just posted this over at snews--as close to a manifesto

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Re: snews

Post by Flex » 28 Oct 2008, 12:17pm

eumaas wrote:The overthrow of the state is so far off (I'm thinking generations and generations away) that there's no serious conflict yet.

I will cut you
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Re: snews

Post by eumaas » 28 Oct 2008, 12:21pm

Flex wrote:
eumaas wrote:The overthrow of the state is so far off (I'm thinking generations and generations away) that there's no serious conflict yet.

I will cut you
We'll both be dead before any conflict occurs, trust me. If it ever does.

I was thinking earlier about possible state interactions for left-libertarians. If I can flesh out some ideas, I'll put them her.e
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Re: snews

Post by Wolter » 28 Oct 2008, 12:26pm

Flex wrote:
eumaas wrote:The overthrow of the state is so far off (I'm thinking generations and generations away) that there's no serious conflict yet.

I will cut you
Joking aside, this is true to my beliefs too. In a vacuum, I am somewhere between Anarcho-Syndicalist and Anarcho-Communist (maybe strains of mutualism - I'm not as well read as Gene on current anarchist thought, being more of a dilettante than I was a decade ago), but in the world that we live in now, I'm pragmatically for the best compromise that insures (first and foremost) maximal political/social freedom followed by (almost as importantly) egalitarian economic opportunity (a truly level playing field, not a clumsy sort of Harrison Bergeronesqu strawman "redistribution") and thirdly (and this is where it's the trickiest, though not the most impossible) a society where we are free to fail without fear of falling through the cracks - i.e., a non-government based social net.

But, god help us, at this point in time, humanity wouldn't last 48 hours in such a state (of being). :shifty:

Wow, that was rambly.
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Re: snews

Post by eumaas » 28 Oct 2008, 12:32pm

Wolter wrote:
Flex wrote:
eumaas wrote:The overthrow of the state is so far off (I'm thinking generations and generations away) that there's no serious conflict yet.

I will cut you
Joking aside, this is true to my beliefs too. In a vacuum, I am somewhere between Anarcho-Syndicalist and Anarcho-Communist (maybe strains of mutualism - I'm not as well read as Gene on current anarchist thought, being more of a dilettante than I was a decade ago), but in the world that we live in now, I'm pragmatically for the best compromise that insures (first and foremost) maximal political/social freedom followed by (almost as importantly) egalitarian economic opportunity (a truly level playing field, not a clumsy sort of Harrison Bergeronesqu strawman "redistribution") and thirdly (and this is where it's the trickiest, though not the most impossible) a society where we are free to fail without fear of falling through the cracks - i.e., a non-government based social net.

But, god help us, at this point in time, humanity wouldn't last 48 hours in such a state (of being). :shifty:

Wow, that was rambly.
The more I read, the more I see most varieties of anarchism as fully compatible. A lot of the sectarianism comes down to terminology.

I agree with Wolter's position, just putting a bit more emphasis on creating non-statist alternatives. Once I'm through with my obligations and responsibilities to my family (taking care of the house, etc), I'll be concentrately heavily on finding practical, concrete solutions and methods. Organizing, in other words.

I'll try being a Johnny Zenarchyseed for a while, do a little traveling across the states. ;)
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Re: snews

Post by dpwolf » 28 Oct 2008, 12:34pm

The overthrow of the state is so far off (I'm thinking generations and generations away) that there's no serious conflict yet.
I'm not sure 'overthrow' is an appropriate term. I believe in EXISTENTIAL GUMPTION including that if you ignore something long and hard enough, it will go away.
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Re: snews

Post by Dr. Medulla » 28 Oct 2008, 12:34pm

Wolter wrote:in the world that we live in now, I'm pragmatically for the best compromise that insures (first and foremost) maximal political/social freedom followed by (almost as importantly) egalitarian economic opportunity (a truly level playing field, not a clumsy sort of Harrison Bergeronesqu strawman "redistribution") and thirdly (and this is where it's the trickiest, though not the most impossible) a society where we are free to fail without fear of falling through the cracks - i.e., a non-government based social net.

But, god help us, at this point in time, humanity wouldn't last 48 hours in such a state (of being). :shifty:
Admittedly I don't read pol. theory like you cats, but are you describing social democracy, but somehow having private interests/attitudes substituted for govt institutions?
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Re: snews

Post by eumaas » 28 Oct 2008, 12:37pm

dpwolf wrote:
The overthrow of the state is so far off (I'm thinking generations and generations away) that there's no serious conflict yet.
I'm not sure 'overthrow' is an appropriate term. I believe in EXISTENTIAL GUMPTION including that if you ignore something long and hard enough, it will go away.
I just use that for convenience. I mean, Zenarchy says:
ZEN is Meditation. ARCHY is Social Order. ZENARCHY is the Social Order which springs from Meditation.
As a doctrine, it holds Universal Enlightenment a prerequisite to abolition of the State, after which the State will inevitably vanish. Or - that failing - nobody will give a damn.
so I'm pretty much in your camp. Overthrow sounds cooler tho.
Dr. Medulla wrote:Admittedly I don't read pol. theory like you cats, but are you describing social democracy, but somehow having private interests/attitudes substituted for govt institutions?
Yep, pretty much. Actually, it's a restoration of those institutions. See, the welfare state replaced a lot of working class organizations ("benefit societies" is the generic term) that provided assistance and mutual aid.
"The only thing that really occurs to me that I can say on this is to point out how fascinating it is that the Hassan-i-Sabbah archetype keeps turning up over and over again ... He disappears up into the mountains and is never seen again. Believe me, he'll never be seen again. He'll live forever because of that."

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Re: snews

Post by Wolter » 28 Oct 2008, 12:39pm

Dr. Medulla wrote:
Wolter wrote:in the world that we live in now, I'm pragmatically for the best compromise that insures (first and foremost) maximal political/social freedom followed by (almost as importantly) egalitarian economic opportunity (a truly level playing field, not a clumsy sort of Harrison Bergeronesqu strawman "redistribution") and thirdly (and this is where it's the trickiest, though not the most impossible) a society where we are free to fail without fear of falling through the cracks - i.e., a non-government based social net.

But, god help us, at this point in time, humanity wouldn't last 48 hours in such a state (of being). :shifty:
Admittedly I don't read pol. theory like you cats, but are you describing social democracy, but somehow having private interests/attitudes substituted for govt institutions?
Not exactly. Not really sure how to explain the difference in my mind between "Private" and "Non-governmental," but one is still a small cadre of individuals exerting control - usually for profit not political power (note: I mean this definition seems to work in my mind - and by current use of the term "Privitization"), whereas the other is (and this is not possible at present, hopefully not never) a societal attitude about participating in the community. The latter will come about only if there is a fundamental shift in the paradigm of what constitutes a community, a society, and a "government."

Right now, though, I'm talking about whatever is the least awful possible government to support - in the US, for this election, it seems to be Obama.
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Re: snews

Post by eumaas » 28 Oct 2008, 12:42pm

Wolter wrote:Not really. Not really sure how to explain the difference in my mind between "Private" and "Non-governmental," but one is still a small cadre of individuals exerting control (in my mind, I mean), whereas the other is (and this is not possible at present, hopefully not never) a societal attitude about participating in the community. The latter will come about only if there is a fundamental shift in the paradigm of what constitutes a community, a society, and a "government."
I call them counterinstitutions and the general strategy prefigurative politics after the manner of Peter Staudenmeier.

Here's a relevant quote from my man Carson, Hooky:
For anyone else who is interested, though, there is a wealth of historical material on associations for mutual aid among the working class before the rise of the welfare state. Kropotkin’s last two chapters on the recent history of Europe in Mutual Aid are a good starting point.

E.P. Thompson has a great deal of good information on sick benefit societies, burial societies, and other mutuals in The Making of the English Working Class.

Colin Ward’s Anarchy in Action contains a section on the “welfare road we failed to take.”

Dr. Bob James is one of the best historians of working class friendly societies in the 18th and 19th centuries. Many of his articles can be found at the “Radical Tradition” site.

Finally, Section J.5.16 of An Anachist FAQ has an amazing amount of material on such self-organization, including extended block quotes and many, many references.

The kinds of voluntary mutual aid described by these writers were first suppressed by the capitalists (because they were seen as potential breeding grounds for subversion, and a possible basis for mutual economic support during strikes), and later crowded out or suppressed by regulation when the New Class decided that working class self-organization was atavistic and should be supplanted by the benevolent supervision of “qualified professionals.” David Beito’s From Mutual Aid to the Welfare State is a history, in large part, of the latter phenomenon, in addition to a good account of mutual aid organizations themselves.
"The only thing that really occurs to me that I can say on this is to point out how fascinating it is that the Hassan-i-Sabbah archetype keeps turning up over and over again ... He disappears up into the mountains and is never seen again. Believe me, he'll never be seen again. He'll live forever because of that."

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Re: snews

Post by Wolter » 28 Oct 2008, 12:44pm

eumaas wrote:
Wolter wrote:Not really. Not really sure how to explain the difference in my mind between "Private" and "Non-governmental," but one is still a small cadre of individuals exerting control (in my mind, I mean), whereas the other is (and this is not possible at present, hopefully not never) a societal attitude about participating in the community. The latter will come about only if there is a fundamental shift in the paradigm of what constitutes a community, a society, and a "government."
I call them counterinstitutions and the general strategy prefigurative politics after the manner of Peter Staudenmeier.
Like I said, Gene has a hell of a lot more of a grasp of the current thought than I do.

I like that term.
"There's something more honest, he believed, about traditional methods of mass starvation, labour camps, and machine gunning millions to death. Stalin was a vinyl guy who sneered at Truman converting everything to compact disc." - Thomas Jefferson

"But the gorilla thinks otherwise!"

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Re: snews

Post by eumaas » 28 Oct 2008, 12:49pm

Wolter wrote:
eumaas wrote:
Wolter wrote:Not really. Not really sure how to explain the difference in my mind between "Private" and "Non-governmental," but one is still a small cadre of individuals exerting control (in my mind, I mean), whereas the other is (and this is not possible at present, hopefully not never) a societal attitude about participating in the community. The latter will come about only if there is a fundamental shift in the paradigm of what constitutes a community, a society, and a "government."
I call them counterinstitutions and the general strategy prefigurative politics after the manner of Peter Staudenmeier.
Like I said, Gene has a hell of a lot more of a grasp of the current thought than I do.

I like that term.
Thanks.

I think there are really only a few functions the state can perform that can't be performed in a non-statist way. The question then becomes, is the ability of the state to perform these functions an advantage and secondly are they moral/ethical/desirable? If you say no to both, then it's a question of how to achieve a non-statist realization of the principles of liberty, equality, and solidarity. Such considerations may need to make room for the state in questions of amelioration. I know my mom would've benefited from more state welfare to widows. Her condition would also have improved with help from a counterinstitutional benefit society. Either way, she got fucked by our current system. Partially this is a question of cultural change.
"The only thing that really occurs to me that I can say on this is to point out how fascinating it is that the Hassan-i-Sabbah archetype keeps turning up over and over again ... He disappears up into the mountains and is never seen again. Believe me, he'll never be seen again. He'll live forever because of that."

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Re: just posted this over at snews--as close to a manifesto

Post by Dr. Medulla » 28 Oct 2008, 12:52pm

My next question, then, is social democracy and these counterinstitutions mutually exclusive? I suppose what I'm dancing around is that I've never really understood your (Wolter and eumaas) hostility to social democracy. I can appreciate the theoretical critiques of socdem, but the data from, say, the Scandinavian countries suggests a lot more freedom, social mobility, and safeguards than other current systems. Even if it's not your ideal, why is it lumped in as being just as bad as what the US has right now?
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Re: just posted this over at snews--as close to a manifesto

Post by Wolter » 28 Oct 2008, 12:58pm

Dr. Medulla wrote:My next question, then, is social democracy and these counterinstitutions mutually exclusive? I suppose what I'm dancing around is that I've never really understood your (Wolter and eumaas) hostility to social democracy. I can appreciate the theoretical critiques of socdem, but the data from, say, the Scandinavian countries suggests a lot more freedom, social mobility, and safeguards than other current systems. Even if it's not your ideal, why is it lumped in as being just as bad as what the US has right now?
Well, I don't think it's just as bad. Nor have I ever. I'd much rather live in a social democracy than pretty much any other form of government.

However, that doesn't make me blind to the inherent problems that ALL governments (or controlling agencies of any type - I'm looking your way, corporations) possess. Ultimately, any right "given" by government can be taken away and then some. Just because a system is relatively stable and not that bad doesn't mean it's the best possible.
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"But the gorilla thinks otherwise!"

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Re: just posted this over at snews--as close to a manifesto

Post by eumaas » 28 Oct 2008, 1:00pm

Dr. Medulla wrote:My next question, then, is social democracy and these counterinstitutions mutually exclusive? I suppose what I'm dancing around is that I've never really understood your (Wolter and eumaas) hostility to social democracy. I can appreciate the theoretical critiques of socdem, but the data from, say, the Scandinavian countries suggests a lot more freedom, social mobility, and safeguards than other current systems. Even if it's not your ideal, why is it lumped in as being just as bad as what the US has right now?
Can't speak for Wolter. I don't think it's as bad as the US. I'm all about amelioration. But first of all it doesn't end economic exploitation, whether locally or globally. I quoted this at Snews:
In my opinion, New Deal liberalism and the Reagan-Thatcher model of neoliberalism are like two farmers. The first farmer thinks he can get more work out of his livestock, in the long run, if he feeds them well and gives them comfortable shelter and sufficient rest. The second farmer thinks he can get more work out of them if he works them to death and then replaces them. There's no question that both "farmers" view us as "livestock," and that their prime concern is with their own profit. But I know which farm I'd rather live on.
That's my position. At the same time, there are also definite tendencies towards nanny state restriction of liberty. You're secure cradle to grave, but you're also being controlled cradle to grave. That to me is a fundamental problem with a (contemporary) liberal/socdem society.
"The only thing that really occurs to me that I can say on this is to point out how fascinating it is that the Hassan-i-Sabbah archetype keeps turning up over and over again ... He disappears up into the mountains and is never seen again. Believe me, he'll never be seen again. He'll live forever because of that."

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Re: just posted this over at snews--as close to a manifesto

Post by Dr. Medulla » 28 Oct 2008, 1:07pm

Wolter wrote:
Dr. Medulla wrote:My next question, then, is social democracy and these counterinstitutions mutually exclusive? I suppose what I'm dancing around is that I've never really understood your (Wolter and eumaas) hostility to social democracy. I can appreciate the theoretical critiques of socdem, but the data from, say, the Scandinavian countries suggests a lot more freedom, social mobility, and safeguards than other current systems. Even if it's not your ideal, why is it lumped in as being just as bad as what the US has right now?
Well, I don't think it's just as bad. Nor have I ever. I'd much rather live in a social democracy than pretty much any other form of government.

However, that doesn't make me blind to the inherent problems that ALL governments (or controlling agencies of any type - I'm looking your way, corporations) possess. Ultimately, any right "given" by government can be taken away and then some. Just because a system is relatively stable and not that bad doesn't mean it's the best possible.
Okay, thanks for the clarification. It just seemed like you and Gene were harder (irrationally so at times) on social democratic governments than other forms. That said, I agree with the basic critique. But it's one thing to say, in theory, here are the problems, but given that we don't live in theory (unless we're all part of a Twilight Zone dream) I see value in immediately pursuing the optimal compromise.
eumaas wrote:
In my opinion, New Deal liberalism and the Reagan-Thatcher model of neoliberalism are like two farmers. The first farmer thinks he can get more work out of his livestock, in the long run, if he feeds them well and gives them comfortable shelter and sufficient rest. The second farmer thinks he can get more work out of them if he works them to death and then replaces them. There's no question that both "farmers" view us as "livestock," and that their prime concern is with their own profit. But I know which farm I'd rather live on.
That's my position. At the same time, there are also definite tendencies towards nanny state restriction of liberty. You're secure cradle to grave, but you're also being controlled cradle to grave. That to me is a fundamental problem with a (contemporary) liberal/socdem society.
Depends on what kinds of liberties are being restricted and where your breaking point re. control lies.
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