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Anarchism seems wonderful, but is it too good to be true?

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Tom A
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Joined: 26-09-03
May 13 2004 00:30
Anarchism seems wonderful, but is it too good to be true?

Having had discussions with various anarchist friends, and skimming through sites like "An Anarchist FAQ" (well one of them anyway), as well as going through the threads on this forum, anarchism seems great, and I do base some of my policial beliefs on anarchist principles such as horizontal organisation and direct democracy, although I don't consider to be an anarchist myself.

I have this problem though. As the saying goes, If something seems too good to be true, it usually is. Anarchism seems to provide many plausable answers to the world's woes, but every ideology has its flaws, and it concerns me that there seems to be very few people finding valid, credible reasons for criticing anarchism in the same way that people have found flaws in say, Marxism (which I also once used to think had the solution to the world's problems).

Anarchism could be seen as the perfect way to organise society, however I am not saying that all anarchists are utopians, but surely one day, in a future anarchist society, there would be "post-anarchists" picking holes in the ideologies and finding severe problems with the system and ultimatlely replacing it, as capitialism replaced feudalism, and like the current criticisms laid at today's capitialist system. And there would still be the intrinsic problems that face people whatever system they live under, life isn't perfect, and that's probably for the best as life would be pretty boring otherwise! tongue

Finally, there is also the issue of that dreaded concept, "human nature". As things stand, the track record of Homo sapiens over the past 20,000 years of existance has been to degreade the earth's environment, and to be greedy to one another, and I have doubts that the human race will break the habit of a lifetime.

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Jacques Roux
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Joined: 17-07-06
May 13 2004 10:10
Tom A wrote:
Anarchism could be seen as the perfect way to organise society, however I am not saying that all anarchists are utopians....life isn't perfect, and that's probably for the best as life would be pretty boring otherwise! tongue

Definetly, i hope we can always progress. But thats what an anarchist society is to me, its not a definite economic / social system. Its a society in which we as people can progress and explore ways to move on. I dont think you can look at Anarchy (as in our goal) as like any other 'system' because it has totally different objectives.

As for the too goo to be true but, i dont think anything is too good to be true....

Quote:
I take my desires for reality because i believe in the reality of my desires

wink tongue grin

Anonymous
May 13 2004 10:16

yeah maybe they won't, anarchists are not as dogmatic as marxists, we don't think ots bound to happen through inevitability

Personally i very much doubt that it will, simply because of ther hold capitaliost society has on the world. But it doesn't mean i woudln't try to do something about it.

The point is that an anarchist society is preferable to a capitalist society, just as a capitalist society is preferable to a feudal society ad so on

Given how harmful capitalism is and given that its probably gonna get a whole lot worse in the next 20-30 years, i'd think anarchism is worth a try.

john

Vaneigemappreci...
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May 13 2004 16:31

You have to look at history and the actions of humanity with regard to power relations, you can link all of the most horrorific crimes to battles for and battles to manitain or consolidate those power relations.

As for 'anarchism' having all the solutions, of course it doesnt, its a broad and loose set of ideas, some wouldnt even call it an ideology as such ( a strict set of principles and ideas that remain the same through time), you have to adapt any critique of society to that society as it adapts, degenerates and 'progresses'. The idea that we should replace the existing order with another order isnt a palatable one simply because of the fact that that entails imposing another system and hence curtailing each individuals freeplay and autonomy. You shouldnt look for 'solutions' particularly in others writings or ideas, its more creative and worthwhile to develop and elaborate upon existing ideas, using them as pointers and inspiration rather than strict guidlines to follow.

strangefrog
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Joined: 23-04-04
May 13 2004 23:51
Tom A wrote:
Anarchism seems to provide many plausable answers to the world's woes, but every ideology has its flaws, and it concerns me that there seems to be very few people finding valid, credible reasons for criticing anarchism in the same way that people have found flaws in say, Marxism (which I also once used to think had the solution to the world's problems).

One criticism of Anarchism is that anarchist groups are too diverse to agree on a common strategy. Rather than there being no criticism, there seems to be endless disagreements to others' approach! So far, no-one has been able to address this 'flaw' to my satisfaction. Because of this, I think no anarchist group will ever rise up to be a dominant force that can change the political and social landscape.

But that is the very strength and appeal of anarchism. To be a dominant force, you need to become an oppressor. Their diversity means that anarchists will always be a bulwark against all forms of tyranny, even that which forms within their own. As an ideology it will never die and never go away because no matter how subjugated the population, there will always be the spirit of freedom somewhere.

Anarchism isn't static or dogmatic (though some anarchists appear to be!). There will be no 'post-anarchists' because it changes and adapts to the circumstances. Old anarchists who are stuck with outmoded thinking will be replaced by those who see a change in dynamics. New thinking can infuse old principles because there is no doctrine; no party line to tow. You won't be shot, imprisoned or silenced just because you disagree with the status-quo.

You're right. People will always have problems no matter what system they live in. But I think anarchism is about allowing people to achieve their fullest potential possible, not the creation of a utopian super-society.

LJOS
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May 16 2004 13:25
Quote:
Finally, there is also the issue of that dreaded concept, "human nature"

The 'human nature' argument is just a defeatist (and quite cowardly) way for me to excuse myself of moral responsibility. I just don't believe that we're hardwired to be selfish and competitive in a Darwinian kind of way. Part of the critique of capitalism is that those within it assume there isn't any other way to be but competitive, isn't it?

(First opinionated rant of many...)

Anonymous
Jul 21 2004 14:34
Quote:
Given how harmful capitalism is and given that its probably gonna get a whole lot worse in the next 20-30 years, i'd think anarchism is worth a try.

Can it actually get much worse? confused angry

Anonymous
Jul 21 2004 18:37

Its going to get a lot worse

Toxictears
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Joined: 12-11-03
Jul 21 2004 22:49

Yea, i suppose it will. Theirs a news website that i check up on every now and then (prisonplanet.com) and theyve been posting up pictures of $ notes that explode in microwaves because they have microchips in and theyre implanting people with tracking devices and general SCARY stuff like that. neutral It can get alot worse!

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Rob Ray
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Jul 26 2004 18:56

Just talking about the UK here, it could get MUCH worse and not just through the removal of civil liberties.

With a few logical extrapolations, I'd like to present the future of Thatcherite Capitalism if it were unmitigated by social resistance (i.e the 'there's no such thing as society' model):

UK Ltd. 2005-whenever

At the moment we're one of the most affluent societies in the history of the world, but give it another 30-50 years (possibly less) and that affluence will have gone, our economy will be in ruins and our politicians, business moguls etc will have long since disappeared to more salubrious surroundings.

It's writ large in desperate governmental attempts to mitigate future problems now. Consider this:

Within the next 10 years the baby boomers will reach retirement age, and in most cases there's nowhere near enough money in their business pension pots to cover it. The UK government will be physically unable to do so, pensioners will thus find themselves on the breadline en masse, or worse.

The jobs they retire from simply wont be replaced by business, as exporting them quietly overseas will be cheaper (750,000 manufacturing jobs are already gone with more to come, 250,000 communications jobs are following in the next 4 years or so), meaning pensions and the NHS, already overstressed by the burden of caring for a now aged population, will collapse entirely as tax revenue falls alongside the rising number of dependants (government sources have already started talking about dismantling the NHS, albeit not loudly).

With the collapse of the NHS, and with it, yet more jobs, along with care for the poor and aged, both curable diseases and general sickness will multiply, causing misery throughout the country.

At the same time loans we are picking up now for the PFI, PPP and of course overseas warring will still be draining billions from the economy, breaking the back of any attempts to rescue the situation. On a micro level, as banks panic about the situation they may begin calling in mortgages, loans etc which have already stretched people to breaking point thanks to rising interest rates leading to the bankruptcy of millions.

Looking at this wholesale descent into poverty, the wealthy upper classes and those middle class types who can afford it will migrate (this is already happening in some cases as people get fed up with the system here), thus draining vast quantities of money from what little wealth remains us.

Crime will of course rise alongside this horrific poverty, which will almost certainly be exacerbated by international business/nations hovering vulture-like over the pieces, leading to a vicious circle of violence and repression.

If you think we're safe from this because of our enormous wealth, we aren't. We are massively in debt already, and we've sold almost all our national assets. What I've described has already happened in Argentina, and they had no baby boomer or outsourcing problems, they just had even bigger debts than us.

much worse? You ain't seen nothing yet.

mAce
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Joined: 26-07-04
Jul 27 2004 03:39

The 'NHS' I'm assuming this is the National Health Services of Britain or something to that degree?

Okay, well so far as universal health care is concerned? (I live in Canada) That, receiving fair and adequate treatment by Doctor's here in this Country is far over-rated as would the Canadian Population branded into their thick-little-skullz via the LIBERAL Party of this Country. Is lackluster in aiding citizens (such as myself is concerned) of adequate healthcare services.

I not really sure anymore why I don't trust these people? (No, seriously I do have reasons)

I for the last post that I'm writing in reguards to your post that you aren't very far off, the pattern of events you are talking about is currently underway.

What can stop all this madness?

I am confused? I am nervous...

The police in my City (2 weeks ago) gunned down an unarmed man with a mental condition. He was the same age as me- 33 years old. His name was actually similar in the spelling of my first name.

Hexaflexagons?

It's everything or nothing...

The HEU in British Columbia is completely messed up. As is the proper mental health board. VIHA (Vancouver Island Health Authority) The Prov't LIB. Gov't has been making cutbacks- left, right, and center. From cutting Nursing and Doctor's Paycheck's, substitution for cheap non-union labour in the hospitals. The Gov't has cut back services for patients, to make way seemingly for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver.

This is also totally stupid.

The price of real estate has sky-rocketed, rents are exorbitantly continuously being raised. The average citizen can't survive on a part-time $8 dollar hr. paying job. Jobs are scarce. Drug addiction and drug dealing is at an all time 'High'. (Isn't it always?) But that the War in the Streets has already started. That hope from the Bureaucratic structure of Society's 'safety net' is not going to catch anyone's fall.

Sadly, it get's worse and worse daily. Gay marriage is a popular item in being able to become same-sex unionized through the Church. (Church and State in Canada) are 'one'.

Oddly, this is the perfect example of a sexual predator's dream come true to pressing the gay issue with under-developed children and forcing the issue on Children as young Kindergarten are gay teachers trying to teach children this is 'acceptable behaviour'.

(You know I don't agree)

I'm acceptable of Gay Marriage on a civil platform level. I don't agree with it being a biblical event.

Thora
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Joined: 17-06-04
Jul 27 2004 16:13
mAce wrote:
I am confused?

I am confused. Was that actually intelligible? confused