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Otter

Anarchy, Socialism, Communism, and community gardens

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make total destroy

No, because I don't own the factories these products were made in.

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Irviding

 

 

I don't follow your logic. How do they then become the new political elite? I could see how they could become authorities, but only in the sense that, say, a shoemaker is an authority on shoes.

Not necessarily. You and Melchior seem to have a difference of opinion. According to him, everybody is rotating positions... according to you they are not. What is the standard theory on it? Does everyone rotate or do they not? My argument is that if you are rotating 80% of jobs and 20% of jobs stay with people, like doctor, phyiscal therapist, dentist, auto mechanic, plumber, skilled things etc - then those will become the societal elite, because they get to keep the same jobs and they get to have a normal life and not clean sh*t off the roads and stuff.

 

 


By definition, anyone who owns capital is an exploitive dick. Whether or not they cry--how touching--after they fire their employees is irrelevant.

 

And you admittedly come from a 'well-to-do' family, so I think it's safe you are not our target audience.

So do you, by comparison. What is your family's income? You have access to a computer... you're already better off than much of the world. f*ck you exploitative f*ckbag...

 

Once again, neither of you have answered Sivis... what is the metric for determining what is too much and what is alright? Who gets to make that determination?

 

 

 


No, because I don't own the factories these products were made in.

So like, what about a mid-upper manager in the company that owns the factory?

Edited by Irviding

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universetwisters

No, because I don't own the factories these products were made in.

I don't own anything either. So how am I exploiting people just because I have money? Do you have money? Are you exploiting anybody?

Edited by universetwisters

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make total destroy

 

Not necessarily. You and Melchior seem to have a difference of opinion. According to him, everybody is rotating positions... according to you they are not. What is the standard theory on it? Does everyone rotate or do they not?

We have little difference in opinion, you're just reading into a subtext that isn't there. In terms of menial, low-skilled labor, it makes more sense to rotate positions however a particular community sees fit. If some people want to sit on their ass and smoke bones all day, that's their prerogative. No one is going to force them into anything they don't want to do. Though, I'd imagine most people would have no problem dedicating just a few hours a day to socially-necessary labor .

 

 

My argument is that if you are rotating 80% of jobs and 20% of jobs stay with people, like doctor, phyiscal therapist, dentist, auto mechanic, plumber, skilled things etc - then those will become the societal elite, because they get to keep the same jobs and they get to have a normal life and not clean sh*t off the roads and stuff.

Well that's a lousy argument.

 

 

 

 

So do you, by comparison. What is your family's income? You have access to a computer... you're already better off than much of the world. f*ck you exploitative f*ckbag...

 

Yes, I have a computer, yes, I have access to the internet, but I still have to sell my labor in order to survive, and I've lived my whole life with the looming threat of homelessness. While I've inherited a position of relative privilege, I sure as hell don't own a f*cking yacht.

 

 

Once again, neither of you have answered Sivis... what is the metric for determining what is too much and what is alright? Who gets to make that determination?

Melchoir already replied to Sivis' post. I'd reply to it too if he elaborated on what he meant by 'frivolous and wasteful' things. Is he talking about production, or?

 

I don't own anything either. So how am I exploiting people just because I have money? Do you have money? Are you exploiting anybody?

 

I didn't say you are? You have money because you work for a wage, not because you own a chain of factories, or whatever.

Edited by make total destroy

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Irviding

 

 

We have little difference in opinion, you're just reading into a subtext that isn't there. In terms of menial, low-skilled labor, it makes more sense to rotate positions however a particular community sees fit. If some people want to sit on their ass and smoke bones all day, that's their prerogative. No one is going to force them into anything they don't want to do. Though, I'd imagine most people would have no problem dedicating just a few hours a day to socially-necessary labor .

So those people who sit on their ass smoking bones get to receive societal benefit from the others? They get the food and health services of others while not contributing any labor?

 

 


Well that's a lousy argument.

If it is then you should be able to easily rebut it. If only special people get to not rotate jobs, then they become the elite and they will take power. Explain how that won't happen.

 

 

 

 

Yes, I have a computer, yes, I have access to the internet, but I still have to sell my labor in order to survive, and I've lived my whole life with the looming threat of homelessness. While I've inherited a position of relative privilege, I sure as hell don't own a f*cking yacht.

Everyone else sells their labor to survive, too... CEOs labor too, sometimes more than most... fortune 500 CEOS work like 18 hour days... what is your point? I'm not seeing it.

 

 

 


Melchoir already replied to Sivis' post. I'd reply to it too if he elaborated on what he meant by 'frivolous and wasteful' things. Is he talking about production, or?

No, he's asking what things are frivolous and wasteful (you guys keep using the yacht) and I asked who determiens what is frivolous and wasteful? That's where that "committee" comes from.

 

 

 

 

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universetwisters

I didn't say you are? You have money because you work for a wage, not because you own a chain of factories, or whatever.

 

I thought you implied it with the original post you made:

 

 

Having money in your wallet =/= owning the means of production for your own private interests.

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make total destroy

 

So those people who sit on their ass smoking bones get to receive societal benefit from the others? They get the food and health services of others while not contributing any labor?

Yes.

 

 

If it is then you should be able to easily rebut it. If only special people get to not rotate jobs, then they become the elite and they will take power. Explain how that won't happen.

 

Explain how that would happen?

 

 

Everyone else sells their labor to survive, too... CEOs labor too,

 

No, by definition, they do not.

 

 

fortune 500 CEOS work like 18 hour days... what is your point? I'm not seeing it.

 

 

They are not directly engaged in production, they simply sit back and profit from it. There's nothing a CEO can do that workers themselves cannot.

 

 

No, he's asking what things are frivolous and wasteful (you guys keep using the yacht) and I asked who determiens what is frivolous and wasteful? That's where that "committee" comes from.

 

 

Any and all products derived from exploitation would--in my mind--be considered frivolous and wasteful. Any and all products that are manufactured solely in the interest of profit are frivolous and wasteful. Once again, it's not like your average working-class person owns a yacht--these luxuries are reserved for a particular class of people.

 

 

I didn't say you are? You have money because you work for a wage, not because you own a chain of factories, or whatever.

 

I thought you implied it with the original post you made:

 

 

Having money in your wallet =/= owning the means of production for your own private interests.

 

Even though I said having money doesn't mean you own the means of production?

 

Really?

 

Anyone who works has money, it just so happens that those who own the means of production have the most money, and they didn't lift a finger to earn it.

Edited by make total destroy

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Moth

MTD, what exactly do you do in reality? Besides talk about anarchy on a gaming forum...

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make total destroy

Attack.

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Melchior

 

Not necessarily. You and Melchior seem to have a difference of opinion. According to him, everybody is rotating positions... according to you they are not. What is the standard theory on it? Does everyone rotate or do they not? My argument is that if you are rotating 80% of jobs and 20% of jobs stay with people, like doctor, phyiscal therapist, dentist, auto mechanic, plumber, skilled things etc - then those will become the societal elite, because they get to keep the same jobs and they get to have a normal life and not clean sh*t off the roads and stuff.

No, I never said we should rotate every single job. The idea is that we should all have our middle class day jobs: say you're a doctor and I'm a mechanic. Both should be viewed as equal and equivalent. Every now and again, we should both be called upon to either sit in parliament or dig ditches. We have our skilled work that takes up the 3-8 hours of our time, but we should all in addition be police, politicians, soldiers and menial labourers. People should learn to do these things before they're twenty or something.

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Melchior

 

People enjoy their work. If your only reason for leaving the house is to get something in return, you may as well stay in bed. Should there be a limit on how much you consume? Probably, yeah. If I get a shiny new jacket I shouldn't be picking up a flatscreen TV that same week. So if you want a little more stuff than I guess you can do a little bit more work. Seems fair.

What if I work for 90 hours in a week so that I can get a new flatscreen TV for my kids as well as a nice new jacket for myself? I'm sorry but I will never agree with a system, and neither will the majority of the world, wherein if you work extra hard you can't get more benefits.

Well I said it's possible to have such a system under anarchism. Dig extra ditches and you get a pool in your backyard or something. I also think it's irrelevant and the vast majority of humanity doesn't give a flying f*ck. Just ask any former Soviet citizen what they thought about their standardised wages. 'Meh.'

 

 

 

But being a police officer or a military member requires a lot of training and knowledge..

Plenty of countries have national service, it's really not a radical idea.

 

 

 

Why can't I own a yacht?

Oh for f*cks sake... this is not a consideration for 99.9% of humanity, who'd never even dream of or expect to be able to own a yacht. Even the overwhelming majority of people in the West will never own a yacht. Honestly if you think you're speaking for the rest of our species when you say "I don't want to share my boat and my horse stable and stretch hummer limo" you really need to turn on the news.

 

 

 

The international system stops them from doing it now. The world itself is an anarchical, self help system wherein each state is concerned about its own security and power relative to that of others.

I don't know what this means. The fact that these countries have militaries is what stops people from rolling in and enslaving them.

 

 

 

Not everything would be free, though. That isn't possible... craftsmen who are skilled should just give away their livelihood for nothing?

lol who is a craftsmen these days? everything I own is made in a factory.

 

 

 

And sorry bud, you can't rehabilitate everybody.

lol crazed axe murderers make up such a small portion of the population... it's not a huge consideration. It's not going to bring the system down. In fact, none of your concerns are really huge considerations. If anything they're minor, easily dealt with quibbles about policy.

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Otter

Irv; you realize that nearly 90% of women sh*t themselves while having a baby? It's not like 'cleaning sh*t off the road' is more strenuous or less desirable work. Furthermore, not sure why having a job that pays no more money than any other job would create some sort of elite class - the only reason doctors are an 'elite' class now is that they currently make f*cktons of money.

 

Even furthermore, the idea that CEOs work hard enough to explain their 300:1 pay gap is absolutely ludicrous. By that rationale they would have to work 2400 hours a day. It's a pretty wobbly argument.

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Melchior

Worker owned firms have CEOs as well. They can be overruled, make the same as every other worker, and have no issues with it at all.

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Saggy

The idea of needing to work harder to get nicer things is purely a capitalist driven idea though. There's no reason why a person couldn't have a bigger TV than their neighbor or a faster car, provided they were willing to make the compensations necessary. Bigger collective gardens, lower electricity allotment, who knows how it would be done but the idea that nice things can only be afforded by working harder is just a myth that a society based on that type of economy tries to perpetuate as fact. The guy smoking bones on his couch doing nothing all day deserves a big as TV as anyone else if he's willing to give up his water allotment--probably doesn't shower so much anyway :p

 

So then ask yourself who is putting forth the notion you have to work, that everything needs "hard work". It's probably people who want the people putting in extra hours at factories for slightly higher pay just so they can save and go buy a TV that will be obsolete in a few months--because then they'll do the same thing. That's like, the essence of pointless consumerism. "Well if I work harder I will be able to afford nicer things," and so will the guy you just busted your butt for--and he didn't do any work at all except to convince you that it was fair.

 

It's really an illusion of perspective... It's not working harder that allows you to buy and afford nicer things. It's a restrictive society that only allows those luxuries to be available to people with immense wealth, and makes them unavailable to the poor. Hard work just happens to be one avenue to obtain immense wealth, unfortunately we all know it's not the only one. In the mean time, it's gotten so grossly disproportionate we're talking about yachts... You guys realize how many top of the line, 90" LCD TVs just one yacht is equal to don't you? If wealth was actually distributed proportionately, owning a nice TV like that would be basic--there's enough to go around basically.

 

There's about 500 people in the U.S. today that have over a billion dollars. Start playing around with a calculator to figure out how much a billion dollars really is because I don't think most people truly appreciate it. Most homes--in just raw material cost alone--are well under 100k dollars. Vehicles, even luxury vehicles generally come in under 75k. College tuitions? 30k Most major surgiers? 10k Virtually every little insignificant and petty gizmo and materialistic trinket a person could want? Well under 10k.

 

If we said, "Hey look guys... You're sitting on over half a trillion dollars. It ain't going to fly anymore, get the caviar out of your mouth and learn how to use toilet paper because the bidet comes out tomorrow," and then divided up all that money do you realize how much of all that could be provided to a significantly higher amount of people? I mean, you could leave these people with a tenth of a tenth of their fortunes and they could still live in luxurious opulence anyway. You can not tell me that by anyone's definition any billionaire's lifestyle is not frivolous and excessive. Because even if you kicked these people down to the levels of mere millionaires they could live lives more wildly lavish than most of us could imagine, and in the meantime pay for what would be considered to be tremendous costs and investments for hundreds if not thousands of people. Then that's just talking about those 500 super wealthy, we're not even getting into discussing dissolving the public assets of corporations and things like that.

 

Point is I think there would still be room for people who want to live a little more "luxurious" and people who don't really need materialistic things who would rather see their money go elsewhere. However I don't think that level of "what's necessity, what's luxury" is the real answer. I'm not worried about people who like to drink a $300 bottle of champagne because they don't have any other responsibilities. I don't even give a sh*t if some asshole wants to drive a one million dollar sports car, provided all that is accounted for somewhere. However I don't think anyone could entertain the idea of what some of the "super rich" spend their money on; jewelry that costs in the tens of millions, gourmet delicacies that costs in the the tens of thousands. I mean at no point should anyone every be allowed to eat anything that can fit on a cracker, and costs enough to have been able to buy a feast for a family. There is some levels of cost that are just so frivolous that they could never be compensated for in a fair and equal system, but they are so out of touch with what 90% of the population desires that it wouldn't matter.

 

Long story short... If we got rid of the 500 jerks that spread $1,000 on a cracker like it was nothing, then 90" LCD TVs would flow like water.

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sivispacem

I sometimes struggle to see how the "means of production" argument translates to services, which comprise outright majorities of most developed economies. Perhaps it is because historically rhetoric of this kind has been used almost exclusively to refer to primary and secondary industry.

 

I have concerns about the impact of centralised planning on meritocracy though. I can think of numerous instances where the engine of mass popular topping on has overridden the views of technical experts. That happens to some extent or another as it currently stands but we do have the facility to push through regulations or legislation which lacks popular support but are seen as necessary or valuable by technical experts.

 

There's also the question of big, overarching projects without a clear end-goal benefit. Like space exploration, or nuclear research. These "what if" style projects I could never see getting off the ground in true Communist societies as there's no clear tangible benefit to wider society other than satisfying the curiosity of a few individuals. But projects like these have been responsible for some of the biggest advancements in science and technology, and of the greatest net benefit to society and a whole. I mean, what would the state of long-distance communications look without the ridiculous Capitalist vanity project and utter pissing contest that was the space race?

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Melchior

Surely the lack of space exploration is an argument against Capitalism, rather than for it? The shift to neoliberalism more or less crushed the 'golly gee wiz' hope for the future of the 50s and 60s, replacing it with mindless consumerism, doing coke and telling yourself 'you're a go getter!' in the mirror.

 

You live in a country that spends more on gastric band surgery than it does on space exploration. So the status quo literally prioritises 'not having to look at fat people' over the the prospect of human beings spreading throughout the cosmos. Coca-Cola has more money than NASA, so we can add f*cking c*nting flavoured sugar water to the long list of pointless sh*t the system prioritises above space exploration.

 

Support for the space race hovered at around 50%. The 50% who supported likely knew nothing of the geopolitical workings behind the space race, while the other half weren't even apathetic to space exploration, they just thought it was f*cking retarded to put a man on the moon when they couldn't pay their bills and their child lost a limb in Vietnam. People are naturally curious about space, and take for granted that space colonisation will occur at some point in the future.

 

What's more: the Cold War was nothing but rich people playing roulette with our specie's survival. Anything good that came out of the Cold War is not an argument for the status quo.

 

 

 

I have concerns about the impact of centralised planning on meritocracy though. I can think of numerous instances where the engine of mass popular topping on has overridden the views of technical experts. That happens to some extent or another as it currently stands but we do have the facility to push through regulations or legislation which lacks popular support but are seen as necessary or valuable by technical experts.

Heh, how about the subordination of expert opinion to the whims of plutocrats? Considering Capitalist enterprise has done all they can to denigrate and foster mistrust of science for their own short term profit, I wouldn't say 'respect for expert opinion' is much an argument for Capitalism either!

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Moth

Surely the lack of space exploration is an argument against Capitalism, rather than for it

*Looks at SpaceX and Virgin Galactic.* Yep that isn't capitalism at all.

 

 

Look, the main reason why we haven't gotten a good space program, is there isn't a large benefit for the people who are going to do it. Everything in space is considered not ownable. You can't really own land on the moon or any of the planets currently. Hell the other reason is that we can't weaponize space. Weapons technology or War technology for that matter, is the main driving force for innovation(or at least the starting block). That computer you are using, the internet you are using to post here and finally the space program all started as military projects.

 

Rockets into space and landing on the moon were all dickwaving contests that got done cause of the research into missiles and Rockets. There isn't currently a benefit for the people that are going to fund these projects at this time. And no, science isn't a good enough reason for them.

Edited by Moth

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sivispacem

Both of your rebuttals seem to be based on the perception that I'm arguing in support of neoliberalism when I'm not. Social market economic principles are far "better" in every conceivable, measurable way- after all, it's the social market economies that weathered the global recession and which have economies defined better by purposeful production rather than self-sustaining consumerism. Neoliberalism has been, let's face it, a failure from a social perspective.

 

I don't think your characterisation of resistance to NASA spending is accurate. It's not the poor who drive much if the opposition to continued exploration but the wealthy Christian right, neoliberals and the Tea Party/small government/anti-tax anti-science brigade. There's also the small but vocal movement resistant to it on grounds of links to the Military Industrial Complex and concern about the impacts of dual-purpose technology. But that's sort of beside the point. My question was an attempt to seek an explanation of how a society driven predominantly by self-sustenance and centrally managed purposeful production can justify the wildly ambitious scientific folly which has come to characterise the progression of the modern world. Moreover, I find it difficult to understand how centralised decision makers can avoid groupthink or falling prey to ignorance when making decisions on subjects beyond their understanding. Yes, we have that to some degree in current political systems and yes, as you rightly point out elected governments have a sordid history of completely ignoring advice, but I simply cannot see a centralised decision making authority ever defaulting to novel solutions or "why not" drives. What's their incentive for doing so?

 

The need for some kind of centralised justification basically does away with the selfish, reckless individualism and inquisitiveness which has defined human exploration and development. And that saddens me. Without the propensity for some obnoxiously wealthy lunatics to plow vast amounts of their personal fortunes into ridiculous vanity projects, we wouldn't have things like reliable air transportation. Without the frivolity of the Military Industrial Complex or the driving force of warfare we wouldn't have satellite communications or radiotherapy. Okay, perhaps "wouldn't have" isn't entirely accurate but they were certainly discoveries derived of these entities.

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Otter

Melch, this got glossed over the last time we mentioned it: how are we going to feed everyone? You told me to look out the window, there's 'enough food for everyone,' but I counter that we only have a surplus of food because of exploitation. Are we talking about a massive return to agrarian lifestyles? We live in a society where 99% of the population couldn't tell you where their meals come from.

 

I'm looking forward to reading more about 'what an anarchist society would look like' in the literature shared by mtd, because a lot of the theories seem to stem from the most optimistic scenarios. Also interested in how crime would be dealt with and citizens protected - most notably: mental illness, crimes of passion, sexual assault and abuse.

 

And I think what seems to be cropping up here with a lot of questions is the underlying issue of incentives. Is it the position of anarchists that incentive-based motivation is just another illusion created by capitalism? If not, how do we combat the inherent incentive to horde and exploit common resources?

 

Honestly, most of my reservations when it comes to these theories (those that weren't dispelled when it became clear that my definition of 'anarchy' was incredibly skewed) stem from the massive shift in mindset, lifestyle, and power structures. Under the assumption that these are overcome, the questions do get a little simpler. But many remain!

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Melchior

Look, the main reason why we haven't gotten a good space program, is there isn't a large benefit for the people who are going to do it. Everything in space is considered not ownable. You can't really own land on the moon or any of the planets currently. Hell the other reason is that we can't weaponize space.

Oh for f*cks sake, really? You want nuclear weapons orbiting around the earth? And you want countries to be able to claim territory in space?

 

The issue isn't that nation-states can't expand into space, nobody has that impression except that crazy eyed vlogger from vsauce. There are no space bandits. And if Russia tries to take over your space station then the point is moot.

 

I've got the future of humanity figures out guys! We'll put ICBM launch stations and internment camps on the moon, and we'll divvy the entire universe up between squabbling nation states!

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Melchior

My question was an attempt to seek an explanation of how a society driven predominantly by self-sustenance and centrally managed purposeful production can justify the wildly ambitious scientific folly which has come to characterise the progression of the modern world.

Because we live in a high-technology wonderland. I really don't know why you're assuming that we'd suddenly have to devote every iota of our resources to feeding and clothing ourselves. When x amount of food, clothes entertainment and vital infrastructure have been produced or maintained... that still leaves society with trillions of dollars worth of resources to devote to exploring the cosmos. Honestly I think you'd be hard pressed to find anyone with an across the board objection to humans leaving Earth. Perhaps you can explain to me why we'd simply leave the cosmos unexplored while sitting on the resources we could easily devote to its probing and colonisation?

 

Do we not have a natural inclination to explore? Why did tribes in Indonesia who could see faintly see the coast of Australia in the distance decide to jump on a floating piece of flat wood with their children and sail to the other side with no promise that there'd be anything there, or that they'd even survive the journey? Were these not societies built around self-sustenance?

 

The fact that we've never seen large scale systems engage in scientific enterprise for any reason other than conflict and enriching the people in charge... is because we've never had large scale systems which exist for any reason other than conflict and enriching the people in charge.

 

 

 

What's their incentive for doing so?

Well, I've always taken for granted that a system which exists purely for the benefit of the individuals that comprise it would explore space. It seems axiomatic to me that we would choose to devote a significant amount of resources to space exploration, something in the area of a million times the amount we devote to it currently.

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GTA_stu

I think the problem with Anarchism is that it doesn't actually provide what most people prioritise and think is most important. People primarily want safety and security, and then a high standard of living for themselves and their children. An equal society where everyone is roughly as well off as everyone else isn't something most people care about. Most people would much rather reform what we have, than to completely abolish the system we have and start again. It's not just the uncertainty factor either of whether it would work or not, or the worry about the transition period. Even if you could flick a switch and you'd magically arrive in the ideal anarchist society, I think most people would still rather not flick it.

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Melchior

I think the problem with Anarchism is that it doesn't actually provide what most people prioritise and think is most important. People primarily want safety and security, and then a high standard of living for themselves and their children. An equal society where everyone is roughly as well off as everyone else isn't something most people care about. Most people would much rather reform what we have, than to completely abolish the system we have and start again. It's not just the uncertainty factor either of whether it would work or not, or the worry about the transition period. Even if you could flick a switch and you'd magically arrive in the ideal anarchist society, I think most people would still rather not flick it.

Most people really do have no faith in our society. Something like 80-90% of people say they think society is totally geared toward providing for the rich and giving them the shaft. The fact that, right now, people aren't baying for anarchism (although they literally were 100 years ago) doesn't tell you much when a huge portion of the population think global warming is a liberal hoax and the world was created as it was 6000 years ago. People have no grasp of social organisation or policy, you can only really talk about their attitudes. And the attitude of the population is a resounding 'f*ck this.'

Melch, this got glossed over the last time we mentioned it: how are we going to feed everyone? You told me to look out the window, there's 'enough food for everyone,' but I counter that we only have a surplus of food because of exploitation

What do you mean? Exploitation of animals?

 

 

 

And I think what seems to be cropping up here with a lot of questions is the underlying issue of incentives. Is it the position of anarchists that incentive-based motivation is just another illusion created by capitalism? If not, how do we combat the inherent incentive to horde and exploit common resources?

It may be that there needs to be elements of incentive to make people contribute, but I highly doubt it. The idea that society will fall apart and we'll all be reduced to smoking weed in our underwear all day seems quite silly if I'm honest. If society needs elements of incentive (rather than the threat of starvation) like 'dig x amount of ditches' and get a pool in your backyard is an empirical question that we don't know the answer to.

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Otter

Clarification:

I mean exploitation of labour. The only reason we have enough food today is that labourers work their asses off to provide it. Of course, a new infrastructure could be created, but to be fair, it would have to include vast swathes of a population that currently couldn't show you how to cultivate a bloody bean. Even our poor, here, live lives of incredible privilege over the underpaid, overworked folks schuckibg their corn and feeding their beef.

 

And as far as incentives go, I'm not talk about incentives to 'do your fair share'. I don't see a society of slackers. I mean to point out that most of our achievements stem from individuals who had much to gain for their perseverance - from financial gain, to status (and power) gain, to legacy gains and beyond. Again, I'm definitely not the first to ask these questions so I'm interested in hearing them out.

 

I think most of my objections stem from the massive revolution in lifestyle and values for, well, almost everyone, and the momental task of enacting that. But even then, it seems that a lot of the theories rely on the best case scenario to operate, or worse, tying conditions that exist now because of exploitation to the success of widespread anarchy. Like remaining a 'technological wonderland', for instance.

 

And, again, social order seems difficult to regulate.

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sivispacem

Because we live in a high-technology wonderland. I really don't know why you're assuming that we'd suddenly have to devote every iota of our resources to feeding and clothing ourselves. When x amount of food, clothes entertainment and vital infrastructure have been produced or maintained... that still leaves society with trillions of dollars worth of resources to devote to exploring the cosmos.

My issue isn't with the actual resource cost of doing so but the impetus to actually expend resources pursuing projects that don't really have any point other than whimsical what-ifs. My argument isn't so much that a society of this nature couldn't have the resources to engage in, say, space exploration, but in the fact I simply don't understand how or such a society would continue to push the bounds of what is feasible when it comes to technology and scientific discovery. The resources are immaterial; if inquisitive minds aren't given free reign and a big pile of cash/resources to do basically whatever the f*ck they want with then I see no real prospect for some of the great leaps we've made as a species being repeated. And just as I can't see a citizen's committee in 1935 voting to allocate spending/resources on the creation of a huge, winged metallic phallus powered by exploding hydrogen, I can't really see one voting to allocate spending/resources on the next "big" folly that turns out to be a really, really useful thing.

 

 

Do we not have a natural inclination to explore? Why did tribes in Indonesia who could see faintly see the coast of Australia in the distance decide to jump on a floating piece of flat wood with their children and sail to the other side with no promise that there'd be anything there, or that they'd even survive the journey?

I think the analogy here is a bit misleading. Exploration is like bitcoin mining, it becomes exponentially harder and more costly the more of it gets done. And whilst the perceived challenge to an Indonesian tribe of crossing the seas to an unknown land is probably comparable from a human perspective to exploring or colonising another planet, the technical difficulties, costs in resources and human life aren't. And I'm of the view that, to many people- including those who are likely to be decision makes in your hypothetical society- exploration is already perceived as a zero-sum game.

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Melchior

The resources are immaterial; if inquisitive minds aren't given free reign and a big pile of cash/resources to do basically whatever the f*ck they want with then I see no real prospect for some of the great leaps we've made as a species being repeated.

Who says they won't be? Honestly the fact that DARPA is responsible for every other scientific leap forward isn't really an argument for capitalism anyway. DARPA isn't a corporation, and they didn't make these leaps forward in a fit of desperation in order to keep the Soviets at bay. You should understand better than I do that DARPA isn't really a defensive initiative, or at least they don't operate explicitly to maintain American military hegemony. They exist, in essence, as a means for the public to shoulder the cost of high technological development. What is DARPA working on at the moment? Drones, implants... mech suit thingies. If they were concerned merely with competing with other nation states they'd improve firearms and armour and not much else, but instead they're interested- and it's a conscious policy- in producing technology that is useful across the board.

 

Presumably we'd still have universities and the like, who would lobby for funding. Presumably we'd still have space exploration advocates. Hell if I lived in an anarchist society that for some reason wasn't exploring space, I'd take it upon myself to convince people. I have a to do list on my fridge all like "1. Kill the rich 2. Go to space."

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Tyler

I enjoy the passion that Make Total Destroy brings to the table and the avatar is super cute and all, but you guys aren't presenting ideas, just disagreements. I mean, I hear you and everything, f/ck the system man, let it burn bro, but reality still lies outside of our computer rooms for the time being.

 

where do you actually wish to begin?

 

Personally, I am conflicted on the best approach. Hell, even Marx wasn't sure exactly what communism would look like when we were ready and made it all happen. The interest in his arguments for me is the comprehensive critique of the system as it is now. Not having a full system to replace this one with does not negate or invalidate the criticisms of this one. It is a weak line of reasoning to say that one cannot meaningfully critique facets of society unless they have a complete system with which to replace the aspects they are critiquing. Simply knowing how destructive and alienating our current system is should be enough for us to begin to talk about the next steps, but instead people are more willing to stay in the current pool of exploitation and patiently wade around until someone proposes a full and complete system that is infallible and all-encompassingly successful. I'm afraid that is why debates like these are a mostly futile effort, but that's an aside.

 

 

even those within the 'current positions of power and wealth' are not the relative monolith you paint them as. and I'm not defending them or their corruption so much as our common humanity; at least when we can still find it. because there are those in power who are actively trying to erode the current structure, they're just hopelessly outnumbered. and it certainly doesn't help that our mainstream news media will not give the issue of economic inequalities the fair treatment it deserves.

 

The power of humanity and compassion is presupposed, there is no need to appeal to it in this discussion. That said, I am of course going to be strict and exacting in my attitude concerning their use of wealth. I have high standards in this regard and I don't think it's a bad thing to be rather strict in my evaluation of anyone who willfully holds more money than they can meaningfully act with (hoarding money is both tacky and some could argue actively harmful, depending on your compassion and on your view on the duty of citizens). I recognize that there are people who try to fight the injustices they see, but you yourself say they are "hopelessly outnumbered" and are going against a strong status quo. This admission alone should give you insight as to why I am not willing to concede that those with power are immune to comprehensive criticism simply because they are so varied: there is no reason you cannot acknowledge the good-intentioned and still cast the majority in characteristics they share-- the conscious preservation of wealth and power at the cost of others. I am implicitly removing from this statement those who do try their hardest to work within the system, especially if they are responsible and ardent in their effort to take advantage of their opportunity of birth.

 

Note that I am not calling for the death of the rich, though. Perhaps you think I want all the wealthy beheaded, but that is not my own view at all. I can't speak for MTD, though.

 

 

you want abrupt change, I want abrupt change. but short of running the streets red, I'd like to hear some alternative ideas...

 

Just a thought, but perhaps you should not have come to the "anarchism, socialism, and communism" topic expecting ideas that would be mostly reformist and anti-revolution. These are movements which are historically revolutionary, and that hasn't changed too much in the modern day discourse on the topics. Although to be fair, there are plenty of Marxists who have simply moved on to social critique rather than expecting a revolution to ever work. That is a valid progression of the ideology I think, but it isn't entirely relevant to this conversation, so I didn't think anyone would feel the need to speak on it.

 

 

deep down I'd love for a good ole fashioned revolution but I also realize that in reality it would be an extremely ugly situation. and there's no guarantee anything would result in our favor on the other side if not simply turn out worse for everyone.

 

I sympathize with your concerns. It is a tricky and oftentimes vague matter to try and start a revolution. It is even more tricky to successfully end up where you wanted to be when a large-scale change like that happens. I don't think any of the more militant people in this topic are denying the effort and chance that comes with revolutions or other extreme changes. I think that there is a disconnect however, because clearly they think that capitalism and global society as they stand now are simply not worth continuing. I can see why people defend where we are now, and insist that it is much more possible that things will be worse after a violent revolution is over, but to those people I have to say that if there is to be any concession in this topic it would be worth it to consider that the side you are saying that to is already fully aware of the dangers, and willingly pushes forward because they cannot imagine a world 20 years from now that holds the values and systems we do now, and is worth living in.

 

 

I don't like the phrase 'redistribution of wealth' as it stands because you and MTD seem to be employing it through a zero-sum principle. I don't agree to those terms. national economies are not zero-sum games.

 

Not at all: redistribution of wealth is not a matter of zero-sum, especially considering the transitory stage of income distribution and the inevitable problems of new administration. However, the utility of wealth distribution that is more aligned with a state power rather than transnational corporations and private institutions is something that is more desirable for the well-being of citizens of nations for a variety of reasons. Chief among them is the surety of organized healthcare and education initiatives, as well as safety and infrastructure. Personally, I hold the value of roads and schools above that of yachts and tax-free spending sprees. I understand there are disagreements on that, and that's why we're all here. However, it is disingenuous to say that I simply do not understand economics for espousing a redistribution of wealth (I know that isn't precisely your point here, but the implication was there).

 

 

As an aside, apologies for the late reply El_D. Had an overnight workload and then some. Yet another reason to rebel tbh

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Irviding

I think this debate comes down to one side being too cynical/realist to see these theories as anything viable and the other lacking said cynicism and realism. All of the points/counterpoints have pretty much been "but X would happen" or "how will Y work in an anarchy" responded with "That won't happen because of Z" and "It will work given the following occurs also"... Interesting thread, nevertheless... srs tho.

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El Dildo

it comes down to ignorance, mostly.

 

I desperately need an afternoon in which I'm not swamped with family or work.

I want to read more of the articles from the OP before responding further because it's a very intriguing subject to expand on. the only problem is that half of us just rushed into it with preconceptions. my only real experience with Anarchy comes from science fiction which isn't fair, I haven't given the concept the proper thought or consideration that I've allowed more traditional theories.

 

hopefully this weekend I'll find an opportunity to slow down long enough to do this topic some justice. or at least reply to Tyler, Melch and company.

Edited by El Diablo

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Otter

I think this debate comes down to one side being too cynical/realist to see these theories as anything viable and the other lacking said cynicism and realism. All of the points/counterpoints have pretty much been "but X would happen" or "how will Y work in an anarchy" responded with "That won't happen because of Z" and "It will work given the following occurs also"... Interesting thread, nevertheless... srs tho.

 

That's fair - but there doesn't need to be sides, really. Just discussing a concept, and we're in the unique position of having a few vocal adherents here to answer questions. I, too, have a lot of reading to do. I was one of those folks who took anarchy at face value to literally mean chaos and mayhem - rather silly in retrospect.

 

Like I said earlier, I have no doubt that we'll eventually find our way to anarchy. But that journey is going to take a long time. The philosophies and concepts of anarchism, however, can be practiced in everyday life - maybe that's a fun direction to take the conversation for a while?

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