/r/DebateAnarchism

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A place to challenge, debate, and discuss anarchism. All political beliefs are welcome! Post your debate challenge and see if any anarchists take you up on it.

Challenge, Debate, and Discuss Anarchism!

All political beliefs are welcome: Post your debate challenge, and see if any anarchists take you up on it!

Warning: Debate Anarchism is intended in part to serve as a front line for engagement with non-anarchists and therefore does not enforce /r/Anarchism's AOP. This subreddit does not qualify as a safe space; topics and discussions may include triggers.

Rules:

  1. Be respectful. Do not use personal attacks. Be charitable in your treatment of your interlocutor's argument. No trolling.

  2. Posts must be a single point of debate. They must be on-topic, clear, intelligible, and succinct. General discussion should go to /r/Anarchism. Basic questions should go to /r/Anarchy101.

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/r/DebateAnarchism

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18

How would sex work in an anarchist society look like?

In my country, sex work is legal, women nevertheless are exploited for sex, often do not have real alternatives. Do you think in our contemporary capitalist society that buying sex should be legal? / do you believe it is morally acceptable to buy sex? Or do you think it should not be commodified. Regardless of what you believe, what can one do to show solidarity with the struggles of sex workers?

22 Comments
2024/06/22
04:59 UTC

11

is there any anarchist theory on harm reduction?

if so, how does it conflict with engaging in electoral politics and reformism?

13 Comments
2024/06/19
12:17 UTC

0

How and should we decide who can consent

First of all this isn't an attempt at pedophilia apologia. Personally, I think the age of consent should be higher to fit the age of proper brain development. Anyway now l've cleared up that bit, I can get to the real issue.

A strong argument against democracy (demos-the people, cracy-rule by AKA rule by the people) is the question of what is chosen as part of this "demos". In what many call "democratic societies" it's often seen as normal to exclude some of this "demos" from participating such as: prisoners, undocumented migrants, those under the voting age, those not of mental capacity etc. The participation of this "demos" is really only for those who have won previous fights for the right to be part of this "demos" eg. immigrants, women etc or those with hierarchical power eg men and property owners.

I see this criticism of democracy as a question that anarchism needs to answer. We don't use democracy because of the "cracy" part. So I see that the free association that anarchy proposes is just the truest form of the "demos" of "democracy". But again we reach the problem that democracy has: How do we figure out who should be part of this "demos" and be able to freely associate?

Now I understand that the idea that some people shouldn't have the ability to freely associate to an anarchist sounds antithetical to their politics and their stance against authoritarianism. But what about those of lower mental capacity? Those of lower mental capacity could be exploited in what they could think is a mutually beneficial contract. If we were to put efforts in to stop to these exploitative and coercive agreements, how would we even judge who cannot consent? Social science isn't the most definite science as certain variables can affect someone's actions. IQ scores can't realistically be trusted. You could look at mental illness records but misdiagnoses happen and not all mental illnesses means people cannot consent and how would we decide what mental illnesses restrict someone from consenting?

If we suppose stopping the agreement is better than trying to stop the person from being able to the vote then this also cause an issue about who gets to decide if an agreement is mutually beneficial. This realistically cannot be done especially as this comes from the assumption that the person isn't able to recognise unfair agreements meaning the only real way of deciding that the trade between people is mutually beneficial is off "feels".

As anarchists, should the previous two paragraph even matter to the discussion of consent? Deciding who can and who cannot consent involves creating a hierarchy of those who decides who can consent and are able to consent who subjugate those were decided that they cannot consent. It restricts the "demos" that is so important to free association. But again this doesn't actually address the issue of what we can do about people in a supposed anarchist society who are vulnerable to predatory agreements. Either we push our will and not allow an agreement which may re-inforce the idea that all mentally challenged peoples cannot make decisions for themselves and create a hierarchy of those who can decide who can make agreements (similar to a state) OR we allow the chances of predatory agreements to expend the demos which in-turn can lead to the subjugation of those who cannot make rational choices. So which one?

I've been racking my brain over this for a while and thought some online anarchists could solve it for me so please take a shot at it! This should be a fun debate.

26 Comments
2024/06/18
15:45 UTC

0

Could you have gun control under anarchism

Hi, im a libetarian socialist. One of my main concerns with anarchism is the pro gun element. My problem with this is that although we can minimise the risk of shootings it seems unlikely to compleately eliminate the risk. And while gun abolition is theoreticaly possible this hinders the communes ability to defend itself. The solution could be to abolish personal gun ownership and have guns as communal for emergency usage by trained members of the community. The problem is that this would certainly create a power imbalance. So ig my question is what would be the solution to the gun problem under anarchism that doesnt involve alowing gun ownership by individuals

17 Comments
2024/06/18
12:29 UTC

9

The state doesn't have a monopoly on violence

Today the relation between the state and violence is an especially intimate one. In the past, the most varied institutions— beginning with the sib— have known the use of physical force as quite normal. Today, however, we have to say that a state is a human community that (successfully) claims the monopoly of the legitimate use of physical force within a given territory.

Max Weber Politics As A Vocation

This post is mostly adopting the ire and argument of a much much more well read and competent poster but it bothers me anyway.

So the point of this is that anarchists often cite this Max Weber quote and frequently remove an important part of it in favor of something that I think reduces its usefulness or general intelligibility. The original supposes a key feature of a state is that it usually attempts to monopolize and also to distribute the right to use violence, not that it monopolizes violence or "force" itself. Violence and force are everywhere and something that most states now hand out is the right of force - to partisan militias, to lynch mobs, to husbands, to private corporations, to parents, to school teachers, to hunters, to logging companies, to kill-shelters and to slaughterhouses.

This quote is constantly being changed into the other form in which "legitimacy" is conspicuously absent and I think that this change is harmful to the discourse. It shifts the attention from the right, to the violence, to the strange and very scary "coercion" itself, and that leads to a strange fixation I've seen on coercion as this bad and scary force that anarchists must first repudiate, and this position will not be advanced before whoever is trying to do it talks about how much they hate On Authority. Sometimes I think they will start demanding an NAP

The quote is different and I wish people would think about it in the way it was written, because I think the way it was written makes more sense, that's it

20 Comments
2024/06/17
01:41 UTC

5

Authority is not an act

A number of Socialists have latterly launched a regular crusade against what they call the principle of authority. It suffices to tell them that this or that act is authoritarian for it to be condemned.

Authority, in the sense in which the word is used here, means: the imposition of the will of another upon ours; on the other hand, authority presupposes subordination.

A revolution is certainly the most authoritarian thing there is; it is the act whereby one part of the population imposes its will upon the other part by means of rifles, bayonets and cannon — authoritarian means, if such there be at all; and if the victorious party does not want to have fought in vain, it must maintain this rule by means of the terror which its arms inspire in the reactionists.

  • Friedrich Engels, 1872

Notice here that Engels repeatedly asserts a conception of authority-as-act, that it is the act of imposing one’s will upon another.

But the anarchist conception of authority is as a social structure, in which certain people are ranked above others and given greater permissions or a right to issue commands over others.

Marxists are very good at structural thinking about hierarchy as a social system, right until they are arguing against anarchism, in which case they abandon their structural thinking and become hyper-focused on individual acts of force or coercion.

Every time structural, materialist thinking is abandoned, and we start talking about isolated particulars in a vacuum, this should be a red flag that we are slipping into reactionary or right-wing politics, even if subconsciously and without realising it.

Engels accuses anarchists of being the reactionaries, but I fail to see how his logic is anything but a reactionary attempt to naturalise authoritarian relations.

A truly structural analysis of how hierarchy works should logically lead to anarchistic conclusions, or at least not naturalise the existing status quo.

62 Comments
2024/06/16
10:51 UTC

3

Thoughts on unclear/skewed goals?

It seems that for the past fews years all attention from anarchism has been on trans rights and veganism. Maybe it is because there aren’t many if any anarchists in my area so my only experience is pretty much online where of course you’re going to run into chronically online people. Recently Ive found that it’s easier to agree with right wingers in their actions, and leftists/anarchists with their words. Many conservatives are very knowledgeable on the corruption of the food industry and care a lot about their diet, but when it comes down to other topics or the reasons they believe caused it it’s “yeah gravity isn’t real!! The left HATES your family personally, and they’re coming for YOU!” Why.. you were so close LMAO. When it comes to anarchists and leftists it’s sort of similar. Yes fuck the establishment fuck capitalism so let’s get caught up in identity politics where it’s impossible to make a point. People get caught up in identity politics because it’s so personal and easy to take as personal offense and you want to defend your own identity because it’s part of you. It is the essence of ego so of course people will argue about it forever and it’s also impossible to make a point because it’s incredibly subjective and none of it matters at all. If someone identifies as male or female and they’re biologically not then it isn’t the end of the world. It’s also not the end of the world if trans men don’t go to a men’s prison. That’s really specific because I’ve gotten banned from another subreddit recently for saying that. Like really we’re talking about going to prison and what you’re mad about is that a trans man would go to a prison that doesn’t correspond with his gender identity, seriously?? Isn’t the whole point to have no state or prisons?? If you’ve read this far thank you for reading my rant, it really seems like we’re stuck in nuance and identity politics. Let me know your thoughts :)

14 Comments
2024/06/15
20:53 UTC

0

Why do so many obvious liberals call themselves "anarchists"? What is it about anarchism that makes it uniquely susceptible to liberal entryism?

Many "anarchists" are self-identified pro-Biden democrats. You don't even see MLs doing this, just so-called "anarchists." MLs are ironically even more anti-government and anti-state than these types, functionally and ideologically speaking. I'm starting to see "an"-libs and "an"-dems as just as big a threat as "an"-caps.

108 Comments
2024/06/12
13:00 UTC

0

We shouldn't use red

that is basically it, i do not have a lot to say but i would like communication students and i don't know, designer students to say things about this for me if you think i am wrong

Red is used by the socialist movement since its beginning if i am correct, including from the anarchists to the Marxists, but since the USSR and authoritarian socialism became the most famous versions of socialism, they used red the most, the black flag was the distinction of anarchists and what made us different from them, but CNT-FAI, if i am correct, created the black and red flag, symbolizing anarchism (black) and socialism (Red), but anarchism is socialist by itself, rather it just looks like anarchism is secondary to the whole socialist movement, so why use it at all?

i think the black and red flag is impeding us from claiming a whole identity for ourselves rather than keeping us in the same branch as Leninists, we should use black the most (we already use, but most of the time we use red the same amount of times, most anarchists organizations are black and red aesthetic), red should be used the same amount of times as other colors, like white, green, etc

the anarchist movement should be black first, any thoughts about it or i am just being a moron?

81 Comments
2024/06/10
22:00 UTC

4

Theft as temporary, retroactive slavery.

I had a bicycle stolen a while back, then later I had the wheels stolen off my next bicycle, and THEN a little later my partner and I had the catalytic converter stolen from our shared vehicle.

It really got me thinking: assuming LTV, those items are obviously personal property (we're not using any of these machines as a means of capital production or anything). LTV means that my personal property is the result of my labor. If somebody steals your property, how do you think about it in relation to the value of labor you injected into the market to obtain the property?

I hear a lot of anarchists debate the morality of property theft on the Stirner - Proudhon spectrum, but I've yet to read anyone who attributes it to the same moral critique that we have toward slavery. It seems like a logical conclusion to state, "the thief has temporarily and retroactively enslaved the victim for the duration of time in which the victim labored to purchase the asset."

Discuss.

25 Comments
2024/06/10
17:16 UTC

8

Thoughts on a criticism of anarchism

I'm a Marxist and recently saw this quote criticizing anarchism/ the anarchist societal form of autonomous communes, curious of what you guys think about it and if you have any criticism of it. I'm not going to put it in the quote version text thingy because it's long.

From: https://www.international-communist-party.org/BasicTexts/English/57Fundam.htm

Quote:

It is a very strange fact that the libertarians, who around 1870 or so engaged in their polemics against Marx in the First International, and whose short-sightedness we have already referred to, are still widely considered to be "to the Left" of Marx. Actually, in spite of their verbal opposition to militarism and patriotism, they never grasped the importance of going beyond the purely national level when criticising bourgeois economy and studying how it spreads onto the global scale.

Marx described the formation of the international market as the ultimate and crowning historical task of the modern bourgeoisie; after that it only remained to fight to establish the proletarian dictatorship in the countries which were most advanced, and, after the destruction of the national states which arose alongside capitalism, an expansion onto an ever vaster scale of the power of the international proletarian class. The anarchist proposal, when not actually advocating unlimited autonomy for all individuals, whatever their class, was to destroy the capitalist State so as to replace it with small social units, the famous communities of producers, which after the collapse of the central government would supposedly be totally autonomous, even with respect to each other.

The rather abstract form of future society based on local "communes" doesn’t seem that different from today’s bourgeois society, and its economic procedures don’t seem that different either. Those who set out to describe this future society, such as Bakunin and Kropotkin, thought it enough merely to link it to a set of philosophical ideologisms, rather than to an analysis of historically verified laws of social production. When they did take up Marx’s critique, it was only in the most minimal and selective way since they were unable to infer the conclusions implied by the theory: they were impressed by the concept of surplus value (which is an economic theorem) but used it merely to support their moral condemnation of exploitation, which they saw as arising from human beings exerting "power" over each other. Unable to attain the theoretical level of dialectics, they were debarred from understanding, for instance, that in the transition from the appropriation of the physical product of the serf’s labour by the landowning lord to the production of surplus value in the capitalist system, an actual "liberation" from more crushing forms of servitude and oppression has taken place; for even if the division into classes, and the existence of a State power, still remained a historical necessity, and benefited the bourgeois class, in that period it also benefited the whole of the rest of society as well.

One of the principal causes of the greater output of labour as a whole, and of the higher average remuneration for the same amount of labour, was the creation of the nationwide market and the division of productive labour into different branches of industry, with the latter enabled to exchange their fully and semi‑worked products within a zone of free circulation of commodities, and increasingly impelled to extend this zone beyond the State boundaries.

This increase (fully condoning the Marxist view) in the wealth of the bourgeoisie and in the power of each of each of its states, and along with this the production of surplus-value, does not immediately mean that an absolute increase in the gross revenue extracted is at the expense of the lower classes. To a certain extent, it is still compatible with a lessening of the hours of labour and with a general improvement in the satisfaction of needs. Therefore, the idea of dismantling capitalism by breaking up the national State into little islands of power, characteristic of the pre‑bourgeois Middle Ages, makes no sense at all. It would clearly be a retrograde step to force the economy back into these limited confines, even if the sole aim were to prevent a few lazy, non‑workers from appropriating any of the resources from each of the little communes.

In this system of egalitarian communes, it is certain that the cost of the daily food supply, calculated in terms of the hours of labour of all the adult members of the community (leaving aside the niggling question of those who didn’t want to work, and who would compel them to do so!) would be more than if production was organised at the level of the nation, take modern France for instance, where there is a continuous and regular economic traffic between the different communes, and a given manufactured article is obtained from the places where it is produced with least difficulty; even if the "hundred families" still gobble everything up for free.

In fact, these various communes would have no option but to trade amongst each other on the basis of free exchange. And even if we admitted that a "universal consciousness" would suffice to peacefully regulate these relations between the different locally based economic nuclei, there would still be nothing to prevent one commune extracting surplus value from another due to a fluctuating equivalence between one commodity and another.

This imaginary system of little economic communes is nothing more than a philosophical caricature of that age‑old petty-bourgeois dream self-government. It can easily be seen that this system is just as mercantile as the one which existed in Stalin’s Russia or in the increasingly anti‑proletarian post‑Stalinist Russia, and it is equally clear that it involves a totally bourgeois system of monetary equivalents (without a State mint?!) which is bound to weigh down the average productive labourer far more than a system of national or imperialist, large‑scale industries.

17 Comments
2024/06/08
18:02 UTC

5

Revolutionary Strategy and Anarchy

Most people (even the majority of the proletariat in the developing world) will always favor reformism and be apprehensive about partaking in revolution. Trying to change hearts and minds to get majority support is a fruitless waste of time for committed anti-capitalist revolutionaries.

I would argue that successfully displacing the current socio-economic system with Anarchy requires the following:

  • Building the social dynamics of anarchy in the margins of the current system (e.g. anarchist collectives, mutual aid networks, etc...). (It is not necessary for a large proportion of the general populace to broadly participate in these projects.)
  • Strategic targeting of critical points of weakness for the existing system (e.g. hacking and erasing databases of major financial institutions, using 3D printing to facilitate broad access to high impact ballistic weapons to weaken the State's hegemony on violence, etc...)
27 Comments
2024/06/05
23:16 UTC

18

I've seen anarchists disagree with "voting with your dollar". If that is case, how does a vegan diet bring about any liberation for animals?

I feel like anarchist praxis says that boycotts like the BDS movement aren't successful and that more direct action is necessary for true change. If that is the case (and I understand that for some people it is a big if, I'd like to hear more) then why should I abstain from purchasing meat/animal products? If my dollars don't bring social change, how does my diet affect the lives of any animals? I don't want to appear nihilistic, but the gears of capitalism will keep on grinding so how am I positively affecting the lives of an animal?

If it wasn't obvious I am new to the vegan aspect of anarchism. This isn't so much about "why veganism" as much as it is "why this form of praxis"

Originally posted to the 101 sub but removed for reasons I am not sure, so I thought ppl here could answer

Edit: Thanks! I really like the underlining message that it is a neutral action leading up to the positive action of animal liberation. I guess I should've done more research before posting because it does look like the meat industry is having less sales in areas where veganism is spreading (even if it may be rising globally due to material conditions of people focusing on their immediate survival instead of the animal liberation).

31 Comments
2024/06/03
02:22 UTC

0

Can anarchism combat brain-drain?

(I'm assuming that this subreddit isnt full of anarcho-primativists who are anti-education. In a communist society, we should foster a flourishing of education, including in science, technology and medicine.)

Brain drain is not only a natural consequence of global imperialism, it is also a deliberate mechanism of imperialist sabotage. The imperialists will do everything in their power to court the most highly educated/trained workers of a revolutionary society. This hurts the revolution in multiple ways:

  1. It causes a shortage of workers in key professions.
  2. The revolutionary society looses the resources it sunk into educating/training the emmigrant, plus all the resources which the society used for feeding/clothing/sheltering/developing the emmigrant before they were old enough to contribute that labour back into our society. These resources are basically a free gift to the imperialist.
  3. The capitalist-imperialist country appears comparatively successful to the citizens of the communist society, thereby decreasing class consciousness at home and abroad.
  4. These factors reinforce the cycle which causes even more educated workers to want to emmigrate.

The Marxist-Leninist solution to this problem was pretty clear. They have a two-pronged approach: (1) restrict emmigration, and (2) develop class consciousness and anti-imperialist consciousness. The perfect example of this is Cuba, which for decades has had the highest number of doctors per capita on earth. Cuban doctors are well aware that they could earn more if they emmigrated to capitalist countries. And in fact, Cuban doctors are sent all over the world on global health missions, and the vast majority of them choose to come back to Cuba. These doctors are opting to stay in Cuba because of their love of the Cuban revolution and their conscious choice to not let the imperialist world steal their skills after the revolution has done so much to foster them. However there were times when this consciousness is insufficient. Cuba has also restricted emmigration. This restriction was heaviest during the "Special Period" following the dissolution of the USSR. But ever since 2013, Cubans have been allowed to freely leave, and yet there is no mass exodus of Cuban doctors. There are, however, Marxist-Leninist societies which relied too heavily on the restriction approach. The most famous example of this is East Germany, although they had their own unique security situation which played into their response as well.

How would an anarchist society protect itself from brain-drain without relying on such "authoritarian" "statist" measures? I'm assuming most of you guys are against borders??

62 Comments
2024/05/31
04:00 UTC

18

Thoughts on Andrewism’s latest videos

Andrewism was one of the first people to introduce me to anarchism and I’ve been hooked ever since but especially his latest video “Organizing Anarchy” gave me chills. I even presented it in my local especifistic group. I especially liked how he clarified the definitions of free association and communes and also how he dealt with the ongoing topic of democracy in anarchism. With this post, I would love to direct more attention on this video but also would like to hear some opinions on it regradless if you agree or disagree with certain points.

https://youtu.be/lrTzjaXskUU?feature=shared

12 Comments
2024/05/27
06:41 UTC

10

No Commodities.

I don't think it should be that controversial, however I think I'd still like to pitch an argument cause I see people arguing for markets every now and then.

YES, Markets are NOT inherently Capitalist.
NO, that does NOT make markets useful.

As the title says, I strongly believe that any anarchist world must do away with commodities entirely.
Nothing should exist to be bought and sold through any means (And thus no money should exist either).

The issue with money is simple, from my understanding, money only exists to consolidate wealth.
(It doesn't matter how easy it makes exchange, because later in this post I'll show you how exchange is already easy without money).

You need an arbitrary middle man (Money) to get the things you need/want
In order to get more of the things you need/want, you need to get more of the arbitrary middle man
Now we have jobs, employment, companies, etc. that people would willingly work for in order to get the arbitrary middle man.
Sounds a lot like we'd be recreating the same work related and wealth related issues that exist today.

It's also easy to say that if you did the work to earn the money, it doesn't matter how much money you have. Sure you might have 2million money, but you worked hard for it.
And then it's easy to become entitled to that wealth.
When people come to redistribute it, you'll feel it's unfair cause you worked for it.

So let's just do the easy thing and not do money.

Commodities are an issue because they over-complicate things and gate-keep goods from people through the arbitrary idea of prices.

People own what they sell until it's sold. You can not simply take what someone else owns, no matter how much you need it or how much it's literally doing nothing being owned by the other person.
If you don't have the items needed for the arbitrary price? Too bad.
Now you need to either forget about it or go on some fetch quest to fulfill the requirements
(Or you need to waste time making a currency to eventually exchange that).

So, as an alternative, we can simply function at the most basic level. Production and Distribution.
It genuinely doesn't need to be more complicated than this on any level.
"X Good" needs to be at "Place A"? Well figure out a way to move it there.
"Place B" needs "Y Good"? Same deal, figure out a way to get it there.

A community needs food to sustain themselves? Figure out what it takes to make food (ideally in the best way y'all can think of),
Do the work that is required,
Then distribute the food out to those who need it.
Stockpile the rest and it can be taken as needed.

There could be distribution hubs where goods are stockpiled in some easy to access centralised location in the towns we live in, so that you can wake up one day, figure out you need some appliance, or want some new furniture, or new toy, and you can just go to the distribution hub and take what you want.
And on top of this, when you're bored of it/ don't need it anymore, you can simply return it to the distribution hub for someone else to use.

Commodities and money become completely pointless and unnecessary, there is no inherent issue of wealth consolidation (Hoarding can easily be dealt with through community intervention and problem solving), you don't need to waste time doing a job for money to get something that can simply be given, and the only issues to consider are purely logistical and methodological.

As a quick side note,
I genuinely think that this is also one of the most revolutionary things we can do today.
If you know any anarchists in physical range of you, right now,
You can start sharing things between each other as you need/want those things. No obligations or debts. Simply helping each other out.
Genuinely, start practicing this with people!!

13 Comments
2024/05/26
16:47 UTC

17 Comments
2024/05/26
14:40 UTC

0

Response on "the self-contradiction of conservative ideology"

I was prompted to post my response here, as it was too large to fit in a comment. This was meant to be a response to this post of u/Radical_Libertarian. To give some context, here is the original post:

"When I was first exposed to Jordan Peterson’s arguments, back around 2019 or so, I noticed an apparent contradiction in the conservative worldview.

Conservatives tend to hold two mutually exclusive beliefs on human nature simultaneously.

First, they believe that human behaviour is fixed and unchanging.

As a consequence of our static human nature, social hierarchies and such are simply inevitable.

But conservatives also usually believe in free will.

They value self-improvement and personal responsibility very highly.

This doesn’t seem to make much sense.

If human nature is fixed and unchanging, then how can we have any free will, or be able to improve ourselves?

Apart from extreme far-right outliers such as incels who hold to a strict deterministic viewpoint, the vast majority of right-wingers seem to have an incoherent philosophy.

I’ve never gotten a satisfying explanation from the conservative side on how one can reconcile a fixed human nature with free will."

And here is my response (reddit fucks up formatting so I hope it is readable):

This was a very compelling post. I am not a conservative, but I think you misconstrue their points somewhat, and for that I will split my answer in two parts, one regarding your hypothetical and one regarding weaker versions of the argument that nonetheless I believe are proposed more often.

Part 1: Non-hierarchical societies are
(literally) impossible

 Let's try to build a self consistent
system assuming the stronger version of the argument. I will start with an
analogy:

Let's assume a physical hierarchy, measuring how much weight any given
person can squat, and let's assume infinite measuring precision. Since it's
literally physically impossible for two people to squat exactly the same weight
(and in any case it's impossible for all of them to squat the same weight, for
the hierarchy to desolve completely), this hierarchy will always exist. However
an individual person with free will can get stronger, and climb the hierarchy.
In fact all of humanity can choose to get stronger, and the hierarchy will
still exist, perhaps sometimes unchanged. Many of the right wing social media
talking points assert hierarchies and then instruct the viewer to attempt to
become better, and either outright say or imply that this improvement is to
help climb the hierarchy (although this of course usually refers to a much more
vague and abstract hierarchy than a weight lifting competition).

Let's simulate a right wing axiomatic system
for human nature:

Assumption 1:Humans order themselves in
hierarchies 

Assumption 2:It is beneficial to be
higher in the hierarchy

 Assumption 3: (Male) Humans have an
inherent urge to be competitive for resources (Male added for extra alt right
spice)

Assumption 4 : Humans prefer comfort from
discomfort, and will choose it unless it is demonstrated that suffering that
discomfort is substantially beneficial.

Ergo:

1)Hierarchies are inevitable

  1. It is of value to yell in a camera "GET UP AND DO 10 PUSHUPS OR YOU WILL BE

FAT AND LAZY" because this demonstrates/reminds the viewer of the
advantages of discomfort and disadvantages of comfort, to influence them to
follow their compatible nature and try to climb the hierarchy. 

This is not a contradictory system. While
axioms 2 and 3 might seem so, even very lazy or contempt people are
occasionally competitive (wanting to win games etc) and on the flipside
generally competitive people may become content after some level of success.

Pursuing improvement may also be independent of
climbing a hierarchy, for example everyone becoming stronger will not change
placements in the hierarchy but will improve everyone's ability to equal weight
(which we have declared as good).

However a lot of the clash in this point
derives from your use of the term "free will", which is very hard (if
not impossible) to actually define. Can free will be bounded by rules for
example? If I can make all choices non-deterministicaly, except from the choice
to eat shit, which I will deterministically refuse to do, do I have free will?
This is essentially the contradiction within the right wing worldview you propose.

However when most people talk about human
nature, they refer to urges, which is what I will analyze in part 2. (Note,
literally any behavior system can be explained in a super-deterministic system
in which no free will exists, at which point a gymbro will just yell at a
camera because he was always going to do that, but I don't think analysis on
this is necessary).

Part 2: Arguments against the existence of
non-hierarchical societies. These are arguments against hierarchical societies
that most conservatives, liberals, (and even some socialists, in practice)
propose. 

Argument 1: A non-hierarchical society is not
literally impossible, but practically impossible.

Assumption 0: Humans have a very strong urge
to organize in hierarchies  (with usually some analysis behind it based on
other assumptions but we will take it as face value).

Assumption 1: This urge is so strong that the
chance someone doesn't follow it is very low. However due to free will some
people may not follow that urge (or at least claim not to)

Assumption 2: A non-hierarchical society
requires most members don't follow that urge

Ergo:

It is highly unlikely that a non-hierarchical
society would exist and therefore it can be referred to as practically
impossible. This is the same as saying that it is impossible for all babies
born from today to be two-headed. It is not technically impossible, since two
headed babies have been born, however the probability is so infetesimal it can
very well be called impossible. We could also wake up as a hivemind tomorrow
and build whatever society we want, but you couldn't blame me for calling it
impossible. The validity of this point obviously depends on how strong the urge
is and how improbable it is for someone not to follow it, but you didn't ask
for a valid argument, but rather a logically consistent one.

This results in the conclusion: "A
non-hierarchical society is (practically) Impossible"

A similar analysis can be done for your
"humans follow leaders" point:

1)Humans have a strong urge to follow leaders

 2) Most humans will follow leaders,
following that urge

3)Some exceptional humans may not follow it and
become leaders instead

Ergo

It is of value to yell at you to go to the gym
because that may push you towards becoming one of these exceptional humans that
becomes a leader.

Argument 2: Non-hierarchical societies are
inherently unstable 

Assumption 1: Hierarchical societies are
usually more efficient than Non-hierarchical ones (this can be justified
through various arguments, but I will just leave it as an assumption that most
conservatives and in fact most people regardless of ideology, make)

Assumption 2: A person in a non-hierarchical
society may choose to create a hierarchical structure (because of self interest,
any other factor, or just because, due to free will)

Assumption 3: Any number of people may choose
to join that structure (due to self interest, for any other factor, or due to
free will.)

Assumption 4: The leader(ship organization) of
the hierarchical structure may choose to impose itself on the non-hierarchical
structure, and may even destroy it.

For example, let's assume that someone in a
non-hierarchical society chooses to become a thief and build a gang, to enrich
themselves. Other people may join the gang, because while they will not get as
much money as the leader, they will still be at a better situation than the
average person, or the people that are stolen from. This gang's hierarchy has
access to more tools than the non-hierarchical society (such as centralised
decision making, the ability to coerce it's members to do things, etc) and thus
has an advantage over the society, which it obviously chooses to impose itself
on.

Ergo

A non-hierarchical society cannot exist in a
sustainable long term manner because hierarchical societal structures will
inevitably emerge within them, and they will be stronger and able to enforce
themselves, destroying the non-hierarchical society. This can be argued to be
what happened with the first organized large scale monarchies imposing
themselves and succeeding over more loosely organized tribes.

The addition of Assumption 0 (Humans have a
*very* strong urge to organize in hierarchies) makes the inevitability
argument even more compelling, as extra reasons as to why humans would join a
hierarchical structure. A permutation of the argument is that the existence of
a non-hierarchical society in a world with already existing hierarchical ones
is impossible, because they will impose themselves.

This results in the statement:"(Long-term
stable) Non-hierarchical societies are impossible, (even if a non-hierarchical
society was to emerge in the first place)".

Sometimes an extra assumption is added:

Assumption 5: A post-non-hierarchy imposing hierarchical
structure will be stricter, more restrictive and generally worse than the
current one (for example because it will probably impose itself through
violence and being some variation of a band of warlords). This further promotes
the point as to a Non-hierarchical organizational structures being a bad idea, and is sometimes used by liberals.

In general, not only the right, but most
political ideologies have to deal with using hierarchies in some form. Fascists
promote hierarchies as they see it as a way to select the pure and best ones
and the broad range from Conservatives to Centrists to Liberals see hierarchies
as something between a fact of life and a necessary evil for societal
structure. Despite the theoretical long term goal of a hierarchyless society,
most socialists in practice create hierarchies, usually under vanguardism. This
is usually justified by a variation of the above arguments, that a hierarchical
structure is needed until it progresses society enough to where most people
overcome the hierarchical urge while also having eliminated all outside
hierarchical societies (the former is meant to eliminate the inside emergence
of hierarchies while the latter the imposition of outside ones). Some
progressive organizations may be truly hierarchyless, but do not often attempt
anything even close to actually organizing a government structure, and often
informal social hierarchies within them emerge. Lastly anarchists truly do in
most cases stick to their guns and the few examples of their organization we
have are the best approximation we have of a hierarchyless society, however
even then they had to make concessions and form hierarchical structures (the
black army had commanders, even if they were elected, and while in theory it
was based on voluntary enlistment, in practice conscription was often used).
Also, all anarchist states were eventually crushed by other hierarchical
societies (although there is a current ongoing attempt at a quasi-anarchist
libertarian government structure in Rojava).

19 Comments
2024/05/21
12:42 UTC

7

Is sticker bombing a good form of pro-Palestine/anti-Zionist praxis?

Lately I have been considering the pros and cons of sticker bombing vs graffiti bombing local electoral offices of right wing politicians. The former is obviously more simple and straightforward, as that requires buying a bunch of pro-Palestine stickers and plastering them over a given billboard or front door entrance. I have done this already, albeit I didn’t have enough stickers to fully conceal the font of a billboard that is nailed next to the front entrance of my city’s regional office of the centre right party currently in power in my country. Graffiti bombing is obviously more destructive but requires more careful, meticulous planning, with spray paint cans, gloves, masks, phone tracking etc. It seems to me sticker bombing is a good compromise between vandalizing and not vandalizing a given premises if one doesn’t want to risk arrest and prosecution What are your thoughts?

25 Comments
2024/05/21
00:26 UTC

7

Productivity vs Be lazy.

Eh, 99.9% sure this is a bad idea. I'll delete this post if my uh, expectation comes true-being that I'm more going to be ignored or insulted then I will learn anything. I'm begging you guys to prove me wrong, but generally-there's no such thing as good people on reddit leftist or otherwise, so...in come the death threats!

I understand Anarchism and Socialism as effectively the people directly owning the means of government without representatives and the workers owning the means of production without bosses. This seems like it requires things like collective self-reliance and some degree of productivity in which we're not dependent on some outside body.

I'm kinda big on self-improvement and funny enough Krotpotkin is like at the top of my self-improvement gurus, with his many criticisms on how capitalism makes us lazy and how in Anarcho-Communism, with the four hour work day we would have more time to invest in our arts and sciences. Just even re-thinking some of his works makes me want to stop what I'm doing right now and work out and write my novel and self-teach physics and cook a bunch of new dishes and overall become a jack of all trades kind of guy. I pretty much, get the impression that everyone in Ancommton would be a jack/jill/jade of all trades.

Then, I meet other anarchists who have taken offence to me saying things like this. Like I saw a buff guy working out on TV and all I said was "i want his body" and I had to "apologize" for my apparent body shaming. I no longer post stoic quotes on Facebook after someone called me a right-wing grifter. If like, I say things like I don't want to be lazy I'm reminded that "laziness isn't real, capitalism is just telling you that" meanwhile laziness at it's peak for me has been me at work repeating the same tasks over and over. And productivity at it's peak for me is when I write my novel(containing leftist themes) or doing things for myself that require me to push me rather then have some hierachcal figure push me.

To be like extremely blunt-I dare say that Jordan Peterson and the grifter gang are closer to being welfairist lazy-enthusiasts dependency culture basement dwellers with their meritocratic and hierarchical "have someone else do it for us" philosophy and yet paradoxically in ways I don't understand, argue for self-reliance. And some people on the left argue for a "we can do it" ideology and yet even the idea of me gloating about some of the things I've accomplished, have gotten me in trouble because apparently it was bad for someone's mental health.

Not sure if someone can clear this up for me. But it just seems like up is down, left is right and everything is the opposite.

80 Comments
2024/05/20
16:57 UTC

12

Pacifism & Nonviolence (Not the Do Nothing kind)

Why is Nonviolence/ Pacifism so contentious?

~ ~

To start by laying down some basic foundations..

  • I'm not talking about India or the US Civil Rights movement in the 1960s, they are irrelevant as far as I'm concerned. My specific idea of nonviolence is based in MY OWN experiences of violence and my wish to not let people go through the same things as I did. It's NOT out of some moral high ground, optics, or silly want to pacify people to make no change.

  • I'm not suggesting that if someone were to come at you, you do nothing and just let them harm you. That's obviously absurd. Everyone has the justification for self defence, This is a Given. I will literally scream if someone asks about any case of interpersonal self defence.

  • There's a paper that I saw that suggested that nonviolence is statist, patriarchal, and racist. That's absurd and I'll probably ignore any argument like that, unless it's actually a strong position.

It's absurd because You can do BOTH, find nonviolent means and encourage others to partake in nonviolent means AS WELL AS understand systemic and interpersonal racism, patriarchy/sexism.
You can ALSO make sure that your actions have a Real material affect in the long run to subvert and dismantle the state.
Nonviolence is NOT the same as centrism, fence-sitting, telling people to just wait it out and hope things will be sunshine rainbows eventually.

To continue with my actual thoughts:

A rhetorical question, If we can understand that violence sucks when it's acted on us, why can't we extend that understanding to say violence sucks when we act it on others?

And truly, it will always be Our Own personal choice to act violently towards anyone, no matter what justification we give to it. The anarchist justification is that the systems that exist are already violent towards us. They already cause us suffering, already disrupt our lives. They kill people at the extremes.
So this, as is argued, will give us justification to retaliate violently, usually under the justification of Self Defence.

I did mention in the foundations that Self Defence IS okay. However, it's important to stress that I think it's limited to Interpersonal self defence. That is, if a person immediately with you is trying to act oppressively or violently towards you, you DO have the justification to do what you need to do to get out of that situation.
Your own life is important.

Structural violence is different. It's not one person acting directly on anyone. It's an emergent outcome of lots of people acting on shitty ideas that will then start indirectly affecting people. So to reiterate, it Must Necessarily be Your choice to act out against this towards any one person, you will Necessarily be the aggressor, cause there has been no individual person acting on you, no matter how justified or correct you or anyone feels about it.

So I ask the same rhetorical question, do you think we should go out of our way to personally disrupt other Human Beings lives simply based on ideology? Should we really create the same shitty feelings in others just based on ideology?

As someone who's seen quite a lot of violence, as I'm sure many people have as well. I've also had the fun experience of having pretty disruptive trauma related to it as well. I can not interact with forms of media that depict violence, even fake violence, or else I risk disassociating or having a panic attack. I do not wish that on anyone else. Would you wish that on anyone else?

Naturally, I do not advocate for doing nothing. I think it'd be fair to assume that I'm as much of an anarchist as anyone here. And I do spend much of my waking hours thinking about how to make anarchism accessible and achievable to as many people existing Today. The idea of finding true human liberation and autonomy, where we can problem solve in truly democratic ways. Where people can feel listened to and like they are actually living a life. I am staunchly against states and hierarchy, as any anarchist should be. Thus I also think about how to live life without them, especially living life without them today.

So again, I'm not asking people to do nothing and simply let violence be acted onto them. I'm only asking for people to not retaliate in violent ways towards others. There are many things we can do once we start organizing together in the physical world that will subvert hierarchy and the state in nonviolent ways.

My ideas find their foundations in Sociology, the scientific study of society and human interaction, as well as systems thinking. The sociology of social change specifically offers us ideas about how behaviours and ideas change socially (I strongly recommend the book Change: How to Make Big Things Happen by Damon Centola for more information on this). Where social change happens from the bottom out, rather than from any top down organisation. It's only when people start interacting with each other and committing to new ideas and behaviours on local levels do they start to catch on. Most attempts to use "influencers", as the book calls them, fall flat because they can't penetrate into social conventions.
System thinking understands the complexity of many interacting parts, how those interacting parts can lead to emergent properties. Properties greater than the sum of their parts.

Based on these, I think I can pretty strongly say that if people were to organise together and act in anarchist ways (Share tools and goods amongst each other, farm locally in their backyards or make food forests, try to problem solve in democratic ways, Figure out how to solve local issues without the use of local government, etc. etc.), there will be anarchist social change. Not Immediately, of course, but there's a high likelihood of it, all without violence. And as people do this, anarchist society as a whole will emerge from it.
Because it fundamentally comes down to the way People think and the way People act, I don't agree with framing it as a political game of "X" group vs "Y" group.

There's also the consideration of Means and Ends. If we use Violent Means today, who's to say we won't continue to use Violent Means tomorrow? When does it end? How does it end? Are we not simply re-creating violent structures, but anarchist?
Wouldn't it be easier to advocate for Nonviolent Means today to ensure that Nonviolent structures are created, and then strengthened for tomorrow?
Personally, it'd only make sense to do the latter if we're really thinking for a long term well being of all people.

So in the end, people will act violently towards us because we do exist in a violent world. I am not going to sugar coat that.
I just don't think that gives us justification to do the same things back at other people who are deemed bad.
And I think that it only serves to perpetuate and recreate violent systems, rather than solve the problems that violence creates.
It only perpetuates human suffering and continues the cycle of violence.

I do hope this gives people something to think about and that I won't be dismissed so easily.
I care a lot about people, and I want to see the best world that we all can create. It's very serious to me, so I hope you can give me the same seriousness in return.

13 Comments
2024/05/17
20:07 UTC

36

I dont think large anarchist revolution is possible right now

Let me preface that I am anarchist and I do believe that concentrations of power is the largest problem facing society.

Anarchist infrastructure is designed so that participation is consensual and as free as possible. It requires consent and good will from its "citizens".

This says to me that you need the majority of citizens need to agree that the anarchist system would work in order for it to work at all. My point is Im not sure this is feasible in todays world. It would require decolonization of the minds of millions for most countries. Something I doubt is going to happen for a century. Anarchist stateless ness requires winning the culture war.

Any counterpoints? Id be very interested.

56 Comments
2024/05/10
14:38 UTC

27

For those of you voting third party or not voting in 2024, why?

I attempted to make the following post in both the anarchism and anarchy101 subreddits, but I guess my quest for acquiring a better understanding of anarchism was not allowed there, so I’ll ask here instead. Hopefully this post goes through so I can actually get some insight from anarchists! If you have any reading/viewing material that would be beneficial in the learning of this topic, feel free to send them my way, as I want to learn more about anarchism as a legitimate philosophy. Anyways, here is the post:

“I’m not electioneering or anything, I’m not gonna tell you to vote, but as someone who is personally going to be voting, I want to understand why others will not do so? Maybe have a little bit of a conversation, talk about whether or not voting is praxis and stuff like that. I’m not the most educated individual, but I’ve come to agree with many of the beliefs anarchists have espoused, and so I find myself here.

Not trying to be sarcastic or witty or anything like that, I’m just genuinely curious and want to hear your two cents to better educate myself.”

119 Comments
2024/05/09
20:01 UTC

0

Is it more appropriate for an anarchist or communist academic to teach in a commune than in a hierarchically obsessive university?

Thinking universities maintain several hierarchies including - social class, intelligence, wages and campus regulations.
If someone is against those, why not just ditch it all and live the theory?

23 Comments
2024/05/09
07:49 UTC

5

Re: Coordination is not Command

I am replying to a post made by u/DecoDecoMan a year ago.

While I do believe u/DecoDecoMan is overall correct, in that coordination in principle only requires information transfer rather than command, I also believe he left out or omitted a key issue that should have been discussed in his post.

Assuming for the sake of argument that information transfer turns out to be centralised, that is, an anarchic society had certain individuals designated with the responsibility to be central coordinators, you could run into trouble.

A central coordinator is not definitionally identical to a commander, but the problem here is that they possess a lot of leverage, and could theoretically abuse their responsibility.

If large-scale global industry was reliant upon central coordinators, they could intentionally obstruct or halt information transfer, and hold the economy hostage in order to extort tribute.

The collective force appropriated by the central coordinators can then be used to fund the creation of a basic state apparatus, such as armies, borders, police, and prisons.

The best solution to this problem is to simply avoid centralised coordination whenever possible, and rely as much as possible upon peer-to-peer, distributed information transfer.

1 Comment
2024/05/09
09:02 UTC

5

Was sent over here by Anarchy101, had some questions and was given more questions mostly as answers, responded, was removed. Would still like answers

  1. How does an anarchic society preserve anarchy past the first three generations without recourse to either tradition (which would necessarily be a subjugation of the individual to the system and it’s customs and tradition, which produces keepers of those traditions, authorities on them, and this seems doomed to create hierarchies over time)? How does it avoid creation of hierarchies of the specialists, or of tradition, or of strength, or of demagogues who sway people to their side with persuasive words and performative rejection of hard authority that furthers their soft social power as an “unofficial” leader?

  2. How does an anarchic society ensure that community and trust in fellow people distinct from your immediate social circle is preserved? With no rules supplanting the free agency and independence of each and every person, what prevents a parent from deciding they don’t want their kids anymore and abandoning or killing them due to being mentally unstable or mentally ill (or abandoning them by committing suicide)? And what prevents people neglecting dirty or unpleasant jobs until they have catastrophic consequences before anyone bothers to take them on? What system controls for people abusing the kindness of strangers, travelling around to avoid social repercussions? How can trust be protected from those predatory people?

  3. What strategies could prevent an anarchist revolution being coopted by fascists or violent sadists who embrace the rhetoric of total freedom and the destruction of the state and its defenders and tyrants to just engage in violence and unjustified execution and so on while defending their deeds with the label of necessity for the revolution using charisma and sound arguments reliant on a particularly dangerously extreme but viable purist interpretation? How can these strategies avoid becoming the basis of future power structures and hierarchies a century or two down the road?

I can copy and paste the discussion that was happening on the previous iteration if desired.

Edit: I have copy and pasted the entire previous set of replies to provide relevant context and the answers that I’ve already received.

42 Comments
2024/05/08
19:38 UTC

4

Replacing hierarchical/capitalistic/state systems with decentralized autonomous and community-owned ones: possible or not?

Hi!

The systems that I'm referring to as an alternative are systems that will regulate communication and interaction between people with rules and mechanics that are defined and implemented by the people. The system/service is developed, governed, and owned by the people who use it. The key feature is that it's fully automated and isn't owned by anyone in particular so there is no bureaucracy, rulers, or owners. Subsystems are built on the same principles

I would like to discuss and debate on the topic:

  • Is it a good alternative or not? Why do you think so?
  • Is it possible to create it? Why yes or no?
  • If yes, how do you imagine such an alternative?
  • What rules/mechanics/qualities should be there and what shouldn't? -
  • If no or you see other alternatives - please elaborate
  • or just comment with thoughts/questions/answers you see appropriate

My answer will be in the comments below and I invite you to comment with your thoughts and arguments.
Thanks for your attention 🏴

UPD: The question is mainly not about the possibility of creating an alternative, but about an alternative that at least will have the same popularity and livability as the hierarchical/capitalistic/state systems

7 Comments
2024/05/06
17:25 UTC

0

Debate: Anarchist communities need to cool it with the gatekeeping.

I came down the Republican-Libertarian-AnCap-Anarchy pipeline, and although I'm not a capitalist anymore, i'm technically not a leftist either. Economically agnostic is kinda what i've been going by.

My biggest gripe with anarchists of all colors is their complete lack of chill with anyone economically different from them.

In libertarian/ancap groups (the few that i'm not banded from), they'll say anarcho-communism is a contradiction and is no different from doublespeak. In those cases, I'll defend ancoms. We all think the state is the biggest threat. So why the eff would ancaps want to make enemies out of people who align with them on the most important issues like war and waste and money manipulation?

In leftist groups, people will outright call you an ancap or a fascist if you don't agree with every tenant of their culture war and economic dogma, even if you agree with them on the most important issues. This has come up a lot lately with the Muslim anarchist movements that probably still have some backwards cultural ideas about LGBT and women, but reject coercion and force in any communities larger than, like, a village. I'll take that as a win. They're the ones that just want an end to the oppression of the people in Israel and in Gaza and in the West Bank. They're the ones loudly proclaiming "F*** IDF, F*** Hamas, F*** PLO, and F*** the Lakhud". I can vibe with that energy.

The way I see it, the most obvious Rorschach inkblot test for anarchists is the American Mennonite/Amish community. You can't box them into either end of the ridiculous binary that internet anarchists have created. They're anticapitalist, so they're lefties? But they have heavy religious and cultural restrictions, so they're rightwingers? But above all, they reject the state, so I'm happy to welcome them as a functioning example of Anarchists just "nope"ing out of America's nationalist/capitalist cultural hegemony.

Y'all think my way of thinking too inclusive? Should anarcho-gatekeeping really be as strict as internet anarchists make it out to be?

116 Comments
2024/05/06
14:45 UTC

0

Relative Privation Fallacy

i am prefacing this with: i am an anti-statist, not an anarchist, now we begin

people do not understand how first world of you it is to say that 333 million people after a certain period following your niche arbitrarily obfuscated principles will lead to some post-capitalist post-price society where people will be so perfect and aligned with your lifestyle that they’ll never seek to form governance or be taken over by another existing form of governance

mentalities like this can really only develop so extremely in these countries with so many protections and systems that keep you safe and you want to do away with police, military, and courts because for some reason you would be even so extra protected, it’s backwards and illogical

i could shout somalia or something like that and it would piss people off but they don’t realize that countries like this that fall into statelessness become these tribalistic feuds between hierarchies that naturally establish themselves due to the very nature of the not-so-naturalistic response of begging to be included in something, i.e. a fringe community qua violent usurpation/warfare

i also don’t want to hear “anarchy is statelessness not rulelessness” please tell me how you intend on enforcing them? voluntarily? what if i disagree? i revolt? who kills me? the organized rule-makers? sounds like a government to me!! it’s naturally illogical and if one asserts any form of ethics at all they would know that some objective system of justice (at a bare minimum) would have to exist to ensure these leisures

this is the relative privation fallacy in practice, and in principle all forms of anarchy violate this (unless that anarchism just seeks to degenerate and destroy humanity, i.e. egoism (stirner), nihilism, posadism…)

in simple terms, to plead for anarchism is privileged

(also i am aware that there are poor corrupt countries where people want their states gone who are marginalized but i’m referring to those of america (which is why i mention 333 million people don’t try to twist this behind my back saying this is a hasty generalization because objectively anarchism leads to the same white route regardless if you feel so or not, a lot of those countries (like the usa) in their inter-anarchal period seek to establish a state as anarchism simply doesn’t work, also excuse the bad grammar but i want someone to point it out and then i call them out on enforcing a hierarchy (grammar, albeit another non-harmful hierarchy but many anarchists are very inconsistent with what they actually define as such))

30 Comments
2024/05/04
23:38 UTC

20

As an anarchist, do you support a Universal Basic Income within the context of capitalism? I think you should.

Now a couple ground rules. I will not cite anything. I cannot. You can choose to look out through my eyes, or you cannot.

I will present everything as fact, my own personal facts, but I do think my own personal facts to be particularly illuminating on this topic and at this time. However, I do recognize that I might be wrong, and there’s many people in this subreddit who have vastly more knowledge about what others previous to me have said on similar topics. If you can engage in a substantive critique of the worldview I have presented, please feel free to do so.

This will only be about ‘why’ for a UBI, please try to keep it to the ‘why’ and not the ‘how’--the why informs the how, if you worry too much about the how without going through the why, I think you will reach ill informed conclusions. I can make another post about ‘how’ later if we can make it through this one.

So to start us off, I think we should have a UBI within the context of capitalism, and this would be policy that is directly in line with anarchists' purported ideals. Now to go through the reasoning to get to that statement we need to start with the notion that everything produced by humans shares the same fundamental framework. Some of the frameworks produced by humans make this framework explicit rather than implicit. I like calling these frameworks corporations–as the corporation, one of the dominant institutions of our time, is one of those frameworks that makes the framework explicit rather than implicit. To put it another way, corporations as we know them are what everything produced by humans is. You can also think of this framework as the framework of self, so from this pov everything produced by humans shares the same fundamental framework, that framework being the framework of self. You can trace evolutions of self up from self to things like the corporation, nation, language, and race. You could consider this to be a self or corporate ontology.

Now, we won’t say anything about self right now, we’ll just consider corporations, and nations as such. Nations, as a corporation, what are they doing? To me they are not doing anything they say they are doing, to me, your necessary work to maintain existence has been sold–i.e. your consumption. It has been made to be that in order to maintain your own existence in a reasonable manner you are coerced into giving the system your time, propagating the system as it is, the system putting how it wants things to be above those humans entering into it. Saying, “Well you had to work to maintain your existence anyways, you might as well maintain my own existence through your necessary labor.” Which is just exploitation, because, to it, you are at once its employee and the product it sells. It also thinks this labor very valuable to itself, as the system has been structured in such a way that guarantees the majority of that possible labor will go towards it–as the consequences for not doing so are an extremely suboptimal existence. According to capitalisms own stance, the worker must be paid for their labor. It becomes clear, when viewing the nation through this corporate lens, it is operating in a manner that is akin to a plantation where you can choose what job you would like, but where also the notion of not doing some job is met with punishment. Freedom.

You can then consider this from the pov of the framework itself. These creations of ours, these corporations, what are they? To me, they’re frameworks around ideas that are seeking to continue to exist given parameters. They are frameworks there to aid in the propagation of some idea or notion across time and space. This sentence, and each word in it, and then each letter, would be corporations, no? Human creations. Human creations you can dissect to find the web of thoughts and notions that put them together, the machinations of mind, the echoes of self–the incorporation of all the parts that led to its being wrought into our reality in such a manner that you can witness it and it become corporate in your mind. These frameworks are all about whatever idea they surround lasting for longer amounts of time. So it becomes paramount that the framework be such that it is structured in such a way that is good for what it is trying to do. Some framework that is good for what it is trying to do will account for as many things as possible that it should account for given that thing it is trying to do–given parameters. In the context of the nation, to me, each human becomes a parameter. To have some idea, an idea made by humans, not refer to each human it should refer to by nature of what it is, is some framework that is not accounting for all of the parameters it should. In not referring to all humans, excluding some from the framework of how it is, it undermines its own fundamental quality of being some thing that is there to last for longer amounts of time. Those humans that the framework fails to refer to, and instead excludes through this lack of reference, also have self, and as such they are doing their own seeking to continue to exist given parameters. And more often than not that seeking to continue to exist will be carried out in ways that the framework of the nation would find to be suboptimal in relation to its own seeking to continue to exist. Anarchists come to mind here. Thus, the system of the nation should be as inclusive as possible, referring to each of the aspects of humanity. A UBI within the context of capitalism would be some thing that greatly aids in the system ceasing its non-reference to a certain portion of humanity that finds how it is to be such that they are excluded in how they are and thus want it to be abolished or changed.

A UBI also, rather than merely being the just payment for your currently exploited labor, also does other cool things. Namely giving some power back to the worker, leverage they can use to resist the coercive nature of the system and engage with it more on their own terms. I also think this quietly unionizes all workers. It’s like a union without the middleman. Workers can truly vote with their time, not giving their time to systems that they deem are undeserving of it. This gives the government leverage to resist the hold that corporations as we currently know them have over it. It also creates a dichotomy between ideas and humans rather than it being humans pitted against humans, pointing towards how our system actually works, that being a game of selves we play as humans–life as we have made it to be, not life as it is. The UBI correctly puts the human in themselves above society, telling them that they are the end, not the means, correctly placing humans above their own creations, above ideas that are not actually existing. Saying that the experience of life for that human is more important than the abstract idea of itself existing in a certain way. Is it clear how ‘what the system is doing’ says things to humans? Says what is good and bad? If some system makes humans act or be certain ways or threatens them with punishment if they do not be those certain ways, what is that system saying? To me it is saying it is above humans. And to me, that just flies in the face of reality. That is life as we have made it to be, not life as it is. At some point in the past there was a massive flipping of the power dynamic between ideas and humans. Ideas currently hold the power, but I think that power is waning–largely thanks to capitalism's slippery slope with ‘freedom’ and the lackthereof that exists at the base of it.

So, to recap a bit, everything produced by humans shares the same framework. That framework is the framework of the self or the corporation. These frameworks are there to aid in the propagation of some idea they surround, ‘seeking to continue to exist.’ The nation, being a human creation, is one of these corporations that is seeking to continue to exist. It currently seeks to continue to exist relying on exploitation at its base to coerce action within it. This mode of seeking to continue to exist is paradoxical in relation to what the framework is there for, existing for longer amounts of time--because exploitation undermines system integrity. Removing exploitation becomes what is in the best interest for any system. One of the most straightforward ways to remove exploitation from our current system is a UBI, some thing that compensates the worker for their necessary role within the system. Promoting a market that is markedly more free than the previous iteration. Enabling the human to engage with the system on their own terms, removing coercion, promoting the free association of humans, placing the human above the idea of how things are within some system, telling them that they are the end in themselves. I think this lines up nicely with anarchists purported ideals. If you think otherwise, please let me know.

And before you reeeee at me because it isn't the anarchism that you want, please consider for a moment that at least in the context of the United States, there is a mechanism available for the editing of the system (something every good system needs), and that mechanism being available, to me, means it should be thoroughly attempted to be used before abandoning the system all together. And please don't tell me that it is too outlandish or too hard, I know it is a hard thing and the odds are astronomical and all the chips are stacked against reform of this nature. But not trying also just makes it impossible. Developing a coherent framework for why becomes paramount in advocating for some policy like this.

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2024/05/04
17:50 UTC

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