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    (Original post by AnarchistNutter)



    Oh well, you've found the logical loophole in my argument there, well done, only I don't justify authoritarianism.

    I was merely implying that it is odd the capitalist classes who have exploited the workers for centuries would describe it as authoritarian and also it is not authoritarian to protect oneself against authoritarianism.

    Also you say "This, is where ... 'anarchist' ... countries have come unstuck". Can you name me a few unsuccessful anarchist countries? I can think of plenty, for instance the Paris Commune, Spain in 1936 to name a few.

    .
    I apologise, when I said countries, I probably should've said attempted countries. As you can probably see from the world as it is, both of your examples no longer exist for various reasons. I'm sure you already know that a significant amount of people do not wish to live in your proposed 'anarchist' society - The_Octopus pointed this out to you - and you, like every other 'anarchist' of your ilk, recognise that the only option at your disposal would be violence. You can only create and maintain such a system through the use of violence against any dissenters, and this is what has happened in most - if not all - 'anarchist/communist' revolutions.

    Which is essentially the problem with your system: you simply cannot create 'freedom' (your system is not freedom) through coercion.
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    (Original post by D.R.E)
    As you can probably see from the world as it is, both of your examples no longer exist for various reasons.
    Actually anarchism in Spain was destroyed in 1939 (namely Hitler bombing the hell out of their food supplies) was largely due to the fact that a lot of other states were relatively unwilling to oppose the uprising fascist tendencies. A hell of a lot people wanted anarchism in Spain; this should answer your point below:

    I'm sure you already know that a significant amount of people do not wish to live in your proposed 'anarchist' society
    EDIT; I also meant to mention in the previous post that Spain and Paris were successful examples of anarchism. You have yet to provide an example of a non-successful anarchist society.

    you, like every other 'anarchist' of your ilk, recognise that the only option at your disposal would be violence.
    No, I don't. I do advocate violence under extreme circumstances, namely self defence.
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    (Original post by AnarchistNutter)
    Actually anarchism in Spain was destroyed in 1939 (namely Hitler bombing the hell out of their food supplies) was largely due to the fact that a lot of other states were relatively unwilling to oppose the uprising fascist tendencies. A hell of a lot people wanted anarchism in Spain; this should answer your point below:

    EDIT; I also meant to mention in the previous post that Spain and Paris were successful examples of anarchism. You have yet to provide an example of a non-successful anarchist society.

    No, I don't. I do advocate violence under extreme circumstances, namely self defence.
    The Paris Commune, so far as I know, was nothing like the kind of system you espouse. Yes, it did have some elements which are very similar to your ideology, but that does not turn it into an anarchist society. Regardless, the Paris Commune did not exist for very long, so it is impossible to judge how it's policies would have developed given time because to be honest, most of the policies they adopted were not particularly economically viable (in a long term sense).

    I know almost nothing about Spanish history so I won't try to contradict you there. Anyway, all I was trying to say was, the full implementation of this system is practically impossible; it contradicts basic human nature and it would simply never garner enough support among the general public to sustain itself for a long period of time - at least not without having to resort to coercion.
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    (Original post by D.R.E)
    The Paris Commune, so far as I know, was nothing like the kind of system you espouse. Yes, it did have some elements which are very similar to your ideology, but that does not turn it into an anarchist society. Regardless, the Paris Commune did not exist for very long, so it is impossible to judge how it's policies would have developed given time because to be honest, most of the policies they adopted were not particularly economically viable (in a long term sense).

    I know almost nothing about Spanish history so I won't try to contradict you there. Anyway, all I was trying to say was, the full implementation of this system is practically impossible; it contradicts basic human nature and it would simply never garner enough support among the general public to sustain itself for a long period of time - at least not without having to resort to coercion.
    You say you know little about Spanish history so I will briefly inform you a little (just because it is interesting and some of the points I raise are relative to your points about coercion).

    Since anarcho-syndicalism was the dominant strain of anarchism in Spain at the time, I will explain this to you. Anarcho-syndicalists believe like other anarchists that any form of working within government is essentially useless because of the nature and history of the state as an institution which would naturally seek to preserve the political establishment, for obvious reasons. Historically human rights have not existed because they were written down on a piece of paper; human rights have existed because the vast majority of people wanted them and any attempt to act against these rights have often resulted in violent reaction. The state has never voluntarily decided to enforce rights for everyone (only rights for the supreme elites at the peak of the social ladder), rather they have been forced to establish human rights for everyone from outside. Do you have any objections to this? Is it morally wrong to fight for, using physical violence if absolutely necessary, human rights for your own good or for the good of your fellow human?

    Anyway, back to the point of the state, history has proven that the vast majority of radical and/or reformist governments have essentially been forced to move closer towards that of conservatism because of the nature of government. The british Labour party is a clear example; to begin with, it's ideology was that of a working class ideology and it had its roots in and was heavily funded by the trade unions. We did see some genuine progressive reforms, for instance the development of the NHS under Clement Attlee. However the Blairite faction of the party was soon to see a shift from "Old" Labour to "New" Labour; the party essentially became more right wing, we saw some ridiculous spending policies designed to create jobs for and enrich capitalists, money thrown at the NHS was largely spent on management, no substantial welfare system was created and Tony Blair publically admitted that he accepted some of the doctrines of capitalism.

    Now the syndicalist school of thought in Spain arose from revolutionary syndicalism. Essentially revolutionary syndicalism began as the idea of worker's colluding to organise worker's syndicates for their own economic improvement (they were, essentially trade unions). However these doctrines became adopted by anarchism in the form of anarcho-syndicalism and developed into a much more meaningful political system whereby the workers organised syndicates under the wing of capitalism to provide themselves with the basic infrastructure of provision when there was a revolution. Syndicalism was a form of socialism that was to come from the bottom up, so to speak; to encourage spontaneity and intuitive among the workers by giving them democratic power within their unions so that they could put forward their plans and ideas and intelligently discuss them with other workers who would all have equal power to the way things were organised. Thus you see, anarchism is not "forced" on anyone. Under Marxism, the state was to impose socialism from the top down not giving the worker's any real choice or freedom to establish their own political agendas and take action. This is why the working classes in other countries who were under the influence of Marxism and reformism were subdued and made dull in strength of mind by the influence of government. Though Marx himself did not criticise the establishment of unions, he felt it was more important to follow the lines of the elevation of the proletariat and to seize hold of the state. Other socialists of the time took an even stronger position and regarded the establishment of unions a complete waste of time and to the detriment of the workers who would be better off organising a workers party.

    When fascism was on the uprise and Hitler seized Germany (where Marxism was a fairly dominant ideology among the workers), the socialists gave almost no resistance and simply allowed Hitler to continue. Other countries fell helplessly to fascism and as such, the fascist general in Spain, Francisco Franco severely underestimated the power of anarchism. When the fascist generals rose to power, the FAI (Anarchist Federation of Iberia) and the CNT (National Federation of Labour) resisted powerfully forcing the generals to retreat and they were merely workers. This sudden militaristic tendency within the movements catalysed a widespread revolution throughout Spain; the workers seized land and means of production from large scale land owners which could be used as a military base (as the Liberal Republican government in Spain was weak and offered virtually no resistance to the fascists). Perhaps it was the wrong time for a revolution with the weaker socialist ideologies being so dominant in other nearby countries but revolution was inevitable after they had become more aggravated by Franco's initial attempt to seize the state. In the end they lost largely due to the passiveness and lack of involvement by the countries nearby as well as Hitler's invention of the blitzkrieg.

    You say that the Paris Commune did not last very long and no, the end result was not exactly my ideal of anarchism however the Spanish Revolution lasted for 3 years and was a highly functional society.
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    (Original post by D.R.E)
    The Paris Commune, so far as I know, was nothing like the kind of system you espouse. Yes, it did have some elements which are very similar to your ideology, but that does not turn it into an anarchist society. Regardless, the Paris Commune did not exist for very long, so it is impossible to judge how it's policies would have developed given time because to be honest, most of the policies they adopted were not particularly economically viable (in a long term sense).

    I know almost nothing about Spanish history so I won't try to contradict you there. Anyway, all I was trying to say was, the full implementation of this system is practically impossible; it contradicts basic human nature and it would simply never garner enough support among the general public to sustain itself for a long period of time - at least not without having to resort to coercion.
    Agreed. Of course it is true that no political ideology can ever be achieved to its full extent. Even in society today, capitalism is not fully represented as the way it is theorised. Idealising and realising an ideology are two separate things. Anarchy can be realised to a large extent and I don't believe that violence need play any part in establishing an anarchist commune. Such communes can be set up through the will of the people or even political reform. There's nothing to say that violence doesn't play a part either. So anarchy isn't established in the arbitrary way it's described in texts and theories. So what? That's the point of anarchy, surely. If there is something authoritarian about it, it's authoritarian because the majority want it that way. You will never achieve anarchy - or any other political system for that matter - in a perfect manner. There will be differences in practical application and there will be conflict. What is hoped is that the end result will be something better for everybody.

    P.S. If anybody would like to comment; how would you feel of anarchistic system using elements of free trade? Incongruous?
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    (Original post by ANARCHY__)
    Agreed. Of course it is true that no political ideology can ever be achieved to its full extent. Even in society today, capitalism is not fully represented as the way it is theorised. Idealising and realising an ideology are two separate things. Anarchy can be realised to a large extent and I don't believe that violence need play any part in establishing an anarchist commune. Such communes can be set up through the will of the people or even political reform. There's nothing to say that violence doesn't play a part either. So anarchy isn't established in the arbitrary way it's described in texts and theories. So what? That's the point of anarchy, surely. If there is something authoritarian about it, it's authoritarian because the majority want it that way. You will never achieve anarchy - or any other political system for that matter - in a perfect manner. There will be differences in practical application and there will be conflict. What is hoped is that the end result will be something better for everybody.
    Absolutely and my point about using coercion is that virtually any political system from Marxism to Rothbardism to Fascism requires the use of force to implement. A reduced state or a non-existent state, even, is one that must be fought for whether you are right wing or left wing. Taxation is utilising force to extract money from people. Anarchism is only utilising force in the extent that the majority want it and may need to defend themselves against the minority that don't.

    P.S. If anybody would like to comment; how would you feel of anarchistic system using elements of free trade? Incongruous?
    Anarchy should involve free trade, just not the sort of free trade espoused by capitalists. Any regulation would have its roots within the infrastructure of society rather than a coercive government trying to wield power and would exist solely to ensure the safeguarding of society and the environment. Otherwise regulation would be reduced to a bare minimum, involve as little paperwork as possible and only prevent unethical practices.
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    (Original post by AnarchistNutter)
    Absolutely and my point about using coercion is that virtually any political system from Marxism to Rothbardism to Fascism requires the use of force to implement. A reduced state or a non-existent state, even, is one that must be fought for whether you are right wing or left wing. Taxation is utilising force to extract money from people. Anarchism is only utilising force in the extent that the majority want it and may need to defend themselves against the minority that don't.
    I'm not sure whether force is a necessary tool of implementation for anarchy but it is definitely not one which is forbidden to me. That said, force can take up many forms. I would condone the destruction of a symbolic building or the burning of a flag, which might be classified as a type of force. As you say, even taxation is a form of force - I would say robbery to an extent; people aren't really consenting to the idea, they just conform because they're told nothing else works.

    (Original post by AnarchistNutter)
    Anarchy should involve free trade, just not the sort of free trade espoused by capitalists. Any regulation would have its roots within the infrastructure of society rather than a coercive government trying to wield power and would exist solely to ensure the safeguarding of society and the environment. Otherwise regulation would be reduced to a bare minimum, involve as little paperwork as possible and only prevent unethical practices.
    I agree with everything you have said on this point. Would an agreement on unethical be universally set or agreed mutually between the communes involved?
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    (Original post by ANARCHY__)
    As you say, even taxation is a form of force - I would say robbery to an extent; people aren't really consenting to the idea, they just conform because they're told nothing else works.
    Precisely, whereas under anarchism they would freely volunteer their goods/services to communes in return for provisions rather than being taxed.

    I agree with everything you have said on this point. Would an agreement on unethical be universally set or agreed mutually between the communes involved?
    That's a tough one but then again I don't see unethical as some abstract, complex philosophical term. In my opinion "unethical" is any behaviour which infringes upon others civil liberties and I don't think think this is completely subjective. I would add destroying the environment under that definition as it destroys people's habitats. Most anarchists believe that communes would be bound only by this one simple social code and I would have to agree; this is the only practice that would be universally agreed upon.

    Then again, does it necessarily need to be agreed upon? As I believe man is naturally good due to being a socialist (whereas capitalists believe that man is naturally greedy) and communes depend upon mass will in their local communities, I also believe that each and every commune would desire to act in a socially and ethical way.
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    (Original post by AnarchistNutter)
    That's a tough one but then again I don't see unethical as some abstract, complex philosophical term. In my opinion "unethical" is any behaviour which infringes upon others civil liberties and I don't think think this is completely subjective. I would add destroying the environment under that definition as it destroys people's habitats. Most anarchists believe that communes would be bound only by this one simple social code and I would have to agree; this is the only practice that would be universally agreed upon.

    Then again, does it necessarily need to be agreed upon? As I believe man is naturally good due to being a socialist (whereas capitalists believe that man is naturally greedy) and communes depend upon mass will in their local communities, I also believe that each and every commune would desire to act in a socially and ethical way.
    Hm.. I'm not sure whether I'd tend to agree with this point. I don't believe that man is necessarily objectively moral; more that morality is relative and subjective to the individual. So, sure, we may all be moral but its expressed in different ways. For example, in some region of the world, it may be considered honourable by all parties that if you fail in a task, you should commit suicide or be killed. I'd object to that on a moral basis but under an anarchist world, I don't hold it against a commune for thinking in such a way if that's how they want to live.

    In terms of trade, I'd say that a set of temporary, mutual measures be set up to allow a particular flow of trade to occur. Considering that situations and circumstances are in a constant state of flux, so too would be these measures for trade.

    Also, I'd be interested on your thoughts on currently nationalised institutions. How, for example, would roads be maintained or T.V. programmes aired in your view, under anarchy?
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    (Original post by ANARCHY__)
    Hm.. I'm not sure whether I'd tend to agree with this point. I don't believe that man is necessarily objectively moral; more that morality is relative and subjective to the individual. So, sure, we may all be moral but its expressed in different ways. For example, in some region of the world, it may be considered honourable by all parties that if you fail in a task, you should commit suicide or be killed. I'd object to that on a moral basis but under an anarchist world, I don't hold it against a commune for thinking in such a way if that's how they want to live.
    I think that its moral for a man to commit suicide any point he desires but not moral for a commune to place pressure on him to do so. Problem is that communes will need to agree on a vary basic form of morals otherwise there will likely be war. Then again, if one commune endulged in practices deemed to be immoral I suppose that folks from that commune could join another commune that they felt was more satisfactory.

    I do believe that morality is has an incredibly diverse meaning but I also believe that there is at least a basic level of morality that the majority of us agree on and would like to live by. I would like to focus on theses similarities. However I see your point about centralisation and if I were to support it (which I am not entirely sure whether I do), it would be the only form of centralisation; that all communes were bound by a very basic social code not to harm others physically or mentally.

    In terms of trade, I'd say that a set of temporary, mutual measures be set up to allow a particular flow of trade to occur. Considering that situations and circumstances are in a constant state of flux, so too would be these measures for trade.
    What would these measures be? I think that communes need to establish trade links with other communes as well as around their own circle for the economic betterment of society.

    Also, I'd be interested on your thoughts on currently nationalised institutions. How, for example, would roads be maintained or T.V. programmes aired in your view, under anarchy?
    I think this goes back to 'how will the railways run if there is no authority'? Ironically, during the Spanish revolution, railways were amongst the first to run. I can't see any real issue here with communes organising local transport. I see bigger issues with military defence but then anarchy is supposed to be a more peaceful form of society with the elimination of state and capitalism. For motorways to operate and T.V. programmes to run, this would not require centralisation but it would certainly require national and international co-operation between communes, particularly city communes which would be larger in nature.
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    (Original post by AnarchistNutter)
    x
    Hm, I had a response typed up but my pc went funny. SO I'm just going to type up something else here.

    In your response, you ask me if I object to the use of force to protect human rights, which I do not. But nowhere in this thread have you argued for the enhancement of human rights, rather the need to create an economic system that gives everyone equality and supposedly protects them from coercion by the capitalist. I'm sure you already know that I agree that the state has been used by some wealthy people to further their interests. However, I don't view this as a weakness of capitalism but rather a weakness of government.

    Anyway, regardless, I'm forgetting what the point we were debating was but, simply, the brand of anarchism - if you want to call it that - that you are proselytising is, in my opinion, not viable and rather contradictory at points. If you give people the freedom to create/farm and trade as they wish, that is capitalism. This is why other attempted socialist states ended up going the way of totalitarianism; you might have your glorious revolution today, but tomorrow people are going to want to work, eat and whatever else.

    How do you propose to stop a commune that wants to create money and use that as a basis for trade without having to force them not to? The more I think about it, the more ridiculous this idea of 'anarcho-syndicalism' seems, because in practice it simply will not happen the way we are talking about it here. Unless of course the entire human race achieves some kind of collective conciousness, this ideal won't work.

    Without this collective conciousness, the only option left on the table to keep the system as it is -which happens today - is the threat of force. Let me quote AnarchistNutter again:

    Absolutely and my point about using coercion is that virtually any political system from Marxism to Rothbardism to Fascism requires the use of force to implement. A reduced state or a non-existent state, even, is one that must be fought for whether you are right wing or left wing. Taxation is utilising force to extract money from people. Anarchism is only utilising force in the extent that the majority want it and may need to defend themselves against the minority that don't.
    This is exactly what government does today, and it is not capitalism. How can you call something that involves subjugating people to your own ideology anarchism? The actions you are suggesting contradict the ideology you claim to hold. All you are suggesting is replacing one coercive bureaucratic system with another one - albeit under a different name.

    (Original post by ANARCHY__)
    P.S. If anybody would like to comment; how would you feel of anarchistic system using elements of free trade? Incongruous?
    I don't view it as incongruous at all, if anarchism is to be called anarchism, then naturally people should be free to trade as they wish (this includes using money if they wish to).
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    [QUOTE=D.R.E]This is exactly what government does today, and it is not capitalism. How can you call something that involves subjugating people to your own ideology anarchism? The actions you are suggesting contradict the ideology you claim to hold. All you are suggesting is replacing one coercive bureaucratic system with another one - albeit under a different name.

    I think what AnarchistNutter was trying to get at - although correct me if I am wrong - is that at the moment, force is being used by the powerful and the few whereas anarchy would allow power to wielded by the numerate and equal. There may be a degree of subjugation but I doubt to the extent of which our system today is like. No system will ever be perfectly realised, sure. There will be contradictions and conflicts in anarchy like there are contradictions and conflicts now. What is hoped is that anarchy is more egalitarian in its approach and therefore better for all in the long run.

    (Original post by D.R.E)
    I don't view it as incongruous at all, if anarchism is to be called anarchism, then naturally people should be free to trade as they wish (this includes using money if they wish to).
    Interesting point and I agree with you. However, I would say that if two communes were to trade with each other, they would need to create some sort of temporary trading agreement which they both mutually agree upon.

    (Original post by AnarchistNutter)
    I think that its moral for a man to commit suicide any point he desires but not moral for a commune to place pressure on him to do so. Problem is that communes will need to agree on a vary basic form of morals otherwise there will likely be war. Then again, if one commune endulged in practices deemed to be immoral I suppose that folks from that commune could join another commune that they felt was more satisfactory.

    I do believe that morality is has an incredibly diverse meaning but I also believe that there is at least a basic level of morality that the majority of us agree on and would like to live by. I would like to focus on theses similarities. However I see your point about centralisation and if I were to support it (which I am not entirely sure whether I do), it would be the only form of centralisation; that all communes were bound by a very basic social code not to harm others physically or mentally.
    OK. Perhaps you may have a regional type of morality. I'm guessing just by default, people naturally in one area of a continent wouldn't have a startlingly different set of morals to one another. I suppose it would just naturally occur in that sense then, with those morals being endemic to that area.

    (Original post by AnarchistNutter)
    What would these measures be? I think that communes need to establish trade links with other communes as well as around their own circle for the economic betterment of society.
    Using the example D.R.E. gave, one commune in an area wishes to use money. Another commune it wishes to trade with doesn't use money. Thus, for a particular flow of goods, some temporary measures for trade would need to be set up that both parties mutually agree upon.

    (Original post by AnarchistNutter)
    I think this goes back to 'how will the railways run if there is no authority'? Ironically, during the Spanish revolution, railways were amongst the first to run. I can't see any real issue here with communes organising local transport. I see bigger issues with military defence but then anarchy is supposed to be a more peaceful form of society with the elimination of state and capitalism. For motorways to operate and T.V. programmes to run, this would not require centralisation but it would certainly require national and international co-operation between communes, particularly city communes which would be larger in nature.
    OK. I suppose communes could mutually maintain local transport if it wanted to. Whatever dies away, dies away I guess. In terms of military defence, although it would hopefully not be necessary, I suppose it could be organised through a cohesion of militias. With T.V./motorways etc, although there may be social cohesion to maintain them, what would happen if many people flocked to the city and then overloaded the commune there?
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    (Original post by D.R.E)
    In your response, you ask me if I object to the use of force to protect human rights, which I do not. But nowhere in this thread have you argued for the enhancement of human rights, rather the need to create an economic system that gives everyone equality and supposedly protects them from coercion by the capitalist. I'm sure you already know that I agree that the state has been used by some wealthy people to further their interests. However, I don't view this as a weakness of capitalism but rather a weakness of government.
    So what exactly are you advocating? Some form of reformed capitalism with a reduced state? Liberalism? Would their be market regulation or not? Essentially I think what you are advocating is the level of democracy we have in the UK and the west but on a global basis. This is all well and good but as living standards improve in places like China there will be less cheap labour for our market to capitalise on. I think that inevitably this will result in either; a decline in living standards over here or (and more realistically) the markets will look for other cheap labour sources. This said China is such a massive producer of our goods and I think that living standards will decline over here to an extent as China's labourers start to receive better pay. Pick up a piece of clothing and I can almost guarantee it will say made in China. It will be hard to find another source of cheap labour (and even if it wasn't it would still be immoral) and it just goes on and on in a vicious cycle.

    I do get what you say, DRE, and I think you make some valid points but I think that the weakness of government is largely a result of capitalist dominance within the realms of politics. I am an anarchist who is opposed not just to political despotism but economic despotism as well.

    If you give people the freedom to create/farm and trade as they wish, that is capitalism. This is why other attempted socialist states ended up going the way of totalitarianism; you might have your glorious revolution today, but tomorrow people are going to want to work, eat and whatever else.
    You are forgetting that under capitalism their line of labour is privately owned by a third party. Otherwise they have freedom to create/farm and trade as they wish. Also I think you know by now why I think other attempts at socialism have gone the wrong way.

    You are right of course that the immediate demands of the people are the most crucial element. This is one of the main reasons why I am opposed to Marxism and heavily subscribe myself (though not completely) to the theories behind revolutionary syndicalism. Anarcho-syndicalism places importance on the immediate needs of the people; the fact that they are going to 'want to work eat and whatever else'. This is why the establishment of trade unions under capitalism is so vital for their immediate economic needs. I, personally, only advocate revolution in first world countries as well because they have the industry to support themselves. By organising trade unions during and after the revolution the people have a means of helping one another. In the long term revolution must spread to other countries to establish trade links and the like. Hugo Chavez employs a 'the enemy of my enemy is a friend' strategem which enables him to establish trade links with countries such as Iran who aren't necessarily progressive but are opposed to American dominance.

    [QUOTE]How do you propose to stop a commune that wants to create money and use that as a basis for trade without having to force them not to? The more I think about it, the more ridiculous this idea of 'anarcho-syndicalism' seems, because in practice it simply will not happen the way we are talking about it here. Unless of course the entire human race achieves some kind of collective conciousness, this ideal won't work.[/QUOTE

    As ANARCHY correctly identifies, different strands of social anarchism can co-exist. Spain used money during the 1936-9 revolution and I would advocate this to be honest at least until all the proper transition phases have been passed. Mutualism is a strand of social anarchism which does not necessitate the abolition of money.

    In short, other communes may use money if such is their want.

    Without this collective conciousness, the only option left on the table to keep the system as it is -which happens today - is the threat of force. Let me quote AnarchistNutter again:
    Thank you for that. I think ANARCHY describes my stance quite well below:

    (Original post by ANARCHY__)
    I think what AnarchistNutter was trying to get at - although correct me if I am wrong - is that at the moment, force is being used by the powerful and the few whereas anarchy would allow power to wielded by the numerate and equal. There may be a degree of subjugation but I doubt to the extent of which our system today is like. No system will ever be perfectly realised, sure. There will be contradictions and conflicts in anarchy like there are contradictions and conflicts now. What is hoped is that anarchy is more egalitarian in its approach and therefore better for all in the long run.
    I would just add to this that some degree of physical force is used in virtually any political system (whether democratic or not democratic). Under anarchism it is used to defend personal property rights (as we are all entitled to personal property) and human rights.

    I think for instance that if one is going to tax the rich for the economic betterment of the poor that this is still utilising state force anyway. Reforms in government, you name it; they all require force to be effected. I think its better to just set up worker's syndicates so they can work outside of capitalism if they want to.

    I would like to add in the political theorem of Tolstoyanism here just to clarify that not all strands of social anarchism desire the use of force. Christian anarchist, Tolstoy proclaimed God as the only authority and believed that violence was not to be used even to defend one's own body or one's own personal property. Gandhi subscribed himself to some of the political beliefs of Tolstoy. Personally, I feel that he lead a lot of Hindus to their death this way.

    Interesting point and I agree with you. However, I would say that if two communes were to trade with each other, they would need to create some sort of temporary trading agreement which they both mutually agree upon.
    Yes, I have no objection to this.

    Using the example D.R.E. gave, one commune in an area wishes to use money. Another commune it wishes to trade with doesn't use money. Thus, for a particular flow of goods, some temporary measures for trade would need to be set up that both parties mutually agree upon.
    This is all fine. What DRE is mistaken about however is that this would necessarily mean capitalism.

    OK. I suppose communes could mutually maintain local transport if it wanted to. Whatever dies away, dies away I guess. In terms of military defence, although it would hopefully not be necessary, I suppose it could be organised through a cohesion of militias. With T.V./motorways etc, although there may be social cohesion to maintain them, what would happen if many people flocked to the city and then overloaded the commune there?
    Yes, however a cohesion of militias could be dangerous and signify the reconstruction of a state. I would only do this in times of dire need.

    Hmm well as for people all flocking to the city, I have always been in favour of the significantly improving public transport. Also a lot of the necessity for transportation is a result of wasteful capitalist production. They are issues but I am more concerned about military defense.
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    (Original post by AnarchistNutter)
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    I suppose I would say I am an anarchist in the sense that I believe nation states are inherently evil and hope for their gradual decline. However, I do not view 'government' as necessarily evil if we interpret them to be agents that protect private property and stay out of everything else. They also need to operate in the free market where people can buy their services if they wish. I certainly do not believe democracy is a good system, but it's not the worst system.

    I can't really say how things will develop from here so far as the cheap labour thing is concerned, but I don't think that a drop in our 'standard of living' in relation to Chinese affluence is a particularly bad thing. It's not like that drop will take us back to Victorian standards of living. What will happen is because there will be a bigger middle class with access to larger amounts of money, resources and wealth will be more evenly distributed. I do believe that kind of decadence and waste in the West at the moment is unsustainable and if the market were free, it would not last because capitalism does not tolerate waste.

    I think there are still markets which are yet to grow that, if they develop solid structures, could provide the cheap labour needed while they grow. I also think in the future that the clothing industry will be mechanised enough to not need cheap labour, but of course, that's far off into the future.

    I think where I disagree with you is where you suggest a set economic system as your definition of anarchism. I think anarchism should be about free association, free trade and trying to instil the kind of economic polices that are contrary to capitalism (free trade) would involve a departure from anarchism back to statism or even delving into the realms of authoritarianism.

    Of course, people are free to use force to defend themselves and their property but using it to force taxation, regulation and legislation on people is in my opinion, anti-anarchist. So when you talk about revolution it seems to me you have left anarchism altogether since, in practice, revolutions destroy one form of authority and create another - this goes for the Paris Commune and the Spanish version too. Anarchism should be a system comes about through voluntary association brought about by education of people on the benefits, rather than forcing them do join up because we feel it is the best system.
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    (Original post by D.R.E)
    I suppose I would say I am an anarchist in the sense that I believe nation states are inherently evil and hope for their gradual decline. However, I do not view 'government' as necessarily evil if we interpret them to be agents that protect private property and stay out of everything else. They also need to operate in the free market where people can buy their services if they wish. I certainly do not believe democracy is a good system, but it's not the worst system.
    I'm still a little confused where you stand exactly (if you do have a particular stance - which is cool if you don't). In regards to free market capitalism and in regards to statism, what you are saying seems a little mixed.

    I can't really say how things will develop from here so far as the cheap labour thing is concerned, but I don't think that a drop in our 'standard of living' in relation to Chinese affluence is a particularly bad thing. It's not like that drop will take us back to Victorian standards of living. What will happen is because there will be a bigger middle class with access to larger amounts of money, resources and wealth will be more evenly distributed. I do believe that kind of decadence and waste in the West at the moment is unsustainable and if the market were free, it would not last because capitalism does not tolerate waste.
    No perhaps we won't revert that far back but you can see my point when I say how unstable the capitalist free market can be.

    I think there are still markets which are yet to grow that, if they develop solid structures, could provide the cheap labour needed while they grow.
    I question whether the markets should exploit cheap labour.

    I think where I disagree with you is where you suggest a set economic system as your definition of anarchism. I think anarchism should be about free association, free trade and trying to instil the kind of economic polices that are contrary to capitalism (free trade) would involve a departure from anarchism back to statism or even delving into the realms of authoritarianism.
    Again, I'm not against free trade, I'm against capitalist free trade. I know that I have previously said that 'anarcho-capitalism' was an oxymoron but I have come to be more open minded in that respect.

    Free association will not be a result of anarcho-capitalism, in my opinion; it is likely that privatised police, military and judicial systems will either result in a diversity of miniature states or a collusion of miniature states. In either regards, I can't see the worker as having any real democratic power, except maybe in his choice as to which business he will make deals with.

    Now, you keep saying that trying to instil my economic policies 'would involve a departure from anarchism back to statism or even delving into the realms of authoritarianism'. Could you please further clarify this, as I advocate nothing but free association between workers within communes and between worker's communes. My economic policies could only be instiled and maintained if they were actually desired by mass will.

    Of course, people are free to use force to defend themselves and their property but using it to force taxation, regulation and legislation on people is in my opinion, anti-anarchist.
    Hang on a second, you do realise that I am opposed to taxation, regulation and to an extent legislation being forced so to speak, particularly taxation

    Taxation is not necessarily because workers would voluntarily provide their labour to communes in return for goods/services. These goods/services would be distributed among society, or those that work and those who are genuinely unable to work. This would be how free healthcare, etc. would be funded. So in other words, taxation provided is voluntary.

    As for regulation, well regulation would come from the communes and would regulate it's labourers line of work. You would be agreeing to the regulation when you volunteer your services to the commune. It would be internally based and apart from anything else you wouldn't have the major economic or political to create mass environmental destruction in the first place. What's more is that it wouldn't really be some third party regulating your work; in a way you and the workers you collaborate with will regulate your own work. Since it is the workers who are most likely to feel the pain from their own decisions, they are most likely to stop and reassess their business dealings.

    Legislation is at a bare minimal. Don't harm others; pretty simple.

    So when you talk about revolution it seems to me you have left anarchism altogether since, in practice, revolutions destroy one form of authority and create another - this goes for the Paris Commune and the Spanish version too. Anarchism should be a system comes about through voluntary association brought about by education of people on the benefits, rather than forcing them do join up because we feel it is the best system.
    Why does this go for the Spanish version? I think 1936 was pretty functional under anarchism, especially regarding the fact all its neighbouring countries were not anarchist and it was fighting against fascist imperialism from Franco at the time as well as its own weak, Liberal Republican government. George Orwell certainly wrote favourably of it.

    Actually anarcho-syndicalism focuses quite extensively on educating the more illiterate workers involved in the trade unions prior to the revolution.

    I think the fact that social anarchism must have its roots within society, particularly the working faction, is the key argument to the supposed authoritarianism you think it must possess. How else could we force them to just go along with it? Anarchism just doesn't work like that.
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    (Original post by AnarchistNutter)
    I hope I am not treading on Anarchy's 'turf' so to speak but capitalism would be reduced in the sense that anarchism would implement libertarian socialism. That is, the means of production would be completely autonomous and possessed by the workers. The main reason we are against capitalism is due to the scope within the system for labour exploitation. Most wealth that was ever accumulated was accumulated by the exploitation of the poor. Without having to pay a percentage of your profit to your boss you would be entitled to the maximum value of your labour which you may decide to freely exchange with other workers who help improve the quality of your labour through their services, e.g. management. The main difference with capitalism here is that they would no longer be able to tell you what you are supposed to do, you would have equal access to management should you desire as every other worker and you would come to a reasonable agreement with the labourers who decided to be, for the most part, managers when dividing your product.

    You could also exchange part of your product with anarchistic communes who in exhange for your goods/services would organise goods/services for yourself in return. E.g. you harvest fruit. You provide the minimum amount in terms of labour that they require for you to be entitled to your fair share of goods/services yourself. In this case, this is 6 kilos of fruit, and the anarchistic commune share this with other labourers who have provided their goods/services to the commune (this includes themselves for working at and organising the commune) and in return they will provide you with services from say a bricklayer should you require it to build yourself a house or to build the means of production. These communes are voluntary organisations within society which EVERYONE has equal access to. This stops them from becoming too bureaucratic or domineering. In other words they are nothing like a state. Keep in mind that anarchism does not necessarily specify a bartering economy, this is just my own particular school of thought. A common argument from capitalists is that under anarchism there is no incentive for the workers to build the means of production whereas under capitalism the capitalists are motivated by the potential of profit which they can extract from their labourers. This is wrong; there certainly is motif for anarchistic communes to organise labourers to build the means of production in return for a share of the available produce and like wise for the labourers to build the means of production for a share of the available produce. Also, even if their were not anarchistic communes, if the people were to see their livelihood threatened by starvation they would certainly have the common sense to want to get together and build the means of production.

    'Anarchy' talks about diminishing capitalism however I would like to eventually see the complete destruction of the system within time. This will probably never be during our life tymes but through the establishment of voluntary anarchistic communes under capitalism which set up worker based communes and social programmes which help the elderly, sick and poor we can set up the basis on which to start an anarchistic society at some point in the future.

    As for a reduced currency, this is perfectly possible. Anarchistic communes could reward labourers with money as reward for their labour. There would be no interest, though I believe Proudhon supports interest only to cover potential risks and expenses. Debit cards which specifically do not allow you to overdraw cash from the bank, do not have interest (or loss of interest) and do not have bankers gambling with your money would be far less corrupt than credit cards.

    Good
    Hello AnarchistNutter,

    Thanks for responding.

    Firstly, I am not sure what "exploitation of the poor" really means. I understand what the words literally mean, but not when applied to Capitalism. If a person signs a contract and sells some of his labour to an employer and gets what he is worth (in terms of hours worked etc ...), then, I don't see the exploitation. I think exploitation is a rather harsh word that involves some sinister power making decisions to benefit them at the expense of everyone else. I tend to think of government at this stage, since they have taken power away from real people.

    I was wondering what you mean by "means of production would be completely autonomous and possessed by the workers". How does that work? Do employees make their own shifts, set their product prices etc ... how do they vote on these things? I am just trying to understand how such a system really works. I could read up some material on left-libertarianism (I don't like to calling it socialist-libertarianism, as that associates something different to what you say? right?), but I often find "capitalism is evil" sentiments to be annoying. The same frustration stops me reading "The Catholic replies to Dawkins". How do you generate wealth with such an economic arrangement? Remember you need savings, investment and credit to start-up businesses and have a general increase in the standards-of-living of 'society'. The employer will earn money surplus to his 'real' needs. He only eats 3 meals-a-day, like everyone else etc ... what does he do with the rest of that money? One of the most beautiful parts of Capitalism (in my opinion) is that this money is pumped back into the system. Capitalism has enabled and ecouraged people to re-invest that money. Instead of just spending it, he saves it and is able to expand the business. That means he can open new outlets and/or employ more people. That can only improve the economic standards of everybody. There are now more goods and services offered, and more people employed etc ... This all comes down to an enterprenuer's willingness to take a risk with his own savings. His ability to lend out funds, ensures that other people can now open-up more businesses. I often think that Capitalism has a wonderful system of redistributing money to everyone in society! By increasing supply of goods and services, more people get what they demand. It's amazing how many people get that mixed-up.

    I think your second paragraph sounds like bringing the economy backwards. I am curious as to how (or why) - if that's the right correct left-anarchist word - employees would maintain or increase the business and improve economic output etc ... does that involve putting a certain % into a pot to deal with such things? Also, I am against fiat currency. I don't like centralised banks. So, I think we'll both be in agreement over the gold standard. You can still use 'currency' in anarchic-left communities? right?

    I am not sure what you mean by "diminishing capitalism" (in your last paragraph). You don't think a father should (or would) give his son something in return for mowing the lawn, or doing the dishes? Capitalism, it seems to me, is the system of voluntary co-operation between people who want to improve their lives ... I like it so much, because I haven't yet come across anything that improves everybodys' lives so much and is based on voluntary co-operation.

    I don't think I'll go to the anarchist-fare ... it's all the way in East-London zone 3 ... long journey!
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    (Original post by ANARCHY__)
    I would say that currency or capitalism should not be the sole focus of a society nor should it be very complex as an extension of that. That's only my opinion though.
    I am not sure what this really means tbh. It's very simplistic to say that currency or capitalism is the sole focus of society?

    Why do people, like me or you, work? Sure we like those wage slips. But that is a means to paying for holidays, buying Christmas presents (or beloved amazon vouchers ), saving money for future plans etc ... So, I don't think money - in its crude form - is (or has ever been) the sole focus of a society.

    I believe if you are going to have currency, it's simply to pay you for the task you do so that you can easily buy other products; no stock markets, no speculation, no interest rates etc etc.
    No, I think stock-markets are fantastic. They allow people, like you and me, to invest in businesses. Otherwise, how is John going to start-up his business? I don't see anything wrong with banking itself, if government doesn't step-in and meddle with these businesses. Almost all the problems we've suffered (booms and busts) are a consequence of gov. intervention.

    And yes, I do live in London! Could you give me more details on this convention if it wouldn't put you out? It's a shame anarcho-capitalists are so prejudiced in the anarchic circles; a little un-anarchistic if you ask me.
    Yeah, that is kind of the reason I decided not to go. I do want to chat with other like-minded people about these topics, but I am anticipating an unattractive reception! I'll drop you a PM on the details.
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    (Original post by JakePearson)
    Don't private protection companies (or protection syndicates or whatever) in anarchist societies not just end up doing what states exist to do - hold a monopoly on the legal use of force over a certain area? Won't they just turn into mini-states?
    I don't see how they would.

    This is the free-market and businesses would be competing against-one-another to entice a customer. They would reduce costs. You don't reduce costs by blowing-up other companies. War is generally expensive! The best way to get a 'monopoly' is by giving the people what they want.
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    (Original post by AnarchistNutter)
    Under 'anarcho'-capitalism, yes. One need only look towards Somalia for an example of this. However we are social anarchists, my friend. All businesses would be owned collectively by society.
    Somalia has - as one may have guessed - into a country dominated by extremist fascist Islamists. Thus, hopes for economic progress have been stifled.

    Peter Little "Somalia: Economy Without State"
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    (Original post by AnarchistNutter)
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    I guess I do need to point out my views. I view anarchism (an inherently capitalist anarchism) as the most desirable societal structure. I do not however, subscribe to the view that this can be brought about through revolution. Most - if not all - revolutions have merely replaced one from of tyranny with another, which is something I certainly do not want.

    I think anarchy can/will only be achieved when people learn enough about it to be willing to take steps - which in conventional terms are rather counter-intuitive - to achieve that state. I also recognise that there are threats to liberty such as religion, racism, fascism, nationalism and general tyranny (socialism :p: ); people are, unfortunately, not enlightened enough about these things to realise how dangerous they are and I view government as a necessity to protect individuals from such things. Of course, it has to be a government run on Liberal/Libertarian values that maximise individual liberty - which is the only activity government should be engaged in.

    Anyway, onto your post:

    No perhaps we won't revert that far back but you can see my point when I say how unstable the capitalist free market can be.
    Can you explain this further; why do you say capitalist free markets are unstable?

    Again, I'm not against free trade, I'm against capitalist free trade.
    This is another thing I don't understand; capitalism is by defintion, free trade and free trade is the de facto position of human society (going back to barter trading days) before we started trying to pointlessly regulate people's transactions, so why would you be opposed to that? And what other kind of 'free trade' is there?

    Free association will not be a result of anarcho-capitalism, in my opinion; it is likely that privatised police, military and judicial systems will either result in a diversity of miniature states or a collusion of miniature states. In either regards, I can't see the worker as having any real democratic power, except maybe in his choice as to which business he will make deals with.
    I think you have ignored the economic argument as to why this wouldn't happen. The only reason governments can exercise monopolies today is because most people wrongly believe that the kind of tyranny that governments practise today is good value for their tax dollar. Once people rethink this position, they will expect very different services from the private protection agencies. They will want them to be cheap, which would mean they are solely focused on protection of property, rather than expanding into making legislation and other services - such as welfare. Governments today are the most ridiculous forms of business on the planet, if taxation was voluntary and they were run on a free market basis, half of them would disappear within months simply because they can't get the revenues to maintain their many arms.

    If 'governments' or private protection agencies are run on that basis, the 'worker' as you call him gets democratic power from his dollar and how/where he spends it.

    Could you please further clarify this, as I advocate nothing but free association between workers within communes and between worker's communes. My economic policies could only be instiled and maintained if they were actually desired by mass will.
    I see, I had misunderstood your stance there. Apologies.

    Why does this go for the Spanish version? I think 1936 was pretty functional under anarchism, especially regarding the fact all its neighbouring countries were not anarchist and it was fighting against fascist imperialism from Franco at the time as well as its own weak, Liberal Republican government. George Orwell certainly wrote favourably of it.

    Actually anarcho-syndicalism focuses quite extensively on educating the more illiterate workers involved in the trade unions prior to the revolution.

    I think the fact that social anarchism must have its roots within society, particularly the working faction, is the key argument to the supposed authoritarianism you think it must possess. How else could we force them to just go along with it? Anarchism just doesn't work like that.
    Maybe this is my deficient knowledge of Spanish history showing through, but from what I've been reading, it seems like the 'anarchists' in Spain just created a massive trade union which held a series of strikes that culminated in the 1936 revolution? I have nothing against trade unions (in fact I think they are great), but I do not think extending their actions to expropriating people of their property is analogous with anarchism. After some reason, I find I do rather admire their actions in resisting fascism though.
 
 
 
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