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Forum Post: ~ Imagine Pure Anarchy ~

Posted 7 years ago on June 1, 2013, 11:07 a.m. EST by BradB (2693) from Washington, DC
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

Webster ~ Definition of ANARCHY

1 a : absence of government b : a state of lawlessness or political disorder due to the absence of governmental authority c : a utopian society of individuals who enjoy complete freedom without government 2 a : absence or denial of any authority or established order b : absence of order : disorder <not manicured plots but a wild anarchy of nature — Israel Shenker>

Wikipedia ~

Anarchy has more than one definition. Some use the term "anarchy" to refer to a society without a publicly enforced government or violently enforced political authority.[1][2] When used in this sense, anarchy may[3] or may not[4] be intended to imply political disorder or lawlessness within a society. Others, including most individuals who self-identify as anarchists, use the term to imply a system of governance, mostly theoretical at a nation state level. There are also other forms of anarchy that attempt to avoid the use of coercion, violence, force and authority, while still producing a productive and desirable society.[5][6] Anarchy is also a technical issue of economic science.[clarification needed][citation needed]

In the 60's.... we believed that Anarchy was a society that existed without Rules ... One that did not need rules ... such as a healthy & working Commune .... where everyone helped with every chore ... simply because they wanted too ... Once there was a need for rules to be placed the commune would fall apart not too much later....

It appears that many here at Occupy prefer the common definition such as Webster's & Wikipedia's ... ie ... generally spoken ... "without rulers"...

Let me ask ... how can a system that provides rules... also be a system without rulers ? How will those rules be enforced ? ... somewhere there will have to be a ruling structure... once rules are defined ....

and therefore In the 60's, we believed that;

  • Anarchy was a World that did not need Rules ....

John Lennon summed it up Beautifully ....

Imagine ~ John Lennon [Recording began at Lennon's home studio at Tittenhurst Park, England, in May 1971]

Imagine there's no heaven

It's easy if you try

No hell below us

Above us only sky

Imagine all the people living for today

Imagine there's no countries

It isn't hard to do

Nothing to kill or die for

And no religion too

Imagine all the people living life in peace

You, you may say

I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one

I hope some day you'll join us

And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions

I wonder if you can

No need for greed or hunger

A brotherhood of man

Imagine all the people sharing all the world

You, you may say

I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one

I hope some day you'll join us

And the world will live as one

30 Comments

30 Comments


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[-] 2 points by MsStacy (1035) 7 years ago

Imagining such a world is a pleasant daydream. Attempting to make it a reality is a waste of time. Lennon's song talks about a world without the symptoms of the problem, he ignores the problem itself. Many systems of government could work but none of them will as long as people are as they are.

Many of the ills in our society are the result of people's indifference to what is happening in their world. We won't stay focused and work at our government. No system will work when a majority or its participants can identify dozens of reality TV "stars" but can't name their congressman or senator and have no knowledge of any of the laws being considered from the local level up to the national. How could giving individuals more say make things better if they refuse to become informed and continue to vote out of ignorance, if they vote at all?

The only thing I can imagine is that if we tried to construct Lennon's world and couldn't change human nature, we'd create a nightmare not a dream. An anarchistic society would require its members to be more informed and actively engaged then they are now. It's success depends on the majority staying informed and voting intelligently. Yet lack of informed involvement is exactly why things are as bad as they are.

[-] 2 points by windyacres (1197) 7 years ago

The time is now to make the world a better place, which is not a waste of time.

The current system doesn't want people to be informed about government, and that's why when we watch tv, we only know about reality tv stars. Explain why a reality show based in the Capitol wouldn't be popular? Much more than C-span. Are there too many national security measures that must be secret? People would then be able to name congressmen and would in fact be more informed. People finishing a long day of work could easily access recordings from earlier if someone on facebook was discussing an issue. Let the people see!

Stop complaining about indifference and ignorance when the current system is designed for that very reality. Government is still depending on the trust of the people, they should earn the trust.

[-] 1 points by MsStacy (1035) 7 years ago

Complaining is in our nature because it's passive. Action, including staying informed, isn't. In my opinion, working toward an anarchistic state is a waste of time. Getting an informed minority to actively participate in the government and work to elect good people isn't a wasted effort. That is possible and should have been a goal from the outset.

We've always had the power to change the government but we waste our time on dreams instead of working toward something that can actually be done. The time to make the world better is always now, you're right on that. What's more likely to succeed, altering the constitution and bringing in an entirely new form of government or electing enough right minded people to begin the process of fixing the mess we're in?

[-] 2 points by windyacres (1197) 7 years ago

I believe continuing to choose the option of electing enough right minded people is the real waste of time. The process is controlled, and is based on bribery. For the few that attempt to remain informed, we continually discover secrets. The many that aren't informed, trust that they would be informed by our government if an important issue arises. They trust MSM, and corruption is actually protected for the privileged.

You didn't bother to explain why a, "reality show", in the Capitol wouldn't be popular. I think it would be very helpful for informing the people.

[-] 0 points by MsStacy (1035) 7 years ago

We all have our beliefs and opinions, you're certainly entitled to yours. We each see the other's course of action as likely to fail. When I see the havoc a minority like the tea party can do, I have to ask why a movement like Occupy couldn't organize a coalition of groups, elect representatives, and do some good?

To me it's simple numbers. To make an anarchistic government come about you need at the very least the support of a majority of the nation. To make it work that majority has to be dedicated to keeping that new system healthy. I see fixing the system as possible and it can be started with fewer people.

There is already an abundance of public access channels that can inform. Personally I don't care for the idea of entertaining adults in an attempt to educate them with any kind of show. Many people think we in an era of corporate and/or government control through oppression like Orwell's "1984". I think it's more like Huxley's "Brave New World" where we are controlled through mindless entertainment and pleasure. We don't need more entertainment. Rome had bread and circuses for mob control, we've got food stamps and cable TV.

[-] 1 points by windyacres (1197) 7 years ago

We agree that ultimately it's simple numbers. A majority dedicated to keeping a new system healthy would include many who are already dedicated to their job, family, and cleaning with little time for politics. They should be able to quickly check out the story around work that day about an earmark on a bill to build a bridge to nowhere. Actually watch and listen to the proceedings if they so desired. It's not strictly entertainment, it helps solve the control problem you and I are concerned with. This could easily be made available.

There is not an abundance of public access channels that can inform. There are network and local news shows but very little of the info you and I are aware of and this seems to be by design.

[-] 1 points by JPB950 (2254) 7 years ago

Do you have a solution yourself or saying no action should be taken because it won't work?

[-] 1 points by MsStacy (1035) 7 years ago

I don't usually offer it here any longer, Occupy went in a different direction. They tend to favor an anarchistic socialism. In my opinion that course is destined to fail but it's their choice.

What I think should be done is to recruit candidates for office to work toward specific goals. Financial regulation, income inequity, ending corporate and political corruption. Essentially to fix the system before even discussing putting a new one in place. Occupy had around 400 independent but sympathetic sister groups in different cities nationally. That covered a lot of congressional districts. It could have gotten directly involved in creating solutions and made an effort for positive political change.

It could still be done, but I think the moment of real national awareness has probably been lost. I think Occupy's position as a factor in the struggle has slowly faded. Any kind of coordinated effort is likely going to have to wait for the next group to come along or for another major economic downturn.

[-] 1 points by BradB (2693) from Washington, DC 7 years ago

MsS, I agree ... the majority of the people are not ready to live in a world that shares everything ... and likely never will... that is life ...

but... we can strive and wish for that .... and we can let that guide us...

anyway.... Direct Democracy can also guide us... if we participate ....

Direct Democracy imo... if implemented well... will allow quick access to qualified information... indexes to arguments.... and data on the people's (those who participate) positions....

a snapshot in time .... at any time ... with enough evidence to force the people's voice...

a dynamically changing educational process that elevates our understandings

[-] 1 points by MsStacy (1035) 7 years ago

If you believe some never will be ready, it becomes a question of how many are and could be and portion of society you need for success. No point in working toward a system that could never work. I don't believe we're ready now or the republic we have would be working fine.

Your comments on information create a picture for me of what could be the new power elite, those that control and shape the information for a lazy public.

[-] 2 points by BradB (2693) from Washington, DC 7 years ago

I received a very interesting msg imo... I'll like to share it (if it was meant to be private ... author, let me know ... I'll remove it from here ;)

  • message

how can a system that provides rules... also be a system without rulers ? How will those rules be enforced ?

These are extremely interesting and important questions. A PhD thesis could be written in response, and I'm sure some are. Let me simply sketch broad ideas for now.

On Judging an Anarchic State Over Time

Anarchy, in scholarly terms, is only the absence of hierarchy. However, it becomes quickly obvious that if you let people do whatever they wish, some will eventually become more powerful than others, sometimes purposely, sometimes by accident. This means rules are definitely necessary in order to keep anarchy from creeping back to hierarchy.

One seldom talked about, but extremely crucial concept, is that judging if a political system is anarchic must be done through an average over time. In fact, this should be true about judging any political system since changes occur every second. We live in time.

Imagine the following thought experiment. You have 10 pistons that are set into motion so that they jump up and down continuously. Let's decide that when one is higher than the others it means it is more powerful. If one piston constantly raises higher than the others because it is longer, then the system is hierarchic. Now, if you stop the system when all the pistons are at the same level you would say it is anarchic. Similarly, if all the pistons move up and down together it would also be anarchic. In these last two examples, the amount of height the pistons have is always equal. Now, imagine that all the pistons have the exact same length and exact same speed, but move up and down at different times, none of them are in sync. If you stop the system, there will always be one piston higher than the others, it will be hierarchic. In other words, at any given time it is hierarchic. However, and this is the important part, if you average over a time long enough for each piston to have gone up and back down, the average will be an anarchic system. That is, everyone of the pistons will have been higher than the others for the exact same amount of time.

What the above experiment shows is that anarchy doesn't necessarily need to be a state where each citizen always has the same amount of decisional power. Indeed, that would be impossible. For example, if there is a general assembly in a city, there will always be people that cannot attend because they are sick, or perhaps they are on vacation. During that general assembly, they have less power than the others because they are not there. What's important is that over a certain amount of time each citizen has the chance for equal power. I think this is a crucial concept. You need to think about this deeply.

In a society like US, the above is simply not the case. People that are born rich have more chance of success. They have a better chance of schooling, etc... This becomes obvious when you realize that Bush father and Bush son both became presidents in a country of 300 million people. Connections, money, etc... lead to power over others. Also, businesses which amass lots of money are like pistons that go all the way up, but never, or seldom, come down! Bill Gates has more power than the rest of American citizens and will most likely have more power until his death.

I said all this because it will affect the nature of the rules put in place by anarchy, which will in turn affect the way those rules are enforced.

The rules must only ensure that everyone has an equal chance for power over time, not at every single moment.

So, rotation becomes key. You can have a police officer enforcing the rules, but if he can be changed for someone else because the people think he is using that job to increase his power over others, then his potential for power is very limited, very temporary.

This is the main argument as to how rules can be enforced without having rulers. The people decide the rules and choose the people that enforce them. Those that do lose their potential temporary power if they abuse it in practice.

(I'll expand in another comment. I'm limited by time at the moment. There's a lot more I want to say about this very interesting topic!)

  • end of message
[-] 1 points by BradB (2693) from Washington, DC 7 years ago

v interesting imo.... and I'll like to comment ...

my views of all this ... started in the 60's....

let me ask another question ....

  • does it harm the society if someone has power... and they ALWAYS use it for the common & overall good ?

If our answer is;

  • "no... we want to give an individual power that has our (all the peoples) best interest at heart" .... we can design around that....

or If our answer is;

  • "yes... everyone must have equal power" .... then imo ...we have a different, much more complicated design task...

Now from a purity point of view... imo... "everyone should have equal say" ...

  • however that requires everyone to give equal participation...

  • this is the dilemma ... everyone cannot give equal participation... yet the author of the message ... imo... is accurately saying that if everyone has the opportunity to equally participate... then the participation will average out ... and the result overall will be the same had everyone participated at same time....

I/we came to the same understanding in the 60's...

  • but in a perfect, good world ... what is power ?.... Power is responsibility ... Power for the good takes energy & work .... which is something not everyone wants....

now after much participation and argument in this movement's Direct Democracy working group... I have come to a realization that;

  • imo... it really doesn't matter if everyone participates... or if everyone votes on every issue... as much as it matters that everyone has the opportunity to participate & vote at any time ....and...

  • imo... it really doesn't matter if we give power or representation to individuals to do the work for us... as long as we can strip them of that power at anytime ....

  • and a "People's Veto" ... may not be perfect .... but it could be a great stepping stone in reaching a perfect economic & social system....

and back to my opinion of pure Anarchy ...

  • Anarchy ... is chaos, rulerless, lawless, ruleless ...whatever we want it to be ...

but once we give it definition... it must limit it ... for no one can perfectly define equality & harmony & love, etc...

so as John Lennon spoke of Imagine ... I imagine that he was also speaking of the world of Anarchy...

something to strive for... more than anything to rule us...

[-] 2 points by windyacres (1197) 7 years ago

Agree. There's no reason to fight over who is going to be anointed, they're only a representative. We can select from our pool of alternates and replace them quickly if necessary.

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[-] 2 points by windyacres (1197) 7 years ago

We can live without, "rulers", but at the same time, we must establish justice and unfortunately that requires enforcement. We the people should rule, and hire/elect public servants to enforce justice. If we cannot trust public servants, (apparently we can't), we should use technology to make government transparent and accountable.

Millions of people already do their job with cameras recording them, if necessary the recordings can be accessed to determine the truth of what happened without having to depend on someone's words to explain. Dash cams in police cars are a good example. This is how we the people can ensure Justice is being enforced.

[-] 1 points by BradB (2693) from Washington, DC 7 years ago

windyA... I agree with you that in practicality society needs rules ... and therefore a means of enforcement... however, the term Anarchy imo... does not describe that... it describes something bigger... something better... something to work towards ... pure & total freedom ...

[-] 2 points by windyacres (1197) 7 years ago

My impression is using the term, Anarchy, to describe the future would be a bad choice for a word to influence the masses.

A practical society in the near future should include using impressive technology to monitor government. It's possible now! Then we can truly have hope for something better, something to work towards, freedom,... and Love

[-] 1 points by BradB (2693) from Washington, DC 7 years ago

I agree ... A practical society in the near future should include using impressive technology to monitor government. ....

as for Anarchy describing the future... not really what I was saying ... but close

[-] 2 points by windyacres (1197) 7 years ago

I agree Anarchy comes close. Jefferson pointed out ideally we wouldn't need any government at all, but then things get practical.

[-] -1 points by OTP (-203) from Tampa, FL 7 years ago

No, then things get concentrated.

[-] 1 points by windyacres (1197) 7 years ago

The power of cameras to prevent corruption in government is available now. It might not prevent all corruption, but it would change the game.

[-] 1 points by BradB (2693) from Washington, DC 7 years ago

interesting think about the policeman who has a camera on his uniform that records everything he sees and does ...

[-] 1 points by windyacres (1197) 7 years ago

That would be wonderful. Anybody on the job doing government work including the Congressmen and their staffs should be monitored. There's no reason for them to feel insulted, it applies to everyone. They can be home after work or on vacation and we should ensure their privacy, just as many millions live every day now.

[-] 1 points by BradB (2693) from Washington, DC 7 years ago

concentrated ? how do you mean ?

[-] 1 points by redandbluestripedpill (333) 7 years ago

Freedom = independence = knowledge of needs and how to meet them. Responsibility, accountability.

You may have seen me post before that the only peaceful anarchy is one where everyone in it knows everything there is to know about needs and wants, and will never place a want over a need.

What I read echoing in these expressions is a fascination with developing methods, both material and social that work in the same way for us as other less technological ways did in a village system, long ago, perhaps now where there is no currency, but instead production and giving with a deeper sense of belonging to community and extended family.

Also, there is missing knowledge about human societies in the past. It would do us well to see that completely recovered so we may use what we might. Much of it concerns our social interactions.

[-] 1 points by OTP (-203) from Tampa, FL 7 years ago

I agree. I have no problem giving some tasks to others. As David Cobb said "Im not going to the public meeting to decide where we place all the stop signs in the city"..

That being said, the people have brought government into almost every aspect of their lives, and its destroyed our ability to live and communicate and govern.

[-] 2 points by BradB (2693) from Washington, DC 7 years ago

quote; I have no problem giving some tasks to others.

I do... I would never ask someone to clean up my mess that I made

[-] 1 points by windyacres (1197) 7 years ago

How would you feel if he cleaned up your mess without even being asked?

[-] 1 points by BradB (2693) from Washington, DC 7 years ago

I would enjoy it... however some of my messes I might not want anyone else to ever see ... ;)

[-] 2 points by windyacres (1197) 7 years ago

lol. Same here. Wish i could say i cleaned others messes for them often, but I don't.

[-] 1 points by windyacres (1197) 7 years ago

For some reason we now elect, "leaders", instead of public servants. These leaders are excellent with explaining things with words, often deceptively. We can't even depend on their voting records to determine their many secrets! It is unchecked corruption.

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