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Anarchism: What it is

FinnMacCool

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In response to the number of ignorant replies about anarchism that I've read on these forums, I've decided to post a brief summary of what anarchism is and also answer any questions.

What Anarchism Is:

Anarchism is an anti-capitalist, anti-state political theory and movement which aims to eliminate all forms of institutionalized hierarchy, and replace them with something more egalitarian. Anarchists great political thinkers include Mikhail Bakunin, Peter Kropotkin, Emma Goldman, Rudolph Rocker, etc. etc.

An Anarchist FAQ - A.1 What is anarchism? | Kill Capitalism Before it Kills You!
 

samsmart

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How is anarchy inherenty anti-capitalist?
 

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Anarchism isn't anti-Capitalism it is anti-State, end of discussion.
 

FinnMacCool

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Anarcho-Capitalism is a rather recent thing, but anarchists who also called themselves socialists have been around since the 1800's. I, unlike most anarchists, do not try to deny "anarcho"-capitalists the right to call themselves anarchists, however I also do not like that these "anarcho"-capitalists are trying to claim anarchism as their own. And no, I do not have any evidence to support this. It comes from my own personal experience with dealing with these people.
 

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Anarcho-Capitalism is a rather recent thing, but anarchists who also called themselves socialists have been around since the 1800's. I, unlike most anarchists, do not try to deny "anarcho"-capitalists the right to call themselves anarchists, however I also do not like that these "anarcho"-capitalists are trying to claim anarchism as their own. And no, I do not have any evidence to support this. It comes from my own personal experience with dealing with these people.

You can be an anarchist who opposes Capitalism and you can be an anarchist who supports Capitalism.

You can like to eat berries and you can like to eat fish.
 

FinnMacCool

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Thats all well and good, but the problem is their methods and politics are radically different. Theres no way you can call both of them "anarchists".
 

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Thats all well and good, but the problem is their methods and politics are radically different. Theres no way you can call both of them "anarchists".

Then when do you draw the final hyphen? Even amongst a subset of a subset, there's going to be another subset.
 

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This thread is still on the first page and already it's making my head hurt.
 

Korimyr the Rat

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This thread is still on the first page and already it's making my head hurt.

What, you expect a bunch of anarchists to be able to agree on anything? If they could agree on definitions and unite under a single banner, they'd hardly be worthy of the name.
 

samsmart

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Care to explain why? Or are you just going to continue to make statements like this without providing anything to even remotely bring about discussion?

Okay. How about this? If anarchism is against capitalism, then how do anarchists, without the use of government, enforce the absence of capitalism, or the use of any other economic system?
 

FinnMacCool

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Why would there be a need to "enforce" anything? THat's the whole point. If someone wanted to be a "capitalist", power to them, but there would be no point unless more people followed capitalism in which case there probably would never have been a revolution to begin with.
 

samsmart

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Why would there be a need to "enforce" anything? THat's the whole point. If someone wanted to be a "capitalist", power to them, but there would be no point unless more people followed capitalism in which case there probably would never have been a revolution to begin with.

So anarchism isn't inherently anti-capitalist.
 

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Why would there be a need to "enforce" anything? THat's the whole point. If someone wanted to be a "capitalist", power to them, but there would be no point unless more people followed capitalism in which case there probably would never have been a revolution to begin with.

What would they follow other than capitalism? There would have to be a re-engineering of humanity. Capitalism is so ingrained into most of our psyche.
 

Korimyr the Rat

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Okay. How about this? If anarchism is against capitalism, then how do anarchists, without the use of government, enforce the absence of capitalism, or the use of any other economic system?

You're examining this from the wrong angle. How do you enforce capitalism without government? None of the trappings we associate with the free market-- currency, stock exchange, real estate-- can function without a government to enforce them.
 

FinnMacCool

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What would they follow other than capitalism? There would have to be a re-engineering of humanity. Capitalism is so ingrained into most of our psyche.

I don't agree with the idea that we would have to "re-engineer" humanity. But in a not so distant past, democracy was talked of in the same light as anarchism, and look what happened. I think that agitation and organization is the best chance we got. Even if it is hard, that's no reason why we shouldn't continue to do it, if these are the ideals for which we truly believe in.

So anarchism isn't inherently anti-capitalist.

It is, but it is also anti-oppression.

anarchism works on the idea that private ownership of land, capital, and property are cancelled. So if some guy is a capitalist and says "Hey guys, how about you guys build stuff for me and I'll give money to you so you can buy other things. But don't forget, I own everything you make!" If it was an anarchist society, people would think he's either crazy or something.
 

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I don't agree with the idea that we would have to "re-engineer" humanity. But in a not so distant past, democracy was talked of in the same light as anarchism, and look what happened. I think that agitation and organization is the best chance we got. Even if it is hard, that's no reason why we shouldn't continue to do it, if these are the ideals for which we truly believe in.



It is, but it is also anti-oppression.

anarchism works on the idea that private ownership of land, capital, and property are cancelled. So if some guy is a capitalist and says "Hey guys, how about you guys build stuff for me and I'll give money to you so you can buy other things. But don't forget, I own everything you make!" If it was an anarchist society, people would think he's either crazy or something.

And then what? Would they then all go back to tilling their personal gardens on the land they don't own until someone who is bigger than them comes along and decides to take it?
 

FinnMacCool

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And then what? Would they then all go back to tilling their personal gardens on the land they don't own until someone who is bigger than them comes along and decides to take it?

If someone tries to take over, they would have to do so by force. In which case, they would be justified in defending themselves.
 

samsmart

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You're examining this from the wrong angle. How do you enforce capitalism without government? None of the trappings we associate with the free market-- currency, stock exchange, real estate-- can function without a government to enforce them.

Is it too late to say that anarchism is inherently foolish since it always devolves into a government of some sort?
 

samsmart

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How can you say always?

Because whether we like it or not humans are creatures of order and understanding. Even Somalia, the closest we have to anarchy, are actually tribal government ruled by religious traditions.
 

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I don't agree with the idea that we would have to "re-engineer" humanity. But in a not so distant past, democracy was talked of in the same light as anarchism, and look what happened. I think that agitation and organization is the best chance we got. Even if it is hard, that's no reason why we shouldn't continue to do it, if these are the ideals for which we truly believe in.
Really. Why have all the anarchist or socialist attempts failed since the dawn of Capitalism? Because when the revolution is over the people begin to acquire capital once more. For there to be any successful anarchist, sans capitalism, then there has to be either a Dickens change of heart on a mass scale, or there has to be a gap between the revolutionary class, and the first to live in a complete capital-less society.



It is, but it is also anti-oppression.
So the statists aren't to be oppressed in an Anarchist society? That's funny.
 
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FinnMacCool

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Really. Why have all the anarchist or socialist attempts failed since the dawn of Capitalism? Because when the revolution is over the people begin to acquire capital once more. For there to be any successful anarchist, sans capitalism, then there has to be either a Dickens change of heart on a mass scale, or there has to be a gap between the revolutionary class, and the first to live in a complete capital-less society.
Regardless of how much you try, you cannot teach a monkey enough to become fully human.

It's hard to argue against this because I find that it is simply a matter of perspective. To quote Durruti. "We carry a new world here, in our hearts. That world is growing this minute. " I feel just because an idea hasn't succeeded yet doesn't mean that it is not possible.



So the statists aren't to be oppressed in an Anarchist society? That's funny.

If the people don't want anarchism, then they shouldn't have it. It's that simple.
 

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It's hard to argue against this because I find that it is simply a matter of perspective. To quote Durruti. "We carry a new world here, in our hearts. That world is growing this minute. " I feel just because an idea hasn't succeeded yet doesn't mean that it is not possible.

That's really cute.




If the people don't want anarchism, then they shouldn't have it. It's that simple.
So a true anarchist world is impossible because it would require every single person to be in support of anarchist principles. Otherwise it would be the rule of a majority; oppression of the minority.
 

FinnMacCool

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That's really cute.
I don't see what the point of that was. Obviously we don't agree, but you don't have to be condescending either.
So a true anarchist world is impossible because it would require every single person to be in support of anarchist principles. Otherwise it would be the rule of a majority; oppression of the minority.
Not every person. Just enough people so that capitalism would not be needed or wanted. Those who do want capitalism can have it, but they will probably never get it because who would want to be owned?
 
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