# Is Iraq War a justice war?

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vanesch
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
alexandra said:
Very true - that is why there is no possibility at all that a relatively small group can achieve any real change. Thus the need for mass movements to change social structures.

No, that's not true. It only proves that a democracy is not intrinsically unstable (that a relatively small group can initiate a "flip-over") - as I think that an anarchy is.
Social structures can slowly evolve in a democracy, but only under the will of a majority.

But in capitalist societies, where the gap between rich and poor is ever-widening, it will become more and more difficult (if not impossible) to keep most of the people relatively happy (most of the people's living conditions are deteriorating). The state will therefore have to increase its use of repressive measures (army and police and other ways of controlling people, eg. the Patriot Act and similar legislation in the UK and Australia) to control the masses.

Well, I think that if most people are becoming unhappy that they will vote in such a way that things will change. After all, capitalism as such is not part of a democracy ; it is capitalist because people decide so. I know that there are feedback systems so that they vote against their own interest by keeping that capitalist system in place, but if they do so, that means that they are deluded into thinking they are happy. And if you're deluded into thinking you're happy, well, you're happy :-) The same happens with religion.
I don't say that democracy is ironclad protected against everything, but at least I don't see an *intrinsic* instability.

vanesch said:
Well, I think that if most people are becoming unhappy that they will vote in such a way that things will change.
Oh? And which champion of the poor shall they vote for, Bush? Or Kerry?

vanesch
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
Smurf said:

Give some links. BTW, how long did it last ?

there are no decisions made without what you might call a referendum

Who decides what the outcome is, and what do you do with those that don't agree ?

and the power is extremely decentralized. And those "armed men" are not professional, permanent soldiers, let alone do they obey a junta. This as well as infinitely many other differences.

state n,
a. The supreme public power within a sovereign political entity.
b. The sphere of supreme civil power within a given polity: matters of state.

There certainly is no such thing. The nation is run collectively in autonomous municipalities. Would you like some links?

Yes, who says that that supreme public power cannot be extremely decentralized ? That's still a state ! And if it is COMPLETELY decentralized, then the smaller units are states by themselves (like the citystates in good old antiquity).
Anarchy would mean that NO rules are imposed, by nobody, on nobody. From the moment you impose rules, you have a state structure. What stops these individual decentralized structures, btw, from going to war between them ?

In any case, if I were to be in such a system, the first thing *I* would do would be to convince my local municipality to tie together with some neighbouring municipalities, to form a slightly stronger unit, and go and conquest all the others, because those in the initial set of municipalities would then become the new ruling elite. I'd distribute future responsability posts to the members of the initial "contra" municipalities if they help me to form a small army and overthrow the others. I'm sure it would be an offer you cannot refuse. If I don't find enough takers, I'd move around until I have enough takers that I can form a small army, large enough to overthrow a few of these units. I'm sure I'd find enough people around, ready to kill their neighbors for a future minister or other elite post in a dictatorship.

vanesch
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
Smurf said:
Oh? And which champion of the poor shall they vote for, Bush? Or Kerry?

Nobody stops you from putting a third candidate on the line. You'll say that propaganda by the major parties will not give him the chance. True, but that means that that propaganda succeeded in making the voters believe they should vote Bush or Kerry. And that's what they did. So as long as that propaganda WORKS (and hence stops you from having another candidate) by the same mechanism, people are fooled in thinking they are "happy" and even the poor accept their lot, so no uprising.

vanesch said:
Nobody stops you from putting a third candidate on the line. You'll say that propaganda by the major parties will not give him the chance. True, but that means that that propaganda succeeded in making the voters believe they should vote Bush or Kerry. And that's what they did. So as long as that propaganda WORKS (and hence stops you from having another candidate) by the same mechanism, people are fooled in thinking they are "happy" and even the poor accept their lot, so no uprising.
Firstly, not anyone can run. Just because the constitution doesn't prevent anyone doesn't give everyone the de facto ability to run. The truth is, you need $$first and a lot of it. Therefor automatically eliminating all decent candidates for the poor. Secondly you need even more$$ to get anyone to know your name at all, let alone to know your policies. If you're representing the poor you're not going to get loads of heafty donations are you?

Thirdly propoganda doesn't make someone 'happy' with their selection. They just trick someone into thinking "If you don't vote for the mainstream parties, something really really bad will happen to you". They call it fear-mongering instead of happy-mongering for a reason you know.

Vanesch, come on! I know you don't actually believe this crap, stop trying to be a moderate just so you can appeal to the fascist right a little more.

vanesch
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
Smurf said:
Firstly, not anyone can run. Just because the constitution doesn't prevent anyone doesn't give everyone the de facto ability to run. The truth is, you need  first and a lot of it. Therefor automatically eliminating all decent candidates for the poor.

Maybe in the US. In France for instance, there were 16 candidates for the last presidential elections.

Thirdly propoganda doesn't make someone 'happy' with their selection. They just trick someone into thinking "If you don't vote for the mainstream parties, something really really bad will happen to you". They call it fear-mongering instead of happy-mongering for a reason you know.

Ok, but the effect is the same: they're not going to "bring the revolution". Whether it is because they are "happy" or because they say "ouf" because the really really bad thing didn't happen.

Vanesch, come on! I know you don't actually believe this crap, stop trying to be a moderate just so you can appeal to the fascist right a little more.

And I even tricked guys like Russ into thinking I'm left-wing :rofl:

vanesch said:
Give some links. BTW, how long did it last

Who decides what the outcome is, and what do you do with those that don't agree ?
It's been in use and development by the indigenous populous in the jungle for some time now, really hard to say. However it's current form has only existed since they declared autonomous municipalities the day NAFTA was signed... why are you talking about it in past tense?

Zapatismo:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Councils_of_Good_Government
http://flag.blackened.net/revolt/mexico/ezln/2004/marcos/fallaciesAUG.html
http://flag.blackened.net/revolt/mexico/ezln/2004/marcos/5decisionsAUG.html
http://www.chiapas-support.org/

Other great stuff:
http://flag.blackened.net/index.shtml

Yes, who says that that supreme public power cannot be extremely decentralized ? That's still a state ! And if it is COMPLETELY decentralized, then the smaller units are states by themselves (like the citystates in good old antiquity).
I don't know, I guess it's possible. But now we're no longer talking about anarchism.

Anarchy would mean that NO rules are imposed, by nobody, on nobody. From the moment you impose rules, you have a state structure.
Okay, but your the one who said the word Anarchy. The political ideology by the slightly different name is rather different, as I've been trying to explain.

What stops these individual decentralized structures, btw, from going to war between them ?

Everything you say after that is nonsense. I've made an equally accurate parody of it. Enjoy
In any case, if I were to be in such a system, the first thing *I* would do would be to convince my local municipality to tie together with some neighbouring municipalities, to form a slightly stronger unit,
Really? Well if I lived in a democracy the first thing I would do is convince the prime minister to underrule the judicial and legislative branches to give him unlimited power...

and go and conquest all the others, because those in the initial set of municipalities would then become the new ruling elite.
And then build up the army and conquer the US...

I'd distribute future responsability posts to the members of the initial "contra" municipalities if they help me to form a small army and overthrow the others.
I'd make agreements with Exxon and Wal-Mart to create private armies and terrorize the world so to secure that they fall over themselves doing my bidding...

I'm sure it would be an offer you cannot refuse.
How could they refuse, after all I'm dictator of North America...

If I don't find enough takers, I'd move around until I have enough takers that I can form a small army, large enough to overthrow a few of these units. I'm sure I'd find enough people around, ready to kill their neighbors for a future minister or other elite post in a dictatorship.
I'd get Green Peace and Amnesty international to steal nukes from Russia and bomb all my adversaries...

Vanesch, I would really appreciate it if you approached this discussion with a slightly more open mind, instead of jumping to conclusions all the time. Would it exist now, being under constant attack from Mexican military and paramilitary forces for over a decade, if it was not durable?

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Skyhunter
Art said:
Personally I have no envy of the super rich whatsoever. I think often they are more to be pitied. There is a film where Danny DeVito plays a rich grasping businessman where somebody asks him why he is so ruthless when he's already rich. He replies "You don't get it, it's a game and whoever dies with the most wins" I think this epitomises the waste of a life spent chasing material gain.
An interesting example of two contemporary men to illucidate your point.

Harvey Kellogg and C.W. Post

Kellegg was a gastric surgeon who invented breakfast cereal and peanut butter, among other modern foods. He was uninterested in money or fame, he founded health spas, and used the money he made to further his life work of promoting good health.

C.W. Post copied his ideas and marketed them. He made lots of money and commited suicide. So much for the rich having it made.

vanesch said:
Maybe in the US. In France for instance, there were 16 candidates for the last presidential elections.
Indeed, I was there for the election. France has not yet fallen to the level of corruption as the US has. They will eventually, or they will change their system. One or the other is unavoidable.

Oh and Vanesch, can you tell me how many people you knew who knew all of the candidates' names? And out of all the names and policies that were commonly known... how many of them were rich?

Ok, but the effect is the same: they're not going to "bring the revolution". Whether it is because they are "happy" or because they say "ouf" because the really really bad thing didn't happen.
Yes. The effect is to prevent the poor from being represented in and protected by the government and/or whatever ideology you want to call it. This is the inherent discriminatory trait of capitalism. And it will continue to degrade the nation untill it is no longer recognizable as a democracy, and then it will enable revolution.

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vanesch
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
Smurf said:
Oh and Vanesch, can you tell me how many people you knew who knew all of the candidates' names? And out of all the names and policies that were commonly known... how many of them were rich?

Well, as during several weeks before the elections they each had equal time on the national TV each evening (something like 10 minutes for each candidate, and 2 candidates per evening) to explain their programme, they were quite well known by anybody who had been watching TV, and there were quite some non-conformists. Of course there were the two revolutionary candidates (one old and well known, the other guy new: he's a postman and is 27 years old,), there was a woman representing a kind of feminist party of the islands and other stuff, and then there were the more traditional Republican, Socialist, Communist, Fascist, Green candidates, together with a party which has as program the promotion of hunting and fishing :-)
Out came... Republican and Fascist (and Socialist was third)...
The revolutionaries didn't score badly: together they had 12% or so if I remember well, while the winner Republican (Chirac) only had 19%, the Fascist (Le Pen) had 17% and the Socialist (Jospin) had 16%.
So the second round was between Chirac and Le Pen, which Chirac easily won with something like 83%.

(all numbers are from the top of my head).

vanesch said:
Well, as during several weeks before the elections they each had equal time on the national TV each evening (something like 10 minutes for each candidate, and 2 candidates per evening) to explain their programme, they were quite well known by anybody who had been watching TV, and there were quite some non-conformists.
Yup. I remember watching some of them, (Jospin was my favorite) but I don't think it's accurate to say they were all "quite well known" by anyone who'd been watching TV, 10 minutes a night, once a week is not a lot of time. France is doing well for the time being, but we both know the majority of French people are not represented by the conservative agenda. The fact that they keep getting elected alone shows that the system is failing. Slowly, at first, but it will fail.

vanesch
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
Smurf said:

As of now ? I'd say, the state of Canada.
Their respective armies and alliances.
The UN.
But imagine that Alberta was a state "as we know it" and Saskachewan was a domain where no structure were present, just a few people living unorganized, doing whatever pleased them. Wouldn't it be a great temptation for Alberta to "eat pieces" out of that nomans land ?

Really? Well if I lived in a democracy the first thing I would do is convince the prime minister to underrule the judicial and legislative branches to give him unlimited power...

Because you think that is not a real danger ? Look at what Hitler did ! So you need STRUCTURES to avoid that. Democracies normally have locks build in for this not to happen. Separation of powers is one of its pillars.

And then build up the army and conquer the US...

Well, the US is not exactly the same as a few unorganized farmers with a gun, right ?

Vanesch, I would really appreciate it if you approached this discussion with a slightly more open mind, instead of jumping to conclusions all the time. Would it exist now, being under constant attack from Mexican military and paramilitary forces for over a decade, if it was not durable?

It is not THAT structureless !
An assembly of local representatives forms the Juntas de Buen Gobierno or Councils of Good Government (JBG’s). These are unofficial governments, as they aren't neither recognized nor opposed by the Mexican government; they oversee local community programs on food, health and education, as well as taxation.

The Councils of Good Government (or JBG’s) also apply a rotation method of those who serve on the council. Each citizen within the jurisdiction of the JBG is required to serve on the council for two weeks, and then a new council is put into power. It is set up this way in order to secure that no political figures can become corrupt, or under the influence of outside forces. It also accommodates the needs, interests and concerns of each member within the area that the JBG covers.

The Councils have created their own laws and enforce them, applying punishment when deemed necessary, under a community-based system. The JBG’s have declared a serious stance against the trafficking of drugs and people.

What else is this than small state structures ?

Well you're always jumping to the conclusion that "I don't understand what you're talking about", that "I'm talking nonsense", that "I should read up" etc...

But what I see is that against my argument, that the denial of all structure using violence to enforce something is unstable against a relatively small group of people who decide to organize themselves and use violence to obtain the rule, you never presented a coherent argument. In the few times where you didn't call my propositions "nonsense" you actually came up with STRUCTURES of people DECIDING and armed people, and I'm sure that organized violence between members independent from their junta is NOT tolerated. From the moment that you put violence "in common" you have the basic structure of a state.

vanesch
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
Smurf said:
The fact that they keep getting elected alone shows that the system is failing. Slowly, at first, but it will fail.

I agree with you that what doesn't work well is the republican system of the "winner" takes it all: for instance, Chirac represented initially 19% of the population, and he won. Much fairer is proportional representation, like in my native country, Belgium. The problem is (maybe that's NOT a problem in fact) that you get an almost inpossibility to form a majority, especially if 25% or so is fascist with whom nobody wants to get involved.

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Astronuc
Staff Emeritus
I know this is non sequitir in the present discussion, but it does pertain to the initial post.

WASHINGTON, Sept. 8 - The former secretary of state, Colin L. Powell, says in a television interview to be broadcast Friday that his 2003 speech to the United Nations, in which he gave a detailed description of Iraqi weapons programs that turned out not to exist, was "painful" for him personally and would be a permanent "blot" on his record.

Asked by Ms. Walters how painful this was for him, Mr. Powell replied: "It was painful. It's painful now." Asked further how he felt upon learning that he had been misled about the accuracy of intelligence on which he relied, Mr. Powell said, "Terrible." He added that it was "devastating" to learn later that some intelligence agents knew the information he had was unreliable but did not speak up.

Mr. Powell also implied in the interview that the United States did not go to war in Iraq with sufficient troops to secure the country and failed to keep sufficient Iraqi forces to help stabilize the country.

"What we didn't do in the immediate aftermath of the war was to impose our will on the whole country with enough troops of our own, with enough troops from coalition forces or by re-creating the Iraqi forces, armed forces, more quickly than we are doing now," he said.

But with Iraq still violent and plagued by sectarian conflict, the United States has "little choice but to keep investing in the Iraqi armed forces and to do everything we can to increase their size and their capability and their strength."

Since leaving office in January, Mr. Powell has declined interview requests. But his expressions of regret about the weapons intelligence and the lack of troops were consistent with many of his statements in office, especially after it became clear that Iraq had none of the weapons that Mr. Powell had said it was stockpiling.
From NY Times, "Powell Calls His U.N. Speech a Lasting Blot on His Record," By STEVEN R. WEISMAN

vanesch said:
But imagine that Alberta was a state "as we know it" and Saskachewan was a domain where no structure were present, just a few people living unorganized, doing whatever pleased them. Wouldn't it be a great temptation for Alberta to "eat pieces" out of that nomans land ?
I don't know, do the nomans all have recognized uniforms and assault rifles? Do they all share an ideology and the goal of self preservation of their social structure?

If so, then I would say Alberta would think twice, yes. I mean, what does Alberta have that Mexico doesn't?

But you said there was no social structure. okay, then probably not unless there was another presented reason, like it was protected by the UN.

Because you think that is not a real danger ? Look at what Hitler did ! So you need STRUCTURES to avoid that. Democracies normally have locks build in for this not to happen. Separation of powers is one of its pillars.
Yeah, I do think it's a real danger, but no I don't think it's at all likely. And what does that have to do with zapatismo anyways? In Germany Hitler took control of the state, which already had supreme power. Zapatismo has no supreme power, so any attempt to become totaltarian would be much slower and difficult as you would first have to build a state out of a society that doesn't believe in hierarchial structure. I mean, you'd be opposed by the entire population.

Well, the US is not exactly the same as a few unorganized farmers with a gun, right ?
Nor are the Zapatistas.

What else is this than small state structures ?
They're juntas.
I'll show you again:

state. n,
The supreme public power within a sovereign political entity.
The sphere of supreme civil power within a given polity: matters of state

In zapatismo there is no supreme power. Therefor there is no state.

Well you're always jumping to the conclusion that "I don't understand what you're talking about", that "I'm talking nonsense", that "I should read up" etc...
Okay, I'm sorry. But you ARE making some very inaccurate assumptions.

But what I see is that against my argument, that the denial of all structure using violence to enforce something is unstable against a relatively small group of people who decide to organize themselves and use violence to obtain the rule, you never presented a coherent argument.
The people will stop them....? What do you expect, there is no vulernability. You mine as well ask why can't a small group of people take control of NY, because the police will stop them... in Zapatismo, the people will stop them. If the people do not want zapatismo, they will not have to overthrow it, Zapatistas do not impose their rule on others.

In the few times where you didn't call my propositions "nonsense" you actually came up with STRUCTURES of people DECIDING and armed people,
Yes, I'm trying to sum it up for you. Obviously that gave you the wrong impressions. The people are armed, the structure exists only because the people accept it. The people make decisions and allow the juntas (there are often more than one junta in a municipality) to make them for them.

and I'm sure that organized violence between members independent from their junta is NOT tolerated.
What do you mean? What's a member independant from their junta? What's a member?

From the moment that you put violence "in common" you have the basic structure of a state.
What? Since when? What violence? Zapatismo is non-violent anyways. What is 'in common' violence?

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Astronuc
Staff Emeritus
By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN
Memo to: Iraq's Kurdish, Shiite and Sunni leaders.

From: An American friend.

Dear Sirs: As someone who really wishes you well, I am writing to give you my best sense of how the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina is going to affect the U.S. mission in Iraq. Let me begin with an analogy offered by Michael Mandelbaum, author of the forthcoming book "The Case for Goliath: How America Acts as the World's Government in the 21st Century." He points out: "The U.S. military presence in Iraq today is like the dikes and levees that were protecting New Orleans from the flood. The equivalent of the flood for Iraq is a civil war between Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds. The U.S. military right now is holding that back."

Therefore, the key question in Iraq is whether your constitutional process now unfolding can produce a power-sharing accord between Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds that can be a homegrown, self-sustaining dike against civil war, replacing the Americans. In the wake of Katrina, this is now an urgent question. No, we will not be pulling out tomorrow just because of Katrina, let alone before your December parliamentary elections. But after that, when we will be in a Congressional election year, who knows what pressures may build.

Why? Because most Democrats have opposed the war from the start, and many Republicans no longer support the war per se, but only George Bush. The president has carried this war on his shoulders, and the more he's weakened politically by Katrina, the less he will be able to carry. Yes, Mr. Bush has said we'll do whatever it takes to finish the job in Iraq, but he said that before there was another huge job to do.

Can you imagine if Mr. Bush had to go to Congress this week to ask for yet another \$100 billion to keep fixing Iraq, when an entire U.S. city needs rebuilding? And the Katrina TV drama is not going away. Hell hath no fury like journalists with a compelling TV story where they get to be the heroes and the government the fools.

Now, as for your draft constitution, it is at one level a remarkable document - a rare example of the elected citizens of an Arab state having a horizontal dialogue and forging their own social contract. There is already more free politics in Iraq than anywhere else in the Arab world except Lebanon. But this draft constitution will come to life only if Iraqi Sunnis of good will publicly embrace it, and up to now they have not.

Some Sunnis are intimidated, others are posturing for the elections, and some are acting in bad faith, still fantasizing that their Baath Party will come to power again. But Sunnis of good will, and Iraq has many, can be brought around if the constitution creates a politically and economically viable central government, and doesn't pave the way for Kurdish and Shiite separatism, which would leave the Sunnis isolated in central Iraq without power or oil.

As Yitzhak Nakash, the Brandeis University expert on the Shiites, put it: "We need to see a form of federalism in Iraq that is uniting Iraqis, not dividing them - a form of federalism that gives Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds a degree of cultural and religious autonomy without compromising either Iraq's political unity or Baghdad's role as the locus of national politics. The draft constitution is not quite there yet."

I know how justifiably bitter the Shiites and the Kurds of Iraq are over what they have suffered at the hands of murderous Sunni Baathists and jihadist fascists. But it is in their interest and ours to see if we can nurture more Iraqi Sunnis who understand that their best future lies in working with a new Iraq, rather than trying to subvert it. Will Iraqi Sunnis, like the Palestinians, waste a generation trying to reverse history - and destroy themselves and Iraq in the process? Or will they accept the fact that they are a minority that can no longer rule all of a fascist Iraq, but can get its fair share of power and oil in a free Iraq? I don't know.

The only way to find out is to make them an offer they can't refuse. If there is a constitution basically supported by all the key parties, a decent outcome is still possible in Iraq. Yes, Mr. Bush says he intends to stay the course there no matter what, but without a constitution embraced by all three communities, there will be no course to stay. The pressure on us to leave will only grow.

And if the dikes of stability that U.S. soldiers are holding together in Iraq give way, well, you all will envy the people of New Orleans. Most of them had somewhere to go when their floods hit. You and your neighbors will not.
Too bad Bush doesn't have someone like Friedman in the State Department.

SOS2008
Gold Member
Astronuc said:
By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN
Memo to: Iraq's Kurdish, Shiite and Sunni leaders.

From: An American friend.

Too bad Bush doesn't have someone like Friedman in the State Department.
Oh, that's right, this is the "Is Iraq War a Just War" thread. :tongue: That was a good summary of where things stand--thanks Astronuc.

vanesch
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
Smurf said:
I mean, you'd be opposed by the entire population.

That depends, whether or not you can convince a part of the population that siding with you will bring them advantage (like ethernal afterlife, or Fox news :-)

I agree that a population of people who are convinced that their way of life is good and that they are willing to invest in it and even make sacrifices for it would be a stabilizing force. But if that were true, then why did agriculture devellop in the first place ? It is now accepted that for the lowest layers in social structure, the switch from nomads to civilisation was in fact a step back. So why did it happen then ? In several places ? Mesopotamia, Africa, America, India, China... why did people start a static structure in the first place ?

state. n,
The supreme public power within a sovereign political entity.
The sphere of supreme civil power within a given polity: matters of state

Well, isn't that junta a state ? Or the assembly of the people or whatever it is? I mean: what organ takes the decision, say, of building a dam on a river, or to set up a car factory ?

What is 'in common' violence?

Well, the idea is that instead of having to invest much in your self-defense, you are willing to give up your self-defense on the condition that a common organ (the state) protects you against agression. In order to do so of course, it needs to possess violent organs, such as a police force which should be vastly superior in potential violence than any potential agression you could be a victim of. So you've delegated your self-defense to the common state. As such you liberate ressources that you used to invest in your self defense to do other things. It is the economy of scale in violence that makes this liberation of ressources possible. You have of course to give part of your ressources to that state in order for it to be able to organize this police force.
It is the essence of the state function. Once its subjets are renouncing on violence, you will now have to establish a kind of justice to decide on how to use that state violence in the case members are having a conflict. This means establishing property rights. Imagine someone walking to the door of my house and cracking the door. I call the police. What happens ? The police comes and prevents the person from beating up my family. But now the guy starts taking the stuff in my house. What should the police do ? If it intervenes, it means it has assigned *property rights* to me: the stuff in my house is mine, and the guy shouldn't take it. The simplest rule of settling what the police should do in the case of conflicts is to assign property rights to the members, and enforce them. If you STOP at that point, you have the perfect capitalist society.
Note that we don't have a "gouvernment" or anything, but a police force which acts according to certain rules: protect people against physical agression and protect their property rights.

vanesch said:
Well, the idea is that instead of having to invest much in your self-defense, you are willing to give up your self-defense on the condition that a common organ (the state) protects you against agression.

Are you referring to losing rights of owning a GUN on the condition of being served with an "organ" that protects citizens from aggression?

vanesch
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
DM said:
Are you referring to losing rights of owning a GUN on the condition of being served with an "organ" that protects citizens from aggression?

Well, that would be the "completion" of that state function, but it is minor. After all 1) owning a gun is not a major investment and 2) you are not free to do with your gun what you want ; you will be in trouble with the police and justice if you try to do so.

What I was talking about was the entire machinery of justice and police ; imagine for a moment that no such thing exists. In that case, owning a gun will not do the thing: how are you going to handle assaults from organized, rather heavily armed groups ? There's no calling the police, and there's not going to be any organized repressive action taken (because every such organized action IS a piece of state function). So the only way to do so is to set up your own small armed group, which IS a far heavier investment than "owning a gun".
And once you HAVE invested in such a group (which will cost you a lot of ressources) you can just as well use it to raid some less-well armed neighbours. It is like the lords in the middle ages when the king was weak.

vanesch said:
Well, that would be the "completion" of that state function, but it is minor. After all 1) owning a gun is not a major investment and 2) you are not free to do with your gun what you want ; you will be in trouble with the police and justice if you try to do so.

Points 2 & 3 are not viable in our current system. Notice that aggression continues to prevail on those points, assailants still use guns to kill citizens and all of them (exception of minors) are aware of the consequences.

In your opinion can the "completion" of that state function ever reach the stages of imposing your given points and more importantly make our citizens MORE aminable to them?

vanesch
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
DM said:
Points 2 & 3 are not viable in our current system. Notice that aggression continues to prevail on those points, assailants still use guns to kill citizens and all of them (exception of minors) are aware of the consequences.

Come on, this function is essentially complete in most "civilized" places, no ? When I walk over the street, I do not have any impression of being under the potential attack of possible armed groups, so that I have to walk around with heavy armory. I never even witnessed any such assault. Maybe I've been lucky for most of my life then. Of course there are some places and times to avoid, and something could eventually happen, but that's now reduced to "acceptable risk" like having a tree falling on my head or so.
You cannot compare this to the risk of travelling, say, through Europe in the year 500 just after the collapse of the Roman empire, no ?

vanesch said:
Come on, this function is essentially complete in most "civilized" places, no ? When I walk over the street, I do not have any impression of being under the potential attack of possible armed groups, so that I have to walk around with heavy armory.

No. Civilized places STILL have to cope with major flaws that our current system imposes on us all. You only address calm times, this is rather fatal in my eyes.

I never even witnessed any such assault. Maybe I've been lucky for most of my life then. Of course there are some places and times to avoid, and something could eventually happen, but that's now reduced to "acceptable risk" like having a tree falling on my head or so.

I don't agree. For every crime there has been, it counts as a major flaw because it happens on others. When you argue that nothing has happened to you as a means of analysing our self-defence system, you completely forget about all the other citizens. I'm not entirely sure you understand what an "acceptable risk" means because you're being biased, you only focus on the positive, tranquil and possibly friendly regions on the globe.

vanesch said:
That depends, whether or not you can convince a part of the population that siding with you will bring them advantage (like ethernal afterlife, or Fox news :-)
If you convince a municipality that being a state under your control, instead of being a zapatismo, then zapatistas from other municiaplities will leave without fighting. They do not impose themselves on other people.

I agree that a population of people who are convinced that their way of life is good and that they are willing to invest in it and even make sacrifices for it would be a stabilizing force.
That's just a side effect as far as I'm concerned. If a people get direct control and power in their politics, local and macro, they automatically don't want to give up that power. That's the stabilizing force, being convinced that their way of life is good and willing to make sacrafices from it is just a side affect of being happy in and proud of your society. I don't think that most people would be willing to give that up just because you offer them FOX news.

But if that were true, then why did agriculture devellop in the first place ?
Because humans found out how to plant crops? What's wrong with agriculture?

It is now accepted that for the lowest layers in social structure, the switch from nomads to civilisation was in fact a step back.
What do you mean? A step back in what? What is the 'layer' of social structure?

So why did it happen then ? In several places ? Mesopotamia, Africa, America, India, China... why did people start a static structure in the first place ?
I think you're making some misconceptions again. Zapatismo, (or most kinds of anarchism) are not primitivism. They do not identify with nomads, nor early hunterer-gatherers, they consider themselves another step in the evolution of society, from which there (hopefully) will be other evolutions.

"Zapatismo is not a new political ideology or a rehash of old ideologies. Zapatismo is nothing, it doesn't exist. It only serves as a bridge, to cross from one side to the other. So everyone fits within Zapatismo, everyone who wants to cross from one side to the other. Everyone has his or her own side and other side. There are no universal recipes, lines, strategies, tactics, laws, rules or slogans. There is only a desire: to build a better world, that is, a new world.”

-- The Clandestine Revolutionary Indigenous General Command of the EZLN.

They didn't really have to 'start' static culture, (I'm assuming you mean static to be hierarchial) because they always had it. In hunter-gatherer tribes there was a chief for life who made all the decisions. Usually when he died it was his son or some other way of establishing another chief.
This basic structure was never 'started', it was adopted by early humans from animals, probably namely from certain primeapes that we evolved from, in which the Alpha male is something of a 'leader' for the group.

But this is all irrelevant to zapatismo, which is quite different.

Well, isn't that junta a state ? Or the assembly of the people or whatever it is?
No
I mean: what organ takes the decision, say, of building a dam on a river, or to set up a car factory ?
If the people want to build a school, then they can build a school. If the people want to build a dam, then they build a dam. However, should the junta consider this dam to be too harmfull they may decide to call a public audience/assembly and there decide wether it should be allowed. Notice that the junta does not make the final decision, the people of the municipality does. Also, juntas may come from other municipalities nearby who are also affected and take part. I suppose one could liken their role to that of a judge and/or spokesperson. To keep order but not to make decisions for the people. All of this is very much a simplification though.

Note that we don't have a "gouvernment" or anything, but a police force which acts according to certain rules: protect people against physical agression and protect their property rights.
And what do the police do when a guy starts polluting a river that he owns, and kills and makes sick 100s of people? Do they protect his private property rights, or the safety rights of the 100s of people? Don't answer that, nvm.

vanesch
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
Smurf said:
No If the people want to build a school, then they can build a school. If the people want to build a dam, then they build a dam. However, should the junta consider this dam to be too harmfull they may decide to call a public audience/assembly and there decide wether it should be allowed. Notice that the junta does not make the final decision, the people of the municipality does.

Yes, and what happens when the majority of people find it a good idea to build the dam, but I'm against it because I want to plant potatous there ? And I say that I will try to stop them from building the dam. What's going to happen to me ? Am I going to face collective violence or not?

And what do the police do when a guy starts polluting a river that he owns, and kills and makes sick 100s of people? Do they protect his private property rights, or the safety rights of the 100s of people? Don't answer that, nvm.

And what if I do this in your Zapatisto system, and people vote against me doing that, and I say that I don't care about their system, I continue to do what I always did because it is the only way for me to make a great beer I'm fond of ? Am I, or am I not, going to face collective violence ?