ANTI-AUTHORITARIAN, MYTH DISPELLING RADIO. (Archived)
Tuesday night smashers with
Mr1001Nights and J-Pigg
It was interesting having the (apparent) an-cappers on the show, and they made some good points but my point is that we all need (I feel) to be engaged in more and more civil dialogue with, I guess, anarchists of every stripe. Personally I’m sick to death of the drama and pwnage competitions that so regularly take place between anarchists of different qualifiers. The way I see it is that, if we achieved anarchy tomorrow, true anarchy I mean, then none of us will be able to force our brand on any one else. Each type will gravitate towards the community that fits his ideology and then, in that “free market” of ideas the benefits and pitfalls and downsides of each community will become evident over time.
For instance, I may join a syndicalist community and up the road there may be an an-cap community. Over time it will become evident which is working out the best, in terms of progression, prosperity and personal happiness etc. It may well work out that I see the an-cap society doing really well on all points while my syndicalist society might suck hard. What do you think I’m going to do … I’m going to flip a finger at my community and hot tail it to the an-caps … tout suite! And of course the same works vice versa.
So it seems to me that all this bitching between the various strands of anarchists is really unnecessary and non-productive. Worse, it’s totally counter-productive. I’m all for theoretical discussion and debate but this infighting has to stop man. So my 2c is that we need to be building as many bridges as we can between the different strands and concentrate on the one goal of removing the violent coercion of the state, concentrate our efforts on finding creative and plausible ways in which we can all work towards that end, each in our different ways maybe but as far as possible we need to find as much solidarity between ourselves as possible.
Anyway, thus ends today’s sermon. =P
CaptainFrantic, while I appreciate your desire to build bridges between anarchists and “anarcho”-capitalists, I’m afraid I’ll be sabotaging them at every opportunity.
This idea, of “an”-cap communities coexisting with anarchist ones, is common, and based on good intentions, but unfortunately ridiculous. The idea ignores the fact that there would be artificial, coercive borders between these communities, which means that I, as a land animal, would not have freedom of movement. This flies in the face of anarchy.
But who would be enforcing these borders? Suppose “an”-cap and an-com communities, side-by-side. “An”-cap is based on private property, which an-coms don’t recognize. It’s the “an”-caps who will block me from traveling across “their” land.
The “an”-cap retort will be that an-coms also make exclusive claims to land and other resources. This betrays a misunderstanding: an-coms don’t presume to deny anyone the use of resources — they simply state the obvious, that we all need resources to survive, and therefore no individual may appropriate them for himself. This isn’t a claim to exclusivity — it’s a denial of exclusivity!
“An”-caps would be perfectly free to enter the area where an-coms were living, and make use of the resources there — but they wouldn’t be permitted to take them back to “an”-capistan, because that would constitute an assault on everyone else. Conversely, the an-coms would be seized or even killed if they wandered onto land that “an”-caps claimed to “own.”
An-com theory says, “We recognize that all have need of resources; therefore we will defend against those who would threaten the existence of others by claiming exclusive control of resources, to the extent that we are aware of such claims and able to defend against them.”
“An”-cap theory says, “We recognize that all have need of resources; therefore we claim these resources as our “property.” We will defend our exclusive control of this “property” as though it were an extension of our person, and demand tribute from those who would use these resources.”
It should be perfectly clear who will be enforcing the borders between “an”-caps and an-coms (or any other legitimate anarchist community).
Since borders are antithetical to anarchy, one of the fundamental tests for anarchist legitimacy is the denial of private property. Those flavors of anarchy that don’t recognize private property could happily coexist, because they would have no artificial, coercive borders; there could be only fuzzy and porous “natural” borders, arising by virtue of the fact that like-minded anarchists would gravitate together, but without any claims to exclusivity or power to block movement.
Because the aggressive claims of “an”-caps would be defended against by legitimate anarchists, “an”-capistans could exist only in total isolation, and only until legitimate anarchists moved into the area and found the resources under the exclusive control of dangerous tyrants. If these tyrants would not release “their” resources for the benefit of all, then they would have to be overthrown as an act of collective defense. I don’t see how “an”-cap communities are feasible. They’d be impossible to sustain without powerful armies to enforce their aggressive claims; but wars of aggression can’t last forever.
I’m afraid I disagree with you on almost every point but, for all the reasons outlined in my OP I see no reason to argue it out with you. “My way or the highway” is an egotistical fallacy trap which I’m trying my best to avoid now as far as possible. Anyway, I just wanted to respond out of common courtesy. Peace bro.
Sorry, my last comment should have been in response to CaptainFrantic’s last. This is just in case he’s set to receive notices when responded to.
I’m not saying “My way or the highway.” My own personal preference is somewhat narrowly defined, but I’m open to alliance with a much broader range of ideas. And whether you realize it or not, you’re the same…
The fact that you identify as an anarchist places you in stark opposition to a whole range of ideas that are utterly irreconcilable with anarchism. The substantive point where we disagree, it seems, is that my list of potential allies is shorter. It’s like what Dawkins says about atheism: “We are all atheists about most of the gods humanity has ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further.” I just go one further that you, when I cross “anarcho”-capitalists off my list, for the reasons given in my previous comment (hopefully you’ll grant that I do have reasons, even if you disagree with them; my position is not reflexive or frivolous).
Being open-minded is one thing; being so open-minded that your brain falls out is something else.
Peace to you as well — at least until you stand up for the alleged rights of “an”-caps to divide up my home planet into plots and claim its resources for themselves. In a state of anarchy, I’d be compelled to resist that aggression in kind, in order to defend that state.
P.S. I just took a peek at your blog; have you found a commune yet? I think we have much in common. I’ve got issues of my own, both physical and mental/emotional (ultimately resulting from the physical). I’ve considered joining an intentional community as well, but then I become angry that I should have to “drop out” when almost nobody actually wants the current system. They simply tolerate it because they think it’s inevitable or at least unalterable. So then I start thinking more violent revolutionary thoughts, which in turn leads me to consider vanishing into the forest, all alone, before I do something rash. And THEN I worry about becoming another Kaczynski! Actually, it may surprise you to learn that I’m very much an individualist as well as a communist. I believe that communism is both morally necessary and inevitable; but I also believe that it is the only system that will allow for the full expression of our individuality.
I have to go out in like 10 minutes, so, rather than rush a response out I’ll leave it till I get home, which should be in 3 or 4 hours (ish lol). I think we do indeed seem to share a vast amount of common ground and I’ll get into that later. =)
@asdf – OK … in regard to An-Caps, I don’t consider themselves enemies of mine. At the moment I have one, and only one enemy and that is “the state”. It may sound twee but I’m down with an old proverb … “The enemy of my enemy is my friend”. The state is my enemy, an-caps are enemies to the state ergo an-caps are my friends, indeed my ally. Also, trust me when I say that in the (sadly) unlikely event that we rid ourselves of the state, then if an-caps turn out to be my next immediate enemy then I will be standing shoulder to shoulder with you to defend myself against them. Though in all honesty I don’t see that scenario playing out. I find it hard to view an-caps in the “evil” light in which you portray them. At worst I see them as misguided. And that’s all I want to say about that [/forrest] =P
Thanks for checking out my blog. I’ve cooled down a bit since putting up my rather manic rant and I’m surprised to find that I have a little strength left with which to “keep on keeping on” … for the moment. I’m still putting in the research to find a willing commune so that if things finally come to a head then I will have a final resort to fall back on. I really don’t want it to come to that but it might. In any case, here’s to us! I’m confident that we can overcome the mental hurdles thrown up by our physical misfortunes. All power to you man!
@Joey – I’m in full agreement with pretty much everything you said in your comment below. Nothing to add, just wanted to say “hell yeah!” … especially to you last sentence ;o)
Great show. Nice to hear several diverse opinions on healthcare that aren’t batshit.I appreciated the history lesson on medical insurance. I have heard about that somewhere.(Zinn maybe) I agree on that view that the insurance “reform” being put forward is plain fascism or corporatism. I agree on reformism in certain things/democratizing existing government to reach longterm anarchist goals. I have been asked why,as an anarchist would I support government-run universal single payer. That’s very akward for me to explain to American liberals/conservatives.I clumsily made a version of the explanation
J-Pigg told “Tony”. I read alot of theory but can’t always explain it well. Like Afghanistan,Obama has painted himself into a corner with this whole schizophrenic healthcare fiasco. Do people outside America view us as insane as well as the other perceptions(like Ugly American) out there?
@ zeno … I’m glad you found the show helpful. 🙂
And, from what I can tell: yes, people outside America largely view us as insane and/or ignorant. A perfect case in point in the nonsensical slur that Obama & the democrats are leftists: in the scope of human political history & in the political landscape of the world today, Obama & his cohort would be part of the right wing pretty much everywhere else.
@ CF & asdf …
Each of you makes a decent case … of course, the only way to test your ideas is to see it play out in a post-statist world.
But, my take on the A-Cers is bit different. I think a world built in the image of an A-C “utopia” would be far easier for us convert to real anarchism than the world we have now. I don’t think a real anarchism can directly rise out of our world as currently organized and ordered; the collusion of the interlocking power of the state & capital is too much to overcome. Rather, in the absence of state (or at least the vulgar A-C definition thereof), two things would occur.
1) The power that sustains capital’s control of the means of production would be so tenuous that sheer vastness of the non-capitalist classes could carry out mass expropriation of factories & land on behalf of a general anarcho-communist social order. Indeed, in every revolutionary event (Paris 1871, Russia 1917, China, etc …), we find a very weak state unable to wield enough power to stop the masses. Now, imagine if there were no state at all … easy peasy. 😉
2) The delusions about the benevolence, voluntarism, and “liberty” of the capitalist (or “free” market ideology) would be laid bare for everyone to see … just like it was during the 19th century. The inescapable evil of capitalism & the “free” market would be on full display as capitalists everywhere abandoned the state social welfare nets that currently “buy off” the revolutionary clamor of the masses. The “reforms” ushered in by the social welfare state, of which universal healthcare is the latest being debated in the US, only provide NECESSARY short term succor and can NEVER ultimately quell people’s fundamental desire to determine their own fates and to resist the delusional & illegitimate control that others have stolen over their own lives.
In that vein, I wish the A-Cers good luck & god speed in their fight against the state, b/c once it’s gone, we’ll be waiting … mmmmuuuuhhhaaahhhhaaa!
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