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Why isn't Anarchy an effective form of government?


Syntho-sis
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We're always being told that government is good and all this, but why should anyone have to accept that?

 

Since no one has an absolute understanding of what morality is, why not just assume everyone is wrong (or right- depending) and have everyone do things their own way?

 

Why should an individual have to do anything anyone else says?

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The concept of anarchy is inconsistent with the concept of government. Unless you're talking about shades, such as anarchocapitalism.

 

The reason why individuals, even a majority, should be able to effect the behavior of someone is because sometimes those behaviors affect the freedom of others. I have no problem, for example, forceably preventing, through legislation and police, someone from murdering me. You don't have the right to murder someone, or take a shit on my lawn or abduct my children.

 

To deny that human beings require some sort of social order to live successfully is to deny that we are human.

 

Yes, in small groups, government in the modern sense may not be necessary. But then you are taking about different types of institutions and social order and is not the anarchy you seem to be implying.

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Simple. We need leaders. Always, everywhere. And we also have leaders always and everywhere.

 

The simplest task involving multiple people will have a leader. Families have a leader (often the father). At work you have a boss. Sport, you have a coach. Teamsports, the team has a captain. Construction teams have a hierarchy. Universities have a professor.

 

Anarchy will always fail, because the anarchists will appoint a leader themselves too, sooner or later. They already have a leader within their own little social group. Then later, the leaders of the small groups will probably meet... until there is a system, democratic or not.

Ultimately, anarchy will always evolve into order. Because we are human.

 

I believe the anarchists we see sometimes simply dislike the existing system... which means people would rather have no system than this system.

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Anarchy will always fail, because the anarchists will appoint a leader themselves too, sooner or later. First, probably within their own little social group. Then later, the leaders of the small groups will probably meet... until there is a system, democratic or not.

 

The term poli scientists/ economists use for this is coalitions, fyi.

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Why should I have to abide by your form of government though?

 

Just because I was born under a democratic flag, does that mean I am required to salute it?

 

Disclaimer: This is all in a philosophical context btw, I'm not trying to start some form of coalition or band of discontents.

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Certainly, the prefered form of government can be different for different people. And it can be argued that one should not have to submit to a particular form.

 

However, anarchy is not government at all, see the above definition. It is the complete and utter lack of any government at all in any form whatsoever. Anything else is not anarchy.

 

I don't think it is possible for a society to exist in an anarchist state. In anarchy, the strong will take what they want from the weak (as there are no consequences, and no reason not to do so) such that a "government" is formed by rule of the strong.

Edited by SH3RL0CK
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Certainly, the prefered form of government can be different for different people. And it can be argued that one should not have to submit to a particular form.

 

However, anarchy is not government at all, see the above definition. It is the complete and utter lack of any government at all in any form whatsoever. Anything else is not anarchy.

 

I don't think it is possible for a society to exist in an anarchist state. In anarchy, the strong will take what they want from the weak (as there are no consequences, and no reason not to do so) such that a "government" is formed by rule of the strong.

 

I'm starting to disagree with Socrates on the basis of absolute morality.

 

To me, morality and government are one in the same. Obviously no one has a clear cut version of morality so why should one hope for the existence of a supreme form of government?

 

Problems still exist even thru the organized efforts of human beings, often the result of these organized groups.

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I'm starting to disagree with Socrates on the basis of absolute morality.

 

To me, morality and government are one in the same. Obviously no one has a clear cut version of morality so why should one hope for the existence of a supreme form of government?

 

Problems still exist even thru the organized efforts of human beings, often the result of these organized groups.

 

If forced to choose between an ultimately coercive, though largely benevolent, government where a minority of people are inconvenienced through a few well conceived principle rules OR lack of social structure where the unusual rules of the minority take priority over the well being of almost everyone... I'll pick the former every time.

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That's it exactly though...

 

If the minority is inconvenienced by the majority (slavery for example) why should the minority have to put up with it?

 

If they try to fight back though they are considered "traitors."

 

The majority of landowners were slave owners at one point in time.

 

What does "largely benevolent" even mean? It's okay if the gov't is bad some of the time?

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What does "largely benevolent" even mean? It's okay if the gov't is bad some of the time?

It depends what you mean by bad. I think government is inefficient, corrupt and ineffective most of the time. One thing that modern western governments do reasonably well is protect human rights. I think that's an acceptable tradeoff (to a certain point anyway).

 

Yes, mob rule is certainly arbitrary to the POV of the mob. But the only alternative I see to a majority-derived morality scheme, is havoc coming from the minority without anything we would consider morals.

 

I think the latter outcome is much worse than the former (again, but only to a matter of degree)

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I thought in practice anarchy was more to do with localisation of "government" and the responsibility of the individual to there local society.

 

The best example of this (to my knowledge) was Spain in the mid 1930's.

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I thought in practice anarchy was more to do with localisation of "government" and the responsibility of the individual to there local society.

 

The best example of this (to my knowledge) was Spain in the mid 1930's.

The OP was not based in reality as far as I can tell. There is also market anarchy, which is a extreme libertarian concept.

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Simple. We need leaders. Always, everywhere. And we also have leaders always and everywhere.
This isn't really relevant. An anarchic group can have leaders and still be anarchic so long as that leader has no authority. "we're going over there and you're welcome to tag along" is a statement of leadership but has no implication of government.
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This is a non-starter. Without government you can't even have commerce. Even Ayn Rand believed in the enforcement of legal contracts entered into willingly by both parties. I'm not interested in being on top because I'm ahead of the pack if it means living in a cave.

Edited by Pangloss
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Why should I have to abide by your form of government though?[/b]

 

I am not sure what country you live in but it's likely you are quite free to start your own political party (with a view to gaining control of the country), or if that sounds too difficult, leaving for a country with a political landscape that is more appealing to you.

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This is a non-starter. Without government you can't even have commerce.

 

More to the point, without government you can't have society. Society is based on the idea that the social contract is somehow enforced. Perhaps for very small groups where you have intimate knowledge of every member the social contract can be enforced with concepts as simple as friendship, trust, and the fear of being ostracized by the group, but as your society grows you really need a central authority to ensure everyone is playing by the rules.

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Well I personally agree with that, and I would not want to run a social-contractless experiment on a national level the way objectivists and some libertarians would like. But I don't know if that's at the same level of logical clarity as the loss of contract law. Without the social contract you can at least get a group of your friends to go do something when your sister is raped. But without contract law, we're all living in caves.

 

(Or so it seems to me.)

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This isn't really relevant. An anarchic group can have leaders and still be anarchic so long as that leader has no authority. "we're going over there and you're welcome to tag along" is a statement of leadership but has no implication of government.

 

If cooperation is required for success, a leader will stand up, and actually lead with authority.

However, the authority may be given to the leader by the others - it's not necessary that a leader takes control. Control can also be received.

 

I admit that the leadership you describe works fine - especially at a music festival or a fun day out on the beach. But I wouldn't try to build any large infrastructure with such a form of leadership, and I also believe that traffic would be rather messy if people would just follow any set of rules they wished on any particular day and time.

 

But perhaps we touch on something nice here: different types and styles of leadership are required at different times.

And I believe that many people largely do agree with the system we work in, but occasionally we dislike parts of it. And in many cases, we would like to see leadership by good example, or leadership by suggestion - rather than a repressive form of leadership which leads by threatening with punishments. It's good to have punishments for murderers... but why have punishments for things almost everybody does (like for example going through a red light in the middle of the night at a totally deserted crossroad)?

Most "anarchists" probably don't want anarchy - they just want more freedom.

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What if you have some form of micro-government instead? By that I mean, have as many issues as possible decided at the local level. Upper levels would only be allowed to decide issues that affect more people, such as pollution.

 

I think the key problems there are the number of things people have to keep track of (laws, safety concerns, freedoms, etc) and the inconsistency of a smaller pool of leadership to draw from. But there's a lot to be said for good local leadership, for sure.

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