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Anarchism

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    Jun 3 2012: Not sure you are serious Tyler.
    There is much more to modern democratic systems than individual sovereignty.
    Some are secular and republics
    Others are not - E.g. The Australia has a foreign head of state, the English Queen, who is also head of the church of England. Suggest we would be better off dumping monarchy to the trash can of history. Let us be citizens not subjects.

    With liberty comes responsibility.
    In a republic the law is king
    An effective democracy splits the power.
    An effective democracy is not tyrant of the majority - it protects minority rights

    Who pays for or organises the police in your anarchic society?
    Who collects the rubbish.
    Who arbitrates differences and conflicts.
    Who protects your life, property. rights etc.
    Who builds the roads and bridges.
    Are you just going to rely on the good nature of everyone.

    Don't forget all the good that comes from crappy democracy. Worst system ever, except every other system thought of so far.

    While I support liberty etc it should not be absolute. You are free to do much what you like up until the point you impact others. If you don't want to pay taxes, if you want to be free from government go live somewhere remote. I prefer to improve what we have.

    21st century government has problems but I would prefer the rights and responsibilities it tries to balance than the anarchy before any form of government or law. Think you may have an overly optimistic view or human society without laws and governments etc
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      Jun 3 2012: all of these, garbage handling, arbitrating, protection are much older than democracies. in fact, much older than states. it proves the fact that such things can be provided without the state. whether the state is the best way to provide those is a question that needs further consideration. but it is not enough to say no state - no police. today, the state organizes these, but it can be done in other ways.
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        Jun 4 2012: Yes, agree that many tasks can be privatised. Not sure if that is the most effective way or whether we might lose a lot of services.

        I'm waiting to hear how Tyler suggests these things will be managed without any government or whether he will do away with much of what government does.

        I can't wait for the removal of labour laws. Lets put kids in dangerous coal mines for 18 hours a day and pay them next to nothing. Lets leave it to individuals to protect their life and property. Lets leave it to manufacturers to pollute the environment and poison people.

        I note life is more complex and the population levels are larger than ever. Not sure if all services and roles carried out local, state and federal government in the modern world could be carried out without some sort of government organisation. And even if they could, would it be a more effective method than we currently had.

        Suggest no government may work on a small scale of like minded individuals, but as the numbers and requirements grow you end up with some sort of group, communal or societal decision making process and you end up again with some form of government. Maybe Tyler is just referring to national government.

        I suspect human societies need some, or are better with some form of government.
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          Jun 4 2012: Anarchy can't last. Someone or some group of people will always grab power. The only way I see anarchy working is in a very small group of people. You would essentially have to be "off the grid." For an entire nation such as the United States, it would be utter chaos as there are too many people occupying the space allotted.

          You need checks and balances to contain extremes.
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          Jun 4 2012: this is a false dichotomy, either the state does or everyone for himself. we lived in a society much sooner than states existed. society is self organizing, and cooperative groups automatically appear. the state does not provide bread. yet, we don't bake our own bread. companies do. in a free society, companies could provide protection and all the services the state provides, rather inefficiently i must add.

          children working in coal mines. you would rather watch them not working at all? because this is all that law can enforce. law can not enforce higher wage to anyone, because nobody can be paid more than he produces. the wellbeing of a person is determined by his productivity, which is increased by technology. law can not change that.
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          Jun 4 2012: Sorry a bit confused, define "we" and do you have modern examples of free society working, or any in the last 2000 years? Even small samples would be great to learn about. I am not well versed in the subject and came to TED to learn. I just don't see free society/anarchy being possible in a large society as companies with advanced technology would surely take control.
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        Jun 4 2012: I had to reply here.

        You may be seeing absolutes in my comments that are not intended.
        Again I'm waiting for Tyler to expand.
        Just pointing out that a lot of stuff that happens requires human organisation and cooperation.
        A large scale modern society requires a lot of this.
        I do doubt a government free zone would be effective for large groups.
        I do see a positive role for both government and private enterprise. I suggest consumer power is not enough to limit the excesses of free markets.
        I do see value in some legislation not just common law.

        Small groups may self organise without government easier than bigger groups. I suggest the non government approach might be fine for bread but might struggle with national security and major infrastructure. Maybe we all pay a toll for a bridge. But how do you pay for

        Are you suggesting we would be better off without any form of government?

        When do co-operative groups become in effect a type of government? Even a village council is a form of government.

        You seem to have more faith in the free market than I do. I prefer the sharp edges to be addressed. And I see a role for state activity. I'm okay with paying tax for decent public schooling, police, public health etc etc.

        I suggest the wellbeing of an individual depends on several things. luck, ability, drive, opportunity but also in a society we can have systems that consider need and have a collective response. It does not have to be each man for himself. I think you would agree even without government a community can help others. Unless you want every man for himself. I'm okay with tax being used for the collective good. Sure there is a lot of waste and everyone will disagree how much government is the ideal.

        I agree that a society can not pay for more than it can afford for too long. But also I suggest the individual and their particular circumstances make the biggest impact on their wellbeing, there is a role for workplace safety, environmental laws, unions welfare.
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        Jun 4 2012: RE: children working in coal mines. you would rather watch them not working at all?

        It depends in part on the level of development, productivity and wealth.

        I'd rather see children in school than in mines. In a poorer country or one with income inequality the poor children may need to work to survive.

        Not sure if you are playing devils advocate or have an extreme ideological view.

        You actually can set a minimum wage. Yes it will impact employment. There is a balance.
        You can have workplace safety and employment law.
        You can have paid public holidays etc etc

        In a productive society - you can have a balance.
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          Jun 4 2012: this is again a false dichotomy. if we can choose between coal mine and school for children, surely, we should choose school. but the choice is not that. the choice is whether we let people to choose for themselves, or we set barriers to it. can be solve global warming by simply outlaw it? can we stop floods by enacting a law that there is no flood? can we suddenly raise the productivity of people with a law? now, we can not. in places where children are in coal mines, there is no school at all. you can remove them from the coal mine, but it will not allow them to attend school, and also eat.

          of course, it is alway possible to take from those who have, and give to those who don't. but in practice, this method proved itself to be unworkable. the best thing to alleviate poverty is free market capitalism.

          there is no balance between evil and good. and coercion is evil. if the state steps up, and prevents adult people to interact as they see fit, it is evil. we don't want to balance it.
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        Jun 4 2012: I would support not allowing children to work in Coal mines in Australia.
        It may even be an unnecessary law.
        As I said it depends on the situation.

        I support workplace safety laws. I guess while 80% of people may try to do the right thing by others, I expect many business owners sink to unacceptable standards if not regulated.

        I'm about a 7 on the libertarian scale.

        I'm not in favour of individual choice to the extent you are.

        I look forward to being increasing free from the shackles of religion.
        I'm in favour of limits to rampant capitalism, reasonable workers rights etc

        Again you speak in absolutes about coercion. Coercion is not the ideal but reasonable if you are coerced not to kill me, poison my environment, drink drive etc. It is simplistic to say coercion is always evil.

        I understand the issues of the Tyranny of government and utopian ideas of freedom from government. I just doubt it would work on a large scale. Is what we have ideal - no. But what is your proof that we can have order and respect life and other human rights.

        A small group of people of a similar mind may do fine on an isolated commune.
        I suggest we work on the appropriate balance of government power and inflence rather than do away with government and rely on the inconsistent goodwill of humans.
        We can pick on the negatives of government laws. But show me that we can have a large scale peaceful modern productive society without any form of representative government - show me how the alternative will work and work better than the compromise.

        This is not about comparing an ideal utopian government free ideal with the compromise we have today. It needs to be practical and workable.

        I'll change my mind if there is reasonable evidence that the benefits of what we have now can be provided or exceeded without government and without unacceptable adverse consequences.

        Anarchy requires near universal goodwill and community spirit to be the choice of individuals. It also requires mechanisms
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        Jun 5 2012: Your claim: of course, it is alway possible to take from those who have, and give to those who don't. but in practice, this method proved itself to be unworkable. the best thing to alleviate poverty is free market capitalism.

        This is a bold absolute assertion I disagree with. Welfare within the States capability can work and does work to alleviate poverty and improve general wellbeing. OR at least it has in several of the countries I have lived in.
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          Jun 5 2012: you say so, but do you have any data or reasoning or example to back that up?

          i believe such claims about the state are rooted in the fact that some things are more visible while others are not. when the state hands out a load of money, it is visible. but it is not visible what was forgone. we can't compare the situation at hand with the situation that would have happened without state intervention, because we can't get to see it.
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        Jun 5 2012: Hi KP

        I guess anarchism doesn't lead to any particular ideology for running society. Just like an atheist can be a republican, democrat, humanist, communist, anarchist etc.

        Funny how most anarchist movements I'm aware of were/are left leaning. Wheras you are for unfettered free market capitalism.

        Union based syndicates of Spain 1937
        Green eco anarchists today

        In fact many think the current governments are already to subject to corporate influence and you seem to be suggesting total free market capitalism is the panacea or ultimate.
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          Jun 5 2012: that's why anarchists hate guys like me more than kings and corporate figures. :) we don't even have a proper name. anarcho-capitalist, voluntaryist, libertarian ... both names are debated or ambiguous.

          yes, the idea is that the culprit is the state itself. without it, corporations will be no less greedy, but they don't hurt anyone with it, so we don't have to care. corporations have their influences exactly because of the state.
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        Jun 5 2012: Hi Tyler, I agree that having limited examples in favour of anarchism is not proof the claim is false.

        It just points to the weakness of the argument.

        Personally, I favour less government and rules than many others. But I recognise there are benefits even though any system is subject to greed and power. I don't agree with all government decisions that impact me. I doubt I would like all the decisions individuals might make that impact me in an anarchic society.

        Its funny I see some parallels with the arguments against anarchy to those used against me when I argue we can do just fine without religion, monarchy, theocracy etc. However, there are sound arguments for these positions against the status quo.

        The question is whether anarchy can provide a better alternative to what we have now. In fact if we made the best practical anarchic society would we on balance be better off than the compromise we have now.

        So you need some details. I'm not interested arguing against a principle I support, but not as an absolute. The argument is not freedom from imperfect representative government versus an utopian anarchic ideal. How about some specifics.

        I note KP is in favour of unfettered free markets. The high mark of anarchy was probably based on LAbour uniion syndicates versus capitalist power.

        Whatever the system there will be greed and powerful minorities.

        I suggest aiming for the optimal level of liberty that provides the best outcomes by reasonable criteria balanced against other principles. You can do this within representative democracy.

        I'm open to be convinced that anarchy will provide better outcomes for society. Please continue with some practical detail and solutions.

        I agree we can cooperate with out government, but you need some form of organisation for a large complex society. You need details.

        I disagree with the absolute freedom over our bodies. I'm for individual freedom up to the point it starts harming others. Mutual aid and restraint is wishfu

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