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Otter

Anarchy, Socialism, Communism, and community gardens

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Otter

Given that a lot of threads, lately, have given way to discussions regarding the dissolution of police, the collapse of the establishment, abolishing class distinctions, etc, etc, I was hoping we can focus discussion on such things in here.

 

I'm bit of a layman when it comes to Poli-sci, having just a few brief years of it back in university. So the conversation, while exciting and interesting, seems to defy a bit of common sense for me, or challenge what I expect. I'd love the conversation to grow in here.

 

Recently in another thread, we'd begun discussing the implications of dissolving the police - I'm interested to know how this would work, theoretically, and what sort of a society would result. Please,

let's start pontificating.

 

Please read 'Introduction to Anarchism' in the links below (Anarchist FAQ) before jumping into this conversation, or your posts may be hidden to prevent things from going off-rails.

 

 

Furthermore, this topic will be heavily moderated to contain or remove adversarial or antagonistic content. Please play nice.

 

 

Some reading from MTD:

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Svip

Can I suggest a better thing to discuss: Citizen salary. Dissolving the police or something to that effect seems impractical at best. A far more fruitful discussion would be to discuss how to make it better and less corrupt.

 

However, citizen salary! The idea is very simple. Every citizen gets a monthly salary for being a citizen. They can still earn more money by working. But every citizen gets a basic salary that should cover the most basic needs: Housing and food.

 

Why? Economics are moving more and more into automation. And at the same time, our populations are increasing. Predictions say that by 2050, somewhere between 10% and 30% of people will be unable to find a job through no fault of their own. The exact numbers depends on the evolution of technology and whatnot.

 

It's not completely far-fetched to think that soon, there simply won't be enough jobs to fill. Not everyone can be a startup or creative. Some people will simply be out of a job. Herein comes citizen salary, this would lighten the load on these people, as they would actually have somewhere to live and something to eat. Moreover, people who are working sh*tty jobs just to give a roof over the head would be able to quit. So the quality of life in general would rise.

 

People who are creative, visionary or simply cannot function without a job would still be able to take one. Or create one. Moreover, because people who don't really want to work won't have to, people who want jobs could get them.

 

Now you say; ah! But then maybe too many people won't take jobs, and then companies won't be able to fill all their job openings. Perhaps, I won't dismiss this problem, but it is not the biggest concern. Companies are already progressing towards automation, and jobs will mostly be filled by high tech workers. These are people who want jobs to begin with. You don't get an education just to slack off afterwards. Effectively, the people who will be able to fulfil the jobs will also (mostly) be interested in them.

 

Even today, we are employing more people than we need, to ensure most people have jobs. This solution will not last if our economics change the way it does.

 

It may sound like communism, and the people who work will pay for the rest. But think about it; it will mean less poor neighbourhoods, less crime and more general safety. And maybe then we can abandon the police. I should have promised I would come full circle.

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Fonz

Good thread, Otter! This topic deserves a dedicated discussion.

 

Concerning the dissolution of the State and the police and its impact on criminality:

 

I'd say the collectivization of wealth, the means of production etc and the abolishing of classes would lead to everyone, ideally, getting their fair share. This would circumvent problems like social and economic inequality, and if we could educate everyone decently, then many of the main factors responsible for people falling into criminal activity would be gone. Why? Well, unlike what racist assholes would have us believe there really isn't some inherent factor that leads ethnic minorities like blacks in the US or gypsies in Portugal to commit crimes. They do it because they're in financial dire straits due to years of being segregated and marginalized into living squalidly, not being given a fair chance, being deprived of proper education, because racism is undeniably still a thing. In other words, what makes these people act criminally is not some "evil" gene within, it's their piss-poor socioeconomic status. Not trying to turn this into a race discussion, just pointing out a few groups that are generally thought of as "problematic".

 

It's fair to assume that, with the major causes for involvement in crime gone, criminality as a whole would go down. As for how society would manage without police, a possible alternative would be a group of volunteers, normal citizens, that would be in charge of security in each neighborhood for a set period of time and then rotate through various people to avoid anyone clinging to authority and becoming, well, authoritarian. Sort of a neighborhood watch type of scheme, I guess. I mean, if those citizens were able to work together to overthrow the State, dissolve the police force and all, why shouldn't they be able to simply patrol the streets?

 

Okay, now the forensics people are a great help for when a case of crime does occur, and since they're not exactly part of what many people see as an oppressive tool (the field police force itself), I see no reason why they should be disturbed in any way. These people are scientists and it would still be possible to investigate these cases with their help, i.e the notion that people would be clueless about investigation without a formal police force is bogus. Most people don't conduct unlawful activity anyway, even without coercion, so no, it's not "human nature" to just go around stabbing, shooting, raping, stealing etc.

 

Sorry for the long-winded post :p

Edited by Black_MiD

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Svip

Your premise misses that the same racist assholes you mention will still be in your new society. Moreover, if we are simply dissolving the state and police, surely big corporations and rich tycoons will be able to pay guards to protect them. And then people certainly won't get their fair share. Moreover, without a state to protect the people against large corporations, won't they simple try to extract as much out of the people and ground as possible? You may argue that not all corporations are inherently greedy, but some certainly are. We all know plenty of examples in our current society with corporations working on the edge of the law when it comes to exploitation.

 

In addition, what if I live in a neighbourhood without that crime watch? Because no one in the neighbourhood had the time (I'm assuming people are still going to have jobs to keep some sh*t functioning) or dared to watch crime? I'm certainly not keen on going toe to toe with a criminal.

 

And what about roads? Who will pave them? Ad-hoc organisations funded by people? You know as well as I people are too lazy to get that done. Soon we'll have Toyota only roads and what have you, when they start to build the roads.

 

A country without a state will be taken over by corporations, because they already have the money and the power. I'd rather have a state than a corporation running our countries.

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Spaghetti Cat

Quick question for you MiD, let's say that your idea goes into full effect without any problems. You say that criminality would decrease because everyone is on an equal footing. What happens when an individual wants more than his neighbor? Would black markets not be a factor? For example in North Korea.

 

(Apologies if I mis-quoted or mis-understood your post)

 

Just wanted to understand that a bit better. Glad you guys got a section, and I'll try to keep my constitutional thoughts in other pages. :^:

 

Regards

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Fonz

Your premise misses that the same racist assholes you mention will still be in your new society.

No, they won't. I mentioned education for a reason—if it does its job properly, and let's assume it does, for the sake of argument, bigotry will probably be a thing of the past rather soon. Even if it didn't work out that way, that mentality would be held only by a small group and would have little to no projection. Rich tycoons will be goners too, as a logical consequence of collectivization—boss would be a non-existent position.

 

Moreover, without a state to protect the people against large corporations

You're missing the point when it comes to socialist principles. Oh, and the state protects large corporations. Furthermore, if the economy and the means of production were collectivized, there would be no such thing as large corporate empires because factories, or rather, firms (let's call them that) would be democratically run by workers. This, by the way, is something that already happens in the world today. Look up employee-managed companies.

 

 

In addition, what if I live in a neighbourhood without that crime watch? Because no one in the neighbourhood had the time (I'm assuming people are still going to have jobs to keep some sh*t functioning) or dared to watch crime? I'm certainly not keen on going toe to toe with a criminal.

This is pretty wrong. Look, doesn't your town have a volunteer fire department? Well, it's pretty much the same thing. And people work at different times, many people hold two jobs, one full-time and one part-time. This could be planned to accommodate people, it's a non-issue.

 

And what about roads? Who will pave them? Ad-hoc organisations funded by people?

Yes? How do you think people got their stuff done before there was a state? Human beings build things according to their needs; we adapt and our technology evolves. What makes you think people who worked their whole career so far in a specific activity (paving roads, for instance) would just abandon it, say "f*ck it lol" and do nothing for the rest of their lives? It's supposed to be a voluntary exchange of services, different sectors tie in and work together. You really didn't give my post much thought.

 

A country without a state will be taken over by corporations, because they already have the money and the power. I'd rather have a state than a corporation running our countries.

Again, if their means of production were to be collectivized, bosses got rid of and so on, how exactly would a large corporation seize power? There wouldn't even be large corporations, because it would be pointless.

 

@Spaghetti Cat

That's a good question, actually. Well, if there were an equal distribution of wealth, with everyone getting a fair slice and services being exchanged voluntarily, there would be no point in setting up black markets. Why try to clandestinely trade goods you have a right to? Individuals wanting more than their neighbors is not, in my opinion, a part of human nature. It's simply a byproduct of a culture that has set up the image of a greedy corporate boss as a desirable model. Our culture advocates consumerism, social distinction, inequality, entitlement, which leads to people feeling it's only natural that they should strive to be above others on social and economic terms. Sure, some people's greed might persist, but it would exist on a much smaller scale. That's the fundamental issue here and it can be addressed.

Edited by Black_MiD

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Svip

No, they won't. I mentioned education for a reason

Who will pay for the education if there is no state? Homeschooling isn't really a prime example of a success of avoiding bigotry.

 

 

—if it does its job properly, and let's assume it does, for the sake of argument, bigotry will probably be a thing of the past rather soon. Even if it didn't work out that way, that mentality would be held only by a small group and would have little to no projection.

Why not? Even if racism and bigotry is declining at present, there is still a lot of it left. And it certainly won't decline faster without a state. People interested in violence against other races won't have a law system preventing them.

 

 

You're missing the point when it comes to socialist principles.

Hold on a second, I thought we were talking about dissolving the state, not socialist principles. Socialism and communism both requires a state, a strong state in fact. Moreover, in a society with as deverse opinions as ours, surely not everyone will be keen on your anarchist utopia?

 

 

Oh, and the state protects large corporations. Furthermore, if the economy and the means of production were collectivized, there would be no such thing as corporations because factories, or rather, firms (let's call them that) would be democratically run by workers.

 

This, by the way, is something that already happens in the world today. Look up employee-managed companies.

So it's not a dissolving of the state at all, it's just smaller proto-states that someone needs to be running?

 

I work in a employee-managed company, but they don't work on large scales. And assuming that every company could be an employee-managed company is naïve at best.

 

 

This is pretty wrong. Look, doesn't your town have a fire department? Well, it's pretty much the same thing. And people work at different times, many people hold two jobs, one full-time and one part-time. This could be planned to accommodate people, it's a non-issue.

Who pays for the fire department? My taxes. I am not about to devulge myself into getting a fire department up and running, because I probably won't have the time.

 

It's hardly a non-issue. I like to be able to have some spare time, in your society, I will be working full time and part time, that seems worse than what I get now. And if I don't work part time, someone might rub my place. Since we clearly still have private possessions (which makes sense in a state-less society).

 

 

Yes? How do you think people got their stuff done before there was a state? Human beings build things according to their needs; we adapt and our technology evolves.

The concept of a state goes way back, long before a society was as complicated as ours. It's wasn't example the free spirit of the people that paved the Roman roads, but the Republic and later the Empire itself. Back when we were mere tribes, we still had a social structure, and things were hardly complex back then.

 

Which is why we developed the concept of a state. So that some people can do one job and other people can do other jobs. In a state-less society, it's every man for himself, and