government and exploitation.

Since when was the definition of Anarchism solely that of social-anarchists? Anarchy is a broad term meaning lack of a solitary ruling body.

No offense mate but I see 'anarcho'-capitalism as an oxymoron. Only in America would there be such a thing...

An Anarcho-capitalist believes in a society that is governed by the bottom up, and that true capitalism is a market ruled from the bottom up. In a society where a state exists to regulate and effect the market, capitalism cannot succeed as intended. Capitalism is then transformed into a form of Corporatism(closely related to fascism). Anarcho-Capitalism is also not mutually exclusive with the Collectivist ideals of community and society, because the society has no rules about how one governs themselves, people can choose to donate to less fortunate, help each other, or even live in a collectivist-anarchist society.

A better example of an oxymoron is 'traditional anarchism', or 'right-wing libertarianism'.

Anarchism is allowed to change and develop over time. As I said earlier Anarchism is a wide field of thought, but this does not mean that any particular ideology is not 'true' anarchism. Anarchism is like the Canine, there are many different types but they are all the same species.

posted on Feb, 13 2008 @ 03:34 PM
Hello ANOK,

I'm an anarchist as well. I am fairly new to the philosophy however. You seem to be fairly knowledgable on the subject of how an anarchist society would work, so I have a question that I think will help me.

You call anarco-capitalism and oxymoron, which implies that the two terms are contradicory. I cannot see how that they would be, maybe you could explain. Not that I'm against arguments from authority, but I would prefer your own thoughts on this.

posted on Feb, 22 2008 @ 12:34 AM
reply to post by Halfofone

Re-read my above posts I think I covered it, no?

If you want to read in more detail clink the link...

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