Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

News The What does Smurf think? thread.

  1. Nov 29, 2005 #1
    The "What does Smurf think?" thread.

    This thread is all about what Smurf, my favorite anti-statist on this board, thinks. Specifically, about what would happen were "the state" abolished.

    First off, is your version of anti-statism pretty self explanatory? Is anti-statism the same thing as total anarchy?

    Secondly, were the state abolished, what do you think would happen? It's one thing to dislike what a particular state does, or what states do as a whole, but I'd like to see you make the case that the total absence of all states would lead to a better situation than you currently have.

    Take your time, please, develop a well-thought-out manifesto if you will. Touch all your bases, try to make it as complete as possible. I realize you're big on how bad states are, and it's certainly easy to point out all the negative things about states. But try to postulate what would happen in a world without any states instead of point out the negative aspects of states and simply say that the absence of states would lead to the absence of said negative aspects.

    Some basic problems I'd like to see you provide an answer for are:

    1) Without a state, there presumably wouldn't be money. How would people get the goods and services they need/want without money?

    2) Without a state, how would individuals be sure that they could keep the goods they do obtain? That is, how can you be sure someone with a weapon won't just take your food or clothing?

    3) Without a state, there wouldn't be police or a military. How would people's general security be assured? What would be stopping someone from killing/enslaving others if he had enough weaponry/mercenaries?

    4) In the absence of a state, what would stop some form of state from arising? What if another state arose in the absence of the previously abolished state?

    I appreciate any time you might put into this,

    P.S. Just to reiterate, please, try to stay away from stating all the wrongs and evils of a state. Just because a state infringes upon people's liberties and kills people, it doesn't mean that in the absence of a state that things would necessarily get better.
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2005
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 29, 2005 #2
    Woohoo! I've always wanted an "All about me" thread. :smile:
  4. Nov 29, 2005 #3
    So to apease your fans, will you take the time to write your Smurfist Manifesto?
  5. Nov 29, 2005 #4
    You really, are just so cute. :smile:
  6. Nov 29, 2005 #5
    I was thinking about what if someone started a thread about smurf today! O.O

    Anyway, Smurf....... why do you hate voting, believe in anarchy, and hate everything that I dont hate O.O
  7. Nov 29, 2005 #6
    The Smurfist Manifesto

    Okay I've written a good part already and copied it into a text document. I'll write more later, I'm going to a show.
  8. Nov 29, 2005 #7
    I know the truth and try to live ethically.
  9. Nov 29, 2005 #8


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    *clap clap clap*

    if smurf weren't here.... itd be such a boring world... *tear*...
  10. Nov 29, 2005 #9
    Stop thinking about sex!
  11. Nov 29, 2005 #10
    Who's Smurf?
  12. Nov 30, 2005 #11
    Smurf, perhaps when you've completed your treatise/manifesto/whatever, you should start a new thread, so people know to talk about your topic specifically, instead of just talking about you.

    Unless, of course, all you really wanted to get through anti-statism was some attention. :biggrin:
  13. Nov 30, 2005 #12
    Ouch.. freud :biggrin:
    I would watch out or papa smurf will be a knocking on yer door :rofl:
  14. Nov 30, 2005 #13


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    A thread about smurf?:bugeyes: Why doesn't it have a poll? :tongue2:
  15. Nov 30, 2005 #14

    Math Is Hard

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    :uhh: umm.. because it would only contain one person's responses? The thread is about what Smurf thinks, not what everybody thinks about what Smurf thinks.. I think..
  16. Nov 30, 2005 #15
    sex isn't unethical.
  17. Nov 30, 2005 #16
    yeah, try telling that that to the girls I've dated... oh wait
  18. Dec 1, 2005 #17
    So Smurf, what's going on, are you still polishing it up or have you abandoned your ideals?
  19. Dec 1, 2005 #18
    yes, I'm still writing it, I'll post a little bit of it this evening. It'll give you lot something to complain about while i write the rest.
  20. Dec 2, 2005 #19
    The Smurfish Manifesto, Chapter 1

    On the Rejection of Anarchy:
    Anarchy, in the political sense, is the rejection of the state. No more, no less. It is an umbrella term. A friend of mine said to me the other day that he didn't think Anarchy could work. My response was to point out that (since we're both philosophers that tend to work in formal logic) such a statement didn't really make sense. Anarchy per se is not a solution. It is merely the rejection of the state. Thus, the only way to say that Anarchy "won't work" is to (as opposed to attacking the feasibility of Anarchy) defend the state, and prove that it is absolutely necessary. Since there are numerous historical examples where there was no recognizable "state" institution (there are various definitions of the state) I contend that this can not be proven.
    This does not, however, mean that arguments can not be made against specific political theories that incorporate Anarchism or specific branches or Anarchism such as Punk-Anarchy or Anarcho-Syndicalism. These are actually providing a culture or proposed way to organize society that does not involve a state, and so, can be attacked.

    Definitions of Anarchy:
    As stated above, Anarchy is the rejection of the state. I am not aware how that term came about, except that Proudhon was the first person to call himself an "Anarchist" and that his philosophy revolved around the rejection of the state. Other "Anarchists" after him developed many different theories but kept the name "Anarchy" and it does not any longer refer specifically to Proudhonians but is a general umbrella term for any ideology that rejects the state.
    This is different from the dictionary definition of Anarchy which, if you look it up, will probably say something like "Disorder, Chaos, Lack of Organization, Lack of any cohesive principle, etc". This is irrelevant to the political Anarchist's ideology.

    A Moral Argument:
    I do not claim to have a "version" of Anarchy, per se. I have ideas, but do not align myself strongly with any version of Anarchy. I probably identify most with some form of Anarcho-Syndicalism, Anarcho-Communism and Primitivism.
    My reason for rejecting the state is on a purely moral basis. I am a Libertarian and thus, a Humanitarian. I believe all humans should be free, and believe that the idea of freedom automatically implies at least a limited form of human well-being and welfare (welfare being health, happiness, ect., not government programs). The state, and all other "destructive hierarchies", are in direct conflict any degree of realisation for these goals.
  21. Dec 2, 2005 #20
    I know that only really addressed one of the things you asked, I am very busy, this is just to wet your appetite and to touch on some other things I wanted to say.
  22. Dec 2, 2005 #21
    Again, I'd suggest when you're completely done you just start a new thread.

    I'd like to really see you elaborate why you prefer Anarchy to any state, and what you think would happen were Anarchy established. If you don't think Anarchy needs to "work", or satisfy any goals, than do you believe that life for the majority of people could become far worse under Anarchy? What end would abolishment of the state satisfy, if any?
  23. Dec 2, 2005 #22


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Smurf has said pretty explicitly before that anarchy could/does "work" - and that's the part I'm most interested in: how, specifically, "anarchy" can provide a functional, stable, prosperous society. That and how it would happen.
  24. Dec 3, 2005 #23
    What I'm really interested in is to hear an argument that the state is actually necessary. Or at the very least an argument that the burden of proof is on my to prove that it isn't. I mean, seeing the number of people that just assume that the state is completely necessary, I'd love to see this logic gap that I'm apparently missing which everyone else takes for granted.

    I see no reason why I have to justify my moral arguments, which are completely valid, by providing a "solution" or some form of improvement. I reject the state on moral arguments which I have posted many times on this board. They are valid and logical, they are not disproven because I don't suggest an alternative. I have rarely even seen attempts to refute them, it seems the only argument against anarchy is this assumption that it doesn't work.
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2005
  25. Dec 3, 2005 #24
    Although this is Smurf's thread, I would like to add something as a libertarian socialist and anti-statist. I support democratic socialism as a means to achieve such an end. Anti-statism, in my opinion, is the opposition to a mandatory state. Anti-statism supports collectives, groups of people who voluntarily join together by common interest. For a simplified explanation, you are not born into state. You have the option of joining an organization, a collective or a syndicate.

    From wikipedia, "The basic philosophy of libertarian socialism is summed up in the name: management of the common good (socialism) in a manner that attempts to maximize the liberty of individuals and minimizes concentration of power or authority (libertarianism). It attempts to achieve this through the decentralization of political and economic power, usually involving the collectivization of most large-scale property and enterprise. Libertarian socialism denies the legitimacy of most forms of economically significant private property, since when private property becomes capital, it leads to the exploitation of others with less economic means and thus infringes on the exploited class's individual freedoms."

    Anti-statism is a commitment to the abolishment of a mandatory and corrupt institution. Some people are against the state because of its flaws; however, they may also support a democratically reached change over time (evolutionary not revolutionist). In short, what will replace the state will develop as the state slowly degenerates.

    I don't believe Smurf has the burden of proof. His philosophy, as far as I can interpret, believes that state is a corrupt institution that must be abolished. I believe an alternative solution to the state can be reached through collectives or syndicates, though I am not certain on this. I do know, however, that the state is unsuccessful at working towards the ideals I hold true; therefore, it must be abolished.

    The argument against anarchism is found in proving that the state works or is necessary, as Smurf has stated. It does not work to my satisfaction - it may work for some. Why am I forced into a mandatory state? Anti-statism is essential the to achievement of a truly liberal society.
  26. Dec 3, 2005 #25
    I thought you had kinda agreed to lay out a detailed thing of what you believe/why you believe it would be good. Sure you've said bits and pieces of it all over, but it's hard to get an actual idea of what you believe from random bits and pieces of threads.

    There are reasons that the burden of proof is on you, but you don't necessarily need to proove yourself, I was just asking for an elaboration of what you believed and why you believed it, because I haven't really seen any concrete reasons for it besides that the state was bad. All I've seen from you is an attack on the state, and suggestions that the abolishment of the state would lead to the absence of these problems, but no real justification for those claims.

    You just stated that your ideas are logical and valid, but I have very little idea what they are, and for what reason I should accept them as logical and valid.

    I believe the reason most people accept the state as a given was best summed up by James Madison when he said, "If men were angels, no government would be necessary." The reason I asked you to explain how you think a society without any state would function is because men simply aren't angels. Who would stop me from getting what I need by killing you and taking it, unless you were to kill me first? How would any liberties at all be garunteed to any people? How would people get what they need to survive to begin with in a state of Anarchy?

    Currently, almost the entire world is ruled by states. We see every day what happens in states, and how states behave. We don't see anarchy on a massive scale, and don't know exactly how an anarchistic society would behave. The evidence for and against states is self-apparent, Anarchy isn't.

    You have isolated instances of things that are close to Anarchy, such as Iraq right after Saddam was overthrown, or in extremely small groups of people (but even then tribal government usually exists), but there's no grand scale Anarchy to analyze, and therefore, no one has any reason to accept it over the state.
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2005
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook