Thank you once again Oz..
Answers to Socratic Questions
SQ1. Where in history has an anarchist society flourished, being economically stable and efficient over a long period
A. Icelands "Thing system" - The Icelandic Commonwealth - lasted from the year 930 to 1262 before being destroyed by the Christian church who, in
order to promote their cause, usurped the system and installed a church led governmental system.
SQ2. How would one going about achieving an anarchist society in a government run country today?
A. The way to accomplish the transition is by devolving power back into the community. Initially by regional assemblies covering large areas, then
devolving further as time progresses until decisions are made on the individual community level and the power for all decisions in an area rests
within the local community. Such a transition would take time.
SQ3. You answered in socratic question 2, that government was corrupt and more prone to illegal and immoral decisions and corruption. What is to say
that issues such as these are not prevalent in an anarchist society?
A. Such issues would be prevalent in any
any society - in the same manner that any other societal issues are.
It simply does not matter what form of government is available in a society when individual human nature is taken into account - indeed one of the
biggest flaws of mainstream government is the belief that human nature can be suppressed.
Rebuttal to previous post
Well the above quote certainly seem to contradict that theory doesnt it? So here we have people wanting to achieve an individual thinking society'
through means of violence.
Every culture in the world has its extremists. Every single one. Similarly all the forms of government throughout the world suffer dissent and violent
acts against them. It is very, very easy to get suckered into the trap of thinking that the way politics currently operates is "perfect" or
"better", but oddly people tend to want a system that is right for them.
Playing the "lawlessness and chaos" card is fear mongering based on Hollywood stereotypes from disaster films.
At the end of the day in a society without mainstream government medicines will still be needed, children will still need to be educated, food
provided, transport systems maintained etc. and people will want to live in comfort with their families and have space for their kids to grow in
comfort and safety - the same as they do now. Corporations could still function providing services to the communities. The difference would be that
each community would govern itself to its own needs, not to the needs of an overarching central system, filled with bureaucracy.
I said in my previous post that I would look at the common existing political systems of the world today, and show them for what they are. I will look
at what I percieve to be the four biggest types - "Western Style Democracy",
"Communism", "Dictatorship" and "Religious State" and point out their simple , obvious flaws.
Lets start the ball rolling with;
"Western Style Democracy"
WSD promotes the idea that the majority of the populace has a say in determining the direction of the country they live in, and the rights of the
Sadly, that is not the case.
What WSD does is allows for a minority to be represented on a national level, due to first past the post voting systems that do not account for the
number of votes cast compared to the actual population of a country.
Take my home country, the UK for an example. In 2005 at the last UK election, the turnout figure of registered voters
was 61.4% - approximately
27 million people. Of that turnout, the ruling Labour government polled 35.3% of the vote - just over a third. Essentially what that means is that
approximately 12 million people out of the 60 million population put the government into power. The remaining 48 million then have to live with the
policies of a government they either don't agree with, or don't care sufficiently about - is that genuine democracy?
Now its true, that modifications to the systems used by WSD's can change the political landscape somewhat, but unless all voter registration and
turnout is enforced as compulsory, and a system of proportional representation is used instead of a first past the post system, then "democracy" is
While the actual principles of communism are admirable, the simple fact remains that where a state exists that proclaims all people are equal, and yet
still has central control (crucial point there), all people most definitely are not
equal, as the system simply transfers a class based system
based on money into one based on political leverage.
State sponsored communism is dying a slow and painful death learning that lesson - the last two bastions of state communism, China and Cuba are now
attempting to embrace capitalism while retaining the ruling elite. (North Korea - often touted as a communist country - is actually not one. North
Korea is a Personality Cult that has its own unique reference, Kimilsungism)
The simple fact is that sooner or later the pressure of the individual is going to be felt in both countries, because people do not like to be
Dictatorship provides an illusion of comfort only for those who seize power and their lackeys, and the term "absolute power corrupts absolutely"
springs to mind.
The same principles that kill state sponsored communism come into play here - sooner or later the individuals are going to make their presence felt.
Sadly, in areas of dictatorship what usually ensues is the replacement of one ego driven power trip with another.
Breaking the cycle is never easy, and requires the ego of the dictator to be severly reigned in to the point where they understand the people of the
country didn't actually want them there in the first place - something that usually only happens after repeated cycles of bloodshed and people
becoming fed up with death.
Religious states tend to draw on sections of all of the other three main governmental types and the "glue" is an overriding belief that the will of
a divine entity drives the nation on a daily basis.
Except for the fact that what actually happens is that the will of someone who claims they represent a divine entity - or understand the scriptures
better, or has been visited by god etc etc - dictates what they believe god would want people to do
to the populace. It is - if you pardon the
pun - a fundamental problem that tends to lead to resentment, disaffected populations and if particularly strict violent overthrow and civil war.
What do all of the above have in common? The answer is that individuals become disaffected. They lose interest in the political system. They lose the
will to act in their own interests, and instead expect government to make decisions for them. They become sheep to the politicians tending the flock.
In some extreme cases they become lambs and the government is the slaughterhouse.
So - am I saying Anarchism is any better than those methods of government?
No (although I doubt the last three are high on anyone's wish list!)
What I am saying though, is that as a political model Anarchism is just as viable. And that is what I am here to debate my friends.
Anarchism is a viable political ideology
Its not perfect by any stretch of the imagination - no political system is
, but by devolving power to the grass roots level, by allowing people
to be masters of their own destiny, we might well end up with a more responsible, greener, modest society that lives within its means and maybe - just
maybe - advances better than our current forms of "democracy". Imagine communities growing together because of common interests and specialisms
instead of snarling at each other on a national scale - what a different world that would be.
I have no socratic questions for Oz. I will hand the floor back to him before my closing summation and statement.