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Is a completely stateless society possible?:

Sorta, it's more along the lines of how fast you can bring down the people in power (preferably peacefully) or that you have enough mobility to just leave to go to another part of the country and leave the oppressive person with no one to oppress.

 52 Flyboy, Fri, 30th Dec '11 7:36:23 PM from the United States
Decemberist
Neither of which is feasible.

Ultimately, you're gonna have a government. Suck it up and deal with it.
"Shit, our candidate is a psychopath. Better replace him with Newt Gingrich."
Well I'm not the resident anarchist, so... :P

 54 Octo, Fri, 30th Dec '11 7:47:31 PM from Germany
Prince of Dorne
Yeah, some permanent organization/coordination is needed, and that would be de facto the government. Now, what we can do is is destroy the expectation that government should rule - no, rather they should merely administrate, in the name of the people and execute the will of the people.
Unbent, Unbowed, Unbroken.

Unrelated ME1 Fanfic
 55 Flyboy, Fri, 30th Dec '11 7:48:44 PM from the United States
Decemberist
I generally don't see the difference; to me, the ideal difference between "ruling" and "representing" is semantics-based at best.
"Shit, our candidate is a psychopath. Better replace him with Newt Gingrich."
 56 Octo, Fri, 30th Dec '11 7:52:03 PM from Germany
Prince of Dorne
The government should not rule against the wishes of the people, it should merely administrate the country according to the wishes of the people. No great ideas or visions or anything, unless it's something that comes from the people. In the absence of those, politicians should merely do the day-to-day administrating of what's there.

It's also a difference of self-image. Politicians should see themselves only as mere administrators. Basically just clerks and bureaucrates, nothing more.
Unbent, Unbowed, Unbroken.

Unrelated ME1 Fanfic
 57 Flyboy, Fri, 30th Dec '11 7:58:27 PM from the United States
Decemberist
Yes.
"Shit, our candidate is a psychopath. Better replace him with Newt Gingrich."
 58 Radical Taoist, Fri, 30th Dec '11 8:01:31 PM from the #GUniverse
scratching at .8, just hopin'
A government is an entrenched authority, is it not?

Stateless anarchism literally cannot exist for any length of time. Humans naturally tend towards organization.
Again, the terms "organization" and "government" are not interchangeable. Nor are "organization" and "state". Now you're right in the sense of there always existing the semantic argument. That is, you can point your finger at anything an anarchist proposes for organizing society and say "Ah ah ah, that's your government now!" I'll concede that, because I don't care. I'm a fairly soft anarchist, and I want my society organized. I just want it organized from the bottom-up rather than the top-down, and I want this organization to avoid concentrations of power and to be motivated by something other than a monopoly on the use of force.

In the earlier example, you pointed out that the communes and co-operatives would effectively be the government. Okay. Whatever. Anyone absolutely desperate to say I can't apply the anarchist label to myself is caring more about labels than policies.
You can know the name of a bird in all the languages of the world, but when you're finished, you'll know absolutely nothing whatever about the bird... So let's look at the bird and see what it's doing — that's what counts. I learned very early the difference between knowing the name of something and knowing something.
-Richard Feynman
 59 Flyboy, Fri, 30th Dec '11 8:04:50 PM from the United States
Decemberist
~shrug~

Frankly, anarchism in any form is delusional and worthy of dismissal, as far as I'm concerned. The object is to combine small administrative districts into larger ones, to me, not to break them up into smaller ones. We're not going to get anywhere with tiny little nations, and that's just on Earth. Inevitably, the future is in space, and insignificant communist cooperatives aren't going to go anywhere fast in that regard.
"Shit, our candidate is a psychopath. Better replace him with Newt Gingrich."
 60 Radical Taoist, Fri, 30th Dec '11 8:09:01 PM from the #GUniverse
scratching at .8, just hopin'
I hate to tell someone with a Joker avatar my opinions on trying to run for space when we haven't figured out sustainability on Earth.tongue
 61 Flyboy, Fri, 30th Dec '11 8:11:05 PM from the United States
Decemberist
Earth is a finite resource. There is no such thing as sustainability—only slowing down the process of exhaustion.

Inevitably, we must leave, or die.
"Shit, our candidate is a psychopath. Better replace him with Newt Gingrich."
 62 Radical Taoist, Fri, 30th Dec '11 8:16:22 PM from the #GUniverse
scratching at .8, just hopin'
Umm, the Sun's got a lot of years, as does the thermal energy of the Earth's molten core. We harness those, we'll have a couple of million years to figure out space travel. I think we can manage it. Besides, if tech is developed to leave a planet that's starved for natural resources and heavily polluted, do you really think it'll be priced affordably for us proles? Do you want the wealthy to leave our asses behind on a planet we didn't learn to care for properly?

...and this is off topic. Though it's REALLY tempting to start an Economics of Conserving vs. Abandoning the Planet thread.
 63 Octo, Fri, 30th Dec '11 8:26:21 PM from Germany
Prince of Dorne
Yes.
What?
Unbent, Unbowed, Unbroken.

Unrelated ME1 Fanfic
 64 Flyboy, Fri, 30th Dec '11 8:29:42 PM from the United States
Decemberist
It's an affirmative statement of agreement.
"Shit, our candidate is a psychopath. Better replace him with Newt Gingrich."
 65 Lawyerdude, Fri, 6th Jan '12 7:47:03 AM from my secret moon base
Citizen
Any group needs two tools in order to funciton: voluntary association and force. Relying on only one is a recipe for disaster. You can't force people to reliably work together for any length of time, and there will always be people who don't play well with others and need to be compelled to do or not do certain things.

Even a small organization, like a private club, needs to rely on force at times, even if it's just locking the door, or calling the police to get rid of intruders.

So a stateless society, by definition, either has no means of coercing uncooperative members, in which case nothing will prevent them from freely running about destroying things, or somebody will step forward and seize power.
What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly.
 66 Game Chainsaw, Fri, 6th Jan '12 7:53:35 AM from sunshine and rainbows!
The Shadows Devour You.
I bet such a society (going from the first page of posts) could survive somewhere peaceful enough. Say, in the centre of Europe.

If Switzerland disbanded its army and central government tomorrow and became a collection of anarchist communes, you really think anyone is going to attack it as long as the communes are stable?
 67 Lawyerdude, Fri, 6th Jan '12 7:57:56 AM from my secret moon base
Citizen
[up] Liechtenstein has been eyeing their clock-making chocolate-eating neighbors for centuries, just waiting for the opportunity to strike.

But seriously, in the highly unlikely event that the Swiss people were to abolish their government, I think it would only be a matter of time until some faction inside the country decided they wanted to hold power themselves and seize it by force. But Switzerland dissolving its government is nigh-impossible, because the majority of Swiss citizens like their government.
What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly.
Pro-Freedom Fanatic
[up] There's a hack to keep an anarchic society from devolving into a State: Anarchists can't exactly govern (they'd lose the support of their base if they did, then their bid would implode), but they surely could cut down to size any faction trying to grab power.

To an extent, an anarchist militia can enforce a power vacuum. It's an ugly hack (and it could backfire)... But it could do the trick if statist factions challenge anarchy.

edited 6th Jan '12 9:09:38 AM by SavageHeathen

You exist because we allow it and you will end because we demand it.
 69 Lawyerdude, Fri, 6th Jan '12 9:12:54 AM from my secret moon base
Citizen
"Anarchist militia" is a contradiction in terms. Any armed force, from a conscripted army to a voluntary militia, needs training, supplies and leadership. There has to be somebody with the authority to say where to go and when to fight, and they need to be continually supplied. Without that, all you have is a mob with torches and pitchforks.

What would an anarchist militia do when they needed bullets, fuel, spare parts, food and shelter? They have to come from somewhere. And if they're not taking orders, then who decides what to do?

And if you did have somebody who was able to arm, train, supply and competently lead an armed force, who is going to stop him from taking whatever he wants and doing whatever he wants?
What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly.
Pro-Freedom Fanatic
Historically, anarchist militias had elected command structures, any charge being recallable at the whim of his subordinates. The militia as a whole was technically loyal to the anarchist movement, mostly because members of anarcho-syndicalist unions made up the bulk of the troops and the officer cadre. Anarchist unions obtained weapons for their militias both by barter with other factions and from anarchist-controlled ammo factories, which sold'em ammo.

It worked reasonably well in practice.

edited 6th Jan '12 9:28:09 AM by SavageHeathen

You exist because we allow it and you will end because we demand it.
 71 lord Gacek, Fri, 6th Jan '12 10:19:36 AM from Kansas of Europe
KVLFON
The fun starts once people begin to identify themselves with their unions. cool
"Atheism is the religion whose followers are easiest to troll"
 72 Lawyerdude, Fri, 6th Jan '12 10:42:07 AM from my secret moon base
Citizen
Most militias, anarchist or otherwise, have had elected command structures. And it's pretty clear that members of that sort of organization need a strong sense of loyalty to a person or ideology in order to hold together. If everybody is free to quit when he wants, then you can't force them to stay together.

And if you want an example of a truly stateless "nation", look no further than Somalia. It's the only country in the world that doesn't have a government. I don't think anybody on this board would want to live there.
What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly.
Pro-Freedom Fanatic
Let's put the Somalia meme out of its misery once and for all: Somalia actually improved during their stateless period. However abysmal Somalia was, it was better than they were under their last Banana Republic. All relevant indexes: Poverty, technical development, infant mortality, civil liberties et al. took a turn for the better. The results were still less than good, but that's because of the terrible situation when it kicked in.

I quote literally a study from West Virginia University:

This paper challenges the wisdom that Somalia has deteriorated without government. On the contrary, I argue that statelessness has actually enhanced Somali welfare. Although a properly constrained government may be superior to statelessness, it is not true that any government is superior to no government all. De Long and Shleifer (1993), for instance, find that in pre-industrial Europe, countries without unified governments performed better in some ways than those with absolutist autocracies. If a state is highly predatory and its behavior goes unchecked, government may not only fail to add to social welfare, but may actually reduce welfare below its level under anarchy.

I show that this was the case with Somalia’s government, which did more harm to its citizens than good. The government’s collapse and substitution with statelessness subsequently opened the possibility for progress.

edited 6th Jan '12 10:55:20 AM by SavageHeathen

You exist because we allow it and you will end because we demand it.
 74 Aceof Spades, Fri, 6th Jan '12 10:55:20 AM from The Wild Blue Yonder Relationship Status: Yes, I'm alone, but I'm alone and free
You're going to have to actually present some kind of proof for that, Savage. And even then, if it hasn't got any way to prevent or oust the warlords currently running things, it's still a failed attempt at anarchism. Not that I really think anyone over there is attempting an anarchist philosophy, it just kind of fell into it. Most other countries with a government are much better off than Somalia is.

Bleh, ninja edit. What about the facts that supposedly support this study?

edited 6th Jan '12 10:56:00 AM by AceofSpades

Pro-Freedom Fanatic
http://www.peterleeson.com/Better_off_Stateless.pdf It's a very interesting paper. Don't know much about the guy who wrote it, but the data seems solid.

And Somalia's is the bad kind of anarchy (government collapse without a social revolution, widespread warlordism...) At any rate, it was preferrable to the Stalinists that ran the place before, and it's still preferrable to the Islamist wackos that threaten it. Sheer chaos is actually preferrable to dystopian order.

edited 6th Jan '12 10:59:26 AM by SavageHeathen

You exist because we allow it and you will end because we demand it.
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