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In An Anarchist Society Who Does All The 'Mundane S**t'?

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LeighGionaire
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Mar 24 2004 21:39
In An Anarchist Society Who Does All The 'Mundane S**t'?

For example, in a society with no money you would still get arguements on who did which job. Take the life of a binman for example. Who would want to do that? Surely they would begrudge somebody who has an interesting/stimulating job?

So, who's going to volunteer to do all the mundane s**t?

Lazlo_Woodbine
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Mar 24 2004 21:53

no one will have a life as a bin man. Why should they? We'll take the boring stuff in turns.

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Jacques Roux
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Mar 24 2004 21:58

Maybe you gotta rethink the idea of waste and how waste will be dealt with.

Think of the amount of waste which wont be producded in a non-capitalist society.

Think of the amount of recycling.

Etc.

When thinking about how a future anarchist society might look, its not worth seeing our captialist society now and trying to apply anarchist ideas to. We need to total rethink how every single aspect of society will work.

LeighGionaire
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Mar 24 2004 22:03
rkn wrote:

When thinking about how a future anarchist society might look, its not worth seeing our captialist society now and trying to apply anarchist ideas to. We need to total rethink how every single aspect of society will work.

Ok, here's another one, who decides the morals and ethics in an anarchist society?

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Jacques Roux
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Mar 24 2004 22:07

No one can make descisions for other people, so no one can decide anything for anyone else.

Morals are a load of wank anyway, so they can go out the window.

We each decide our own personal ethics on how to deal with variosu situations.

There is not such thing as a universal truth.

LeighGionaire
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Mar 24 2004 22:14

But with no morals or ethics you will never have any 'society', just chaos.

Or is anarchism just 'mob rule'?

If so, is mob rule 'true' democracy?

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Jacques Roux
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Mar 24 2004 22:20
LeighGionaire wrote:
But with no morals or ethics you will never have any 'society', just chaos.

I didnt say people wouldnt have ethics.

I dont see why morals = order?

Quote:
Or is anarchism just 'mob rule'?

I dont think anyone has really said that.

LeighGionaire
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Mar 24 2004 22:28

Dictionary definition of Ethics = A theory or a system of 'moral' values.

Anonymous
Mar 25 2004 03:10

LeighGionaire, Morals are often thought of as rigid codes of conduct with origins in religion. Ethics on the other hand have less religous connotations. An asshole by the name of Jason McQuinn has some more insights on what morality ends up being if you click on enrager.net >news > anarchist movement > "Post-Left Anarchy: Leaving the Left Behind".

I think in a decentralized society birds of a feather flock together. So in any one community you'd have striking levels of common agreement on how to do things. In an anarchist society no one decides for others. But you can try and influence your neighbors about a bright idea at the neighborhood meeting.

I'm one of the very few in the anarchist camp that isn't totally against money. I think if it's a local currency under the control of the people and collective businesses who use it, then that's okay. To truly get rid of money you'd need to abolish cities where people would take more than they need and produce less than their ability....On the other hand, in village life where people are held more accountable for their actions, free stores could work.

As for shit jobs, some should be totally abolished: wind turbines, solar in place of dirty coal, workers militias in place of armies. But I can't really see how to get rid of all shit jobs. Even if they were under workers control, they would still suck. I think the important thing is that everyone have the opportunity and means to train for other jobs, so they aren't stuck being the trash man for 30 years.

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JoeMaguire
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Mar 26 2004 14:01
LeighGionaire wrote:
But with no morals or ethics you will never have any 'society', just chaos.

Or is anarchism just 'mob rule'?

If so, is mob rule 'true' democracy?

LG, the mass majority of your life will be lived without direct control from either state or bosses, so does this equate as soon as you leave place of work etc that you become a thug? That you are unable to make friends or do any other social activity with others without the use of force etc?

The 'Harmony of Interests' which anarchism fights for is very relevant in everday life amoungst ordinary people, only people are very unaware of its underlying importance....

Anonymous
May 3 2004 08:23

LG, what happened the last time you thought for yourself about something? Did your brain by any chance seize up? Are you totally incapable of deciding what's right and wrong by yourself?

AlexA
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May 3 2004 10:13
Anonymous wrote:
LG, what happened the last time you thought for yourself about something? Did your brain by any chance seize up? Are you totally incapable of deciding what's right and wrong by yourself?

What's up with you? confused

strangefrog
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May 3 2004 12:04
rkn wrote:
When thinking about how a future anarchist society might look, its not worth seeing our captialist society now and trying to apply anarchist ideas to. We need to total rethink how every single aspect of society will work.

Maybe it's the other way around. In order to achieve an anarchist society, we need to rework capitalist society by applying anarchist ideas.

What will we do after rethinking every aspect of society? Either

1) Introduce them slowly (rework capitalist society) or

2) Introduce them immediately (revolution).

At the moment, I can't see a third option.

As we know, 'those in charge' won't give up without a fight. In the developed world, revolution doesn't seem like a viable option - there are too few people who are desperate enough to be willing to go through this.

This is why I think gradual reform is our only option in the developed world.

Let's take money for example. Money can be useful because it's easily transportable. With money, I won't have to drive a truck full of potatoes to your house in exchange for a computer. The problem with money in a capitalist society is that some people charge interest for giving it to you.

So if you don't agree with this, then don't charge interest. If that's not possible with 'official' money, then get together with others and agree on an alternative form of currency. The only requirement is that people in the group trust that the currency can be exchange for something of almost equal 'value'.

Now to the question of who will do the mundane jobs. I don't think this will be a problem in an anarchist society. For most things, what one person finds mundane, another may enjoy. People can trade their skills and time with others.

There will be things that few would like to do, like deal with other people's waste. In an anarchist society, I think people will *have* to deal with their own waste or find someone willing to do it for them. I might not like to take your unrecyclable cr4p to the landfill, but I might in exchange for some books...

capitalistkid
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May 5 2004 08:48

it's an interesting question being asked, and for people like me new to anarchism i'm interested to know how this will all work. In fact it would be beneficial cause the more i see how anarchism actually would work in society the more likely i would be to get involved. It's all well and good to say stuff like

Quote:
the mass majority of your life will be lived without direct control from either state or bosses, so does this equate as soon as you leave place of work etc that you become a thug? That you are unable to make friends or do any other social activity with others without the use of force etc?

any sensible person will obviously agree with what you said, but we're talking about the running of a country of 60 million people here, no-one has actually answered the question yet? Aside from the bit about local communities.

strangefrog
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May 5 2004 09:47
revol68 wrote:
^^^^^^ GO PROUDHON, SORRY THIS IS bolox there is no rea solution other than the complete destruction of capitals grip over labour, what u are suggesting is self managed exploitation!

I am suggesting that each person works within their sphere of influence to achieve their goal.

It's all very well to say that the only solution is to destroy capital's grip over labour. But how do you actually go about this? And if you come up with a plan, how will you get enough people to buy into it to achieve a critical mass?

Given that 'the State' protects Capital, then we must destroy the State. (Of course, I'm saying nothing new.)

So how do we destroy it? In the Developed world, the State is like a well guarded stone building with deep foundations. I can see two options available to destroy the building:

1) Lots of people must chip away at the foundations until it collapses. You need lots of people working in lots of different places. They need to do this for a long time and discreetly, so as to avoid the guards' attention. (Perhaps you can call this 'Reform'.)

2) Get enough people together to attack the guards, storm the building and demolish it. (Revolution.)

As I understand it, the 'Communist' revolutions in Russia, China, and everywhere else, started with option two. But instead of demolishing the building, they occupied it.

They achieved this because they were able to get enough people to believe in the same strategy and tactics. Can anyone here honestly say that the Anarchist movement, as diverse as it is, will ever be able to do the same?

captainmission
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May 6 2004 17:26
capitalistkid wrote:
any sensible person will obviously agree with what you said, but we're talking about the running of a country of 60 million people here, no-one has actually answered the question yet? Aside from the bit about local communities.

don't think we are talking about running a country of 60 million but how human scale communities will co-operate with others in more complex systems. Its a question of communication, not of administration or 'running'. Once we know the nature of that communication i don't matter if its 60 million or 6 billion. But you are right that we do need more devloped ideas of how that will work. Too often we defer to anwsers like 'oh it'll be decided democraticall' or by 'the workers' or 'the community' with out reflecting on what we mean by that. At lot of examples could be drawn from non-state societies, who have to resolve conflict without resorting to power. But then again its the sort of thing worked out through lived experience rather than planned on a message board.

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Rob Ray
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May 7 2004 09:55

captainmission's right, and the number would be 6 billion not 60 million (cos no borders). However the numbers are irrelevant past a certain point.

How many different people/groups do you come into contact with on an everyday basis? Even in a city like london, it's made up of small communities. You go to the local store, take the local bus and walk the local streets. As far as you're concerned therefore the only community you have to worry about organising is your own, with perhaps a few thousand people living in it. Everyone else is just as capable as you of sorting out their own communities.

This isn't to say that there would be no communication between different communities, far from it. A city group for example might need to keep in contact with food/water/raw material producing groups all over the world, as well as co-operating with groups all the way down a railway line running through their area (for example) for schedules, repairs etc. But this wouldn't be an insurmountable problem these days with the advent of email, discussion boards and the like.

A great problem is that it is difficult to imagine the scale of the co-operation going on, or to make definite statements about how it would work. We're talking about an advent perhaps centuries in the future and who knows how the world will be then? But even today the idea while difficult is not an impossibility.

In answer to the original question, everybody. With the removal of a need for profit the amount of freed up time would be enormous. No salespeople, no pr men, less administration. If you're in a society without money, no producers of it, no counters, no handlers etc etc. With such a vast pool of labour now available everybody could literally take about an hour out of their day to do the chores (or if it's a big job however long it needs then no work at all for a while) and everything would get done.

When compared to eight hours hard slog in a job I hate that's something I'd definitely be up for.

coyote
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May 7 2004 15:36

I've touched on this before but...

...do people really think we'll be able to maintain the present levels of consumer stuff etc. (for the want of a better phrase) with such voluntary/cooperative labor?

a lot of the "stuff" we have now rewlys upon exploitative labor and ecologically damaging production processses...surely we'll have to dump this crap?

No more Playstations? fancy TVs?

I can already hear the outrage out there!

c'mon, "the revolution" won't magically solve this...it's something we need a rational discussion of...without the "factories will be run by robots' councils" fantasies! (yeah, Workers' Power told me that would be the solution!!)

I'm about to finish work so its a bit brief and simplistic i'm afraid

enjoy... twisted

captainmission
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May 7 2004 18:44
coyote wrote:
I've touched on this before but...

...do people really think we'll be able to maintain the present levels of consumer stuff etc. (for the want of a better phrase) with such voluntary/cooperative labor?

don't think it's a question of levels of consumption, as terms of quantity, like there's some natural progession between absolute scarity to absoltue abudance. If we follow this logic then we end up with the question of what level of super abudence anarchy will bring about? We gonna do nothing but 'sleep, gourge ourselves on ginger bread and worry about the contigency of world history'? If 'higher standards of living' rise the average life span what age will we die at in anarchy? Is the class war going to abolish death? roll eyes

But nor is it a case that anarchy will result in some sort of voluntery poverty. Consumption ain't about quanity, its about difference. Don't see how we can argue we consume more than any other society, we just consume differently. As we have an abudence of tvs and cars we devlop a scarsity of open spaces, clean air and water and free time.

Marshal shalin's idea of the domestic mode of production gave us a good way of understanding why societies considered they needs forefilled and stopped producing (though the primies seized on it and interpreted in way he didn't intend). Question is how we turn this largely latent, unconscious social process into public debate.

Colinloves
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Jun 8 2004 20:54

Films would be shit.

Take away greed, hate, etc from our society, so what will films be about? bloody love stories!!

Anonymous
Jun 9 2004 16:32

If you look at cars, most built in the past 15-20 years only run for about 5-8 years before packing up. A lot of cars from the '60s and '70s are still running now pretty well, are easier to maintain etc. etc. . Same with washing machines, kettles, toasters, ovens. TVs and Computers are a bit different, since the technology changes much faster (although computers especially are often built to be obsolete far quicker than is necessary at the moment), but most general consumer goods are very poor quality and don't last long, requiring constant replacement with no improvement in utility or design. Furniture's another example - compare the lifespan of an IKEA coffee table to some 19th century pine.

If you had groups of people producing these things to meet the needs of their communities (or in order to trade more or less directly for goods from other communities), they'd be of much higher quality, last longer, require less resources, and the labour expended on one high quality good that'd last for 25-50 years is much less than that expended on 50 goods meant to last one year. Again, generalising a lot, but I think it's reasonable to expect that you might get that sort of result from an anarchist society.

High quality goods that are built to last are very far down the line in the priorities of most manufacturing corporations, and at the moment, things that you would have seen in every household a hundred years ago (solid wood furniture, even the construction of the homes themselves) are now luxury items. If the labour put into producing goods was actually spent on their production, rather than shipping them around seven countries to get the cheapest labour in each one, paying for advertising, marketing, retail design, management, copyright/trademark protection, you'd be able to produce much better goods for much less labour (as represented in money at the moment). The technology that exists now and much of the infrastructure wouldn't just disappear, so the speed with which modern tools allow products to be produced doesn't have to be rejected completely, technology is allowing people to produce things on smaller and smaller scales with most of the advantages of mass-manufacture, so no reason why that couldn't be used to reduce a lot of the labour that's wasted at the moment.