Anarchist Ethics

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FS98
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Jul 8 2016 00:48
Anarchist Ethics

What ethics do most anarchists hold? Are they usually utilitarians or something different? Do most anarchists agree with the non-aggression principle advocated by anarchy-capitalists if you disregard some of the weird things about property? What would your responses be to the question brought up in the trolley problem?

Maclane Horton
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Jul 8 2016 00:58

Ethics is a bad word. Ethics is an idea created by bosses as a means of control. Anarchits are free. We don't do ethics.

FS98
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Jul 8 2016 01:05

Ethics is just the branch of philosophy that addressss what is morally right and morally wrong.

Maclane Horton
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Jul 8 2016 01:31

OK. Personally I go for

No gods, no masters
From each according to ability, to each according to need
Plato's concept of justice as set out in tee Republic

radicalgraffiti
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Jul 8 2016 01:44

Anarcho capitalists are not anarchists and the none aggression principle is bullshit.

and for trolley problems
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=86PUB4u2s2A

or maybe
http://existentialcomics.com/comic/106

FS98
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Jul 8 2016 01:55

I understand that anarcho-capitalism isn't a form of anarchism, but usually anarchists agree accept an altered form of the non-aggression principle. They tend to believe that the initiation of force is wrong, they just don't agree with ancaps about what is meant by the initiation of force.

radicalgraffiti
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Jul 8 2016 01:54

do they?

FS98
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Jul 8 2016 01:55

In my experience it seems that most do.

radicalgraffiti
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Jul 8 2016 02:02

maybe i've been lucky but i've never encountered an anarchist who took the none aggression principle seriously

FS98
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Jul 8 2016 02:06

Not exactly the non-aggression principle. Most if not all anarchists I have encountered would disagree with the the non-aggression principle as advocated by ancaps because of some property related disagreements, but most of them seemed to have believe that the initiation of force is wrong.

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Chilli Sauce
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Jul 8 2016 04:19

Anarchism is about class struggle and some basic principals about how we should build a new world. In that new world they'll be debates about ethics just as there are today. I'm not really sure anarchism as a movement has or should have much to say about ethics.

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Noah Fence
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Jul 8 2016 13:54

The idea of ethics and morals in anarchist politics is not very populate around here which is, in my view, pretty detrimental and a damned shame. That said, I'm in full agreement that the non-aggression principle is bullshit.

This made me lol;

Quote:
maybe i've been lucky but i've never encountered an anarchist who took the none aggression principle seriously

My experience too.
There was a story posted on here about some guy shouting 'you're breaking the NAP' whilst Greek anarchists gave him a good kicking. That was a classic.

Seriously though how can a principle that upholds property rights line up with anarchism. It's oxymoronic and er, just plain moronic.

Anyways, this thread may be of interest. http://libcom.org.libcom.org/forums/general/morality-emotion-politics-04...

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Khawaga
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Jul 8 2016 14:05
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Ethics is a bad word. Ethics is an idea created by bosses as a means of control. Anarchits are free. We don't do ethics

.

Yeah, that's just incorrect.

FS98
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Jul 8 2016 14:56

That why I clarified and said the NAP without the property stuff. Basically the idea that the initiation of force is wrong. I have often heard the word state defined as an institution with a monopoly on the legitimate initiation of force. It seems that anarchists want to remove the monopoly on legitimate initiation of force from the institution.

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the button
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Jul 8 2016 15:17

I quite like the way it's put in the Anarchist Federation's aims & principles -- I think the last sentence that I've put in bold contains the seeds of an anarchist (although not uniquely anarchist) ethics:

Quote:
Capitalism is based on the exploitation of the working class by the ruling class. But inequality and exploitation are also expressed in terms of race, gender, sexuality, health, ability and age, and in these ways one section of the working class oppresses another. This divides us, causing a lack of class unity in struggle that benefits the ruling class. Oppressed groups are strengthened by autonomous action which challenges social and economic power relationships. To achieve our goal we must relinquish power over each other on a personal as well as a political level.

Clearly you can ask questions about this approach along the lines of:

i) Does it suggest that oppression is bad because and only because it divides the working class? (I don't think that's the implication, but it's pretty close) and
ii) "To achieve our goal...." maybe implying that there's no intrinsic worth in relinquishing power over each other, it's just something we have to do to achieve our ends.

This might look like hairsplitting (or would if I had any hair), but I think these questions about "Doing x to achieve y" vs "Doing x because z is just fucking wrong" are quite important. Looking at a lot of leftist discourse about racism, for example, you sometimes get the impression that, if only someone could invent a form of racism that didn't Divide The Class, it would be fine.

Gulai Polye
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Jul 8 2016 15:45

Anarchist ethics would be:

No private property on capital
No monopoly on violence
No privileged authorities
No exploitation of work
No racism
No sexism
No discrimination of sexual orientation
No discrimination of religious conviction
No irreversible effects on the environment

infektfm
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Jul 8 2016 16:17

I've thought about this a great deal, and I believe that the basic premise of anarchist ethics is that we have responsibility to one another. Over and beyond any sort of conception of rights, we have a commitment to each other and society as a whole.

From there, we arrive at smashing capitalism, the state, patriarchy, racism, and so forth.

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jef costello
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Jul 8 2016 16:50
FS98 wrote:
non-aggression principle

As it comes with all sorts of baggage not really. Because Rand seems to use the non-aggression principle to avoid the need for a police force / army to defend property. I think anarchists would agree that violence has no place within an anarchist society but would include property rights, possession of capital etc as forms of violence.
I think anarchists do have ethics because we have a conception of what is right and wrong and we expect ourselves to live by it.

factvalue
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Jul 8 2016 17:58
Noah Fence wrote:
The idea of ethics and morals in anarchist politics is not very populate around here which is, in my view, pretty detrimental and a damned shame.

I wouldn't give it too much credence if I were you. Just ask such a person why they're e.g. communist anarchists and not one or another form of Leninist and you'll be very quickly through the thin wall of posture and into ethics. It's unavoidable.

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Auld-bod
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Jul 8 2016 18:31

Gulai Polye #16

Your list of nine negative anarchist ethics puts me in mind of Calvinism and the need to overcome ‘total depravity’ as every person is enslaved to sin. Surely you can construct some positive inspirational standards.

radicalgraffiti
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Jul 8 2016 18:38
factvalue wrote:
Noah Fence wrote:
The idea of ethics and morals in anarchist politics is not very populate around here which is, in my view, pretty detrimental and a damned shame.

I wouldn't give it too much credence if I were you. Just ask such a person why they're e.g. communist anarchists and not one or another form of Leninist and you'll be very quickly through the thin wall of posture and into ethics. It's unavoidable.

Leninism is counter revolutionary

radicalgraffiti
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Jul 8 2016 18:41
FS98 wrote:
That why I clarified and said the NAP without the property stuff. Basically the idea that the initiation of force is wrong. I have often heard the word state defined as an institution with a monopoly on the legitimate initiation of force. It seems that anarchists want to remove the monopoly on legitimate initiation of force from the institution.

even without the property stuff it still justifies unlimited force against who ever "started it"

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Khawaga
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Jul 8 2016 18:44
radicalgraffiti wrote:
Leninism is counter revolutionary

That's has no bearing on the point factvalue is making. What he is saying is that the justifications for why someone is a Leninist, anarchist or whatever will boil down to ethics because in the end both Leninists and anarchists will say that they are doing the right thing. As soon as someone starts to justify doing or not doing something in terms of it being right, good, bad etc. (rather than making a judgement in terms of whether doing something is effective), you are on the terrain of ethics.

My take on all of this: anarchism without ethics is worth fuck all.

factvalue
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Jul 8 2016 21:26
Khawaga wrote:
radicalgraffiti wrote:
Leninism is counter revolutionary

That's has no bearing on the point factvalue is making. What he is saying is that the justifications for why someone is a Leninist, anarchist or whatever will boil down to ethics because in the end both Leninists and anarchists will say that they are doing the right thing. As soon as someone starts to justify doing or not doing something in terms of it being right, good, bad etc. (rather than making a judgement in terms of whether doing something is effective), you are on the terrain of ethics.

My take on all of this: anarchism without ethics is worth fuck all.

You're both right. I agree with all that, except that the clause in bold is also ethical, in that this form of consequentialist ethics of Leninist vanguardism, based on 'scientifically' predetermined goals, undermines the autonomy of the class and instrumentalises a proletariat for the purpose of achieving these externally imposed objectives, in a manner more or less ethically isomorphic to the alienation at the basis of the capitalist production process. Compare this consequentialist paternalism to a class struggle anarchist ethic of destroying alienation by the creation of non-hierarchical social relations, rather than creating leaders to act on behalf of the class.

To add to the button's remarks earlier, I can't speak for them - and apologies if I've got this wrong - but I don't think the AF buy into utilitarianism, although I know one or two who favoured platformism were claiming it as their ethics of choice when I was a member a few years back.

What is it that lies behind anarchists' rejection of racism or sexism if not ethics?

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Khawaga
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Jul 8 2016 21:43
Quote:
I agree with all that, except that the clause in bold is also ethical, in that this form of consequentialist ethics of Leninist vanguardism, based on 'scientifically' predetermined goals, undermines the autonomy of the class and instrumentalises a proletariat for the purpose of achieving these externally imposed objectives, in a manner more or less ethically isomorphic to the alienation at the basis of the capitalist production process.

I get what you're saying, but I'd say that a consequentialist logic is precisely what makes Leninism unethical. Then again, I do understand that a Leninist would argue for this shite being ethical.

radicalgraffiti
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Jul 8 2016 22:18

ethics or not ethics isn't a valid question, since everyone will be applying some ideas that can be considered ethics, even if they don't call it that. So it think the disagreement between people like Noah and others over morals is actually about different ideas of how ethics should work.

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Khawaga
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Jul 8 2016 22:20

Morals ain't ethics though.

radicalgraffiti
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Jul 8 2016 22:28
Khawaga wrote:
Quote:
I agree with all that, except that the clause in bold is also ethical, in that this form of consequentialist ethics of Leninist vanguardism, based on 'scientifically' predetermined goals, undermines the autonomy of the class and instrumentalises a proletariat for the purpose of achieving these externally imposed objectives, in a manner more or less ethically isomorphic to the alienation at the basis of the capitalist production process.

I get what you're saying, but I'd say that a consequentialist logic is precisely what makes Leninism unethical. Then again, I do understand that a Leninist would argue for this shite being ethical.

i'm not all that informed about ethics, but do you disagree with this?

Quote:
Consequentialism is the class of normative ethical theories holding that the consequences of one's conduct are the ultimate basis for any judgment about the rightness or wrongness of that conduct.

Because if this is accurate i don't see how Leninism can be consequentialist, if they considered the consequence of there actions they wouldn't be lennists.

factvalue
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Jul 8 2016 22:47
Khawaga wrote:
Quote:
I agree with all that, except that the clause in bold is also ethical, in that this form of consequentialist ethics of Leninist vanguardism, based on 'scientifically' predetermined goals, undermines the autonomy of the class and instrumentalises a proletariat for the purpose of achieving these externally imposed objectives, in a manner more or less ethically isomorphic to the alienation at the basis of the capitalist production process.

I get what you're saying, but I'd say that a consequentialist logic is precisely what makes Leninism unethical. Then again, I do understand that a Leninist would argue for this shite being ethical.

Sorry, clumsily written, I meant that it was still a form of ethical evaluation. And I agree, it's not ends-means immanent, so the means end up as the ends.

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Khawaga
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Jul 9 2016 00:12
radical wrote:
Because if this is accurate i don't see how Leninism can be consequentialist, if they considered the consequence of there actions they wouldn't be lennists.

Yes, I agree with that formulation about consequentialist ethics.. But that doesn't necessarily mean that the outcome of such consequentialist considerations is necessarily ethical.

factvalue wrote:
Sorry, clumsily written, I meant that it was still a form of ethical evaluation. And I agree, it's not ends-means immanent, so the means end up as the ends.

That's basically what I meant; I guess we were talking at crossed purposes.

Gulai Polye
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Jul 9 2016 01:34
Auld-bod wrote:
Gulai Polye #16

Your list of nine negative anarchist ethics puts me in mind of Calvinism and the need to overcome ‘total depravity’ as every person is enslaved to sin. Surely you can construct some positive inspirational standards.

I could but i wont, because thats the idea of freedom. You can fill out the emptiness called freedom with whatever you want. You wanna take a walk in the woods? Then do it. You wanna lay at the beach and take a rest there? Then do it. You wanna base jump off a high cliff? You can do that too.

What should i say? That it is better to take a walk in the woods than to take a rest at the beach? No man that is not for me to say things like that. Everyone has their different opinions about what is the right thing for them to do with their freedom.