Anarchists! Explain To Me This...

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Cato the Elder
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If human beings are naturally capable of governing their own affairs without the state in love, harmony and cooperation...how did the state arise in the first place?
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Captain Haddock
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Simple; states arose in order to further the interests of the powerful. Their function was to consolidate power and impose conformity on conquered territories.
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ChaoticButterfly
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The fact the state had to arise means it once didn't exist...

If you want to a contemporary example of people trying to create a stateless society go and look to Rojava in the middle east.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rojava
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Cato the Elder
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(Original post by ChaoticButterfly)
The fact the state had to arise means it once didn't exist...

If you want to a contemporary example of people trying to create a stateless society go and look to Rojava in the middle east.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rojava
But if human beings were, at some point in the past, living and cooperating in peace, love and harmony with no state, then how did the state arise in the first place out of this peaceful, loving harmonious society? Surely it had everything to do with a charismatic, heroic leader convincing the people that they needed some sort of proper organisation?

My thesis is that in primitive societies the most powerful men were the most curious, the most intellectual, the most knowledgeable and the ones who had explored the most. These men were then able to use their skills to persuade their fellow tribesmen of their superior stature and worthiness to lead. Thus arose the state. These types of tribes then conquered their rival, inferior tribes who did not benefit from such organisation and heroic leadership.
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ChaoticButterfly
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(Original post by Cato the Elder)
But if human beings were, at some point in the past, living and cooperating in peace, love and harmony with no state, then how did the state arise in the first place out of this peaceful, loving harmonious society? Surely it had everything to do with a charismatic, heroic leader convincing the people that they needed some sort of proper organisation?

My thesis is that in primitive societies the most powerful men were the most curious, the most intellectual, the most knowledgeable and the ones who had explored the most. These men were then able to use their skills to persuade their fellow tribesmen of their superior stature and worthiness to lead. Thus arose the state. These types of tribes then conquered their rival, inferior tribes who did not benefit from such organisation and heroic leadership.
I dunno. What Haddock said. Also agriculture is probably to blame for introduces such hierarchy and inequality which can allow alienating power structures to form. Like states.

http://discovermagazine.com/1987/may...the-human-race

I don't really know what your point is and states did not just spring up straight after hunter gatherer society. Your anthropology is way off there. By state I am assuming you mean something like a nation state and humans have existed for millennia before they were a thing. I also don;t know why you assume "powerful" humans would allow other humans to steal. I'm sure a hunter gatherer group would not tolerate one person hoarding everything. You can have violent humans and not have states. Equally you can have violent humans and have anarchism if other humans decide they want their stuff back.

One of the core things about modern states is that they have a monopoly on use of force. Compare that to medieval times when society was a load of ruling families and clans all competing with each other with their own armies and serfs within the kingdom. That is not a nation state, it is feudalism.
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Cato the Elder
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(Original post by ChaoticButterfly)
I dunno. What Haddock said. Also agriculture is probably to blame for introduces such hierarchy and inequality which can allow alienating power structures to form. Like states.

http://discovermagazine.com/1987/may...the-human-race

I don't really know what your point is and states did not just spring up straight after hunter gatherer society. Your anthropology is way off there. By state I am assuming you mean something like a nation state and humans have existed for millennia before they were a thing. I also don;t know why you assume "powerful" humans would allow other humans to steal. I'm sure a hunter gatherer group would not tolerate one person hoarding everything. You can have violent humans and not have states. Equally you can have violent humans and have anarchism if other humans decide they want their stuff back.

One of the core things about modern states is that they have a monopoly on use of force. Compare that to medieval times when society was a load of ruling families and clans all competing with each other with their own armies and serfs within the kingdom. That is not a nation state, it is feudalism.
I am taking as my starting point Rousseau's claim that the state of nature was really a time of harmony and cooperation between individual human beings, with no state structure in place. But if this was the case and human beings started out as good and noble before being corrupted by state power, how did the state arise in the first place?

By state I am referring to any sort of centralised authority with a monopoly on force, not just the nation-state. In ancient times you had Ancient Rome, Ancient Egypt, the Alexandrine empires - all were states with monopolies on force, but not nation-states.
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ChaoticButterfly
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(Original post by Cato the Elder)
I am taking as my starting point Rousseau's claim that the state of nature was really a time of harmony and cooperation between individual human beings, with no state structure in place. But if this was the case and human beings started out as good and noble before being corrupted by state power, how did the state arise in the first place?
Because humans are not simple atoms that follow simple rules of physics. They are complex creatures who exist in complex societies. They can do a whole range of things. I think you are looking for a a deterministic equation of humanity which tells us that states are inevitable or that once they form they can never be gotten rid of. I don't think such a thing exists or can be proven to exist. I think the anarchist view of where the state comes from is not to due with consent (like how you said it) rather it was by coercion. States are fundamentally coercive and they are immoral.

http://evonomics.com/ownership-evolution-property/

I am also not of the position that humans were once "noble". They still would have done "bad" things when they were hunter gatherers. They were neither noble or savage, they were humans. I just think we have lost a lot of what makes humans happy by going away from that form of existence and it is not all good. My political view is about trying to combine the benefits of civilisation with what we have lost due to it. I'm not an anarchist necessarily but anarchist philosophy gets a lot right with what is wrong with the current set up. It is important to have Utopian ideals even if they are impossible to full achieve.

When you compare how a well off bushman lives compared to an agricultural human it is startling.

Spoiler:
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Are twentieth century hunter-gatherers really worse off than farmers? Scattered throughout the world, several dozen groups of so-called primitive people, like the Kalahari bushmen, continue to support themselves that way. It turns out that these people have plenty of leisure time, sleep a good deal, and work less hard than their farming neighbors. For instance, the average time devoted each week to obtaining food is only 12 to 19 hours for one group of Bushmen, 14 hours or less for the Hadza nomads of Tanzania. One Bushman, when asked why he hadn't emulated neighboring tribes by adopting agriculture, replied, "Why should we, when there are so many mongongo nuts in the world?"



http://discovermagazine.com/1987/may...the-human-race

and we call working 9-5 five days a week progress...
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anarchism101
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I know of two slightly differing views of anarchists on this. Firstly, what I'll call the endogenous theory. This is essentially what Captain Haddock described, and is shared by Marxists as well. This proposes that the state emerged as a pact among the propertied elites to maintain control of their power and wealth against everyone else, as well as to provide a way of resolving disputes among themselves.

Secondly, there's the exogenous theory. While it dates back a long way to people like Ibn Khaldun and Jean Bodin, it's most recently been advanced in his own way by David Graeber in his magnum opus Debt. Essentially, this proposes that state institutions and structures emerged in order to control and subjugated conquered foreigners, rather than within one society.
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