I need more vegan blogs to follow!
I have some time to kill and I feel like going on a rant, so here it is:
It seems so ridiculous that anarchism is held to a different standard than other political ideologies. When we speak of anarchism, so often the questions thrown against us are things such as,…
I wasn’t sure if I was going to reply, but I’ll give it a go. Before I begin this lengthy response, let me stress that anarchism is not an ideology that rejects political authority simply owing to current corruption. It is an ideology that rejects the concept of power and authority. I will talk more about this later. Let me also say that I apologize if I sound unusually snotty in this response. It is because I feel like complete crap right now.
There have been many non-corrupt leaders throughout history that work for their people instead of themselves, activists etc. So there you go.
I originally wanted to say, “please give me a comprehensive list of all these non-corrupt political leaders,” but instead I’ll say this: for every single “good” politician you can name, I can name one hundred bad ones. Those odds hardly inspire my confidence.
If someone were to elect you wouldn’t you feel as if you wanted to enact real change for the good (leaving out the fact you’d never want to be elected, this is hypothetical)?
NO. I feel like I’m going to have to explain anarchism from the ground up to address this. I have a mind and a body. The anarchist would say that no one on this earth has a higher claim to control my body and mind than I do. Any attempt by an external force to control my body and mind by telling me what I can/cannot do is a direct attempt to usurp my autonomy, which is aggression against me. Government is not bad because it is impractical—government is bad because it violates autonomy, and in doing so denies me the freedom to control what is rightfully mine (my life). Voltairine de Cleyre said it best when she said, “For the basis of all political action is coercion; even when the State does good things, it finally rests on a club, a gun, or a prison, for its power to carry them through.”
Anything that usurps another’s autonomy is criminal (murder/assault is a usurpation of bodily autonomy, for example). Because this is the central principle of government, all governments are fundamentally criminal. No amount of good intentions can change that. The claim of any anarchist is simple: I am my own authority, but I am never anyone else’s, and to be an authority against another is wrong. I know what is best for me, but I do not know what is best for you. For this reason, any attempt by me to rule over you is not only criminal, but is destined to fail because I am not wise enough to know how to best control someone else’s life. No one is. For these reasons, even if the people in charge were perfect angels who all had the best intentions and truly wanted to improve the lives of all people, I would still oppose them on principle. We oppose power, not just the people in power.
That’s all the proof you need that there are people out there we should be electing.
This is not proof. The fact that some good people are floating about in the ether is pretty irrelevant, actually, since it’s getting them into power that is the issue. The problem is that these people are not in power, and they never win elections. Anyone remotely good in office is vastly outnumbered by people who are corrupt, and it has always been this way. It will always be this way due to the nature of politics. That aside, I never said that good people don’t exist, but a truly good person will never run for office, and corruptible people often will. There’s a saying: “It is not that power corrupts, but that power is attractive to the corruptible.” Good people do not desire to rule over others. Bad people do. Guess which sort generally runs? Wins? Why should anyone expect this to change?
The problem I’d agree with you on is that our government currently is not conducive to positive change and I think that is due to greed for power. That greed for power would still exist in an anarchist society unfortunately so I do not see how it would be much different.
While we both agree about the shittiness of the current government, I hope you understand that you made my point for me with this statement. Your argument:
1. In both an anarchist and statist society, “greed for power” will exist.
2. “Greed for power” is what prevents the Right People from getting elected.
3. Therefore, in order for the Right People to get elected, this implies greed for power must be abolished… but you’ve already established that it will exist in every society. You’ve unwittingly implied that, therefore, there can never be a truly good government.
You are right: greed for power (and other negative, dangerous things) will always exist. Anarchists recognize this better than anyone, and that is why we oppose hierarchy. Because people are often power-hungry lunatics, we claim that creating positions of authority allows these people to gain power and rule over others. The best way to minimize the societal effect of power-hungry, immoral people is to remove the positions of power to which they flock. So how would it be different in an anarchist society? The greed for power would still exist in individual hearts and minds, but the positions of power would not. Therefore, power-hungry individuals could not gain the authority to control and destroy our world as they can now by simply running for office.
We’d still have to look to the good people to help others as we do now.
I’m not sure precisely what is meant here, but you are right: in anarchism, there would still be crime and greed. This is why anarchists spend so much time talking about the various ways they would curb it and help strengthen the community, workplaces, and alleviate social ills. Anarchism is more than just anti-statism—it is an entire philosophy that encompasses anti-authoritarian economics and social issues. You are not going to find a philosophy more devoted to helping others than anarchism. Anarchists know we have to have good people band together to help others and alleviate societal ills. We know that very well, and actively work to bring that into reality.
On a side note, always remember: a system that requires the Right People to be in charge in order to avoid tyranny is a bad system.
Ignore my previous post, it was reactionary. The point I want to discuss is whether anarchism would be better, worse, or the same as our current system. Under anarchy there would be no positions of power but in reality there are. There will always be social positions of power, there will always be ways to gain power over others. I’d suggest we need a system to keep in check those who would want to gain that power but that would be a bit ironic under anarchy. Under anarchy how will we do that? I concede it would be better to not have any official positions of power. I also want to add that I am much more relaxed about this discussion than you are and that’s fine you take this so seriously.
I understand. The goal of anarchism is to eliminate hierarchy wherever possible, but of course that does not automatically remove all risk of such things returning in some manner (I hope this is an appropriate understanding of what you said—let me know if you were getting at something else. My brain is a little fuzzy right now). The social and economic systems promoted by anarchists are largely communal, mutual-aid-based, or socialistic (the definition of socialism here rejecting any state involvement). The degree to which the risk of power becoming “re-instated” is going to be slightly different based on the specifics of every anarchist community in question. The risk of some tyrant forcibly seizing power is always present regardless of the predominant social structures, but because anarchists are fundamentally opposed to power, we are not going to support the idea of putting people in power for the sole purpose of preventing other people from gaining power. It is counter-intuitive. Instead, we seek to decrease the risk of anyone gaining too much power through community-based approaches which decentralize wealth and create mutually-beneficial structures which make it hard for any one individual to amass enough wealth and support to become an authority on any level comparable to the state. The exact details of the various organizational methods proposed will vary based on the school of anarchism you are looking at, though, and it would take us a while to go through every school of anarchism in detail. If you really want to hear the sort of social system anarchists propose, you’ll find no scarcity of literature on the topic after a quick internet search. After all, anarchism as a political ideology is very old. The worst thing that could happen in anarchism is that, somehow, some individual or group could “take over” by force. In this situation, the state has re-formed and we’re back where we started.
And yeah, I take this very seriously. I can come across as forceful because of it, but I have to be passionate. All anarchists have to take these things seriously. I see every action by the state as a direct threat against me and the people I love, so I am pretty invested. I view promoting anarchism as the most important thing I can do.
(And again, I apologize if my first response was ruder than usual. I’m just in a particularly bad mood this week thanks to my crappy health, so I’m not being very accommodating).
Scotland has been building up to voting on whether they should become Independent from the United Kingdom since 2012, the Idea’s been in the works since the ’50s. Yes voters want to be independent, No voters want to stay in the UK.
The parties backing Yes are the snp, the…
When you discuss the wage gap, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Only white women make $0.77 to a man’s dollar.
- Black women make about $0.68 to a man’s dollar.
- Latina women make about $0.58 to a man’s dollar.
I will keep reblogging this to point out that disabled people, including men, make 22 cents on the dollar. Mostly because it is legal to pay us below minimum wage, but whatevs.
HOW IS THAT LEGAL???
You realize this is to a White man’s dollar, right? White men are not the same as “men” as a general category. Racism matters.
the united states of america is fucking horrific and repulsive and people have every right to shit talk it but leave fat people out of it and stop acting like having fat people makes the usa a bad place, when you could focus on idk literally everything else
Also please don’t compare bad people (ie cops and politicians) to pigs. Pigs are our friends and don’t hurt anyone. Fuck Amerika but pigs are awesome.