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Strange Famous Forum > Social stuff. Political stuff. KNOWMORE

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Confidential



Joined: 23 Jan 2004
Posts: 2040
Is anyone here an anarchist?  Reply with quote  

Thought there might be some anti-authoritarians here.

The Southern California Anarchist Conference– a weekend long conference centered on anarchist and its anti-authoritarian tendencies as uniquely manifested in the southern California. Collectively we hope to show past & present examples of anarchist ideas in practice, through speakers, panels, workshops, images, theater, music, film and non-coercive socializing as they intersect in the everyday struggles against coercive power, capitalism and the state.

Saturday, August 1st 2009 CONFERENCE
(workshops, strategizing and networking sessions)
12:00-8:00PM at the SoCal Library
6120 S. Vermont Ave. L.A. 90044
$5.00 suggested donation; no denied entry.

Sunday, August 2nd 2009 FERIA LIBERTARIA
(Art, music, theater, food, tabling, and more!)
12:00-8:00PM UCLA Downtown Labor Center
675 S. Park View St. L.A. 90057
FREE!

i'm going on sunday and looking forward to Olmeca and Cihuatl-Ce performances. representing anarcha-feminina-indeigena hip hop

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Post Tue Jul 28, 2009 8:05 pm
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redball



Joined: 12 May 2006
Posts: 6871
Location: Northern New Jersey
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I'm not a huge fan of authorities, but I've found that most anarchists haven't actually thought about what would happen in a prolonged anarchy state with a large population. That's based on personal experience.

Normally they're really great people to have around if you want to get wasted and sit around watching b-movies in your living room until 4am. That's based on personal experience too.
Post Tue Jul 28, 2009 8:28 pm
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adic



Joined: 07 May 2009
Posts: 727
Location: SJC
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What redball said...

Also, I have distaste for authority, and I have a strong belief in person freedom, but Anarchy doesn't seem to be the answer... there are too many people in the world, and we haven't evolved enough as a society
Post Tue Jul 28, 2009 8:52 pm
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Confidential



Joined: 23 Jan 2004
Posts: 2040
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Fair enough. in y experience they've also been some of the most inspiring in terms of dialogue, action, and academic contributions. when we think in large populations, then its difficult to imagine, but starting with collectives organizing horizontally and self-governing through consensus becomes a reasonable alternative.
Post Tue Jul 28, 2009 8:57 pm
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icarus502
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Joined: 01 Jul 2002
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Location: ann arbor
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redball wrote:
I'm not a huge fan of authorities, but I've found that most anarchists haven't actually thought about what would happen in a prolonged anarchy state with a large population. That's based on personal experience.



To be fair, nobody knows what "would happen in a prolonged anarchy state with a large population." Particularly one in which the arrival of an anarchist situation is concomitant to the popularity of anti-authoritarianism as an ethos. I mean, think of feminism. It's totally conceivable and, to a majority of people, to establish a prolonged state of gender equality. But, in a previous era, conventional wisdom held that human nature could not withstand the liberation of women from the yoke of their parents and husbands.
Post Tue Jul 28, 2009 9:12 pm
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TurnpikeGates



Joined: 30 Jun 2003
Posts: 517
Location: Bay Area
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redball wrote:
I'm not a huge fan of authorities, but I've found that most anarchists haven't actually thought about what would happen in a prolonged anarchy state with a large population. That's based on personal experience.

Normally they're really great people to have around if you want to get wasted and sit around watching b-movies in your living room until 4am. That's based on personal experience too.


Have you honestly ever met an anarchist? Sounds like you're describing a caricature as though it's a real person or even a realistic archetype. I've never met an anarchist who has not spent a great deal of time considering the implications of anarchism-- otherwise, what's the point? One of the main reasons I doubt what you're saying is that no one talking seriously about anarchism would call their desired future a "state." The anarchist impulse is all about imagining a future WITHOUT a state. It's also a bit strange how ready you are to generalize, even in the relatively positive part of your statement (i.e. good people to get shit faced and watch movies with). Though there are some tendencies (white, male) among anti-state leftists, they are by no means a homogeneous group.

If you're putting surface-level anti-authoritarians into the anarchist camp, then you should dig a little deeper. I get that the term "anarchist" is nebulous, but let's not include anyone with a circle-A patch in that category.

Also, to reiterate, the following phrase makes no sense:
"prolonged anarchy state with a large population"

Not even trying to be a dick, but you impugn a fruitful and legitimate area of political thought when you reduce anarchists to some obsolete (if it ever existed) cliche.
Post Tue Jul 28, 2009 9:49 pm
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redball



Joined: 12 May 2006
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Location: Northern New Jersey
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My point is that it's the elephant in the room. I don't think you have to go very far to see what would happen in that scenario. If I recall correctly (no guarantees) the few times it's happened for very long it plays out like: everything works for a while, then some disputes rise, then people get unhappy, then someone decides to take power and whoever has the most weapons/young men at their disposal wins then the anarchy stops. It has happened for short terms on a larger scale.

On a smaller scale I don't know what the difference between your standard commune and an anarchist group would be. I mean, unless you're talking about living as an anarchist in a very non-anarchist society. If you're not separating yourself out from the rest of society then it would seem to me that you're not being pragmatic in the slightest society will eventually decide to force some rules on you.

I'm hoping an anarchist will defend anarchism against my prodding. I'm not saying this just to piss in your cheerios.
Post Tue Jul 28, 2009 9:53 pm
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icarus502
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Joined: 01 Jul 2002
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redball wrote:
My point is that it's the elephant in the room. I don't think you have to go very far to see what would happen in that scenario. If I recall correctly (no guarantees) the few times it's happened for very long it plays out like: everything works for a while, then some disputes rise, then people get unhappy, then someone decides to take power and whoever has the most weapons/young men at their disposal wins then the anarchy stops. It has happened for short terms on a larger scale.


Not exactly. For one, there's a group like the !Kung San. Thousands of years, no state. But otherwise, are you referring to something like the Paris Commune or the Spanish Revolution or other such brief manifestations? Nearly to a one, they didn't implode due to the authoritarian creep of human nature; they were put down violently from the outside.
Post Tue Jul 28, 2009 9:57 pm
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redball



Joined: 12 May 2006
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Location: Northern New Jersey
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I've met and had long discussions with people who claim to be anarchists. I can't say how involved in the community or how serious they were. They seem to have worked out some things, but I've never met someone who claimed to be an anarchist who could explain how anarchy would work on anything but a microscopic scale. Maybe I've never met a serious anarchist, school me.
Post Tue Jul 28, 2009 10:01 pm
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icarus502
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Joined: 01 Jul 2002
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Location: ann arbor
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I'm a serious anarchist. Kinda serious. I dunno. We've never met, but I'd love to have the pleasure.
Post Tue Jul 28, 2009 10:04 pm
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tommi teardrop



Joined: 12 Apr 2007
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Location: Las Vegas
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I think dismissing anarchism because of our inability to comprehend it working properly today or in the future based on how we view human nature at the current moment is totally ignoring what most anarchists actually envision happening with the progression of opposing/questioning the validity of authority and it's affect on the human mind through socialization over time.

Anarchism not working throughout history, or communism's failure to conquer capitalism and bring human equality, are not evidence of either theory's failures. It is indicative of the power that their opposing ideologies and their proponents have both possessed and exerted over time.

Even if it were to be proven scientifically that pure anarchism would never maintain itself in the human world, I still think it ultimately has merits and should be discussed seriously without dismissal by those who live in a more, right here, right now type world.
Post Tue Jul 28, 2009 10:08 pm
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Confidential



Joined: 23 Jan 2004
Posts: 2040
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Yeah, there's a lot of nuances to theory and practice of it that a simple term "anarchism" doesn't really cover, especially given the popular misconceptions/assumptions but generally we all agree that we are against capital and the state.

Doing and thinking anarchy in a rigidly hierarchical society is one of the main questions we ask. With the majority of society constantly saying you are unrealistic or extreme, it can get disollusioning and lonely at times. But at the core, I believe it is an optimisitc position because you have to believe that human is inherently good in order to believe in the possibility of cooperation raher than competition and collectivity rather than rugged individualism as a better way to organize society.

There isn't going to be a single answer, and the I'm not the kind to see dropping out of society, unabomber, wiping your ass with orange peels, in the middle of the woods as a viable solution. Since we all are getting fucked over, we all are going to have to create an alternative to the unsustainable way of life we in, and it must be culturally appropriate, it has to come from the bottom up and from the left.
Post Tue Jul 28, 2009 10:20 pm
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tommi teardrop



Joined: 12 Apr 2007
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Location: Las Vegas
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Confidential wrote:
But at the core, I believe it is an optimisitc position because you have to believe that human is inherently good in order to believe in the possibility of cooperation rather than competition and collectivity rather than rugged individualism as a better way to organize society.
I prefer to think that human is inherently nothing, but able to affect it's "nature" through the progression and documentation of ideas, efforts and motivations throughout time.
Post Tue Jul 28, 2009 10:56 pm
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adic



Joined: 07 May 2009
Posts: 727
Location: SJC
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I've honestly never really met and had a conversation with a real anarchist, so I'm really not well informed. I'm certainly not dismissive of the idea, and open to hearing more... From what I've read in this thread, I actually support many of the views and would like to see society as a whole move in this direction...

The means to achieve this utopian society would appear to be the issue. It would appear to me that it will either take an enormous amount of time to evolve as a society/global community to achieve this, or some catastophic event that wipes out huge amounts of the population/global infrastructure, or some combintation of both...
Post Tue Jul 28, 2009 10:59 pm
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TurnpikeGates



Joined: 30 Jun 2003
Posts: 517
Location: Bay Area
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redball wrote:
I've met and had long discussions with people who claim to be anarchists. I can't say how involved in the community or how serious they were. They seem to have worked out some things, but I've never met someone who claimed to be an anarchist who could explain how anarchy would work on anything but a microscopic scale. Maybe I've never met a serious anarchist, school me.


Well, for starters, there are many branches of anarchist thought, each of which deal with "how anarchy would work on anything but a microscopic scale" in different ways. The Wikipedia entry on anarchism (along with its links) isn't a bad place to start, but to give you a short(ish) answer:

There are very individualist branches which are generally unconcerned with social organization, and tend toward the Randian/right libertarian side of things. With that kind of philosophy, I think you get a sort of extreme social Darwinism that doesn't have to answer questions like "how anarchy would work"... it's like asking how a fight works: someone wins. But of course that just feeds back into the feedback loop you mentioned, generally resulting in some kind of state.

But the more reasonable and, ya know, sane areas of anarchist thought generally tend to be into collectivism/syndicalism/mutualism or some other ism that implies some level of voluntary social organization based on mutual benefit. Most of these can reasonably fall under the umbrella term "libertarian socialism." Most 'serious' anarchists are in favor of social organization, just not on a compulsory/hierarchical/coercive basis.

But I think the real answer to your problem with anarchism is along the lines of what Icarus and tommi have mentioned-- not having a clear and specific picture of how a future stateless world or society would function is not a deficit of the the theory, it's a deficit of space-time. We're sadly stuck here and now, and unable to see there and then. Thomas Jefferson didn't know we'd be touch-screen voting for ex-movie stars, but that didn't make representative democracy impossible. Theory is for broad outlines, action is for change, and the future is the only place where concrete sets.
Post Tue Jul 28, 2009 11:10 pm
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