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The discussion of Anarchy and what it means


Jager
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This is bound to be a poor and at best introductory meaning into what Anarchism truly means, but I shall try to make it a good place to start. As this thread develops (if indeed it does at all), I'm sure I'll find myself constantly revising myself and further explaining points that I take completely for granted.

And that's okay. But if there is one thing that Anarchism represents, it is change and revision to the end of better understanding and more harmonious function.

Personally, I define Anarchy one of two ways. Understand, though, that these are deeply important but not the least bit specific definitions. "Idealistic Anarchism" and "Practical Anarchism", as I shall call them from atop my head, are no clearer distinctions of 'Anarchy' than "man" and "woman" are distinctions of 'human'. But it is place to start, and it will do.

Simply put, "Idealistic Anarchism" is just that -- idealistic. This is the anarchism spoken of when we say "in a perfect world...". Yes, in a perfect world we wouldn't need police because everyone is cool to each other and has no reason or inclination to harm their fellow human being. In a perfect world there's no chance that harm will befall you at the hands of another person who has the intent to harm you. In a perfect world, we won't need courts, or cops, or judges, or jurys, or Presidents, or Senators, or Congress. In a perfect world, people don't need the trappings of modern society -- this notion of a security net of bureacracy that keeps us from chaos -- because in a perfect world, we all get along and treat each other right. We're all rational, reasonable, intelligent human beings who don't want to see anyone hurt (well, who doesn't want to be hurt) and do what they can to solve conflicts with words and help everyone on this planet in any way they can to achieve their dreams. In a perfect world, we aren't bigoted or poor or segregated.

But this isn't a perfect world, and that's why I'm throwing the concept of Idealistic Anarchy out the window. It will never happen. Ever ever ever. It isn't even a worthy goal to strive towards, because such a society -- a society without hardship and strife -- would create an entire race centered around docility and compliance. With nothing to struggle against, our lives become meaningless. Who in their right mind wants nothing more than to shit comfortably their whole lives? Those people can have it. But it isn't what I want, so I don't want Idealistic Anarchy.

I'm on the job right now. So I'll get to Practical Anarchism when I have time. I just wanted to get Idealism out of the way. I want to dispell any rumors that anarchists are bomb-throwing maniacs, but I also don't want you to think that the anarchist is a wide-eyed idealist who sits around wishing for a Utopia that will never come to pass. Dreamers and revolutionaries we are, but for those among us deserving of the title 'anarchist', it is tempered with realism.

-- Avenger

------------------

Don't try to run, you son of a bitch. You'll just die tired.

avengingcrusader@hotmail.com

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1 a : absence of government b : a state of lawlessness or political disorder due to the absence of governmental authority c : a utopian society of individuals who enjoy complete freedom without government

2 a : absence or denial of any authority or established order b : absence of order : DISORDER (not manicured plots but a wild anarchy of nature -- Israel Shenker)

There it is in black and white. Thank you Mr Webster.

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I, for one, look foreward to @venger's dissertation on "Practical Anarchism." He's already made all my arguments against "Idealistic Anarchism."

I strongly doubt that he will cite what I call "Reactionary Anarchism." Reactionaries are those who simply reject all laws, morays, and restrictions because they find such boundries inconvenient. The idea proposed is that restrictions are in place solely to serve those who set up the restrictions. All laws are viewed as bad because they serve only those who passed the laws. The few Anarchists I've met who ascribe to this view are rather high strung, and have considerable family and/or social issues.

"Practical Anarchism" is certainly an intriguing phrase.

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Thingmaker, do they reject the laws and morays that effect them or all such things and expect others to do the same? In other words, are the social rebels or sociopaths?

I had someone try to explain to me that all laws were bad because they served those that made the laws and not those most effected by them. My counter argument was based on mutual survival and respect.

We outlaw murder because we don't want to be killed.

We outlaw theft because we don't want to wake up and find all our stuff gone.

We outlaw assualt because we don't like getting our asses kicked.

Yes, certain specific laws give an advantage to some folks over others. Some laws just suck. I tend to hate "Moral" Laws the most. Basically, that's someone saying that their way is right just because they say so.

I hate anti-abortion laws, not because I like killing babies but because unborn children don't contribute to society while their mothers do.

I support the Death Penalty because I don't think society should support those who have done grievious harm to society. I just wish that justice was dealt out with an even hand. Until it is, the issue remains grey for me.

I await Avenger's next installment.

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To Jager and everyone else, I just wanted to stop in a moment and let you know I hadn't brushed this off. I've spent a couple of days puzzling over how best to desribe what I refer to as 'Practical Anarchism', and though I came to a conclusion a couple days ago, I've been horrendously busy of late and haven't had a chance to come in and give up the time to do my ideas justice.

Incidentally, Thingmaker, had I thought of it at the time, I would have mentioned what you aptly referred to as 'Reactionary Anarchism'. Though had I, I would have immediately disregarded it (and indeed this would be reason it didn't come to me in the first place) because what Thingmaker describes as 'Reactionary Anarchism' isn't Anarchism at all. At best, it's nothing more than a pathetic mockup of Anarchy, a shadow of what Anarchism is meant to be. A more twisted parody of Practical Anarchy than Mao's Communism was of Marx and Engels. Reactionary Anarchy is the bailiwick of kids playing revolutionary and small-minded ass-ticks who think violent action against whatever institution angers them is productive and positive for the community.

But I'm wandering into verbose-ville again, so I'll cut this off now. I've got a game to run tonight. You'll probably see the synthesis of the ideas running around my head over the last week scrawled down here within a day or two.

-- Avenger

------------------

Don't try to run, you son of a bitch. You'll just die tired.

avengingcrusader@hotmail.com

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Don't pity me, hombre. The only thing worse than running yourself into the ground in a frantic attempt to pursue numerous studies and attend to myriad projects is sitting on your ass watching teevee and not doing a goddamned thing.

Sloth or mania? Give me the life of a caffeine junky any time.

-- Avenger

"You might call me careless but this fast life is all I've ever known."

-- Bad Religion, 'The Fast Life'

------------------

Don't try to run, you son of a bitch. You'll just die tired.

avengingcrusader@hotmail.com

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No worries, James, I'll be having kids someday, I guarantee. But not anytime soon. Too much shit to do. I'm practically still a wee lad myself.

Practical Anarchism

I'd like to relay an unhappy prelude to the following statements. What was written here cost me my job. Yes, that's right. I was fired for what I'm about to copy-n-paste from a file I was working on at work.

I can hear your questions, so here's the answer. I was at work Wednesday night. It was slow, so I decided to compose the missive that follows. About half way through, I saved the file to a .doc and hid it on the hard drive of the company computer. No, this had nothing to do with why I was excused from my position. I also sent the message to myself, or part of it, which is why I still have something here. But apparently, my unequitable and most unjust release from my position had to do, not with the fact that I was using the computer (as I have often on company time, which is legit), not that I used company hard drive space to store a 10k text file (they didn't know, anyway), but rather what I had to say vexed them greatly. I was woken up at 1pm in the afternoon (which to you who live during the day would be around 2am) and ordered to come to the office. And to bring my security badge. So I slogged onto a bus, as I do not own a car, muddled my way into a crowd of people, sleep-fits assaulting my senses, and shambled my way to the office so that I could be properly fired. After an hour-long discourse with the pig-fucking hunk of shit I used to call my boss (since I was being fired, I figured I may as well tell him what I thought of him), I walked out and went home. I'm currently out of work, and today -- yes, today, damn those motherfuckers -- is my birthday, of all days. Fucking scweinehunds.

But I'm not bitter, and I'm not sorry I composed this piece. If I get angry, they win. The job was a meaningless, low-level wage-slave piece of shit, and I'm not all that sad to see it go. I was miserable there. And since I got fired, I can collect unemployment until I find something better. And hell, I was offered a job as a security guard two days ago. Besides. If I can get fired for this, it was only a matter of time, I figure. What bothers me -- what makes me sad, I guess -- was that my dismissal was so unjust. I love justice. I adhere so strongly to what I feel is 'right', and I follow a rigorous code of behavior that I've set for myself that I consider to be difficult beyond that of most Priests. And now, to be fired from a job for speaking my mind. Goddamn motherfuckers.

Anyway, enjoy guys. I hope I can shed some light on this topic. I'll cut this off to let you know where I had to stop, and I imagine that what follows will only be the palest recollection of what I had originally written after that mark, though I shall try.

Begin Original:

Okay everybody, time to sit up on Uncle Avenger's lap. It's story time.

Practical Anarchism

I puzzled for awhile over how best to make my case. Who best to quote. Who's ideas I would do well to use. Obviously, Emma Goldman would be the most popular source, but after not recalling to mind any one bygone anarchist whom I could quote with any measure of concision, I decided instead to synthesize what I've got to say into my own words.

That said, this isn't a speech and it isn't practiced. You're going to be getting this all as it spills forth from the big fucking crack in my skull, so if something seems fragmented or poorly developed, you will know it has to do with my hemmorheging cranium and not my inability to adequately express myself.

Now, Practical Anarchism is a triad of very important, fundamental, necessary ideals, and ones that aren't terribly difficult to attain, either. When I look at Anarchism as I see it, I find it a wonder that it isn't more successful, to be true.

Nonetheless, what follows are the three fundamental tiers of Practical Anarchism. When you find yourself having a gripe with or outraged by one of the first or second ideals, I implore you to read on. This will be written like a strainer; we start with a pure idea, filter out undesireable elements by adding a second, and then add a second filter to finally synthesize the first and second ideals into one cohesive vision.

I begin.

Freedom

Which, if you ask any Anarchist, from your maniac-in-the-street, molotov in hand, to your most sophisticated "I've read every book so I must know it all" Socio-Marxist-Liberal, is the primary thrust of Anarchism. Freedom, pure and simple. Freedom to be who you are, to live your life, to worship your god, fuck your girlfriend and/or boyfriend, pursue happiness, and do it all without fear in whatever manner you like. To not to governed, to not be put down, to not be told what to do, and to not be enforced when you do not.

Imagine for a moment if you could do anything you want. Anything at all, with no interference. Imagine if the only thing holding you back from everything you want to do in life was yourself. Forget for a moment the effect this would have on crime. Assume for a moment that everyones intentions were pure and noble. What a wonderful world, don't you think? A world where people are free to grow and develop and study and explore however they choose and whatever they choose. A world of potential limited only by the individual.

The obvious "you'd be dead" speech then comes up. When people are free to do anything, dictated only by their own sense of morals, we would have chaos, right? No, but I'll get to that.

People are terrified of freedom. The first reason (or the first reason they'll tell you) is because without cops, government or laws, chaos and turmoil would naturally prevail. This is a ridiculous claim for reasons I shall get into, but for now lets look at the other reason people fear freedom so greatly.

True freedom scares the hell out of your average person. It scares your average person because with no government, with no "system" to blame, your average person has no finger to point to. People will invariably still blame their parents, their peers, their school. But with instituted absolute freedom, nobody is under obligation to stay with their parents. Nobody is forced to go to school. Nobody has to have a peer group. I understand full well this is easier said than done. But what I'm digging at here is that most people are reliant on "the system" in all its Draconian glory, and it's not because they depend on it for what it gives them. The depend on the system for what it takes away from them. In limiting and contraining them, they are vindicated in pointing the finger. People blame their woes and their troubles on everyone except themselves, and the system -- whatever it is for each individual, whether the US govt. or the Gnomes of Zurich -- vindicates them. It allows them to say "I could have been something, if not for..." Freedom scares the hell out of people because people who are truly free only have one person to blame if their life is a miserable failure -- themselves. And people are scared shitless of the implications of taking responsibility for their own actions.

Accountability

You cannot ask people to be infallible, but you can at least require they be accountable for what they do. This combats immediately and effectively the most time-honored arguement against Anarchism, and that is that in a lawless society, crime and tyranny would naturally prevail.

Not a chance. Admit it or no, when it comes down to it, a greater number of the population wants peace than war. More people want no murders than murders. More people want no rapes than rapes. Crimes that injure or harm other people will never be tolerated in any society, lawless or not. The larger majority of people will always have a vested interest in seeing to it their local community is kept peaceful, and in an Anarchistic society the people of a given area (whether it's a family, neighborhood, county, state, country, etc.) will band together against a mutual enemy. A murderer, for example, is a mutual enemy. If a man commits a murder on A Street in Townville, the people of Townville and especially those on A Street will band together in the mutual interest of finding the murderer and punishing him. Some will be there out of a genuine sense of altruism. Some will be there because they wish to see justice done. Some will be there because they just want to see someone punished. Most will be there out of self-preservation -- after all, anyone could theoretically be next, right? But all these people will be there, because when you cannot count on the police (who do not exist in the Anarchistic society), who can you turn to? Only yourself, and those who share your mutual interest for the greater good. In this case, it is apprehending and punishing a murderer.

At it's core, Accountability tempers the Anarchistic ideal of Freedom. You do not do anything you are unwilling or unable to be held accountable for, because someone out there -- your parents, your peers, your community, yourself -- is going to find you and hold you accountable for your actions. Obviously, people are not going to stop committing crimes because they know they may be accountable for what they do. But when you know full well that raping someone will call down the entire community -- perhaps the entire state or even country -- on your head, you may well think twice about doing something wrong. So now the question is posed; We have freedom, tempered with Accountability. But what then? What about those who choose to be unaccountable for themselves?

Patience. I'm getting to that.

Obvious. If people are accountable for what they do, crime drops precipitously. Nobody does anything they are unwilling or unable to own up to, and so crimes that can potentially harm people simply don't happen. Other crimes -- "moral" crimes, as Jager described -- are no longer crimes. There simply doesn't need to be legislation on things like drug use, sale, or cornholing your old lady. There will always be drugs, there will always be a demand for drugs, there will always be people trying to self-destruct. Stopping this is a matter of making people feel better about themselves, not arresting drug dealers. As long as there is a demand, there will always be drug dealers. And yes, there will always be people having oral sex, anal sex, kinky sex, gay sex, lesbian sex, etc. Not your bedroom, not your fucking business.

Here's the rule, and it works for everything you can possibly do; did anyone get hurt who didn't want to be hurt? No? Okay. Let it go. Yes? Time to own up to what you did.

How is Accountability enforced? Though this was partially explained above, there is more to this. How, for example, do you catch a rapist who is mobile? Surely the whole world won't feel the need to get involved with apprehending a single rapist, right? Well maybe not... And besides, it's not as if current law-enforcement does a bang-up job of apprehending criminals now. There is nothing a group of police officers can accomplish that a group of like-minded civilians could not.

We also run into the problem of people who don't think that they're doing anything wrong when they, say, murder a child. We have a word for these people; dangerous. Whether they are buttfuck crazy, sick in the head temporarily or just fucked-up evil, there is a simple cure for all three. The cure comes in all sorts of sizes and one applied directly to the cranium or another vital area will usually do the trick.

"Oh my god, are you suggesting we kill the insane and the retarded? They can't help it! They don't know what they're doing!"

Good. Then they won't understand the implications of their own death, either. When someone becomes a danger to other people, I don't care what your mental state is. Insane is not an excuse. Drugged is not an excuse. When you pose a threat to civvies who've done nothing to you, you go down.

Organization

The second-biggest (or perhaps tied for first) most well-known arguement against Anarchy is the classic "So who paves the roads? Who fixes the sewers? Who stops crime?" The answer to all of these questions and the myriad like it are all the same; you or us.

One of the things that people forget so often about Anarchy is that "no government" does not mean "total chaos". It also doesn't mean "no organization". Quite the contrary. A strong Anarchism relies HEAVILY on the organizational efforts of its adherents.

Editorial Note: Everything from here on out I'm writing just now.

Organization is the primary weapon and tool of both the concerned citizen and the Anarchist. Countless times throughout history, when the reigning system was ineffective or corrupt (funny how our government in the US is both), the citizenry has rised up and organized itself into a cohesive force as a means to end it's problem, whether through vigilantism or through overthrow of current government systems. These attempts have me with various degrees of success and failure throughout history and throughout the world, from the French Revolution to Che Guevara to the current Zapatista insurgency in Mexico. The bottom line is, people will organize against their oppressors, whether it be thug, murderer, rapist or politician, and as long as they have the support of the masses, they will prevail.

This ties directly into the other issue, namely the issue of who is in control of public utilities, businesses, currency, etc.

The simply answer is that we all are. Believe me or no, but there will always be people who want to be doctors, who want to be taxi drivers, who want to be actors and accountants and carpenters and clerks and even garbage men. There will always be people who aren't yet skilled enough to have a trade but need to be employed anyway, and so we'll always have video rental clerks and low-level manufacturers.

The difference is that in an Anarchistic society, the power is in the hands of the employees. An old Anarchist slogan goes "The boss needs us. We don't need the boss.", and it's true, really.

Example. At my old job, I used a hydraulic press to stamp a serial number on a copper plate that was used to create mainframes. On an average night, I would stamp around 2000 panels. It was shitty work and I'm glad to be rid of it. But the thing of it is, if I stamp 6000 panels in a night, I get paid the same as if I had stamped 200 in that same evening. I have no incentive whatsoever to work hard, and to be truthful, if not for (and I must confess, sometimes in spite of) my own sense of work ethic, I would have worked only hard enough to not get fired. Because I really don't care how well the company does.

But in an Anarchy, each and every employee has a vested interest in the well-being and prosperity of who he works for, because he and all his fellow employees work for themselves and each other. The corporation has no bosses, only employees who mutually agree on what course of action to take, much like a union. And also much like a union, everything is handled equitably by those who bother to raise their voice.

In Anarchy, as in many things in life, you get out what you put in.

Your cooperation with your fellows and your hard work will be reflected back on you by a bigger share of pay for the proportionate amount of work you did and knowing that your voice was counted in the movements and decisions of "your" company.

Guild houses will take care of most business, which would function much like unions where nobody is "in charge", though certain people (who are voted in and out) have the position of delegating work to those they deem most fit to do a given task. Anarchists still, of course, have college and, so learning a trade would be a matter of not only completing the required classes, but searching out a fellow of your craft to teach you properly.

And yes, we still have money. If we can all agree on a single unit of monetary worth and exchange it, there isn't a problem. Your store doesn't take money? That's fine, but you'll only get business from those who choose to do business with you. Your prices are sky high? Fine, nobody will buy from you and you'll go broke. Obviously, we still have rent and utilities. If you live in someone elses house, you must come up with an arrangement of payment.

All of these are parts of an organized society, but none of them require government influence. Not even law enforcement, because there will always be groups of people who want to do what's right and do not want people to be hurt. I can name three off the top of my head, and that is more than enough to apprehend any criminal working alone.

"Curbstone Justice" is a hallmark of the Anarchistic society, something civilized people tend to balk at. I personally do not. I strongly attest to the merits of vigilantism. This begs the question of "What if the Vigilantes go too far?" There will always be more vigilantes, and there will always be people who believe in fair play and the punishment fitting the crime. In an Anarchist society, the word of the mass is the rule. That may seem like "mob justice" to you, and yes, some people may die wrongful deaths at the hands of overzealous self-appointed "lawmen" who just want to hurt people. But if you think that doesn't happen already, I urge you to have a conversation with Rodney King. Or better yet, Mumia Abu-Jamal, currently awaiting his execution. The difference is that in an Anarcistic society, a vigilantes efforts are closely scrutinized by his peers, and anyone crossing the line will repremanded by the populace who, unlike as with the police, will have a means of recourse.

All Anarchy truly, absolutely needs to function are two very basic things. They are:

1. Altruism of the majority. You may think this a stretch, but all that is needed is for more people to want peace and stability and to be safe than there are people who want chaos, harm and war. When you put it like that, it isn't much of a stretch.

2. The empowerment of the masses. People need to be shown -- not told, shown that they can and do make a difference. They need to know for absolute certain that they can organize and make things happen on their own, instead of allowing other people to make the tough decisions for them.

It will take time and effort, without a doubt. It's going to take a lot of education, and it's going to require some heroes stepping forward to show the deaf and illusioned how to live their lives again. But it can happen.

Anyway, I hope this has been informative to some of you. I'm sure there are matters that I left out, but I would be happy to answer any questions you may have. Before you make your criticisms, I would ask that you question me thoroughly on your points of friction.

Now get the hell off my lap, sweetheart. Your money is on the dresser.

-- Avenger

------------------

Don't try to run, you son of a bitch. You'll just die tired.

avengingcrusader@hotmail.com

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ASTOUNDING!

I would never have equated any of those ideals with the concept of Anarchism. Thank you for the education.

The Populist Party has some ideas that are similar. Also, as a member of a union, I can lend credence to your comparisons in that regard.

Not that I agree with all of it, nor that any agreement was expected.

One thing though, just to keep you honest: There was no detail regarding how a Practical Anarchist society might deal with rapists. You sort of trailed off after citing that current police are less than effective as such.

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Just one little niggly point here:

,,
Quote:
Avenger wrote

1. Altruism of the majority. You may think this a stretch, but all that is needed is for more people to want peace and stability and to be safe than there are people who want chaos, harm and war. When you put it like that, it isn't much of a stretch.

Personally, (and this is from a guy who really has very low faith in humanity as a whole), I really can't see this happening.

You see, my worldview tends to be that for the vast majority of people in this world, the only thing that ensures that they remain law-abiding citizens is the fact that they are terrified of the law (or, more correctly, the stigma of breaking the law). Frankly, I can't see the biggie of this fear, I mean so you go to jail for a year, big deal, buuut, it seems that the majority of humanity feels differently. Most people I believe would be quite inclined to actually just take what they want.

Although, my life has coloured this perspective somewhat. I was, for 9 years, the subject of brutal bullying. It really points out to you the bad side of humanity (children, it seems, have no qualms about using what little power they have if they want to).

It took a move interstate (not just a move to a new school) to actually ditch the bullying. If you ever see Lord of the Flies, it's not that far off really. Take away the supervision of teachers in the playground, and you're about there.

Now, and this is the scary bit to me, what if the world was a playground? To me, that's what anarchy could be.

Now the emotional baggage has been put aside, I'll point out a few rational points here. The idea of Anarchy, to me, seems counterintuitive to normal human sociology. In the playground, where there is no real laws, the children create one (ie the pecking order). Doesn't it seem strange that even most animals have evolved a society with a leader, or an Alpha-male, or whatever?

Being the social animals we are, we just can't get a perfectly flat playing ground. (something that it seems anarchy and socialism both strive for). If someone did make up an anarchistic society (and I'm sure that it can be done), it would, given time, create it's own laws and create a leader. Now, this is just a history repeating thing; it may not be absolutely inevitable, but to create a society without a leader would be extraordinarily difficult. Besides, as society is right now, most people cannot be screwed taking social matters into their own hands. The prefer to just move along, mind their own business, stay in their own cliques, and make sure that they know who's above them and who's below them.

Absolute freedom, as you say, frightens the bejeezus out of most people. Mostly because then they have to think.

Right, that's my ranting out of the way. Next!

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Oh, I don't expect everyone to agree. I'm just trying to explain and help people better understand the dynamics of Anarchism and where Anarchists are coming from. It'd be great if somebody said "Wow, that's great! I wanna be an anarchist, too!", but I'd be happy with "I now recognize the validity of Anarchism and understand that Anarchy, following this outline, could potentially be viable if implemented."

As for your question. Well, to me, rape is a more gruesome act than murder. After all, killing a person ends their suffering. Raping them ensures it will last manifold. Rapists should meet the same fate as those who kill people they don't know -- death. Preferably a slow one, but quick and clean will do. I dileneate between types of murder because I think a crime of passion or or a vengeance killing falls somewhere else. But spree killers, serial murderers and outright fucking loons who kill children, go on shooting rampages or blow up buildings, killing people who never did anything to them en masse for no other reason than outright bloodlust deserve death, at best. If the powers-that-be came to me and said "Joseph, you get to be the official vigilante of the US. You can do anything you want to any criminal within reason", the first thing I'd do is punch up my list of registered sex offenders and start working my way down the list. Yes, that's what I think is right, and if I was heading up a Vigilante group in a Practical Anarchism, rapists would die. Provided the victim didn't die, they'd get the chance to do whatever they wanted to the guy before execution.

You can kill a man in the heat of passion. You could perhaps understand or even empathize with a man who slaughtered the man fucking his wife, if not condone what he did. But there's no way in hell you can consider rape to be anything other than a premeditated act of torture that lasts a lifetime with a single application. If that doesn't merit death, I don't see what can.

-- Avenger

------------------

Don't try to run, you son of a bitch. You'll just die tired.

avengingcrusader@hotmail.com

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Kirb --

Good points. Better than I could have brought up at your age, more than likely. Not that your age factors into this, mind you. What you said was more than I expect of most adults you care to name. But consider it a credit to yourself. You did well.

Bit of background on me before I kick this off; I was "the fat kid" in school. I got the shit beat out of me daily, and by people who I at the time called "friend". I have since learned friend does not mean "person who beats the shit out of you in exchange for your getting to hang out with them". I bring this up not to play the "I'm more fucked-up than you" game, but rather just to let you know where I'm coming from. I've been there two, and for me, it stuck until high school (only now, instead of "the fat kid" -- I wasn't fat -- I was "faggot", because I didn't date). That is, of course, until the bullying culminated to my getting stabbed in the side and summarily expelled.

Let me go on record as saying that I think you're right about the law. I think that by and large people don't break the law because they fear repricussions. And though I loathe fear as a preventionary method, this functions the same way in an Anarchism. Thing of it is, you don't not steal because you might go to jail. You don't steal because five angry motherfuckers with bats might break your legs and take the shit you stole. After awhile, this fear would become unnecessary. In our society, jail obviously isn't working as a deterrent, so people continue to quit crime. I'd think having your burglarizing career cut short by a compound fracture would reduce crime dramatically. And after awhile, it wouldn't be threat of bodily injury that prevents crime. Sure, the threat would always be there. But we'd go from "My fucking legs!" to "Shit, I'd better not do this or else some maniac might break my fucking legs." After awhile, it might be "I really shouldn't steal. Bad things happen to people who steal." Later still, perhaps "Bad shit happens to people who steal because they're fucking thieves and they have it coming. I won't be a thief." You might think this a fantasy, but it's far more likely and effective than "If I get caught I go to jail for six months. Shit, prison is so croweded with rapists and murderers that I'll probably plea-bargain probation."

Moving on, I'm sorry, but I don't see the validity of your playground scenario. Yes, children establish pecking orders, as do animals. But we're not animals, and we're not children. I used to say (and it has been said often before) that anarchy works with as few people as possible. I think now that I was wrong. I think anarchy works with as many people as possible. So when Bob declares himself king of the mountain, theres 500,000 -- not 5 -- people to push him off. One can control a group, but not a populous.

Genuinely, I think if Anarchy started today, you'd be right. If the government dissolved and they said "every man for himself, as of today", things would probably rapidly decay. But if people were prepared for the change, or even if the former scenario was given time -- and an unfortunate number of lives, I'm sure -- to settle, you'd see Practical Anarchism at work. Unfortunately, with the former "shell shock" scenario, you're just as likely to see a despot take over. People have to be prepared for this, they have to understand that the new rules mean you can stand up and speak and nobody is going to thumb you down. People are so used to compliance and sloth that they've forgotten the basic human instinct of self-preservation and expression. It needs to be taught to them again, and it needs to start with people who can do it for themselves.

And you seem to equate 'leader' with 'dictator', which I disagree with. Society will always need leaders, but in a Practical Anarchism the people understand that the leaders are one of them. That they can be deposed at any time the populace desides they have become dangerous, and ignored anytime the populous thinks they are wrong. In a Despotism, people follow the commands of one. In an Anarchsm, people choose to follow the suggestions of whichever leader they choose.

I never said this would be easy. It's going to take time, effort, education and example. But nothing worthwhile is easy, and anyone who tells me it "can't" be done is likely to get laughed at -- at best. The word "can't" isn't in my fucking dictionary.

-- Avenger

------------------

Don't try to run, you son of a bitch. You'll just die tired.

avengingcrusader@hotmail.com

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Interesting write up. You articulate your points very well. As we've discussed before our major points of difference are those of belief. You believe people are generally good, I believe they are generally weak. Weird, two agnostics dealing with issues of faith.

Just curious, have you ever read Moon Is A Harsh Mistress by Heinlein? Good example of the kind of society I think you are advocating.

Sorry 'bout your job.

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It's cool. Pimpin' for the man gave me a sick feeling in the guts, anyway. I've got a roommate who pays half the bills and I'll be collecting unemployment in the meantime (I think), so I should be alright until I find something else. I shudder to think of it, but even a McJob beats living on the street.

Anyway. You know what? I've been accussed to being many things in my life. I've been called bitter, I've been called a cynic, a bastard, a fucking rat-bastard, a terminal pessimist, and a mother-fucking rat-bastard, to name a few. But never have I been accused of believing that people are generally "good". To clarify, I don't think people are generally "good".

Let me put it this way; there are only three motivations that any person has for doing anything. Anything you do, ever, for whatever reason you may think you did it for, it all boils down to one of three things:

Instinct -- All your involuntary functions, your breed instinct, your fight-or-flight, etc. Programmed in, can't help it.

Love -- Anything you do for any positive reason.

Fear -- Thought I was going to say hate, didn't you? Nope. Hate is spawned of fear. It is impossible to hate anything without fear of something.

Things done out of love are inherently positive. Things done out of fear are inherently negative.

Right now, I think most people in this world act out of fear. I don't think people are generally good or generally bad, but that they are generally ruled by impulses and desires that are based around their fears and not their love of themselves or anything else. It's easy to write people off and say "generally, people are pieces of shit". I'd be inclined to agree in a broad sense. But the truth is never so clear-cut. And I feel (note, that's me having an opinion there) that in this case, the truth is that people are too frightened to love. The trick lies in teaching these poor people who are scared to death how to care about anything when they spend all their time struggling to survive.

Simply put, and I mean this wholeheartedly, "The world needs a hero."

-- Avenger

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Don't try to run, you son of a bitch. You'll just die tired.

avengingcrusader@hotmail.com

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Hmm. You know Avenger, I used to think that the two of us had worldview that only intersected at a few points, but were on the whole fairly different creatures. I'm starting to realise I have more in common with you than I care to admit.

First off, your Three motivations? Well, a few years ago, I came up (after watching Final Destination") of 4 possible forces that influences Humanity. They're quite similar to yours:

Fear: This is what stops people breaking laws...

Faith: This is the counterpoint to fear. Where fear tells you what not to do, Faith tells you what to do instead ie "I shouldn't steal this Mars Bar, but if I pay for it, things should turn out better"

Death: The all important motivator. If people weren't concerned (not necessarily afraid) of death, we wouldn't really do all that much. A lot of what we do, we do because in our minds, we subconsciously know that we could die tomorrow, and we never could do it!.

Chance: Now, I'm a firm believer in the idea that Chance is an entity all of itself. Luck exists, and works it's ways usually without us noticing (we only tend to notice if Chance steers us out of our normal patterns). The force of Chance can knock us every which way, through a roll of the dice, flip of a coin, the car deciding to break down just now, or getting to the bus stop just a second too late. That's Chance.

Now, that's aside...

There was something as I wrote my reply to your Practical Anarchism that was niggling at me, but I couldn't quite figure out. I finally did.

You actively encourage vigilantism. Fine, there are good points to that, but the big one against has always been "How do you know he did it?" sure, 8 to 9 times out of 10, you might get the right guy (perhaps better if you do investigation beforehand), but what of all those who are innocent? It's not just that an innocent dies, but that a guilty party has a better chance of getting away scot free. I mean, if you think you've found the guy, why bother to keep looking. All the while, he's in his car thinking "Suckers!"

Even the American system of justice isn't fallible in this instance. There are stories of people being put to death, and later people found out that they were innocent, after all. Which is why I advocate a legal system, even one as cumbersome as today's. It may not be perfect, but at the very least, we have a better chance of getting the guilty party.

Especially, of course, when the vigilanties happen to be running on emotion, 'cause they "know" who did it.

Anyway, I'm sure you have plans against this. You're too bright not to have thought of this. But that's a really big concern for me.

Oh, and that Leader/Dictator thing? Any leader is a dictator, by the sheer reason that he is enforcing his will over his subjects. It just depends on how he chooses to use that power, as to whether he goes despot, or benevolent dictator. Hell, the US president is as close to despot as you can get without going over the edge. Here's a guy who can, with correct circumnstances, order a nuclear strike to any country that pisses him off, and possibly increase his local power base. The only thing that stops him rocketing off the deep end is the fact that all the intelligent people are watching him, and hopefully controlling him. Dictator, Leader, what's the difference? The actual term dictator quite closely matches leader, if you give it thought.

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Lee Davis-Thalbourne/Kirby1024 - kirby1024@hotmail.com

Creator of the XA-1037. Ask me about my special rates for special customers!

[This message has been edited by Kirby1024 (edited 09-29-2001).]

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Avenger, thank you.

Anarchism is alot like U.S. frontier society. Realistically, frontier societies can't rely on some distant governing body to tell them what to do or protect them. Likewise, there is little fear of having "order" imposed by a distant power.

In these cases, historically, thinks didn't dissolve into chaos. Jobs needed to be done and people did them. Services were traded for, schools were built, general stores operated, and local sheriffs were elected to organize whatever justice needed to be done instead of 'enforcing the law'. It wasn't perfect, but it worked. In a society were the most everyone had a firearm and many folks had combat experience (our Civil War), deaths were few. Who is going to draw a gun and start shooting people when they can all shoot back?

The biggest flaw I see in Anachistic thought is Freedom. Too few people really appreciate it. Too many people see freedom as one end of the scale and security at the other. The word they are really avoiding is responsibility.

In my experience, people to often trade their freedom for some sort of immediate safety and security. Like the 'fat kid' hanging out with a few other kids who beat him up. By staying with them, he hope that fewer kids will attack. Me, I was the small kid and the newby, to boot. I finally learned that if I fought back, no matter how much they hurt me physically, I felt better afterwards. They also stopped coming around, because they were other kids who were easier to pick on.

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Jager --

Whether you agree with me or not, I thank you for getting my back on the matter. The truth is that you are quite correct in your comparison of an anarchistic society to the western frontier in the middle and late nineteenth century. More specifically, I liken it to the American Western Frontier with strong Unions for commerce and public works.

In the "Old West", as you said, people did their part and their job, and things didn't turn into one big cluster-fuck. No, it wasn't perfect. Bad things happened. But I think -- and this is mostly opinion -- that things were a lot better than they are now. Sure, there are some things I'd like to leave in the nineteenth century -- no rights for women, no rights for ethnicities, no rights for the weak -- but I don't think it's really too much to ask to have the best of both worlds. The advancement and acceptance (well...such as it is) of the modern world and the simple, honest life of a time when we didn't need to be monitored and could enforce our own. The difference is that people in that era had a greater sense of self, a more assertive view of the world and a deeper sense of responsibility and altruism than our jaded culture tends to produce. This, again, goes back to what I was saying about what needs to happen to "fix" things. At least so they work a bit better.

On your thoughts on freedom, I can only unfortunately agree. People equate security with being watched, and freedom scares them. Like Ben Franklin said, "Those who would trade freedom for security will end up with neither." This needs to change.

Kirb --

Let me say this outright; I advocate vigilantism. Yes. I mean that. If someone broke into my house to steal my shit, I'd full well give him a good reason to turn the fuck away. I don't think it's worth killing a man over -- unless he tries to kill me -- but the first call I made wouldn't be to the police. It'd be to my friend Mike in Cali; "Hey Mike, I just stabbed this motherfucker in the gut with a kitchen knife. He tried breaking into my house, so I schooled him. I figure he's halfway there -- maybe -- by now. Ah, I'm sure he'll live."

I encourage other people to do the same, though I don't think my endorsement means much good. If I saw a guy trying to rape some girl in an alley, you had better damn well believe that I'd fill him full of more holes than the plot of 'The Phantom Menace'. What the hell would you do? Ask him to stop? The fucked-up truth of the matter is that he probably won't care, and most people who commit violent crimes are carrying weapons. I look at it this way; if you've got a weapon out while committing a crime, whether it's to rob a store or commit murder, you've gone from the realm of negotiation. You no longer get the benefit of diplomacy. Anyone carrying a weapon must be assumed to be willing and able to use it, because the alternative may get you killed. Therefore, if a violent criminal is armed and therefore dangerous, you must further assume that the person is willing to kill in order to achieve their ends. Which means they won't mind killing you. That's why you don't even give the motherfucker a chance to talk. Just do it. Act quickly and decisively or die.

The exception to this, of course, is most any weapon that isn't a gun. If a guy has a knife, pipe, chain, etc. and isn't in a position to kill anybody with a singular decisive action, negotiation is always an option. You can try and talk the guy out of it. But anyone carrying a gun into a crime has forfeit his rights to have his piece heard. Put him down quickly and without remorse. Always assume the gun is loaded, always assume the person knows how to use it.

Anyway, getting to your question of "How do you know who did it?", I outlined this above, but I'll elaborate here. As Jager pointed out, the idea of a Vigilante crime punishment (as it isn't really "law enforcement") is not necessarily autonomous. If a corrupt Sheriff was caught imprisoning or hanging innocent ment, he himself had his neck stretched, and usually be the new sherriff. In an Anarchy, Vigilante groups are carefully watched by their peers for any signs of corruption. Not only are Vigilante groups watched by the populace, but very few Vigilantes work alone, and most often they work as a balance against each other with no outside influence. A lone Vigilante might be convinced that Mr. Smith murdered the wife of Mr. Jones when in fact he just doesn't like Mr. Smith and it was really Mr. Jones who murdered his own spouse and decide to hunt down the "criminal" and deliver justice. But lone Vigilantes aren't effective, quite frankly. They need support. Alternatively, the public can make rules. And in a given area, perhaps the locals only recognize groups of 4 or more as sanctioned Vigilantes. Perhaps lone Vigilantes have to be public about their actions and any work they do is monitored by concerned citizen groups. Whatever the case, Vigilantes are regulated by the people as they work for the people, and no government interference is needed.

I disagree completely on the Leader/Dictator comparison you make, though I'll bet that our schism on this point is less a matter of actual differing opinions and more a matter of semantics. I'll bet that my idea of a "leader" differs greatly from yours. Perhaps we should work to delineate this.

Lastly, I liked your four motivations, but there's a couple of tiny points I'd like to address.

I think Faith is based off Fear. I know I'll catch a lot of shit for this, but I sincerely think that Faith is a result of being afraid of disappointing God, afraid of eternal punishment, afraid of violation of the tenets of your faith, etc. Death also falls under Fear for my purposes, as fear of death is still just fear. I, too, put stock in chance -- luck -- fate -- whatever you try to call it. But I wouldn't call it a motivator of human activity. Randomality is a force in this world, but I don't feel it's one that influences peoples' judgement.

Well played, though, Kirb.

-- Avenger

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Don't try to run, you son of a bitch. You'll just die tired.

avengingcrusader@hotmail.com

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Avenger,

Well, first up, the leader thing. This is probably the closest I can get to verbalising my definition of leader:

Leader: A person who leads people, either by example or by order, to perform a given task or procedure.

The thing is, whether you're popularly voted in, or whether you step up and take command, as a leader you must exert your will onto those under you in order to perform your given task (whether it's the betterment of humanity, or winning a war). Generally, that exertion of will isn't very large - by procedure or charisma, people will prefer to do what is asked of them.

After that, it's just a matter of degrees really as to what type of leader you are. Benevolent Dictator, Malevolent Dictator, "Chosen by the People", either way, a leader still needs to exert will. This is, of course, why most of us don't like our elected leaders - we expect them to do exactly what we want to do, when in fact it's often essential to do what is contrary to public opinion. They must occaisonally exert their will contrary to the will of the populace.

Hence, your definition of dictator (ie person who leads by force) is technically usable to any other leader type. To me, anyway. I just understand that sometimes, a dictator is what's required, instead of just a leader.

Next, the motivations. I guess you're right, Fear and Faith run along very similar lines. The Death motivation, however, wasn't really a death thing. I guess you could put it to time really. You say you don't fear death (that's OK, neither do I, although reincarnation doesn't come into it), thus the Death motivation would be invalid, yes? Yet, you still get out of bed. You still choose to live your day, do things "that need to be done", etc etc. I say you do those things because even if you don't fear death, you realise that you're not going to be around forever. Thus, you do what you can before you die (because you're pretty sure you can't keep going after that period of time...) Oh, and I never said Chance affects decisions, I just said it influenced people. It's sort of like a mirror that redirects the decisions you make.

Finally, back to Vigilantism. Yes, I know that there are some good points to it. However...

I have found that most often vigilantism tends to run mainly on huge amounts of emotion. Me being an INTP/INTJ personality type, I find that emotion is not the best force to be running your mind when you're dealing with life and death. I'm a very logical person, and I like to make sure the person I'm killing actually deserved it. Yes, you can do that under anarchy, it's easily done. But what you line up is simply how to stop everyone in town doing it. Not how to switch off that emotion so that people simply don't get carried away!

Eh, I think I'm probably a little too attached to the system we have. I can see it's flawed, but it does tend to work the majority of the time.

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Lee Davis-Thalbourne/Kirby1024 - kirby1024@hotmail.com

Creator of the XA-1037. Ask me about my special rates for special customers!

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More on this when I have more time, but something I'd like to point out right now; you mentioned your preference of the system "we" have, but in truth, it's the system that you and everyone else in Oz has. You live in Australia -- we live in America. And there are big fucking differences between the two places.

More to come.

-- Avenger

------------------

Don't try to run, you son of a bitch. You'll just die tired.

avengingcrusader@hotmail.com

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Kirb --

Here we go again. Alright, time to break it down, old-schoo'.

As I may have suspected, our schism over the concept of the leader was mostly a semantical one. You seem to equate the notion of a leader with that of a tyrant who exerts his will on the populace through dictation, which is a common view. I associate the word 'leader' with words like 'inspiration' and 'hero'. To me, a leader is someone who leads by example. They don't need to exert their will on others. They give people an example, an idea, a suggestion, and then blaze the trail for anyone who would dare rally under them, if only for a day, or even an hour.

Leader: A person who uses their actions to provide an example or propose an idea for others to take up, and a guide (when one provides necessary) to that end.

The key to happy leaders and happy followers (that words leaves an icky taste on the palette) is that nobody has to follow any leader they don't want to. Any potential follower never has to follow. Anyone can leave at any time, and that's the important part.

Scheisse, company is here. More on motivations later.

-- Avenger

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Don't try to run, you son of a bitch. You'll just die tired.

avengingcrusader@hotmail.com

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Another thing.

An Anarchistic society could have a police force, though probably not a judiciary. The difference is this; the Anarchy police's job would be to invesitgate crimes against the society. Find someone murdered? The police show up, look for clues, and track down the purp. Then, they take their evidence to the local community who passages judgement.

The police force is both a government institution and a job. Take away the institution, but the job still needs to be done. Just like a doctor or engineer.

Avenger, is this more or less correct?

I am beginning to understand where socialists and anarchists had their falling out. Anarchists are alot more brutal (pragmatic) in their approach to society.

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Kirb --

Okay, moving on to Death as a motivation. I still feel that it falls under fear, even uner the circumstances you listed. After all, I look at it this way. No, I do not fear death. The notion of my potential being cut short is an undesireable one, but I don't spend my life afraid of it's end like a lot of people. Life is the defiance of death in action. I don't fear death. What I do fear is failure. If I died tomorrow, I would have failed to accomplish what I want to accomplish in my life.

Brief Interlude; I don't really believe in reincarnation. It simply seems to be what's most likely to me. I don't even subscribe to it. If you put a gun to my head and asked, I couldn't tell you that I believe anything one way or the other. But I like the idea of reincarnation.

Anyway, what I'm getting at with this is that yes, you get out of bed, choose to live day by day and do things "that need to be done" not necessarily because you fear death, but because you fear failure or not accomplishing your goals in (this?) life. I know that's why I get up every day and do what I do. The thought of dying with my actions have no effect on the world is what frightens me.

Moving on, I'm sorry I misinterpreted what you said. You're quite correct, I tagged your explanation of chance as a human action motivator and not a driving force behind fate. Agreed, I think that fortune can be factored into the whole of human action.

Wow, Kirb, you're a INTP/INTJ? That's pretty fuckin' cool, man. It's been awhile since I took the Meyers-Briggs, but the last time I did in semester 1 of Critical Thinking (about three years ago), I was exactly an INTP/INTJ, too. Though I think it's probably changed if just a little by now. I agree with you, though, if I was going to kill a man, I'd do my research and make sure the guy really had it coming. I'm all about circumstance and motive.

However, catching someone in the act negates the need for this sort of discerning. And as Jager points out (which I'll address next), the Vigilante groups aren't necessarily the ones who do the research and pin the perp. While it can be, the people in charge of the investigative end shouldn't be the same people who take care of the executory end.

To use a trite but very accurate example, the relationship is very similar to that of the three Zeal Creeds in Hunter. The job of the Judge is to gain recon on the enemy and determine whether or not they prove a threat to humanity. When a monster has been declared a threat, they give the green light to the Avengers who take the fucker down. When a monster has been declared only a potential threat (one that hasn't done anything but may), the Defenders are put on alert and told to keep their eyes open. This is part of the reason I love Hunter so much; because Hunters are so disorganized they're stumbling through their mission at present, but should the Imbued organize, they would function very very much like an Anarchistic society. Of course, they have the advantage of Edges to clearly delineate what role they have. Then again, civvies in an Anarchistic society have the distinct advantage of being able to change their role.

Jager --

Correct again, though I would hasten to use the term "Police Force". More appropriately, such a group would be more of an "Investigative Unit" made up of individuals with the experience and skill necessary to investigate crimes. In all other regards, though, you are quite correct, though apprehension or execution (if necessary) may be left up to a well-trained Vigilante "hit squad" who's speciality lies in the neutralization of threats to society.

Unfortunately, you're quite correct about Socialism and Anarchism. Socialism is quite a bit like Anarchism if the ACLU was in charge of the country. Not that I'm against the ACLU by any measure, don't get me wrong. But one can take the rights of people who have voluntarily forfeit their rights a little too far, as I feel the ACLU occassionally does. Anarchism calls for decisive action against a threat for the better of society, Socialism demands that every criminal be given every possible chance to prove innocence or reform for the same reason.

-- Avenger

------------------

Don't try to run, you son of a bitch. You'll just die tired.

avengingcrusader@hotmail.com

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Here, I thought I'd add this in. It's an entry for "Anarchism" from the 1910 edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica. I don't necessarily agree with everything written here, but it might give you an idea of how things have changed in a century. This was the view of Anarchism as written by the most mass-media source of information of the day. This sort of entry would be pulled before press these days.

"Anarchism",

from The Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1910.

ANARCHISM (from the Gr. , and , contrary to authority), the name given to a principle or theory of life and conduct under which society is conceived without government - harmony in such a society being obtained, not by submission to law, or by obedience to any authority, but by free agreements concluded between the various groups, territorial and professional, freely constituted for the sake of production and consumption, as also for the satisfaction of the infinite variety of needs and aspirations of a civilized being. In a society developed on these lines, the voluntary associations which already now begin to cover all the fields of human activity would take a still greater extension so as to substitute themselves for the state in all its functions. They would represent an interwoven network, composed of an infinite variety of groups and federations of all sizes and degrees, local, regional, national and international temporary or more or less permanent - for all possible purposes: production, consumption and exchange, communications, sanitary arrangements, education, mutual protection, defence of the territory, and so on; and, on the other side, for the satisfaction of an ever-increasing number of scientific, artistic, literary and sociable needs. Moreover, such a society would represent nothing immutable. On the contrary - as is seen in organic life at large - harmony would (it is contended) result from an ever-changing adjustment and readjustment of equilibrium between the multitudes of forces and influences, and this adjustment would be the easier to obtain as none of the forces would enjoy a special protection from the state.

If, it is contended, society were organized on these principles, man would not be limited in the free exercise of his powers in productive work by a capitalist monopoly, maintained by the state; nor would he be limited in the exercise of his will by a fear of punishment, or by obedience towards individuals or metaphysical entities, which both lead to depression of initiative and servility of mind. He would be guided in his actions by his own understanding, which necessarily would bear the impression of a free action and reaction between his own self and the ethical conceptions of his surroundings. Man would thus be enabled to obtain the full development of all his faculties, intellectual, artistic and moral, without being hampered by overwork for the monopolists, or by the servility and inertia of mind of the great number. He would thus be able to reach full individualization, which is not possible either under the present system of individualism, or under any system of state socialism in the so-called Volkstaat (popular state).

The anarchist writers consider, moreover, that their conception is not a utopia, constructed on the a priori method, after a few desiderata have been taken as postulates. It is derived, they maintain, from an analysis of tendencies that are at work already, even though state socialism may find a temporary favour with the reformers. The progress of modern technics, which wonderfully simplifies the production of all the necessaries of life; the growing spirit of independence, and the rapid spread of &ee initiative and free understanding in all branches of activity - including those which formerly were considered as the proper attribution of church and state - are steadily reinforcing the no-government tendency.

As to their economical conceptions, the anarchists, in common with all socialists, of whom they constitute the left wing, maintain that the now prevailing system of private ownership in land, and our capitalist production for the sake of profits, represent a monopoly which runs against both the principles of justice and the dictates of utility. They are the main obstacle which prevents the successes of modern technics from being brought into the service of all, so as to produce general well-being. The anarchists consider the wage-system and capitalist production altogether as an obstacle to progress. But they point out also that the state was, and continues to be, the chief instrument for permitting the few to monopolize the land, and the capitalists to appropriate for themselves a quite disproportionate share of the yearly accumulated surplus of production. Consequently, while combating the present monopolization of land, and capitalism altogether, the anarchists combat with the same energy the state, as the main support of that system. Not this or that special form, but the state altogether, whether it be a monarchy or even a republic governed by means of the referendum.

The state organization, having always been, both in ancient and modern history (Macedonian Empire, Roman Empire, modern European states grown up on the ruins of the autonomous cities), the instrument for establishing monopolies in favour of the ruling minorities, cannot be made to work for the destruction of these monopolies. The anarchists consider, therefore, that to hand over to the state all the main sources of economical life - the land, the mines, the railways, banking, insurance, and so on - as also the management of all the main branches of industry, in addition to all the functions already accumulated in its hands (education, state-supported religions, defence of the territory, etc.), would mean to create a new instrument of tyranny. State capitalism would only increase the powers of bureaucracy and capitalism. True progress lies in the direction of decentralization, both territorial and functional, in the development of the spirit of local and personal initiative, and of free federation from the simple to the compound, in lieu of the present hierarchy from the centre to the periphery.

In common with most socialists, the anarchists recognize that, like all evolution in nature, the slow evolution of society is followed from time to time by periods of accelerated evolution which are called revolutions; and they think that the era of revolutions is not yet closed. Periods of rapid changes will follow the periods of slow evolution, and these periods must be taken advantage of - not for increasing and widening the powers of the state, but for reducing them, through the organization in every township or commune of the local groups of producers and consumers, as also the regional, and eventually the international, federations of these groups.

In virtue of the above principles the anarchists refuse to be party to the present state organization and to support it by infusing fresh blood into it. They do not seek to constitute, and invite the working men not to constitute, political parties in the parliaments. Accordingly, since the foundation of the International Working Men's Association in 1864-1866, they have endeavoured to promote their ideas directly amongst the labour organizations and to induce those unions to a direct struggle against capital, without placing their faith in parliamentary legislation.

The historical development of anarchism

The conception of society just sketched, and the tendency which is its dynamic expression, have always existed in mankind, in opposition to the governing hierarchic conception and tendency - now the one and now the other taking the upper hand at different periods of history. To the former tendency we owe the evolution, by the masses themselves, of those institutions - the clan, the village community, the guild, the free medieval city - by means of which the masses resisted the encroachments of the conquerors and the power-seeking minorities. The same tendency asserted itself with great energy in the great religious movements of medieval times, especially in the early movements of the reform and its forerunners. At the same time it evidently found its expression in the writings of some thinkers, since the times of Lao-tsze, although, owing to its non-scholastic and popular origin, it obviously found less sympathy among the scholars than the opposed tendency.

As has been pointed out by Prof. Adler in his Geschichte des Sozialismus und Kommunismus, Aristippus (b. c. 430 BC), one of the founders of the Cyrenaic school, already taught that the wise must not give up their liberty to the state, and in reply to a question by Socrates he said that he did not desire to belong either to the governing or the governed class. Such an attitude, however, seems to have been dictated merely by an Epicurean attitude towards the life of the masses.

The best exponent of anarchist philosophy in ancient Greece was Zeno (342-267 or 270 BC), from Crete, the founder of the Stoic philosophy, who distinctly opposed his conception of a free community without government to the state-utopia of Plato. He repudiated the omnipotence of the state, its intervention and regimentation, and proclaimed the sovereignty of the moral law of the individual - remarking already that, while the necessary instinct of self-preservation leads man to egotism, nature has supplied a corrective to it by providing man with another instinct - that of sociability. When men are reasonable enough to follow their natural instincts, they will unite across the frontiers and constitute the cosmos. They will have no need of law-courts or police, will have no temples and no public worship, and use no money - free gifts taking the place of the exchanges. Unfortunately, the writings of Zeno have not reached us and are only known through fragmentary quotations. However, the fact that his very wording is similar to the wording now in use, shows how deeply is laid the tendency of human nature of which he was the mouthpiece.

In medieval times we find the same views on the state expressed by the illustrious bishop of Alba, Marco Girolamo Vida, in his first dialogue De dignitate reipublicae (Ferd. Cavalli, in Mem. dell'Istituto Veneto, xiii.; Dr E. Nys, Researches in the History of Economics). But it is especially in several early Christian movements, beginning with the ninth century in Armenia, and in the preachings of the early Hussites, particularly Chojecki, and the early Anabaptists, especially Hans Denk (cf. Keller, Ein Apostel der Wiedertaufer), that one finds the same ideas forcibly expressed - special stress being laid of course on their moral aspects.

Rabelais and Fenelon, in their utopias, have also expressed similar ideas, and they were also current in the eighteenth century amongst the French Encyclopaedists, as may be concluded from separate expressions occasionally met with in the writings of Rousseau, from Diderot's Preface to the Voyage of Bougainville, and so on. However, in all probability such ideas could not be developed then, owing to the rigorous censorship of the Roman Catholic Church.

These ideas found their expression later during the great French Revolution. While the Jacobins did all in their power to centralize everything in the hands of the government, it appears now, from recently published documents, that the masses of the people, in their municipalities and 'sections', accomplished a considerable constructive work. They appropriated for themselves the election of the judges, the organization of supplies and equipment for the army, as also for the large cities, work for the unemployed, the management of charities, and so on. They even tried to establish a direct correspondence between the 36,000 communes of France through the intermediary of a special board, outside the National Assembly (cf. Sigismund Lacroix, Actes de la commune de Paris).

It was Godwin, in his Enquiry concerning Political Justice (2 vols., 1793), who was the first to formulate the political and economical conceptions of anarchism, even though he did not give that name to the ideas developed in his remarkable work. Laws, he wrote, are not a product of the wisdom of our ancestors: they are the product of their passions, their timidity, their jealousies and their ambition. The remedy they offer is worse than the evils they pretend to cure. If and only if all laws and courts were abolished, and the decisions in the arising contests were left to reasonable men chosen for that purpose, real justice would gradually be evolved. As to the state, Godwin frankly claimed its abolition. A society, he wrote, can perfectly well exist without any government: only the communities should be small and perfectly autonomous. Speaking of property, he stated that the rights of every one 'to every substance capable of contributing to the benefit of a human being' must be regulated by justice alone: the substance must go 'to him who most wants it'. His conclusion was communism. Godwin, however, had not the courage to maintain his opinions. He entirely rewrote later on his chapter on property and mitigated his communist views in the second edition of Political Justice (8vo, 1796).

Proudhon was the first to use, in 1840 (Qu'est-ce que la propriete? first memoir), the name of anarchy with application to the no government state of society. The name of 'anarchists' had been freely applied during the French Revolution by the Girondists to those revolutionaries who did not consider that the task of the Revolution was accomplished with the overthrow of Louis XVI, and insisted upon a series of economical measures being taken (the abolition of feudal rights without redemption, the return to the village communities of the communal lands enclosed since 1669, the limitation of landed property to 120 acres, progressive income-tax, the national organization of exchanges on a just value basis, which already received a beginning of practical realization, and so on).

Now Proudhon advocated a society without government, and used the word anarchy to describe it. Proudhon repudiated, as is known, all schemes of communism, according to which mankind would be driven into communistic monasteries or barracks, as also all the schemes of state or state-aided socialism which were advocated by Louis Blanc and the collectivists. When he proclaimed in his first memoir on property that 'Property is theft', he meant only property in its present, Roman-law, sense of 'right of use and abuse'; in property-rights, on the other hand, understood in the limited sense of possession, he saw the best protection against the encroachments of the state. At the same time he did not want violently to dispossess the present owners of land, dwelling-houses, mines, factories and so on. He preferred to attain the same end by rendering capital incapable of earning interest; and this he proposed to obtain by means of a national bank, based on the mutual confidence of all those who are engaged in production, who would agree to exchange among themselves their produces at cost-value, by means of labour cheques representing the hours of labour required to produce every given commodity. Under such a system, which Proudhon described as 'Mutuellisme', all the exchanges of services would be strictly equivalent. Besides, such a bank would be enabled to lend money without interest, levying only something like I per cent, or even less, for covering the cost of administration. Everyone being thus enabled to borrow the money that would be required to buy a house, nobody would agree to pay any more a yearly rent for the use of it. A general 'social liquidation' would thus be rendered easy, without violent expropriation. The same applied to mines, railways, factories and so on.

In a society of this type the state would be useless. The chief relations between citizens would be based on free agreement and regulated by mere account keeping. The contests might be settled by arbitration. A penetrating criticism of the state and all possible forms of government, and a deep insight into all economic problems, were well-known characteristics of Proudhon's work.

It is worth noticing that French mutualism had its precursor in England, in William Thompson, who began by mutualism before he became a communist, and in his followers John Gray (A Lecture on Human Happiness, 1825; The Social System, 1831) and J. F. Bray (Labour's Wrongs and Labour's Remedy, 1839). It had also its precursor in America. Josiah Warren, who was born in 1798 (cf. W. Bailie, Josiah Warren, the First American Anarchist, Boston, 1900), and belonged to Owen's 'New Harmony', considered that the failure of this enterprise was chiefly due to the suppression of individuality and the lack of initiative and responsibility. These defects, he taught, were inherent to every scheme based upon authority and the community of goods. He advocated, therefore, complete individual liberty. In 1827 he opened in Cincinnati a little country store which was the first 'equity store', and which the people called 'time store', because it was based on labour being exchanged hour for hour in all sorts of produce. 'Cost - the limit of price', and consequently 'no interest', was the motto of his store, and later on of his 'equity village', near New York, which was still in existence in 1865. Mr Keith's 'House of Equity' at Boston, founded in 1855, is also worthy of notice.

While the economical, and especially the mutual-banking, ideas of Proudhon found supporters and even a practical application in the United States, his political conception of anarchy found but little echo in France, where the Christian socialism of Lamennais and the Fourierists, and the state socialism of Louis Blanc and the followers of Saint-Simon, were dominating. These ideas found, however, some temporary support among the left-wing Hegelians in Germany, Moses Hess in 1843, and Karl Grün in 1845, who advocated anarchism. Besides, the authoritarian communism of Wilhelm Weitling having given origin to opposition amongst the Swiss working men, Wilhelm Marr gave expression to it in the 1840S.

On the other side, individualist anarchism found, also in Germany, its fullest expression in Max Stirner (Kaspar Schmidt), whose remarkable works (Der Einzige und sein Eigenthum and articles contributed to the Rheinische Zeitung) remained quite overlooked until they were brought into prominence by John Henry Mackay.

Prof. V. Basch, in a very able introduction to his interesting book, L'lndividualisme anarchiste: Max Stirner (1904), has shown how the development of the German philosophy from Kant to Hegel, and 'the absolute' of Schelling and the Geist of Hegel, necessarily provoked, when the anti-Hegelian revolt began, the preaching of the same 'absolute' in the camp of the rebels. This was done by Stirner, who advocated, not only a complete revolt against the state and against the servitude which authoritarian communism would impose upon men, but also the full liberation of the individual from all social and moral bonds - the rehabilitation of the 'I', the supremacy of the individual, complete 'amoralism', and the 'association of the egotists'. The final conclusion of that sort of individual anarchism has been indicated by Prof. Basch. It maintains that the aim of all superior civilization is, not to permit all members of the community to develop in a normal way, but to permit certain better endowed individuals 'fully to develop', even at the cost of the happiness and the very existence of the mass of mankind. It is thus a return towards the most common individual ism, advocated by all the would-be superior minorities, to which indeed man owes in his history precisely the state and the rest, which these individualists combat. Their individualism goes so far as to end in a negation of their own starting-point - to say nothing of the impossibility for the individual to attain a really full development in the conditions of oppression of the masses by the 'beautiful aristocracies'. His development would remain unilateral. This is why this direction of thought, notwithstanding its undoubtedly correct and useful advocacy of the full development of each individuality, finds a hearing only in limited artistic and literary circles.

Anarchism in the International Working Men's Association

A general depression in the propaganda of all fractions of socialism followed, as is known, after the defeat of the uprising of the Paris working men in June 1848 and the fall of the Republic. All the socialist press was gagged during the reaction period, which lasted fully twenty years. Nevertheless, even anarchist thought began to make some progress, namely in the writings of Bellegarrique (Caeurderoy), and especially Joseph Déjacque (Les Lazareacute'ennes, L 'Humanisphère, an anarchist-communist utopia, lately discovered and reprinted). The socialist movement revived only after 1864, when some French working men, all 'mutualists', meeting in London during the Universal Exhibition with English followers of Robert Owen, founded the International Working Men's Association. This association developed very rapidly and adopted a policy of direct economical struggle against capitalism, without interfering in the political parliamentary agitation, and this policy was followed until 1871. However, after the Franco-German War, when the Inter national Association was prohibited in France after the uprising of the Commune, the German working men, who had received man hood suffrage for elections to the newly constituted imperial parliament, insisted upon modifying the tactics of the International, and began to build up a Social Democratic political party. This soon led to a division in the Working Men's Association, and the Latin federations, Spanish, Italian, Belgian and Jurassic (France could not be represented), constituted among themselves a Federal union which broke entirely with the Marxist general council of the Inter national. Within these federations developed now what may be described as modern anarchism. After the names of 'Federalists' and 'Anti-authoritarians' had been used for some time by these federations the name of 'anarchists', which their adversaries insisted upon applying to them, prevailed, and finally it was revindicated.

Bakunin (q.v.) soon became the leading spirit among these Latin federations for the development of the principles of anarchism, which he did in a number of writings, pamphlets and letters. He demanded the complete abolition of the state, which - he wrote is a product of religion, belongs to a lower state of civilization, represents the negation of liberty, and spoils even that which it undertakes to do for the sake of general well-being. The state was an historically necessary evil, but its complete extinction will be, sooner or later, equally necessary. Repudiating all legislation, even when issuing from universal suffrage, Bakunin claimed for each nation, each region and each commune, full autonomy, so long as it is not a menace to its neighbours, and full independence for the individual, adding that one becomes really free only when, and in proportion as, all others are free. Free federations of the communes would constitute free nations.

As to his economical conceptions, Bakunin described himself, in common with his Federalist comrades of the International (César De Paepe, James Guillaume, Schwitzguébel), a 'collectivist anarchist' - not in the sense of Vidal and Pecqueur in the 1840s, or of their modern Social Democratic followers, but to express a state of things in which all necessaries for production are owned in common by the labour groups and the free communes, while the ways of retribution of labour, communist or otherwise, would be settled by each group for itself. Social revolution, the near approach of which was foretold at that time by all socialists, would be the means of bringing into life the new conditions.

The Jurassic, the Spanish and the Italian federations and sections of the International Working Men's Association, as also the French, the German and the American anarchist groups, were for the next years the chief centres of anarchist thought and propaganda. They refrained from any participation in parliamentary politics, and always kept in close contact with the labour organizations. However, in the second half of the 'eighties and the early 'nineties of the nineteenth century, when the influence of the anarchists began to be felt in strikes, in the 1st of May demonstrations, where they promoted the idea of a general strike for an eight hours' day, and in the anti-militarist propaganda in the army, violent prosecutions were directed against them, especially in the Latin countries (including physical torture in the Barcelona Castle) and the United States (the execution of five Chicago anarchists in 1887). Against these prosecutions the anarchists retaliated by acts of violence which in their turn were followed by more executions from above, and new acts of revenge from below. This created in the general public the impression that violence is the substance of anarchism, a view repudiated by its supporters, who hold that in reality violence is resorted to by all parties in proportion as their open action is obstructed by repression, and exceptional laws render them outlaws. (Cf. Anarchism and Outrage, by C. M. Wilson, and Report of the Spanish Atrocities Committee, in 'Freedom Pamphlets'; A Concise History of the Great Trial of the Chicago Anarchists, by Dyer Lum (New York, 1886); The Chicago Martyrs: Speeches, etc.).

Anarchism continued to develop, partly in the direction of Proudhonian 'mutuellisme', but chiefly as communist-anarchism, to which a third direction, Christian-anarchism, was added by Leo Tolstoy, and a fourth, which might be ascribed as literary-anarchism, began amongst some prominent modern writers.

The ideas of Proudhon, especially as regards mutual banking, corresponding with those of Josiah Warren, found a considerable following in the United States, creating quite a school, of which the main writers are Stephen Pearl Andrews, William Grene, Lysander Spooner (who began to write in 1850, and whose unfinished work, Natural Law, was full of promise), and several others, whose names will be found in Dr Nettlau's Bibliographie de l'anarchie.

A prominent position among the individualist anarchists in America has been occupied by Benjamin R. Tucker, whose journal Liberty was started in 1881 and whose conceptions are a combination of those of Proudhon with those of Herbert Spencer. Starting from the statement that anarchists are egotists, strictly speaking, and that every group of individuals, be it a secret league of a few persons, or the Congress of the United States, has the right to oppress all mankind, provided it has the power to do so, that equal liberty for all and absolute equality ought to be the law, and 'mind every one your own business' is the unique moral law of anarchism, Tucker goes on to prove that a general and thorough application of these principles would be beneficial and would offer no danger, because the powers of every individual would be limited by the exercise of the equal rights of all others. He further indicated (following H. Spencer) the difference which exists between the encroachment on somebody's rights and resistance to such an encroachment; between domination and defence: the former being equally condemnable, whether it be encroachment of a criminal upon an individual, or the encroachment of one upon all others, or of all others upon one; while resistance to encroachment is defensible and necessary. For their self-defence, both the citizen and the group have the right to any violence, including capital punishment. Violence is also justified for enforcing the duty of keeping an agreement. Tucker thus follows Spencer, and, like him, opens (in the present writer's opinion) the way for reconstituting under the heading of 'defence' all the functions of the state. His criticism of the present state is very searching, and his defence of the rights of the individual very powerful. As regards his economical views B. R. Tucker follows Proudhon.

The individualist anarchism of the American Proudhonians finds, however, but little sympathy amongst the working masses. Those who profess it - they are chiefly 'intellectuals' - soon realize that the individualization they so highly praise is not attainable by individual efforts, and either abandon the ranks of the anarchists, and are driven into the liberal individualism of the classical economist or they retire into a sort of Epicurean amoralism, or superman theory, similar to that of Stirner and Nietzsche. The great bulk of the anarchist working men prefer the anarchist-communist ideas which have gradually evolved out of the anarchist collectivism of the International Working Men's Association. To this direction belong - to name only the better known exponents of anarchism Elisée Reclus, Jean Grave, Sebastien Faure, Emile Pouget in France; Errico Malatesta and Covelli in Italy; R. Mella, A. Lorenzo, and the mostly unknown authors of many excellent manifestos in Spain; John Most amongst the Germans; Spies, Parsons and their followers in the United States, and so on; while Domela Nieuwenhuis occupies an intermediate position in Holland. The chief anarchist papers which have been published since 1880 also belong to that direction; while a number of anarchists of this direction have joined the so-called syndicalist movement- the French name for the non-political labour movement, devoted to direct struggle with capitalism, which has lately become so prominent in Europe.

As one of the anarchist-communist direction, the present writer for many years endeavoured to develop the following ideas: to show the intimate, logical connection which exists between the modern philosophy of natural sciences and anarchism; to put anarchism on a scientific basis by the study of the tendencies that are apparent now in society and may indicate its further evolution; and to work out the basis of anarchist ethics. As regards the substance of anarchism itself, it was Kropotkin's aim to prove that communism at least partial - has more chances of being established than collectivism, especially in communes taking the lead, and that free, or anarchist-communism is the only form of communism that has any chance of being accepted in civilized societies; communism and anarchy are therefore two terms of evolution which complete each other, the one rendering the other possible and acceptable. He has tried, moreover, to indicate how, during a revolutionary period, a large city - if its inhabitants have accepted the idea could organize itself on the lines of free communism; the city guaranteeing to every inhabitant dwelling, food and clothing to an extent corresponding to the comfort now available to the middle classes only, in exchange for a half-day's, or five-hours' work; and how all those things which would be considered as luxuries might be obtained by everyone if he joins for the other half of the day all sorts of free associations pursuing all possible aims - educational, literary, scientific, artistic, sports and so on. In order to prove the first of these assertions he has analysed the possibilities of agriculture and industrial work, both being combined with brain work. And in order to elucidate the main factors of human evolution, he has analysed the part played in history by the popular constructive agencies of mutual aid and the historical role of the state.

Without naming himself an anarchist, Leo Tolstoy, like his predecessors in the popular religious movements of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, Chojecki, Denk and many others, took the anarchist position as regards the state and property rights, deducing his conclusions from the general spirit of the teachings of the Christ and from the necessary dictates of reason. With all the might of his talent he made (especially in The Kingdom of God in Yourselves) a powerful criticism of the church, the state and law altogether, and especially of the present property laws. He describes the state as the domination of the wicked ones, supported by brutal force. Robbers, he says, are far less dangerous than a well-organized government. He makes a searching criticism of the prejudices which are current now concerning the benefits conferred upon men by the church, the state and the existing distribution of property, and from the teachings of the Christ he deduces the rule of non-resistance and the absolute condemnation of all wars. His religious arguments are, however, so well combined with arguments borrowed from a dispassionate observation of the present evils, that the anarchist portions of his works appeal to the religious and the non-religious reader alike.

It would be impossible to represent here, in a short sketch, the penetration, on the one hand, of anarchist ideas into modern literature, and the influence, on the other hand, which the libertarian ideas of the best contemporary writers have exercised upon the development of anarchism. One ought to consult the ten big volumes of the Supplément Littéraire to the paper La Révolte and later the Temps Nouveaux, which contain reproductions from the works of hundreds of modern authors expressing anarchist ideas, in order to realize how closely anarchism is connected with all the intellectual movement of our own times. J. S. Mill's Liberty, Spencer's Individual versus the State, Marc Guyau's Morality without Obligation or Sanction, and Fouillée's La Morale, I'art et la religion, the works of Multatuli (E. Douwes Dekker), Richard Wagner's Art and Revolution, the works of Nietzsche, Emerson, W. Lloyd Garrison, Thoreau, Alexander Herzen, Edward Carpenter and so on; and in the domain of fiction, the dramas of Ibsen, the poetry of Walt Whitman, Tolstoy's War and Peace, Zola's Paris and Le Travail, the latest works of Merezhkovsky, and an infinity of works of less known authors, are full of ideas which show how closely anarchism is interwoven with the work that is going on in modern thought in the same direction of enfranchisement of man from the bonds of the state as well as from those of capitalism.

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Don't try to run, you son of a bitch. You'll just die tired.

avengingcrusader@hotmail.com

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Did you type that all out? If you did, that is a massive undertaking, and I thankyou for it!

Anyway, another thing has occured to me (not about Anarchy per se though), If we suppose that the first human society was indeed an anarchistic society (which I think it's reasonable to assume), and we have now evolved that society to the several types we have now, what's stopping an Anarchistic society evolving in a similar manner? I can see it happening fairly easily (even if everyone is above average in intelligence, and there is no Primary Leader").

Just another thing to think about...

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Lee Davis-Thalbourne/Kirby1024 - kirby1024@hotmail.com

Creator of the XA-1037. Ask me about my special rates for special customers!

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A problem with an Anarchistic society is that it has a hard time involving itself outside of its own community. It is inherently a defensive society and an agressive, expansionistic society could overwhelm it. The "I defend my village, but not my neighbor's village" attitude means that after conquering several villages and utilizing their resources to fuel further conquests, the anarchists submit, are driven off, or are killed.

Only when a large group appreciates the values of individual freedom and responsibility, would a modern anarchistic society become viable.

Another factor is that society tends to spawn leaders and followers, with the followers abrogating much of their freedoms and responsibilities to their leaders. THe leaders taken on the responsibilities of the community (usually). The leaders, being human, want to see their offspring provided for, promoting a form of inheritence. This creates an imbalance in status and property. Does that make any sense?

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Makes perfect sense to me, Jager. Those are very good points, and points I'm pretty sure I've thought about before (but probably didn't type out here)

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Lee Davis-Thalbourne/Kirby1024 - kirby1024@hotmail.com

Creator of the XA-1037. Ask me about my special rates for special customers!

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Jager --

Clashing swords again, eh? Alright, let's see what I can do here.

The Anarchistic society is founded on cooperation and organization. Thus, any such unity is founded on the efforts of individuals coming together of their own accord. Why in the world would they stop at the community level? Or the state? Or the country? I feel that when people are threatened, they band together against a mutual enemy.

I against my brother, my brother and I against our cousin, my cousin and I against the stranger.

It's a little "live and let die", but people in a community -- whether the community is national, local or global -- will always band together in their mutual interest against a mutual threat. To assume that people would have the attitude of "I defend my village, but not my neighbor's village" is like saying "I defend my home, but not my neighbor's home" or "I defend my country, but not my neighbor's country". The only people with that sort of mindset are the people who are unhappy with the Anarchistic society.

So more or less, I agree with you. Only when a large group appreciates the values of individual freedom and responsibility would a modern Anarchistic society become viable. I just wanted to point out the possibility.

Your point about leaders and followers makes a lot of sense, which is unfortunate. The mindset that must be adopted to prevent this is summed up in the popular Anarchist slogan "Do not lead, for I will not follow. Do not follow, for I will not lead." A leader may well want to see his followers -- his community -- taken care of and provided for, but an Anarchistic leader would refuse to coddle potential toadies in the interest of doing what is best for them. What is best for the populace is to find their own way. There is a time to lead, to be true, but there is a time to find your own way, and there are a great many more of the latter than the former. A good leader abandons his followers during this time so that they are forced to find their own way.

In case you hadn't figured it out yet, this is why I understand Divis Mal so well. He exemplarizes the ideal Anarchist Leader. The shame lies in that his message has been misinterpreted by his own followers, and the Teragen, his "followers", refuse to police themselves and each other in their leaders' absence. As we've seen, some carry this yoke. Most simply do not understand they are supposed to.

-- Avenger

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Don't try to run, you son of a bitch. You'll just die tired.

avengingcrusader@hotmail.com

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You know, I've been doing a bit of thinking with Anarchistic societies, and working it together with what I understand of Social Evolution. I just don't see how an Anarchistic society can stay an anarchistic society for long without social stagnation.

The way I'm starting to think right now, I don't think Anarchistic society is suitable for an end-society. It would work better as the beginning of a society. It's the logical first step to the beginning of a society.

From what I can see, any place where there is more than one human will eventually form a society on it's own accord. If I were allowed to conduct this experiment, I'd bet we'd end up, at first, with a reasonable facsimile of the Anarchistic model.

However, we'd eventually reach a population threshold where an Anarchistic society would start to break down. Mainly, I think, due to the fact that the society gets to the size where it's no longer feasable to assume that all people will be interested in the affairs of others (I don't know when this threshold would occur, but I'm betting somewhere around the 100-200 mark). At this point, my theory is that current events will be brought to the attention of the masses by people who have vested interests in those events (ie a person who's fence is broken asking for help fixing it, or a child asking for help to help his sick mother). At this size, I think that due to not everyone knowing everyone else (and thus not having a personal interest in their concerns), a central law enforcement would come into play. Thus, the anarchistic society has created it's own police.

Eventually, as the culture increases in population, even this will start to consolidate into a sort of central media system, which with better resources will be able to get messages out far easier. Thus, the society has a media.

Now, from this point, you only need to elect a leader, and we have the barebones of today's society. People's attention agenda being influenced by a central media system, but otherwise not caring about other events and having a police system due to population apathy. All I'm missing really is the occaisonal political revolutionary to flavor what political system we end up with. (thus how we have so many different cultures and political systems)

Is this even making sense? I just reread it, and I get the feeling that the only reason I'm getting it, is because I'm filling in the blanks meself. Avenger?

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Lee Davis-Thalbourne/Kirby1024 - kirby1024@hotmail.com

Creator of the XA-1037. Ask me about my special rates for special customers!

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Sorry Avenger. What I was trying to say was that the closest example of Anarchistic Society was in a relatively primitive social unit. Back when everyone in the community helped out and everyone else was the "stranger".

More later. My wife is telling me I have to go to bed now. Later all.

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