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OfflinePotSmokinHippie
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Capitalism or Socialism?
    #357603 - 07/19/01 04:33 PM (18 years, 11 months ago)


Which would you prefer?
Capitalism
Democratic Socialism



The thing people don't realize is that lions are very kind and gentle creatures, until they try to rip your head off.


Votes accepted from (12/31/69 05:00 PM) to (No end specified)
View the results of this poll



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"assumption is the mother of all fuckup" - me


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InvisibleAgent Cooper
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Re: Capitalism or Socialism? [Re: PotSmokinHippie]
    #358082 - 07/20/01 10:58 PM (18 years, 11 months ago)



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OfflinePhred
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A rose by any other name... [Re: Agent Cooper]
    #358125 - 07/21/01 12:56 AM (18 years, 11 months ago)

Anarchosyndicalism? I actually took the time to wade through the turgid prose in the "Basic Concepts" section of the page linked in your post. They can call it whatever they want, but it is Marxism, pure and simple.

As for "libertarian socialism"... the two concepts are diametrically opposed. It is an oxymoron, a contradiction in terms.

I can readily see where socialism could be hyphenated with anarchosyndicalism, since the two are fundamentally identical from a philosophical standpoint (same old shopworn Marxist/Leninist rhetoric), but to add libertarianism to the mix was a stroke of comedic genius.

You have a much more subtle sense of humor than I had originally surmised, Agent Cooper. Kudos.

pinky







Edited by pinksharkmark on 07/21/01 02:00 AM.



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OfflineEllis Dee
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Re: A rose by any other name... [Re: Phred]
    #358132 - 07/21/01 01:37 AM (18 years, 11 months ago)

Pinksharkman, I am a moderate libertarian liberal. That means I agree with liberals on most social aspects and with libertarians on freedom issues. But I voted republican in the last presidential election, only because Bush is Pro gun NRA like me though. For local judges I voted all democrat, etcetera. I am classified as a moderate libertarian liberal. I really don't fit into any political party and I vote for what I believe is right. And Pro Gun candidates are #1 on my list. I will not vote for anyone anti gun. I don't see libertarian socialism as being so far fetched. Only difference is instead of moderate libertarian liberal it would be left libertarian liberal. You need to brush up on your political science.



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"If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do."-King Solomon

And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,


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InvisibleAgent Cooper
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Re: A rose by any other name... [Re: Phred]
    #358245 - 07/21/01 10:22 AM (18 years, 11 months ago)

Not quite my friend. 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. Perhaps there is a minor similarity in extremely left-wing Marxism, but this is a rare breed (if not dead and outdated - to the best of my knowledge there hasnt really been such an organization since the POUM of the 1930s) and is completely overshadowed by common and popular Marxism. Syndicalists do not identify with Marx, nor do Marxists identify with syndicalists. To lum these two socialistic strains together is simple-minded and rather typical.

Libertarian socialism an oxymoron? hehe, good one.

This is not a contradiction of terms; libertarian socialism is simply coercion-free, decentralized and community-based organization that is non-hierarchial, non-bureaucratic, and non-overreaching. This avoids the nasty pitfalls of state socialism (Marxist/Leninism for example) that has done a great disservice to the people of the world in my opinion.


http://www.abolishthebank.org


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OfflinePhred
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Political Science has now been brushed up on. Guess what? [Re: Ellis Dee]
    #358256 - 07/21/01 10:47 AM (18 years, 11 months ago)

Rail_Gun writes:

"You need to brush up on your political science."

Any introductory Poli Sci class in any university in any country in the world will give the same definition of Socialism. For that matter, so will any grade school Civics class. Or dictionary. Or Encyclopedia.

Oxford Dictionary of Current English:

socialism: political and economic theory of social organization advocating State ownership and control of natural resources and commercial activities; policy or practise based on this theory.

Merriam Webster Collegiate Dictionary:

socialism: (a) a system of society or group living in which there is no private property.
(b) a system or condition of society in which the means of production are owned and controlled by the state.

Encyclopedia Britannica

socialism: A system of social organization in which property and the distribution of income are subject to government control rather than individual determination or market forces.

Strangely enough, these definitions match perfectly what I remember being taught in school. Is my understanding of Libertarianism as accurate? Encyclopedia Britannica says:

"Libertarian doctrine supports the rights of individuals to exercise virtual sole authority over their lives and sets itself against the traditional services and regulatory and coercive powers of federal, state, and local governments."

Okay... I brushed up on my political science. Let me repeat... "libertarian socialism" is as big an oxymoron as "Christian Satanism". Libertarianism and Socialism are about as diametrically opposed as two concepts can be. By definition there can be no middle ground between the two. Which are you?

pinky





Edited by pinksharkmark on 07/21/01 11:52 AM.



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Offlinejihead
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Re: Political Science has now been brushed up on. Guess what? [Re: Phred]
    #358309 - 07/21/01 12:46 PM (18 years, 11 months ago)

ughh, (sigh) read more of the link. put the concepts together now...

no coercive political hierarchy (state, fed, local) found with socialism, combined with no capitalist system and profit motive found with libertarianism. simple. think--hippie communes--



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OfflinePhred
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Conflicting concepts [Re: jihead]
    #358342 - 07/21/01 02:17 PM (18 years, 11 months ago)

Jihead writes:

"ughh, (sigh) read more of the link. put the concepts together now..."

No matter how hard one tries, one cannot combine concepts that are fundamentally opposed, unless one is Lewis Caroll's Mad Hatter, who routinely believed several impossible things before breakfast each day.

I re-read the entire "Basic Concepts" section of the link. One would hope that all the fundamentals necessary to grasp the concept of "Anarchosyndicalism" would be covered under that heading. It appears that they are covered pretty thoroughly, hence I felt no need to comb through a dozen other cryptically-titled links. Regardless of Agent Cooper's assertion to the contrary, it is fundamentally Marxism. Nothing new there. Merely another in an endless stream of variants on Collectivism.

"simple. think--hippie communes--"

And what is a hippie commune but a Socialist society? Who owns the property in a commune? Everybody (the collective). Is there such a thing as individual profit in a hippie commune? No. If there was, it wouldn't be a commune. A hippie commune is simply Socialism run by majority rule, rather than Socialism run by an elite. The decision-making body may not be called "The Government" or "The State"... it may be called "The Council" or "The Gathering", and normally includes every member of the commune. Nonetheless, once the majority rules on a particular issue, those in the minority have no recourse but to obey or leave the commune.

My point is not that Socialism and Anarchosyndicalism are incompatible... far from it, they are variations on the same theme -- Collectivism. If Agent Cooper had chosen to describe himself as a "socialist/anarchosyndicalist/communard" I wouldn't have made a peep.

But to claim that Libertarianism is compatible with ANY form of Collectivism (including a hippie commune) is just plain wrong. Libertarianism is based on INDIVIDUALISM.

"...combined with no capitalist system and profit motive found with libertarianism"

Remove the profit motive, individual ownership of property and other capitalist concepts from Libertarianism and what remains is NOT Libertarianism.

If Agent Cooper wishes to espouse his particular variant of Collectivism in this forum, fine with me. But to use the label "Libertarian" in an attempt to make it more palatable is deliberate fraud, and he can't take umbrage in being exposed. It is abundantly clear from his posts that he is intelligent, well-read and articulate, so his misuse of the term "Libertarian" is deliberate, not the result of ignorance or stupidity.

pinky




Edited by pinksharkmark on 07/21/01 03:24 PM.



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Invisiblesvoboda
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Re: A rose by any other name... [Re: Agent Cooper]
    #358390 - 07/21/01 03:47 PM (18 years, 11 months ago)

"...libertarian socialism is simply coercion-free"

Do you think it's possible for anarchy to be totally coercion-free? If it is, do you think it would be desirable?

And you are right: there is nothing in this poll to vote for.



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InvisibleInnvertigo
Vote Libertarian!!
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Re: Capitalism or Socialism? [Re: PotSmokinHippie]
    #359284 - 07/23/01 06:15 AM (18 years, 11 months ago)

I'm for a representative republic.....democracy is a joke....9 vote to eat the 10th, sounds fair to me.

Relax, Relax, Relax.....it's just a little pin prick * there'll be no more AARRGGHHH!!!! but you may feel a little sick.....


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America....FUCK YEAH!!!

Words of Wisdom: Individual Rights BEFORE Collective Rights

"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." -- Thomas Jefferson


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InvisibleAgent Cooper
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re: *DELETED* [Re: Phred]
    #359445 - 07/23/01 01:41 PM (18 years, 11 months ago)

Post deleted by Agent Cooper


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InvisibleAgent Cooper
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Re: re: [Re: Agent Cooper]
    #359450 - 07/23/01 01:49 PM (18 years, 11 months ago)

The usage of the term "libertarian" is meant as an adjective or a prefix to the term "socialism" not as some great adherence to Libertarianism itself. The prefix simply describes the type of socialism that we desire; roughly speaking, nongovernmental and decentralized and suspious of any power that is removed from the communities, individuals, and families of society themselves.

(Also interesting to note is the common usage of the term "libertarian" - if you travel anywhere other than the United States or Canada and happen to use this term, most anyone would think you are an anarchist not some free-marketeer. Also if you read 20th century history, the term "libertarian" means a socialist who sees government as illegitimate. The so-called Libertarian Party that developed in the 1960's essentially co-opted the term and made things confusing.)

Just the same as there are many types or degrees of capitalism, there are a myriad forms of socialism. Quite elementary.

Political and economic theory is a bit more complex than some poor Webster's Dictionary passage or Politcal Science 101. In order to make our definitions more clear, my launching point for socialistic thought is: those who work the land should own and manage the land themselves; those who work the land should receive the full sum of their work. From there, I assert the best way to realize these social goals is via libertarian-esque methods, not through central planning or all-powerful parties as seen in the past that attempt to steer people into social conventions. I believe people can naturally come together for their benefit without someone telling them to do so.

I do believe complex systems can work in a decentralized fashion. One analogy would be the telephone system; an individual can make a telephone call to virtually anywhere in the world with little trouble. There are thousands of different companies and thousands of technologies, but very little (if any) structures of power at the center. All that is necessary is a few agreed rules of the game. I also believe that the previously mentioned "hippie communes" can incoporate large industry and large populations and can work together in such a decentralized fashion.

Yes, a majority rules construct would exist; I do not find this method to be coercive or unhealthy so as long as the decision-making body is not removed from the people. And since the entire body of the so-called communes or collectives is made up of voluntary members of the actual community in a horizontal way (not removed and professional politicians thousands of miles away) this is not much of a problem. A great example of this in practice would be the Zapatistas/Mayans of Chiapas, Mexico. The entire population of a community gathers and works their problems, much like a group of friends in the 1st world deciding what they want on their pizza. Very simple and with the decisions being made by those affected by the decisions and the problem itself.

And lastly, I believe anarcho-syndicalism is the best way to organize against capitalists/government. Please do not base your entire opinion of this method on the "Basic Concepts" section (especially since it is not complete - relatively new website still in development). Rudolf Rocker's writings on the subject, specifically the book Anarchosyndicalism is probably the definitive piece on the subject, as is Daniel Guerin's Anarchism with an excellent foreword by Noam Chomsky.

What's the point in discourse when someone has already prejudged not only the subject but also the character and motivations of the other person? I doubt I can communicate well with someone whose mind is already closed & has already caste judgment upon me.

Edited by Agent Cooper on 07/23/01 03:12 PM.



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InvisibleAgent Cooper
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Re: A rose by any other name... [Re: svoboda]
    #359457 - 07/23/01 01:59 PM (18 years, 11 months ago)

In reply to:

Do you think it's possible for anarchy to be totally coercion-free? If it is, do you think it would be desirable?




Well, anarchism (or libertarian socialism) is not utopian. There will be flaws and problems that will need solutions. But so as long as the ideals of self-power and self-management and mutal-aid exist, people can go along way.

Is this desirable? I think allowing communities, families, and individuals to make their own decisions within in a very horizontal and egalitarian society would help refine human character and allow human creativity to blossom. And sounds good to me.


http://www.abolishthebank.org


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Invisiblesvoboda
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Re: A rose by any other name... [Re: Agent Cooper]
    #359463 - 07/23/01 02:13 PM (18 years, 11 months ago)

I don't think you've answered my question, but thanks anyway.
You and I are like-minded people, so you need not inform me what anarchism is.
My question was not whether anarchism would be possible and desirable (I have no doubts about it), but whether or not anarchy could be totally coercion-free, and if it could, whether or not it would be desirable. For example, sometimes it is necessary to use a degree of coersion against children, or against a mental patient, etc.



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InvisibleAgent Cooper
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Re: A rose by any other name... [Re: svoboda]
    #359467 - 07/23/01 02:23 PM (18 years, 11 months ago)

I think society would have to work out what kinds of authority are illegitimate, unhealthy, and should be avoided. Chomsky once said:

"...the essence of anarchism...is the conviction that the burden of proof has to be placed on authority, and that is should be dismantled if that burden cannot be met. Sometimes the burden can be met. If I'm taking a walk with my grandchildren and they dart out into a busy street, I will use not only authority but also physical coercion to stop them. The act should be challenged, but I think it can readily meet the challenge."


http://www.abolishthebank.org


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Invisiblesvoboda
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Re: A rose by any other name... [Re: Agent Cooper]
    #359474 - 07/23/01 02:43 PM (18 years, 11 months ago)

Agreed.
By the way, what is your position as far as the use of violence is concerned?



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OfflinePhred
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Re: re: [Re: Agent Cooper]
    #359496 - 07/23/01 03:47 PM (18 years, 11 months ago)

Agent Cooper writes:

"The usage of the term "libertarian" is meant as an adjective or a prefix to the term "socialism" not as some great adherence to Libertarianism itself."

If it is meant as a modifier, use another term. Libertarian has a specific definition attached to it, one that precludes any form of collectivism, centralized or not.

"Political and economic theory is a bit more complex than some poor Webster's Dictionary passage or Politcal Science 101"

Theory may be complex, but definitions are not. The fundamental core concept of Socialism, what MAKES it Socialism, is the fact that property and the distribution of income are subject to GROUP ownership and control rather than individual determination or market forces. Regardless of whether that "group" is a town council or a centralized democratically elected representative body, this irreducible minimum requirement is what makes it incompatible with Libertarianism. It is the ANTITHESIS of Libertarianism and to pretend otherwise is to be either obtuse or dishonest.

"...those who work the land should own and manage the land themselves; those who work the land should receive the full sum of their work. From there, I assert the best way to realize these social goals is via libertarian-esque methods..."

A perfect example of how your vision of society is antithetical to Libertarianism. Under your system, if I trade the results of my honest work for a piece of farmland, I am not allowed to enter into a voluntary contract with anyone who wishes to be paid a wage for working on my land, yet has no interest in owning that land himself. How is that non-coercive? I am being prevented from benefitting from the fruits of my labors, since I alone cannot work the land... I am in a wheelchair. The individual who wants to work my land in exchange for MONEY, not OWNERSHIP, is being prevented from providing for his family. Prevented by whom? By the GROUP. Both individuals involved are powerless to act as they have decided.

I await your explanation of how any part of the prohibition of two individuals entering into a mutually-agreed-upon contract is based on "libertarian-esque methods".

"I believe can naturally come together for their benefit without someone telling them to do so."

If you meant that to read "I believe INDIVIDUALS can naturally come together...", then I too, hold that belief, as do all Libertarians. Socialists do not hold that same belief. See above.

"Yes, a majority rules construct would exist; I do not find this method to be coercive or unhealthy so as long as the decision-making body is not removed from the people."

The tyranny of the majority is no less a tyranny for the numbers involved. Again, "majority rule" is diametrically opposed to the concept of Libertarianism. No Libertarian would allow a group of people, ANY group of people, to decide what he can and cannot do with his life and his belongings.

"What's the point in discourse when someone has already judged not only the subject..."

I know that you hold beliefs as opposite to mine as it is possible to get. That is NOT what my posts in THIS thread are about. You believe your variant of Collectivism is a better way of life than Individualism. I disagree. So what? My beef in THIS thread is solely with your misuse of the word "Libertarianism".

"...but also the character and motivations of the other person? I doubt I can communicate well with someone whose mind is already closed & has already caste judgment upon me."

There are only two options here:

1) You have never bothered to take the time to read ANY Libertarian website (no matter how raw and incomplete a work in progress it may be) in order to obtain a definition of Libertarianism, hence have no way of knowing what Libertarianism is and are misusing the term out of ignorance.

2) You do know what Libertarianism is and choose to misuse the term deliberately.

It is clear that you do indeed know EXACTLY what Libertarianism is, and the careful crafting and polishing of your posts shows that you are not given to mis-statement through sloppiness, therefore option 1) is not viable. By default, we are left with option 2): your misuse of the term is deliberate, for whatever motive. I stated that your motive for this misuse was to make your brand of Collectivism more palatable to Individualists only because if you had wanted to make it more palatable to Collectivists you would have called it "Guild Socialism/Anarchosyndicalism" or "Community Socialism/Anarchosyndicalism" or "Mayan Socialism/Anarchosyndicalism".

pinky




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Offlinemm.
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Re: re: [Re: Phred]
    #359588 - 07/23/01 06:41 PM (18 years, 11 months ago)

pinksharkmark. - Check section I (eye not one) of the anarchist FAQ i posted as a new topic.. As Agent_Cooper said, outside the US 'Libertarian' means 'non-authoritarian' and doesnt have the other meanings you associate with it.



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OfflinePhred
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Sincere Apology to Agent Cooper [Re: mm.]
    #359731 - 07/23/01 11:19 PM (18 years, 11 months ago)

I apologize for impugning Agent Cooper's motives and for accusing him of misusing the term "Libertarian" out of dishonesty.

According to the link provided by mm., Anarchists used the word "libertarian" a century or so before the American Libertarian Party even existed, therefore "libertarianism" means whatever an Anarchist decrees it to mean. I cannot dispute that point. It is now apparent to me that Agent Cooper was merely using the term as it was originally used 150 years ago by anarchists in Europe, not the way it has been commonly understood for the last three decades in America. My bad.

The same site points out that: "Many anarchists, seeing the negative nature of the definition of "anarchism," have used other terms to emphasise the inherently positive and constructive aspect of their ideas. The most common terms used are "free socialism," "free communism," "libertarian socialism," and "libertarian communism." For anarchists, libertarian socialism, libertarian communism, and anarchism are virtually interchangeable."

Apparently to Anarchists, there is no conflict between the terms "free" and "communism", nor is there any difference between "socialism" and "communism". As long as one uses the word "free" or "libertarian" in front of a term describing any variant of collectivism, it becomes indistinguishable from Anarchy.

I still admit to being baffled as to why Anarchists feel the need to shy away from the term "anarchy", but that is their choice, I guess. I have always understood it to mean exactly what Errico Malatesta defines it as: "...anarchy, which means absence of government..." Pretty simple.

I was wrong and I admit I was wrong. My only defense is ignorance. If I had first been directed to mm.'s website I would not have made the statements I did.

I will follow Agent Cooper's example in future posts. Henceforth, when you see me use the term "Capitalism", it will mean what it originally meant when coined 200+ years ago, not what opponents of Capitalism define it as today, and certainly not the hobbled, mixed-economy, welfare state mishmash currently operating in the United States

Similarly, I will use the term "Liberal" in the classical sense, as it was defined centuries ago, not in its currently understood usage, which has somehow been twisted 180 degrees from its original meaning. This should avoid future confusion.

Once again, sincere apologies to Agent Cooper.

pinky



Edited by pinksharkmark on 07/24/01 02:34 AM.



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InvisibleAgent Cooper
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Re: re: [Re: Phred]
    #360967 - 07/25/01 08:50 PM (18 years, 11 months ago)

In reply to:

Under your system, if I trade the results of my honest work for a piece of farmland, I am not allowed to enter into a voluntary contract with anyone who wishes to be paid a wage for working on my land, yet has no interest in owning that land himself. How is that non-coercive? I am being prevented from benefitting from the fruits of my labors, since I alone cannot work the land... I am in a wheelchair. The individual who wants to work my land in exchange for MONEY, not OWNERSHIP, is being prevented from providing for his family. Prevented by whom? By the GROUP. Both individuals involved are powerless to act as they have decided.




Under the system that I advocate, this is an unlikely scenario; such a contract that you describe would not be necessary, desireable, nor even feasible. Mr. Wheelchair would not own the land in the first place nor would his "employee" need or wish to rent himself in order to survive. Is this coercive? I do not consider voluntary community norms or even the entire praxis & paradigm of society to be coercion. Coercion is a direct and concentrated force - a gun in a citizen's back, a book of laws, a judge, a prison, a network of secret police, so on and so forth. An anarchist society would share similar perceptions of the past Native Americans who did not believe land, et al. could be bought and sold; natural resources were social or non-private means of existence. What I describe is not some blueprint to be forced upon populations, but rather a natural and cultural development. I do not consider culture to be a prohibiting, direct force, nor do I believe such a culture would limit individual liberty; your concerns are understandable but misdirected. In my opinion, common ownership (or non-ownership to be more accurate) within this construct would enhance and protect individual freedoms by eliminating concentrated power structures and unnecessary hierarchies as well as ensuring equal availability of the means of existence.

In reply to:

My beef in THIS thread is solely with your misuse of the word "Libertarianism".




Never once did I use the word "Libertarianism." Never did I describe a great adherence to such doctrines. Libertarian is a word used classically and historically (not just 150 years ago in Europe) but also in contemporary times and around the world to describe an aversion to governmental power. It is a legitimate term to counter authoritarian socialism.

Ever visit China Town? Just because there are ducks hanging in shopwindows and short people walking around does not mean you are in China.


http://www.abolishthebank.org


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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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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.


http://www.abolishthebank.org


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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Re: Of utopian thought and straw men [Re: Phred]
    #364922 - 08/01/01 05:14 PM (18 years, 11 months ago)

Pinky, as far as discouraging rape and murder is concerned, anarchism discourages them not through outlawing them but through adopting a system of beliefs which rejects any domination of others. The idea behind is that moral convictions are more likely to make people behave in a particular way than legal prohibitions. If rape/murder occurs in anarchy, it would NOT be dealt with according to pre-determined rules. People involved would decide what the right response should be. Anarchism is all about spontaneity, flexibility, adaptability to circumstances, continuous change, doing what you see is right in the situation.

Although the FAQs are not a particularly good source of information, to answer some of your questions about decision-making in anarchy, you may find helpful section A.2.11 "Why are most anarchists in faviour of direct democracy?" and A.2.12 "Is consensus an alternative to direct democracy" in FAQs.

http://www.infoshop.org/faq/secA2.html



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