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Anarchism Anyone?


chrisjones
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One could pen an entire encyclopedia on the 1000s of people and the spider's web of resources needed to enable an anarchist to enjoy their day at a protest. From the global logistics and manufacturing required to produce everything they are wearing to the manufacture of his flares and spray paint cans, and the diesel required to power the train he arrives on. The list would be so extensive that one could write an entire encyclopedia about his day at the protest. My conclusion is that "Anarchism only works because the majority of people aren't anarchists.
 

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On 9/3/2022 at 2:16 PM, chrisjones said:

One could pen an entire encyclopedia on the 1000s of people and the spider's web of resources needed to enable an anarchist to enjoy their day at a protest. From the global logistics and manufacturing required to produce everything they are wearing to the manufacture of his flares and spray paint cans, and the diesel required to power the train he arrives on. The list would be so extensive that one could write an entire encyclopedia about his day at the protest. My conclusion is that "Anarchism only works because the majority of people aren't anarchists.
 

 

On 9/3/2022 at 2:19 PM, iNow said:

By what metric are you defining success in the context of anarchism? 

Hi INOW   I posted almost the exact same post 15 years years ago on a forum and it was received with great acclaim, it was liked by 2 people, a mad squirrel hunter from Alaska and a guy who was looking for a plumbing repair solution that had stumbled upon the wrong forum I think. But what prompted me to resurrect the idea was a documentary about Freetown (link below) an anarchist village in Copenhagen. It struck me that the village could only survive on its anarchist ideology because it is being sustained by the capitalist society that surrounds it. 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freetown_Christiania

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I can see a how a small homogeneous group sharing the same beliefs can run on customs rather than institutions of government and laws. I have long suspected libertarians think it should work at larger scale because of that ability of homogeneous communities to uphold rules of behavior without resort to formal rules or institutions to do the enforcing at smaller scale. The dream is of a community of people who all agree and abide with the unwritten rules and are willing to step in and unite when they see them broken, so they don't need the institutions. But without the underlying agreement on what the rules are - or groups remaining small enough for everyone to know everyone else's business and cheating and getting away with it is hard - it doesn't hold together so well. These can be inclined to turn out or turn on outsiders with different customs and won't have the institutions to ensure the lynch mob holds a fair trial first. Likewise for anarchists.

Edited by Ken Fabian
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8 hours ago, Ken Fabian said:

I can see a how a small homogeneous group sharing the same beliefs can run on customs rather than institutions of government and laws. I have long suspected libertarians think it should work at larger scale because of that ability of homogeneous communities to uphold rules of behavior without resort to formal rules or institutions to do the enforcing at smaller scale. The dream is of a community of people who all agree and abide with the unwritten rules and are willing to step in and unite when they see them broken, so they don't need the institutions. But without the underlying agreement on what the rules are - or groups remaining small enough for everyone to know everyone else's business and cheating and getting away with it is hard - it doesn't hold together so well. These can be inclined to turn out or turn on outsiders with different customs and won't have the institutions to ensure the lynch mob holds a fair trial first. Likewise for anarchists.

Yeah interesting observations Ken, I think similar principles also apply to many activities from large events and even down to individual psychology. From the rebellious punk teenager to the eco-warrior convinced they are independent of capitalism, to something like the burning man festival that is awash with the resources of capitalism.

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3 hours ago, chrisjones said:

Yeah interesting observations Ken, I think similar principles also apply to many activities from large events and even down to individual psychology. From the rebellious punk teenager to the eco-warrior convinced they are independent of capitalism, to something like the burning man festival that is awash with the resources of capitalism.

I would say the resources of the greater society and economy rather than specifically capitalism; there is a significant amount of government run social democratic education, welfare and healthcare around here where I live. Which I approve of; it tends to be a good thing for people at large - and for capitalists too in indirect ways.

I am also not sure the groups you name are actually convinced they are independent of that greater economy society or actually support or promote anarchism. I am not sure there is enough homogeneity to have a stereotypical punk or eco warrrior. Punk rebelliousness seems to have some vague connection to Anarchism but way short of it being any kind of ideology; I doubt many of them would know what Anarchism actually means.

With eco warriors (or social justice warriors) the concerns they raise can be valid and mirror real concerns of large parts their communities even if some of the activists seem determined to raise awareness through their power to irritate. Anarchism doesn't have much going for it, even for attracting the disaffected; Libertarianism has a lot more popular appeal, often amongst people who support armed citizenry and don't pretend to the kinds of peaceful means that a lot of social justice and environmental advocates hold to.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 9/3/2022 at 2:16 PM, chrisjones said:

My conclusion is that "Anarchism only works because the majority of people aren't anarchists.

My conclusion is that you don't understand what anarchism is.

Anarchism is not a specific organisation of society (this very concept is alien to the spirit of anarchist precepts), rather an acknowledgement that however we are organising ourselves at the current time, there is a better way of doing so.

Classically, this is summed up in Proudhon's mantra "Society exists to transcend itself". which is as good a statement of the underlying principle of progessive politics as I can think of. 

In The General Idea of the Revolution (1851), Proudhon wrote:

Quote

To be GOVERNED is to be watched, inspected, spied upon, directed, law-driven, numbered, regulated, enrolled, indoctrinated, preached at, controlled, checked, estimated, valued, censured, commanded, by creatures who have neither the right nor the wisdom nor the virtue to do so. To be GOVERNED is to be at every operation, at every transaction noted, registered, counted, taxed, stamped, measured, numbered, assessed, licensed, authorized, admonished, prevented, forbidden, reformed, corrected, punished. It is, under pretext of public utility, and in the name of the general interest, to be place[d] under contribution, drilled, fleeced, exploited, monopolized, extorted from, squeezed, hoaxed, robbed; then, at the slightest resistance, the first word of complaint, to be repressed, fined, vilified, harassed, hunted down, abused, clubbed, disarmed, bound, choked, imprisoned, judged, condemned, shot, deported, sacrificed, sold, betrayed; and to crown all, mocked, ridiculed, derided, outraged, dishonored. That is government; that is its justice; that is its morality.

This remains rather difficult to argue with.

At the heart of anarchist thought is the same scepticism towards forms of government as is embodied in the scientific approach to explanatory hypothesis: it may have some merit, but there is room for improvement.

I'd refer you to Herbert Read's superb work "Anarchy and Order" (1959) which had quite an impact on me in my youth. It's focus lies in anarchy being most clearly defined in artistic expression, and very closely linked to the philosophy of existentialism. However, I believe it's now out of print. A pity. 

Edited by sethoflagos
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21 hours ago, sethoflagos said:

This remains rather difficult to argue with.

Not that hard to argue against, surely.

I think the worst of Proudhon's litany are made more likely, not less, by the absence of governance. The being numbered, licensed, listed and so on hasn't been especially onerous or done me serious harm - no matter how infuriating it seems sometimes - but most of the ones on that list that truly hurt are not part of my personal life experience. I put that down to having representative government and the rule of law. Admittedly government began in the form of the toughest gang taking the spoils. We have gotten better at it. A lot better in some cases. From consent of the governed obtained under duress to willing consent and participation seems good to me.

I suspect even doing it badly is better than not doing it at all. Doing government better looks like a better goal than doing it less.

Did Proudhon apply his principles to commercial companies and criminal enterprises? Sounds like he did - anarcho-syndicalist communes, autonomous collectives and all maybe? If ever those become possible I think it will be a sustained history of doing government better - not revolution - that makes it happen.

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18 hours ago, Ken Fabian said:

I suspect even doing it badly is better than not doing it at all. Doing government better looks like a better goal than doing it less.

Much of what you say is correct of course. But on what scale do we measure 'betterness'?

We're all familiar with the right-left spectrum in politics and I guess most of us have a clear idea with where we feel most comfortable on that measure.

But isn't there another somewhat independent axis that quantifies the degree of authoritarianism in society? I simply see anarchism as the opposite end of this spectrum, and a desirable direction to take when government becomes too intrusive and restrictive in our daily lives. 

We're really not that far technologically from the point where potentially every human interaction we have could be uploaded via Android etc. in real time to the internet for analysis and judgment by the twitterati. Or by the government. And they would put your mind at rest with the age old jingoistic 'claim that they were acting in the interests of combatting criminal activity. But I think that you and I would soon realise that that was only a fraction of the story, and life had taken a turn towards a truly Orwellian nightmare.

Or maybe my fears on this front are totally unfounded and we are about to enter a crime-free golden age. 

 

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6 hours ago, sethoflagos said:

Much of what you say is correct of course. But on what scale do we measure 'betterness'?

Piety for some, righteous indignation for other's; it depends on your gang...

 

6 hours ago, sethoflagos said:

We're really not that far technologically from the point where potentially every human interaction we have could be uploaded via Android etc. in real time to the internet for analysis and judgment by the twitterati. Or by the government. And they would put your mind at rest with the age old jingoistic 'claim that they were acting in the interests of combatting criminal activity. But I think that you and I would soon realise that that was only a fraction of the story, and life had taken a turn towards a truly Orwellian nightmare.

Or maybe my fears on this front are totally unfounded and we are about to enter a crime-free golden age.

Maybe, you should just drink what's in the glass...

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17 hours ago, sethoflagos said:

But on what scale do we measure 'betterness'?

Well, I don't think "less equals better" is necessarily true or works as a better scale for 'betterness', at least not for good governance; the devil is in the detail. I think introducing bodies empowered to investigate and expose corruption can be a case where more bureaucracy is better (something currently on the agenda where I live, with and because of strong popular support) and taking them away or refusing them because of a simplistic belief in less government and less regulation can lead to worse, not better outcomes.

Simplistic ideals and ideas, like that less government is always better government are easier to popularize than complex systems of rules and regulations, checks and balances but the systems of checks and balances, even if they don't work perfectly they do work (where I live), whilst the regulation free idealistic version looks hypothetical and if it works at all only seems to where there is pre-existing social homogeneity - and probably with a liberal dose of the indoctrination that Proudhon has in his list.

I see the relatively safe and prosperous society I am part of as evidence of messy, imperfect government working better than it's absence. I suspect the levels of complexity our societies have are essential to the kinds of industrial economies that give us much of the extraordinary prosperity and personal freedoms so many of us enjoy.

I note that Proudhon doesn't appear to see the autocratic, hierarchical corporate model as intrinsically different to autocratic government - but it looks like modern Libertarians support the freedom of such organisations to exist and be autocratic - can even have that freedom for organisations, so long as they aren't government organisations, as a priority. People may be free under that model to choose not to work for them or not purchase their services or products but if they are monopolies - and seeking to become monopolies seems to be common to them and absence of regulation supports their freedom to do so - that can and probably will end up oppressive and exploitative. More so and worse because of the lack of government.

I think it can take a sustained history of regulation for behaviors and attitudes to change and for the voluntarily not engaging in crime or corruption or exploitation to be normalised and widely recognised as "better". And it will still require vigilance - and education that no doubt could be seen as indoctrination.

I think Libertarians, like most idealogical activists, are being naive and are open to being exploited. Anarchism/Libertarianism - past the fictional introduction to these ideas from Heinlein's "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress" as a teen (no laws, cool) - has looked unlikely to actually work to me. It makes me think of someone I knew who was inclined to approach a garden or kitchen renovation with tear it down, rip it out and then be left amidst the mess scratching her head - what do I do now?

 

Edited by Ken Fabian
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27 minutes ago, Ken Fabian said:

Well, I don't think "less equals better" is necessarily true or works as a better scale for 'betterness', at least not for good governance; the devil is in the detail. I think introducing bodies empowered to investigate and expose corruption can be a case where more bureaucracy is better (something currently on the agenda where I live, with and because of strong popular support) and taking them away or refusing them because of a simplistic belief in less government and less regulation can lead to worse, not better outcomes.

Agreed.

28 minutes ago, Ken Fabian said:

Simplistic ideals and ideas, like that less government is always better government are easier to popularize than complex systems of rules and regulations, checks and balances but the systems of checks and balances, even if they don't work perfectly they do work (where I live), whilst the regulation free idealistic version looks hypothetical and if it works at all only seems to where there is pre-existing social homogeneity - and probably with a liberal dose of the indoctrination that Proudhon has in his list.

Agreed, The regulation free idealistic version is a hopeless pipedream.

31 minutes ago, Ken Fabian said:

I see the relatively safe and prosperous society I am part of as evidence of messy, imperfect government working better than it's absence. I suspect the levels of complexity our societies have are essential to the kinds of industrial economies that give us much of the extraordinary prosperity and personal freedoms so many of us enjoy.

Noted. But this does put you in a minority of the global population, and a particular window in time. Economic growth has funded that comfort zone and it carries no certain future guarantees.

36 minutes ago, Ken Fabian said:

I note that Proudhon doesn't appear to see the autocratic, hierarchical corporate model as intrinsically different to autocratic government - but it looks like modern Libertarians support the freedom of such organisations to exist and be autocratic - can even have that freedom for organisations, so long as they aren't government organisations, as a priority. People may be free under that model to choose not to work for them or not purchase their services or products but if they are monopolies - and seeking to become monopolies seems to be common to them and absence of regulation supports their freedom to do so - that can and probably will end up oppressive and exploitative. More so and worse because of the lack of government.

Neoliberalism seeks to transfer much of the role of government to employers and landlords : ie a return to more feudal conditions. This is in effect an ultra-authoritarian position - tyranny by proxy - and therefore the polar opposite to the OP subject matter, isn't it?

42 minutes ago, Ken Fabian said:

I think it can take a sustained history of regulation for behaviors and attitudes to change and for the voluntarily not engaging in crime or corruption or exploitation to be normalised and widely recognised as "better". And it will still require vigilance - and education that no doubt could be seen as indoctrination.

I've always seen universal good secular education as a key factor in the evolution of a healthier society. I hope we get to try that experiment some time.

49 minutes ago, Ken Fabian said:

I think Libertarians, like most idealogical activists, are being naive and are open to being exploited. Anarchism/Libertarianism - past the fictional introduction to these ideas from Heinlein's "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress" as a teen (no laws, cool) - has looked unlikely to actually work to me. It makes me think of someone I knew who was inclined to approach a garden or kitchen renovation with tear it down, rip it out and then be left amidst the mess scratching her head - what do I do now?

Heinlein is one of the last individuals I'd look to for political guidance. Neither would I seek it from Tolkien as it happens, but does he really strike you as a revolutionary? Can't it be evolutionary? Just a gradual programme of repealing outdated laws that disadvantage minorities for example?

Two questions:

1) Do you agree with the idea that the single transferable vote system makes it more difficult for divisive authoritarian politicians to gain power rather than more inclusive compromise-minded candidates.

2) Would you see that as a good thing.

You don't have to answer of course. But these are the sort of questions where I see the authoritarian - anarchist spectrum as simply more relevant than traditional right - left politics. 

 

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11 hours ago, sethoflagos said:

Neoliberalism seeks to transfer much of the role of government to employers and landlords : ie a return to more feudal conditions. This is in effect an ultra-authoritarian position - tyranny by proxy - and therefore the polar opposite to the OP subject matter, isn't it?

I don't think so, it's difficult to pin down the polar opposite of anarchism, for instance, even a dictator can't dictate too people, without other people's cooperation.

I think true tyranny is what we do to ourselves, the tyranny of choice for example; would my life be better with this dictator, under whom I can feed my family (even if I have to wipe his arse, everyday😪) or the revolutionary leader who promised to relieve me of that shame; when we have no choice there is no tyranny, just a different day with the same choice, "to be or not to be"...

11 hours ago, sethoflagos said:

I've always seen universal good secular education as a key factor in the evolution of a healthier society.

Isn't it healthier, evolutionary speaking, to have a diverse genetic input?

We got to this point in our evolution 'with' the DNA of religion included; the good part of an educator is to provide 'information' in the correct context, a bad educator bans the book...

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1 hour ago, dimreepr said:

I don't think so, it's difficult to pin down the polar opposite of anarchism, for instance, even a dictator can't dictate too people, without other people's cooperation.

I think true tyranny is what we do to ourselves, the tyranny of choice for example; would my life be better with this dictator, under whom I can feed my family (even if I have to wipe his arse, everyday😪) or the revolutionary leader who promised to relieve me of that shame; when we have no choice there is no tyranny, just a different day with the same choice, "to be or not to be"...

At the time of passing of the Queen, your post reminds me of a paragraph from Hobbes' Leviathan:

Quote

Other kind of Commonwealth there can be none: for either one, or more, or all, must have the sovereign power (which I have shown to be indivisible) entire. There be other names of government in the histories and books of policy; as tyranny and oligarchy; but they are not the names of other forms of government, but of the same forms misliked. For they that are discontented under monarchy call it tyranny; and they that are displeased with aristocracy call it oligarchy: so also, they which find themselves grieved under a democracy call it anarchy, which signifies want of government; and yet I think no man believes that want of government is any new kind of government: nor by the same reason ought they to believe that the government is of one kind when they like it, and another when they mislike it or are oppressed by the governors.

Hobbes' had no problem in seeing anarchy (=democracy) as the polar opposite of tyranny (=absolute monarchy). 

Look, I've no real axe to grind on this issue. If you're happy with your tyrants and oligarchs, then fine, feel free to wipe their backsides to your heart's content. But it does irk me a little to see anarchy characterised as being violently insurrectionist. You're just regurgitating propaganda that served the cause of tyrants and feudal lords in the immediate aftermath of the English Civil War nearly 400 years ago. 

It is the anarchist spirit that originally underpinned the concept of parliamentary democracy and all our emancipatory freedoms that sprang from that. And gradually improving our democracies should not be viewed as revolutionary but evolutionary. 

1 hour ago, dimreepr said:

We got to this point in our evolution 'with' the DNA of religion included; the good part of an educator is to provide 'information' in the correct context, a bad educator bans the book...

Remind me where I said anything about religious education being banned. No objection to Wicca and Mami Wata whatsoever.

Edited by sethoflagos
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Is it really anarchism if you try to implement change within an existing framework of societal rules ?
Do you consider voting, to change a government, in a democracy, an act of anarchy, Seth ?

Most people consider anarchy as forcing change by disregard of all rules; myself included.
Changes in society are less painful when they proceed according to rules.

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13 minutes ago, MigL said:

Is it really anarchism if you try to implement change within an existing framework of societal rules ?
Do you consider voting, to change a government, in a democracy, an act of anarchy, Seth ?

Depends which way you're voting. If you vote for more egalitarian, liberal policies then the common person gains more control over his/her destiny and it's in the anarchist spirit. If not then not.

20 minutes ago, MigL said:

Most people consider anarchy as forcing change by disregard of all rules; myself included.
Changes in society are less painful when they proceed according to rules.

True, but won't you consider that common understandings may have been coloured by centuries (indeed millenia since these arguments were current in ancient Greece) of negative propaganda in service of those who consider themselves born to rule over others?

Having said that, the British anarchist tradition that probably began with William Godwin around the turn of the eighteenth century is toward the peaceful end of a spectrum that does extend to the more revolutionary figures of the Russian tradition such as Mikhail Bakunin. Children of their times, and those times were routinely violent.

Personally, I'm truer to the Godwin stream and see no paradox whatsoever in participating peacefully in a democratically organised society. Whether this accords with the common understanding or not.

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23 hours ago, sethoflagos said:

Two questions:

1) Do you agree with the idea that the single transferable vote system makes it more difficult for divisive authoritarian politicians to gain power rather than more inclusive compromise-minded candidates.

2) Would you see that as a good thing.

Our Australian system of voting is a "preferential" (transferable?) ballot, with some variations between States and Federal and between upper House and lower (Senate vs House of Reps) - some require all candidates numbered, some allow leaving blank spaces. It is also compulsory to vote... well, to turn up  or post a ballot; it can be left blank. I don't find it a great burden and it does give a sense of confidence that the results are truly representative.

We number our choices, from first preference to last. When votes are counted the candidate with the least first preference votes is eliminated and the ballots that voted for them are re-counted, with their second choice used - and so on until there are two candidates and one winner. Upper House is on a State sized "electorate" and that gives opportunities to smaller parties to get representation in proportion to their popularity. Lower House is many geographic electorates and favors major parties by winner takes all. I think similar to US and other nations.

Some countries require absolute majority (>50%) to win and preferential voting would prevent a need to go back around for a second election where there are more than 2 candidates and none reach that threshold. I read about follow up elections and think our preferential voting is better than that. Other places it is the candidate with the highest vote - even if less than 50% - that wins.

I like preferential voting but don't really know if it is better or gives outcomes different than a simple highest vote wins - but it does allow "protest" votes for independent or minor party candidates without losing the option to choose between the major party candidates and I think that does facilitate sending a message about levels of community concern about particular issues to major parties. And most recently we have seen the major parties lose seats to independents and minor parties - the rise of The Greens and "Teals" (who are centre-right leaning climate action supporting and loosely aligned independents - our conservatives are "blue", so blue mixed with green).

I don't know that preferential voting made a lot of difference but it there may have been some protest votes from people who didn't expect them to win, who may have voted for a major party first if they had.

Whatever the system used it seems like it is public confidence in it that seems most important. I can't say I have ready solutions (besides Vote!) for where that confidence is absent. We have (for example) Statutory bodies for deciding electoral district boundaries - but that wasn't always the case; we did have a culture of gerrymandering. Perhaps fortunately it was not so entrenched that public opinion could be subverted enough to successfully obstruct doing something about it. Although rural voters do still get more bang for their votes, with smaller voter numbers per electorate - and that favors conservative parties.

I should say that for all the good I see from the sorts of government Australia has there is no shortage of serious failing and things to criticise - nor that the trend is always consistently towards doing it better. I see "soft" corruption - undue influence, regulatory capture, partisan media, support for "rent seeking" and favors  - as perniciously persistent and problematic. Thus the issue of a standing anti-corruption watchdog at the Federal level is one that could have long reaching consequences.

In a roundabout way that could result in less government - the wasteful contracts that go to party supporters that evaded scrutiny for example can end up reduced when there are anti-corruption bodies.

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35 minutes ago, Ken Fabian said:

Our Australian system of voting is a "preferential" (transferable?) ballot, with some variations between States and Federal and between upper House and lower (Senate vs House of Reps) - some require all candidates numbered, some allow leaving blank spaces. It is also compulsory to vote... well, to turn up  or post a ballot; it can be left blank. I don't find it a great burden and it does give a sense of confidence that the results are truly representative.

We number our choices, from first preference to last. When votes are counted the candidate with the least first preference votes is eliminated and the ballots that voted for them are re-counted, with their second choice used - and so on until there are two candidates and one winner. Upper House is on a State sized "electorate" and that gives opportunities to smaller parties to get representation in proportion to their popularity. Lower House is many geographic electorates and favors major parties by winner takes all. I think similar to US and other nations.

Some countries require absolute majority (>50%) to win and preferential voting would prevent a need to go back around for a second election where there are more than 2 candidates and none reach that threshold. I read about follow up elections and think our preferential voting is better than that. Other places it is the candidate with the highest vote - even if less than 50% - that wins.

I like preferential voting but don't really know if it is better or gives outcomes different than a simple highest vote wins - but it does allow "protest" votes for independent or minor party candidates without losing the option to choose between the major party candidates and I think that does facilitate sending a message about levels of community concern about particular issues to major parties. And most recently we have seen the major parties lose seats to independents and minor parties - the rise of The Greens and "Teals" (who are centre-right leaning climate action supporting and loosely aligned independents - our conservatives are "blue", so blue mixed with green).

I don't know that preferential voting made a lot of difference but it there may have been some protest votes from people who didn't expect them to win, who may have voted for a major party first if they had.

Whatever the system used it seems like it is public confidence in it that seems most important. I can't say I have ready solutions (besides Vote!) for where that confidence is absent. We have (for example) Statutory bodies for deciding electoral district boundaries - but that wasn't always the case; we did have a culture of gerrymandering. Perhaps fortunately it was not so entrenched that public opinion could be subverted enough to successfully obstruct doing something about it. Although rural voters do still get more bang for their votes, with smaller voter numbers per electorate - and that favors conservative parties.

I should say that for all the good I see from the sorts of government Australia has there is no shortage of serious failing and things to criticise - nor that the trend is always consistently towards doing it better. I see "soft" corruption - undue influence, regulatory capture, partisan media, support for "rent seeking" and favors  - as perniciously persistent and problematic. Thus the issue of a standing anti-corruption watchdog at the Federal level is one that could have long reaching consequences.

In a roundabout way that could result in less government - the wasteful contracts that go to party supporters that evaded scrutiny for example can end up reduced when there are anti-corruption bodies.

Thanks very much for your insight, Ken. Your 'preferential voting system' is what we called 'single transferable vote' in my student days.

I must admit that my small understanding of current Australian politics has come mainly from The Juice Media Youtube channel. I have no idea how 'fair' their viewpoint is but I find them infinitely more amusing than Rupert Murdoch's news output and they've lightened many a dull day. And to me they are evidence that the true spirit of anarchy is alive and well at least somewhere in the Melbourne suburbs.   

Edited by sethoflagos
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12 hours ago, sethoflagos said:

it does irk me a little to see anarchy characterised as being violently insurrectionist

You know how sometimes we find shapes when looking upward into the clouds and those shapes tend to anchor around and get derived from whatever idea just happened to be percolating around in our heads that day? How maybe we had an encounter with a cat that morning, so see one (or a dog) now when glancing skyward?

Well, for some of us, thoughts of violent insurrection and threats of extermination are being encountered far more frequently now and… like the encounter with a cat cited above… that becomes what we see upon looking into those same clouds (storm clouds?). Our minds are primed to find it.

My point is really just that we all give our own meanings to words and exchanges all of the time.

It’s also uncommon… even here at SFN… when the word “anarchy” comes up to then have to clarify to which subtype of anarchy we’re referring, but certainly not unwelcome.

 

33 minutes ago, Ken Fabian said:

don't know that preferential voting made a lot of difference

Hard to measure, but one proposed benefit of ranked choice / preferential voting is that it alters candidate behavior. Good for voters who don’t feel like they’re wasting their vote and can vote their heart, but also good for which candidates get elevated, namely more moderate ones.

Politicians all certainly want to be everyone voters First choice, but to be someone’s 2nd or even 3rd choice requires that candidate not be too extreme nor too far outside of the mainstream. 

This approach to voting tends to make more moderate candidates more likely to breakaway from the pack and ultimately to win by simply appealing to a larger portion of the population (as well they should in any system audacious enough to wave Democracy as it’s banner). 

Suspect you already knew this, but perhaps others reading didn’t and I enjoyed sharing it so thanks for the springboard either way. 

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17 minutes ago, iNow said:

My point is really just that we all give our own meanings to words and exchanges all of the time.

It’s also uncommon… even here at SFN… when the word “anarchy” comes up to then have to clarify to which subtype of anarchy we’re referring, but certainly not unwelcome.

As I said above, at my stage of life politics is no longer a big deal to me. Somebody else's problem. But thanks anyway for the sympathetic ear. It's appreciated.

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