GlennWatson on April 06, 2011, 06:24:48 pm
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I mostly give up on rational discussion past the third pint anyway.


Tuche or is that touché.

quadibloc on April 06, 2011, 07:44:54 pm
At some point he realizes that centralizing factors, like law and government, would have to be given up.  He cries, "You tricked me into advocating anarchy!" (either aloud to me, or to himself), despite all our interesting projections & modeling.

If he changes his opinion because of a change in the wording, then he's one of those who can't separate meaning from connotation, in which case rational discussion with him is a lost cause anyway.
But what if it isn't a change in the wording that changed his opinion? What if he does think that a "decentralized, networked society" might be a good thing, depending on the details, but he thought all along that law and government weren't things that could be given up?

Then, his opinion of what you proposed didn't change because of what you called it, his opinion changed because of specific details of the substance of what you were proposing.

J Thomas on April 06, 2011, 08:38:57 pm
At some point he realizes that centralizing factors, like law and government, would have to be given up.  He cries, "You tricked me into advocating anarchy!" (either aloud to me, or to himself), despite all our interesting projections & modeling.

If he changes his opinion because of a change in the wording, then he's one of those who can't separate meaning from connotation, in which case rational discussion with him is a lost cause anyway.

But what if it isn't a change in the wording that changed his opinion? What if he does think that a "decentralized, networked society" might be a good thing, depending on the details, but he thought all along that law and government weren't things that could be given up?

Sure. To some extent the USA has a decentralized police system. Individual towns and cities (and sometimes parts of cities) have their own police that they hire, counties have their own, states have their own, and then we have things like the FBI which are national. These all interact under bewildering rules about jurisdiction, while they enforce city ordinances, state law, federal rulings, etc. Decentralized government is a far cry from no government.


Brugle on April 06, 2011, 09:38:50 pm
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so not using it might seem disingenuous if the abolition of law and government is what you advocate. So it isn't easy to win on this issue.

Hmm.  I propose a decentralized, networked society to someone, who agrees it sounds like a good idea; we spend some time discussing what such a society might look like and what it would involve.  At some point he realizes that centralizing factors, like law and government, would have to be given up.  He cries, "You tricked me into advocating anarchy!" (either aloud to me, or to himself), despite all our interesting projections & modeling.

AnCaps propose giving up government, not law.  Anarchists want laws (against stealing, kidnapping, etc.) to be applied equally to everyone, instead of having one class of people (government agents) who are above the law.

terry_freeman on April 07, 2011, 03:02:10 am
There were fewer of the bomb-throwing "anarchists" in the 19th century than you might think.

It would not surprise me if, like today, many were actually agent provocateurs who were creating reasons for government crackdowns.

I prefer to use the term "voluntaryist", to highlight the distinction between voluntary cooperation and the organized monopolistic use of force.

Certain statists claim that government is "just another way of organizing people", but that's like saying that rape is "just another way of organizing sexual relations."



mellyrn on April 07, 2011, 06:46:58 am
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AnCaps propose giving up government, not law.  Anarchists want laws (against stealing, kidnapping, etc.) to be applied equally to everyone, instead of having one class of people (government agents) who are above the law.

Hmm.  Given my druthers, I'd have one "law":  do no harm.

If you take some property of mine without my permission, that's literally stealing; otoh, if I don't care that you did, then I am not harmed, and I'm not going to "press charges".  Someone else might see potential for future harm:  that my lack of prosecution causes you to think you can take just anything.  That someone could take you to arbitration over it.

If they did, I hope the court would consider only you and your unique likelihood of drawing that conclusion, that you could take just anything.  You took the property for some reason that you thought good (or good enough) at the time.  Maybe you're just evil, in which case I'd opt for banishment.  Or maybe you had only run out of alternatives, in which case the community would be best helped by helping you -- not "punishing" you.

Or maybe something else entirely.

One of the things I dislike about a state is applying a law the same way to everyone, as if we were all clones [government agents excepted, as you note -- and yes, I do agree that that's offensive!]  One of the things I like about anarchy, and arbitration, is the possibility of tailor-made social correction -- which could cut both ways, not only to correct the defendant but also to correct the society.  Juries are supposed to do that, but at least in the US today, they're trained to do no more than apply extant law, without correction.

Another aspect of the "do no harm" rule is that there would not need to be a specific law for every sort of harm; if the plaintiff can demonstrate harm to the arbiter's satisfaction, the defendant can't excuse himself by noting that his action didn't break any law.

Maybe a society could set up a wiki, more or less detailing prevailing social norms & expectations.  Give newcomers a heads-up -- and give themselves a bit of a mirror.

J Thomas on April 07, 2011, 07:32:22 am
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AnCaps propose giving up government, not law.  Anarchists want laws (against stealing, kidnapping, etc.) to be applied equally to everyone, instead of having one class of people (government agents) who are above the law.

Hmm.  Given my druthers, I'd have one "law":  do no harm.

Somehow this reminds me of Frank Herbert's story where theologians from thousands of worlds meet to find out how much they can all agree on. And they reach a consensus, a single law that reads "Thou must not disfigure the soul.".

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One of the things I dislike about a state is applying a law the same way to everyone, as if we were all clones [government agents excepted, as you note -- and yes, I do agree that that's offensive!]

This is a limit on government that a lot of people can agree on. If you don't trust your government not to be a whole lot nicer to its friends than to you, at least you can demand that it treat people the same in the ways that are easiest to measure.

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One of the things I like about anarchy, and arbitration, is the possibility of tailor-made social correction -- which could cut both ways, not only to correct the defendant but also to correct the society.

And when it isn't coercive, all you lose when people get interested in social correction that bores you is the time it takes to get through the argument.

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Another aspect of the "do no harm" rule is that there would not need to be a specific law for every sort of harm; if the plaintiff can demonstrate harm to the arbiter's satisfaction, the defendant can't excuse himself by noting that his action didn't break any law.

People harm each other in lots of subtle ways that are traditionally ignored. But a skillful arbitrator can find ways to subtly improve society, without demanding impractical reforms or following up logical consequences that don't lead anywhere useful. I like it.

Still, your proposed law doesn't look much like a law to me.

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And thirdly, the code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules. Welcome aboard the Black Pearl, Miss Turner.

;)

happycrow on April 07, 2011, 08:06:53 am
re:  early anarchists.

Some may have been agent provacateurs.  Many weren't.  But those were a very different breed of people than one's traditional ancap.  These were people who instantly equated property with theft, and who were essentially somewhere between socialists and communists (and whose spiritual successors haunt G20 meetings to this day).  No less noted an anarchist than Engel (of the Haymarket Square bombing) described anarchists as exactly like the socialists, except insofar as the socialists were wimps unwilling to use violence, rather than create a world in which 'every workingman has a bomb in his pocket.'

Holt on April 07, 2011, 08:57:40 am
So really it's more like they're anarchists and you're diet-anarchy. Well not even that since really you support creating a power vacuum that will quickly be occupied by the wealthy.

macsnafu on April 07, 2011, 09:47:39 am
So really it's more like they're anarchists and you're diet-anarchy. Well not even that since really you support creating a power vacuum that will quickly be occupied by the wealthy.

No, it's like the stereotypical "anarchist" existed only to trick people like you into thinking that government has some necessary function and value, whereas real anarchists are no threat to anybody except for power mongers and other evil people.
I love mankind.  It's PEOPLE I can't stand!  - Linus Van Pelt.

Holt on April 07, 2011, 10:12:09 am
Or the "stereotypical anarchist" arose because those people actually believed in their ideals and cause and were not in fact part of some big conspiracy by "the man"

J Thomas on April 07, 2011, 10:22:29 am
Or the "stereotypical anarchist" arose because those people actually believed in their ideals and cause and were not in fact part of some big conspiracy by "the man"

It's hard to find out what the individual people believed. What is certain is that they did get a lot of bad press, and they had no spokesmen who could counter that. Whatever the truth was, they were effectively slimed in the days of yellow journalism.

Holt on April 07, 2011, 10:31:26 am
Mostly because they were real anarchists. A real anarchist doesn't bother writing big boring books. He acts!

spudit on April 07, 2011, 11:11:36 am
OK everyone get into your boxes, only one per!

Statist
Anarchist lite
Anarchist
Chaos-itist lite
Chaos-itist
something
something
Full scale barking mad?
Vote Early and Vote Often
for EFT
have you voted today?

ContraryGuy on April 07, 2011, 11:41:20 am
Words change.  Hamlet tries to get to his father's ghost and threatens anyone who "lets" him.  Try using "let" in that sense today, and you'll confuse your audience.

It may never again be possible to describe a lighthearted, cheerful and blithe person with the word "gay", or a strange uncanny one with the word "queer".

The words "girl" and "wench" once meant "a child", of either sex.  Language flows.

It might be as well to let the term "anarchy" go.  It's so commonly, colloquially used as a synonym for "chaos" that only the seriously literate can use it correctly, without knee-jerk emotionalism.

I wonder if some of our militantly-ignorant posters, the ones who make obvious their refusal to actually learn anything real about anarchy and simply operate out of their connotative baggage, might relate better to the idea of, say, "decentralized" or "networked" societies.

Would the internet work better with one ruling node or congress of ruling nodes?  Would it work at all?

It's nice to be remembered fondly.  You are wrong, of course.  I am not "militantly-ignorant" merely because we disagree.
I raise the issue of anarchy as it relates to today's society because it would matter if (the generic) you wanted to convince the great unwashed and mostly historically illiterate public that your form of "government" is better than what exists now.
Yes, I did just call 200 million people "unwashed" and "historically illiterate", no need to go on about it.  I use those terms for the purpose of accuracy. 
Most people do not care about "historical" or "classical" anarchism.  They only care what their Hi Def glowy talky box tells them.  If it tells them that anarchists are evil and shouldnt be allowed to take over, thats what they will believe.
This forum goes on about "no, no, that not real anarchy, those people are posers and looters;  sit down and let us lecture you on what real anarchy is" over and over without realizing that Joe Six-Pack doesnt care.
If Joe and Jane Average cant be bothered to say what they think about the way the government spends tax money, why do you think they would care about a lecture on the difference between "good" and "bad" anarchy?

I work with real, normal people every day on a subject that is important to them, and I know that people dont care to be lectured at.  I try not to, but its hard because it is my nature.

If people dont want to be lectured about something they are willing to pay for, why do you think those same people would be willing to sit through a lecture on "the principles of classical anarchism and its meaning in modern governance"?
Even college students wouldnt sit for that.

So yes, you do need a different word for your movement.  A word that doesnt make the average person think rioters and looters on Main Street and worse than business as usual on Wall Street.

Good Luck.  You'll need it.

 

anything