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Why is the left associated with a big state? watch

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    The right is associated with a strong but minimal state, and the left tends to be associated with a big, interventionist state (I've just read an article which said that Gordon Brown increased the size of the state.) What I don't understand, then, is how anarchism and communism are both extremely left-wing ideologies? How can the left be characterized by a big state, and yet the extreme left is anti-state (not sure if it'd be correct to think of communism as being anti-state, but didn't Marx say the state would eventually wither away?)
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    In Communism the state is all-consuming, it is as large as it can be and anarchism isn't necessarily a left-wing ideology.
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    First of all stop being so hung up on terms such as left wing and right wing, they aren't very useful.

    Second of all basic communist ideology holds that the "the State" is a used as a tool by the ruling class to enforce social and economic disparity, to protect a minority of people who oppress other people primarily through the enforcement of property rights. Anarchism has the same roots as communism as a workers movement, they are working for the same eventual goal of a society without hierarchy. Communists just believe that a hierarchical state is necessary to transition to this end (socialism*), while anarchists believe in using only non-hierarchical, decentralized means such as organised labour.

    *worth noting that not all socialists are marxists. Many see the state as essential in protecting the working class from the intrests of big bussiness and high finance. Also Gordon Brown and the Labour party are not left wing.
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    Statism is either left or right wing.

    There are Conservatives who value a large welfare state, as big as some leftist Labour people. Left-wing and right-wing are redundant labels anyhow.
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    (Original post by Layabout)
    First of all stop being so hung up on terms such as left wing and right wing, they aren't very useful.

    Second of all basic communist ideology holds that the "the State" is a used as a tool by the ruling class to enforce social and economic disparity, to protect a minority of people who oppress other people primarily through the enforcement of property rights. Anarchism has the same roots as communism as a workers movement, they are working for the same eventual goal of a society without hierarchy. Communists just believe that a hierarchical state is necessary to transition to this end (socialism*), while anarchists believe in using only non-hierarchical, decentralized means such as organised labour.

    *worth noting that not all socialists are marxists. Many see the state as essential in protecting the working class from the intrests of big bussiness and high finance. Also Gordon Brown and the Labour party are not left wing.
    Depends entirely on where you put the 'centre' though.

    The left/right model is just completely outdated now though.
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    Anarchism in it's purest sense is very much an economically right-wing ideology.

    The reason that the left is associated with a big state is because communism, the most left-wing ideology you can get, promotes the state dominating all areas of economic activity. The big economic state also led to extreme authoritarianism in the Soviet Union, for example, although it wouldn't necessarily have to do so. Socialism also advocates a government that intervenes a lot in the economy, mostly with high taxation and large public institutions such as the NHS.

    Anarchism means lack of a ruling government, which means that there would be an absolute free market as well as a socially free society.
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    (Original post by milkytea)
    Anarchism in it's purest sense is very much an economically right-wing ideology.

    The reason that the left is associated with a big state is because communism, the most left-wing ideology you can get, promotes the state dominating all areas of economic activity. The big economic state also led to extreme authoritarianism in the Soviet Union, for example, although it wouldn't necessarily have to do so. Socialism also advocates a government that intervenes a lot in the economy, mostly with high taxation and large public institutions such as the NHS.

    Anarchism means lack of a ruling government, which means that there would be an absolute free market as well as a socially free society.
    Actually anarchism has always placed equal importance on the abolition of private property and capitalism as it has with abolishing the state, as capitalism is seen as innately coercive and hierarchical. "Anarcho" capitalism is simply a fad, it has no roots in anarchism "in it's purest sense" at all.
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    (Original post by Layabout)
    Actually anarchism has always placed equal importance on the abolition of private property and capitalism as it has with abolishing the state, as capitalism is seen as innately coercive and hierarchical. "Anarcho" capitalism is simply a fad, it has no roots in anarchism "in it's purest sense" at all.
    In books I've read, "anarchism" has been the term used for a society with complete social freedom and complete economic freedom. I suppose there are other interpretations which I'm unfamiliar with.

    I must say I struggle to see how the right to own private property could be removed without some sort of governmental authority involved. How would this version of "anarchism" be any different to communism in reality?
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    The left strongly back the intervention of the government, and comprehensive social welfare,which are attributes of a 'big state'
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    Because of the Soviet Union et al.

    Problem is Left/Right is a pretty bad measure. Even Left/Right + Authoritarian/Libertarian isn't a brilliant model.

    (Original post by milkytea)
    In books I've read, "anarchism" has been the term used for a society with complete social freedom and complete economic freedom. I suppose there are other interpretations which I'm unfamiliar with.

    I must say I struggle to see how the right to own private property could be removed without some sort of governmental authority involved. How would this version of "anarchism" be any different to communism in reality?
    Not that different, Communism does call for a stateless society which is, by definition, Anarchy. Always felt "Anarcho-Communism" is a rather redundant term.
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    (Original post by milkytea)
    I must say I struggle to see how the right to own private property could be removed without some sort of governmental authority involved. How would this version of "anarchism" be any different to communism in reality?
    Surely without a governmental authority making/enforcing property laws (and, on the most basic level, rules forbidding theft), the concept of "property" becomes meaningless?
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    (Original post by LtCommanderData)
    Surely without a governmental authority making/enforcing property laws (and, on the most basic level, rules forbidding theft), the concept of "property" becomes meaningless?
    The absence of law or government doesn't mean there would be no authority in the world, though. If there was no law and somebody stole your wallet, you would still consider that to be your property and would use force to regain it. Similarly, you would wish to be able to buy goods or property and use it for your own ends. In a society without the rule of law, people would probably provide a service of property protection (by use of force force) in return for money or incentives.

    The abolition of private property could only occur if there was universal consent on the matter, which there almost certainly never will be.


    (Original post by Fusilero)
    Because of the Soviet Union et al.

    Problem is Left/Right is a pretty bad measure. Even Left/Right + Authoritarian/Libertarian isn't a brilliant model.



    Not that different, Communism does call for a stateless society which is, by definition, Anarchy. Always felt "Anarcho-Communism" is a rather redundant term.
    Communism also calls for the public ownership of all property. Unless there is absolute agreement that all property should belong to the community, surely there has to be a state or authority to enforce this?

    An absolutely free society would grant total social freedom and total economic freedom. The latter requires the retention of the right to private property. If you remove this, your "free" society has to incorporate some aspect of control.
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    (Original post by milkytea)
    The abolition of private property could only occur if there was universal consent on the matter, which there almost certainly never will be.
    I disagree. If you "own" something - let's use a piece of land as an example - and you consider it yours, it will only function as your property if the rest of society accepts that it is. As it is almost certainly only in your interests for that land to "belong" to you and nobody else, many people will be inclined to ignore your suggestion that it is your property. I propose that the existence of property depends upon near-universal acceptance that something can be "owned", and that the loss of this in half or more of the members of a community would be equivalent to the abolition of private property.
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    (Original post by milkytea)
    In books I've read, "anarchism" has been the term used for a society with complete social freedom and complete economic freedom. I suppose there are other interpretations which I'm unfamiliar with.

    "Economic freedom" is a tenuous term. I don't now what book you have read, anarchism has always been associated with the left, while also opposing all forms of state socialism, anarchists have always seen themselves as anti-capitalists primarly. Both Tucker and Kropotkin considered themselves socialists, as did Bakunin and Proudhon.

    (Original post by milkytea)
    I must say I struggle to see how the right to own private property could be removed without some sort of governmental authority involved. How would this version of "anarchism" be any different to communism in reality?
    This traditional version of anarchism is essentially no different to communism, it's the methods for establishing such a society that differ. And your question about private property is an important one with a lot of different answers, and it would be best to research yourself.
 
 
 
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