Anarchism is a political view

This might seem obvious, were it not for the many anarchists who express their disdain for "politics."

"Anarchy, as Waltz outlines, is a political relationship in which units possess no authority over one another and are not bound under any common authority." -- Marjo Koivisto, "Liberal world orders, reciprocal and hierarchic," in Liberal world orders, p. 108.

To argue for anarchy is a political action, and an anarchic polity certainly cannot do away with politics, since that is precisely what will be going on whenever these units negotiate with one another as to how to resolve some dispute between them.

14 comments:

  1. This very true. Even in completely voluntary organization you have 'politics' everywhere. In religious groups, charities, various non-profits, companies, home associations, clubs,colleges, universities, etc, etc., there are always attempts by certain groups or factions to be more influential than the others for various reasons. The anarchist solution can't really do away with this because it seems to be a feature of human society, whether in involuntary coercive states or organizations that run on principles that allow you to freely disassociate at anytime for any reason.

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    1. Politics is a very specific word, it means something. I'm pretty sure that it doesn't apply to all cases of persuasion, rather it applies to a very specific form and order of persuasion. That is the entire point of the word!

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    2. Yes: politics is persuasion used to influence a society's methods of ordering social life.

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  2. No Gene, it is not quite so obvious. However, I might actually find some agreement with you nonetheless (even with our differences of opinion).

    Ultimately this topic that you bring up comes down to language and the meaning thereof.

    If you are talking about *politics* with relation to government, then I entirely agree with you; anarchism--especially and specifically anarcho-libertarianism--has it's own government. On this point I definitely agree, it cannot be denied.

    However, if you are instead talking about the State, then I disagree. Because that is a specific form of government and governance (i.e. the result of a specific type of action, government; and also the process of such an action, governance; which are both Subjects that refer to the Object, the State). Linguistically *it* (the State) can be differentiated from *government* by the usage of grammatical convention and history, they do not conceptually mean the same thing in all circumstances.

    It is very easy for somebody like me to reject politics, because what I'm rejecting is the current State of governance. That does not mean that I am against government, because I'm definitely in favor of such a thing. I merely object to the monopoly form. And unfortunately, politics has always referred to this form (city, polity, politics, policy, etc).

    Now on to the quote:

    "... is a political relationship in which units posses no authority over one another ..."

    But there is (authority over one another)! And this is especially true in anarcho-libertarianism. There is no rejection of authority, but rather there is a logical system of assigning such authority based upon certain norms that are prevalent in society; some are axiomatic, others are arrived at (e.g. through cases or through further discovery and/or truth).

    "... not bound under any common authority"

    This is question begging, because this quote has not established that such a thing is just (in the normative sense), preferable (in the consequentialist sense), that it represents the current case (in the empirical sense), nor that it is at all true (in the realistic sense) ; it says exaction *nothing* (!) philosophically, but worse, it presumes that a "common authority" is the bee's knees. It represents either a circular statement, or simply a blank pronouncement (if you can provide more context, that would be greatly appreciated), but in any case it proves nothing at all.

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    1. But there is (authority over one another)! And this is especially true in anarcho-libertarianism.

      Then why call yourselves anarchists?

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    2. It is a marketing strategy thought up by Rothbard: while advocating rule by the propertied, one can feel "edgy" because it is called "anarcho"-something.

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    3. It is a marketing strategy thought up by Rothbard: while advocating rule by the propertied, one can feel "edgy" because it is called "anarcho"-something.

      A political philosophy that manages to produce something like "anarcho-monarchism" is something to be suspicious of. HHH is particularly good example: he's not so much an anarchist as he is a wannabe Boss Hog.

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    4. If you live within the physical world, then property will exist, as will *property rights* (there is not a sole in this world that exists without them). How do you define *property*, Gene?

      (I define *property* as the relation between the concrete objects that exist in reality and the abstract norms that accompany them in human social life, and *rights* are merely those abstract norms as they are attributed to said *property*. So your last comment seems to be senseless to me.)

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    5. Huh? Who said anything about abolishing property?! I am pro-property! I would like to own more myself, in fact.

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    6. I define *property* as the relation between the concrete objects that exist in reality and the abstract norms that accompany them in human social life…

      That's a rather broad notion of property.

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  3. This might be libertarians' biggest problem: that their policies don't have an effect on other and the belief that property lines somehow insulate the rest of the world from what is inside them. Hmm, a novel idea: property rights as an externality.

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  4. What is your definition of "politics" Gene?

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    1. If you live on a pirate ship as a voluntary recruit who signs the articles, a la Leeson, there will still be the need to determine which way to sail. That will be a political decision. Even if it is up to the captain.

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  5. Pretty much the usual one, Bob.

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