That's Not What *I* Mean by Anarchy!

"When I say anarchy, I don't mean a situation in which there is no ruler and a bunch of groups fight to become the ruler. What I mean is there is no ruler and everyone peacefully gets along!"

Yes, this vision is lovely. I understand that what we typically actually see when there is no ruler is different from what you want: (almost) no one is asking for civil war. But if, in fact, that's what we will get, it doesn't really matter if anyone asked for it or not.

7 comments:

  1. What's fascinating is that they pick this fallacy out in a nanosecond if it comes out of the mouth of a true believer socialist.

    It's very easy to point this out in these more radical positions. People are even more immune to seeing this sort of problem if they have more moderated positions (center-left rather than far left, libertarian rather than anarchist, etc.)

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  2. I always had the perception that was what anarchy was and always has been. It's not capitalism, but it's also not communism or anything specific for that matter except in the eye of the beholder. In a realistic sense, the state is not going away anytime soon.

    Good post.

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  3. If I have offended you with any prior comments that I have made, then I sincerely apologize for those.

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  4. I haven't said those words exactly, but I do know that I have said something similar to what you elaborate upon in your other post on this subject (though I don't know that I tried to relate it to a refutation of Hobbes).

    In any case, what I often do is ask myself questions in order that I will think them through in order to find an answer. One question that I ask myself is whether or not a monopoly is a prerequisite for societal order? I don't think that it is. The next question that I ask myself is whether or not the current status of the states (and their relation to each other) can be considered a state of anarchy? To this I say yes, because there is no monopoly that enforces the relationship of the states to each other.

    What I've found is that both anarchy and monopoly do indeed exist in certain forms today, and that some are better or worse in certain respects than the other, but that ultimately what is most integral to these arguments for or against such things is a matter of scale.

    While I know that Daniel is generally in favor of world state governance, I have often got the impression that you are not. If this is the case, then surely the logical conclusion of this is that you do favor some degree of anarchy, but that you're disagreement lies in the scale of such.

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    Replies
    1. re: "While I know that Daniel is generally in favor of world state governance"

      Only if drones police our consumption of large sodas, though

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    2. You have explicitly stated in the past that you are a proponent of world government.

      http://factsandotherstubbornthings.blogspot.com/2012/12/assault-of-thoughts-12272012.html

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  5. "That's not what I mean by government...."

    "When I say government, I don't mean a situation in which no constitutional limit keeps the government from doing an immense variety of evil and damaging things, far beyond any mandate to just maintain social peace. What I mean is it taxes and rules the optimal amount to quell the war of all against all!"

    Yes, this vision is lovely. I understand that what we typically actually see when there is government is different from what you want: (almost) no one is asking for the confusing morass of war, right-violation, and roundrobin income transfer that probably mostly benefits the connected. But if, in fact, that's what we will get, it doesn't really matter if anyone asked for it or not.

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