Stability of anarchy.

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  • #1
vanesch
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Let's continue here, Smurf.
 

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  • #2
vanesch
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My point was that the lack of state structure, proposed by different flavors of anarchism, suffers from an inherent instability, which is that a relatively small group of people who decide to "put their means of violence in common" (= to me the core essence of a state structure) will be able to dominate the anarchaic society, and turn it into just any of different forms of state structure.

You took as a counter example the Zapatistos. I'm now trying to demonstrate that this IS a state structure because violence IS put in common.
The legislative, executive and juridic functions are all assigned to one body, which is the people's assembly. The "state employees" are just a changing set of members of the group of people. They take on varying functions, such as presiding the people's assembly, organizing the debates, and, that's the point I'm trying to make: eventually use violence in order to make people obey the decisions of the legislative body. There is no qualitative difference with a democracy: the parliament is simply the entire population, the ministers have a term of two weeks, and I guess that the police is just about every armed man willing to follow up on the decisions of the assembly (for instance to go and help oust that bastard polluting the river, and bring him to trial = again the people's assembly).
 
  • #3
Smurf
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Zapatistas. You know, I really can't respond to that, I don't know everything about the Zapatismo ideology. I think you're far over simplifying it. One thing I can point out is that Zapatismo is very much a non-violent so
eventually use violence in order to make people obey the decisions of the legislative body
This would not happen. Besides, using your own logic if the people are the legislative body (which is again an over-simplification) why do they need to use violence to enforce their own decisions? Are they going to disobey themselves?

I really wish I could debate the technicalities of their system, but I really don't know them, I've never been there. Only talked to people who have and my own research on the net.
 
  • #4
Smurf said:
Zapatistas. You know, I really can't respond to that, I don't know everything about the Zapatismo ideology. I think you're far over simplifying it. One thing I can point out is that Zapatismo is very much a non-violent so This would not happen. Besides, using your own logic if the people are the legislative body (which is again an over-simplification) why do they need to use violence to enforce their own decisions? Are they going to disobey themselves?

I really wish I could debate the technicalities of their system, but I really don't know them, I've never been there. Only talked to people who have and my own research on the net.
Smurf, if you're interested here's a link to an article that provides a Marxist critique of the Zapatistas: http://www.wsws.org/articles/2001/apr2001/zapa-a11.shtml

alex
 
  • #6
Smurf
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Heh, of course, the first line easily shows the main difference between their ideologies, the Zapatistas do not wish to overthrow the system. Oddly enough (I knew this, but for some reason didn't make the connection) this makes them rather un-anarchaic as well.
 
  • #7
cragwolf
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The anarchist FAQ is here:

http://www.infoshop.org/faq/

Anarchists have an optimistic view of human beings. I like anarchists, I don't like most human beings.
 
  • #8
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Anarchy never lasts, because gangs take over, therefore creating a "government".
 
  • #9
Smurf
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moose said:
Anarchy never lasts, because gangs take over, therefore creating a "government".
You know he JUST posted the anarchist faq. There's no excuse for this kind of nonsense in the VERY NEXT post.
 
  • #10
vanesch
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moose said:
Anarchy never lasts, because gangs take over, therefore creating a "government".

Yes, that was also the starting point of my argument with Smurf. Apart from being called ignorant, and that this is nonsense, I haven't seen any reasonable argument against it. The examples that have been shown are in fact those of militia where there is some kind of "direct democracy".

I'd like to point out, from the FAQ, to some silly point:
For anarchists, "crime" can best be described as anti-social acts, or behaviour which harms someone else or which invades their personal space. Anarchists argue that the root cause for crime is not some perversity of human nature or "original sin," but is due to the type of society by which people are moulded. For example, anarchists point out that by eliminating private property, crime could be reduced by about 90 percent, since about 90 percent of crime is currently motivated by evils stemming from private property such as poverty, homelessness, unemployment, and alienation. Moreover, by adopting anarchist methods of non-authoritarian child rearing and education, most of the remaining crimes could also be eliminated, because they are largely due to the anti-social, perverse, and cruel "secondary drives" that develop because of authoritarian, pleasure-negative child-rearing practices (See section J.6 -- "What methods of child rearing do anarchists advocate?")

I have family working in the "crime" branch (no, not as criminals, but on the justice part). A LARGE FRACTION OF CRIMINALS are of sexual origin: raping, killing... Most of them are NOT poor people but seem to be average Joe.
 
  • #11
Smurf
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vanesch said:
Yes, that was also the starting point of my argument with Smurf. Apart from being called ignorant, and that this is nonsense, I haven't seen any reasonable argument against it.
I've explained the social structure behind a specific example of an anarcho-communist movement. I don't really know what I'm supposed to be making an argument against. I don't think you've shown me any unique vulnerability short of "If I decide to conquer everyone".
The examples that have been shown are in fact those of militia where there is some kind of "direct democracy".
Yes, anarchists advocate that they are essentially the same thing as democracy. (They make a distinction between republic and democracy.)

I have family working in the "crime" branch (no, not as criminals, but on the justice part). A LARGE FRACTION OF CRIMINALS are of sexual origin: raping, killing... Most of them are NOT poor people but seem to be average Joe.
1. And as a personal viewpoint their 'statistics' are inherently inaccurate.
2. That quote addresses that statement directly.
 
  • #12
vanesch, I don't know, but what you quoted re- causes of crimes seems to make sense to me too, ie. that:
Anarchists argue that the root cause for crime is not some perversity of human nature or "original sin," but is due to the type of society by which people are moulded. For example, anarchists point out that by eliminating private property, crime could be reduced by about 90 percent, since about 90 percent of crime is currently motivated by evils stemming from private property such as poverty, homelessness, unemployment, and alienation.
It always seems to come down to that nature vs. nurture debate, doesn't it? Either one thinks people are inherently evil, or that people are shaped by the environment and the type of society they live in... The latter makes more sense to me.

alex
 
  • #13
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alexandra said:
vanesch, I don't know, but what you quoted re- causes of crimes seems to make sense to me too, ie. that: It always seems to come down to that nature vs. nurture debate, doesn't it? Either one thinks people are inherently evil, or that people are shaped by the environment and the type of society they live in... The latter makes more sense to me.

alex

The idea is to form a stable strategy in the face of the existence of sociopaths who will rob and kill no matter what society is like. Perhaps we should take ideas from the evolutionists who study how species can evolve to resist viruses, who are evolving to improve their attack methods. The Red Queen's Race, they call it; you have to run as fast as you can just to stay in the same place.
 
  • #14
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Did you discuss Noam Chomsky yet?
 
  • #15
Smurf
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cronxeh said:
Did you discuss Noam Chomsky yet?
No. The only example cited so far was Zapatismo. As well as a single reference to the barcelona colony.
 
  • #16
vanesch
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Smurf said:
Yes, anarchists advocate that they are essentially the same thing as democracy. (They make a distinction between republic and democracy.)

It seemed indeed that what you described looked more like a very direct and decentralized form of democracy. But that's still a kind of state structure, with decision-forming institutions and as such with a certain kind of hierarchy ; as such I didn't count that as anarchy, where NO such structure is supposed to be present. The structure you propose IS of course stable against what I said, because there IS a state function with a police force. Only, the state function (the 3 powers) are in the people's assembly, and the police is "all good men willing to take up their arms" to go and do what the people's assembly has decided (voted ?).
In fact it is a democracy without representation (hence DIRECT, without any delegation of powers from the people to a restricted set of persons) and with state agents on a part-time and voluntary basis. You could probably consider it as an extreme form of democracy: the people decide everything and do everything they decide (as a state). I didn't know you could call this anarchism. To me it is just extreme democracy.

EDIT: the reason why I didn't consider this as a form of anarchism is that there IS an authority whose decisions are to be respected by the individual members, and if they don't they might get in trouble with "superior violence", organized by that authority. And I thought that was the essence of what was to be rejected in anarchism.
 
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  • #17
vanesch
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alexandra said:
It always seems to come down to that nature vs. nurture debate, doesn't it? Either one thinks people are inherently evil, or that people are shaped by the environment and the type of society they live in... The latter makes more sense to me.

I think there are many different kinds of people, and their behaviour is partly shaped by the type of society they live in, and partly inherent. I don't think of somebody "evil" or "good", they just have different behaviours and you have to take that into account when thinking about how to model society. I think the main problem many idealists (like communists) have, is that they have also an ideal model of behaviour of human beings, that makes their ideal society work just fine. But you have the whole lot of behaviours in reality (and naming behaviours good or evil are usually more in relationship with whether the behaviour is desired or not in the ideal society model in order to make it work), and overlooking that aspect is what is, in my opinion, the error in all these idealisms.

Let's take communism: communism works super if "people" realise that by making efforts for the common good, everybody will improve and you will live in a fair society where life is good. But that's ignoring 1) that for an individual, who looks for other things in life than the common good, it doesn't really makes much of a difference whether he makes or doesn't make much efforts for the common good. So he can just as well NOT make much efforts ; there's not much that changes for him. 2) Also it ignores the typical human behaviour that we like to rise on the social scale, and commanding to others is always something we like to do (whether we do it good or not). As such, the management structures get full of opportunists, who couldn't care less about the common good, but who prefer ordering others what to do instead of going to work in the factory - even if that is officially for the same salary.

So humans are not "evil" but have a lot of different behaviours, which are only partly inspired by their environment and the society they live in. This statistical mix of behaviours must be taken into account when setting up a new model of society.
 
  • #18
Smurf
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vanesch said:
It seemed indeed that what you described looked more like a very direct and decentralized form of democracy.
... I'm not sure if I would agree with that. What exactly does that form of democracy look like outside of anarchism? There is no other ideology I know of that promotes such a structure.

But that's still a kind of state structure, with decision-forming institutions and as such with a certain kind of hierarchy ; as such I didn't count that as anarchy, where NO such structure is supposed to be present.
Anarchists make a distinction between the dictionary term anarchy, meaning: chaos, disorder, confusion and lack of political structure/authority, with the ideological term anarchism, and it's many flavors which do not advocate the complete destruction of structure and authority, merely the destruction of (what is viewed as) destructive hierarchy.

Most anarchists would view Zapatismo as not a state structure and not containing a destructive hierarchy because, even if you do view a junta system as being hierarchial, everything is directly accountable to the lowest level - the people.

The structure you propose IS of course stable against what I said, because there IS a state function with a police force.
Again, they do not view this as a state structure because there is no supreme power over any aspect of an individual except for himself and any other individual.

You view it as a state structure by changing the definition of a state to you're 'collective violence' phenomena, which I'm not sure is even applicable to Zapatismo. That's your view and you're entitled to it, however it doesn't change the de facto principles of the Zapatismo ideology.

to go and do what the people's assembly has decided (voted ?).
Voting is not really viewed as a constructive solution to a problem, as it always leaves out a minority.

In fact it is a democracy without representation (hence DIRECT, without any delegation of powers from the people to a restricted set of persons) and with state agents on a part-time and voluntary basis. You could probably consider it as an extreme form of democracy: the people decide everything and do everything they decide (as a state).
That's a fair analogy.
I didn't know you could call this anarchism. To me it is just extreme democracy.
You say tom-a-toe, I say tom-ay-toe. Like I said earlier, anarchists often consider themselves real democrats as they follow the literal meaning of the word democracy (people-rule) far more closely than the republic we have now, which is viewed as effectively "choosing your dictator".

EDIT: the reason why I didn't consider this as a form of anarchism is that there IS an authority whose decisions are to be respected by the individual members, and if they don't they might get in trouble with "superior violence", organized by that authority. And I thought that was the essence of what was to be rejected in anarchism.
See above I guess.
 
  • #19
oldunion
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Good thread. I will direct those interested in communism to the epistemology division of PF, there is a thread there about bob avakian and communism.

First let me say im coming from a communist/socialist/syndicalist/anarchist view, i am still analyzing them all to find a common ground i can agree on.

Capitalism: in the system which is the usa, aside from the obvious monetary regimentation, bigotry, racism, discrimination, close-mindedness, and many other things contrary to natural progression are commonplace- they are advocated by the system.

With the abolishment of private property and established heirarchy, the grounds for racism, most crime (as stated), military, propoganda and mind conditioning, and all things meant to make a society of like-minded people, all these things are gone.

If the means for creating capitalist ventures were truely abolished, if nothing was taboo, then what would gangsters thrive on? Imperialism breeds "sheople" who would just as much stand aside than advocate confrontation.

In a society without bounds, people would become collectively powerful, neighborhood watch wouldnt be calling the police and waiting to see what happens, it would be collectively investigating an issue.

Education is huge. If education was based purely on scientifc fact, un-corrupted by establishments of any kind (religion, capitalism, imperialism, social fraternities and groups), then people would naturally be less inclined to accept a dog eat dog mentality; if you dont stand to gain capital by sabotaging your fellow man, you stand to gain collectively.

There will be people who have mental problems. proper communal raising of children would help to lessen the negative effects of these people, because its harder to regress and help someone with issues, who do not have the ability to deal with them. Regardless, some individuals could still be a threat, such is life, but isolation is not the answer.

My overall theme here is that with the abolishment of just about everything that stands in social structure and government today, nearly all problems would be eliminated. This seems ideologic, but it really is a matter of reason and logic that i come to these conclusions. The one thing that gets me every time when someone wants to say something about communism, is that they think they know everything about how people normally act; i am a firm believer in the goodness of man, who has been subject to the insanities and chaos of a self destructive society.


However, i dont believe this is possible in the current world. Primarily because of people who cannot think for themselves, and people who are easily impressionable, closeminded, or otherwise unwilling to accept two sides to a situation. People like this would fight and die for the system, without truely understanding what their role in it ever was. I believe a critical point is on the brink of being reached in the world today, especially the usa, and it will be a battle of reason.
 
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  • #20
Smurf
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I don't think the world is ready for anarchism (so to speak). Eventually I think we'll reach something very similar, but right now we're still evolving into democracy, any other revolutions/reformations are bound to fail in the near future. (however that does not mean they shouldn't be attempted, prototypes are vital to the progression of a healthy society)
 
  • #21
oldunion
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Smurf said:
I don't think the world is ready for anarchism (so to speak). Eventually I think we'll reach something very similar, but right now we're still evolving into democracy, any other revolutions/reformations are bound to fail in the near future. (however that does not mean they shouldn't be attempted, prototypes are vital to the progression of a healthy society)

I think the world is absolutely ready in the sense of need and intellectual capacity. However, the world is not capable as yet, unless the imperialism and absolute power of establishment was taken down with ruthless force. Until <this happens, people will remain duped.

I dont think a peaceful transition of western culture can be made into one of intellect and sensibility. I dont think people realize how dangerous capitalism is, and how it corrupts the minds of people, who otherwise could have the potential to reason.

No, the end to imperialist ventures and capitalist nations will be violent and there will be no mistaking it when it is upon us.
 
  • #22
vanesch said:
Let's take communism: communism works super if "people" realise that by making efforts for the common good, everybody will improve and you will live in a fair society where life is good. But that's ignoring 1) that for an individual, who looks for other things in life than the common good, it doesn't really makes much of a difference whether he makes or doesn't make much efforts for the common good. So he can just as well NOT make much efforts ; there's not much that changes for him. 2) Also it ignores the typical human behaviour that we like to rise on the social scale, and commanding to others is always something we like to do (whether we do it good or not). As such, the management structures get full of opportunists, who couldn't care less about the common good, but who prefer ordering others what to do instead of going to work in the factory - even if that is officially for the same salary.
Ok, vanesch - but I have some counter-arguments for your consideration.

Regarding your first point: what if the objective situation is such that the common good coincides with the individual good, and everyone knows this (because this is the social environment they are brought up in - they are taught, from a very young age, that what is good for individuals coincides with what is good for the community). What if the social environment is such that your needs would not be met if you did not 'put in' to your community? Also, what if children were brought up in an environment where they were taught that the 'highest good is to do the best you can for everyone in your community' and where it is considered a shame to be lazy? This question is not far-fetched: we currently live in a society that teaches people not to worry about anyone but 'number one', ie. to be individualists. It teaches our children that they would be stupid to worry about anyone else (to be a 'softy liberal'). These are attitudes our children learn from the social environment they are brought up in, not so?

Regarding your second point: I would question whether it is a 'typical' characteristic of humans to want to be in positions of power, commanding others. If this is the case, I am seriously weird. I have, on at least three occasions, been offered managerial positions (at a higher salary, and where I would be 'managing/ordering people about' rather than doing). I have refused these offers - have, in fact, had to fend them off (I'm going through another bout of avoiding being forced to change my position at work right now). I have no desire to manage people - I like what I'm doing and I know I am better at doing this than at managing people. I have, I believe, personally developed beyond the point where I am motivated by external rewards like status and salary - my motivation is instrinsic: do I like what I'm doing? Am I good at it? 'Yes' to the first question and, I believe (hope), 'yes' to the second. So I don't think humans are necessarily power-hungry; again, I understand the desire for power and the status obtained from certain jobs defined as being hierarchically superior as a trait that is developed in particular social environments.

vanesch said:
So humans are not "evil" but have a lot of different behaviours, which are only partly inspired by their environment and the society they live in. This statistical mix of behaviours must be taken into account when setting up a new model of society.
I agree with you and others who have noted that there is probably a small percentage of people who are, indeed, genetically sociopathic - but these outliers would just have to be dealt with in some way. In the absence of solid scientific evidence either way, I'll have to also agree with your idea of a 'statistical mix of behaviours' - it's just that I put a lot more weighting on environmental influences than I do on natural behaviours.
 
  • #23
oldunion said:
My overall theme here is that with the abolishment of just about everything that stands in social structure and government today, nearly all problems would be eliminated. This seems ideologic, but it really is a matter of reason and logic that i come to these conclusions. The one thing that gets me every time when someone wants to say something about communism, is that they think they know everything about how people normally act; i am a firm believer in the goodness of man, who has been subject to the insanities and chaos of a self destructive society.
Well put, oldunion. I agree with you that capitalism is an insane, chaotic and, most importantly, self-destructive social system. Those who hold capitalism up as an ideal system assume it can achieve infinite economic 'growth'. Capitalism does certainly increase the wealth of the few, and obscenely so. But the ideology of capitalism lies that 'all' can get rich - a contradiction in itself, as for the few to be rich, by definition the many *must* be poor (after all, how does one define 'rich' if not in juxtaposition to its opposite, 'poor'?). And capitalist ideology illogically asserts that this infinite growth and prosperity for all can be achieved in a world that is bound by finite resources - what utter rubbish. I truly fail to see these 'self-evident logics' of capitalism.
oldunion said:
However, i dont believe this is possible in the current world. Primarily because of people who cannot think for themselves, and people who are easily impressionable, closeminded, or otherwise unwilling to accept two sides to a situation. People like this would fight and die for the system, without truely understanding what their role in it ever was.
Unfortunately, the propaganda machine seems to have done its job very well (and continues to fool people every day). This is not surprising since so many institutions (the media, the education system, religious organisations) work together to obscure what is real from the view of the common person. It is so sad that, as you say, people fight and die for a system they have no understanding of, a system that is against their own interests - what a waste!
oldunion said:
I believe a critical point is on the brink of being reached in the world today, especially the usa, and it will be a battle of reason.
I have been hearing and reading more and more reports of the 'civil war' situation building up in the USA. There is even some evidence of it on these discussion boards. History tells us that major social upheavals have happened in the past - perhaps we are on the brink of another? It will be interesting to see how things unfold.
 
  • #24
oldunion
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alexandra said:
Well put, oldunion. I agree with you that capitalism is an insane, chaotic and, most importantly, self-destructive social system. Those who hold capitalism up as an ideal system assume it can achieve infinite economic 'growth'. Capitalism does certainly increase the wealth of the few, and obscenely so. But the ideology of capitalism lies that 'all' can get rich - a contradiction in itself, as for the few to be rich, by definition the many *must* be poor (after all, how does one define 'rich' if not in juxtaposition to its opposite, 'poor'?). And capitalist ideology illogically asserts that this infinite growth and prosperity for all can be achieved in a world that is bound by finite resources - what utter rubbish. I truly fail to see these 'self-evident logics' of capitalism.

Those are some very strong statements against capitalism, anyone who subscribes to reason should be able to see the inherent contradiction. What may take some extrapolation is what happens after resources are gone, and after capitalism has succeeded, so to speak. Inevitably a fascism must develop, wherein the controllers of wealth will furiously oppress those without it, blatently and by force. Industry will be frail because the lower classes can no longer afford to buy what is made by the rich, only the rich will buy what they make. This will alienate the lower classes, who will at this point be living in hell and for some time prior to this.

alexandra said:
Unfortunately, the propaganda machine seems to have done its job very well (and continues to fool people every day). This is not surprising since so many institutions (the media, the education system, religious organisations) work together to obscure what is real from the view of the common person. It is so sad that, as you say, people fight and die for a system they have no understanding of, a system that is against their own interests - what a waste!

Indeed, a senseless waste in our eyes, a success for those who run the people like marionettes. It is one of the most frustrating things to see and hear this in effect. unfortunately it has a lot to do with intelligence, but primarily it is focused on a very very successful social engineering project. Im thankful everyday that i was raised as i was so that i can have the jump on events when they occur.

alexandra said:
I have been hearing and reading more and more reports of the 'civil war' situation building up in the USA. There is even some evidence of it on these discussion boards. History tells us that major social upheavals have happened in the past - perhaps we are on the brink of another? It will be interesting to see how things unfold.

I know, im making preperations for my survival and the survival of those close to me, as well as embarking on a campaign to make people aware on my campus.

I know people dont put credibility in John Titor, im not sure how much i do either, but read through his predictions regarding politics, there are three which struck a chill. Especially one which mentioned that "2008 will be a year when people realize the world they knew was over," or something to that effect, i couldnt make sense of it until today i realized that that would be the year Bush's term would be over.

This is another site, which is quite far fetched ill agree, but just read the news because it is not opinion. Its a collection of some of the best news ive read.
http://www.conspiracyarchive.com/News/
 
  • #25
selfAdjoint
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No revolution was ever successful where the old regime didn't collapse under its own contradictions. The king of France was no longer able to govern due to overwhelming debt, so he summoned the Estates, whose deliberations gradually came under the sway of revolutionary leaders. Likewise the Tsar's regime collapsed due to losses in world war one, and the allegedly democratic Duma wasn't up to the job of governing. Lenin essentially just walked in and took over against no opposition. The "counter-revolution" didn't start till later.
 
  • #26
Smurf
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oldunion said:
I dont think a peaceful transition of western culture can be made into one of intellect and sensibility. I dont think people realize how dangerous capitalism is, and how it corrupts the minds of people, who otherwise could have the potential to reason.
Consider this oldunion. Science right now, is progressing at an incredible rate, even now it is beyond the capability of most of our population to understand the more advanced theories. Consider the possibility that science as we know it, namely physics, is approaching the point where were the vast majority of our population will not be able to comprehend it - let alone invest in it. If this point is reached, where will our resources go that are currently now being built into a strong science-technology education system? My hope is that they would go towards social sciences, and we will begin to see the fundamental problems with our current systems and attempt to improve those and our understanding of society. Perhapse if we educate everybody in a few perspectives of sociology, like we educate them on fundamental physics in highschool, the main populace will be capable of looking at our society critically and initiating a peacefull reformation from what we have now (let's call it capitalism) to something else more constructive, be it socialism, anarchism or what have you.
 
  • #27
Smurf
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alexandra said:
Regarding your second point: I would question whether it is a 'typical' characteristic of humans to want to be in positions of power, commanding others. If this is the case, I am seriously weird. I have, on at least three occasions, been offered managerial positions (at a higher salary, and where I would be 'managing/ordering people about' rather than doing). I have refused these offers - have, in fact, had to fend them off (I'm going through another bout of avoiding being forced to change my position at work right now). I have no desire to manage people - I like what I'm doing and I know I am better at doing this than at managing people. I have, I believe, personally developed beyond the point where I am motivated by external rewards like status and salary - my motivation is instrinsic: do I like what I'm doing? Am I good at it? 'Yes' to the first question and, I believe (hope), 'yes' to the second. So I don't think humans are necessarily power-hungry; again, I understand the desire for power and the status obtained from certain jobs defined as being hierarchically superior as a trait that is developed in particular social environments.
It's interesting, my sociological professor showed us some stats the other day that something like 80-90% of university students go to university to get a better (paid) job. I found this somewhat surprising, I am going to university purely because I find the courses I'm taking (except english) to be fascinating. I don't actually think about my future at all, I just really really like what I'm doing right now, which is learning.
 
  • #28
TheStatutoryApe
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Alexadra said:
Regarding your first point: what if the objective situation is such that the common good coincides with the individual good, and everyone knows this (because this is the social environment they are brought up in - they are taught, from a very young age, that what is good for individuals coincides with what is good for the community). What if the social environment is such that your needs would not be met if you did not 'put in' to your community? Also, what if children were brought up in an environment where they were taught that the 'highest good is to do the best you can for everyone in your community' and where it is considered a shame to be lazy? This question is not far-fetched: we currently live in a society that teaches people not to worry about anyone but 'number one', ie. to be individualists. It teaches our children that they would be stupid to worry about anyone else (to be a 'softy liberal'). These are attitudes our children learn from the social environment they are brought up in, not so?
Sorry but Skinner Boxing doesn't work. You can't make perfect people.

Alexadra said:
Regarding your second point: I would question whether it is a 'typical' characteristic of humans to want to be in positions of power, commanding others. If this is the case, I am seriously weird. I have, on at least three occasions, been offered managerial positions (at a higher salary, and where I would be 'managing/ordering people about' rather than doing). I have refused these offers - have, in fact, had to fend them off (I'm going through another bout of avoiding being forced to change my position at work right now). I have no desire to manage people - I like what I'm doing and I know I am better at doing this than at managing people. I have, I believe, personally developed beyond the point where I am motivated by external rewards like status and salary - my motivation is instrinsic: do I like what I'm doing? Am I good at it? 'Yes' to the first question and, I believe (hope), 'yes' to the second. So I don't think humans are necessarily power-hungry; again, I understand the desire for power and the status obtained from certain jobs defined as being hierarchically superior as a trait that is developed in particular social environments.
It is enharent in natural social structures. Not every person wants to be a leader but there are those that do. There are also those that want to be followers. And there are those that don't want to be either.

I'm not a full blown advocate of either nature or nurture. I think they both play roughly even into the way societies and individuals work.
 
  • #29
loseyourname
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
1,802
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How exactly did a discussion of anarchy become a discussion of socialism? The two are opposed to each other. The strongest advocates of anything approaching true anarchy are libertarian capitalists.
 
  • #30
Smurf
396
3
TheStatutoryApe said:
Sorry but Skinner Boxing doesn't work. You can't make perfect people.
What about better people?
 
  • #31
oldunion
182
0
Smurf said:
Consider this oldunion. Science right now, is progressing at an incredible rate, even now it is beyond the capability of most of our population to understand the more advanced theories. Consider the possibility that science as we know it, namely physics, is approaching the point where were the vast majority of our population will not be able to comprehend it - let alone invest in it. If this point is reached, where will our resources go that are currently now being built into a strong science-technology education system? My hope is that they would go towards social sciences, and we will begin to see the fundamental problems with our current systems and attempt to improve those and our understanding of society. Perhapse if we educate everybody in a few perspectives of sociology, like we educate them on fundamental physics in highschool, the main populace will be capable of looking at our society critically and initiating a peacefull reformation from what we have now (let's call it capitalism) to something else more constructive, be it socialism, anarchism or what have you.


I just read about this, its called reformism. Which is basically using the current system to go through reforms of a beneficial nature. This is my my eyes not possible, many socialists have also frowned upon it. Your scenario sounds nice, but do you think it would honestly ever happen in the usa? Understanding the complexities of government isnt easy either, physics and sociology are both advanced studies; the problem arises in sociology, however, because people think they know how it works and they can pretty much convince themselves of such because hardly anyone else knows it to its advanced state either.

Humans are just about as smart as they were before civilization. There are many people who can understand physics and sociology, however advanced it may be; but it is a shortcoming of the education system and society that prevents the absolute support of free thought and intelligent demeanors.

Communism for example. Go poll 1000 people about what they think of communism and see how many dont answer with the words soviet, murder, oppression, disfunctional, impossible, or some clone thereof. Try and explain to them politely how they are wrong, either you will most likely be snubbed or they will be indifferent- which is the greatest evil in the world today, indifference.

selfadjoint said:
Likewise the Tsar's regime collapsed due to losses in world war one, and the allegedly democratic Duma wasn't up to the job of governing. Lenin essentially just walked in and took over against no opposition. The "counter-revolution" didn't start till later.

The Czarist regime collapsed for contradictions within its own system, as soon as organized resistance formed, the Czar and his goons were done. The Czar withdrew from world war one, revolution at home doesnt make for good policy abroad in war time :cool:. Lenin was in exile at the time and made a strong point of not instigating revolution because he feared his numbers were too small to fight the police; women took to the streets to protest food i think it was, and that was the start of the revolution.

The power of the workers can be illustrated by their ability to survive, despite being invaded by 3 countries, blockaded from goods which forced the people to return to the country side for work, and insurrection at home; despite this the workers prevailed. Where i firmly believe they failed was that Trotsky's theory on Permanent Revolution was not realized by the world; with sister revolutions crushed, it was only a matter of time until fascism took hold and the dream of a russian worker nation was done.

Id like to write a book one day on a system not motivated by monetary gains, but by fraternity, self betterment, and intellectual advancement into new planes of thought and awareness. Id call it the dream of words.

I only call myself a socialist because its impossible to go from capitalism to syndicalism, its like a canal with a serious of channels...you go from one to the next, but you cant skip a step. capitalism must yield to socialism and then more liberal organizations can take shape.

Its not even about what the country is called or what system it uses, its about humanity getting to a point where people no longer have any fear of anything, where intellect could be unbounded to transgress all planes of thought, where humanities greatest successes would be realized. Its about doing what it takes to get to this level of awarness, so much of what society focuses on right now would be defunct and absurd.
 
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  • #32
Smurf
396
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oldunion said:
Your scenario sounds nice, but do you think it would honestly ever happen in the usa?
Ah, you see I don't always factor the USA into my thoughts. I don't really see it as being an important player in the future of politics. India and China are going to over take the USA technologically and industrial in the near future, and I think that Europe will over take them soon as well. Any advances in reforming the current system and developing alternate theories will happen in Europe, possibly some in Asia too, I think.

Humans are just about as smart as they were before civilization. There are many people who can understand physics and sociology, however advanced it may be; but it is a shortcoming of the education system and society that prevents the absolute support of free thought and intelligent demeanors.
Which is why, I think we need to re-organize society to give education and intelligence greater priority in it.

Communism for example. Go poll 1000 people about what they think of communism and see how many dont answer with the words soviet, murder, oppression, disfunctional, impossible, or some clone thereof.
In America maybe, everywhere else it tends to be "Won't work because people are greedy" (word for word usually), mind you we have our bits of red scare as well.
 
  • #33
TheStatutoryApe
260
4
Smurf said:
What about better people?
One way or another you are trying to break down a person's natural inclinations, from birth, and brainwash them into being what you (or whom ever) wants them to be. Is this ethical? And what happens if the brainwashing doesn't take, are they now a second class citizen because they don't believe what you believe? It seems to me that this will only put the shoe of the pariah on the other foot.

oldunion said:
Id like to write a book one day on a system not motivated by monetary gains, but by fraternity, self betterment, and intellectual advancement into new planes of thought and awareness. Id call it the dream of words.
What about those that don't care much for their "brothers", haven't any desire to improve themselves, and have no interest in intellectual persuits. Again, are these to be second class citizens? The average person isn't terribly bright and has little interest in anything other than enjoying their life. If that means swilling beer and watching sports while sitting on the sofa are you going to begrudge them that? Will their persuits be looked down upon or will they be given all the strength of encouragement that any others receive? Will the quality of their life suffer because the "state" doesn't approve of their life style?
 
  • #34
oldunion
182
0
TheStatutoryApe said:
One way or another you are trying to break down a person's natural inclinations, from birth, and brainwash them into being what you (or whom ever) wants them to be. Is this ethical? And what happens if the brainwashing doesn't take, are they now a second class citizen because they don't believe what you believe? It seems to me that this will only put the shoe of the pariah on the other foot.


What about those that don't care much for their "brothers", haven't any desire to improve themselves, and have no interest in intellectual persuits. Again, are these to be second class citizens? The average person isn't terribly bright and has little interest in anything other than enjoying their life. If that means swilling beer and watching sports while sitting on the sofa are you going to begrudge them that? Will their persuits be looked down upon or will they be given all the strength of encouragement that any others receive? Will the quality of their life suffer because the "state" doesn't approve of their life style?


Well i think the discovery of how a truely perfect system would work, would be as great as the harnessing of electricity. Im not saying it isnt syndicalism or communism, im saying that in such a system, no one has explained thoroughly how it would work beyond all doubt. I do not believe that such a thing is entirely possible either, which is why a red system would be based on struggle, but beneficial struggle- not struggle based on say class or race.

i cannot stress enough how different a society would be, you cant liken it to anything we know now. As stated previously in this thread i believe, laziness would still be frowned upon, and laziness is also very much a product of capitalism.

Work hard all your life, all the while benefiting a few elite, so that in the end you will have worked yourself to death so you can buy nice things to show your glamour and complete hegemony over people of lower class. So you can sit back and watch sports on tv all day because you have amassed a fortune, and now it is acceptable to enjoy the world and be lazy if you want.

The difference is that now, i see lazy people who have money and i frown upon them but they get away with it; in a red society, they would be frowned upon, and they would not get away with it.

But even my example above is rediculous and pointless if one takes a philosophical viewpoint, because again, society would be different. i cant calculate or theorize how different it would be. I do believe there would be something for everyone to become passionate about, whether it was intellectualism, mysticism, food production, science, technology, education, literally anything. It is about the beneficial struggle between all these types of people that will yield a successful society, not the regimentation of them.

Smurf: Im not so sure America will wade away into the dark seas of time, the death of a beast is often violent and long in the making.

China is headed to dominance, i havent heard about india...thats interesting though ill investigate.
 
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  • #35
Smurf
396
3
TheStatutoryApe said:
One way or another you are trying to break down a person's natural inclinations,
I question this statement. What evidence is there to support your claim (implied claim in the argument) that altruism is unnatural for humans?
from birth, and brainwash them into being what you (or whom ever) wants them to be. Is this ethical?
Humans are affected by their enviroment. This is a repeatable, observable, demonstratable scientific fact. A person is affected in a fundamental way, by the enviroment they grow up in. I guess you could call it brainwashing, but it's unavoidable in any society. We are not advocating any form of intense, forcible indoctrination of our beliefs, merely to create a social structure (and thus, enviroment) that we believe will create more altruistic, healthy persons.
And what happens if the brainwashing doesn't take, are they now a second class citizen because they don't believe what you believe? It seems to me that this will only put the shoe of the pariah on the other foot.
In anarchism there is no distinction between a 'citizen' and a 'non-citizen', let a lone levels of importance, nor is there are recognized 'class' function.
In socialism, it is whatever the state decides. We would hope that such would not happen, but these problems will undoubtably occur from time to time, as they do currently.

What about those that don't care much for their "brothers", haven't any desire to improve themselves, and have no interest in intellectual persuits.
They can do what they want I guess... Why?
Not everyone is going to be a full time intellectual, that would be ridiculous. We are merely shifting the current paradigms in human behaviour by altering the enviroment. Hopefully on something less focused towards the pursuit of material and sexual possessions.

Again, are these to be second class citizens?
You've asked this once before and I'm confused. You know that by socialism, by definition, is all about destroying classes, right? Why is it that you assume, merely because we want to encourage different aspects of humanity by a different social structure, that we will create some sort of oppressive caste system?

The average person isn't terribly bright and has little interest in anything other than enjoying their life. If that means swilling beer and watching sports while sitting on the sofa are you going to begrudge them that?
That's where we disagree, and I think I can convince you why you're wrong, let me explain:
A study of twins that grew up in different enviroments (one in nazi germany and joined the hitler youth, the other that grew up a jew in trinidad) showed that, after they had been reunited in 1949 or something, their mannerisms were almost identical. They both dipped butter toast in their tea, they both had a habit of falling asleep in front of the TV, they both liked spicy foods and sweet liqueurs, and "think it's funny to sneeze in a crowd of strangers", ect. However, their world views, and general demeanors were completely different (and understandably). The former nazi was a hardline traditionalist, the Jew was a liberal quite accepting of feminism. The former nazi was very fond of leisurely activities, while the Jew was a workaholic, ect.

Babies are born with blank minds. The enviroment they grow up in determines what fills those minds. No matter who your father and mother are, that will not change. The idea that people only worry about their own happiness is a fallacy, as that can be quite dependant on what they learned throughout their life.

Will their persuits be looked down upon or will they be given all the strength of encouragement that any others receive?
What is socialism if not this? That system which advocates equality almost above anything else. Of course they will! That's exactly the argument capitalists are using against socialism, that they don't want to do that.
Will the quality of their life suffer because the "state" doesn't approve of their life style?
No. :grumpy:
 

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