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Is a completely stateless society possible?:

 76 Flyboy, Fri, 6th Jan '12 1:56:32 PM from the United States
Decemberist
Somalia improved because it had already hit the goddamn floor.

They could have put the Party in power and Somalia would have been better off.
"Shit, our candidate is a psychopath. Better replace him with Newt Gingrich."
Pro-Freedom Fanatic
Unlikely: Somalia had such a dystopian government before and that's what made'em hit the goddamn floor to begin with. Contrary to popular belief, chaos is most definitely a step up from tyranny: Even the bad kind of statelessness is an improvement!

Extreme poverty declined. The country developed economically. Immunization went up, and medical treatment (while still abysmal) became much more readily available. Life expectancy went up (46 to 48) during a goddamn civil war.

edited 6th Jan '12 2:28:29 PM by SavageHeathen

You exist because we allow it and you will end because we demand it.
 78 Flyboy, Fri, 6th Jan '12 2:34:18 PM from the United States
Decemberist
And how much of that is due to outside interference?

I imagine that Somalia wouldn't have gone anywhere fast without the aid it receives.
"Shit, our candidate is a psychopath. Better replace him with Newt Gingrich."
Pro-Freedom Fanatic
On several key indicators, Somalia is doing better than their neirhbors with States: Either it improves faster or degrades more slowly. According to the research I just cited, bad anarchy is altogether preferrable to being a Banana Republic.

Protip: Somalia's neighboring countries receive aid, too, and their performance is also less than stellar, sometimes worse than Somalia. Bad government is not a step up from no government, it's actually a step down.

edited 6th Jan '12 2:39:16 PM by SavageHeathen

You exist because we allow it and you will end because we demand it.
 80 Flyboy, Fri, 6th Jan '12 2:41:20 PM from the United States
Decemberist
That assumes that a Banana Republic is a useful government by any sane metric.

A stateless society isn't better than a bad government, it's better than a genocidal, socipathic government. Bad =/= genocidal and sociopathic.

The United States is a bad government. North Korea is a genocidal and sociopathic government.
"Shit, our candidate is a psychopath. Better replace him with Newt Gingrich."
 81 Aceof Spades, Fri, 6th Jan '12 2:55:24 PM from The Wild Blue Yonder Relationship Status: Yes, I'm alone, but I'm alone and free
Bad government and bad anarchy are both terrible, terrible metrics. And if Somalia's problem is due to warlords warlording it up and trouble between various factions, then it's not really that anarchic. That's chaotic infighting. Someone is enforcing those laws that they supposedly have in places. Somalia is ripe for being turned into a Banana Republic, I can tell that much. With no one apparently having any interest in banding together to form a government or coalition out of fear of being wiped out, they are leaving themselves wide open for manipulation by foreign powers that do not give a shit about the people living there.

They basically had nowhere to go but up, and they haven't gone that far up.
Pro-Freedom Fanatic
[up][up] The people of the United States would be immensely better off without the government, all things considered.

The government taxes a whole lotta money out of the Average Joe, and then spends most of it on cops, prisons, troops, wars and corporate subsidies (much of what they spend on health care and education and welfare doesn't really go to the people: It subsidizes companies who provide those services for profit!. They don't even give people free and universal health care!!! College costs tens of thousands of dollars!!! The hoops people have to jump through to get much needed welfare are completely absurd, and the amounts actually given are contemptible. Law enforcement and the justice system cause infinitely far more damage than good: Their main result is to deprive millions upon millions of youths and minorities of their civil and political rights. That, in turn, results in an endless cycle of poverty, misery and oppression. Laws banning pretty much everything pleasurable are commonplace. They're continually restricting the liberties of the civilian population further, too. Government is in collusion with corporate interests to actively drive the working class's standard of living down. The money the government spends on actual infrastructure to be put to productive use by civvies is laughable. Roads are poorly maintained, everything you can privatize has been privatized already, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.

If the government were to collapse right now, the overall impact on the Average Joe would be positive. Even though government wouldn't do the few useful things it does, they also wouldn't do all the evil shit they're currently doing. And they'd stop stealing from the poor to give to the rich and being overall parasites.

edited 6th Jan '12 3:20:13 PM by SavageHeathen

You exist because we allow it and you will end because we demand it.
 83 Erock, Fri, 6th Jan '12 3:00:22 PM from Toronto
Proud Canadian
The people of the United States would be immensely better off without the government, all things considered

No, that's wrong, shut the fuck up.

You drive on roads? Guess who maintains those.

You eat food? Guess who make sure it's not toxic.

You drink water? Guess who makes sure you have water.

You have kids? Guess who teaches them.

Honestly, fuck right off with your anti-government bullshit. You don't even live in the US, yet you insist your opinions are relevent and your anarchy fantasy would be an improvement.

edited 6th Jan '12 3:01:35 PM by Erock

If you don't like a single Frank Ocean song, you have no soul.
 84 Aceof Spades, Fri, 6th Jan '12 3:04:06 PM from The Wild Blue Yonder Relationship Status: Yes, I'm alone, but I'm alone and free
Savage doesn't live in the US, but I think he's a US citizen studying abroad right now.

In any case, the results just means the system needs to be fixed, not abolished. We have the tools, we just need to find the will to use them.

I also dispute that a sudden collapse would improve anything all, given that comes with the loss of any and all utilities, hospitals, communications, and generally all the other things we're dependent on. Looting and pillage would be the immediate result, and most of us would be dead as a result. Especially those currently dependent on medication.

edited 6th Jan '12 3:06:12 PM by AceofSpades

Pro-Freedom Fanatic
The rich being actively looted and deprived of their whole socioeconomic privilege is actually part of the medicine. tongue

Plenty governments did collapse without utilities fully failing: When a government collapses, lots of stuff survive them. Infrastructure may or may not work when they collapse, but it generally can be repaired. Education does take a hit, but it's already going down the drain: The costs are wholly and completely outta control, and quality is slowly but steadily dropping.

As for health, it takes an initial hit, but nothing short of Khmer Rouge style self-genocide makes health tech explode and doctors just disappear, either.

edited 6th Jan '12 3:13:50 PM by SavageHeathen

You exist because we allow it and you will end because we demand it.
 86 Aceof Spades, Fri, 6th Jan '12 3:09:46 PM from The Wild Blue Yonder Relationship Status: Yes, I'm alone, but I'm alone and free
Yeah, Savage, they're the ones with the monetary resources to protect themselves. It's everyone else that gets immediately looted and killed. Primarily because they're right there with those inclined to immediately loot and pillage and don't have paid guards to prevent such things. You keep wishing horrible things would happen, and none of it would happen in the way you think it will.
Pro-Freedom Fanatic
[up] Congratulations, the rich now own a lot of worthless money and property they lack the means to safeguard. Their stuff's right there for the taking anyway: Why would anyone fight for them, instead of just taking some of their stuff and going about their business? Y'know, like every other looter in the neighborhood?

edited 6th Jan '12 3:18:27 PM by SavageHeathen

You exist because we allow it and you will end because we demand it.
 88 Flyboy, Fri, 6th Jan '12 3:18:28 PM from the United States
Decemberist
~shrug~

Anarchy is a thought experiment. Nothing more. As an actual political idea it's laughably unrealistic.

And so it should be rightly ignored.
"Shit, our candidate is a psychopath. Better replace him with Newt Gingrich."
 89 Silasw, Fri, 6th Jan '12 3:24:30 PM from The UNITED Kingdom Relationship Status: [TOP SECRET]
Globalist Bunny
Communal anarchism works on a small scale. That however is going by the definition on anarchism as a lack of a top down government. So if the area contains few enough people that you could get them all in one room and have that as the government than it would work.
"And the Bunny nails it!" ~ Gabrael

"If the UN can get through a day without everyone strangling everyone else so can we." ~ Cyran
 90 lord Gacek, Fri, 6th Jan '12 3:25:33 PM from Kansas of Europe
KVLFON
I applaud the skill with which Savage was goaded into a nerdrage. cool
"Atheism is the religion whose followers are easiest to troll"
 91 Game Chainsaw, Fri, 6th Jan '12 3:41:08 PM from sunshine and rainbows!
The Shadows Devour You.
Killing off anyone with a lot of money is insane. What about people who earned a lot of money through legitimate hard work, and who use that money generously and to actively build businesses and create jobs?

Not every rich person is a corrupt kleptomaniac, just as not every poor person is a violent jaded criminal. The prospect of people with wealth having that taken off them at gunpoint should horrify if there's no way of controlling exactly who is getting their money (and that particular kind of power) taken off them.

Now I'm not saying that there are absolutely no people out there that I wouldn't weep with joy to see go bankrupt. Murdoch, for example. But this "anti-rich crusade" nonsense has to stop Savage, or at least you need to refine your targets... and your proposed means.

If anything, the abuses that people with money can commit is a call for tighter regulation, not weaker government. There's a reason socialists roll their eyes whenever free market proponents tout small government; lack of regulation is what got us here into this recession the first place. With no central body at all, good luck preventing abuses. And if you think that rich folks will just get the money taken off them if they don't behave, all you'll get are other rich people... with hired guns to guard them. Rule by force, in other words.

You don't tackle financial abuse by getting rid of all leadership. You get rid of financial abuse by divorcing leadership from money. A difficult thing to do, throughout the ages.
Pro-Freedom Fanatic
I've tried to remain civil through the whole discussion. I might've come off as somewhat dogmatic, but I don't think I was rude against y'all. If I was, sorry. I don't think this qualifies as much of a nerdrage.

Also, as a side note, I didn't say the rich were to be exterminated or massacred: I said that the easiest, fastest and most intuitive way to redistibute their wealth is to let the working classes grab their stuff. I think it'd be a natural result of the wealthy's property rights being neither protected nor respected. Endorsing plunder and endorsing genocide are wholly different beasts.

edited 6th Jan '12 3:45:41 PM by SavageHeathen

You exist because we allow it and you will end because we demand it.
 93 lord Gacek, Fri, 6th Jan '12 3:47:03 PM from Kansas of Europe
KVLFON
If it was aimed at me, I hasten to explain that by nerd-rage I did not wish to imply rudeness, merely multiple explanation mark-laden post on a tangential topic, that reeks of being a result of successful ideologically-based troll bait. Perhaps not that successful, given the relative civility. I hope it's all clear now. cool
"Atheism is the religion whose followers are easiest to troll"
 94 Game Chainsaw, Fri, 6th Jan '12 3:56:28 PM from sunshine and rainbows!
The Shadows Devour You.
I never said you were suggesting killing the rich. I was disputing your suggestion that the rich should be plundered. I'm sure there are rich people who frankly shouldn't have their money. But there are also some very worthy people who happen to have been financially very successful. 80% of Americas millionaires are self-made or something, and I'm sure that a good proportion of them aren't ruthless assholes who deserve to have every penny they earned taken off them.
 95 Aceof Spades, Fri, 6th Jan '12 4:23:14 PM from The Wild Blue Yonder Relationship Status: Yes, I'm alone, but I'm alone and free
Plunder tends to come with genocide, and when plunder is involved the redistribution of wealth is never done evenly amongst the populace. Therefor, your suggestion is highly unrealistic. Almost laughably so, but I don't laugh at things often.

Which means that more government regulation on businesses, as well as separating the money from politics, is what's needed. Like they have in Canada, provided that Harper guy doesn't screw it up. And higher taxes, which I don't consider plunder so much as legal obligation for living here.
Pro-Freedom Fanatic
Well, the rich's luxury goods are likely to go away on a first come first served basis... So yeah, that redistribution wouldn't be particularly even. But that's not the really important one taking place, it's just a temporary alleviation.

The redistribution of the means of production is what's important: If law and order totally collapse, nothing stops workers from arming and seizing them. People tend to be somewhat posessive of their jobs, especially Americans. Their only logical course of action is to seize their workplaces for themselves before tin'n'copper scavengers do.

edited 6th Jan '12 4:39:08 PM by SavageHeathen

You exist because we allow it and you will end because we demand it.
 97 The Gloomer, Fri, 6th Jan '12 4:41:26 PM from Northern Ireland
Inadequate law student
[up]Do you think the working class has developed the class consciousness which Marx prediceted would be necessary for that to happen, though? If every individual is primarily interested in their own needs rather than their more general needs as a socio-economic class, it seems unlikely that redistribution could be practiced in a manner which benefits everyone.

Or am I approaching this from the wrong angle?

 98 Aceof Spades, Fri, 6th Jan '12 4:45:55 PM from The Wild Blue Yonder Relationship Status: Yes, I'm alone, but I'm alone and free
And that is highly unlikely to happen in the sort of sudden collapse that you apparently want to happen to this country. What happens is widespread panic and death. People stop caring about means of production and start caring about getting as much of what's left so they can survive, and pretty much everyone turns into scavengers. Except maybe the people in rural areas. The folks in highly populated areas are very much more highly screwed. At that point, the only ones that can establish order would be the military, if the military hasn't collapsed along with the rest of society. (Though due to the highly organized and disciplined nature of the military, the folks and families at military bases are much more likely to hold themselves together long enough to figure out what happened than the general populace. Given the focus on teamwork, I imagine they would be much less likely to default to looting their neighbors.)

Simply put, a collapse into a stateless society from our current level of organization does far more harm to the people than good. People aren't going to think "seize the factories" when a collapse hits, they're going to think "holy shit, I need to get out of here/protectmyself/my family/etc." Any thoughts to factories will come weeks if not months later, when everything has already shut down and begun to become useless. At that point, no one has any wealth, and who knows how many people have died.
Pro-Freedom Fanatic
[up][up] Actually, you're approaching it from the right angle.

Obviously, we don't have that kind of class consciousness yet. Revolutions imply work. Lots and lots of hard work: Revolutionaries have to persuade their friends, their acquaintances, their families and their coworkers of the injustice of the current state of affairs. All sorts of subversive agit-prop has to be made. The legitimacy of the property structure and the government itself needs to be undermined. Workers have to be persuaded to unionize everywhere, overtly or covertly. Unions must promote anti-burgeois, anti-government solidarity among workers. The people's hatred and resentment towards the privileged needs to be fostered and stirred until it reaches critical mass. Different factions have to outline common goals and plan a common struggle. The to-do list goes on, and on, and on, and on...

That's not an argument for we don't need a revolution, but it ain't a call to the barricades either. If those who oppose the system went to the barricades right now, they'd get slaughtered and achieve little.

Revolutionaries right now don't need a call to arms, they need a call to work: Yeah, the system is fucked up beyond repair. But The Man ain't gonna defeat itself: Those who want'em gone should work at fostering class consciousness, pro-worker ideology and anti-authoritarian sentiment 24/7/365.

edited 6th Jan '12 5:00:45 PM by SavageHeathen

You exist because we allow it and you will end because we demand it.
Interestingly, the same thing with communism, is that it's more likely a very rich society can practice some form of statelessness (like taking many of the principles of anarcho-syndicalism) than a poor country can manage it. The reason I say this is that with a rich country, in which the vast majority of people have their basic necessities plus luxuries met (ie. family income of 70k or above after taxes) aren't likely to turn to looting, random acts of violence or other predatory behaviour.

In the place of government, you would form syndicates (as the name implies) and go on to conduct business in a different manner but maintain a high income. It'd be rather strange to see a bunch of middle-class Canadians/Americans take up arms for no other reason than to crush neighbours when they already have good jobs and a stable life. People don't threaten that situation unless they feel the trend is highly negative or that their future prospects are in trouble.

However, I don't think that much of the "West" is in such a situation. The poverty rates in most western countries are very bad, and the welfare of Nordic countries are upheld by strong government institutions (thus their removal would cause a major negative impact on the welfare of the citizens).

Unless government had an explicit 50-year plan to make everyone rich enough and then switch to devolving powers to more regional area (while maintaining the quality of life), it would be difficult to establish a stateless society. I tend to think only a peaceful route can get you to a stateless society because the use of mass violence is likely to result in a power-grab when all is said and done.

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