Forum Post: Was Anarchism Dead Before it Started?
Posted 10 years ago on May 29, 2013, 2:53 p.m. EST by DrMurdochBrown
This content is user submitted and not an official statement
The answer is no.
Anarchy is not only vibrant, it vibrates with ever more intensity. One who likes to indulge in futurism might claim, in all sanity, that we are inevitably steered on a path towards total anarchism. A more conservative futurist might claim that the current tendency might not necessarily hold indefinitely, but that, as of now, we are on a path towards increased anarchy.
First, a brief definition of anarchy since many here fall in the usual hooks and traps that lead to its miscomprehension. Anarchy is the lack of hierarchy. Nothing more. It is not an absence of rules. It is not chaos. It is only a lack of hierarchy; in the political sense, a situation in which all people are considered, in theory and in practice, as equals in term of decisional power. Not only is it not a lack of rules, but, quite to the contrary, many rules (and/or principles) must be firmly in place for this anarchic state to last. Anarchy, when left unchecked, quickly destabilizes back to a state of hierarchy.
A bird's eye view of the last centuries shows anarchy creeping into the fabric of our social and political lives at a slow, but constant pace. Perhaps even at a pace that is exponentially increasing with time, not merely increasing in linear fashion.
Men today, although far from being ideally free, are freer than ever before. In the time of kings and queens, only a select few could read. Mass education and book printing changed this. More people than ever before have reached literacy. And, recently, the Internet has made reading materials easier to reach. Furthermore, more people have higher educations than ever before. Slowly, humans are tending towards anarchy in terms of knowledge and education.
On a social level, we are also moving towards anarchy. We have made immense advances in areas of sexism and racism. There was a time when africans were not even considered humans, and that time was not that long ago! Women have also slowly gained rights. They can now vote, and study in any field they wish. It's amazing to think that only a few hundred years ago women artists had to use pseudonyms to make it seem like they were men; i.e. George Sand. Again, the road in these areas is still long, but we are moving in the right path, moving towards equality, towards anarchy.
Fields of study are also becoming more and more democratic. Special information was once reserved for university students, but we can now access this knowledge with much more ease. Computers permit anyone to make films, music, to edit images; all fields which were once limited to people with studio access.
Social groups like NGO's and protest movements are using anarchy more and more has an organizational structure. Obviously Occupy comes to mind, but we can trace this back to nuclear protesters, and other earlier groups as well.
Hackerspaces and DIY groups are also tending towards anarchy. These are popping up like mushrooms and make even the most complex fields more democratic. Biohacking is a wonderful example.
However, there is a barrier that is quite big, and that is the problem of scaling. Can direct democracy actually scale to bigger groups? The Democratic Reform Trillema is indeed quite difficult to solve. Perhaps this problem could be solved by technology like e-democracy. Perhaps it will instead be solved by a type of modular scaffolding; in the sense of groups remaining small, but being linked to one another to form bigger systems much like atoms group to form molecules.
Another solution to the scaling problem is to use representatives. Indeed, another misconception of anarchy is that representatives cannot be used. This is blatantly false as Montreal's group CLASSE clearly demonstrated. In such a setup, a representative is often called a spokesperson. The difference being that a spokesperson does not make decisions for the group, but merely conveys decisions that have already been made to people outside the group. He truly represents his people, and nothing more.
Whatever the future, it is clear the current tendency is that anarchy is on the rise. This is good news. News we can all embrace, because it means the world is slowly moving towards more and more equality for all of us.
Anarchy is a pipe dream. It will never take hold. Anarchy leads to chaos. Chaos begets survival instinct and everyman for himself. As much as love, understanding and compassion are normal human traits, so are greed, envy and treachery. Without someone in charge nothing will get done. It may look good on paper, but in practice it won’t even get a decent start.
Dead before it started? It was never born. Because it cannot be born - create a world ruled by community censure and I will be an emperor. And that is the one fallacy - it does not consider the human nature that our Constitutional Nation of Law was created to counter. But so much for ancient history, the only thing we have left now is our guns.
Did you really just use the term "men" to describe the enterity of the human species in the same article where you announce the "immense advances in the area of sexism"?
What advances in sexism? While it may be true that women today are less docile, they are far more submissive than they have ever been.
Are aliens anarchists?
Would they want us to develop to the point where we could have pea effulgence anarchy?
I think they would start by questioning each of us as we dream to find out what our first need is. When we all answer with the same thing, we will have joined the universal anarchists:-)
"It is only a lack of hierarchy;" in the common social structure.
However, there will always be Maslows Hierarchy in control of people. Which is unconscious and cannot be removed.
If wants are allowed to interfere with needs, the anarchy will not be peaceful.
A peaceful anarchy is one where everyone in it knows everything there is about needs and wants in the shared world and never places a want over a need.