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Strange Famous Forum > Social stuff. Political stuff. KNOWMORE

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crash



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

decentralized warfare works well in an anti-colonial context only if the colonial power doesn't have much stomach for violence or civilian casualties (such as in vietnam), or if the guerrillas have backing from outside groups (like the afghan mujahadeen). in scenarios where the state isn't accountable (or doesn't care) about massive civilian deaths the guerrillas usually lose. either way, you're setting up a scenario where the homeland is occupied, infrastructer ravaged and communities torn apart by years and years of guerrilla warfare. it's not a pretty situation. the occupied land ALWAYS suffers more than the occupiers.


Quote:

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.

massive inequality works fine as far as keeping societies/states competitive against each other. it's just not very pleasant. but it doesn't really inhibit a states ability to defend itself against another unless it gets so bad that the society becomes unstable.

i'm not putting efficiency above other values. i'm saying that anarchism, at least the kind i've heard self described anarchists propose, would make society so inefficient as to render it ineffective at defending itself against a better organized opponent.


Quote:

"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.

i'm saying that a lot of this technology and infrastructer requires standardization to make things workable. almost all standardization is implemented by a central government. having 100s or 1000s of individual actors or small groups try to get together and agree on a set standard? good luck.


Quote:

"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.

i am a proponent of moving towards anarchism on a global level. if we can get everyone involved, then it works. but that's a big if. i think i addressed why counting on fighting a guerrilla war is not a very good strategy.
Post Wed Jul 29, 2009 10:55 am
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tommi teardrop



Joined: 12 Apr 2007
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Location: Las Vegas
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I'm not butthurt, redball. I just find it disheartening to read posts like yours in the same way that it is disheartening to hear Chomsky get called "out of touch."

It's a pretty important thing to me, so to read someone just come out like, "Come on guys, pure anarchy would never work. Besides, most anarchists are weirdos in the basements of their moms' houses," makes me a bit reactionary.

Is that perception even worthy of an attack or debate?

I don't know, I just don't understand how that perspective is helpful at all. But hey, it works. You just seem to be looking at this from a strange place. I don't think I really just threw up my hands like you implied. I hope I explained cleary why looking at anarchy and its practicality based on prior attempts is perhaps a faulty way of determining the value of said theory.

I mentioned Ron Paul because there were certain threads where his ideas were discussed, refuted, examined etc. Then there were some where a chorus led by you and others had grown tired of talking about him so we started dismissing any mention of him citing the lunacy and blind allegiance of his supporters.

It just rubs me the wrong way, as did your initial post in this thread.
Post Wed Jul 29, 2009 11:26 am
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Windom



Joined: 04 May 2007
Posts: 721
Location: Manchester, UK.
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crash wrote:
Windom wrote:
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.


decentralized warfare works well in an anti-colonial context only if the colonial power doesn't have much stomach for violence or civilian casualties (such as in vietnam), or if the guerrillas have backing from outside groups (like the afghan mujahadeen). in scenarios where the state isn't accountable (or doesn't care) about massive civilian deaths the guerrillas usually lose. either way, you're setting up a scenario where the homeland is occupied, infrastructer ravaged and communities torn apart by years and years of guerrilla warfare. it's not a pretty situation. the occupied land ALWAYS suffers more than the occupiers.


But aren't the powers you are talking about i.e. U.S./ democratic Western states the only states that would be willing to crush any anarchist society that emerges? I don't think there is many cases left in which states that aren't accountable/willing to accept massive civilian deaths would be able to stem new systems of development - especially if they are many miles away. I don't think I am setting up a scenario such as the one you described because I don't think it would happen.


Quote:


i'm not putting efficiency above other values. i'm saying that anarchism, at least the kind i've heard self described anarchists propose, would make society so inefficient as to render it ineffective at defending itself against a better organized opponent.


I don't think that is true at all. Whereas there might be more time allocated to horizontal decision-making, the to-and fro, feedback loops of a hierarchical model would not be required. The lack of requirement to consult hierarchical figures above and increased autonomy would reduce time. Effective fighting along anarchist lines has a long history. 'Better organised'? Are you envisaging this being a lightning attack with no warning? Questions like this might be of course due the anarchists you have spoken who have an ill-defined system of organising.


Quote:


i'm saying that a lot of this technology and infrastructer requires standardization to make things workable. almost all standardization is implemented by a central government. having 100s or 1000s of individual actors or small groups try to get together and agree on a set standard? good luck.


Which technologies are you talking about if you don't mind me asking? Might be able to answer better if I can address specific ones.
Post Wed Jul 29, 2009 11:28 am
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Confidential



Joined: 23 Jan 2004
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Breifly, a sustained non-hierarchical rebellion that is technologically adept and connected to the rest of the world has been carried for the last 20 years: The Zapatistas. hey don't lable themselves anarchist and still do patriotism, but they are communal, autononmous, decentralized, refuse party politics and connected to the world. Don't overlook the Zs.
Post Wed Jul 29, 2009 12:33 pm
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icarus502
kung-pwn master


Joined: 01 Jul 2002
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But the Zapatistas could still likely be put down by the Mexican Army, if the Mexican government is willing to concede the global backlash and their remarkable successes, nearly twenty years in, could be easily discounted by deterministic beliefs in the inherent badness of people.
Post Wed Jul 29, 2009 12:41 pm
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crash



Joined: 07 Aug 2003
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Location: the chocolate city with a marshmallow center and a graham cracker crust of corruption
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Windom wrote:
Might be able to answer better if I can address specific ones.

ha. that's the problem, i don't know enough about technology to really speak on it. i just can't imagine a way for anarchists to build, for example, the dc metro system. what would happen to eminent domain if we were under an anarchistic system? because an anarchistic system requires voluntary cooperation, any small group can sabotage a project. i know i'm speaking in generalities to try a prove a negative which is a pretty weak argument to make - but i jsut don't see it.

i work in government, where congressmen prepare legislation, and watching them argue over what we should do, discuss options and work out the details - you see that it is an extremely inefficient and arduous process. for something to go ahead, everyone need to be happy (or at least placated) and working out a compromise can take a while. of course, this is the price you pay to have everyone's voice heard (the representatives that is, whether they are speaking for lobbyists or their constituents). so in this settling it makes sense. but i don't think it is appropriate elsewhere.

if you look at complex systems that need to act quickly and efficiently, they are more hierarchically structured. an corporation is top down, the army even more so.

so i'm thinking, if you take every organization, from city councils to telecommunication companies, and try to run it like a congressional committee? it's going to be a huge mess.
Post Wed Jul 29, 2009 2:08 pm
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sequence



Joined: 21 Jul 2002
Posts: 2182
Location: www.anteuppdx.com
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I think Ic posted this a few years ago, but worth another look--and it somehow or other seems relevant here.

Deleuze, Guattari, Debord and the Israeli Defense Force
Post Wed Jul 29, 2009 2:13 pm
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benjy compson



Joined: 01 Feb 2008
Posts: 1178
Location: cliffs of opal
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sequence wrote:
Deleuze, Guattari, Debord and the Israeli Defense Force





YES.
Post Wed Jul 29, 2009 2:24 pm
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Windom



Joined: 04 May 2007
Posts: 721
Location: Manchester, UK.
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crash wrote:
Windom wrote:
Might be able to answer better if I can address specific ones.

ha. that's the problem, i don't know enough about technology to really speak on it. i just can't imagine a way for anarchists to build, for example, the dc metro system. what would happen to eminent domain if we were under an anarchistic system? because an anarchistic system requires voluntary cooperation, any small group can sabotage a project. i know i'm speaking in generalities to try a prove a negative which is a pretty weak argument to make - but i jsut don't see it.

i work in government, where congressmen prepare legislation, and watching them argue over what we should do, discuss options and work out the details - you see that it is an extremely inefficient and arduous process. for something to go ahead, everyone need to be happy (or at least placated) and working out a compromise can take a while. of course, this is the price you pay to have everyone's voice heard (the representatives that is, whether they are speaking for lobbyists or their constituents). so in this settling it makes sense. but i don't think it is appropriate elsewhere.

if you look at complex systems that need to act quickly and efficiently, they are more hierarchically structured. an corporation is top down, the army even more so.

so i'm thinking, if you take every organization, from city councils to telecommunication companies, and try to run it like a congressional committee? it's going to be a huge mess.


I get what you're talking about the difficulties. How do we engineer and run a successful society among harmonious lines without structures and relations of domination. I know you were taking specific examples that seem to highlight anarchism's weaknesses, important questions and I don't think there are easy answers. But I don't think because there are problems getting a consensus amongst large groups of people means that anarchist strategies are defunct. I think in many areas it would be easy to come to a community-based consensus. I like the ideas that Stephen Shalom has talked about and you might find better answers in his project - http://www.zmag.org/znet/viewArticle/3854

I don't entirely understand why you think it's fine for congressmen to discuss politics but it's not okay who those who are directly effected by policies to discuss them?

I think that the way a corporation is run for instance may be efficient in some areas but I don't think it's a good model at all to follow. I know that you're not saying that, I just can't separate the efficiency to the overwhelming downsides. And as for armed forces, there is a long history of bitterness between the brass and the grass-roots level - the very structure of hierarchies creates a disconnect between the many levels and many military failures have resulted from this. That article Sequence just posted is really interesting and covers so of the things being said here.

I share your concerns but not your conclusions that anarchism is inadequate. Besides, I don't think things at all levels would be run akin to a Congressional committee.
Post Wed Jul 29, 2009 2:41 pm
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Confidential



Joined: 23 Jan 2004
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I recommend this one from El Kilombo:

http://inthemiddleofthewhirlwind.wordpress.com/15/

"Left politics in the United States have been dominated by two primary fields of organization, electoral politics and the NGOification of the grassroots. For those disenchanted with electoral politics — something we can’t go into at depth here but speaking of, at minimum, dissatisfaction with the Democratic party or a fraudulent voting system, and, more profoundly, with the party system (nullified by the empire of money) and the crisis of representation in general (which has become a spectacle of simulation) — non-governmental and non-profit organizations have often been the refuge and catch-all for social concerns and activism. As has been written elsewhere [24] and an increasingly common critique, the NGO model has cornered much of left politics into a cycle of fundraising bureaucracy and philanthropic fashion: launching funding searches, funding requests, funding report-backs, organizations have to find money to pay people to find money, to tailor or at least cater political initiatives or campaigns to funding requirements and preferences, and to dedicate endless energy and human resources to donor relationships, agency applications, and creating images attractive to foundations. And while they may be run by nicer people than many of those found in an electoral system of representation, NGOs do not offer a more democratic model. They rarely have or are accountable to a community base or a population, they are not chosen by a base, they are hired by a board, and they tend to, by the nature of their funding structure and salary scale, convert politics into management, much the same way neoliberalism has converted state government into business management. This doesn’t mean they are not necessary in particular instances, but it hardly provides a model for alternative social organization. Philanthropic priorities and current trends have determined the focus and movement of these organizations, taking them through environmental justice, anti-nuke organizing, racial justice, gay rights, housing rights, youth development, anti-poverty initiatives, immigrant rights, anti-war movement, union organizing, etc. – all worthy causes in themselves, but also very limited by themselves. And no matter how long that lists gets, it will likely never arrive at a new system of social relations, of community self-determination, of collective self-government."
Post Wed Jul 29, 2009 4:36 pm
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bigsole
Bought his character on ebay


Joined: 27 Aug 2002
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i identify myself as an anarchist. thats not to say i want to overthrow capitolism or live in an anarcho-libertarian society, i think all revolutions end poorly. my views about authority, liberty, happiness, time, & labor are all pretty utopian. to me, anarchism means indentifying with the views of people like emma goldman, noam chomsky, zinn, & bakunin. a lot of anarchists are happy with a decent social welfare situation where the government provides meaningful support for the people and people arent subjects.

some people use terms like anarchism or marxism or libertarianism as an excuse to live in a fantasy world, to me they're no better than 9-11 truthers and evangelicals.
Post Wed Jul 29, 2009 4:54 pm
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firefly



Joined: 27 Sep 2002
Posts: 3990
Location: Montreal
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Yeah, everyone focusing on the "isms" is missing the big picture.

"I know a lot of "Anarchists" who are a bunch of posers ..." Okay, but that doesn't change anything.

My experience working in an Anarchist structure (from a microcosmic scale) is that it actually works - believe it or not - without all the abuses of power and I believe it encourages a more democratic discourse and planning as well as initiative and healthy ambition. My experience comes from organizing an arts festival and working in a co-op but it still holds weight. The co-op that I'm a member of now is a non-hierarchical corporation where we split all the profits down the middle. A lot of people think that that kind of concept encourages laziness (the mainstream media has helped spread this belief by insinuating that people would rather sit on their asses then work because they all get paid the same) but in my experience it encourages initiative and ambition.

Anarchy doesn't mean everybody running around in the streets like chickens w/ their heads cut off. It means Non-Hierarchy. And fuck Hierarchy. And fuck posers. haha
Post Wed Jul 29, 2009 8:01 pm
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redball



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Despite the initial reactions this became a great thread.
Post Wed Jul 29, 2009 9:49 pm
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Confidential



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Lets keep it going. Where do you situate yourself within the current moment/movement?
Post Thu Jul 30, 2009 1:23 am
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Charlie Foxtrot



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Location: Rochester, NY
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I don't know if this is concurrent with your idea of "keeping it going," but I'd like to return to crash's question about infrastructure. How does innovation happen in an anarchist society? Certain things require a large amount of resources, in a way that a small group of people couldn't obtain. Can you imagine something like, say, chemotherapy being developed in an anarchist society? How do you harness radiation without some effort underwritten by a nation or some other huge conglomerate? Could an anarchist society develop a hydrogen car? In other words, if we become anarchist, does society come to a technological standstill?
Post Thu Jul 30, 2009 12:13 pm
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