Anarchism: threat or menace? (Scott Graves, this means you)

Okay, forgive me the attention-getting headline. 

Scott Graves has proclaimed himself an anarchist. I went through this phase for about a year when I was in my late teens. Since then, I think I've come to my senses. But I'm willing to give it a second look.

So, Scott, you have a lonely task ahead of you explaining...

that anarchism is a viable, workable, and sustainable political system

how an anarchistic country can participate in international relations 

whether anarchy is compatible with anarchism

indeed, in what sense and how can a country be a country under anarchism? well as any other questions TA'ers may pose.

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Modern terrorism is a result of governments doing evil stuff to the middle east. Now, in the short term Anarchism can't do much about that, but it's not the fault of no-government. It's the fault of government so it's up to you who support the idea of big gubbiment screwing with people in third world countries that have the audacity to sit on stuff you want to solve it.

Let me get this straight. You say below that just as a-theism isn't a belief at all an-archy is likewise the absence of a belief, right? So, how can we ever judge anarchy? What I mean is, it has the ultimate cop-out. "We don't believe anything. Anarchy has no doctrine or principles we adhere to. Whatever happens happens. Don't look at us!


I don't think we could do much worse with no government.  Who knows, maybe the third world could get the stuff together without the west messing with them.  Surely we could get by on far less than we do.

So this is what I call the Fallacy of the Road not Taken. Simply because what you did was a disaster, it doesn't follow that what you didn't do would have been any better. It's always tempting to think so, as well as safe because there's no way to test it. Hence the fallacy.

But why did those colonized countries get colonized? The British, the French, the Dutch, the Americans won due to superior organization. Assuming the Cherokees had sailed on rafts across the Atlantic and attacked Napoleonic France, what do you suppose their chances of victory would have been? For that matter, look at what a few Spaniards did to the Mayan culture (even before Western diseases ran rampant across the Americas). And they were separated from home by thousands of ocean with no supply lines. What they had was military organization and a technological advantage consisting of edged steel weapons, metal armor, and horsemanship).

Just as a point.  In an Anarchistic "nation" if you wanted to organize a socialist workers paradise with at least 90% consent of the people in an area then you would be able to go for it.

But you said elsewhere that a government shouldn't be able to do anything if even 10% of people objected. Explain, please.

Maybe their non-interventionist policies are something the rest of the world could do well to copy.

I think so, yes. Although they are a perfect example of why you don't need anarchy to stop government intervention in foreign affairs.

If they are so bad why does organizing them and giving them stupid amounts of power over their fellows make any sense?

Best point you've made so far. I would counter by saying that we elect the ones we give power to and we maintain power to remove them from power if needed.

card carrying Anarchist

Isn't that a bit of an oxymoron? "I'm an anarchist! See, here's my membership card!". I know what you mean though.

Liberalism...obsessed with making people better.

By some weird, American, definition of liberalism, maybe. Not in the rest of the world. In the rest of the world, it's far closer to US Libertarianism. i.e. Liberalism is the ideology in favour of the liberty of individuals.

I don't know well enough what's best for me to have the confidence to tell my neighbor what's best for him.

An example of a very liberal view point. You should look into classical liberalism... it's pretty much what you're talking about, to my knowledge. The "Liberalism" you say you are against is, in my opinion, not necessary liberal.

You're right about the "weird, American definition of liberalism."

liberalism here matches more closely with what a "Labor" party in Europe would espouse.

As I've said...what progressive-liberal-activists would call being "modern-liberal" would appear rather conservative or even backwards for progressive-liberal-activists in Denmark. A "liberal" in 19th century Edinburgh wouldn't recognize what many people in Scotland call liberalism now. Liberalism in Canada doesn't compare with liberalism in China.

We almost need a three dimensional table which puts which decade it is on one axis, if liberalism refers more to economic policy on one end or social policy on the other or are equally mixed...and a third axis depending on whether the country is somewhat more to the capitalist side, somewhat more to the classical-socialist style or mixed. You end up with many different definitions of which some...if they were akin to dialects of a language...would not be mutually intelligible.

It's rather difficult to say that liberalism hasn't learnt from its lessons as how can one learn from the lessons of so many different classes of liberalism if they mean so many different things and have changed so much over time and from place to place?

I know quite a bit about classical liberalism.  I've studied Jefferson a lot.  I enjoyed Hitchens' biography on him.  Went to see Hitchens speak and listened to several interviews on NPR when he spoke about the book.  One of the few things I miss about C.Springs I suppose.  Very interesting man though.  

I also had the pleasure of seeing a fellow do a performance as Jefferson a few times.  I forget his name and don't have any reason to spend time looking it up.  The fellow held multiple degrees in history and such.  He even had another fellow perform as Hamilton and they had a debate.  Hal something... an Air Force colonel at the time.  I attended that and I have to say, it's one thing to read about the two of them and their problems getting along while serving in Washington's cabinet.  It's a whole other thing to see them "speak".  Much better than the Hall of Presidents in Disney World.  

He also had a radio show on NPR, "The Thomas Jefferson Hour" I think.  I've got to say, those talks really cemented my Libertarian viewpoint.  If Jefferson, quite arguably the smartest man of his time, thought such a minimalist federal government could work then I am as certain as I get that we could do even better with the technology of today were it wisely implemented.  It's not like we live in a 4 mile an hour world anymore.  Things have changed and our methods of providing for common needs must change as well.

Wasn't it Jefferson who said something to the effect of "expecting our descendants to use the same form of governance their barbaric ancestors created is like asking an adult man to wear the same coat he had as a child."  He wanted us to dump everything every 20 to 30 years and put something new together that better fit the times.  Hamilton didn't like that idea.  He worried about things like credit rates and well managed debt.  I think he was a douche.

The problem I have with linking "classical liberalism" in any way with what the modern Liberal is I don't care about the words you speak.  I care about the actions you take.  I think they speak more about you than all the words you ever say.  I've watched, as an adult, two terms of Bill Clinton and two terms of Obama.  I remember Tip O'Neil and his arguments with Reagan.  I recall as an young teen the repercussions of Jimmy Carter's single term.  I've got a long arc of memories about politics, it being my hobby for most of that time and obsession for a small chunk.  

I recall double digit inflation during Jimmy Carter's time and the utter abortion of the attempt to rescue the hostages in Iran.  I had a drill sergeant who was in on that one and he had some real bad words for his former CIC.  Most I can't type here since the filter would **** them up.  

I recall Tipper Gore (Al Gore's ex wife for you youngins) and her attack on free speech trying to ban certain lyrics, which is when the ratings system came about to get Congress off the industries butt.  So much for free speech.

I recall the Queen of the Pantsuit, Hillary Clinton, who gave secretive a new definition and had more dead bodies tied to her than Al Capone.  

I recall Bill Clinton trying to quibble over the definition of "is".

How about Obama promising to end the war.  How's that going for us so far?

I can list hundreds of bills that Democrats put up and some even passed.  Many of them run counter to the list of what a modern liberal claims to be. 

I know the Republicans aren't much better and may be even worse.  But what does that say about these liberal leaders?  Not a whole lot of good.  So yeah, I don't think they get to claim most of the good stuff and there is a pile of bad at their doorstep. 

If you had started out sounding like this, you would have got a less hostile reaction.

Haha true, and I found it hard not to respond point by point... I just don't want to jump into the black hole.

The trouble with all that is that an equally damning list could be constructed to counter it. And once again, as this way of thinking is ingrained in your personality, you assume that something else would have to be better in so many cases. Unfortunately, there's no way to test such hypotheses.

Oh, I forgot my main point.

I am not alone in my Anarchism/Libertarian views.  Penn and Teller are firmly in the Libertarian camp and I would say the two of them have done more to put Atheism firmly in the mainstream than all of the people here added together.  I think I feel safe in my ideas being in the same camp as those two.

You need to sharpen your point it seems.

You claim to be an anarchist...but one who wants a government.

You then claim to be a libertarian, which is not the same thing.  IE: Libertarian is not equal to atheist or to anarchist.

We are then left with, what IS your point?  That you are like Penn AND Teller?

Penn is not an anarchist, but is a libertarian.


If you said, initially, that you are in favor with agreeing with whatever opinions Penn has, instead of saying you were an anarchist, and then a libertarian, this would be a more streamlined process.


If that's your main point, you should really rethink your views. Just because other people also believe something, doesn't make it right... Just look at the Christians for example.

put Atheism firmly in the mainstream than all of the people here added together

How is that relevant?

Yikes! Nothing like putting him on the spot Unseen, lol!


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