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    Rather than posting an enormous article no one will read, I have just an excerpt and a question:

    "Anarchists desire a decentralised society, based on free association. We consider this form of society the best one for maximising the values we have outlined above -- liberty, equality and solidarity. Only by a rational decentralisation of power, both structurally and territorially, can individual liberty be fostered and encouraged. The delegation of power into the hands of a minority is an obvious denial of individual liberty and dignity. Rather than taking the management of their own affairs away from people and putting it in the hands of others, anarchists favour organisations which minimise authority, keeping power at the base, in the hands of those who are affected by any decisions reached.

    Free association is the cornerstone of an anarchist society. Individuals must be free to join together as they see fit, for this is the basis of freedom and human dignity. However, any such free agreement must be based on decentralisation of power; otherwise it will be a sham (as in capitalism), as only equality provides the necessary social context for freedom to grow and development. Therefore anarchists support directly democratic collectives, based on "one person one vote" (for the rationale of direct democracy as the political counterpart of free agreement, see section A.2.11 -- Why do most anarchists support direct democracy?)."

    http://infoshop.org/faq/secA2.html#seca29


    How do you reconcile freedom of association with the requirement to be in an egalitarian democratic collective, and if you don't, in what way is it anarchy?
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    From what I understand of this form of anarchism is that you aren't required to be in the democratic commune.
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    They're pretty clear it isn't voluntary - "any such free agreement must be based on decentralisation of power; otherwise it will be a sham (as in capitalism), as only equality provides the necessary social context for freedom to grow and development. Therefore anarchists support directly democratic collectives" ie. it isn't acceptable to be an individual outside of any collective, because this will result in capitalism and allegedly power inequality.
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    (Original post by favh)
    How do you reconcile freedom of association with the requirement to be in an egalitarian democratic collective, and if you don't, in what way is it anarchy?
    Go down a bit on the FAQ. No-one gets coerced into joining a commune, it's just that for various reasons (like economies of scale and the facilities communes could provide) it makes more sense to join a commune. In the Spanish Revolution, all the big landowners were kicked out, but some peasants, rather than joining a commune, lived outside of one and used as much land as they needed. Small independent farmers were often given land by neighbouring communes.

    But TBH I don't see how you can claim this would be 'illiberal' or coercive when you think private property laws aren't. It's simply describing how we think society should be organised.
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    (Original post by Gremlins)
    Go down a bit on the FAQ. No-one gets coerced into joining a commune, it's just that for various reasons (like economies of scale and the facilities communes could provide) it makes more sense to join a commune. In the Spanish Revolution, all the big landowners were kicked out, but some peasants, rather than joining a commune, lived outside of one and used as much land as they needed. Small independent farmers were often given land by neighbouring communes.

    But TBH I don't see how you can claim this would be 'illiberal' or coercive when you think private property laws aren't. It's simply describing how we think society should be organised.
    This doesn't make any sense at all - if everyone can opt out of the communes, they can simply leave whenever the communes try to redistribute money away from them or control their behaviour. But libertarianism is bad and illiberal... right? If their argument is simply that libertarianism is great, but that people should choose to pool their property, then fine. But that isn't what they're saying at all. I don't see how this is in any way coherent.
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    (Original post by favh)
    This doesn't make any sense at all - if everyone can opt out of the communes, they can simply leave whenever the communes try to redistribute money away from them or control their behaviour.
    Yes. And? Also NB that anarchists don't really believe in private property, and when it comes to controlling behaviour I don't think this is necessarily a bad thing - if one commune doesn't like, say, drugs, the members can choose to ban drugs. All those who disagree can, if they want, go to a different commune.

    If their argument is simply that libertarianism is great, but that people should choose to pool their property, then fine. But that isn't what they're saying at all. I don't see how this is in any way coherent.
    Their argument isn't that libertarianism (as in, right-wing anarcho-capitalist type libertarianism; the word was originally used by anarcho-communists) is great but people should pool their property. Their argument is that private property is bad...
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    (Original post by Gremlins)
    Yes. And? Also NB that anarchists don't really believe in private property, and when it comes to controlling behaviour I don't think this is necessarily a bad thing - if one commune doesn't like, say, drugs, the members can choose to ban drugs. All those who disagree can, if they want, go to a different commune.
    Isn't that just a diluted form of the social contract?
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    (Original post by Don_Scott)
    Isn't that just a diluted form of the social contract?
    Well yes, but it works on a small enough scale that those living under a particular system can genuinely have consented to the system, and they have the right of exit if they do not approve.
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    (Original post by Andy the Anarchist)
    Well yes, but it works on a small enough scale that those living under a particular system can genuinely have consented to the system, and they have the right of exit if they do not approve.
    So you aren't anti-statist if the state is small enough and emigration from the state is always possible?
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    (Original post by Don_Scott)
    So you aren't anti-statist if the state is small enough and emigration from the state is always possible?
    If you're going to call any voluntary association which imposes rules on its members with their consent a state, then yes. But that definition would fit a trade union, and I don't see trade unions qualifying as states,
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    (Original post by Andy the Anarchist)
    If you're going to call any voluntary association which imposes rules on its members with their consent a state, then yes. But that definition would fit a trade union, and I don't see trade unions qualifying as states,
    From an anarchist perspective, how would you define a state in terms of its most rudimentary constituent parts or activities?
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    (Original post by Andy the Anarchist)
    If you're going to call any voluntary association which imposes rules on its members with their consent a state, then yes. But that definition would fit a trade union, and I don't see trade unions qualifying as states,
    Well, I assume that these collectives would choose policies because a majority of it's "citizens" supported the policy not that all of them supported the policy.

    And trade unions don't jurisdiction over a specific area.
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    (Original post by Oswy)
    From an anarchist perspective, how would you define a state in terms of its most rudimentary constituent parts or activities?
    I tend to take a Weberian point of view, that a state is an organisation which claims a monopoly on legitimate violence, it has jurisdiction over a territory, legislates for that territory and then holds the sole right to punish for violations of legislation within that territory.

    I mean, you could call the kind of organisations which would occur under anarchosynidicalism mini-states if you wanted to. I don't personally believe that they would have jurisdiction over territory, rather that its role would be serving the interests of those who are a member of such a syndicalist organisation, much in the same way a trade union does towards its members.

    The comparatively small size of such organisations, when combined with the fact that members can freely leave (both features not present in most modern states) means that they can be considered largely voluntarist, a feature I would argue is absent in modern day states.
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    (Original post by Don_Scott)
    Well, I assume that these collectives would choose policies because a majority of it's "citizens" supported the policy not that all of them supported the policy.
    Consent is not the same as support. If I lived in a commune I could consent to follow the rules I and the other members made up, even if I didn't agree 100% with all of them.

    And trade unions don't jurisdiction over a specific area.
    Closed shops?
 
 
 
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