Saturday, 10 January 2009

definition twisting and the pernitiosness of rothbardian feudalism.

Though It's followers claim to be against the state, they are not. All through reading about this ideology, I've come to the same feature. Instead of using the actual definition of something, they change and twist it around to make it work the way they want. This is immature and unscientific. they do it with the whole government/state definition for example. The government and the state are two actually separate things, although they do overlap and are virtually joined at the hip. you cannot have one without other. The state is the monopoly of force. it is the coercive power, the enforcer of law. It is the controlling force of the police and military(although the police and the military are becoming more and more indistinguishable around the world) . The protector of private property. When I say I am against private property, I mean in the actually existing unjust system. I only support private property in the proudhonian sense of the term . The Government is the maker of policy, the brain if you will.

In a so-called anarcho-capitalist system, what I call rothbardian feudalism, the landlord/capitalist/entrepreneur/ whatever you want to call it, would hire "private protection companies" which would protect the stolen goods (i.e what capitalists call property,which is theft). these companies would, in their areas of territory, have a monopoly of force. this would make them a form of state, with their clients being the government ruling over their employees as they would need a workforce to get anything made. so you see, they do support there being governments and states, just as long as they are the government and they steer the state.

they are not anarchists. the state is the arm of the rich elite. The government hold a monopoly of power and that monopoly is the state. any positive social change that the government and the state accept is only allowed because it pacifies the broad mass of the people and makes them think that those in power actually care about them. centralisation of power breeds tyranny and capitalism is the ideal system through which to do this. as long as the people actually think they have a choice, they don't rebel. give them burger kings and a vote on which glove puppet to have as the face of their oppressor, and they'll kneel down and allow themselves to be raped by big business.

which brings me to a common misconception that they bring up when a real Anarchist actually tries to stick up for anarchism. Socialism.

when I watch debates between anarchists and these hypocrites, they constantly insist that anarchism is NOT socialist. This is bullshit (pardon my french there).

Socialism is not and has never been a single and uniform school. there is a whole spectrum of different types of socialism and anarchism is one of them. state socialism is not true socialism. it is simply the government and the state owning the means of production. this is tyranny. the people have no true control and become slaves to the state (even more then they are now). unions are controlled by the oppressors and do what the owners of the workforce tell them instead of the union being a legitimate way of getting the bosses to actually do things to benefit the worker's rights, which is what it should be. There are the multiple forms of state socialism and then there are the multiple forms of anarchism. these are two wings of the same bird.

Anarchism is a type of socialism. Even individualists like Tucker said so. Yeah, anarcho-communists and anarcho individualists agreeing.

Also the way they seem to monopolise the term "market anarchism", as if these 'narco-capitalists are the only market anarchist (when they are not even anarchists). Mutualism is the original form of market anarchism, in fact its the first type of anarchism full stop.

take away anarchocapitalism and it's pseudo-left wing little sister agorism, then mutualism becomes the only type of market anarchism (as far as I know).

These pseudo-anarchists are like baby cuckoos invading another bird's nest. They try to absorb anarchism. their insistence that they are anarchists, despite all arguments to the contrary, misleads those who are new to anarchism and is therefore bad for the movement.


freefarmgeek said...

I have been looking into mutualism, and I appreciate the information provided so far. I do have some concerns, particularly the egalitarian nature of what you describe.

I mentioned in my comments in your previous entry that there are biological differences in individuals. You concurred, but suggested that there need not be social differences (no hierarchy, possession versus ownership, etc.). I would posit that this would be a difficult society to maintain for a naturally hierarchical species with such individual diversity.

On the absence of hierarchies, the very nature of families suggest that humans are hierarchical. Most mammals are, as they are very dependent on their parents early in life. Unlike other types of life that are not raised by their biological co-creators (some insects, fish, reptiles and amphibians), we grow and thrive in the family hierarchy. I would argue that from a social perspective, voluntary hierarchies also allow certain individuals to grow and thrive. If a hierarchy doesn't work for you, you can start your own or find another. This is unlike the state, which is an involuntary and aggressive hierarchy. You can certainly say that all hierarchies are aggressive and in a free society you could choose to not participate in one, but nature abounds with examples to the contrary.

Now for my thoughts on individual diversity. I think it is important to state that biological differences can reflect themselves in society. If an individual's biology gives them less energy than the average person, there is the potential for less productivity from that individual. Does this make it unfair if others acquire wealth at a faster rate because they have more energy? Should no one be allowed to own wealth (merely possess it for a time) because this person may not be able to? I may be off the mark, it just seems that the mutualist argument against ownership has roots in social fairness - something that cannot be achieved due to it's relative nature, and diversity in human biology.

Now, on to your current post. I disagree that the state is the arm of the rich elite. The state is a haven for anybody who wishes to gain wealth through coercive means, whether or not they are currently wealthy. This is true for the failing corporations seeking bailout money, to the mindless hordes wailing about free health care. Certainly GM is evil, but neither the Waltons or Bill Gates have taken anything from us we haven't readily given them voluntarily.

Please feel free to elaborate more.
Again the root of these arguments seem to come from a belief in social equality in all levels (income, standard of living, etc.). I feel there is ample evidence that our very biological nature will cause differences that are reflected within society. Eliminating property ownership and hierarchies, I would argue, is unsustainable for the reasons I have provided.

Thanks again for this interesting forum.

mike cannell said...

Well I’m not totally sure that humans are biologically hierarchical. The nature-nurture argument is one that has raged for quite a while and I would say that a lot of it is deeply engrained cultural habits rather than biology. People are capable of working together freely. There are and have been anarchist communities of various types and it could work. With the whole family example you mentioned, it is mostly habit. People often become parents knowing nothing about it, other then what their parents did and their parents learned from theirs and so on. Families mirror social conditions/ideas rather than the other way around. It’s not the hierarchy that we thrive on in the family, it’s the affection and the psychological ties we have. Families that do not have this affection split up. You hear about divorces and children running away from home. Our society is hierarchical, therefore families currently are. If society were unhierarchical, after a time families would cease to be so. They would exist but they would look very different. Anarchists are against illegitimate authority, not legitimate authority. I may have explained the difference in a previous post, but if I haven’t I will next time.
You cannot maintain hierarchy without force. The disappearance of hierarchy would be a side-effect of the removal of the state. The notion of being able to leave a hierarchy at anytime is not really true, because:
a) Look at the mess when children try to leave their parents
b) If you leave one hierarchy for another you may just take the problems with you.
c) Hierarchies create problems such as the dominance of one person of another and the creation of control freaks.
As for an individual with less energy, s/he could simply choose a role that requires less energy. Allocation of roles in cooperatives would be allocated through group discussion and you would be free to be a single self-employed person doing something that fits you. A mutualist society would be flexible. The current class system is not as flexible as people who advocate it think. Poor stay poor; the rich usually stay rich (with occasional exceptions).

The state is the monopoly of force owned by the government. It came about in order to protect those with private property (in the unethical sense). The government and the state are actually two separate systems; it is to quote Weber that organization that "(successfully) claims a monopoly on the legitimate use of physical force within a given territory", although I would say that use of physical force is not legitimate. The very fact that is protects those who gain wealth at the expense of others shows how bad it is. It is only possible in the currently existing system to gain wealth through the exploitation of others. This love and hoarding of mere tokens of exchange is one of the main sources of problems in our society. Capitalism revolves around the acquisition of profit at the expense of the working classes. The institution of an anarchist system would eliminate class.
The whole bail out was a scam. The bankers are consolidating their wealth and lining their pockets while the people suffer the consequences. The dollar is in the process of liquidation.
The people are being fleeced. The bankers have virtually owned the American government since 1913. Did you know there is no actual law in America that says you have to pay income tax?
We are tricked and pacified by the elites of this world. We live in a prison without bars. We are given a mind numbing mass media which misleads us. We are given endless celebrity distractions. We surrender more and more of our freedoms because they use fear. “Ooh, look at all the crime, we have to put in more cameras” or “terrorists are going to blow you up, so we have to pass more restrictive laws”. They have the best psychiatrists working for them, especially in advertising. You say they don’t take anything we haven’t given them voluntarily; well I say consent can be easily manufactured. Creating bogymen is easy for them. They always use fear to make us do stuff, mixed with the promise of goodies.

The problem, reaction, solution technique is a very commonly used technique. Say you are the government and you want to pass a law or do something that you know the people will rebel against. What do you do? You either create a problem or exploit a pre-existing one. Then you make sure that someone else is blamed, so you can play saviours (the corporate media exacerbate this). This makes people go “this is horrible! What are they going to do about it??” What do you do then? You do what you were planning to do anyway. And there you have it. The perfect way to get the broad masses to voluntarily give right up. Look at the war in Iraq. Saddam lost all his WMDs in the last gulf war. The US government knew this. So did the UK government. How? The US government put Saddam in power is how. And they armed him. How about the current regime in Iran? The old leader Mosaddeq was a lover of the west but he wouldn’t let BP have the monopoly on oil. So what the CIA and the MI5 do? They pull a campaign of bombings of mosques and leafleting designed to make the Iranian people overthrow him. The US puts a regime friendly to them in power. Now of course that regime is not so friendly to them, so they are making a song and dance about how evil he is and how they have to bomb the crap out of the Iranian people. I really doubt Iran has WMDs in the same way has Iraq didn’t. Governments start war, but the people always suffer.

freefarmgeek said...

First, I'd like to say that I agree with you 100% on what makes a family successful. Nature versus nurture is something else entirely. I cannot imagine, having two children of my own, why anyone would think that nature would do anything but tenderly nurture the young. Spanking, "crying it out," and mysticism are all terrible cruelties human children are exposed to in typical family environments. Many of society's ills, including it's passive view of the evils of the state, most likely originate from coercive family experience (hat tip to Stephan Molyneaux).

Perhaps what is hierarchical is the child's view of the role of the adult (parent or caretaker). Young babies cannot live without the assistance of an adult (particularly a nursing mother), and certainly statistics would support that young children and young adults chances of survival and success increase when they are part of a healthy family as opposed to on their own. In this way, adults positively coordinate children to help them survive and be successful. It doesn't have to be coercive, unfortunately many families are.

I know folks personally who have this kind of supportive relationship with their employers. They enjoy being directed - not necessarily bossed around, or given orders - but to have their productive skills directed to accomplish a task. They would not want a management position no matter how much you paid them, they simply want to do their part and bring home a check. I think as long as children are raised by adults, there will be folks in all stages of life who thrive with that guidance. Perhaps it is a biological thing.

Production will always need to be directed. I'd imagine it's not very efficient for everyone to have an equal say in every aspect of every step of production. Sure, farming apples is one thing but software development and space travel are some examples of things where "industrial democracy" could hinder production or even be dangerous. I'm certainly not going so far as to say that industrial democracy is immoral or coercive, only that it may not be the best system from an efficiency perspective for every type of production - and efficiency is what the market strives for.

Another thought from your previous entry: mutualists consider rent and usury coercive. If I understand what you were saying, the important nature of shelter and the fact that you could be kicked out of your shelter for not paying rent, is what makes rent (and property ownership) tyrannical and aggressive. Then is the farmer producing food - something arguably more vital than shelter - being tyrannical for demanding fair payment for his labor instead of giving the food away to those who are hungry? This seems to be the approach to shelter, and I am curious why it doesn't extend to other areas of production vital to human life.

mike cannell said...

1. This brings me to the notion of legitimate and illegitimate authority. Anarchists are only against illegitimate authority. A legitimate authority is someone who is an expert on a certain thing. He can advise you, tell you how you should do something, but he has no right to force you do things his way or to follow his plan. An Illegitimate authority forces you to do things his way, usually through higher rank. I don’t think parents necessarily have to constitute an illegitimate authority. Personally I think society’s ills are bred by the system itself. The pattern of the family follows the attitudes of the society in which it exists. Look at the difference between today’s families and that of the 19th century, for example. The rich allocated the care of their children to servants, whereas a large number of children worked in factories. Very different family structure there. The structure of the family is largely formed by cultural and social constraints. If the society radically altered in the way it would through the shift to anarchy, the family structure would be affected. The attitudes to how you look after a baby, for example have shifted over small periods of time. The structure of the family is often dictated by work. The hours either parent works, who actually works etc. Largely I think that if you change the societal structure and values, eventually the family will alter. You say yourself that it doesn’t have to be coercive. In a society where everyone was aware of the fact that society does not have to be coercive, they all would know this and act accordingly.
2. Being directed is fine as long as it is through legitimate authority. Sure everyone would have an equal say, but those with more knowledge could advise those with less. Direction without rank or coercion. Without some form of democratic interplay it would dissolve into hierarchical tyranny. The free sharing of ideas and the feeling of equality that creates would make the workers happier and therefore more efficient.
3. When it comes to this you are half-right in why we oppose it. Rent and the non-Proudhonian private property exert illegitimate authority over the tenants because the landlord is essentially exploiting the tenant not only by taking part of the profit of their labours, but he doesn’t even truly own the property he is renting. He isn’t occupying it. They are. Which means the tenant owns the property and he has no right to tax them (which in many ways is what rent is). The farmer is not at all exploiting others through asking for fair payment for his labour. He is merely profiting from his work. The whole reason the farmer creates produce would be to exchange it on the free market in the first place. This enriches the community itself. All the necessary requirements for the survival and sustenance of the community are spread around in this way. There would be no inequality of wealth.