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    Hi, I'm just curious. Could you also give me some insight into what it's about.
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    dno
    the term is waved about too much
    people will go and punch a phone box, spray the A, then go and buy a pasta salad from tescos
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    if one thinks about it, there is no absolute reason why a government should exist. it's just a loose social contract.
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    It's nothing to do with these guys.


    Read into the ideology before the misconception of chaotic social repression.
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    Saw those guys trashing stuff at the student protests? Yeah those aren't real anarchists.
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    Because they're kids.
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    Where there is authority, there is no freedom.

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    I'm not an anarchist, but for a really good novel on the subject (and more) read:

    The Man Who Was Thursday - G.K. Chesterton

    One of the best books I have ever read..
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    (Original post by Edzor92)
    I'm not an anarchist, but for a really good novel on the subject (and more) read:

    The Man Who Was Thursday - G.K. Chesterton

    One of the best books I have ever read..
    Me too, it's a sound book. It really is.
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    Time to quote the guy in my avatar picture:

    Anarchy is a word that comes from the Greek, and signifies, strictly speaking, “without government”: the state of a people without any constituted authority.

    Before such an organization had begun to be considered possible and desirable by a whole class of thinkers, so as to be taken as the aim of a movement (which has now become one of the most important factors in modern social warfare), the word “anarchy” was used universally in the sense of disorder and confusion, and it is still adopted in that sense by the ignorant and by adversaries interested in distorting the truth.

    We shall not enter into philological discussions, for the question is not philological but historical. The common interpretation of the word does not misconceive its true etymological signification, but is derived from it, owing to the prejudice that government must be a necessity of the organization of social life, and that consequently a society without government must be given up to disorder, and oscillate between the unbridled dominion of some and the blind vengeance of others.

    The existence of this prejudice and its influence on the meaning that the public has given to the word is easily explained.

    Man, like all living beings, adapts himself to the conditions in which he lives, and transmits by inheritance his acquired habits. Thus, being born and having lived in bondage, being the descendant of a long line of slaves, man, when he began to think, believed that slavery was an essential condition of life, and liberty seemed to him impossible. In like manner, the workman, forced for centuries to depend upon the goodwill of his employer for work, that is, for bread, and accustomed to see his own life at the disposal of those who possess the land and capital, has ended in believing that it is his master who gives him food, and asks ingenuously how it would be possible to live, if there were no master over him?

    In the same way, a man whose limbs had been bound from birth, but who had nevertheless found out how to hobble about, might attribute to the very bands that bound him his ability to move, while, on the contrary, they would diminish and paralyze the muscular energy of his limbs.

    If then we add to the natural effect of habit the education given to him by his master, the parson, the teacher, etc., who are all interested in teaching that the employer and the government are necessary, if we add the judge and the policeman to force those who think differently – and might try to propagate their opinion – to keep silence, we shall understand how the prejudice as to the utility and necessity of masters and governments has become established. Suppose a doctor brought forward a complete theory, with a thousand ably invented illustrations, to persuade the man with bound limbs that, if his limbs were freed, he could not walk, or even live. The man would defend his bands furiously and consider anyone his enemy who tried to tear them off.

    Thus, if it is believed that government is necessary and that without government there must be disorder and confusion, it is natural and logical to suppose that anarchy, which signifies absence of government, must also mean absence of order.

    Nor is this fact without parallel in the history of words. In those epochs and countries where people have considered government by one man (monarchy) necessary, the word “republic” (that is, the government of many) has been used precisely like “anarchy,” to imply disorder and confusion. Traces of this meaning of the word are still to be found in the popular languages of almost all countries.

    When this opinion is changed, and the public are convinced that government is not necessary, but extremely harmful, the word “anarchy,” precisely because it signifies “without government,” will become equal to saying “natural order, harmony of needs and interests of all, complete liberty with complete solidarity.”

    Therefore, those are wrong who say that anarchists have chosen their name badly, because it is erroneously understood by the masses and leads to a false interpretation. The error does not come from the word, but from the thing. The difficulty which anarchists meet in spreading their views does not depend upon the name they have given themselves, but upon the fact that their conceptions strike as all the inveterate prejudices which people have about the function of government, or “the state,” as it is called.

    Before proceeding further, it will be well to explain this last word (the “State”) which, in our opinion, is the real cause of much misunderstanding.

    Anarchists generally make use if the word “State” to mean all the collection of institutions, political, legislative, judicial, military, financial, etc., by means of which management of their own affairs, the guidance of their personal conduct, and the care of ensuring their own safety are taken from the people and confided to certain individuals, and these, whether by usurpation or delegation, are invested with the right to make laws over and for all, and to constrain the public to respect them, making use of the collective force of the community to this end.

    In this case the word “State” means “government,” or, if you like, it is the abstract expression of which government is the personification. Then such expressions as “Abolition of the State,” or “Society without the State,” agree perfectly with the conception which anarchists wish to express of the destruction of every political institution based on authority, and of the constitution of a free and equal society, based upon harmony of interests, and the voluntary contribution of all to the satisfaction of social needs.

    However, the word “State” has many other meanings, and among these some that lend themselves to misconstruction, particularly when used among men whose sad social position has not afforded them leisure to become accustomed to the subtle distinction of scientific language, or, still worse, when adopted treacherously by adversaries, who are interested in confounding the sense, or do not wish to comprehend it. Thus the word “State” is often used to indicate any given society, or collection of human beings, united on a given territory and constituting what is called a “social unit,” independently of the way in which the members of the said body are grouped, or of the relations existing between them. “State” is used also simply as a synonym for “society.” Owning to these meanings of the word, our adversaries believe, or rather profess to believe, that anarchists wish to abolish every social relation and all collective work, and to reduce man to a condition of isolation, that is, to a state worse than savagery.

    By “State” again is meant only the supreme administration of a country, the central power, as distinct from provincial or communal power, and therefore others think that anarchists wish merely for a territorial decentralization, leaving the principle of government intact, and thus confounding anarchy with cantonical or communal government.

    Finally, “State” signifies “condition, mode of living, the order of social life,” etc., and therefore we say, for example, that it is necessary to change the economic state of the working classes, or that the anarchical State is the only State founded on the principles of solidarity, and other similar phrases. So that if we say also in another sense that we wish to abolish the State, we may at once appear absurd or contradictory.

    For these reasons, we believe that it would be better to use the expression “abolition of the State” as little as possible, and to substitute for it another, clearer, and more concrete – “abolition of government.

    ... ”
    - Malatesta

    See here
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    Because the state is evil and the root of all oppresion and being inherently good natured beings we could live in a society where no authority is needed, either working collectively or individually without exploitation to better ourselves and mankind etc. etc.

    I don't think it'd ever work, but it's a nice ideal. Think about it this way, Anarcho-Collectivism is basically Marxism but without the dictatorship of the proletariat, and Anarcho-Capitalism is just classic liberals on speed.
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      (Original post by wavey93)
      Hi, I'm just curious. Could you also give me some insight into what it's about.
      My take is that anarchism is motivated by a belief that the state, any state, is an inherent obtacle to the advancement of the liberties and needs of the people. From this starting point anarchists are interested in adopting a variety of non-state social systems. There's an important distinction to be made between anarchists who are motivated by left-leaning values and those motivated by right-leaning values. My observation is that most anarchists are left-leaning, many - though by no means all - adopt Marxist analysis by some degree or other. Right-leaning anarchists tend to be interested in promoting unfettered capitalism as the 'way to go', limited only by laws which ensure the enforcement of contractual obligations between capitalist enterprises and those which defend private property. To this extent the right-leaning anarchists are in direct oppostion to mainstream anarchy which is consistently anti-capitalist and usually anti-private property.

      I should say that I'm not an anarchist myself, though I am a marxist with empathy for left-leaning anarchism, I just don't regard the state as an inevtiably 'bad' institution of human organisation.
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      (Original post by tieyourmotherdown)
      Because the state is evil and the root of all oppresion and being inherently good natured beings we could live in a society where no authority is needed, either working collectively or individually without exploitation to better ourselves and mankind etc. etc.
      Anarchists do not deny that man is imperfect. In fact, when you think about it, it makes absolutely no sense, then, to risk giving men power and dominance over others for the sole reason that man is in fact imperfect.

      Surely it makes more sense to have a society where all man have both equal political and economic power? This way the evil of man can never oppress the good will of another.

      Furthermore, if we live in a society that rewards greed and selfishness (capitalism and all other forms of hierarchy) then of course the outcome will be that man will be greedy and selfish. If however we reward co-operation and generosity as a society (libertarian communism), then of course the condition of man is more likely to improve. Hence, "human nature" does not exist: it is merely a product of adapting to our environment.

      For those who oppose anarchy, I ask thee,

      "But who is to govern the governors themselves?"

      (Original post by Oswy)
      To this extent the right-leaning anarchists are in direct oppostion to mainstream anarchy which is consistently anti-capitalist and usually anti-private property.
      I really and truly cannot emphasis this statement enough.
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      (Original post by Oswy)
      My take is that anarchism is motivated by a belief that the state, any state, is an inherent obtacle to the advancement of the liberties and needs of the people.
      Isn't that a bit consequentialist, particularly the 'needs of people' bit? I've always considered Anarchism to be ideology taken to the extreme with little reference to its practical implementation: basically the acceptance that for a man to rule over another is immoral, and therefore that must be stopped.
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        (Original post by L i b)
        Isn't that a bit consequentialist, particularly the 'needs of people' bit? I've always considered Anarchism to be ideology taken to the extreme with little reference to its practical implementation: basically the acceptance that for a man to rule over another is immoral, and therefore that must be stopped.
        Well, I think the anarchist would argue that where there is a state the 'needs of the state' (whatever they may be) will come first, and possibly last too.

        As you'd expect I'd take up a marxist perspective. To be fair to anarchists almost all of human life, historically speaking, has been without the existence of the state. According to my Oxford Dictionary of Sociology humans have spent 99 per cent of their history living as hunter-gatherers, or at least something approximating that concept. Viewed from this perspective I think the anarchists are at least right to oppose normativised conceptions of the existence of the state, i.e. they are right to challenge the idea that there has always been or must always be 'a state'. I'm inclined to take your side (if only a little way) when it comes to arguing about practicalities, especially in the context of the industrial and urban society that capitalism has brought us to. Personally I don't have a problem with human civilisation making its way towards some form of anarchy - Marx's idea of communism was, ultimately, a society without a state - but I do see problems with the idea of abandoning the state 'at any cost'. In short, I think we need to go down the route of state-based socialism before conditions are likely to be appropriate for a dismantling process.
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        One thing I don't understand about anarchism is how you can enforce it. If you have an anarchist society, how do you stop a group of people forming a government?
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        (Original post by tieyourmotherdown)
        Anarcho-Capitalism is just classic liberals on speed.
        Made me laugh Awesome description!

        I'm going to read the book someone just mentioned btw, looks really good
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        It's fun being a rebel. Arent most teens/young adults like this?
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          (Original post by AnarchistNutter)
          ...

          I really and truly cannot emphasis this statement enough.
          Yeah. I'd even go so far as to say that the very presence of their pro-capitalism and pro-private property agenda cuts their formal commitment to anarchy from under them. They simply replace one institution of power with another. Moreover, their replacement of the state with the power of capitalist institutions and landed elites is so glaringly anti-democratic and monopolising of power that mainstream anarchist would rightly see the anarcho-capitalist as having less common ground than a state-accepting socialist like myself
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          I don't think anarchists realize all the things that are made possible only with the existence of governments. Technological progress, infrastructure, healthcare systems... people take it all for granted. Besides, complete anarchy is somewhat impossible. In any free for all situation, the strongest and most cunning will inevitably emerge on top as rulers and impose their own set of principles on the rest. Violence and selfishness would be rewarded, not suppressed inside us. Anarchy would in fact be the least fair of all systems. I don't understand people who lament the cutthroat atmosphere of capitalism and then support anarchy, a system that would be ten times more dangerous for the weak. Meritocracy turned sour.
         
         
         
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