Profile
Search
Register
Log in
Is anyone here an anarchist?
View previous topic | View next topic >

Post new topic Reply to topic
Strange Famous Forum > Social stuff. Political stuff. KNOWMORE

Author Message
tommi teardrop



Joined: 12 Apr 2007
Posts: 2216
Location: Las Vegas
 Reply with quote  

TurnpikeGates wrote:
Theory is for broad outlines, action is for change, and the future is the only place where concrete sets.
Is that a quote or did you come up with that? You should trademark or copyright that or whatever. I like it.
Post Tue Jul 28, 2009 11:30 pm
 View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
TurnpikeGates



Joined: 30 Jun 2003
Posts: 517
Location: Bay Area
 Reply with quote  

tommi teardrop wrote:
TurnpikeGates wrote:
Theory is for broad outlines, action is for change, and the future is the only place where concrete sets.
Is that a quote or did you come up with that? You should trademark or copyright that or whatever. I like it.


A bit clunky for prime time, but thanks. :)
Post Tue Jul 28, 2009 11:34 pm
 View user's profile Send private message
Charlie Foxtrot



Joined: 23 Jan 2008
Posts: 1379
Location: Rochester, NY
 Reply with quote  

TurnpikeGates wrote:


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.


Thomas Jefferson still knew how the basic concept would work. And Karl Marx laid out his ideal society and how to get there in pretty deep detail. If you don't know how the system would work how can you advocate for it? If you don't know what it would look like, how do you know it would be better than what we have now?

The thing with anarchy is, someone will come along and make a power grab eventually. And then, like Redball said, the guy with the most guns wins.
Post Wed Jul 29, 2009 12:01 am
 View user's profile Send private message
poisonfree



Joined: 23 Aug 2002
Posts: 1522
Location: Macramento
 Reply with quote  

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.


Real talk
Post Wed Jul 29, 2009 12:16 am
 View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website AIM Address Yahoo Messenger
tommi teardrop



Joined: 12 Apr 2007
Posts: 2216
Location: Las Vegas
 Reply with quote  

You know who gets on my nerves? Idealists. It's like dude, life just sucks, put down your acoustic guitar and stop trying to make it better with your theories. Let's just be pragmatic and compromise and make the best with what we are dealt. Barf.

Have some fucking heart and stop dismissing shit because you get annoyed by the idiots that don't really understand it but assume it as an unfaultering identity.

Could anarchy be the new Ron Paul around here?
Post Wed Jul 29, 2009 12:29 am
 View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Confidential



Joined: 23 Jan 2004
Posts: 2040
 Reply with quote  

tommi, I can't tell if you are being sarcastic. Are you annoyed at the idealists or the pragmatists?

"Have some fucking heart and stop dismissing shit because you get annoyed by the idiots that don't really understand it but assume it as an unfaultering identity. "

I don't understand what you are saying here. Please clarify.

I'm not aiming for utopia- there will always be a social antagonism at play as far as I can see. What I would like is to see the social relation change from one that is mediated through capital. And power isn't necessarily a bad thing, just that it is associated with politicians who everyone knows are untrustworthy and hypocritical rather than something that everyone already possesses but doesn't exert on said said politicians.

You argue against dismissal, then link anarchism to Ron Paul revolution- a discredited theory. True, there is a rift between the theoretical and the practical, but anarchism is as prepared as any other politic to put into practice despite repression; even more so than social welfare state which has drained our collective energy in the last 30 or so years despite continued regression.

Don't get me wrong, I'm down to fight for welfare and living wage as well as health care, but they are more likely to concede those things if we fuck shit up and brew a rebellion on any level than if we ask permission. It is also the most self-critical in terms of addressing these contradictions as well as race/class/gender whereas democratic politics is concerned with containing them, then redirecting them toward piecemeal reform.
Post Wed Jul 29, 2009 2:19 am
 View user's profile Send private message
tommi teardrop



Joined: 12 Apr 2007
Posts: 2216
Location: Las Vegas
 Reply with quote  

I was just talking about how some people are so comfortable dismissing ideas based on their snap perception of the type of person that becomes emphatically attached to such concepts or movements.
Post Wed Jul 29, 2009 2:48 am
 View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Confidential



Joined: 23 Jan 2004
Posts: 2040
 Reply with quote  

i think i got ya
Post Wed Jul 29, 2009 3:31 am
 View user's profile Send private message
Windom



Joined: 04 May 2007
Posts: 721
Location: Manchester, UK.
 Reply with quote  

I like anarchism a lot but it's weird to label yourself an anarchist. I agree with Tommi and others here who have pointed to the vast diversity and complexity of work and practice that is collectivized as 'anarchist'.

To say that "most anarchists haven't actually thought about what would happen in a prolonged anarchy state with a large population" is completely incorrect. One of the legacies of anarchist theory and practice is dealing with this issue. If you want more concrete anarchist strategies for society then you can look at anarcho-syndicalism or participatory economics (www.zmag.org/znet/topics/parecon). The strength of anarchism is its diverse nature and the lack of a definite, singular model for the 'revolution'. If you had to pick out a general model from anarchism though it would be a kind of federalism - balancing the power of individuals/groups to decide their lives with the social context its made.

When you look at how people seek to resist domination across various sociio-political, economic or cultural fields in contemporary settings, a lot of it resembles anarchism. Whether that be decentralized command, diffuse control, using means that are in the same nature to your ends, plurality - all these trends are anarchistic. Anarchist rejection of representation widens the field of politics and the rise of New Social Movements mirrors this trend.

This is without even looking at the failures of Marxism. Charlie Foxtrot said that "Karl Marx laid out his ideal society and how to get there in pretty deep detail." He actually didn't talk much at all about society after the revolution. Besides, I think anarchism is stronger when looking at contemporary power. Whereas Marxism sees power as exerted hierarchically, anarchism sees intersecting networks of power that can be energised from below as well from the top. Also, revolutionary power no longer is the sole property of the proletariat. Anyway, waffling...

If anyone is interested in discussion of the place of anarchism in resistance today I can provide books/articles etc. Here is a good one. 'Anarchism, Poststructuralism and the Future of Radical Politics' special edition of SubStance journal at: http://www.mediafire.com/?fdepj1e1exr

Books by Todd May and Saul Newman are good. Also, one called 'Gramsci Is Dead' by Richard Day. And the classic - Anarchism
From Theory to Practice by Daniel Guérin: http://www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/Embassy/8559/guerin/contents.html
Post Wed Jul 29, 2009 6:08 am
 View user's profile Send private message
crash



Joined: 07 Aug 2003
Posts: 5456
Location: the chocolate city with a marshmallow center and a graham cracker crust of corruption
 Reply with quote  

icarus502 wrote:
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.

exactly - put down violently from the outside. the fact is that anarchism can't wage war as effectively as other forms of government. the only thing keeping the san in existence today is the fact that they live in a desolate area that the bantu didn't care to settle when they swept through southern africa.

the san are a bad example not just because they got crushed by the bantus but also because they live in extreme simplicity. the world we live in is far far too complex to manage with anarchism. can you imagine how difficult cross country transportation would be if every locality regulated its own traffic laws? everything would turn into a huge mess because everyone would be making decisions that were good for them locally.

the complexity of technology today requires the sort of top down system we have in a representative democracy. anarchism just won't cut it. of course we could in theory simplify to the point where anarchism would work, and live like the san... until the next group of bantu come along and decide they like our land.

that said, i think we do need to simplify to an extent and i think anarchism is great on the micro scale - neighborhood organizations, co-ops, etc. but you can't do away with states. do that and you'll get crush by anyone who maintains theirs.

edited for typos


Last edited by crash on Wed Jul 29, 2009 10:35 am; edited 1 time in total
Post Wed Jul 29, 2009 8:50 am
 View user's profile Send private message AIM Address
Windom



Joined: 04 May 2007
Posts: 721
Location: Manchester, UK.
 Reply with quote  

crash wrote:
icarus502 wrote:
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.

exactly - put down violently from the outside. the fact is that anarchism can't wage war as effectively as other forms of government. the only thing keeping the san in existence today is the fact that they live in a desolate area that the bantu didn't care to settle when they swept through southern africa.

the san are a bad example not just because they got crushed by the bantus and live in bantus but also because they live in extreme simplicity. the world we live in is far far too complex to manage with anarchism. can you imagine how difficult cross country transportation would be if every locality regulated its own traffic laws? everything would turn into a huge mess because everyone would be making decisions that were good for them locally.

the complexity of technology today requires the sort of top down system we have in a representative democracy. anarchism just won't cut it. of course we could in theory simplify to the point where anarchism would work, and live like the san... until the next group of bantu come along and decide they like our land.

that said, i think we do need to simplify to an extent and i think anarchism is great on the micro scale - neighborhood organizations, co-ops, etc. but you can't do away with states. do that and you'll get crush by anyone who maintains theirs.


I don't think it's necessarily true that anarchism can't wage warfare as effectively as any other form of government. To use the Spanish Civil War as an example it showed that anarchist warfare did remarkably well considering the resources, size of armies fighting etc. Decentralized, autonomous unit warfare was shown to be effective in wars such as Vietnam and other colonial struggles. What you have in a lot of military journals nowadays is serious discussion amongst military experts as to how to fight against what they call 'swarm warfare' and the answers are not easy-coming.

The view that anarchism is not complex enough to cope with a modern world surely depends on the model of anarchism you have in your head? It seems to think that each locality would have no dialogue with other localities or that they would not be able to develop a national strategy to address said issue. If you take something like the difficulty of trans-country transport and conclude that a system would not 'work' because of it then it is easy to do likewise with current systems of government. Mass inequalities, injustices, structures of domination, control by large corporations are some of the things you could point out to capitalism not 'working' or is unable to cope with the modern world. The example you use seems to place efficiency above other values.

"The complexity of technology today requires the sort of top down system we have in a representative democracy."

I'm not sure what you mean by that? Technology is neutral and can be used for different purposes depending on the context it is used. A lot of technology is used on a community level, for the sharing of information, used for expression and building ties - so yeah, what do you mean? I don't think to implement anarchism is to 'simplify' or maybe you were just responding to Icarus' example.

"You can't do away with states. do that and you'll get crush by anyone who maintains theirs."

Again, I think that conclusion is based upon thinking anarchism cannot organise a populace for war. This is without addressing the difficult issue of waging war on nations that are developing different systems of development. There reaches a point in which new values become so widespread regardless of nation state - a situation we're beginning to see in South America- and in which engineering war in capitalist societies against countries following new economic models, where it will be very difficult to fight a war on this front. You could point to forces that are not bound by states such as the NLF in Vietnam or the situation in Afghanistan to highlight successful warfare strategies that are not dependent on a state. Indeed, the decline of NLF success occurred precisely when it became more under North Vietnamese control and was denied autonomy.
Post Wed Jul 29, 2009 9:21 am
 View user's profile Send private message
redball



Joined: 12 May 2006
Posts: 6871
Location: Northern New Jersey
 Reply with quote  

First, I want to say - to tommi especially - that you need to stop being so butthurt. If what I said portrayed a misrepresentation of anarchism then the correct response is not to throw up your hands and go on a rant about how stupid the world is. You should focus more on how to correct the problem. Don't attack the people who have a incorrect perception, attack the perception itself. (Please heed this advice Juggalos and Ron Paul supporters.)

I'm still trying to find information about the anarchisms I've previous read about. It's a busy busy week for me, and my head is all over the place. I did remember one prolonged anarchy that is an example of it working and not. Kowloon Walled city was pretty much in anarchy for 30 years. It's not what I was thinking of, but I think it was an interesting situation.

I have other thoughts, but not the time to do them justice right now.
Post Wed Jul 29, 2009 10:04 am
 View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
TurnpikeGates



Joined: 30 Jun 2003
Posts: 517
Location: Bay Area
 Reply with quote  

Windom wrote:
I like anarchism a lot but it's weird to label yourself an anarchist. I agree with Tommi and others here who have pointed to the vast diversity and complexity of work and practice that is collectivized as 'anarchist'.

I don't think it's so weird to label oneself an anarchist. It's just claiming membership somewhere in that broad category. It's not a precise label, but it gives an indication of your ideological camp.


Quote:

To say that "most anarchists haven't actually thought about what would happen in a prolonged anarchy state with a large population" is completely incorrect. One of the legacies of anarchist theory and practice is dealing with this issue. If you want more concrete anarchist strategies for society then you can look at anarcho-syndicalism or participatory economics (www.zmag.org/znet/topics/parecon). The strength of anarchism is its diverse nature and the lack of a definite, singular model for the 'revolution'.

And then yeah-- this. I still don't think the role of a revolutionary praxis has to include a detailed picture of the final utopia, but thanks for bringing to the forefront that many anarchist thinkers have done just that. Anarchism isn't just "how to get rid of this"... it's also "what we will build."

Part of the reason the picture isn't so clear to the critics is that anarchism is, almost by definition, against something many people take for granted: a large scale state. Even more structured visions of anarchism are about loose confederations at most, so the question of "how the state would function" is moot.
Post Wed Jul 29, 2009 10:28 am
 View user's profile Send private message
TurnpikeGates



Joined: 30 Jun 2003
Posts: 517
Location: Bay Area
 Reply with quote  

Charlie Foxtrot wrote:


Thomas Jefferson still knew how the basic concept would work. And Karl Marx laid out his ideal society and how to get there in pretty deep detail. If you don't know how the system would work how can you advocate for it? If you don't know what it would look like, how do you know it would be better than what we have now?

The thing with anarchy is, someone will come along and make a power grab eventually. And then, like Redball said, the guy with the most guns wins.


The guy with the most guns wins RIGHT NOW.
Post Wed Jul 29, 2009 10:29 am
 View user's profile Send private message
Windom



Joined: 04 May 2007
Posts: 721
Location: Manchester, UK.
 Reply with quote  

TurnpikeGates wrote:
Windom wrote:
I like anarchism a lot but it's weird to label yourself an anarchist. I agree with Tommi and others here who have pointed to the vast diversity and complexity of work and practice that is collectivized as 'anarchist'.

I don't think it's so weird to label oneself an anarchist. It's just claiming membership somewhere in that broad category. It's not a precise label, but it gives an indication of your ideological camp.



Yeah I know what you mean, I just feel, personally, though I agree most with anarchist thought, in practice I vote etc. Think I should be starting an armed cell in the leafy Cheshire plains here in the UK.
Post Wed Jul 29, 2009 10:37 am
 View user's profile Send private message

Post new topic Reply to topic
Jump to:  
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next
All times are GMT - 6 Hours.
The time now is Fri Nov 28, 2014 12:53 am
  Display posts from previous:      


Powered by phpBB: © 2001 phpBB Group
Template created by The Fathom
Based on template of Nick Mahon