Sunday, August 1, 2010

Anarchism Is Necessary

Anarchism is necessary, we can say, to create a just society. As far as I can tell, the best definition of anarchism is “the belief that no one has any special authority to do anything that anyone else doesn’t have.” Anarchy, then, is a society in which this principle is widespread enough to be a truism. If one group of people can arrogate special authority to themselves to rule over others, this alone is a vast injustice in and of itself. But it also creates a cascade of further injustices.

Under statism, the overall socioeconomic system tends to divide into classes, some more privileged than others. This allows people in the more privileged classes to use their power to bully others or manipulate them, even without direct coercion. An example of this is “survival prostitution”. There are people who are so abject and miserably poor that they are willing to do anything for enough money to survive until tomorrow. They do not have the option to say “no”, if they want to live, they must say yes. Wage slavery in the modern corporate capitalist world is, for many people, merely a more extended version of this.

Now yes, the state can and does sometimes offer marginalized groups protection from some of the worst effects of their marginalization, but it is the state which put them in the position of needing that protection in the first place. It is the state which makes people economically dependent. It is the state which destroys the wealth of the lower middle class and poor. It is the state which shifts the supply/demand balance of the labor market so workers are chasing jobs, rather than the other way around. And though everything in our world is not economic, in the sense of being about trade and production, economic freedom gives people more space to carve out social freedom. It is difficult if not impossible to wield social power if you’re barely subsisting.

Anarchism: Necessary But Not Sufficient

h/t Liberty Pulse


  1. Your definition is bunk. It's *drumroll* liberal nonsense (did you see that coming?).

    Everyone isn't equal. Parents and their children are the prime example, but mental deficients and rich people also come to mind. Yes, rich people deserve some perks, and despite your derision of diagnosing people with psychological disorders, there are people literally incapable of taking care of themselves (which is the best case scenario, far more preferable than being a danger to others).

    That is a non-working definition of anarchy. Anarchy is more accurately "might makes right," on an individual scale. Sure, government abuse of power occurs, but it is far less common than individual abuses. Why? Because beauracracy demands a dozen or more people must be corrupt before someone is fully abused. The worst abuses of government power occur when too much power lies in one person's hand, which is a condition we have no one to thank for except "small government" conservatives.

  2. Ginx, you obviously have never done any serious reading of anarchist literature.

    Anarchists are against domination, and anarchy is the purest form of anti-authoritarianism, but anarchists are not stupid, and recognize that some may have special expertise that makes them worthy of being considered "authorities" in certain fields, just without the power to force anyone to submit to that expertise.

    You're also equivocating with the word "equal". No anarchist believes everyone is the same, has the same talents, mental capacities, and so on, nor do any anarchists that I'm aware of believe that everyone should be the same. Obvious biological and other differences exist between human beings, and make life richer for the diversity that results.

    Anarchist don't favor equal results either, with all people having the exact same size house, car, etc. Anarchy just means freedom, and real social equality, that's all.

    Anarchy isn't only about individualism, but also about society and strong social ties, mutual aid and cooperation. You continue to fight a straw man of your own imagination, making you look ridiculous.

    Sure, government abuse of power occurs, but it is far less common than individual abuses

    Are you trying to be funny, or are you just stupid?

    Name one individual who has come close to murdering the tens of millions that states have killed.


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