A serious question

 
  • A serious question

    Hello, wallofyawn here, I'm an American, and I joined this group to learn a bit more about anarchist ideology and leftist thinking. Recently, I've found myself very interested in the ideas of Karl Marx, and leftist thinkers, but something has sort of puzzled me about both the ideals of anarchism, and marxism. Both advocate the abolishment of private property, and the liquidation and dissolvement of the state, and a classless, free society. Albeit anarchism aims at abolishing government and authoritarian rule altogether.

    What I never really agreed with was the path many countries have taken to reach a communist/marxist society. First, they put all property in control of the government, and almost always, a dictatorship forms, which then institutes a socialist capitalist form of government in hopes of reaching a form of government controlled by the working class, and in which all people are equal, and all property is held in common.(i'm i on the right path so far?)

    I would love to live in such a society that's not based on competitiveness, theft, selfishness and exploitation. However, the means of attaining such a society are what allude me. It seems like... well, taking apples and making orange juice. How you're supposed to arrive at a true communist state, when you basically institute the same exploitation strategies and fascist government that you appose, puzzles me. Maybe I'm not understanding all of it, but that's just the way it seems to me, from what I've observed of countries such as Cuba, North Korea, USSR, and China.

    Anarchism is puzzling for a much simpler reason. I'm sure you guys get this a lot, and it seems to be anarchism's biggest criticism. In a society without rule, without authority, without laws, what is to stop people decending into chaos. I've read through a few threads in this group, and learned quite a bit about the ideas and notions of an anarchist society and how it would function, and that's helped to at least dispel some major doubts I'd had before.

    But it seems as tho people are suggesting that in such a society, the citizens would follow an almost religious notion of "i shouldn't do this because it would be detrimental to society." What is to stop people from saying "fuck it, no one can stop me, I might as well do whatever I want and not think about the consequences." What is to stop them from exploiting and dominating each other in such a society.

    Basically, what is to stop Anarchy from turning into chaos, and mankind turning into a band of savage barbarians? Sure, I, and many others may not have a problem living in such a society, because we agree with such ideals, but what is to stop the people who don't agree. What's to stop the people who, no longer under authoritarian rule, just decide to take and do whatever they want without consequence.

    I've heard some things along the lines of society reaching an equilibrium where they no longer need to steal, thieve, pillage, rape, or murder, but would such a thing need to already exist before anarchism is instituted. If you go from a world in which everyone exploits and uses each other over night to a society free from authoritarian rule, people are not going to stop exploiting and using each other, because they have been preconditioned to do so. To achieve such a goal, you would need to do away with notions of want, or need.

    You would essentially, need to reprogram society, to ensure that they don't abuse the responsibility, once self rule is achieved. And that is what I'm having trouble wrapping my mind around. If anyone would be so kind as to address this, it'd be much appreciated.

    Edited by wall_of_yawn on 8 Jan 2009, 04:57
  • Ok, this is my second posting. And so suddenly. But, when I am uneducated, I am uneducated. I did not educate myself on the topic beforehand, and that will become apparent in my previous, long and drawn out, post.(I appologize for that, btw, but when my curiosity and thirst for knowledge, get the better of me, the questions never cease to flow)

    I recently watched a documentary.(a living utopia i believe it is called) I watched it with much enticement and could not believe what I was seeing and hearing. I had not much knowledge of the Spanish Revolution until then. It was well documented, and put together rather well I might say. They interviewed CNT and FAI members from the revolution. And altho it was stamped out by Communist and Fascist forces, I am still awe-struck at what they were able accomplish. They managed to abolish money, government, and police forces. They managed to institute a society without class, without prejudice, where everyone was free, and equal. I was in disbelief. It was nothing short of remarkable what those people were able to accomplish with shear will power and education.

    I still have some doubts about today's society, particularly the USA, but I think I'm coming around. At first I thought anarchism was simply an entertaining idea, but I never thought it could actually be a possibility. I must say that, rather swiftly, my opinions and viewpoints on a whole manner of things have just changed.

    Anyway, any comments, views, links, further education would be appreciated. My interest has been peaked, and I'm really going to have to think about this some more. Needless to say, that video had an impact on me. I always been entertained by the idea of anarchism, but I had always disregarded the possibility. Now I'm question that previously held view.

    If anyone could recommend some works on anarchism, I'm interested in learning more. :)

    • Kobrin said...
    • User
    • 8 Jan 2009, 20:26
    Well, allow me to try (though I'm just the voice of one anarchist, and many may have other opinions than I do)

    Let me first of all address your second post, because the Spanish Revolution is always a good starting point :p. What you heared did indeed happen. In order to believe it, you must understand that anarchism in spain was at that time millions strong (it was in most parts of the country the biggest political stream of thought). It is true that they abolished a lot, though not yet everything that had to be abolished. But given the war they were waging on fascism, and in fact a second war against stalinism, it was a wonderful achievement. If you wish to know more about that topic, you must certainly look at the antifascist militias (it is very interesting to learn how even the 'army', if it still was an army, was organised along libertarian ideals, with 'dessertion' becoming a right' and 'insubordonation' a virtue). Also, Orwell's Homage to Catalonia is great literature on it. Orwell himself wasn't really an anarchist, which makes it all the more interesting because it is probably more objective than my rants (or any anarchists' rants), cause, face it, we all worship the Spanish Revolution :D. Something similar happened in Ukraine, in 1917, with Nestor Makhno. It was suppressed very similary aswell, so you might be interested in this too.

    Anyways, up the theory, up to your first post:
    "What I never really agreed with was the path many countries have taken to reach a communist/marxist society. First, they put all property in control of the government, and almost always, a dictatorship forms, which then institutes a socialist capitalist form of government in hopes of reaching a form of government controlled by the working class, and in which all people are equal, and all property is held in common.(i'm i on the right path so far?)

    I would love to live in such a society that's not based on competitiveness, theft, selfishness and exploitation. However, the means of attaining such a society are what allude me. It seems like... well, taking apples and making orange juice. How you're supposed to arrive at a true communist state, when you basically institute the same exploitation strategies and fascist government that you appose, puzzles me. Maybe I'm not understanding all of it, but that's just the way it seems to me, from what I've observed of countries such as Cuba, North Korea, USSR, and China."

    This critique on Marxism is something Bakunin allready voiced in the 19th century, and his prophecy proved to be very true. Basically, in order to understand Marxism (I'm not an expert though), one needs to understand the mind of Marx. Marx was a very scientific person, who was highly influenced by the dialectic of Hegel. Hegel's philosophy, in short, is this:
    You start from a thesis, a situation. When it concerns society, this is the present.
    What you want to reach is what Hegel called the synthesis.
    Hegel believed that in order to reach this synthesis, one had to establish first the antithesis of the starting point. See it like a pendulum: if you start from one extreme, it swings completely to the other side, and in the end, you reach a balance point in the middle.

    Hegel claimed he observed this method in history. This has been highly debated though, and there is very little proof for it. But Marx, at that time, believed in it.
    So Marx created his Marxism along this theory.
    Marx' goal, suprisingly, is a socialised society without oppressors. Suprisingly, because this is ofcourse exactly what anarchism is all about aswell.
    Marx however claimed we could not reach this 'synthesis' directly. So he started from capitalism, being 'the oppression by the bourgeois'. The antithesis of this is 'the oppression by the working class". In the end, "the oppression of none" would come about. In practice, this is what we saw in various marxist countries. We saw state-communism. Marx believed the "state would wither away", so to speak. Lenin believed this aswell. Lenin never "withered the state away", however, because he always found an excuse to keep it alive a little longer.

    The lesson that one can learn from this is that, as Bakunin predicted, Marxism can surely reach the antithesis. But it will never reach the synthesis, because no state will ever disappear out of itself. (If someone has a better education on Marxism, please correct me, since I surely ain't no expert. My knowledge of marxism is limited to the Manifest and a couple of meetings with commies)
    -------------------------------------------
    "Anarchism is puzzling for a much simpler reason. I'm sure you guys get this a lot, and it seems to be anarchism's biggest criticism. In a society without rule, without authority, without laws, what is to stop people decending into chaos. I've read through a few threads in this group, and learned quite a bit about the ideas and notions of an anarchist society and how it would function, and that's helped to at least dispel some major doubts I'd had before.

    But it seems as tho people are suggesting that in such a society, the citizens would follow an almost religious notion of "i shouldn't do this because it would be detrimental to society." What is to stop people from saying "fuck it, no one can stop me, I might as well do whatever I want and not think about the consequences." What is to stop them from exploiting and dominating each other in such a society."

    Well, let me focus my answer on two points, being:
    -That anarchism believes we should not punish collectively punish society for the mischief of a couple of people.
    -That anarchism cannot stop crimes from happening, but neither does our current society. Anarchism is however more preventive than our current society, because it takes away the causes of many crimes.

    The first of these points is in fact one I came up with myself (though I'm sure some anarchist will have written about it allready, but I must have missed that publication). For centuries, there's been a sort of a black/white conflict between people who believed mankind is good by nature(leftism) and people who claimed it was bad(the right wing). Atleast, that's how many have presented the problem. Which is ofcourse false. Some people are bad, some are good. I believe most are good. Most people aren't capable of killing, most people refrain from stealing not because they are afraid to get caught, but because they think it is wrong, etcetera. If you believe that most people are good, it seems weird to me to constrain these good people because of the malfunctioning of some. Say for example: surveillance camera's. Why do we need these camera's to watch everyone, to punish everyone, because a small minority of us is criminal (criminal is ofcourse a bad word here, as anarchists don't believe in the distinction between legitimate and illegitimate (and with reason, since many anarchists have been 'illegitimate' simply because they were anarchists)). Why do we need a huge police force, prisons, courts, judges, lawyers,... Why do we need all these things, while they are completely unproductive things that are only set in place for a small minority (but for which we all pay taxes)?

    Second point. Can anarchism stop society from collapsing into chaos? No, it cannot stop it. However, we do not believe it will happen. Because most people are good by nature, as we believe. Also, if you look at what crimes are commited, you will see that neither can our current society. Does police, prison, ... stop crimes from happening? No, it only punishes them after they have happened. Some people have claimed that police and big punishments work as a deterrance. This is false. Statistics have proven that the death penalty does not lead to less murders. Punishment is just a way for us to rationalise what is in fact a very irrational thing: revenge.
    Anarchism however, does claim that it can abolish most crimes. Roughly speaking, there are three types of crimes. There are crimes out of greed. There are crimes because of emotional motives (like partner killings). There are psychopathic killings. Anarchism abolishes the notion of ownership, and thus also the need for greed. It thus abolishes the crimes out of greed, which is by far the greatest group.
    As to the other two groups, what must we do about them? Let's start with the first group: emotional murders and things like that. Nowadays, we punish these people like they are criminals. They are not 'criminals' however. They are sick people, patients. Most of the time, people who commit such crimes are awfully sorry afterwards and that hurts them, in my opinion, enough already. They have killed their beloved one's and they will never forgive themselves that terrible act. Thus, we must threat them as patients. We must learn them how to controll the agressive tendencies that lie at the root of their criminal acts.
    Towards psychopaths, we can only show one attitude. We must lock them away. This is not because they are evil monsters. This is simply because they are a danger to other people. We must place them in psychiatric institutions, until we have found a way to take care off their illnesses.

    Chaos does not only mean 'crimes' though. You also mention 'what can an anarchy do to stop people from dominate eachother'? Education is a first answer. But there is more to it than that. We can take this group of people together with those who refuse to cooperate under an anarchy (who refuse to work, for example). Anarchism abolishes unemployment. Hence, not finding work will no longer be an argument. Thus, the social pressure to go to work will be immense (especially since it is estimated that after we've done away with all the unproductive jobs, worktime will seriously diminish). These people, and those people who want to dominate, would soon find themselves isolated. Social isolation can be horrible (I can testify of that, I have exams and thus have been lacking a bit of social contact myself lately :D). People are social beings. These people would have no other choice than to cooperate, or retreat themselves out of the society. The same in fact goes for capitalists who refuse to adapt to the new situation (many factory owners will be in this category, I'm sure). In fact, we offer all these people a fair bargain: they can go on to live their lives, they can remain capitalist, autorative, lazy. But we will no longer be their slaves. And thus, their system will crumble. Opressive systems have two sides. The oppressors is having a great time, and thus will not step down easily. But if he has no longer someone to oppress, the oppressive has no power.

    In the end you touch one last point:
    "To achieve such a goal, you would need to do away with notions of want, or need. "
    I can only agree with this. It is a tremendous job, but it has to be done. Anarchism, for example, is always interpreted as anti-state, anti-capitalism. However, it is in its core anti-rule. Which is more. It includes all forms of government. Anti-organised religion. Anti-paternalist society. Pro-equal rights for women. ...
    A couple of weeks ago, I read Anarchy Alive!, by Uri Gordon, which deals with contemporary anarchism. One thing he mentions is that many forms of oppression are in fact invisible. We do not see them. The first anarchists, for example, where often very anti-female. How is this possible, if they were anarchists? It must have been that they did not see the oppressive structures that restrained females from achieving equal rights. Another example is the American Constitution, which talks about equal rights for everyone. Yet, america knew slavery for a long time. Apparently, they did not believe this was oppression, because slaves were not considered to be of the same level. Democracy in Ancient Athene is another example. Brilliant direct democracy, yet it was only for free male citizens. Numerous examples can be given. How can we claim, Gordon said, to know all forms of oppression, when history proves us wrong? Is it not so that the struggle against authority is endless? That with every dead power, a new one will rise. Gradually, tiranny will disappear, but never completely, and always will people have to be aware of authoritarian systems, even in an anarchy. Even within current anarchist organisations. Anarchism is not a philosophy, an economical system, or a political stream of thought. Anarchism is a way of life. An anarchist is an anarchist on all levels.

    Hope that clarifies some things. Sorry if it sounds incoherent, I'm a bit tired, but I found that I had atleast to answer a genuine interest in anarchism.

    "We want nothing of a world in which the certainty of not dying from hunger comes in exchange for the risk of dying from boredom. " - May '68
  • regarding communism, anarchy and chaos...

    Anarchy isn't without order, you cannot have chaos without getting order out of it, I don't know if you know anything about chaos or chaos theory but it isn't as simple as randomness. My point is, many people have the misconception that an anarchist society is an order less society, think of it more as a collective society, with self propagated rules that everyone agrees on as well as social liberties, a society where people barter goods and services, grow their own food, and are otherwise self sufficient without having to depend on wage slavery, fossil fuels and the other trappings of a typical capitalist society(although in anarcho-collectivism goods are produced for the greater good of the people and collectively owned, hence the title). Socialism and anarchy do have a lot in common, but there are many different branches of anarchist thinking (even anarcho-capitalism, which is an oxymoron if you ask me, but I guess everyone’s entitled to their opinions), but Marxist communism is a far cry from that, the biggest flaw in Marxist thinking is the fact the it still installs a one leader who makes decisions for their people, for the supposed greater good, but this leads to tyranny. And it abolishes individuality (matching uniforms, making women cut their hair and forcing them to not paint there fasces, with I think of as being anti feminist), where as anarchy celebrates individuality, Because of those reasons, I honestly think that communism is maybe an iota better then fascism, and is a far cry from what Marx and Lenin wanted it to be.

    for more info on anarcho socialism/ anarcho collectiveism

    http://www.infoshop.org/

    http://www.crimethinc.com/

    (lots of great Lit. and FAQs on those two sites)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anarcho-collectivism

    if you look up anarchy on wikipedia, you find a lot of usefull info too

    From wikipedia

    "The word "anarchy" is often used by non-anarchists as a pejorative term, intended to connote a lack of control and a negatively chaotic environment. However, anarchists still argue that anarchy does not imply nihilism, anomie, or the total absence of rules, but rather an anti-authoritarian society that is based on the spontaneous order of free individuals in autonomous communities, operating on principles of mutual aid, voluntary association, and direct action."

    :o ......!
  • P.S.

    I do not agree with everything they say on infoshop and crimethinc, i just veiw them as useful resourses.

    :o ......!
  • props to kobrin

    your response was much less lazy then mine.

    -"anarchism cannot stop crimes from happening, but neither does our current society. Anarchism is however more preventive than our current society, because it takes away the causes of many crimes. "

    a crucial point i forgot about...

    :o ......!
  • Thanks Kobrin, that clears up a lot for me. I'm beginning to understand the full concept a little more. Even brings up some ideas of my own as well.

    You said basically that Anarchism is largely against capital punishment, prisons and the death penalty. You did say that psychopaths and rapists should be detained and treated, however. Well, many scientists now believe many premeditated murders, particularly those committed by psychopaths, are largely the cause of a deterioration, or underdevelopment of the frontal lobe.(which, among other things, is the source of judgment, reasoning, and also controls the locus ceruleus(which manages responses to panic or stress, aka, fight or flight response)) Basically, when there is a deterioration or lack of development in the frontal lobe, normal inhibitions that would control stress and panic, are no longer there. The result? People are no longer able to control themselves, thus the reason the "innocent by reason of insanity." plea has turned up in court cases.

    I agree with you that these individuals need medical treatment, and high security supervision, but I've been reading some views on here, and some seem to believe that having a high security system in hospitals, or anywhere would potentially be the same as a prison.

    This lead me to an idea. What if the mentally ill patients were to be taken to a secluded island, whereby citizens could apply for a job as a "guard" there, while the rest of the society outside the island continued to function without the use of guards, patrolmen, or prisons? You'd have high security hospitals for the mentally ill set up on small, scatter islands, that would be regulated in such a manner that only the most heavily fucked up patients that were considered a threat to society, would be admitted into these island hospitals.

    Basically, the rest of society would be free of control and prisons, excluding those that cannot control themselves and are a threat to society at large, who would be sent to secluded mental hospitals.(these hospitals could even be like high security resorts, so the crazy people would still have some limited freedoms)

    As for those that aren't necessarily insane, but still remain a threat to society,you could either send them to these high security hospitals, or simply strand them on a deserted island with no way back.

    And the rest of society lives free, and mostly crimeless lives.


    Just an idea.

    As for your points about Anarchism itself:

    I like that you elaborated more about what anarchy is. You said it's not simply anti-authority, and anti-government, but anti-rule as well. Including anti-religion, anti-paternalist, and anti-class/pro-equal rights.

    I think most of these things can be obtained. The religion thing is a bit less realistic, imo, tho. I'm an atheist myself, and living in a world without religious boundaries and dogma seems all good and well, but eliminating an idea that the majority of the population has believed for over 2,000 years(in this case, christianity, of course) is probably the most difficult thing you could possibly do. I do believe in time, people will gradually wean from it, but I do not think that one can necessarily DEFEAT it.

    People choose to believe these superstitions and myths and choose to be indoctrinated and controlled by them. That's their choice. We're not yet at the stage where humanity completely understands the universe, and so there's still room for the possibility that there's something "more." Something bigger than what is being perceived, or can be proved.

    Atheism is increasing, and Christianity on a slow decline, but religions like Islam are on the rise. In fact, Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world right now. So, I believe it'll be a very, very long time before religion is done away with, and I don't think anarchy will stop people from believing altogether.

    Stopping the organization of religion(the church), however, is another thing altogether, and it could be possible to stop the globalization of religion(for example, the catholic church, along with the heirarchical systems.(arch-bishop, pope, etc.))

    However,in a free society, it'd be out of the question to try and stamp out, or stop people believed in such things. I can't stand Christianity, or any religion for that matter but I will stand up for a person's right to believe whatever the heck they want to. I don't necessarily see those individuals as evil, just their organizations, religions, and the constant need to proselytize, and "save" people. If one could do away with those things, religion may be less of a threat than it is now, and then people could gradually be weaned from it.

    Now, I agree with your statements that a lot of times we're controlled by invisible forces as well. The most notable example of this is the media. Even when we don't realize it, commercials, advertisements, and even tv shows purvey certain images or ideals about the way things truly are. So much so that it's influenced every aspect of our lives, culture, and persona as human beings.

    From what I'm seeing and reading, anarchy would call for a full deprogramming and desensitization of humanity. Not only destroying the government, but essentially the world cultures as well. This is not an easy thing to do, but it seems at least possible. How it would work on a global scale, tho, is the main thing that must be figured out.

    • Kobrin said...
    • User
    • 9 Jan 2009, 08:04
    Couple of elaborations:

    The way to handle psychopaths is, I think, something that bothers anarchists a lot (It is surely one of the things on which I reflect a lot, together with, (shoot me) traffic :D). How to handle them will, I think, differ from community to community, and I doubt we can predict it (revolutionary situations like 1936 have proven that they are very well capable of defining themselves without our guidance, and most of the time we end of a far bigger leap to the side of real freedom than we dared imagine.
    But ofcourse, yes, I realise the problem of such institutions becoming prisons. I like to see psychopaths like kids, who need guidance. In an anarchy, we won't give kids complete freedom from the day they are born, that's madness. The same counts for psychopaths.
    Also, I think modern society is one of the reasons for real serial-killings. But again, I am not an expert. From what I read and see, I have the impression though that serial-killers sort of engage in a battle of the brains with cops. They purposely leave traces and such, so that the cops can track them, but not catch them. To them, it is a sort of a game, and by taking away the police, the second player, a great deal of their motivation would be taken away. But I have no idea wether that's really correct.

    As for religion, I don't think we should seek to 'abolish' it. Everyone believes in something, I think (I for one believe a part of God is in all of us, mankind hence being God). In fact, believing in 'nothing' is also a belief, no? But organised religion is one of the worst expressions of authority, with millions of deaths on its conto. The catholic church doesn't even know separation of powers.
    I do not think abolishing organised religion would be so difficult. I've never understand why people adher such a cult. To me, religion has always been something personal. I have my personal vision on it. They just copy the vision of someone else, whilst no man is a clone of Mozes or Jezus, and no man can thus share completely the same ideas, I think. So education should solve a lot of these things, imo.

    "We want nothing of a world in which the certainty of not dying from hunger comes in exchange for the risk of dying from boredom. " - May '68
  • Well, I was more talking about the whole emotional and reasoning aspects of it. Yes, psychopaths often(but not always) play psychological warfare with the cops. It's like the joker from the dark knight.(anyone seen that flick?) No real reason for the mayhem, just wants to cause chaos and prove humanities weaknesses as part of a game. It's entertaining to him. Same goes for psychopaths. However, the normal inhibitions that would tell us something's wrong, are not as strong in psychopaths.

    Studies have shown that the average person has at least thought about killing someone sometime in their life. But our inhibitions are what drive us to say, "hey, hold on now, calm yourself. this isn't a good idea. think of the consequences." whereas a psychopath, not having any inhibitions, or adhering to reason, will try and justify the murder, and may not care about or even contemplate the consequences. Some may even believe they're too good to get caught. This is what makes them so dangerous. No regrets, no emotion, no idea of consequences, no moral judgment. Their minds are, however, not as deteriorated as say, a schizophrenics, so they are still aware of everything around them, and what they're doing, they just don't care.

    Surprisingly enough, scientists are trying to find ways of curing psychopaths of their illness. If there were a way to actually do this, either by way of surgery or medication, then all we may need to do is to prevent those of a certain brain type from potentially becoming psychopaths, or to cure people who are psychopaths. But this is a bit controversial, not entirely proven, and still a ways away from completion.

    I have seen people get implants that, targeting a certain part of the brain, completely cured people's depression, but I don't know if the same could be used to prevent fits of rage, or murder. It's all very experimental technology and still not widely used.

    As for why so many adhere to the church, I think it's a number of different things.

    1. churches provide a place for the faithful to pray together, and meet people who share their beliefs.
    2. many still view the pope as holier and more intelligent than they are.
    3. catholics, for some reason, prefer confessing to a priest than to god. Eliminates some of that moral judgment out of the equation, and you get to actually hear a person tell you your sins are forgiven.(despite the fact that, according to the bible and Jesus, confessing to a priest is blasphemous)
    4. despite the fact they're getting robbed, they feel charitable when they give donations to the church. And they'll never have to give money to orphanages, or homeless people, because their cash is already being put to good use. roflmao. ;)

    Anyway, I agree on all the points you addressed about organized religion. Couldn't have said it better myself. :)

    • Kobrin said...
    • User
    • 10 Jan 2009, 07:34
    "I have seen people get implants that, targeting a certain part of the brain, completely cured people's depression, but I don't know if the same could be used to prevent fits of rage, or murder. It's all very experimental technology and still not widely used."

    I've always been very restrained towards implants, just as much as against pills. I do see them as a genuine solution in the short term. But they are still implants, they change the brains of people (and christ, can you imagine what would happen if Hitler² would come about and give us all an anti-rage implant so that we wouldn't revolt?)
    Implants do not solve the root of the problem. I'd prefer to have the rage of depression, rage and murder taken away. Atleast, the bad causes of it. Because depression, rage, and in some cases murder, are part of us being human-beings. How would it be to feel "happy" after you fell out with your girlfriend? Or why wouldn't you feel "rage" when your friend just got murdered? And if our murder-instinct is completely shut down, how about selfdefence? I think all these problems are in reality part of the strange thing that is mankind. Rather than to remove it, and become some type of cyborg race, I'd have them used for the good. Everything can be used for the good, in one way or the other.

    "We want nothing of a world in which the certainty of not dying from hunger comes in exchange for the risk of dying from boredom. " - May '68
  • Yea, you have a point. We don't want society to end up like the film Equilibrium. Btw, If you've never seen that film, WATCH IT. it stars Christian Bale in a film where the gov. tries to stop war by inhibiting people's emotions. It works, but nobody feels any emotion. He plays a person hired to seek out and assassinate anyone guilty of "feeling"(including his wife and friend), and owning any emotionally stimulating things.(art, music, literature, etc.) One day he accidentally breaks his medication capsule that would prevent him from feeling, experiences emotion and decides to overthrow the dictatorship. Very action packed with a good plot, and excellent acting performances. :)

  • Kobrin and co have already established what needed to be answered, but I would like to add.

    Anarchism is a collective philosophy. When it has and will come about, it will be a result of a collective education of its utilization... In Catalonia and Aragon during the Spanish revolution, "reactionaries" in anarchist villages and cities were delt with, by being round up and put into an old jail through a collective decision, or banished.. The only "chaos" that transpired were a very, very, very tiny group of young radicals that went around and killed off rightists, or persons that perserved mass wealth. Which is understandable, and even necessary in some circumstances.

    Chaos is hard to come by when the lifestyle at hand is there by unequivocal consent and want..


    99% of the US is not eligible for any anarchist revolution, at least until the idea of anarchism is acknowledged and accepted.

    • [Deleted user] said...
    • User
    • 12 Jan 2009, 12:00
    Nice thread, I think I will add something more in detail, right now I haven't got tthe time. Just one thing concerning Marxism:

    One has not to give up dialectic materialism to believe in Anarchism. (It's still not a necessity, though, just ONE theory). I think Marx made one mistake: In my eyes Liberalism and Capitalism (starting with absolutism, as it and it's theory heavily influenced the bourgeois state) were already an antithesis to collectivism in medieval times.

    So forcing another collectivist dictatorship is not necessary. It is in fact the time for a synthesis i.e. anarchism or communism, and anarchist struggle (and also council-communism and even some schools of Trotzkyism) proved that in my opinion, whereas Marxism-Leninism was a historical mistake, that struggled long, but ended up in another fascist-like capitalism in Russia nowadays.

    • Kobrin said...
    • User
    • 12 Jan 2009, 14:52
    Well, the thing with Hegel is ...
    I'm studying my Historical Science-course right now, and what one can learn out of it is that Hegel's dialectic is not a scientifically-historical theory. He first established the theory and then went out looking for proof (which ofcourse he found, but he could just as much have found proof of the opposite)
    Also, Hegel's theory has been reputiated many times due to the Holocaust. It has a sens of "progress" in it which I'm afraid is incorrect. I think the post-modernists where right in that.

    On overall, what bothers me with Hegel and Marx and their kind, is that they depart from a collective approach. They deny the inidividual's capacities. The result is that they see that dialectic invariably correct, whilst it is only correct if people make it correct. Same counts for progress: progress is not automatically guaranteed, we have to create it. And even more so, this counts for Marxism and their Red Revolution: they emphasised this revolution as something inevitable (and thus improving the worker's condition was pointless), I don't think it is. If we start to "believe" in theories like this, it will undermine our revolutionarism, because we will think our input no longer matters, as the outcome is inevitable.

    "We want nothing of a world in which the certainty of not dying from hunger comes in exchange for the risk of dying from boredom. " - May '68
    • [Deleted user] said...
    • User
    • 12 Jan 2009, 19:02
    I agree with you 100%. I just had this thought about dialectic materialism once, as I was working with some of the stuff Lenin and Marx left the world to deal with.

    I myself still think that we are determined by causality and psychology, but that does not free us from responsibility to act - it just means that all our actions further have consequences as they influence others as well. In fact I once wrote a little essay about existentialism and responsibility, and how flawed (Sartre's) existentialism was when it proposed total freedom of the will, and how we are still responsible BECAUSE we aren't free, and our actions always echo throughout societies and eventually the world. (Basically the thing is that even if our actions aren't free, i.e. spring forth from some unexplained metaphysical or existential freedom, they are still OUR actions.)

    The Consequence is that our society has a very distinct causality, but as every individual is a chaotic factor (i.e. in context of cahos theory in mathematics), it is impossible to predict history (or at least extremely unlikely, as to "simulate" the actions of just one individual, massive computer's and an extremely complex, yet unimaginable and impossible mathematical theory of psychology must be available to do so) just learn from it some very basic action/reaction-causalities.

    Unfortunately I lost it... I wrote it once in the break room in school when I was supposed to be in class, and it got lost along with much of my other stuff from school.

    • [Deleted user] said...
    • User
    • 26 Jan 2009, 13:17
    Regarding your first questions:

    One of the greatest things of Anarchism is there are no "supreme rules". In an Anarchist society, every town would rule itself as its citizens want to. Therefore, in Anarchism you can't look for "absolute answer".

    My opinion is no society (including Anarchists societies) must allow rotten apples to ruin it. If some person goes insane and murders or rapes another person, then he/she must be punished. Police is no necessary to do this; the equivalent of private detectives would be enough to catch them. Such task should be like everyone else, like cleaning toilets or driving buses. "Last year I worked cooking meals, this one I'm catching criminals".

    How these rotten apples should be punished for an obvious damage to society? Well, that should be decided by popular juries. I'm afraid there is no absolute answer to this matter: each town would decide itself how to proceed. However, most anarchists are against prisons, and it's often suggested to punish these people with heavy work nobody wants to do. For example, if you kill one person you'll spend decades cleaning shit. When everyone around you is living a good life, working in things they like, that could be like hell.

    Anyhow, in an Anarchist world crime would be uncommon. Most of the heavy crimes would be committed by mentally ill people, who must be attended at a mental institution.

  • Immediate return to gatherer/hunter tribes or bust. No war but the primal war.




    The dwarf says:"gender-nuetral pronouns"

    "Id rather tea bag a pot of boiling water"

    Stan: "You like paddle boats?"
    Guy: "Yes, they remind me of a simpler time when white males had ALL of the power and not just most of it."
    Stan: "I know I hate how we just have MOST of it."

    • Kobrin said...
    • User
    • 31 Mar 2009, 19:17
    What you represent is an indivualist anarcho-primitivism. To say the least, I consider it to be egoïstic. It is not about us living anarchy, that option has always been open for us and I had many days of anarchy in my life (bookfairs, workshops, ...). But anarchism is also about propaganda, about social help, about helping others experience what we experience, and make them see how great it is. Secondly, practice what you preach. You're typing on a pc or a laptop and talking about primitivism. You're on a forum while you proclaim lone action. Tell me, what actions in particular are you involved in?

    "We want nothing of a world in which the certainty of not dying from hunger comes in exchange for the risk of dying from boredom. " - May '68
    • [Deleted user] said...
    • User
    • 1 Apr 2009, 08:05
    Anarchism is not equal to Anarchy. Those words are not synonyms. Anarchism is a socio-political theory which can (and perhaps must) be applied using high-level organization. Some anarchist economic theories, such as Parecon by Michael Albert, imply a very complex system which requires a high level of implication from citizens.

    If you want to talk about primitivism, that is fine, but this is not the right place :-)

  • esa_es_la_chica I'm gonna petition and flier and vote so I can reform civilization away

    Anarchy is fluid and outside of the linear time model but ....
    Those currents are trite and outdated.
    No, gatherer/hunter life ways are at their core sustainable. How much more of a wider time frame do you need to prove that. For 3 million years we had no effect on the planet or ourselves. In 10,000 years (really probably within the first 2 or so generations after agriculture) we ruined our health. As time went on people turned the birthplaces of agriculture (the near east/middle east) into a barren desert. Present day gatherer/hunters were pushed off good land steadily and continue to be pushed today. People like the !kung now reside in the interior desert and still manage to have better health than the pastoralists and agriculturalists.

    It's not individualism or communalism. I draw heavily from individualist text because we live in a world of conformity and false individualism. I tend to keep a sharp eye on communalism because so many people parade a communal ideal that puts the "We" before the "I", and that is dangerous to the individual desires. In traditional band societies the two are carefully balanced.

    A unnaturally bloated species of 6 billion does what anything should do when it overshoots carrying capacity: dies. There aren't enough resources to keep 6 billion people alive in a gatherer/hunter life style. Hell, there aren't enough resources to keep 6 billion people alive in a technocratic/anarchistic world.

    Some primitivists shy away from that answer. They don't want to seem morbid or whatever tends to be the reason, and it's frequently a counter-point to primitivism that we support death. But it's neither. I don't support the death toll of 5.5 billion people, nor do I shun it. It just is. It needs to happen. If we don't do it ourselves quickly, and we won't, it'll be done for us.

    And my ideas do include everyone else, to ignore them is a shortcoming. I just don't care who lives, who dies. I just know it needs to happen. We aren't going to save ourselves with technology this time, that little trick has it's limits both in our creativity and resources.




    The dwarf says:"gender-nuetral pronouns"

    "Id rather tea bag a pot of boiling water"

    Stan: "You like paddle boats?"
    Guy: "Yes, they remind me of a simpler time when white males had ALL of the power and not just most of it."
    Stan: "I know I hate how we just have MOST of it."

  • ..............nit picking to attacking how I deliver my message. It's almost like there's a hand book followed for these discussions I've noticed over the years. Please, don't deal with the substance of such ideas or critically think about it, just point out that someone who was born into a civilized world and can not escape it (because it's every where you turn and escapism is boring) is on the internet.

    Did you reform the system or whatever yet? A few more petitions, right? I'll be covered by socialist medical programs soon which will fix all my problems caused by civilized life!

    I belive in anarchism/anarchy in its prue form.
    i know its reactionary
    i know that most of you favour "reform"
    still he needs to hear all sides.




    The dwarf says:"gender-nuetral pronouns"

    "Id rather tea bag a pot of boiling water"

    Stan: "You like paddle boats?"
    Guy: "Yes, they remind me of a simpler time when white males had ALL of the power and not just most of it."
    Stan: "I know I hate how we just have MOST of it."

    • [Deleted user] said...
    • User
    • 13 Apr 2009, 05:26
    Workers control of the means of production. All the rest is death.

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