Friday, April 30, 2010

A little more discussion about "anarchists."

Anarchist bombing of Wall Street, 1919.

Anarchism is a political philosophy which considers the state undesirable, unnecessary and harmful, and instead promotes a stateless society, or anarchy. It seeks to diminish or even abolish authority in the conduct of human relations. Anarchists may widely disagree on what additional criteria are required in anarchism. The Oxford Companion to Philosophy says, "there is no single defining position that all anarchists hold, and those considered anarchists at best share a certain family resemblance."

There are many types and traditions of anarchism, not all of which are mutually exclusive. Strains of anarchism have been divided into the categories of social and individualist anarchism or similar dual classifications. Anarchism is often considered to be a radical left-wing ideology, and much of anarchist economics and anarchist legal philosophy reflect anti-statist interpretations of communism, collectivism, syndicalism or participatory economics. However, anarchism has always included an individualist strain supporting a market economy and private property, or morally unrestrained egoism. Still some individualist anarchists, like Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, were also socialists.

Others, such as panarchists and anarchists without adjectives, neither advocate nor object to any particular form of organization as long as it is not compulsory. Differing fundamentally, some anarchist schools of thought support anything from extreme individualism to complete collectivism. The central tendency of anarchism as a social movement has been represented by anarcho-communism, with individualist anarchism being primarily a philosophical or literary phenomenon. Some anarchists fundamentally oppose all forms of aggression, supporting self-defense or non-violence, while others have supported the use of some coercive measures, including violent revolution and terrorism, on the path to an anarchist society. -- Wikipedia.


Folks,

This comment below reminds me that I have been needing to have a few words on this subject:

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "The Fort Knox Contretemps. . .":

Ramen,

Just because you are an enemy of my enemy doesn't make you a friend. Under normal circumstances you may well be my enemy, so therefore eventually, you will become my enemy once again. Anarchists have nothing in common with constitutionalists, patriots etc. The founders didn't want anarchy but limited, small government. A country where the rule of law was applied justly.

I fear the void left by the collapse of the current government filled by anarchist's is as dangerous as the continuation of the path to totalitarianism.


There are "anarchists" who assassinate politicians.

There are "anarchists" blow things up and kill innocents along with them.

There are "anarchists" who engage in street fights and break windows at the drop of a hat for just about any reason, or no reason at all.

Then there are anarchists who condemn violence in the service of anarchism as just as oppressive as state violence and who would only use violence in self-defense. For example see "You can't blow up a social relationship."

You can't blow up a social relationship. The total collapse of this society would provide no guarantee about what would replace it. Unless a majority of people had the ideas and organization sufficient for creation of an alternative society, we would see the old world reassert itself because it is what people would be used to, what they believed in, what existed unchallenged in their own personalities.

Proponents of terrorism and guerrilla-ism are to be opposed because their actions are vanguardist and authoritarian, because their ideas are wrong or unrelated to the results of their actions, because killing cannot be justified, and finally because their actions produce either repression with nothing in return or an authoritarian regime.


Anarchist poster denouncing bombing as a tactic.

Then there are minarchists:

In civics, minarchism (sometimes called minimal statism, small government, or limited-government libertarianism. refers to a political ideology which maintains that the state's only legitimate function is the protection of individuals from aggression, theft, breach of contract and fraud. (Such states are sometimes called night watchman states.) Minarchists defend the existence of the state as a necessary evil, but assert that it may only act to protect the life, liberty, and property of each individual.

A minarchist state would therefore consist of very few branches/parts of government, in the most minimal way - such as, for an example, courts (but not necessarily). Generally, minarchists identify themselves within the broader propertarian libertarian movement.

Samuel Edward Konkin III, an agorist, coined the term in 1971 to describe libertarians who defend some form of compulsory government. Konkin invented the term minarchism because he initially felt dismayed of using the cumbersome phrase limited-government libertarianism. Some classical liberals, who believe in the necessity of the state, label themselves as minarchists to differentiate from market anarchists.

Contrastingly, market anarchists—who dismiss the legitimacy of all forms of compulsory government and advocate private law, private arbitration, and private defense—see the minimal state as an unnecessary evil on the grounds that it infringes on individual liberty by unnecessary taxation, wars, and police brutality. -- Wikipedia.


All this is the long way around to say that there are almost as many different kinds of "anarchists" as there are, well, anarchists.

Will Mama Liberty and other anarchists please chime in at this point? You explain yourselves better than I can.

Mike
III

51 comments:

Anonymous said...

Anarchists live in a fool's paradise-their own.
From time immemorial, there has always been order to any societal group,large or small for the express purpose of quelling chaos and providing some level of continuity.
Whether by individual agreement or tyrannical gov't, there will be some form of gov't. Like it or not. So you may as well get involved and mold it to suit rather than erroneously attempt to reject it all.

Bob K

Dedicated_Dad said...

I think Bobk nailed it.

I consider myself a "minarchist", mostly for the reasons Bob named.

Our Founders were also Minarchists - at least at the Federal level - they carefully enumerated what they considered "necessary" powers in Article 1 Section 8.

And to think some people feared that the Constitution - and forcing any public servant to take an oath promising to protect it - would not be enough to prevent the .gov from getting out of control!

You just can't please some people...

DD

Anonymous said...

Minarchism lost all remaining plausibility for me when habeas corpus was specifically cancelled by both GWB and Congress in the Military Commissions Act of 2006, to silence from the judicial branch. That's when I considered the big TILT sign to have lit up over Washington.

The most central argument for having a State in a legally privileged position is to handle accused criminals properly. But in 2006 we saw the official, knowing, black letter rejection of the rule of law by all three "competing" "branches" of government. If the Constitution works as advertised, that can never happen, not even for five minutes, or the whole thing is utterly broken. If you can dare to fully face the brokenness, examine it and pick through the corpse, you might have an experience like this one:

http://www.sobran.com/reluctant.shtml

Anonymous said...

"Our Founders were also Minarchists"

Our founders wanted the British competition out of the picture so they could become an aristocracy.

http://www.lewrockwell.com/rockwell/hoppe-effect127.html

I recall when he spoke at a conference we held on American history, and gave a paper on the U.S. Constitution. You might not think that a German economist could add anything to our knowledge on this topic. He argued that it represented a vast increase in government power and that this was its true purpose. It created a powerful central government, with the cover of liberty as an excuse. He used it as a case in point, and went further to argue that all constitutions are of the same type. In the name of limiting government - which they purportedly do - they invariably appear in periods of history when the elites are regrouping to emerge from what they consider to be near anarchy. The Constitution, then, represents the assertion of power.

When he finished, you could hear a pin drop. I'm not sure that anyone was instantly persuaded. He had challenged everything we thought we knew about ourselves. The applause was polite, but not enthusiastic. Yet his points stuck. Over time, I think all of us there travelled some intellectual distance. The Constitution was preceded by the Articles of Confederation, which Rothbard had described as near anarchist in effect. Who were these guys who cobbled together this Constitution? They were the leftovers from the war: military leaders, financiers, and other mucky mucks - a very different crew from the people who signed the Declaration of Independence. Jefferson was out of the country when the Constitution was passed.

And what was the effect of the Constitution? To restrain government? No. It was precisely the opposite, just as Hoppe said. It created a new and more powerful government that not only failed to restrain itself (what government has ever done that?), but grew and grew into the monstrosity we have today. It required a wholesale rethinking of the history, but what Hoppe had said that shocked everyone turns out to be precisely right - and this is only one example among many.

jon said...

Anarchists have nothing in common with constitutionalists, patriots etc. The founders didn't want anarchy but limited, small government. A country where the rule of law was applied justly.

Our Founders were also Minarchists - at least at the Federal level - they carefully enumerated what they considered "necessary" powers in Article 1 Section 8.


my founders are not your founders.

your founders were privileged aristocracy who, under the guise of improving the articles of confederation with a few minor changes, shut themselves upstairs in a building, locked the doors and closed the windows, wrote an entirely new document that created a government which wasn't there before, a government tied to no existing geopolitical state, no existing organic society in particular, but rather a government of governments the latter of which had in fact grown by the economic means over the century -- real, actual, hard work.

my founders are everyone that showed up 150 years before yours, did all that work, and minded their own business.

once they had that document, they brought every existing government into its fold by force and fraud, including threatening rhode island with an invasion if it did not join the union. like any good cartel, each man got his own slice of the pie. ben franklin in particular was absolutely gleeful to give the new state the power to coin money, because it was his printing shop that was going to be awarded the contract to run off all the paper claims to gold that would be taxed to force their circulation on the people.

but i'm not an anarchist for those reasons, i'm an anarchist because it means "no king," and since christ is king, and he ain't back yet, there is no king. no civil order can ever substitute for that, not even temporarily. no other form of "anarchism" can ever make sense, nor will it, neither to you nor to me, nor on its own terms as an internally consistent theory. yet by giving them the word, you necessarily deny your own christian epistemology. so no thanks.

Whether by individual agreement or tyrannical gov't, there will be some form of gov't. Like it or not.

i do like it! it's just that i have a thorough economics education, and so i am aware that the free market already provides optimal government, politics never adds anything but involuntary action, and the resent breeds conflict and violence. so, anytime you're ready to have one that's as un-tyrannical as possible, short of the return of jesus christ the king, you'd just go ahead and stop voting in a disenfranchised political system and vote with your wallet and your rational self-interest.

Bill said...

Well, both Bob and DD apparently have not studied this subject too deeply.

How has the mini-anarchist thing worked out now after 240 years? We are now well down the road to a totalitarian police State, with ever more rules, laws and regulations forced upon us on a daily basis and ever more of our hard earned money stolen from us with creative taxing schemes.
No matter what chains you put on government, it will always find ways to slip out of them.

I would suggest both of you study in subject in greater detail, there are far better ideas for a State - less society than either of you think. A Stateless society would be better ordered than the one we have now, if the majority of people could be educated on just how it would be implemented. A Stateless society does NOT mean chaos, as both of you seem to believe. Your government school education is showing through loud and clear.

Dan said...

I like the sound of that..."Minarchist"!
I like the idea it represents, too.
Count me in!

FSHB said...

Groups of people form governments, whether HOA or Nations and they use force to 'enforce' the rules they make.

The question for any rational anarchist is which rules will they follow and when? (Heilein's idea, not mine [Moon is a Harsh Mistress])

On some fundamental level all individuals are anarchist in our use of free will. But, which principles guide a man determine what a man will do.

It's much easier for me to throw my support behind a constitutionalist than an anarchist because I know what the constitution is and what it produces.

The Infamous Oregon Lawhobbit said...

One other thing to remember, Mike, is that not everyone who calls himself an anarchist really is. It's like "libertarian," it's a word back in vogue at the moment among people who want to look hip and cool.

There's also the ever miserable American Education And Mainstream Media Complex to combat - just look at BobK's post: He appears to be making the standard conflation of "anarchy" with "chaos and disorder." Nothing could be further from the truth - it's "nihilism" that thrives on C&D, and you'll find that many "anarchists" are actually "nihilists." Anarchy, in short, means "without rulers," not "without order."

I guess the best analogy I'd make is to say that government by the State (rather than by the self) is just like cancer. I admire minarchists' optimism, but I just do not see allowing ANY cancer to take hold in the body to be a "good thing." DD is right - the Founders were (for the most part) minarchists...and see what we have today from the seeds they planted?


Further discussion available by email...:D

rexxhead said...

As a radical Rothbardian libertarian, I resemble that remark ;-)

I'm convinced that I have what it takes to govern myself. I'm pretty sure you do too. If it turns out I'm wrong about either of us, there's always that Sten gun hanging from a peg behind the door...

Is there something else we need?

Kevin Patrick said...

Friends, the leftists don't have to beat us if we beat ourselves.

We need all of the conservatives, libertarians, minarchists, and anarchists working together.

They only real difference between those groups is when they stop fighting to reduce the state.

When the conservatives quit, the libertarians, minarachists, and anarchists will still be fighting.

When the libertarians quit, the minarachists, and anarchists will carry on.

The minarchists will drop out eventually, and the the anarchists will keep fighting until the individual or the voluntary association is the highest authority.

Yes, some people who wore the name "anarchist" did some stupid and hurtful things. The same is true of every other group which has ever existed.

But these might be our brothers in arms before too long; so don't cut The Founder's Republic off at the knees by name-calling and stone-throwing.

We're all working for the same thing, reduction of the state to a level where we are free. Full stop.

But you know, it will never come to that if we don't changes. The Leftists are already banded together. Green Socialists, Statists, Communists, Fascists, Corporatists, Neo-tribalists; they are all working together.

They're goals may be subtly different, but but they have the same major endpoint.

Libertarians and social conservatives will have issues to solve once we restore the Republic. True. But let's cross that bridge when we come to it, eh?

"We must all hang together, or surely we shall all hang separately."

As true today as it was when ol' Ben said it.

--- KP (WV)

FSHB said...

One more thing, the 'bombing of Wall Street' picture is from still contested event.

It was variously pinned on 'anarchists', 'socialists', 'communists' etc . . . but no investigation ever returned conclusive evidence.

The official story is that it was most likely Italian anarchists. There are cynics who say it may have been a false flag operation.

Until you get the straight story from the almighty on the other side it's reckless to lay this act at the feet of the anarchists.

Uncle Al said...

Addendum to my previous post: I am a market anarchist for the purposes of this discussion.

Anonymous said...

Not no rules, no rulers, to quote MamaLiberty.
Those who hate the idea of self ownership and self responsibility use the straw man argument that Anarchs are Utopians.
History and facts suggest that anyone who believes that any government can solve our problems is the one living in a Fools Paradise.
Has government worked, ever?

Jerry Jones

Billy Beck said...

Bob doesn't even make an argument. It's simply an insinuation, and it comes from habit. "It's the way it is because that's always been the way it is."

If we applied thinking like that to the rest of our lives beyond politics, we'd all still be living in caves.

His implicit equivocation of "order" with government is nonsense. I, for one, do not keep my affairs peacefully ordered because a government looms over me. I do it because it's in my best interests. A single example contrary to the premise is that it takes, and I am not the only one, by far.

Anarchy is the American way.

Plug Nickel Outfit said...

Bob K - you begin by stating the obvious usefulness of order and continuity among peoples - but then immediately offer government (a State - I assume) as the thing which provides this order and continuity.

At the very foundation of the government of a State is the claim of lawful use of overwhelming force within its territories. This is the beast we all face under that arrangement - with factions vying to (ultimately) wield that level of coercion against opposing factions.

There are actually more instances of people, every day and in so many ways, dealing with each other voluntarily and orderly - with an eye towards continuity - without the compulsion of a State than there are examples of this within State regulated matters.

Thankfully most of the things you and I do every day and the various interactions we endeavor are not (yet) regulated by a State. In these matters we self-regulate - generally based on understanding and respect for person and property. This is also 'anarchy' - just not the chaotic mess most envision when the word is invoked.

These thousands of voluntary and self-regulated interactions are the foundation of what people can choose to exercise if self government is what they desire.

Anarchy - or whatever one wants to call it - doesn't offer perfection as a result - no more than any form of government honestly could. What is offered is self-determination, voluntary association, economic freedom - and perhaps an end to this fiction of collective government and all that entails.

Falling back on a State to regulate human interaction is - in my mind - looking for the easy way out. Freedom isn't generally considered that way (else it would be more abundant) - it's a daily mindfulness and responsibility - much more work that just assuming someone else will offer you a system that will take care of your freedom for you.

There's an old saying - argue for your limitations and all you get to do is keep them.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I am an anarchist. I am directly opposed to the Constitution and my opposition is due to the coup d’├ętat that took place in 1787. That however, does not mean I am opposed to the bill of rights or the exercise of those rights. Therefore, I am an anarchist as opposed to a minarchist.

I have no use for government in any form, limited or otherwise for the simple reason that government; all government by its very definition is the antithesis of every human right and the direct inhibitor of every honest human endeavor.

It is obvious from one of the comments on this blog that there are those who don’t know their history; in particular the background of the Federalists an opposed to the anti-Federalists. If more attention was paid to those who voiced their opposition to the establishment of the Federal government it would be common knowledge that EVERY warning the anti-federalists (minarchists of the day) presented have become our worst nightmare but more importantly why.

Frankly, a stateless society is just for those who have the moral code; i.e. that no one has the right to compel us to do anything without our consent; that we have right to self defense but not to force or aggression and that we have a moral obligation to fulfill any contract we enter into. I am willing to bet a great number of “conservatives” and “constitutionalists” find nothing objectionable in that code. So why is there all this hostility toward those who are fighting for more freedom than even those who favor limited government?

TC

MamaLiberty said...

Oh yes... which is why I do not use the word "anarchist" at all anymore. I am a sovereign individual. I own - and am fully responsible for - my body, my life and my soul.

Let us first consider what true "government" is. We live with it in many forms every day in our families, churches, fraternal organizations and clubs. It is called free and voluntary association. We can live, work with and trade with anyone we wish as long as we both/all agree and wish to do so. We make contracts, terms of marriage, by-laws and other forms of agreements for these ordinary and effective associations.

The key word here is "VOLUNTARY." This is real government - self government at work, and most people don't think a thing of it even as they live it.

Unfortunately, they also don't contrast this with what is otherwise known as "government," the coercive, non-voluntary sort that claims ownership of our lives, bodies and property, with some sort of "authority" to commit all of the lies, theft and murder we here so often condemn.

The only "authority" is what we are willing to give them, by our words and deeds - or by our lack of them. There is no other.

Why anyone would choose the coercive, slave holder type over voluntary and peaceful interaction between consenting people.... hard to understand. Except I know that SOME people have a deep and pathological desire to keep slaves... control other people.

But we do have a choice. We can choose peaceful and voluntary association/cooperation and true SELF government at all times, in everything we do. We can choose never to initiate force, and utterly refuse to tolerate the initiation of force against ourselves as the equal and vitally necessary counterbalance to our non-aggression.

Not no rules... no forced rulers and no slaves.

I am a self governor, a sovereign individual. I will die rather than be a slave.

Anonymous said...

Think of it this way, there is NO order and NO law which dictates that food must be delivered to millions of grocery stores all across our great land. Yet this process, (from farm to our refrigerator), takes place with the "volunteer" actions of millions of us in almost perfect harmony DAILY.

ALL LAWS are only a hindrance to achieve the goal - FOOD for our tummies. Millions of individuals making decisions to exchange goods and services FOR THEIR OWN PERSONAL GAIN do a far better job than any type of "order" could ever dream to impose. The absent of orders imposed upon the farmers, the truckers and the grocers is anarchy.

Now that you have a model to grasp upon -- the model being; individuals left alone to freely enter into, or leave from, personally beneficial exchanges of goods and services -- there is no reason you can't expand your mind to use this model in whatever field YOU BELIEVE requires the use of AGGRESSIVE VIOLENCE to achieve. Aggressive violence is the threat behind ALL government action/orders.

Still for most of you it probably really would take EXPANDING YOUR MIND to attempt applying this model elsewhere. Think of the complexity involved in the model, which I've horribly described - just the details which the farmer must achieve to accomplish a successful growing season. When/what/where to plant. How deep to tile for the benefit of next growing cycles crop, and onwards into the thousands of decisions that just this one individual must make. So of course you will likely have a difficult time attempting to apply this concept to ALL the things YOU BELIEVE government must do for you. But these are only the failures of YOUR imagination.

Anyone individual could never dream to "order" the successful feeding of all of the citizens of this country, (no matter how many "smart" Harvard grads he put on his cabinet). Therefore it is probably difficult for you to imagine that this same thing could be achieved in the health-care field or in the Just-Us SYSTEM or in the oil and gas exploration and drilling businesses. Those are all models currently being operated under a heavy degree of aggressive violence and "order". So, it's no wonder many are upset with the condition of these systems.

Still, most of you imagine they need more "order" to work efficiently or achieve YOUR desired goals. It is the opposite that these failing systems truly need. They need more ANARCHY. Only then would reaching YOUR desired goals be just as simple as it currently is to go to the grocery store which carries your favorite products or lowest prices or local meats or freshest produce or ... ... ... ... ...

As for the discussion about violence which YOU imagine would ensue by anarchy: JUST WHAT THE HELL DO YOU SEE ALL AROUND YOU? Everything YOU claim must be controlled through government is ALREADY being "controlled" through AGGRESSIVE VIOLENCE. Yet, this violence currently being imposed against all of us to deter the few you cheer for???

TPaine said...

Anarchy is really the weak v. the strong. Those who can, do, and those who can't, serve those who do. With no laws and no government, anarchy is simply the survival of the fittest. It is the anarchist who loves violence and the control that it gives him, for without the violence, he'd be just another peon.

Today's gangs are the perfect example of anarchy - none of them alone is anything other than a small-time punk, who would probably get his teeth kicked in by anyone. But with a gun in his hand, and with a bunch of his homies surrounding him, he is all of a sudden "the Man."

How pathetic!

348 said...

The problem with Anarchism is that there will always be some form of organization. It's in our DNA.

It starts with reproduction. We all want to make babies, and most of us want to make sure those babies are cared for. You can't just let them run off in the forest or desert or plain, or something will eat them. So right there is the first and unavoidable hierarchal relationship among humans. The parents must be in charge if the species is to survive.

The family in the next tent, hut or house realizes it's in their best interest to work together to gather or grow food. Nobody wants to go it completely alone because survival is that much harder. Specialization develops as the arrangements involve more families. Hierarchal relations develop naturally.

There's no way to get rid of hierarchy, only alternative forms that can be attempted.

The dream of the market anarchist is to have the market supply the hierarchy. The collectivist anarchists want the commune or workshop to supply the hierarchy. You either wind up with Somalia or totalitarianism. Heck, in Somalia you have hierarchy, it's just not recognized by the U.N.

Classical Liberals, Minarchists, etc. want a small government to supply a controlled hierarchy to prevent other, more brutal forms of hierarchy from developing.

Sounds good to me.

Kent McManigal said...

"Order" comes from each of us interacting with others to his own benefit, not from a Ruler imposing it on us. I have never understood the belief that order can only come from a government.

Individual agreement- self-government- is great. Imposed coercive government is flat-out wrong.

If a person believes in the legitimacy of any Ruler, rather than believing that there are rules which decent people follow, he is not an "anarchist" no matter what he calls himself.

The nature of people, in groups with "authority" especially, means minarchy will never work. Government always steals power and grows. It always "legalizes" this tendency while criminalizing anything that could counter it.

"If men are good, you don't need government; if men are evil or ambivalent, you don't dare have one." ~Robert LeFevre

Anonymous said...

"Rules, not Rulers."

Nature is self-ordering. People are self-ordering.

Do we really need authoritarian enForcement for two people to play an orderly game of chess?

Or be married? Or trade in commerce? Or Self-Defense?

The only people who need Authority to create order in their relationships with other people are Authoritarian Submissives.

Most anarchists (and minarchist libertarians) uphold the ZAP (Zero Aggression Principle.)

No one has the right, under any circumstances, to initiate force against another human being for any reason whatever; nor advocate the initiation of force, or delegate it to anyone else.

If the ZAP holds true, then that pretty much eliminates government. Because government is one thing: Force.

So let's have order in our lives that we create Voluntarily, not enForced by government.

Anonymous said...

The term anarchy has been permanently polluted similar to the word liberal. Assuming we understand anarchy as the logical application of the philosophy of individualism then let me defend it.

First, anarchists are not anti government, they are pro-government and anti-state. They believe that all relations in society should be voluntary and mutually beneficial.

Conservatives believe that coercion to provide for a police force and military promotes order in society, Anarchists believe that any forced associations tend to produce disorder.

Conservatives also argue that anarchy is a "fools paradise". Admittedly, civilization and all liberal (in the classical sense) forms government require a suitably intelligent and moral population. It would be a "fools paradise" to try to make chimpanzees live in a social democracy. Similarly, it would be a "fools paradise" to try govern the tribes of Africa under a constitutional republic or to govern the USA as presently constituted under anarchy. These populations are not suitably moral and enlighted to understand the benefits of these respective forms of government. That doesn't make these forms of government impossible.

The story of humanity is one of progress. Just as the savage hunter gatherer was supplanted by neolithic agricultural civilization with rudimentary concepts of property rights and morality, neolithic man will be left behind by whichever society manages to leave the last vestiges of socialism behind. No one knows which civilization will achieve this in the same way it would have been hard to predict the emergence of agriculture in the fertile crescent.

It is clear however that just as the USA became by far the wealthiest and most powerful country under a constitutional republic, any country that managed to successfully implement anarchy would quickly out produce all others.

I challenge people who consider themselves to be minarchists or conservatives to read "Ethics of Liberty" by Murray Rothbard. You may just end up being an anarchist as well.

Anonymous said...

Remember the old west? It was lawless right? A better description would be "Law-men-less". Even without the presents of lawmen those communities flourished peacefully for the most part - for decades in many cases. They lived an anarchist dream. Until that is... busy bodies had to go and ruin it.

Joel said...

I can't tell you what an anarchist is, but I can tell you how this one lives.

Though I fear such labels because of all the baggage they carry, I suppose I'm an anarchist. Never thrown a bomb in my life.

As has already been said here, anarchy doesn't mean "no rules." I've got rules in my life, and I suspect I follow them more stringently than most people do. It's just that I only impose them on myself, and I do it voluntarily. I'd never harm you without cause and I'd never touch your property without permission - or if for some strange reason I was forced by circumstance to do so, without a decent explanation and compensation if you required it. In short, I'll never treat you worse than I'd expect you to treat me.

Those rules aren't written down anywhere, nobody compels me to follow them, and it isn't necessary that there be any such. A person with honor doesn't need laws.

Contrast that with the ungoverned creatures who make up all the governments in this country. Are there any you can trust with your life, liberty or property, under all circumstances? Is there even one? Can you really even imagine one? And yet people keep insisting that we can't live without governments. To me, it's a wonder we've lived so long with them.

I really don't have any political theory, because I've never seen one that wasn't pointless in discussion and destructive in operation. I don't want to impose any form of society on any person. I just want to be left in peace, to pursue my own life without interference or any coercion at all.

Anonymous said...

"Groups of people form governments, whether HOA or Nations and they use force to 'enforce' the rules they make."

Arrr, matey! That's what pirates do! And if you be wanting civilization, you had best hang pirates whenever you gets yer hands on one!

"Classical Liberals, Minarchists, etc. want a small government to supply a controlled hierarchy to prevent other, more brutal forms of hierarchy from developing."

Yes, let's analyze government as a hedge (an accepted small loss to prevent a much bigger possible loss) for liberty. Government has genocided 260+ million of the people it was supposed to be protecting in the last hundred years. You're claiming this result was less awful than the one we would have suffered if we didn't have governments?

Anonymous said...

Someone has said, and I believe it, that a true anarchic society would last just as long as it took an ambitious rascal with a well-armed cohort of henchmen to notice such ripe, low-hanging fruit.

Call me a minarchist who, even if everything I wish were to come true, would metaphorically stand between the state and the People with my hand on my hilts, daring the state to show any sign of expansion.

(Given my moniker, understand too that I believe in the necessity of a standing air-land-sea professional defense force, made up of volunteers from, and therefore made up of, the People. I'm not sure where anarchists stand on that...IMHO, farmers' militias won't cut it in the 21st Century.)

--ExGeeEye
freerepublic.com

Anonymous said...

"[I]'m an anarchist because it means "no king,.."--jon

It means, literally, without rulers. Now an absence of rulers implies no social hierarchy, but as you must acknowledge, hierarchy is fundamental to the ranking of values. But if there is no ranking of values you have abolished the very basis of economic exchange.

"[T]he free market already provides optimal government,.."

The free market is a hierarchical system. Its continuity depends on rules and rulers.

Anarchism and free markets are incompatible.

Regards,
MALTHUS

P.S. You may want to consider that lewrockwell.com has a lot of kooky content and would profit greatly if an adult were put in charge.

Anonymous said...

I, for one, do not keep my affairs peacefully ordered because a government looms over me.--Billy Beck

[J]ust look at BobK's post: He appears to be making the standard conflation of "anarchy" with "chaos and disorder."--The Infamous Oregon Lawhobbit

Just look at Billy Beck's post: He conflates "the State" with government.

Hey, I know! Let's hold an anarchist convention where we can develop an ordered set of rules that will allow us all to agree on the definition of anarchism and government...oh, wait.

MALTHUS

Anonymous said...

There's no way to get rid of hierarchy, only alternative forms that can be attempted.--348

Perfect. Life itself is an ordered system--a hierarchy. Subordination in this hierarchy does not imply inferiority; to the contrary it allows individual fulfillment through specialization and cooperation under the division of labor.

The anarchist would better serve this end by resisting the disordered hierarchy that poses as a legitimate constitutionally sanctioned authority.

Restore the republic.

MALTHUS

Anonymous said...

I really don't have any political theory, because I've never seen one that wasn't pointless in discussion and destructive in operation.--Joel

Sorry, Joel. Anarchism is a political theory, or perhaps apolitical theory would be more precise.

And we are all discussing it. ;^)


MALTHUS

Anonymous said...

"Now an absence of rulers implies no social hierarchy"

No it doesn't. Living counterexample: the open source software movement. There is most certainly a social and value hierarchy, yet none of them can impose policy at gunpoint on any other of them.

"You may want to consider that lewrockwell.com has a lot of kooky content and would profit greatly if an adult were put in charge."

If you believe it's not worth reading, Then. Don't. Read. It. Problem solved, no State required.

aughtsix said...

Beware, all you pure-ists... of anything ending with "ism" or "ist".

Ideological purity, or logical consistency, of any given system of human organization is utopian in nature. They all require that everyone involved agree to whatever the tenets of the faith my be, whether monarchy or anarchy.

The default operative phrase seems to be "if only everyone would just behave and believe in these ways" all would be well.

All such proposals ignore the variety and adaptability of human psychology and behavior. For example, many people are highly resistant to conformity while many others are quite malleable, just to mention two of the most problematic to hard and narrow political theories.

The Founders of our original Republic very pragmatically recognized the above and tried to create a system which would foster the greatest possible latitude for individual preferences and behaviors to be limited only by the identical rights of the next individual. And they were adamant that such a system was completely dependent upon the good character of the people who practiced it, that is, the whole of the people not merely the "governors". They knew that that was the only "flaw" in their system and most of them worried and cautioned about it frequently.

That system did not fail. We, The People, failed. We did not participate. Our Eternal Vigilance was allowed to lapse. Our morality we allowed to be weakened and tempted and bargained away. Ease and plenty made us apathetic and dependent.

And those ideologues, utopians all, who would rule took advantage, just as many others would if there were no government. I agree with the libertarians and anarchists here that self rule is the only rule that matters but, in reality, very few are prepared, motivated or capable of ruling (not to mention providing) for themselves to benign effect on their neighbors. If all government disappeared today, the wolves among us would be dividing up the sheep and fighting over the spoils of the weak by noon tomorrow.

The Founders proclaimed Liberty to the world as the birthright of a moral humanity. In this they accounted for the operative principle of self rule: benign behavior toward one's neighbor as stated by many in these comments.

Absent some sort of power of restraint and arbitration, ie: limited government, however....?

We will need every self reliant individual who believes in individual Liberty if we are to pass the concept and the practice on to posterity. Squabbling about the details of various attempts to codify (or not) the practice of individuality, to the extent that it divides us and squanders our energy and resolve, is deadly to our cause and ultimately to us.

Our opponents have no such problem. They are united in their amorphous utopian "progressivism", their amoral hedonism, their spoiled entitlements, their disheveled intellectual sloth.

Restore Morality

Restore the Constitution

Restore the Republic

The alternative is not acceptable.

Jon

III

Temnota said...

Anarchy, in my view, shares its Achilles' heel with communism in that it presupposes that people are idealists all the time. Communism is a system so easy to "game" that unless everyone involved is on the same page 24/7, it starts to break down. Anarchism in the sense that MamaLiberty describes it is a little more fault-tolerant, but not massively so.

The problem is that there are too few MamaLibertys and too many fundamentally lazy people. This is not, in my mind, a problem that lends itself to education and persuasion to fix. People are what they are, and to expect them to be otherwise is to build failure into your plans.

Tom Baugh's "Shaman" character from "Starving the Monkeys" is how I think the State is most likely to arise in an Anarchist society, even if it is not overtly religious; convince enough people that you can make their lives easier and take some load off their shoulders if they will do you the odd favor, and listen to your ideas, and you are on your way to the throne. The MamaLibertys in the community won't cooperate, but they can be isolated and shunned, and if one day the recalcitrant individualist's house was found to be empty, who would look too hard for an explanation?

It's even worse if the threat is a simple gang of thugs. Unless it's a really small gang, families defending their property piecemeal aren't going to be effective. Now you have to organize libertarians. I've tried to organize libertarians. I would rather extract my own fingernails than organize libertarians. The latent tribalists in the community will be easier to teach to be an army, but there you have the risk that they won't disband when the gang has been driven off, and you're right back to my first example of the State again.

I admire Anarchism as a theory, and an ideal. I think self-government is true liberty and we should strive for it to the greatest possible extent, I just think our reach exceeds our grasp on this point, and that even if minarchism eventually devolves into tyranny, anarchism goes there even faster and more completely.

Kent McManigal said...

"Beware, all you pure-ists... of anything ending with "ism" or "ist".

The irony is startling:
Restore Morality ("Moralism")
Restore the Constitution ("Constitutionalist")
Restore the Republic ("Republicanism"/"statism")

And that's your free choice.

The good thing about anarchism, or whatever you wish to call free people doing as they wish as long as they harm no innocent person, is that it always works. Right now, right here, in the real world as it currently exists. It does not depend upon the cooperation of the non-cooperative people who "need" a state.

But, keep on believing I would kill, rob, rape, and trespass without the guns of government shoved in my face, or that I need those guns pointed at other people to keep them from doing that to me. It isn't true, but apparently that doesn't stop some people from believing it.

Kevin Wilmeth said...

Interesting thread, Mike. :-)

It appears that most of the things I would have said have already been covered here. It was good to see ML chime in, Kent quoted LeFevre*, and I really appreciate Kevin Patrick's sense of perspective. (Right on, brother: I've got a lot of things I disagree with MBV and others here about, but we got us a bigger problem now that we do agree on.)

I don't know whether it's fair to call myself an anarchist or not, but I sure cannot identify a single thing that the state does or has done in which its benefits outweigh its drawbacks over time. Not one. I appreciate the term "sovereign individual" and even "voluntaryist", although I really do detest labels for what they do to us. So, call me an anarchist if you want. Or not.

The only thing I would add at this point is that it seems striking the way that the arguments against anarchists sound so much like the same arguments with which the statists dismiss us (Meaning: the wide variety of people who arrive at MBV's site for a common purpose).

To paraphrase:

"Well, it just doesn't work that way, so you're stupid." (Wow, that's some quantum shit right there.)

"Anarchy has always failed." (Love that one. That's the same logic that concludes that "capitalism" has failed in the US. Anyone around here seen real capitalism in their lifetimes? And if you answer "black market", by the way, you're making my point for me.)

And my personal (un)favorite, which really comes right down to it:

"Look, people are so inherently corrupt and stupid that they could never self-govern, period, so they have to be controlled in some way, even if it's small and 'we' all agree on it."

There it is, laid bare. At that point, it's all over but the shouting. You're just re-setting the hourglass, however long it may be, and we'll wind up right back in the horrible poke we're in now when the clock runs out.

Sorry, guys, can't buy that logic. Liberty is either for everyone, all the time, or it is for no one. And look: I don't expect anarchy to be perfect. I just expect it to be better than getting brutalized by the state, whatever "size" it may be at the time, or how it is constituted.


___________
* As much as I love the LeFevre quote, I've started saying the same thing a little differently:

Decent people do not need law to be decent, and indecent people are in no way restrained by it.

Kevin Wilmeth said...

I think it was Butler Shaffer who first opened my eyes to the idea that most everything we do is already anarchy in principle--ungoverned, spontaneous, adaptive negotiating with each other, voluntarily, peaceably, and effortlessly. We trade, we communicate, we come together and drift apart for specific purposes, we fight if we must, and we figure out where our mutual self-benefit is. Whatever order is required for the situation tends to spontaneously arise and disappear quite naturally. This happens on the street, in our homes, in the grocery store, when travelling to other places, everywhere. For all the state's interference and hunger for more, we still spend most of our lives not directly governed by mandates that affect how we interact with each other. And certainly when we see the state fall completely apart after some disaster or other, we invariably see improvised, anarchic, voluntary response by decent people being decent to others. This is not an accident, it is the point--anarchy is actually robust enough to exist and even thrive within and among other command-and-control systems.

Sure, there will always be people who will be willing to force and coerce others, and there is some truth to the charge that people whose principal skill is minding their own business are easier to overrun by organizing those who forget that "none of us is as dumb as all of us". Eternal vigilance is successful not when facing militarized police, for by then the problem is so far gone that it probably WILL come to blows. The time for success is rather when the first charlatan suggests that proxying out any amount of our sovereignty to another party in the first place is somehow, despite all of history, a good idea...and he is ridden out of town on a rail by our selves and neighbors as the most peaceful of alternatives.

I am here, on MBV's site, because I do agree that less is always better, and as Kevin Patrick said better than I could, a lot of us who are pretty different, get that. I am here voluntarily for the common purpose of solving what Jeff Cooper called "Problem One". I usually refrain from speaking up out of respect for that common goal (anarchists can do that, you know :-) and really only do so here because Mike kinda solicited it. (Thank you, Mike, for asking.)

Temnota said...

@Kevin,

"And my personal (un)favorite, which really comes right down to it:

"Look, people are so inherently corrupt and stupid that they could never self-govern, period, so they have to be controlled in some way, even if it's small and 'we' all agree on it."


Well, sad to say, some people are, and there just isn't any getting around that. They're the majority in this country, too.

Collectivisms like communism operate of the theory that people are perfectible, and they aren't. Anarchism also requires perfectible people, in a slightly different way. Self-governing individuals and voluntaryist communities can exist even if not all the population plays the same game, but that imperfect tribalist majority is eventually going to get their feet under them and move on you. This is history, not theory. You can offer to educate people in the light of liberty all you please, but if they choose not to be educated, that's their right, and the ones you don't reach will form the new State.

sofa said...

What if one willingly takes an oath to a flawed document? Sure it's a mess, but it's better than anything else going.

Taking the oath is a contract to one's self. Plenty of folks never took an oath, plenty more don't care about it. But how about including a discussion of an oath to the Constitution within discussions of each perspective. Plenty of conflicts regardless of the underlying personal philosophy. Is it incompatible with all of these perspectives, or just some?

rexxhead said...

@Temnota:

"Well, sad to say, some people are [inherently corrupt], and there just isn't any getting around that. They're the majority in this country, too."

Then all of this debate is pointless, because the battle is lost.

However, I think you have undercounted the population of the non-corrupt. I therefore continue to hope that there is a solution which we can all live with... pun intended.

Anonymous said...

My own personal sense of "anarchy" is one of a scale that runs from - at one end which is all other kinds of "archy" (monarchy, oligarchy, etc.) - the control of others to the opposite end of that spectrum - the control of the self. THAT, to me, is what I call a "true" anarchy, where any control of others is NOT NECESSARY, and everybody in a society is in sufficient control of themselves and their passions to not impose their ideas, wants, needs on anybody else, and would ask or expect that of none except by mutual and honest agreement. And somehow everybody would respond to each other's needs by sensing them, and doing what they know is right deep down in their hearts.

I know, Utopian thinking. But it seems possible, at least, in some far distant future.

Until then, we'll have to look at bits of metal in terms of defense of self, family, neighbors and community. Pretty sad waste of resources, but is, in reality, the "tyranny of our DNA", which in essence dictates that we "continue, and make more".

-JRM
III

Ramen Fiend said...

To Bob K,
The difference between the voluntary order in a club or family, and the involuntary order imposed by force of arms is as different as night and day. I'm not against voluntary order, just the kind where gov't sticks their guns into it. Since gov't cannot exist without coercion, I reject it entirely.


To Dedicated_Dad,
My founders are not the same as yours. Mine arrived in 1620 and were signers of the Mayflower Compact, it was a VOLUNTARY agreement of consenting individuals to form a community in which they could be free. Your "founders" usurped what was already in place in favor of a stronger gov't with the power to steal more money from the people and to mint it and thusly control the currency.



To TPaine,
You don't seem to know much about gangs, seeing as how I grew up in the projects I'll just have to explain it to you. It is the old pirates and emperors thing. A gang governs its territory and sometimes collects taxes in the form of protection money. A gang regulates the drug trade in their territory. A gang will fight a war with a rival gang for territory, perceived threats, or if invaded. Gangs have treaties with one-another. The Bloods and Crips are the Eastern Bloc and NATO of the gang world, respectively. They absorb smaller gangs through treaty and agree to fight as single gangs. A gang is a small government. Governments cannot be Anarchist in nature.



To 348,
See above, the post to Bob K applies to you too.



To Malthus,
This is so absurd I had to quote it:

"But if there is no ranking of values you have abolished the very basis of economic exchange.
The free market is a hierarchical system. Its continuity depends on rules and rulers.
Anarchism and free markets are incompatible."

Value is relative. Each individual values each thing differently. For example, I put more value on my target grade M91/30 (cost $100) than I would an M16 ($1600 or more). As for exchange and trade, Apparently you've never traded a few beers for an apple pie, or traded side dishes with the other children in your school. I also can assume that you have never sold anything without gov't help or bought something without paying the associated tax... Like at a yard sale.

Ramen Fiend said...

Well, I've really enjoyed reading the comments on this. Most of them were quite good and well reasoned. For the record I'm an Agorist, an Agorist is a kind of Revolutionary Market Anarchist. In other words, we don't just talk about how great it would be if the gov't didn't meddle in business, we actively ignore their futile attempts at meddling in our business. Most Agorists agree to the ZAP. I do also. You can get more info on the finer points of Agorism here: http://www.agorism.info/

Now that that's out of the way...

I was especially pleased that people MBV quotes from commented in favor of Anarchy. Billy Beck, Mama Liberty, and Joel. I also saw several folks who post comments on this blog with regularity who were also in favor of the no rulers idea. It causes one to wonder how many supporters he'd lose if he further alienates those who merely wish to be free?

Well, on to the replies to some of those who are pro gov't:

To MBV,
I thought it was hilarious that you mentioned that Anarchists break windows. You were being general and vague again, Anarcho-Punks and Anarcho-Socialists do that but not all of us. And they do have a reason, they despise private property and sometimes they don't agree with the policies of a company and seek to attack the pocket book through the breaking. Kinda reminds me of you.

"The founders didn't want anarchy but limited, small government. A country where the rule of law was applied justly." --MBV

I don't really care what they wanted, they are long dead and created quite a monster. It was cute when it was small, but now it's a real pain. Reminds me of the idiots that plant trees right next to a building and are then surprised when they end up with roots in their basements.


"There are "anarchists" who assassinate politicians.

There are "anarchists" blow things up and kill innocents along with them.

There are "anarchists" who engage in street fights and break windows at the drop of a hat for just about any reason, or no reason at all."--MBV

Funny, now who is wearing a foil hat? Are those not the same arguments the SPLC uses against you and the patriot movement?

"Just because you are an enemy of my enemy doesn't make you a friend. Under normal circumstances you may well be my enemy, so therefore eventually, you will become my enemy once again."--MBV

Unless you attack me or threaten to do so, I have no reason to be your enemy, nor any desire for it. Since you don't want to be friends, at least, if you get the republic you want, please don't try to force us to be a part of it or obey its laws and diktats. I'm not begging, I'm asking nicely. Don't force anybody.
I previously extended the olive branch only to have it thrown back at me in disgust... So fine. I won't help you anymore, and I won't ask for your help, and should anarchy come and you lose that check that you get from the gov't every month, I won't help you then either.

Mike Gogulski said...

TPaine wrote:

Today's gangs are the perfect example of anarchy - none of them alone is anything other than a small-time punk, who would probably get his teeth kicked in by anyone. But with a gun in his hand, and with a bunch of his homies surrounding him, he is all of a sudden "the Man."

Did you grow up in the Church of Counterfactual Belief ("Do six impossible things before breakfast!") or join later?

What you provide here with the gang analogy is actually quite the definition of a state. Who would Obama (or Hitler, to go all Godwin) be without his heavily armed homies and gang regalia (flags and uniforms)? Just another gangster. But, add in the flim-flam of voting and drive the mind-control symbolism of flags and uniforms hard enough into captive minds, and suddenly they become "a legitimate government".

Attack the system.

Temnota said...

@rexxhead,

I was riffing just a little on Kevin's slightly hyperbolic summation of my original point. I do not think the majority of people are actually corrupt, although there are quite a few, since the system we have rewards corruption and becoming corrupt is often the path of least resistance. I do acknowledge that I and my fellow humans have feet of clay, and that we all fall short of the Glory of God, so to speak.

It takes considerable personal integrity, strength of will, and focus to live the anarchist lifestyle, and I just don't believe that most Americans are up to the task. This is not an indictment of Americans, just an acknowledgment that we all have our individual strengths and weaknesses, and not everyone is cut out for that life.

I don't believe the battle is lost, but I do believe that any system of ordered liberty that will stand any chance of succeeding has to provide the external structure, coercive though it may be, that the majority of Americans appear to want and need. They will create their own if we don't, and it will probably be a pernicious one.

The founders recognized that true liberty is not self-sustaining, and that human nature contains the seeds of the demise of any liberty culture. It may be that Jefferson's warning about watering the tree of Liberty translates to an inescapable cycle of imperfect compromises to give the greatest amount of freedom to the greatest number of people, followed by a slow decline into tyranny, ending in an upheaval that starts the cycle anew. It's a bleak outlook in the long term, but it gives us the opportunity to test variations on the model, and with luck, eventually, we may break out of the cycle and realize the anarchist's dream. I just don't think it will happen anytime soon.

aughtsix said...

Temnota at May 2, 4:46 am

Just so.



As reasoned and logically consistent as the anarchists here present their case, they remind me of the kid who owns the ball and won't share it unless he controls the rules. The rules are that he may do whatever he likes and you can pound sand.

Yes, I know, you will never offer unprovoked violence to anyone, nor require anything from them, because you are such self actuated, self controlled, self sufficient folks that you can live, harmlessly independent of whatever society exists around you... and everyone should be able to do likewise.

Self, self, self. Looking out for No. 1. Great theoretical basis for a society... of one. No such "society" has ever existed and it will be a long time until such a one is achieved, if ever.

As I said previously, I agree that self control is what matters. That is to say, morality, as the Founders understood it and based their construct of ordered Liberty upon it.

There will always be those who fall short morally... each of us at some time or other, and some of us most of the time. For any foreseeable future there will need to be some means of order. The world is far too complex, even incomprehensible to many, a place to hope that any majority of individuals will simply navigate the waters anarchy in the manner envisioned by our idealistic friends here.

Most of us here, of whatever philosophical bent, are the kind of self reliant folks the anarchists want us all to be. None of us, I believe, like being told what to do. We are highly resistant to conformity for its own sake. We want to dispose of ourselves and the fruits of our labors as we see fit. We would not offer violence but will return it mercilessly to those who would do violence to us and our beloved. Sadly, I think most of us recognize that we are in the minority and that, if we are to preserve the right to live as we please, we must operate together. Some sort of social, political compact is absolutely necessary.

No man is an island. No man can truly stand outside his culture and see it with perfect detachment and complete understanding.

All for One.

III for All.

Jon

III

Anonymous said...

"Tom Baugh's "Shaman" character from "Starving the Monkeys" is how I think the State is most likely to arise in an Anarchist society, even if it is not overtly religious; convince enough people that you can make their lives easier and take some load off their shoulders if they will do you the odd favor, and listen to your ideas, and you are on your way to the throne. The MamaLibertys in the community won't cooperate, but they can be isolated and shunned, and if one day the recalcitrant individualist's house was found to be empty, who would look too hard for an explanation?

It's even worse if the threat is a simple gang of thugs. Unless it's a really small gang, families defending their property piecemeal aren't going to be effective. Now you have to organize libertarians.
"

Put on your science fiction hat, and imagine the least-exotic weapon it would take for individual MamaLibertys to completely defend themselves against that sort of community organizing -- halt it in its tracks completely. Can we invent that weapon? 'A rifle behind every blade of grass' was good enough to discourage serious enemies, by their own admission. Is the solution to organized crime simply more effective RKBA? Is the solution to politics the same as the solution to piracy: Hang enough of the pirates to make politics unprofitable? Weapons don't all have to launch missiles. Bad publicity from video is effective in the longer term against gangsters who depend for their perceived legitimacy on good publicity. A publicity-type weapon has the advantage that if you use it in error, you haven't killed someone.

ReverendFranz said...

Libertarians are just anachists (or minarchists) who lack commitment. The fact is Idealists realize that if an individual of free will fracks up, he is responsible for ruining his own situation, but if a government empowered by the will of the people fracks up, he, by abdicating personal liberty to the state, is still responsible, but not just for his own actions, or his own life but the actions of the statist machine he supported, and the lives of all the people he allowed it to crush. Its a difficult and complicated argument to say that we would be better off, more prosperous, freer, with a state of any sort, or without any state, but deep down, the truth is, the absence of force, is the only ideal moral position.

We all agree that there are things, or powers that should not have been seded to the state, it seems pretty silly to demonize anyone for their idealism, for thinking that really, the only way we can stop the evils of the ever encroaching state, is by removing the cancer entirely, instead of simply preventing it from spreading further, or turning it back to an earlier, more manageable status.

There should be less government in our lives, the argument over how much less should be seen as a practical discussion between friends, not an unsurmountable idealogical difference.

http://cottonrevolt.blogspot.com/2009/04/confronting-cost-of-addiction.html

Mike said...

On the gang issue,

It would seem important to remember that a gang is not only a government in microcosm, but is also a symptom of state action. They feed upon the 'vices' that states ban. intended or not, it is a symbiotic relationship(and I might even suggest an intended one, if the rumors about the CIA and the drug trade have any merit.).

Likewise, the state has outlawed private justice(replacing it with the oxymoron "public justice"-where justice itself is forbidden and replaced with taxation and the ridiculous notion of rehabilitation)-meaning that the inhabitants of inner-city areas simply cannot stand up to the violent interlopers without facing the even more violent interlopers of the state.

No, a criminal gang is no example of anarchistic hierarchy. A far better one is that which gangs-and governments-both undermine and attempt to emulate, the family.

The family is the organization that in all likelihood has the most impact on any individuals life, and is totally independent of government for its existence. Before government, families were far more extended and served many of the functions of the current state-i.e., defense, resolution of disputes, restitution, and material security(food in bad times, etc.). This is how great apes and many other mammals organize themselves-naturally-and while it certainly presents no utopia-violence and aggression certainly still exist-genocide is usually at a minimum.

However, while markets in such a society would indeed be "free" in a literal sense, they would certainly not resemble anything like the supposedly "free markets" of today, which are really managed and centrally planned contrivances from the get-go. Meaning that a true free market would likely resemble the sort that existed for most of human existence-prior to 10,000ya-and be essentially technologically stagnant-or develop technology at an incredibly slow rate. Large-scale organized violence has a way of getting s%$# done that I simply don't see happening on a voluntary basis.

Perhaps someday that same technology will bring us full circle, and we'll have our cake and eat it as well.....but, all told, my bet's nuclear holocaust.

Anonymous said...

"Meaning that a true free market would likely resemble the sort that existed for most of human existence-prior to 10,000ya-and be essentially technologically stagnant-or develop technology at an incredibly slow rate. Large-scale organized violence has a way of getting s%$# done that I simply don't see happening on a voluntary basis."

Contradicted by the open source software movement. Google RepRap and the Foresight Institute and Technological Singularity see how technologically stagnant the free market is now currently trying to be.