Should we have a freewill?(Anarchy)

E

Economist

My personal view, as an "anarchist", is that it is already working. There is no such thing as government, merely an illusory construct of names and conventions. All those who hold titles and such are still merely individuals carrying out there own personal goals.
I find this an interesting perspective.

However, it still seems that those titles, positions, etc, allow their holders some additional "powers." In the news lately I've heard a few stories where public "servants" have used their positions and influence to try to harm some individual businessperson. Likewise, I've also heard some stories where these people have tried to use their positions to help and give special privaleges to individual businesspersons.

While me and you couldn't use various tax payer funds to help our friends or harm or enemies. Likewise, you and I are not generally allowed to use tax payer funds for fancy dinners, drivers, plane trips, etc.
 
Economist, you make a very good point, however it is important to distinguish between actual powers and perceived powers. For example, one could arguably call George W. Bush the most powerful man in the world, givent hat he commands the US Army. In reality, he has no power beyond the military's perceptin of him. Stripped of the perception of command I would wager any member of our armed forces would prove more powerful than Mr. Bush. The point being, the only reason certain people can missappropriate money and abuse others is because we allow them to. For whatever reason, and they are many and varied, we perceive that person to have the "power" to do what they have done.
 

vanesch

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I often find it interesting that people will assert that anarchy can not work because of human nature, but then claim government will solve this.
No, I think anarchy cannot work because of human nature: sooner or later there will be a "convergence of interests" into a power structure (call it a gang, an army, whatever) which has an advantage over free individuals. For the gang leader, the advantage is pretty obvious, but for the gang members, submitted to the gang leader, too, as they can "live off" the abuse of the unorganized. The way to defend oneself against such gangs is, well, to become a gang oneself. So I think that pure anarchy is simply unstable, and will sooner or later anyhow evolve into power structures.
And then, the game becomes different: then the battle is *within* the structures, to get to higher positions, not "for the best of everybody", but rather for one's own good. So yes, of course there is no doubt that "people in position" are not there to "serve their position" but to serve themselves. So any "social engineering" must try to take that into account, in order to get at least partial agreement between the official function of the position and the natural drive to serve oneself.

Actually, it is funny, because recently my boss asked me how I thought that he, as a boss, should be evaluated, and I told him exactly that: a good boss is someone who can manage people in such a way that their own agenda and self service coincides as much as possible with the goals of the enterprise. He looked surprised :smile:
 
I don't find anything contradictory in the formation of gangs with an anarchist society. TO me anarchy is merely the absence of a government structure. It is not he absence of leaders. I agree with the idea that leadership is an inherent trait in humanity. I think there will always be people who lead and always those who follow. I think where you change from anarchy to government is when the majority of people start investing in their leaders some quality which is more than just inherent in the person. I see no problem with following someone because they know how to get where you want to be. I see a huge problem with following them becuas they have a title in front of their name.
 
E

Economist

No, I think anarchy cannot work because of human nature: sooner or later there will be a "convergence of interests" into a power structure (call it a gang, an army, whatever) which has an advantage over free individuals.
I'm not trying to assert whether or not anarchy can work (because in all honesty, I have no idea).

However, the one issue I would take with your statement above is that this seems to happen even in our current system. In other words, the problem you mentioned does not seem to be unique to anarchy. I think you could of even went as far as to say "sooner or later there will be a "convergence of interests" into a power structure (call it a gang, an army, [senators, police officers, government] whatever) which has an advantage over free individuals."
 

mheslep

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I don't find anything contradictory in the formation of gangs with an anarchist society. TO me anarchy is merely the absence of a government structure. It is not he absence of leaders. I agree with the idea that leadership is an inherent trait in humanity. I think there will always be people who lead and always those who follow. I think where you change from anarchy to government is when the majority of people start investing in their leaders some quality which is more than just inherent in the person. I see no problem with following someone because they know how to get where you want to be. I see a huge problem with following them because they have a title in front of their name.
As soon as the leader 'exercises authority', per Webster, he/she has 'governed' and there in the same instant lies the government. Certainly examining the issue at various scales (gang/tribe/superpower) will show different outcomes but that doesn't change the definition of the thing; governing is what it is. The above is redefining or mangling the term which adds confusion.
 

russ_watters

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Agreed. "Government" isn't a bunch of buildings in Washington, it is coherent leadership of any kind.

"Freakonomics" has a chapter on the organizational structure of crack dealership gangs in Chicago. It's an interesting read because the structure is very much like a major corporation like a McDonalds or a WalMart. The 'store manager' was even a college grad!
 
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I guess it depends a little on where you want to draw the line of what constitutes government. Is a pack of wolves a government (they have coherent leadership)? How about a hive of bees (they have structure and defined roles, but is it "leadership")? How about a tribe? If not, why not?
 
Indeed, as soon as someone "exercises authority" yoiu have government. And so, at least in my particular brand of anarchism, the real concern is with authority. Leadership and authority are not mutually dependent. If the members of this forum wanted to go to San Antonio together, and one of us knew how to get there, we could all follow him. He would be leading and we would be following. Government arises the moment are chosen "leader" attempts to use his position as "knowing how to get to San Antonio" to make us do things. Free association towards a common goal is not government.
 

russ_watters

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I guess it depends a little on where you want to draw the line of what constitutes government. Is a pack of wolves a government (they have coherent leadership)? How about a hive of bees (they have structure and defined roles, but is it "leadership")? How about a tribe? If not, why not?
I think you applied the definition just fine there.

True anarchy would have to be the utter lack of ruling authority. Anyone can do whatever they want, with the only constraint being whether you own the biggest gun. A wolf pack would indeed qualify as a primitive form of government (ever watch "Merkat Manor?). An insect hive would not - defined roles do not automatically imply leadership and a hive functions as a single entity, with the members carrying out their roles based largely on instinct. A tribe - you mean like a tribe of primitive humans? Absolutely a government structure.

This thread is 5 months old, but this part of the discussion already happened on page 1...
 
"Anyone can do whatever they want, with the only constraint being whether you own the biggest gun."

I would be interested hear how the current situation of the world differs in anyway from this description of anarchy.
 
The Anarcho-Communist

I would like to shed some light on anarcho-communism. I myself am an anarcho-communist. This theory has a lot more to it than some of you think. First off I would like to say that of course anarchism is not perfect and no system is so what i'm basically am trying to say is that even though it may have problems it would have reconvert quickly or be worse than the current situation to make having susch a system irrational. Now first off I often hear people saying it would be impossible for people in an anarcho communist state to organanize. I would say that by dividing up into very small communities would allow organization to become much easier.Like a small town vs. an entire city or country. Now a popular subject in this discussion is as to gangs or other internal and external hostilities.Now to control and or prevent this I don't think a completly unified group or one or perfect people would be possible or nescesary. For thiis point I would like to refer to the Native Americans who when you think about it lived fairly similairly to an anarcho communist scocirty, for example they shared many thing amoung their tribes and they didn't recognize money or individual land ownership. Amoung the different tribes there would few who became raiders(i.e. a gang) and would pillage other tribes. While things like this are unstopable, you should recognize that there were many more hunter-gatherer type tribes. I think this would be a good example of what may happen in an anarcho-communist scociety. Also as to smaller disterbences in local communities you may argue wbout how they would be tried or stopped. Many would say that without a police force it would be difficult to stop them. Well to that i would llike to say for one with relative equel access to weaponry this would make it more difficult to have surpier fire power. Also anyone or group could detain a criminal. Then the coumity could hold a trial for the criminal which would only consist of a jury wich would consist of any adult(someone physsically and mentally capable of taking car of themselves) who chose to be a part of a jury; they would discuss punishment and vote. This is how all decisions would be made.Also the the idea of no land ownership or money would hinder anyones greedy desires. I would be happy to answer any other questions about this theory.
 
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a jury wich would consist of any adult(someone physsically and mentally capable of taking car of themselves) who chose to be a part of a jury; they would discuss punishment and vote. This is how all decisions would be made.
That's not anarchy that's direct democracy.

I do like the idea of limiting the franchise to people who are taking care of themselves.
 
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