Round 2: neformore vs OzWeatherman - "Anarchy"

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posted on Dec, 14 2009 @ 05:03 PM
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The topic for this debate is "Anarchism a viable political ideology.”

"neformore" will be arguing the "Pro" position and begin the debate.
"OzWeatherman" will be arguing the "Con" position.


Each debater will have one opening statement each. This will be followed by 3 alternating replies each. There will then be one closing statement each and no rebuttal.

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posted on Dec, 15 2009 @ 12:46 PM
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Before I begin my opening statement, I'd like to thank Chissler for setting this debate up, ATS for holding the tournament and my esteemed opponent OzWeatherman for being a part of what will hopefully be a fascinating discussion.

I would also like to thank all who read this debate, and the judges of the tournament who so generously hand over their time in order to enable the competition to progress.

 


Opening Statement

Firstly, for this opening post, lets get the expected thing out of the way, with a noteable quote from a fairly famous song;



I am an anti-christ
I am an anarchist
Don't know what I want but
I know how to get it
I wanna destroy the passer by cos I

I wanna BE anarchy!


(Copyright - Jones/Matlock/Lydon/Cook - Sex Pistols - Anarchy in the UK)

And while the boys (they were boys back then) may have thought that way back in '76, their take on the word anarchy portrays the subject matter pretty negatively - as you might have expected from four disaffected youths with career aspirations to cause as much publicity and mayhem as possible (and gob all over a lot of people while doing it).

The beauty of the song though, is that while it deals lyrically with the nihilistic side of the subject matter, the business model that supported the tracks release was also beautifully anarchistic and it worked so very well.

And therein lies the story of Anarchism, when you think about it...

Most people look at the word Anarchy, and think it means the end of the civilised world.
I say that's just ignorance - an outdated notion put forward by those who fear what they do not understand - it is far from the case.

Over the course of this debate, I intend to present Anarchism as a viable political ideology.

- I will define what anarchism is, what it is not and cover the misconceptions about the ideology.

- I will delve into the current political systems of the world and how they affect us all.

- I intend to challenge perceptions by looking at our society as a whole from an anarchistic point of view.

- I will apply an anarchistic model to famous world events, and explain how things could have been.

I may also throw in a few other surprises as well.

And by my concluding post, I think you will be pleasantly surprised, and be considering a viable alternative to your current political persuasion.

Thank you for reading my opening.

 


I now hand the floor to OzWeatherman for his opening statement.



posted on Dec, 16 2009 @ 12:56 AM
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I would also like to start by thanking Chissler for creating the debate tournament, the current debaters in this tournament for all the fantastic effort put into the topics, and of course my respected opponent whom I also consider a friend.

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Throughout this debate I will be showing you why anarchism is not a viable political ideology.

Like my opponent, I would also like to bring attention to the words in the Sex Pistols song, Anarchy in the UK. While it might not be a very original way to start a debate, I believe the lyrics perfectly capture the essence and purpose of what Anarchy really is about.

- Chaos
- Illegalism
- Violence
- Extremism
- Negative Liberty
- Egoism

The above list are some of the things I will be covering over the course of this debate. I will also discuss the impacts and the vast number of negative points that make Anarchy an unviable and ugly, political idea and why they are not a replacement for current political ideologies which many of the worlds countries follow fluidly today.

I would now like to give the floor to my esteemed opponent Neformore, for his first argument



posted on Dec, 16 2009 @ 01:07 PM
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Thank you Oz. Now, if everyone is sitting comfortably, I'll begin.

 


The definition of policial Anarchism

Cambridge Online Dictionaries defines

Anarchism as;



anarchism noun

the political belief that there should be little or no formal or official organization to society but that people should work freely together


Think about that and compare it with todays governmental systems.

How often do we see claims that current government is too controlling and too restrictive? How many posts are there on ATS alone encouraging people to stick it to "the man" because people feel they have no choice but to rebel against the legislation or political will du jour?

The simple fact is that we in the "Western world" do not live in a world governed by the people, for the people at all.

In real terms an individual has about as much say in political decisions these days as we do over whether an airliner flies through the airspace above our own property.

Yes, a political party can be removed from office after a fixed term and following an election, but the process of legislation stil lies either in the hands of the party machine or a lobbyist promoting a cause or company priority.

Decisions do not get made by people on an individual basis.They get made on behalf of a block of votes assigned to a number of people.

Working in that manner, depending on political machinations and personal leanings, society tends to become divided by partisan politics with disaffected voters, and any legislation passed has the possibility of having 49% of the population solidly against it.

Apply the Anarchistic model and things would be different.

No central control, and power devolved into the hands of the people means that like minded individuals will seek each other out and form their own communities. Those communities would be free to work as they want and set their own agenda and priorities by the power of their own consensus. If an individual does not like a particular community, they are free to move on until they find one who suits their particular taste.

Now I'm sure my opponent will try and place us in the Mad Max universe's definition of Anarchy. Really though, that does not have to be the case.

Anarchism does not mean social disorder, breakdown and the end of the world as we know it - indeed social disorder, rioting and crime occur under what we consider to be "normal" forms of government. (And, perversely some occasions because of "normal" forms of government.)

In my next post, I'll go further into the concept of a modern anarchistic society. For now though, some socratic questions for my opponent..

 


First Round Socratic Questions

SQ1 - Do you wholeheartedly agree with every law passed by the current political administration running your country?

SQ2 - When an administration that did not follow your personal political beliefs was in power, did you agree with every law passed by that administration?

 


I hand the floor back to Oz.



posted on Dec, 16 2009 @ 06:38 PM
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Thanksyou Neformore

Answers to Socratic Questions

1. No, I do not agree. But who in their right mind would agree with everything a government said? I know its different in countries such as the USA, where someone can only be in office for only two terms, but here in Australia, it can be an unlimited amount of terms, provided the same person is elected in each time. My point is, its very unusual to see the same government in for a long period of time, as the policies put forward are usually not agreed by all of the public.

2. Yes and no. Although I am not a very strong supporter of the Australian Liberal party, I did agree with some of the laws put forward by them, when they were in power. I am happy to provide examples if required.

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Now, my opponent will have you to believe that the definition he provided is the correct definition on anarchy.

Here is the real definition taken from an online dictionary



anarchy [ˈænəkɪ]
n
1. (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) general lawlessness and disorder, esp when thought to result from an absence or failure of government
2. (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) the absence or lack of government
3. the absence of any guiding or uniting principle; disorder; chaos
4. (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) the theory or practice of political anarchism
[from Medieval Latin anarchia, from Greek anarkhia, from anarkhos without a ruler, from an- + arkh- leader, from arkhein to rule]


Some key words to consider in that are: lawlessness, disorder, absence of failure, chaos, without a ruler.

Unlike goverments today, anarchists base the future of society on sepculation and do not adhere to changes made within society. In explanation, one of the main points that make anarchy non-viable is known as a "free or blueprint" society. In anarchist situatuations, there is an absence of structure where people or individuals through one way or another, are able to control people. I

n practice, this does not work, why? The answer is that no two people have the exact same view on everything, which is not an effective way of running society. This is the very thing that anarchists want, individuals thinking on an individual basis, which is an extremely frightening an daunting prospect. Now what happens when people in a lawless society disagree on something? Its pretty clear to see what will happen....chaos!

Like my definitions say, chaos is one of the keywords associated with anarchy, and rightly so, its simpy what happens when one inidividual strongly disagrees with another. At least with the governments today, we have choices (at least in democratic societies). Several parties or individuals are there, and although we are bound to vote for these individuals based on their views, at least we can align oursleves with those views that closely represent our own. We might not like all the views, but hey, thats life. We cant always have things our own way, and most of us just deal with that while still adeharing to structures and laws which work well for society today.

Anarchy simply will not work

www.thefreedictionary.com...

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Socratic Questions

1. How is anarchy able benefit a health, education or legal system better than todays current systems?

2. How can two individuals with differing views resolve problems without resorting to unorthordox or immoral tactics?

Now back to my esteemed opponent



posted on Dec, 17 2009 @ 04:25 PM
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Thanks Oz for the challenging questions!

 


Answers to Socratic Questions

Q1. How is anarchy able benefit a health, education or legal system better than todays current systems?

A. Imagine a world without the bureaucrats and managers sucking the life blood out of a health system - one where patients get treated because they are ill, by people who have no other pressures on them other than the wellbeing of their patients - where time can be better spent tending to the ill instead of filling out forms.

Imagine an education system that is autonomous and child-led, where natural curiosity and man-kind's inbuilt instinct to learn about the world takes priority over set curriculums and battery-farm schooling.

Imagine a legal system that allows the actual community to decide the punishment to a crime against one of its members in any number of unique ways befitting the situation.

All those things are possible in a world without overall central governmental control.


Q2. How can two individuals with differing views resolve problems without resorting to unorthordox or immoral tactics?

A. By the community working together to resolve the differences. Anarchism allows for arbitration between the parties involved in an open manner. Unorthodox and immoral tactics and legal corruption are not uncommon in more mainstream government systems - they are not the preserve of anarchism

 


Rebuttal to previous post

Oz stated



In anarchist situations, there is an absence of structure where people or individuals through one way or another, are able to control people. In practice, this does not work, why? The answer is that no two people have the exact same view on everything, which is not an effective way of running society. This is the very thing that anarchists want, individuals thinking on an individual basis, which is an extremely frightening an daunting prospect.


Firstly, in any political system no two people have the exact same view on everything. Such a concept is not the sole preserve of Anarchism. I find this to be somewhat of a strawman argument.

Secondly, and referring to the part of the text I have highlighted with italics - imagine that - Individuals thinking on an individual basis.

Why is that scary?

The last time I checked we were not part of the Borg Collective. Individuality is the very essence of freedom itself. Any form of control mechanism that suppresses individuality is a dangerous thing indeed. Our individuality, and free though is what has brought us all the way from apes to men, and secured our place as the dominant species on the planet.

 


I feel the need to expand the debate a little at this point, and take us all on a journey back approximately 18 months, to the point when the world suddenly realised, quite dramatically, that it had run out of spare cash and poor Mr & Mrs HiggsBoson-Particle realised that not only were they in negative equity, but their shares had devalued by a massive percentage and they had more money stuffed under the mattress than the bank they held their mortgage with had in its vaults.

A slight over dramatisation I know, but the simple fact is that Mr & Mrs HBP were let down by central government.

How?

Well, the governments of the world were supposed to regulate the banking system. Instead of regulating them, they pandered to them. And by pandering to them they allowed the bankers to make their own rules, and in doing that the bankers had what they believed to be a cast iron guarantee that "government" would bail them out. But, when the excretia flew, it hit the fan so hard that the blades came off, because the people with the abacus's, calculators and computers realised that the fiscal system was based on the imaginary manipulation of debt.

The only, therefore, for the government to bail people out is to borrow more money against their assets, and those assets are the people who have to produce and earn money so they can be taxed half to death.

Without the central government, without the illusion of control that was afforded on a national scale, I venture that things would have been very different indeed.

Apply the anarchistic model and there would still have been banks. But I'd wager that without the big governmental "bailout" promise they'd have been a damn site more responsible with how they handled their funds. Prudent fiscal lending within a community, feeding back to the community, for the good of the community - with no taxes to pay.

Lets go back to 2003, when the decision was made by the west to undertake regime change in Iran (and grab the Iraqi oil). How many people would have cared about the Iraq issue at all without central government ramming it down their throats? In fact, how many wars and military actions are undertaken on the basis of "national interest"? Who's interest is that exactly? What freedoms were fought for today? The ability to think? To eat? To help your loved ones grow? How did that poor soul who got shot by a sniper help your community?

The answer is that he didn't. All he did was become a loss to his own community. Instead of being a productive member of society he is now a statistic on a governmental database, and a memory to his family.

Without the central control, the government manipulation of popular opinion and the "national interest" he'd probably still be here.

In fact, we might all be very much better off applying an anarchistic model. Living off the land around us, working together as a community, growing as a community that is self dependant with none of the control machine mechanisms that restrict the potential to grow. Trade would still be possible, technology would still advance, sociery does not have to break down into savagery just because "the man" has gone away. Humanities great strength comes from its interdependence on each other.

Anarchism encourages interdependence in order to survive.

In my next post, I will discuss the varying political systems in the world, and expose them for what they actually are.

 


Socratic Questions

1. Why do you assume that a loss of central government will turn the populace into chaotic rabid savages?

2. If the answer to Q1. is that you don't, why are you basing your argument on such a premise?

 


Back to Oz..



posted on Dec, 17 2009 @ 10:29 PM
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I would like to take my 24 hour extension at this point in time

Thanks



posted on Dec, 18 2009 @ 07:27 PM
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Thankyou neformore

Socratic Question Answers

1. Why do you assume that a loss of central government will turn the populace into chaotic rabid savages?

I think the use of the term "chaotic rabid savages" is a bit exagerrated. While I acknoweledge that a society lacking structure and leadership will ultimately result in periods of lawlessness, I dont believe that everyone will become a rabid savage. However in saying that, with the violence exhibited and promoted by some anarchists, it could ultimately lead to a society full of what you call "rabid savages"

Just like modern society, every community has their bad eggs (as well as good eggs), those that are caught out doing it are justifiably penalised with jail, fines or another form of punishment. Without any laws put in place for people to abide by, those bad eggs can do what they please, without the fear of reprimand.

2. If the answer to Q1. is that you don't, why are you basing your argument on such a premise?

Answered in question one


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In his last post, my opponent stated this in response to my first post



Firstly, in any political system no two people have the exact same view on everything. Such a concept is not the sole preserve of Anarchism. I find this to be somewhat of a strawman argument.


My opponent has missed the point here, perhaps I didnt make it clear enough.

Obviously within the common agreement of a governmentless country, there will be other issues that will end up in confliction. For anarchy to work, every single person must come to a common agreement to live in harmony with other people. Compromising is not that easy. Every society has a variety of individuals, that deal with community issues differently (some use violence others try to use logic) . When these two types of people disagree with an issue, what will happen? I can safely say that they wont just sit down and call it off, each will fight their point of view, and this may end up with someone being injured or even killed.

Its even quite apparent on ATS threads. With no moderators, this site would literally go down the proverbial poop hole. Obviously the violence is in the form of words and the little flaming emoticon, but its the same theory.



The last time I checked we were not part of the Borg Collective. Individuality is the very essence of freedom itself. Any form of control mechanism that suppresses individuality is a dangerous thing indeed. Our individuality, and free though is what has brought us all the way from apes to men, and secured our place as the dominant species on the planet


Freedom eh, freedom to do what? Anything?

Allowing a society to "do as they please" is for one not safe, and secondly not a viable way to run a country. If anyones ever read "The Stand" or played the video game "Fallout 3", its quite obvious that with no higher power or government in place, that order is at a complete loss.

My opponent seems to think that the government is suppressing individuals to such an extent that it is a bad thing. How exactly is the government doing this? By creating trade embargos, scientific organisations to deal with resource and environmental matters, organisations to deal with illegal activities and immigration policies?

Thats is not suppressing individuals, thats common sense, and ensuring the saftey of a countries citizens, while maintaining a satisfactory economy.

My opponent also went onto claim that the government was the one responsible for the financial collapse. He says that the governments let the banks deal with the regulation of the banks, which ended terribly.

Like my opponent, I will hypothetically assume that banks will exist in an anarchist society. What my opponent failed to account for was that without a government, the banks would have had to regualte themselves anyway. In a realistic anarchist society, without a government, the global financial crisis would have happened much sooner than it did in our government run world, as banks would have no choice but to regulate themselves.

Neformore also seems to portray these large organisations as friendly citizen serving organisations, that work for the community, when in reality, they are blood-sucking, money hoarding evil do-ers who only care about one thing, money.

In fact without a government, the "individuals" running these banks could do what they please, making it even worse than what it is at the moment for your average person. Wouldnt be so fun to see all your life savings dissapear for the sole purpose of a bank exectives Christmas party (I know, extreme example) would it? In an anarchist society, there's nobody there to stop banks from doing that, as there are no governmental laws protecting the average perosn. Further more, there is no "government watchdog" or "consumer affairs minister" there to assist people with those issues.
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My second argument now

Previously, both myself and my opponent provided definitions of anarchy. Both may have been true. This itself is a major problem.

Again it brings back the problem of people thinking individually. Take this quite from an anarchist website:



This page claims that there are ten things that one can do to promote anarchy. These ten things include:


1. OVERTHROW A SMALL COUNTRY AND ERADICATE IT'S BASE ECONOMY.
2. PLANT A BOMB IN THE WHITEHOUSE...
3. OR SNEAK INTO THE PRIME MINISTERS HOUSE WITH A JACKNIFE (HEHE)
4. BOMB A WORLD TRADE CENTER
5. ASSASINATE A PRESIDENT...LIKE JFK.
6. BECOME TOTALY INSOLANT TO AUTHORITY.
7. KILL A COP...(EH, WHAT'S THE LOSS? A DONUT DISPOSAL?)
8. START A METAL BAND
9. HACK THE PLANET INTO SUBMISSION. (HEHE)
10. DON'T VOTE.


So anarchists arent about violence?

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.

Another quote on an anarchy website states this



Anarchy does not promote a system that is lawless, but a system in which individuals govern themselves. Decisions in anarchy would not be made by the ones in power, but by all individuals involved.


Now, already we have anarchists contradicting themselves. There's a huge disagreement here about what anarchy is. So readers, ask yourself how an "anarchist society" can exist when self proffesed anarchist specialists, cant even agree about what anarchy is?

We simply cant have people like this doing what they want. Ultimately in an anarchist socity, the ones promoting violence (and by their own words, are not afraid to use force) will probably end up attacking the ones claiming that anarchy is peaceful, creating an anarchist society exactly like the one I defined in my opening statement. Nothing but lawlessness and chaos, with violence and crime flourishing.

This also comes back to my opponents concept of free thinking. While anarchists might think of opposites as non-anarchists, there is no limitation on who says they are an anarchist, which is quite obviously not going to work in practice.

Im running out of space on this post, so I will sum this up again with the statement:

Anarchy simply, will not work

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Socratic Questions

1. Where in history has an anarchist society flourished, being economically stable and efficient over a long period of time?

2. How would one going about achieving an anarchist society in a government run country today?

3. 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?

Now back to my respected opponent for his 3rd argument








[edit on 12-18-2009 by chissler]



posted on Dec, 19 2009 @ 08:18 AM
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I would like to take my 24 hour extension period at this time.

Thanks.



posted on Dec, 20 2009 @ 09:05 AM
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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

of time?

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

Oz stated



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 individual.

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 never assured.

Communism

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 controlled.

Dictatorship

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 state

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.



posted on Dec, 20 2009 @ 04:21 PM
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Thanks neformore

Now for the second attempt at post three which I inadvertently deleted when I pressed the wrong button earlier.

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Rebuttal

My opponent claims that Iceland was an anarchic society for a long period of time. While this is half true, the fact is that overall, like any anarchist society, Iceland was essentially under rule of Norway. Eventually due to internal bickering between individuals who could not agree on what religion Iceland should be, a civil war occured and chaos ensued. Neformore tried to pin this war purelyon religion which is not the case in this instance. Hardly an effective run country


In the early 13th century, the Sturlung era, the Commonwealth began to suffer from serious internal strife. The King of Norway began to exert pressure on his Icelandic vassals that they bring the country under his rule. A combination of discontent with domestic hostilities and pressure from the King of Norway led the Icelandic chieftains to accept Norway's Haakon IV as king by the signing of the Gamli sáttmáli ("Old Covenant") in 1262. This effectively brought the Commonwealth to an end.


My opponent stated this in response to socratic question two in my last post



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.


So a slow transition eventually combining all communities into one central community? Well Iceland had 300 years, and it was still run by several tribes, who couldnt agree at all in the end. Therefore time is obviously a factor which will ultimately decrease the effectiveness of a governmentless society. I cant stress enough though, that Iceland was still partailly under control of Norways monarchy. In fact if it werent for Norway, Iceland may not exist as it does today. Kudos to Norways government.

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In his post my opponent went on to describe a selection of seemingly undesirable political systems. Problem with that is that all of these political systems, but communism have been effective for thousands of years. Lets take a look at when they originated:

Democracy- 508BC in Athens
Communism- 20th Century, Russia (which I might add was a superpower til the communist regime was almost handed back to the people, effectively ending it)
Dictatorship- 2BC Rome
Religious State- Literally forever

While in some cases, these political ideologies are not desirable, the topic is about the viability, not wether they are good or well liked or not. And at present each of the above examples has been effective in a variety of states, some for longer periods than others. Anarchy has one poor, half example which ultimately ended in disaster. Put simply, giving the people too much power will only result in war.

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Third argument

Basically what Ive been discussing is that without a structure anarchy will not work. We have seen an example of it not working, and its been proven that a large group of people, can not collectively agree, to make a state run pefectly like some anarchists claim.

Id like to bring this quote to light


In order to have true anarchy, there cannot be any laws agreed upon… not a single solitary one. Once a single law is agreed upon as enforceable… it is no longer anarchy. If this wasn't true, then any unaddressed injustice would define civilization as anarchy. The essence of anarchy is ONLY non-enforceable understandings (with no prescribed penalties). However, one would soon learn that courtesy, respect and honesty is how one survives in a lawless society. One must be ethical... or else.


Now that makes for a very interesting point. The above quote states that anytime a law is agreed upon, anarchy will no longer exist. This post only adds to the Iceland saga, and according to this factual statement, Iceland was not actually an anarchist society, as there were several laws governing the country (known as the gooroo). However this hardly matters as the laws that were didnt save the country from a civil war which ended in the demise of the Iceland Commonwealth.

Also the statement goes on to emphasise what I discussed earlier in the debate. With all the disagreements bound to happen, what action will be taken to prevent serious conflict? The onyl way to do this is to respect everyones elses opinion, religion, ethnicity and sociopolitical decisions. This cant even happen in todays succesful society, so what hope does a society under no centralised government have. Well they could make laws, but then that wouldnt be anacrhy any more would it.

Imagine people such as the Ku Klux Klan or Black Panthers in an anarchic society. The common agenda here is the hate for those of a different background. With no laws or structure to adhere to, then these hate mongers would have freedom to undertake the cleansing of those of a different colour. Again war would ensue. So end result= chaos and violence

Now imagine a society with sections divided into religious groups, again it will end in disaster, as the "my god is better than your god" mentality takes place. Again there is only freedom to belittle or attack your rival religions with no law-like repurcussions. So end result= chaos and violence

What about a group of murderers or child molesters running aorund doing whatever they please? Again another undesirable consequence, and certainly is someone murdered a friend or family member or molested one of my kids, the end result would= chaos and violence. Then again I have the freedom to do that dont I, even though its morally wrong. Then one must think about the response to ones actions, which again will probably end up with chaos and violence.

If modern civilisation reverted to anarchy, then we might as well be just as primitive as the nomadic tribes which one day walked the earth, where only honor, and veracity kept human kind from persishing. Unfotunantly there are more people now then there used to be with strong negative opinions about other people, and that itself is a major blow for those thinking anarchy will bring global utopia.

So with the above ideas in mind, how can anarchy be viable? The answer is it cant. Allowing people to do what they please is like strapping a bomb to yourself and asking someone to program in a random time til it eventually explodes. That is what will happen in a society ruled by anarchy.

Sure there are some great ideas within in, I personally dont have anything against anarchy, although I do disagree with some of the more extremist points. But being realistic here, the bad stuff is going to happen weather you want it to or not, and it ultimately has a huge detrimental effect on the viability of anarchism. Viable governments are in power today, and that needs not to change, as its effective as it will ever be and that is fine with the majority of people, including myself

As I have stressed at the end of each of my points, anarchy is not a viable political ideology

I also have no socratic questions to ask

Now to neformore to open the closing statements



posted on Dec, 20 2009 @ 05:23 PM
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Thank you once again Oz

 


Closing Statement



I will keep my closing short and sweet.

The topic of this wonderful debate has been "Anarchism a viable political ideology.”

What I have tried to demonstrate is that it is just that. Viable.

Perfect? No. No political system is perfect.

I have compared the system with other political methods. I have outlined my ideas as to how it could work and even offered an insight into what a world could be like without central government control.

My esteemed opponent has offered something of a one sided view. It is a sound and interesting tactic. It has played on the fear of the unknown - something us humans know all too well.

But I will leave the debate, and those following it, with this simple thought.

In the real world, when it boils down to it, all we really have is each other. Do we - as individuals - need a control machine to dictate how we live our lives?

If the answer to that is no, then Anarchism is a viable political ideology.

 


I'd like to thank OZ for the challenging viewpoints, you, the readers of ATS for taking on board what I've had to say, and the judges for giving up their free time in order to sift through the information we have both provided in order to make an informed decision. I have thoroughly enjoyed this round of the competition. Thank you all.



posted on Dec, 20 2009 @ 07:56 PM
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Thankyou neformore

Closing Statement

In conclusion to my above three arguments, Anarchy is not a viable political ideology

While the current political regimes of the world are not ideal, they do work as a well oiled machine should work. While the people below these political ideologies may feel somewhat oppressed, Anarchism could only make things a lot worse, and even more dangerous and unpredictable than anyone could ever imagine.

Lack of structure only gives people the right to express themselves in the worst ways possible. Chaos, violence, hatred, racism, sexism, negativity and other immoral acts will all occur with anarchy, despite the utopic idealisms behind half of the self proffesed anarchists. When individuals agree to create laws to combat this, the idea of anarchism is lost, as is the anrchist idea of individualism.

Its not only an unplausible political lifestyle, its also one of unreasonable and contradictory ideas. It is simply not possible for a society to thrive with no order.

I have demostrated throughout this debate that lack of structure, political law, immoral logic and the inability for a large number of individuals to think as a collective union, are some of the many reasons why anarchism will not work.

Before I hand over to the judges, I want to leave you with one thought:

Good leaders are hard to find. Good political ideologies are even harder to find. Why change what we live by today when it works so well, even despite the lack of respect society has for politicians. Removing a government and law and structure only creates unpredicatbility and eventual chaos, leading to ineffectiveness and further segregation of various social groups.

Anarchy is NOT A VIABLE POLITICAL IDEOLOGY, it never has been, and it never will be

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Thanks to my esteemed opponet, the readers and the judges for making this all possible. Without you none of this would have worked. Further thanks to those who came up with these challenging topics. They are all thought provoking and educational to read. Cheers guys



posted on Jan, 14 2010 @ 10:01 AM
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Results...



I have to admit that this one had me going back and forth throughout. I was for neformore one minute, and then OzWeatherman the next.

When it comes down to it though, the points that Oz made were substantial enough to get the node from me. While neformore's concept of anarchy is sound, it would be very hard to implement, as all too many people want power. In the struggle that would result from the control vacuum, select tyrants would come into power. As neformore so well points out in his argument, the "final three" kinds of government are indicative of how this one would go as well, only more violently.

I toss my vote to OzWeatherman. Congrats Oz!!




Great debate. I was impressed by both fighters. Both made strong points to prove their side of the issue. I found myself moving back and forth throughout.

Neformore did a fine job of swaying the definition away from the modern day version of what anarchism is into a more classical, political version, something I found as a strength in his position. He didn't move away from what he wanted to describe and conceded few points to his opponent. Where his argument lacked substance was in using some examples of what he was proposing. His opponent shot down the one he did offer pretty easily.

Ozweatherman made a really good effort in staying the course of his argument. Again, he didn't concede any points to his opponent as well. I found that he used his opponents argument against him in a much clearer fashion with each rebuttal made quite clearly. I think the turning point for me in this debate was his refuting the examples of other forms of government and showing how they have been, for the most part, successful for a long time. he also showed his opponents one example as a weak one.

Overall, I really enjoyed this debate. I like debates that use the fighters own words much more than the ones that rely heavily on external material.

Although a close one, with both fighters giving it a great effort, I gave this debate to Ozweatherman.


OzWeatherman moves to the next round.

 
 


This thread is now open to comments from other fighters.



posted on Jan, 14 2010 @ 01:53 PM
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Thanks to the judges and my esteemed opponent

I really enjoyed the topic this debate, and the challenge that came with it, looking forward to the next round



posted on Jan, 14 2010 @ 04:16 PM
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Gratz Oz


Now I have more time to mutter


Really enjoyed the debate. I'll get you next time !



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