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InvisibleAgent Cooper
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Re: svoboda [Re: svoboda]
    #360974 - 07/25/01 08:59 PM (18 years, 11 months ago)

Violence in what circumstance? General rule of thumb is there is a time and place for everything - seriously determining when and where violence should be used is the real question because violence generally sucks.

Hey svoboda - I'm curious. What does your name mean? I've run across that somewhere.


http://www.abolishthebank.org


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InvisibleAgent Cooper
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Re: svoboda [Re: Agent Cooper]
    #360987 - 07/25/01 09:42 PM (18 years, 11 months ago)



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Invisiblesvoboda
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Re: svoboda [Re: Agent Cooper]
    #361399 - 07/26/01 01:29 PM (18 years, 11 months ago)

Some time ago I completely rejected violence and advocated spiritual rejuvenation as a means of social transformation. But now I feel that such belief system would lead to martyrdom rather than social change.

"Svoboda" is "freedom" in many slavic languages.

Edited by svoboda on 07/26/01 02:30 PM.

Edited by svoboda on 07/26/01 02:31 PM.



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OfflinePhred
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Anarchists only need apply, in other words? [Re: Agent Cooper]
    #361463 - 07/26/01 03:33 PM (18 years, 11 months ago)

Agent Cooper writes:

"Under the system that I advocate, this is an unlikely scenario;"

Perhaps it would be unlikely if everyone in a given society could be convinced that your system were the best, i.e. an enclave of commited anarchosyndicalists on a newly-discovered island.

"...such a contract that you describe would not be necessary, desireable..."

Not desireable for whom? I desire the tomatoes that my farm is capable of producing, but am incapable of producing them on my own. My potential employee desires the money I will pay him so he can buy a hunting rifle because he prefers venison to tomatoes.

"...nor even feasible. Mr. Wheelchair would not own the land in the first place..."

Then who does?

"...nor would his "employee" need or wish to rent himself in order to survive."

How can you know what a given individual may need or wish to do?

"Is this coercive?"

If the potential employee chooses not to work for me, how can I force him to do so? I have no means of coercion at my disposal. My only chance to get what I want is through PERSUASION, offering value for value. But if he DOES choose to work for me for wages, yet is prevented from doing so by The Tribe, then coercion is the ONLY means by which they can prevent him from proceeding.

You have chosen not to answer my example. Instead you dodge the issue by claiming it is UNLIKELY such a situation would arise. I postulate that it is not only likely, but inevitable. If not that exact scenario, then something conceptually identical.

For example, what if the wheel comes off my wheelchair. The wheelchair is my property, yet I have no way of fixing it. My property (my immobile wheelchair) is now as useless as my other property (my unplanted farm). You have the knowledge and the ability to fix it. But I am not allowed to hire you to fix it. I am only allowed to offer to share it with you, in the hopes that you might eventually see fit to fix something that you are now part owner of.

Let's take this a bit further. You say, "Okay, you got a deal. I'll fix it and we'll share the wheelchair." You dump me out of the chair, fix it, try it out, and find that you like zooming around in it so much that you decide not to let me use it at all anymore.

I protest to "The Council". They decide that you must give it back to me, or at least share it equally between me and the other two hundred members of The Tribe. You say, "Tough nuggies. I fixed it, I like using it, and it would have been useless to Mr. Wheelie or any of the rest of you if it hadn't been for my work in the first place. I ain't sharing it with ANYONE!"

What does "The Council" do now? How do they enforce their democratically-arrived-at decision? Forcibly remove the wheelchair from you and give it back to me? Is that not coercion? What if every time they turn their back you dump me out of the chair and take it back. Will they assign a member of the tribe to stay with me at all times to prevent you from taking the chair? What if that member doesn't WANT to act as my bodyguard?

In frustration, The Council decides the only thing to do with you is to imprison you. You resist arrest, saying that since ALL property, including the wheelchair, is common property, you have every right to use it. Not only that, but since you FIXED the bloody thing, you have the right to use it most of the time. After all, if it weren't for you, NOBODY could use it at all.

The Council says, "Sorry, we have voted. You must go to prison." You say, "I am an Anarchist! I recognize no authority! If you wish to imprison me, you'll have to kill me first!" You turn and walk back to the wheelchair.

What happens next? Explain please, how this situation can be resolved without coercion.

pinky

Edited by pinksharkmark on 07/26/01 04:45 PM.



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InvisibleAgent Cooper
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anarchy [Re: Phred]
    #362077 - 07/27/01 03:58 PM (18 years, 11 months ago)

In reply to:

Perhaps it would be unlikely if everyone in a given society could be convinced that your system were the best, i.e. an enclave of commited anarchosyndicalists on a newly-discovered island.




Just to clarify, I am speaking of both of the individual libertarian socialist community and their respective confederation of similar communities, not the entire world. I am not interested in some utopian idealogue-monoculture; I'm interested in human progress, and diversity is the key to this. I am interested in results not dogma. Since the world is a big place, I envision a network of mutualistic, individualistic, or collective anarchist regimes (based upon the beliefs of the people therein). Since I am an advocate of a hybrid collectivist-anarcho-communism, that is my bias when I speak of anarchism; I personally believe these ideas that I hold (based upon a mixture of Bakunin, Kropotkin, and Rocker) to be the best path to a fully-realized socialism, but someone else in another culture might view things differently. Good, so as long as their non-capitalist free markets do not degrade back into monopoly capitalism and wage-slavery or any other type of exploitation and oppression and their exchanges remain mutually-beneficial. I have no problems with this.

As for the wheelchair scenario: once again I'll say it is unlikely within a libertarian socialist framework that is based upon the principles of mutual aid that such a conflict would arise. This misunderstanding is rooted not in my "dodging the issue" but rather your blurry notion of what anarchism is - just a few posts ago you claimed I was a proponent of Marxism-Leninism, an indication of how foreign alot of these ideas are to you.

Let me try to clear things up.

The wheelchair is the man's social possession. In order to better his life, he must have a wheelchair. Where does this wheelchair come from? Maybe he built it himself from parts that were prepared by someone else; maybe he built it from scratch via digging up metal ore from the ground and taping a rubber tree; maybe someone else did in the wheelchair factory. However this wheelchair come into being, it is still in his possession to use. Why? Because he needs it - it is his means of existence. Now, does he "own" the wheelchair? Within the society that I advocate, not really. Why not? Because everything that composes the wheelchair itself has a social component - the common ground from which he dug the common ore and the common rainforest from which he produced the common rubber. I assert there is no such thing as an individual product (unless he magically materialized the wheelchair), therefore the argument about the right of the individual to a thing has no practical merit (the difference of opinion regarding the labor used to create the wheelchair is -if I'm not mistaken- the difference between the collectivists, individualists, and the mutualists).

Does this mean that anyone in the community can dump the man out of the wheelchair and use it as they please because it is "social"? Of course not. Benjamin Tucker spoke of the principles of occupancy and use, meaning the man has the right to the wheelchair so as long as he occupied and was using it (which would be his entire lifetime - he would not have to boobytrap it whenever he pulled himself out of the chair and into bed at night - it would be his until death or until he wanted a new one). A simple example would be the computer from which I am connected to the internet as I type this; it is in a university computer lab. I can use it more or less as I see fit. If I leave the computer to run to the library and leave everything on the screen, it is more or less still in my use, and if someone took the computer and erased my work, they would be at fault. However, if I leave and close the screen & go home, it is no longer mine. This is occupancy and use within a private framework (not the most perfect example I realize, but a minor glimpse of what is possible). Another would be a library book. Does someone have the right to take the book from my hands while I have it checked out? Not at all. But once I am no longer using it, someone else may check it out.

Now, if the wheelchair falls apart or needs a tune-up, since it is a social possession, the man is entitled to the community fixing the wheel or providing a new/better one if he desires. He does not need to have to pay anyone to fix it or have to drag himself to a repair shop - a skilled person would help him out without charge because that's just what he voluntarily does. But does this mean society is some sort of welfare-state where everyone gets a free ride? Not at all. The wheelchair man would contribute to the community via his own individual labor and creativity; perhaps he is an editor for the local newpaper - he would be contributing to the community, and equally important (perhaps even more importantly), unleashing his own talents and creativity without being inhibited in pursuing his own individual talents by fears of "not making enough money in that field" or having to make enough to afford a new wheelchair. And since labor would be liberated, so to speak, within this construct, I believe man's potential would be unlocked.

Therefore, the need to pay someone else for the wheelchair to be fixed and the need for another to rent himself would disappear. However if despite of all of this, the two decided to undergo some sort of contract - basically what they desire to do mutually - I do not necessarily object nor would I try to interfere. I'm more interested in changing the reasons why a man with a broken wheelchair needs to pay someone else to fix it, not necessarily the act itself. I'm not interested in regulating social behavior, rather I'm interested in changing social organization.

Anarchist prisons? oh come on man.

As for the dynamics of the council or whatever it may be called: I do not think such an entity would be interested in small-time squabbles as these, since I believe people can work out their own problems - leaving this kind of stuff to people is not only is it possible, but I believe it builds character and community. The council would not be some governing force with the nature of "54 votes to 35 - we win." It would be meet to discuss larger issues on a regular basis (or not - maybe even meeting only when necessary - depending on the will of the people) say once a month. It would not resemble a parilamentary democracy, rather a direct democracy - those who hold opposing views would be able to voice them at will & with a well-reasoned argument attempt to change the minds of others. Everyone has the opportunity to participate, nobody would hold more power than another. The exact organizing-method of the council would depend on the actual community - some would be different. In many respects the democratic process would mirror the economic process - horizontal power, voluntary (if you do not agree, you do not have to go along), and direct. Such decision-making processes occur everday around the world - roommates, families, neighborhoods, etc. Very simple stuff.

I have participated in numerous anarchist council meetings (before actions & local organizing) - in all honesty they work, people get to voice their opinion, nobody has more power than another, dialogue flows without dischord, and things are accomplished.

Check out this section. Everything I spoke of is discussed in more detail.

Hope this helps.


http://www.abolishthebank.org

Edited by Agent Cooper on 07/27/01 07:24 PM.



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InvisibleAgent Cooper
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freedom [Re: svoboda]
    #362153 - 07/27/01 06:34 PM (18 years, 11 months ago)

hey svoboda - where do you stand in anarchism? influences? nice to see a fellow comrade on these boards.


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OfflinePhred
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Interesting reading. But... [Re: Agent Cooper]
    #362220 - 07/27/01 09:22 PM (18 years, 11 months ago)

Agent Cooper writes:

"As for the wheelchair scenario: once again I'll say it is unlikely within a libertarian socialist framework that is based upon the principles of mutual aid that such a conflict would arise."

But if it does? Unlikely does not mean impossible. Choose any other example you feel comfortable with where two individuals both want the use of a commonly owned object at the same time. Who decides who gets to use it? Don't dodge the issue by asserting repeatedly that it is "unlikely" to happen. Statistically, rape is "unlikely" to happen, yet it does. Civilized societies have procedures in place for dealing with rape. Here is what I found in the link you directed me to:

"Anarchists contend that offenders should not be punished but justice achieved by the teaching and healing of all involved. Public condemnation of the wrongdoing would be a key aspect of this process, but the wrong doer would remain part of the community and so see the effects of their actions on others in terms of grief and pain caused. It would be likely that wrong doers would be expected to try to make amends for their act by community service or helping victims and their families."

Like THAT'S gonna stop a rapist from raping again.

You write: "Anarchist prisons? oh come on man."

From the same link:

"However, there are psychopaths and other people in any society who are too dangerous to be allowed to walk freely. Restraint in this case would be the only option and such people may have to be isolated from others for their own, and others, safety. Perhaps mental hospitals would be used, or an area quarantined for their use created (perhaps an island, for example). However, such cases (we hope) would be rare."

A quarantined island? Sounds like a prison to me. Shades of 'Papillon'! Come to think of it, Alcatraz was an island, too. Stick 'em in a mental hospital? Where have I come across that solution before... hmmm... thinking... Oh, yeah! The USSR, that world-famous bastion of personal freedom.

"Where does this wheelchair come from? Maybe he built it himself from parts that were prepared by someone else; maybe he built it from scratch via digging up metal ore from the ground and taping a rubber tree; maybe someone else did in the wheelchair factory. However this wheelchair come into being, it is still in his possession to use. Why? Because he needs it - it is his means of existence. Now, does he "own" the wheelchair? Within the society that I advocate, not really."

So his only LEGITIMATE claim on the wheelchair is that he NEEDS it? Not because he traded the product of his labor for it? What if someone else in the community NEEDS it, too? Since it is not really his, he is only allowed to USE it at the sufferance of the majority. He has no recourse if the majority decides someone else needs it more than he does. Why make it so bloody complicated? Let the poor dude buy and keep a wheelchair if he wants. Then "The Council" doesn't have to worry about it any more.

"Why not? Because everything that composes the wheelchair itself has a social component - the common ground from which he dug the common ore and the common rainforest from which he produced the common rubber. I assert there is no such thing as an individual product..."

And I assert there is. If an individual takes the time to go into the communally-owned forest (which grows with no effort on anyone's part), strip a branch from a sapling, braid a bowstring from the communally-owned dead palm leaf (that fell to the ground with no effort on anyone's part) and fashion a hunting bow from the two components, then that bow is HIS. Anyone else is free to do the same. If he then decides to trade it for a water jug that someone else took the time to fashion from clay dug out of the communally-owned riverbank, then that jug becomes HIS.

"This misunderstanding is rooted not in my "dodging the issue" but rather your blurry notion of what anarchism is - just a few posts ago you claimed I was a proponent of Marxism-Leninism, an indication of how foreign alot of these ideas are to you."

I never mentioned Leninism. The PRINCIPLES embodied in that link are Marxist, regardless of the modifications and clarifications and disclaimers and tweaking of minutiae here and there. A bear in a frilly skirt is still a bear, not a ballerina. You claim that it bears little resemblance to Marxism, yet it is rife with Marxist rhetoric: "class struggle", "the dominance of ownership", "economic hierarchy"... bla-bla-bla. All the evils of the world are due to Capitalism. Any form of collectivism is preferable, just don't permit the demon Capitalism get a toehold.

The basic PRINCIPLE in your preferred society is the limitation of economic freedom. Private property is not permitted. No one is permitted to be a "wage-slave" and submit to the "degrading dominance" of a property owner, even if that person has decided for himself that such a course of action is best-suited to his abilities and preference and wishes desperately to be an employee. Both the potential employer and the potential factory employee are de facto criminals, and are pre-emptively prevented from becoming either, yet lawbreakers are allowed to walk freely in society so they can experience shame.

I will admit that since I was mistaken once already in this thread (my overly-narrow definition of 'libertarian') it is possible that I am mistaken again. You say "Anarchosyndicalism is not the same as Marxism/Leninism; they both are two vastly different ideologies that have little in common other than their anti-capitalist stance. Different paths, goals, and values."

Could you please give us a few examples of how the paths (paths to what, by the way?) differ, how the goals differ, and how the values differ? Thanks.

Another essential principle in your preferred society is the lack of an objective and codified set of laws and a system by which such laws are enforced, since that involves a hierarchy (arresting officers, investigators, lawyers, presiding judge, court of appeals, supreme court, prisons, etc.). The idea seems to be that anarchists won't commit crimes, or have honest differences of opinion that require a judge to decide who is correct (perforce "dominating" the loser). If someone performs a possible no-no, "The Council" meets and decides what to do, by majority vote. Of course, there is no guarantee that the next time the exact same set of circumstances arises, "The Council" will vote the same way, since everyone soon gets so bloody sick of endless Council meetings that they rarely bother to attend. At the first inquest, 20 people out of 200 show up and 11 vote that the infraction in question is not really a crime. At the next inquest for an identical violation, a different 20 show up and 11 of them vote that the identical infraction IS a crime.

"In many respects the democratic process would mirror the economic process - horizontal power, voluntary (if you do not agree, you do not have to go along)..."

Unless I want to work for someone for wages, of course. Or prevent someone from taking the product of my labor.

The key difference between Capitalism and collectivism is that in Capitalism, there is room for a collectivist way of life, but the reverse is not true. Under Capitalism, everything is permitted so long as you don't fuck up other individuals. No force allowed! If you want to persuade a group of people to pool their land and possessions and live communally, no one will stop you. How you choose to produce and distribute the necessities of life, how you choose to form your marriages, how you choose to educate your children, what drugs you choose to consume, what religion you choose to follow, what currency you choose to employ... all up to you. Be Amish, be Luddite, be Marxist, be Mormon, be a Techno-punk... Capitalists don't give a damn. The only thing forbidden is the initiation of force in human affairs.

Oh, by the way, you never did answer my question:

The Council says, "Sorry, we have voted. You must go to prison." You say, "I am an Anarchist! I recognize no authority! If you wish to imprison me, you'll have to kill me first!" You turn and walk back to the wheelchair.

What happens next? Explain please, how this situation can be resolved without coercion.

pinky





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Invisiblesvoboda
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Re: freedom [Re: Agent Cooper]
    #362459 - 07/28/01 10:36 AM (18 years, 11 months ago)

Anarchist without adjectives.

Nice to meet you!



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Invisiblesvoboda
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Re: Interesting reading. But... [Re: Phred]
    #362512 - 07/28/01 12:38 PM (18 years, 11 months ago)

Agent Cooper: As for the wheelchair scenario: once again I'll say it is unlikely within a libertarian socialist framework that is based upon the principles of mutual aid that such a conflict would arise.

Pinky: But if it does? Unlikely does not mean impossible. Choose any other example you feel comfortable with where two individuals both want the use of a commonly owned object at the same time. Who decides who gets to use it?

Svoboda: One important element of anarchy is that it is a needs-based economy. The person who needs the wheel-chair will use it. What if two people need the wheel-chair and the anarchist commune is so poor that they have only one wheel-chair? Well, they will come with some arrangement how they share it.

I prefer to take as a starting point not that ownership in anarchy is common but that no one owns anything in anarchy. This helps resolve many problems of common ownership.


"Anarchists contend that offenders should not be punished but justice achieved by the teaching and healing of all involved. Public condemnation of the wrongdoing would be a key aspect of this process, but the wrong doer would remain part of the community and so see the effects of their actions on others in terms of grief and pain caused. It would be likely that wrong doers would be expected to try to make amends for their act by community service or helping victims and their families."

Svoboda: As I understand it, "expected" in the last sentence doesn't imply any coercion that the wrongdoer makes amends it he doesn't want to .


Pinky: Like THAT'S gonna stop a rapist from raping again.

Svo: Will prison stop him raping again? I bet it would make him even more likely to rape once he is out. The only way to stop him is to surround him not with walls but with love and care within the community.

"However, there are psychopaths and other people in any society who are too dangerous to be allowed to walk freely. Restraint in this case would be the only option and such people may have to be isolated from others for their own, and others, safety."

Svo: I fundamentally disagree with this. Such people should be included within the community. Restraint would have to do not with walls and buildings but with human contacts and relationships.


"Perhaps mental hospitals would be used, or an area quarantined for their use created (perhaps an island, for example). However, such cases (we hope) would be rare."

Svo: No. This would mean exclusion of certain members of society and exercising power over them, which is not an anarchist attitude. Anarchists would find more creative ways of protecting themselves without excluding anybody.


Pinky: And I assert there is. If an individual takes the time to go into the communally-owned forest (which grows with no effort on anyone's part), strip a branch from a sapling, braid a bowstring from the communally-owned dead palm leaf (that fell to the ground with no effort on anyone's part) and fashion a hunting bow from the two component then that bow is HIS. Anyone else is free to do the same. If he then decides to trade it for a water jug that someone else took the time to fashion from clay dug out of the communally-owned riverbank, then that jug becomes HIS.

Svo: No. Ownership doesn't follow at all. Each product of labour has a prior history. The person has been taught how to make the bow or a jug. If a person creates something, all this means is that he created it. Not that he owns it.


Pinky: You say "Anarchosyndicalism is not the same as Marxism/Leninism; they both
are two vastly different ideologies that have little in common other than their anti-capitalist stance. Different
paths, goals, and values."

Svo: I'll start and let Agent Cooper continue. Marxism/Leninism is characterised by commitment to structures and hierarchical arrangements. These things are anathema to anarchists. Marxism/Leninism's aim is that proletariat seize power. Anarchism aims to destroy power.

"Another essential principle in your preferred society is the lack of an objective and codified set of laws and a system by which such laws are enforced, since that involves a hierarchy (arresting officers, investigators, lawyers, presiding judge, court of appeals, supreme court, prisons, etc.). The idea seems to be that anarchists won't
commit crimes,

Svo: If you don't define something as crime, it is no longer crime by definition. Of course in anarchy some people would harm others, but if such incidents occur, the questions would be not "who did it?" and "how should we punish them?" but "who has been harmed?" and "how can we help them heal themselves?"

"or have honest differences of opinion that require a judge to decide who is correct (perforce "dominating" the loser).

Svo: Of course there will be differences in opinions, but you don't need authorities to impose a decision from above in such situations. People will make their own unique solutions and reach compromises.

"If someone performs a possible no-no, "The Council" meets and decides what to do, by majority vote".

Svo: No, in anarchy there isn't supposed to be a "majority vote". Everything should be decided by consensus. Otherwise coercion will result.




"Under Capitalism, everything is permitted so long as you don't fuck up other individuals. No force allowed! If you want to persuade a group of people to pool their land and possessions and live communally, no one will stop you. How you choose to produce and distribute the necessities of life, how you choose to form your marriages, how you choose to educate your children, what drugs you choose to consume, what religion you choose to follow, what currency you choose to employ... all up to you. Be Amish, be Luddite, be Marxist, be Mormon, be a Techno-punk... Capitalists don't give a damn. The only thing forbidden is the initiation of force in human affairs."

Svo: What a libertarian society you live in! In the society I live in, people have much less freedom. You can't possibly "pool land and possessions and live communally" if you are poor and you don't have land and possessions to pool! This "liberty" is only available to the rich! You can't "produce and distribute the necessities of life" unless you are rich enough to own means of production, so again this freedom is only available to the rich. You don't have much liberty how to form your marriages: the law in the Western countries prohibits bigamy and with very few exceptions prohibits homosexual marriages. You can't educate your children how you like. Here in England if your children are not getting some kind of formal education you will be prosecuted! And as far as "the initiation of force in human affairs" is concerned, capitalists do it themselves every single moment by dominating and exploiting the poor. There are two laws in Western societies: one for the rich and one for the poor. It's the poor who are locked up in prisons for stealing in order to eat. And it's the rich who rob the poor every single day and continue to enjoy their liberty.


Pinky: The Council says, "Sorry, we have voted. You must go to prison." You say, "I am an Anarchist! I recognize no authority! If you wish to imprison me, you'll have to kill me first!" You turn and walk back to the wheelchair.

What happens next? Explain please, how this situation can be resolved without coercion.

Svo: Pinky, the fundamental principle of anarchism is the destruction of power. No one can exercise power over another human being. No one can send a person to prison. Your scenario of someone sending a person to prison implies exercising power over that person, and this is impossible in anarchy. Again, voting by majority would be impossible, because it would imply coercing the minority. Everything has to be resolved by consensus. Also, even if anarchists decide to delegate decision-making to any "councils", this power can be immediately revoked if the council acts in the way people no longer like. But anarchists prefer direct action to delegating decision making -- they simply make decisions themselves.




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OfflinePhred
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Where to start, where to start [Re: svoboda]
    #362559 - 07/28/01 02:58 PM (18 years, 11 months ago)

Svoboda, I find your naivete touching. You are obviously a soul with a kind heart and a boundless trust in your fellow man, unlike myself. I feel ashamed.

But, just for the hell of it...

"What if two people need the wheel-chair and the anarchist commune is so poor that they have only one wheel-chair? Well, they will come with some arrangement how they share it."

For example?

"I prefer to take as a starting point not that ownership in anarchy is common but that no one owns anything in anarchy. This helps resolve many problems of common ownership."

No one owns anything? So if I choose to use the wheelchair all the time, even though I don't really NEED it, I just enjoy tooling around in it, no one will stop me, right? It belongs to no one, therefore no one can object to me using it.

"As I understand it, "expected" in the last sentence doesn't imply any coercion that the wrongdoer makes amends it he doesn't want to ."

So if he chooses that he prefers to rape again rather than make amends, he is free to do so?

"Will prison stop him raping again?..."

It will for as long he is imprisoned. Execution or castration are even more effective, though, and both of these options use less of the collective's valuable resources.

"...I bet it would make him even more likely to rape once he is out..."

Only if he enjoys being imprisoned. It probably WILL make him more careful about being caught.

"...The only way to stop him is to surround him not with walls but with love and care within the community."

He's a rapist, for Pete's sake! He doesn't give two shits about love and care.

"I fundamentally disagree with this. Such people should be included within the community. Restraint would have to do not with walls and buildings but with human contacts and relationships."

A homicidal psycopath would find your community a prime hunting ground indeed.

"No. This would mean exclusion of certain members of society and exercising power over them, which is not an anarchist attitude. Anarchists would find more creative ways of protecting themselves without excluding anybody."

Like barricading themselves inside their houses, perhaps? Oh, wait, they don't HAVE houses. Well, you know what I mean. But if they barricade themselves in, and the psycopath wants in and they don't let him in, then they are excluding him, are they not? I guess I am not creative enough to come up with a method of self defense that does not involve coercion. I'm sure you can give me an example, though.

"No. Ownership doesn't follow at all. Each product of labour has a prior history. The person has been taught how to make the bow or a jug."

Taught by WHOM? At some point, someone dreamed up the concepts of the bow and the clay container and the wheel out of thin air.

"If a person creates something, all this means is that he created it. Not that he owns it."

That astounding example of doublespeak does hold true if you are talking about slaves. Let's say that he makes a bow, and someone else says, "Wow! That's cool! Gimme that!" Our hunter shrugs, hands it over, and makes another one. This new one is taken by someone else. He makes another, only to have it taken by yet another would-be hunter. This continues for weeks and months, because everyone realizes how great this new invention is. Everyone in the collective who is incapable of making their own bow has one. The only individual capable of making them doesn't. An individual not allowed to keep the results of his own honest labor is by definition a slave.

"If you don't define something as crime, it is no longer crime by definition."

Now that's a handy way to solve crime... simply redefine it so that anything goes! It is not criminal behavior to steal, rape, murder? Then I guess it's also not criminal behavior to walk around armed and shoot anyone who looks at you cross-eyed, just in case he was intending to beat you up.

"Of course in anarchy some people would harm others, but if such incidents occur, the questions would be not "who did it?" and "how should we punish them?" but "who has been harmed?" and "how can we help them heal themselves?" "

Who has been harmed? The victim. How can we help them heal themselves? Well, a good first step would be to prevent the perpetrator from finishing the job before the victim had time to heal. And, by the way, corpses aren't real good at healing themselves.

"Of course there will be differences in opinions, but you don't need authorities to impose a decision from above in such situations. People will make their own unique solutions and reach compromises."

No they won't. I say it is my turn to use the wheelchair for a day. You say it is your turn to use it. We argue back and forth for hours, yet neither of us can persuade the other... each of us is honestly convinced that our position is correct. What compromise will we reach? Help me out, here.

"No, in anarchy there isn't supposed to be a "majority vote". Everything should be decided by consensus. Otherwise coercion will result."

Define consensus. If not a majority, then a minority? No, you can't mean that. Do you define 'consensus' as meaning unanimous agreement of every member of society, not a single dissenting voice? If so, I guarantee you that NOTHING will ever get done.

"What a libertarian society you live in!"

I don't live in such a society any more than you live in an anarchy. A Capitalist country doesn't currently exist.

"You can't possibly "pool land and possessions and live communally" if you are poor and you don't have land and possessions to pool!"

In a collectivist society, you are right. In a Capitalist society, you have the freedom to work for an employer long enough to buy land and possessions and then form an anarchist commune with other like-minded individuals.

"This "liberty" is only available to the rich! You can't "produce and distribute the necessities of life" unless you are rich enough to own means of production..."

Like a rice paddy and a grass hut? By your definition a peasant in the Phillipines is rich, while a trust-funder living in a rented apartment is not. The peasant has the means of producing food, and he has shelter from the elements. The trust-funder does not. He can try to trade his currency or other possessions for food, but he has no means to produce food. If his landlord kicks him out, he has no shelter either, and no means to provide it if he can't persuade someone else to trade him shelter for currency.

"You don't have much liberty how to form your marriages: the law in the Western countries prohibits bigamy and with very few exceptions prohibits homosexual marriages."

Western countries aren't Capitalist.

"You can't educate your children how you like. Here in England if your children are not getting some kind of formal education you will be prosecuted!"

England is not Capitalist.

"And as far as "the initiation of force in human affairs" is concerned, capitalists do it themselves every single moment by dominating and exploiting the poor."

Wrong. Capitalists renounce the use of force. In a Capitalist society, by definition only the State is allowed to use force, and only in retaliation against those who initiated it. The sole power a Capitalist employer has is to provide jobs for those who choose to accept them. If no one wants to work for him, he is powerless to force them to do so. If they start to work for him and decide they want to quit, he is powerless to stop them. The State stays completely out of all economic affairs.

"There are two laws in Western societies: one for the rich and one for the poor."

Maybe in some Western societies. Not in a Capitalist society. By definition there is a single, objective legal code for all, impartially enforced. A country of laws, not men.

"It's the poor who are locked up in prisons for stealing in order to eat..."

For every one convicted of stealing food for his family there are ten thousand locked up for mugging a defenseless old person in order to buy crack or a new pair of Nikes.

"And it's the rich who rob the poor every single day and continue to enjoy their liberty."

Under Capitalism, if a rich man robs a poor man, he will be arrested, and vice versa.

"Pinky, the fundamental principle of anarchism is the destruction of power. No one can exercise power over another human being. No one can send a person to prison. Your scenario of someone sending a person to prison implies exercising power over that person, and this is impossible in anarchy."

Sounds like the perfect society for criminals. Steal whatever you are too lazy to produce by honest labor and laugh at the fools whose daughters you are violating while they glare at you disapprovingly. Not the kind of place I would want to live.

"Again, voting by majority would be impossible, because it would imply coercing the minority. Everything has to be resolved by consensus."

So if unanimous consent of every single citizen is never reached, nothing is ever resolved?

"Also, even if anarchists decide to delegate decision-making to any "councils", this power can be immediately revoked if the council acts in the way people no longer like."

Revoked by whom? Who has the authority to revoke anything? Those who are not on The Council? But that would imply that The Council holds one position, and The Tribe holds another. Hardly unanimity, or "consensus", therefore not resolvable.

"But anarchists prefer direct action to delegating decision making -- they simply make decisions themselves."

Including the decision to steal, rape, or kill? Or keep a wheelchair for their own use? Or hire someone for wages? Or walk about heavily armed so they can shoot anyone who tries to rob, rape or kill them, since there is no police force to handle these things impartially and it's "every man for himself" when it comes to personal protection?

Shooting fish in a barrel is not my favorite form of intellectual debate. Give me something I can sink my teeth into next time, please.

pinky


Edited by pinksharkmark on 07/28/01 04:21 PM.



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Invisiblesvoboda
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Re: Where to start, where to start [Re: Phred]
    #363055 - 07/29/01 03:13 PM (18 years, 11 months ago)


"What if two people need the wheel-chair and the anarchist commune is so poor that they have only one wheel-chair? Well, they will come with some arrangement how they share it."

"For example?"

Pinky, I have heard many stories about what was going on in Russia after the II WW. Many families were so poor that they had only one pair of shoes for several children. How do you think they managed to survive and go to school in winter? In the same way people could use their imagination how they could share the wheel-chair. If one person needs it to go to the hospital, another does something else at that time, and other people in the community help them the best they can, for example, do their shopping, etc. Someone would certainly manufacture for them some kind of hand-made equivallent of the wheel-chair. So, the problem you envisage simply won't arise in the society of caring people. It's all about cooperation and helping others, and especially those in need.




"No one owns anything? So if I choose to use the wheelchair all the time, even though I don't really NEED it, I just enjoy tooling around in it, no one will stop me, right? It belongs to no one, therefore no one can object to me using it".

People will object. But they would base their objections not on legal rights and claims, threats and violence but on moral persuasion and appeals to empathy. Laws, police and courts are the worst way of stopping people behave in an anti-social fashion.


"So if he chooses that he prefers to rape again rather than make amends, he is free to do so?"

Yes. Coercing him into anything would cause more harm. Who would make amends for that harm?


"Will prison stop him raping again?..."

" It will for as long he is imprisoned. Execution or castration are even more effective, though, and both of these options use less of the collective's valuable resources".

Prison will make him more violent and angry. Prisons are schools of crime.

"...I bet it would make him even more likely to rape once he is out..."

"Only if he enjoys being imprisoned. It probably WILL make him more careful about being caught."

80-85% of those who have been to prison re-offend. If you ask them whether they enjoyed life in prison, the answer will be "no".

"...The only way to stop him is to surround him not with walls but with love and care within the community."

"He's a rapist, for Pete's sake! He doesn't give two shits about love and care".

He is not a "rapist". He a human being. He is no different from you or I. And as all human beings, he needs love and care.


"I fundamentally disagree with this. Such people should be included within the community. Restraint would have to do not with walls and buildings but with human contacts and relationships."

"A homicidal psycopath would find your community a prime hunting ground indeed".

Have you heard of so called "circles of support" for paedophiles? They are released into community and surrounded by care and help of people, and they don't re-offend.

"No. This would mean exclusion of certain members of society and exercising power over them, which is not an anarchist attitude. Anarchists would find more creative ways of protecting themselves without excluding anybody."

"Like barricading themselves inside their houses, perhaps? Oh, wait, they don't HAVE houses. Well, you know what I mean. But if they barricade themselves in, and the psycopath wants in and they don't let him in, then they are excluding him, are they not? I guess I am not creative enough to come up with a method of self defense that does not involve coercion. I'm sure you can give me an example, though."

;) Yeah, you have to practice creativity. Treat your psychopath decently, and he is unlikely to harm you. I accept a degree of coercion only for immediate self-defence.


"No. Ownership doesn't follow at all. Each product of labour has a prior history. The person has been taught how to make the bow or a jug."

"Taught by WHOM? At some point, someone dreamed up the concepts of the bow and the clay container and the wheel out of thin air".

Yes. Then that knowledge was passed on, and on, and developed further, so various people have contributed. Every labour product has a prior history.

"If a person creates something, all this means is that he created it. Not that he owns it."

"That astounding example of doublespeak does hold true if you are talking about slaves. Let's say that he makes a
bow, and someone else says, "Wow! That's cool! Gimme that!" Our hunter shrugs, hands it over, and makes
another one. This new one is taken by someone else. He makes another, only to have it taken by yet another
would-be hunter. This continues for weeks and months, because everyone realizes how great this new invention is.
Everyone in the collective who is incapable of making their own bow has one. The only individual capable of making
them doesn't. An individual not allowed to keep the results of his own honest labor is by definition a slave".

Even in a property-less society one can envisage some arrangements allowing a person to use the product of his labour, for example, people could have some non-binding conventions.

"If you don't define something as crime, it is no longer crime by definition."

"Now that's a handy way to solve crime... simply redefine it so that anything goes! It is not criminal behavior to
steal, rape, murder? Then I guess it's also not criminal behavior to walk around armed and shoot anyone who looks
at you cross-eyed, just in case he was intending to beat you up."

Crime is not a thing. It is an artificial arbitrary concept. Crime is whatever the legislator has chosen to define as crime. Things like rape and murder would not be encouraged even in the society where there is no criminal code - look for example as aboriginal societies who don't have formal laws. All they have is conventions. Theft is a more controversial thing. Some have convincingly argue that property is theft ;)


"Of course in anarchy some people would harm others, but if such incidents occur, the questions would be not
"who did it?" and "how should we punish them?" but "who has been harmed?" and "how can we help them heal
themselves?" "

Who has been harmed? The victim. How can we help them heal themselves? Well, a good first step would be to
prevent the perpetrator from finishing the job before the victim had time to heal. And, by the way, corpses aren't real good at healing themselves".

No. Have you heard of restorative justice, by the way?

"Of course there will be differences in opinions, but you don't need authorities to impose a decision from above in
such situations. People will make their own unique solutions and reach compromises."

No they won't. I say it is my turn to use the wheelchair for a day. You say it is your turn to use it. We argue back
and forth for hours, yet neither of us can persuade the other... each of us is honestly convinced that our position
is correct. What compromise will we reach? Help me out, here."

The arrangement could be based not on whose turn it is but on who needs the wheelchair the most. People can perfectly resolve it themselves.


"No, in anarchy there isn't supposed to be a "majority vote". Everything should be decided by consensus.
Otherwise coercion will result."

Define consensus. If not a majority, then a minority? No, you can't mean that. Do you define 'consensus' as
meaning unanimous agreement of every member of society, not a single dissenting voice? If so, I guarantee you
that NOTHING will ever get done".

Yes, everybody must agree, I will guarantee that everything will be done if it needs to be done.


"And as far as "the initiation of force in human affairs" is concerned, capitalists do it themselves every single
moment by dominating and exploiting the poor."

Wrong. Capitalists renounce the use of force. In a Capitalist society, by definition only the State is allowed to use
force, and only in retaliation against those who initiated it."

I see. Your ideal society is based on retaliation? This is very sad, Pinky.



"The sole power a Capitalist employer has is to provide
jobs for those who choose to accept them. If no one wants to work for him, he is powerless to force them to do
so. If they start to work for him and decide they want to quit, he is powerless to stop them. The State stays
completely out of all economic affairs."

Why do you need the state then? To pay taxes? Or to enjoy the election process once in 4 years?

"There are two laws in Western societies: one for the rich and one for the poor."

"Maybe in some Western societies. Not in a Capitalist society. By definition there is a single, objective legal code for
all, impartially enforced. A country of laws, not men".

Oh, Pinky, this is really tragic. That's what we've got at the moment. "Laws, not men?" Pinky, you are so misguided!


"It's the poor who are locked up in prisons for stealing in order to eat..."

For every one convicted of stealing food for his family there are ten thousand locked up for mugging a defenseless
old person in order to buy crack or a new pair of Nikes.


How do you know this? Provide me with criminological data to prove this.



"And it's the rich who rob the poor every single day and continue to enjoy their liberty."

Under Capitalism, if a rich man robs a poor man, he will be arrested, and vice versa.

But how will the arrest of that person help the poor? Will it feed the poor?


"Pinky, the fundamental principle of anarchism is the destruction of power. No one can exercise power over another
human being. No one can send a person to prison. Your scenario of someone sending a person to prison implies
exercising power over that person, and this is impossible in anarchy."

Sounds like the perfect society for criminals. Steal whatever you are too lazy to produce by honest labor and laugh
at the fools whose daughters you are violating while they glare at you disapprovingly. Not the kind of place I would
want to live.


:) Well, Pinky, I am sure I wouldn't want to live in your crapitalist society either.


"Also, even if anarchists decide to delegate decision-making to any "councils", this power can be immediately
revoked if the council acts in the way people no longer like."

"Revoked by whom? Who has the authority to revoke anything? Those who are not on The Council? "

By those who have delegated the power.

"But anarchists prefer direct action to delegating decision making -- they simply make decisions themselves."

Including the decision to steal, rape, or kill? Or keep a wheelchair for their own use? Or hire someone for wages? Or
walk about heavily armed so they can shoot anyone who tries to rob, rape or kill them, since there is no police
force to handle these things impartially and it's "every man for himself" when it comes to personal protection?

Pinky, anarchism is not primarily about destroying state and capitalism. It is primarily about different social values, and a different way people relate to each other. Anarchist values are liberty, equality and solidarity. It means that no one dominates others and that people do to others as they would want others to do to them, Anarchism is primarily about new social ethics, and you don't seem to realise this.




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Offlineheadphone
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non-ownership [Re: svoboda]
    #363236 - 07/29/01 09:42 PM (18 years, 11 months ago)

"The first man who, having fenced off a plot of land, thought of saying, 'This is mine' and found people simple enough to believe him was the real founder of civil society. How many crimes, wars, murders, how many miseries and horrors might the human race had been spared by the one who, upon pulling up the stakes or filling in the ditch, had shouted to his fellow men: 'Beware of listening to this impostor; you are lost if you forget the fruits of the earth belong to all and that the earth belongs to no one.'"

Discourse on Inequality ~ J.J. Rousseau



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OfflinePhred
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Pinksharkmark Through the Looking Glass [Re: svoboda]
    #363361 - 07/30/01 01:58 AM (18 years, 11 months ago)

Psm: No one owns anything? So if I choose to use the wheelchair all the time, even though I don't really NEED it, I just enjoy tooling around in it, no one will stop me, right? It belongs to no one, therefore no one can object to me using it.

Svo: People will object. But they would base their objections not on legal rights and claims, threats and violence but on moral persuasion and appeals to empathy. Laws, police and courts are the worst way of stopping people behave in an anti-social fashion.

So no one will stop me. If their disapproval of my actions is less upsetting to me than giving up my fun toy, I can continue to hog the wheelchair.

Psm: So if he chooses that he prefers to rape again rather than make amends, he is free to do so?

Svo: Yes. Coercing him into anything would cause more harm. Who would make amends for that harm?

Would cause WHO more harm? The woman who was raped? You can't mean that, therefore you must mean that it would cause the rapist harm. But the rapist, by choosing to initiate the use of force in human affairs, has voluntarily given up his rights to be treated as anything other than a predator. He has, in the most convincing manner possible, shown that his preferred method of social interaction is through force. Very well, the community's future interactions with him shall be (albeit reluctantly) of a forceful nature.

Svo: Prison will make him more violent and angry. Prisons are schools of crime.

If he cannot control his violent behavior, then he will be returned to prison until he does. It is irrelevant whether he behaves violently because his parents abused him as a child or because he has a personality disorder or because he is pissed off at being imprisoned. What is relevant is that he is a danger to other individuals.

Svo: 80-85% of those who have been to prison re-offend. If you ask them whether they enjoyed life in prison, the answer will be "no".

That's because 100% of repeat offenders are convinced that THIS time they will get away with it. The primary purpose of a prison is not to cure inmates of their criminal behavior. It would be nice if that happens, but that is a side benefit. The primary purpose of a prison is to protect the innocent from those who prey on them. Historically, some cultures didn't have prisons. They would whip minor offenders, amputate the hands of thieves, cut out the tongues of liars, behead other more violent offenders. These methods were indubitably more effective at protecting the peaceful members of their society than prisons were, but most people today view these methods as a tad harsh.

Svo: He is not a "rapist". He a human being.

A human being who rapes is a rapist, just as a human being who steals is a thief, and a human being who farms is a farmer.

Svo: He is no different from you or I.

Speak for yourself. He sure as hell is different from me.

Svo: And as all human beings, he needs love and care.

With luck, he'll find a nice powerful cellmate who will love him and care for him.

Psm: I guess I am not creative enough to come up with a method of self defense that does not involve coercion. I'm sure you can give me an example, though.

Svo: ;) Yeah, you have to practice creativity. Treat your psychopath decently, and he is unlikely to harm you. I accept a degree of coercion only for immediate self-defence.

So the next time my grandmother is being mugged, she should say, "Gee, boys, the six of you look like you haven't had a good home-baked cupcake in years. Let's go back to my apartment and I'll whip up a batch!", and they will be unlikely to harm her? I have to admit that is creative, all right.

Psm: Taught by WHOM? At some point, someone dreamed up the concepts of the bow and the clay container and the wheel out of thin air.

Svo: Yes. Then that knowledge was passed on, and on, and developed further, so various people have contributed. Every labour product has a prior history.

New labor products are being invented daily. These products have no prior history. Your original assertion was that no one had the right to own what he creates BECAUSE he was taught to create it by someone else. It therefore follows that if I create something that is new and original, I am allowed to keep it. Unless, of course, I live in an anarchistic society. Then, some other anarchist will come up with a DIFFERENT rationalization as to why the product of my labor must be taken from me for the good of The Tribe.

Svo: Even in a property-less society one can envisage some arrangements allowing a person to use the product of his labour, for example, people could have some non-binding conventions.

Some arrangement? Maybe I could RENT my bow back from time to time? As for "non-binding conventions"... excuse my ignorance, but I am going to need that doublespeak translated, please.

Svo: Crime is not a thing. It is an artificial arbitrary concept.

It is neither artificial nor arbitrary. Murder is a crime in every society. A crime is not an OBJECT, it is an action. That makes it no less artificial... actions are as tangible as physical entities.

Svo: Things like rape and murder would not be encouraged even in the society where there is no criminal code - look for example as aboriginal societies who don't have formal laws. All they have is conventions.

Conventions, laws, agreements... different words for the same CONCEPT. There is no society anywhere, aboriginal or not, that condones the initiation of force in dealings between individuals. Even in primitive hunter-gatherer tribes, such behavior is CRIMINAL (taboo) and is PUNISHABLE. Except, of course, in an anarchy.

Svo: Theft is a more controversial thing. Some have convincingly argue that property is theft ;)

No one has EVER argued that convincingly, nor will anyone ever do so. It is a self-contradictory statement, an empty slogan. It conveniently ignores the fact that the concept of theft has no meaning if there is no such thing as property.

Svo: The arrangement could be based not on whose turn it is but on who needs the wheelchair the most. People can perfectly resolve it themselves.

I say, "I NEED it the most". You say, "No, I need it the most." We argue back and forth for hours, yet neither of us can persuade the other... each of us is honestly convinced that our need is the greater of the two. We are unable to resolve it ourselves.

Svo: Yes, everybody must agree, I will guarantee that everything will be done if it needs to be done.

If you really believe THIS, then I guess it is no surprise that you think people can be protected from criminals by talking nicely to the criminals.

Svo: I see. Your ideal society is based on retaliation?

Wrong. The society is PRESERVED because it has the ability to retaliate decisively against those who would threaten its members. Without the ability to answer force with force, the society would be at the mercy of the first thug or gang of thugs who realized that there was nothing to prevent them from plundering it.

Capitalism recognizes that freedom can only exist if there is an agency (the State) whose sole function is to protect that freedom. The only way that an individual's freedom can be taken from him is through force. Therefore the only LEGITIMATE function of the State is to protect its members from force.

Psm: The State stays completely out of all economic affairs.

Svo: Why do you need the state then?

See above.

Psm: Maybe in some Western societies. Not in a Capitalist society. By definition there is a single, objective legal code for
all, impartially enforced. A country of laws, not men.

Svo: Oh, Pinky, this is really tragic. That's what we've got at the moment. "Laws, not men?" Pinky, you are so misguided!

I am sorry, I assumed that you were familiar with the quotation. To put it more clearly, albeit less poetically, "A nation GOVERNED by laws, not by men".

Psm: For every one convicted of stealing food for his family there are ten thousand locked up for mugging a defenseless old person in order to buy crack or a new pair of Nikes.

Svo: How do you know this? Provide me with criminological data to prove this.

A slight exaggeration for editorial effect. I do not have the precise breakdown of percentage of inmates by offense, but I doubt that even you believe there are more thieves using the proceeds of their robberies to buy food for their families than those who use the proceeds to buy drugs.

Psm: Under Capitalism, if a rich man robs a poor man, he will be arrested, and vice versa.

Svo: But how will the arrest of that person help the poor? Will it feed the poor?

The arrest of the thief helps the poor man who was robbed in two ways: it prevents him from being robbed by that same thief in the immediate future, and (if the stolen goods are still in the possession of the thief) it returns his goods to him.

Psm: Revoked by whom? Who has the authority to revoke anything? Those who are not on The Council?

Svo: By those who have delegated the power.

And those would be...? Since you have already clarified for me (thank you) that every decision made must be with unanimous consent of the entire tribe, we seem to have reached an impasse here. The Council is part of the Tribe, yet they and other members of The Tribe disagree. Without unanimity, nothing CAN be revoked. I believe this is what is called a "Catch 22" situation.

Svo: Pinky, anarchism is not primarily about destroying state and capitalism...

Then why are both the State (even one limited strictly to being a "Bodyguard", as in the Capitalist model) and voluntary agreements between individuals (employer-employee contracts, for example) forbidden?

Svo: ...It is primarily about different social values, and a different way people relate to each other. Anarchist values are liberty, equality and solidarity. It means that no one dominates others and that people do to others as they would want others to do to them, Anarchism is primarily about new social ethics, and you don't seem to realise this.

What I do realize is that your system allows individuals to rape, rob and murder, not once, but repeatedly. I also realize that it forbids individuals who don't perceive working for wages as being "dominated" from accepting employment. I also realize that the first time that even ONE individual votes contrary to the rest, the entire system grinds to a halt. I couldn't give a rat's ass if these ethics are NEW or not. These social ethics are contrary to both liberty and common sense.

pinky







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InvisibleBeery
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Re: Pinksharkmark Through the Looking Glass [Re: Phred]
    #364488 - 08/01/01 12:04 AM (18 years, 11 months ago)

"What I do realize is that your system allows individuals to rape, rob and murder, not once, but repeatedly"

So how is that worse than our society?

Capitalism not only allows people to rape and murder repeatedly, it actively encourages it using various means. Convicted criminals are sent to school (prison) to learn how to avoid future capture. Rich corporations get to rape and murder with subsidies from the government. The government actively hires people to rape and murder in places like El Salvador and Vietnam. Government uses lethal injection and electric chairs to kill its own citizens. Still, for some reason, you claim that capitalism is somehow preferable???

Anarchism actively discourages rape and murder, and in an anarchist society a serial murderer would be helped and discouraged from repeat offences rather than punished for what amounts to an illness.

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Re: Pinksharkmark Through the Looking Glass [Re: Beery]
    #364523 - 08/01/01 01:22 AM (18 years, 11 months ago)

Beery writes:

"So how is that worse than our society?"

We do not live in a Capitalist society.

"Capitalism not only allows people to rape and murder repeatedly, it actively encourages it using various means."

Nonsense. In a Capitalist society rapists and murderers would be imprisoned, or even executed. Even in the United States, this occurs. What happened to Ted Bundy? Gary Gilmore? Imprisoning them is hardly "allowing" them to continue. Executing them is hardly "actively encouraging" them to continue.

"Convicted criminals are sent to school (prison) to learn how to avoid future capture."

They are not sent to prison to learn how to avoid future capture. They are sent to prison to protect innocents from being harmed.

"Rich corporations get to rape and murder with subsidies from the government."

More nonsense, but irrelevant nonsense in any case, since a government that gives subsidies to corporations is by definition not a Capitalist government. In a Capitalist society the government has no involvement in the economy whatsoever. There is a total separation of economy and State.

"The government actively hires people to rape and murder in places like El Salvador and Vietnam."

Even if that were true, it is irrelevant to this discussion. I am not discussing the US government. The US is not a Capitalist country.

"Government uses lethal injection and electric chairs to kill its own citizens."

There are instances where it is correct to execute predators.

"Anarchism actively discourages rape and murder..."

How? By wagging fingers disapprovingly? With 'Rap sessions' and 'interventions' where the offender is allowed to leave whenever he gets bored?

"...and in an anarchist society a serial murderer would be helped and discouraged from repeat offences rather than punished for what amounts to an illness."

Let me get this straight. A predator with no conscience murders someone. Since there is no police force, and no way to detain ANYONE for questioning, he actually manages to kill dozens of people over many years before someone finally figures out who the murderer MIGHT be.

This suspect is then 'helped' by whoever can manage to walk beside him long enough to do some on-the-fly psychotherapy (because, don't forget, anarchist principles prevent him from being restrained, even for therapy) before he gets to his house and shuts the door.

A week or two later, he kills someone else -- probably someone who pissed him off by yammering on and on about what a bad thing it is to kill people. A month later he gives everyone the slip and kills again. And again. And again.

Since the only 'punishment' he ever receives is a lecture on the evils of murder (presuming, of course, that he bothers to even sit still for such a lecture), all he has to do is listen with what appears to be sincere attention, shed some tears, appear honestly repentent, swear never to do it again, honest Injun, because THIS time he has finally seen the error of his ways. When he decides to kill again, as long as he leaves no eyewitnesses all he has to do when a group of disapproving neighbours approach him is to say, "Hey, it wasn't me! I already told you guys I have seen the error of my ways. Must have been some other dude. I sure do hope you catch him so he can be shown the error of HIS ways, too. I feel SO much better since we had that little talk and I gave up murder. Can I help you look for the rascal?"

To blame murder and rape on mental illness is naive in the extreme. The vast majority of one-time murders are committed by people who could easily have chosen not to murder. Even serial killers don't do it because they are COMPELLED to murder by uncontrollable forces. They do it because they ENJOY it.

Why don't you guys just give up on this and admit it... an anarchist society has no way of protecting its citizens from criminals. Let's not even START with how an anarchist society would deal with an invading army!

pinky



Edited by pinksharkmark on 08/01/01 02:27 AM.



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InvisibleBeery
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Registered: 07/31/01
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Re: Pinksharkmark Through the Looking Glass [Re: Phred]
    #364557 - 08/01/01 03:17 AM (18 years, 11 months ago)

These aren't arguments. You seem unable to clearly understand anarchism, and you're merely engaging in contradiction. Your premises are somewhat lacking in relevance to my arguments (in certain parts it's almost like there's a complete disconnect) and you fail to cite any sources from which to derive a logical counter argument. You seem to be merely engaging in thoughtless rhetoric.

Your knowledge of anarchism is obviously quite basic (and that's being generous). You prefer to see anarchism as a simplistic utopian fantasy, rather than allowing that it can be as sophisticated a system as that in which we live today. Your overly simplified view of an anarchist society allows you to set up any number of straw man arguments. I suggest you really need to take some time to study the subject fairly rather than make arbitrary judgements about your straw man version of anarchism.

Your views on what constitutes capitalism are also fundamentally flawed. I advise you to look in the dictionary before you define the US as 'not being a capitalist society'. Your claim that 'In a Capitalist society the government has no involvement in the economy whatsoever' completely ignores the generally accepted definition of capitalism and relegates it to the most outlandish reaches of utopian thought.

Your views on the death penalty are grounded in poor logic and outdated opinion. Your view that 'To blame murder and rape on mental illness is naive in the extreme' is quite funny, since it basically argues that serial rape and murder are normal, rational acts. If these are normal rational acts, then why does not the law recognise that in certain circumstances, serial rape/murder are justified?

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Edited by Beery on 08/01/01 05:22 AM.



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Invisiblesvoboda
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Registered: 07/21/01
Posts: 17
Re: Pinksharkmark Through the Looking Glass [Re: Phred]
    #364668 - 08/01/01 10:06 AM (18 years, 11 months ago)

Pinky, you assume that all people are by nature selfish and are motivated in their self-serving acts by pleasure and deterred by pain. But your view of humankind is not necessarily correct. If you see a person in a wheel-chair, will you take it away from him by force to have some fun? No, you wouldn't. And you would hardly find a person who would. People may be selfish and brutish, but at the same time they may be empathic and altruistic. Depending on conditions they live in, and depending on what behaviour is encouraged by their society, there will be a continuous war of all against all or love and peace. And this is a whole point of anarchism - to create social conditions which would enable and encourage people to become more human and more humane.

As far as crimes and criminals are concerned, leading experts today say that corporate criminals steal $10 for every dollar stolen by street criminals and wilfully for profit they take the lives of 30 people for every reported homicide. Yet, prisons are full of people from the lowest strata of the society -- people who are more often than not victims themselves.
Criminal justice is accidenally the area of my great interest, so I can suggest some reading if you are interested.
Try this for a start:

http://www.interlog.com/~ritten/home.html




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OfflinePhred
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Common goals of Capitalists and Anarchists [Re: svoboda]
    #364869 - 08/01/01 03:39 PM (18 years, 11 months ago)

Svoboda writes:

"Pinky, you assume that all people are by nature selfish..."

I most certainly do NOT make that assumption. Please show me where in my many posts I have given anyone reason to believe I hold this view. It is, however, apparent that SOME people are by nature selfish. That is not opinion, that is fact.

"...and are motivated in their self-serving acts by pleasure and deterred by pain."

The majority of people not suffering from mental illness are motivated to act in a way that they believe will bring them pleasure and are also motivated to act in a way that they believe will minimize the amount of pain they must endure. This does not equate to selfishness.

"But your view of humankind is not necessarily correct. If you see a person in a wheel-chair, will you take it away from him by force to have some fun? No, you wouldn't. And you would hardly find a person who would."

I would not. You would not. I have met more than one individual who would.

"And this is a whole point of anarchism - to create social conditions which would enable and encourage people to become more human and more humane."

I understand that this is the goal of Anarchy. It is also the goal of Libertarians. It was also the goal of Communism. It is a fine goal indeed -- I am NOT being facetious when I say this, I mean it sincerely.

The problem is that Anarchy can't accomplish this goal. The minority (the conscienceless violent) will destroy the entire system for the rest, as the only effective way of protecting the empathetic and altruistic majority from the predations of the violent minority is through forcible restraint, which Anarchy forbids.

"As far as crimes and criminals are concerned, leading experts..."

Name some.

"...today say that corporate criminals steal $10 for every dollar stolen by street criminals..."

That may be possible. So what? Theft in a boardroom is no less theft than robbery on the street. Theft rightfully should be answered with imprisonment.

"... and wilfully for profit they take the lives of 30 people for every reported homicide."

Excuse me? Corporate criminals murder 30 times more people than street criminals do? That is complete and utter bullshit. Provide proof of this outrageous claim.

"Yet, prisons are full of people from the lowest strata of the society..."

A tremendous amount of the prison population is there because of victimless crimes... possession of drugs, gambling offenses, prostitution-related offenses, usury, possession of pornographic material and more. They should not be there in the first place, and in a Capitalist society they would not be. However, those who are there because of behavior that involved the initiation of force against other individuals deserve to be there, whether they are from the bottom five per cent of society or the top five per cent. The reason they should be in prison is not because of who they ARE or where they live, but what they DID.

"...people who are more often than not victims themselves."

Victims of what? Perpetrated by whom?

"Criminal justice is accidenally the area of my great interest, so I can suggest some reading if you are interested.
Try this for a start:"

http://www.interlog.com/~ritten/home.html

I read everything posted at that site. I did not thoroughly check out all the links in the "ring" the site is associated with. Maybe some of those other sites have writers who can think. But even the Rittenhouse members recognize the need for restraint and isolation of violent criminals from the law-abiding members of a society. Why don't Anarchists?

pinky




Edited by pinksharkmark on 08/01/01 04:52 PM.



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OfflinePhred
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Of utopian thought and straw men [Re: Beery]
    #364877 - 08/01/01 03:50 PM (18 years, 11 months ago)

Beery writes:

"These aren't arguments."

For the most part, you are correct. They are questions. Questions that the proponents of anarchism have so far been unable to answer.

"You seem unable to clearly understand anarchism..."

I understand it quite well. Anarchism as defined by the anarchist websites Agent Cooper and mm. directed me to is the desire to live in a society in which there is no authority. The individual is supreme, not the State. Hierarchical organization of any kind is forbidden, since hierarchy means dominance of one individual over another. Private property is forbidden: everything is owned collectively, or not owned at all, depending on which anarchist is doing the defining. Restraint of any individual by any means for any reason is forbidden, since that necessarily means dominating the individual being restrained (with the exception of restraint in a mental hospital or on a quarantined island, according to mm.'s anarchist website). Coercion is forbidden, since coercion by definition restrains and dominates individuals: persuasion is the only allowable method for resolving disputes. Decisions that affect the collective are made collectively, either through unanimity or direct vote of the majority, depending on which anarchist you believe (either Agent Cooper or Svoboda). Individuals who create goods immediately turn them over to the collective: all which is produced is added to the communal holdings and shared by all. In some cases, certain of these goods may be deemed "social possessions" and reserved for the exclusive use of an individual based on his need, occupancy, and use of these possessions.

Have I left anything out or mis-stated anything?

"...and you're merely engaging in contradiction."

I showed your assertions about Capitalism were untrue. Firstly, you confused the present-day government of the US with a Capitalist government. Plainly it is not, either by dictionary definition (although Agent Cooper does not acknowledge the validity of dictionary definitions), or by definition used in political science courses, or by the definition of those who invented the concept in the first place, or by the definition of those who are its proponents today. If anarchy is to be defined by Anarchists, then surely capitalism is to be defined by Capitalists. Secondly, your assertions were untrue even when applied to Welfare State, semi-socialist, regulatory-crazed governments such as that which currently is in power in the US.

"Your premises are somewhat lacking in relevance to my arguments (in certain parts it's almost like there's a complete disconnect)..."

You made no arguments. You made bald assertions such as: 'Capitalism not only allows people to rape and murder repeatedly, it actively encourages it using various means. Convicted criminals are sent to school (prison) to learn how to avoid future capture. Rich corporations get to rape and murder with subsidies from the government.'

I refuted each of these assertions directly. How is there a disconnect?

"...and you fail to cite any sources..."

Ummm... I guess I missed the part where you cited sources proving that Capitalism ACTIVELY ENCOURAGES rape and murder. Or your sources proving that corporations rape and murder with subsidies from the government.

"...from which to derive a logical counter argument. You seem to be merely engaging in thoughtless rhetoric."

My answers were reasoned, concise, and to the point. Hardly thoughtless rhetoric. Whenever I present a question to which Agent Cooper or Svoboda have no answer, I get responses such as 'that situation is unlikely to arise' or, 'co-operative people will be able to work out such things SOMEHOW'. Who is engaging in thoughtless rhetoric?

You also asserted (without citing sources) that: "Anarchism actively discourages rape and murder..."

I willl concede that providing community counselling and support to rapists and murderers if they choose to accept such aid may technically be considered 'active discouragement', it's just that Capitalists prefer effective protection of the innocent to active discouragement of repeat offenders.

"Your knowledge of anarchism is obviously quite basic (and that's being generous). You prefer to see anarchism as a simplistic utopian fantasy..."

Without an effective way of protecting the members of such a society from force (both internal and external), that society will forever REMAIN a utopian fantasy. While the vast majority of individuals ARE reasonable, peaceful, co-operative individuals who find mutual aid a welcome part of their social interactions, it is a FACT that some individuals are unreasonable, violent, unco-operative predators who find mutual aid laughable. These individuals cannot be allowed to run unrestrained through a civilized society.

"Your overly simplified view of an anarchist society allows you to set up any number of straw man arguments."

Such as? Thugs, bullies, rapists and murderers are not 'straw men'. They exist. I am not setting up ANYTHING. I am ASKING, in all sincerity, how a particular situation would be handled in an Anarchist society. So far I have received either evasive dodges, impractical touchy-feely 'solutions', contradictory responses, or doublespeak such as 'non-binding conventions'.

I can't even get an answer on how decisions are to be made. Svoboda says there must be UNANIMOUS agreement or the decision remains unmade, at the same time guaranteeing that SOMEHOW, everything that NEEDS to be done will be done. This logically implies that if an issue is IMPORTANT enough, unanimity will be a certainty, an unlikely assertion if ever there was one, let alone unproven. But Agent Cooper says that decisions are made by MAJORITY rule, at the same time saying that this SOMEHOW does not constitute a 'tyranny of the majority'.

"I suggest you really need to take some time to study the subject fairly rather than make arbitrary judgements about your straw man version of anarchism."

Please point out to me where I have used a 'straw man' argument. None of my questions have been based on anything other than what is contained in the definition of Anarchism as detailed at the beginning of this post.

"Your views on what constitutes capitalism are also fundamentally flawed. I advise you to look in the dictionary before you define the US as 'not being a capitalist society'. Your claim that 'In a Capitalist society the government has no involvement in the economy whatsoever' completely ignores the generally accepted definition of capitalism and relegates it to the most outlandish reaches of utopian thought."

It is not a 'claim' at all. It is the key defining concept of Capitalism, as any political science course (or for that matter any grade school civics lesson) will affirm. Redistribution of wealth is contrary to Capitalism. State-protected monopolies are contrary to Capitalism. Foreign aid is contrary to Capitalism. Restraint of trade is contrary to Capitalism. Tariffs on imports are contrary to Capitalism. Substituting State-controlled inflatable paper currency for hard specie is contrary to Capitalism.

"Your views on the death penalty are grounded in poor logic and outdated opinion."

Poor logic? It is an indisputable FACT that an executed murderer can no longer harm anyone. If there were such a thing as life imprisonment in solitary with no possibility of parole and no possibility of escape, that would also ensure that the murderer could no longer harm anyone. That's not opinion, that is FACT. Besides, I never said that I personally was in favor of the death penalty... merely argued (correctly) that it is a more efficient method of protection that consumes less resources to implement.

"Your view that 'To blame murder and rape on mental illness is naive in the extreme' is quite funny, since it basically argues that serial rape and murder are normal, rational acts."

It certainly does not argue that. These acts are demonstrably not the norm. The vast majority of individuals neither rape nor murder, therefore by definition both acts are abnormal. As for rationality, some murders are planned rationally and meticulously, but some are spur-of-the-moment acts and completely irrational.

"If these are normal rational acts, then why does not the law recognise that in certain circumstances, serial rape/murder are justified?"

Since the initiation of force against individuals is forbidden, serial rape or serial murder can never be justified. If a murder is committed due to uncontrollable behavior caused by mental illness, the courts confine the murderer to a mental hospital. If a murder is committed for other reasons, the courts confine him to a prison, or, in some circumstances in some societies, execute him. In either case, the populace is protected from a murderer. Motive is irrelevant to the victim. One murdered by a madman is just as dead as one murdered by a thrill-killer or a cuckolded husband.

Who is setting up 'straw man' arguments, here? Your specious example rests solely on your opinion that all murders and all rapes are caused by individuals suffering from mental illness. That is quite obviously not the case. Which of us is being simplistic?

pinky



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Invisiblesvoboda
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Registered: 07/21/01
Posts: 17
Re: Common goals of Capitalists and Anarchists [Re: Phred]
    #364911 - 08/01/01 04:46 PM (18 years, 11 months ago)

"It is, however, apparent that SOME people are by nature selfish. That is not opinion, that is fact".

I would question this. How do you know that they are selfish by nature rather than nurture?

"The problem is that Anarchy can't accomplish this goal. The minority (the conscienceless violent) will destroy the entire system for the rest, as the only effective way of protecting the empathetic and altruistic majority from the predations of the violent minority is through forcible restraint, which Anarchy forbids".

If the "empathic and altruistic" people would use force against the predators, they would be justified: it would be self-defence. No anarchist would deny that it is necessary to use force sometimes to defend yourself or others.

"As far as crimes and criminals are concerned, leading experts..."

"Name some".

Southerland, Clinard, Geis, Quinney, Magnuson, Carper, Braithwaite, Snider, Carson, Pearce. See also Left Realist criminologists (Ian Taylor, Paul Walton, Jock Young) for more references.

"...today say that corporate criminals steal $10 for every dollar stolen by street criminals..."

"That may be possible. So what? Theft in a boardroom is no less theft than robbery on the street. Theft rightfully should be answered with imprisonment".

If so, you would have to lock up everybody. Have you never ever stolen anything?

If a poor woman steals a slice of bread from a millionaire to feed her starving child, do you think it's right to put her in jail?


.. and wilfully for profit they take the lives of 30 people for every reported homicide."

Excuse me? Corporate criminals murder 30 times more people than street criminals do? That is complete and utter bullshit. Provide proof of this outrageous claim.

My source for the "30 times more" is Ruth Morris "Stories of Tranformative Justice" (2000).
Similarly, Laureen Snider in "The Politics of corporate crime control" (1993) gives an example:
In a typical year in the USA about 20, 000 people are murdered. This compares in the USA with an annual death toll of 14, 000 from industrial accidents resulting from breaking safety regulations, 30,000 from "unsafe and usually illegal" consumer products, 1000,000 from occupationally induced diseases and "hundreds of thousands of cancer deaths are caused by legal and illegal environmental pollution".


"Yet, prisons are full of people from the lowest strata of the society..."

"A tremendous amount of the prison population is there because of victimless crimes... possession of drugs, gambling offenses, prostitution-related offenses, usury, possession of pornographic material and more. They should not be there in the first place,"

Agreed.

"However, those who are there because of behavior that involved the initiation of force against other individuals deserve to be there, whether they are from the bottom five per cent of society or the top five per cent. The reason they should be in prison is not because of who they ARE or where they live, but what they DID."

But look, they are individuals whose violence is over, and who may never use violence again. Why limit their freedom prospectively to prevent them from doing what they may never do? This doesn't seem to make sense.


"...people who are more often than not victims themselves."

"Victims of what? Perpetrated by whom?"

Victims of social-structural violence which penetrates the society. If I lose my job because the economy is in a state of contraction and then steal to support myself and my family, or if I am a juvenile and steal because the state has passed child labour legislation, or if I strike out of rage because the colour of my skin subjects me to discrimination that reduces my opportunities, nobody cares about it in our "criminal justice" system. When you focus on what people DID rather than on what they ARE, social-structural issues are totally neglected. But we can't respond to crime without taking into account everything that has preceded it.

"But even the Rittenhouse members recognize the need for restraint and isolation of violent criminals from the law-abiding members of a society. Why don't Anarchists?"

Anarchists disagree on this issue. Most won't object to isolating "dangerous criminals". But I am a "deviant" anarchist who has been heavily influenced on this matter by feminist writers.




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