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Is a completely stateless society possible?:

 201 The Gloomer, Thu, 12th Jan '12 10:37:08 AM from Northern Ireland
Inadequate law student
It's been a while since I read anything about anarchist political philosophy. I must inquire to anybody more knowledgable than I could tell me if anarchists tend to share the teleological perspective of history advocated by Hegel or Marx? If it is so, then I think that's a problem with the whole business; I don't think one should assume that the history is progressing logically towards a readily identifiable end point.

 202 Radical Taoist, Thu, 12th Jan '12 10:50:10 AM from the #GUniverse
scratching at .8, just hopin'
I'm certainly not a believer in historical determinism of any sort.

@USAF: Well aren't you a ray of sunshine.
 203 Flyboy, Thu, 12th Jan '12 10:54:37 AM from the United States
Decemberist
Well aren't you a ray of sunshine.

Well, what do you expect? The utopia you're offering varies between reprehensible and incomprehensible to me, and the alternative is no better.

Of course, your utopia wouldn't even function properly in reality, so there's that can of worms, too.
"Shit, our candidate is a psychopath. Better replace him with Newt Gingrich."
 204 Radical Taoist, Thu, 12th Jan '12 11:00:06 AM from the #GUniverse
 205 Flyboy, Thu, 12th Jan '12 11:04:43 AM from the United States
Decemberist
For short periods and/or in pre-industrial societies.
"Shit, our candidate is a psychopath. Better replace him with Newt Gingrich."
 206 Octo, Thu, 12th Jan '12 11:07:50 AM from Germany
Prince of Dorne
Social democracy, it seems, is merely a stopgap.
Depending on how you define it it seems to work in Europe...

There is one thing, though, where I think states are better than communal societies. The thing is, both will have rules - but with states it will be clearly delineated, well established laws, whereas in communal societies... well, you got tradition, and "everybody just does so" and so on. Very informal, very much harder to change, and in historical experience socially even more repressive...
Unbent, Unbowed, Unbroken.

Unrelated ME1 Fanfic
Pro-Freedom Fanatic
[up] True: Communal societies can develop oppressive traditional rules of their own. Then again, a communal society built on the principles of anarchism (and borne of a long and merciless struggle against ALL authority and hierarchy) would develop liberal and progressive traditions. A society that considers meddling in other people's business unacceptable on a cultural level would be utterly immune to Moral Guardians.

Moreover, having (by design) a stunted capability for enforcing any law'd make the people at least partially protected from bad laws. wink

edited 12th Jan '12 11:53:38 AM by SavageHeathen

You exist because we allow it and you will end because we demand it.
 208 Aceof Spades, Thu, 12th Jan '12 12:03:42 PM from The Wild Blue Yonder Relationship Status: Yes, I'm alone, but I'm alone and free
It also makes it much easier to convict someone by popular opinion, as was pointed out earlier, and much harder to protect yourself from bad laws when the public decides to use them against you. There's no saying that this supposed anarchy would be progressive; the fact that attempts to defy the government are quite often run by racist white guys argues against the utopian progressive ideal. And, given these guys are also the ones stockpiling weapons, I fear for the safety of folks like the Amish, who pretty much bother no one and don't believe that weapons are a thing they want in their communities. Our current laws pretty much stop people from bothering them; a descent into anarchy leaves them fodder for the rabid wolves.

Sooner or later, most likely sooner, the bigots will get control of these anarchist communes, which is why I tend to be against it. These anarchist ideals only make it easier for cults of personality to develop, change the rules, and become iron fisted dictators all under the banner of anarchy. In anarchy, there are no blocks against this kind of thing.
Pro-Freedom Fanatic
After centuries of experience, statism has created no reliable way at all to protect the public from Moral Guardians and assorted busybodies. It's a problem it cannot solve, and it's a very big problem.
You exist because we allow it and you will end because we demand it.
 210 Aceof Spades, Thu, 12th Jan '12 12:13:41 PM from The Wild Blue Yonder Relationship Status: Yes, I'm alone, but I'm alone and free
Moral Guardians can be dismissed and voted out in our current situation, and quite frankly people are getting bothered by them more than you think. The fact that more people are approving of gay marriage than before is a sign of that. Hell, given the backlash against all those stupid voter ID laws proves that even moral guardianship isn't a bad thing when the moral being guarded is everyone's right to a vote.

As it is, under anarchy moral guardians could do far more damage, even if only on a local level, just by declaring "us against them" loud enough to the locals. You say people would be protected somehow, but don't seem to realize that laws protect people far more under our current system. Please notice that things like lynching are no longer legal, and that people who do that can and will be prosecuted. There is no protection at all in an anarchist society, there is simply a public opinion which can turn against an individual at a minute's notice. And that is a terrifying thing.
Pro-Freedom Fanatic
There are all sorts of prohibitions and restrictions on private and consensual behavior. There are a whole lotta victimless crimes that are vigorously enforced to the best of the State's capacity. If you shut down police and the justice system, that problem goes away.

Reactionaries are typically old people. Old folks ain't worth a damn physically: Without the State, they'd have no ability whatsoever to oppress the young. Remove the thugs in blue, and the moral guardians are powerless. We've been sacrificing liberty for safety for too long: How 'bout we compromise safety in the interest of liberty for a change?

At any rate, I think you underestimate the political and cultural work needed to destroy the State: Revolutions cause profound social and cultural change. A society that's pro-freedom enough to eradicate the State is pro-freedom enough to leave folks alone.

edited 13th Jan '12 5:38:11 AM by SavageHeathen

You exist because we allow it and you will end because we demand it.
 212 Greenmantle, Fri, 13th Jan '12 5:54:55 AM from Britannia Relationship Status: [TOP SECRET]
"Per ardua ad astra"
...but who says the Moral Guardians won't form their own, possibly non-democratic, communes?

And anyway, for someone to be Convicted by Public Opinion, all it takes is for someone to not like someone else, for whatever (probably trivial) reason.

Reactionaries are typically old people. Old folks ain't worth a damn physically: Without the State, they'd have no ability whatsoever to oppress the young. Remove the thugs in blue, and the moral guardians are powerless.

Wait.

Are you suggesting that everyone over 40 dies or something? And in the US at least, aren't the Moral Guardians the ones most likely to be armed?*
 213 Radical Taoist, Fri, 13th Jan '12 6:51:34 AM from the #GUniverse
scratching at .8, just hopin'
A society that's pro-freedom enough to eradicate the State is pro-freedom enough to leave folks alone.
You've hit on a point here. Such a society wouldn't need to eradicate the State. It's possible to render anarchism unnecessary if the culture has been changed enough.
 214 Greenmantle, Fri, 13th Jan '12 7:07:13 AM from Britannia Relationship Status: [TOP SECRET]
"Per ardua ad astra"
[up]

Such a society wouldn't need to eradicate the State.

You can't eradicate the State. You could have a "State" with just two people.
Pro-Freedom Fanatic
I didn't say everyone over 40 dies. I merely noted that Moral Guardians tend to be old people. Since old conservatives couldn't get legislation passed or enforced, it stands to reason that bans on vice, drugs, obscene speech and all sorts of immoral, victimless stuff would disappear. I'm not saying that anything bad should happen to these people, only that they need to be fully deprived of the means to restrict other people's activity (namely, government and police).

Old folks can't enforce those restrictions themselves. Shut down law enforcement and the Moral Guardians are largely moot.

edited 13th Jan '12 7:14:37 AM by SavageHeathen

You exist because we allow it and you will end because we demand it.
Never Ask Me the Odds
While I actually agree with the sentiment that Moral Guardians should have no authority, I disagree with the means. One, there are in fact younger folks who would happily impose their own morals on others if given half a chance, and perhaps have not even given their reasoning and prejudices the thought an older person might. I think part of the perception of older people having more prejudices is because of the times we have been living in - a time of vastly greater movement of people around the globe and global communication, making it much more likely for a younger person to have contact with people different than him/herself in their formative years.

Two, my sense of egalitarianism prevents me from wanting to give older folks less of a say in society than younger ones - and in fact, makes me point out that it's not a division of older/younger when you're talking about an anarchist society, but that of (physically?) strong/weak, which I can NEVER get behind. This is actually one major sticking point I have with libertarianism or anarchism, that if you're weak in one area you're completely out of luck. It defeats a main point of society in the first place, that we balance out each others' weaknesses and strengths and so prosper better working together.
She of Short Stature & Impeccable Logic

My Skating Liveblog
Pro-Freedom Fanatic
I can't imagine a buncha fat dudes on their fifties preventing similarly armed 25 year olds from taking or selling drugs, publishing subversive and obscene material or otherwise violating any of the bazillion laws and regulations of this society. They only can do so because the State takes money from everybody in order to fund enforcement of its rule: The State, in short, forces everybody to fund their own oppression.

Get rid of the whole police/judicial system, and you'll find moral guardians reduced to a buncha old curmudgeons harmlessly grumbling in their houses about the depravity of modern society.

edited 13th Jan '12 8:10:49 AM by SavageHeathen

You exist because we allow it and you will end because we demand it.
 218 Greenmantle, Fri, 13th Jan '12 7:48:35 AM from Britannia Relationship Status: [TOP SECRET]
"Per ardua ad astra"
How about a bunch of armed, fit dudes in their twenties wanting to do the same thing?

That's what she was saying. Moral Guardians can be any age, young as well as old.

edited 13th Jan '12 7:49:26 AM by Greenmantle

Pro-Freedom Fanatic
Yeah, there are some of those as well. Still, there's a catch:

I'm not saying all old folks (or even most) are reactionaries, but most reactionaries are indeed old. Among the young, reactionaries are a distinct minority. If you worry about the Left being a soft target to right-wing predators, don't: A revolution would harden the Left quite a bit when it comes to direct struggle. By the time a revolutionary Left has been able to crush or subvert the government and then erase it from the face of the Earth (establish anarchist socialism), those Leftists ain't going anywhere. They'd remain an important safeguard against reactionary movements.

edited 13th Jan '12 1:51:33 PM by SavageHeathen

You exist because we allow it and you will end because we demand it.
 220 Greenmantle, Fri, 13th Jan '12 8:19:31 AM from Britannia Relationship Status: [TOP SECRET]
"Per ardua ad astra"
By the time a revolutionary Left has been able to crush or subvert the government and then erase it from the face of the Earth, erase the old government from the face of the Earth and establish anarchist socialism, those Leftists ain't going anywhere. They'd remain an important safeguard against reactionary movements.

So basically, you'd like Left-Wing World Domination*, and what you're saying won't be a milita, it'll be a full-blown, full-time military...

But won't happen anyways. As James Bond said once:

"Same Old Dream"

 221 Aceof Spades, Fri, 13th Jan '12 9:34:22 AM from The Wild Blue Yonder Relationship Status: Yes, I'm alone, but I'm alone and free
Savage, here's the thing; most people don't get old without learning how to reinforce whatever values it is that they hold. And take away the ability of those that don't agree with them to defend themselves. This includes your beloved leftists who apparently don't have any stake in maintaining whatever status qou they'll set up. Old folks are quite often leaders for this reason; they have had time to convince people they're right, and are very good at it. This typically starts when they're young.

In a state without laws, there is no protection for the weak. You assume that things can't change for the worse, when in an anarchist society there is literally nothing to prevent the culture from changing in such a way that it will readily and eagerly harm any sort of dissenter. (What form of dissent this takes I don't know, but hell, two guys could get into an argument of a girl for all I know, and one guy gets the other guy killed or shunned and then is never punished for it because he's so damn popular.)
 222 Radical Taoist, Fri, 13th Jan '12 9:40:20 AM from the #GUniverse
scratching at .8, just hopin'
I am honestly disappointed that it seems like people can't imagine mechanisms for protecting the weak without top-down authority.
Never Ask Me the Odds
Quite honestly, what I'm worried about isn't Left-Wing groups being preyed upon by Right-Wing groups so much as individuals preying upon other individuals with less of an ability to protect themselves. The way it works today, we don't have to ally ourselves with a militia, a union, or a political party to get protection from robbers and murderers. We simply pay our fair share of the police budget as tax money, and only those who have a calling and ability to do so need to go into law enforcement.

EDIT: Taoist, if you have some ideas about how that can happen, please feel free to advance them and I'll consider what you say carefully.

edited 13th Jan '12 9:42:09 AM by TheGirlWithPointyEars

She of Short Stature & Impeccable Logic

My Skating Liveblog
 224 Aceof Spades, Fri, 13th Jan '12 10:18:41 AM from The Wild Blue Yonder Relationship Status: Yes, I'm alone, but I'm alone and free
You think I wouldn't love a world where people mostly just left each other alone? I just don't think it can happen; anarchy allows for cults of personality to develop. That's dangerous enough now, where such groups can cut you off from everyone you love, but in anarchy there's nothing to prevent those from forming everywhere, because hey, freedom of association.

Granted, that's a bit extreme an example. But I see nothing in anarchy that can prevent this because to do so involves violating 'freedoms' of the people doing the oppressing, and it is highly unlikely anyone outside the community would give a fuck because it's someone else's problem.
 225 Greenmantle, Fri, 13th Jan '12 2:59:48 PM from Britannia Relationship Status: [TOP SECRET]
"Per ardua ad astra"
@ Ace:

What form of dissent this takes I don't know, but hell, two guys could get into an argument of a girl for all I know, and one guy gets the other guy killed or shunned and then is never punished for it because he's so damn popular.

Exactly. It's exactly what I had in the back of my mind for my Convicted by Public Opinion argument. It could be for something as apparently trivial as this.

I just don't think it can happen; anarchy allows for cults of personality to develop. That's dangerous enough now, where such groups can cut you off from everyone you love, but in anarchy there's nothing to prevent those from forming everywhere, because hey, freedom of association.

I can see some of Savage's hated Moral Guardians falling under (or forming) one of these — put them under a Dark Messiah, and who can stop them killing all that stand before them, and gaining more followers?

In fact, for whatever view you can think of, it'll be dangerously easy for one to occur and chronically hard to stop, especially if you get several at once, fighting against each other...
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