Dialogue with wilkox on anarchy part IIX

This is a response to wilkox’s post and is another post of the continuing discussion on anarchy of which the start can be seen here.

Wilkox ignored a response to a question in relation to why democracy is useful, yet theoretically dangerous.

I’m not even going to include the text which followed the “but”. The “but” itself is the nub of the problem.

This is not the best way to address the issue. My response in regards to wilkox’s comments about how democracy allows the majority to lord over the minority included talking about how democracy, unlike say, a traditional republic or socialist state, makes concessions for minorities. I also went on to discuss that there are plenty of parties that have no chance of getting elected, but exist for the purpose of raising awareness and subsequently affect the nation in that way. That’s not the same as me saying I’m ignoring the apparent ‘plight’ of minorities.

The way in which ‘majority’ and ‘minority’ is phrased is not helpful either. I’m no more a minority as I am a majority, and I can only be classified as such in the context of a particular issue at a particular time in a democracy. There’s barely room to suggest there is such a thing as a ruling party. Instead what we have are competing parties, often at times required to work together. Furthermore it’s not like we don’t have individual rights either. We have tons. Personally speaking, I disagree with the law in perhaps ten or so areas (one of which includes its efficiency).  What is it that you’re exactly unhappy about? Arresting someone is traditionally enacted for criminals who no one wants to be a neighbor to. If you are concerned that the imprisonment etc. is against the criminal’s individual rights, then all you are really campaigning against (again in an idyllic democracy) is the right for that individual to live on their own patch of land, unable to move out of it due to neighbors barring movement through theirs. Big deal, and if someone is capable of making crime as well as being relegated to their own land, we have less control over what sort of devastation they can cook up.

The link in regards to previous (and existing) anarchist societies was interesting, but not helpful. All of them espoused different anarchist attitudes to the one wilkox is championing. Furthermore, I would suggest some aren’t particularly anarchist at all, with concepts such as limitations of land ownership. Hell, most of them have some sort of communal, democratic procedure. I would posit that these so-called anarchist states have excessive limitations put upon their individual rights.

Wouldn’t it be even better to have the warm city and your rights? Why are these mutually incompatible?

As you have rightly noted, armies tend to invade and impose their will- if your rights mean that you don’t contribute to a state’s defense then you leave yourself open. I was also a little startled by your assumption that the majority of people on the planet desire free rights- there is plenty of opposition around the world for people to live their lives the way they want to to the point that individual rights require constant protection by governments (this is not to say that a private force could not do so as well).

I would say that this dialogue is coming at impasses in some areas. I’m not satistfied by wilkox’s response to private security forces, but further discussion would have us go into much bigger areas, probably worth a whole dialogue or two by themselves, so perhaps we’ll leave it.

In regards to wilkox’s “complex social and cultural institutions”, I am curious- what defines them as non-government based?

Wilkox also asks the question

My question for this post: freeze, I’m sure you realise that nearly everyone on the planet has their own utopian vision for how a perfect society should be. Many of these are mutually incompatible, and many of these represent a great society to some people but a nightmarish dystopia to others. Why would you prefer to see your vision enforced upon everybody at the end of a gun, over many visions coexisting and competing freely? As a corollary, what part of your own vision requires a single organisation with a monopoly on violence?

I’ll start by turning the question around- plenty of people would like a utopian dream of ruling the world, or having a communist government etc.- that would break the beliefs of your anarchism so how would that be tolerated?

My vision is not particularly clear as I’m open to new ideas, but it entails much of what you’re suggesting in regards to individual rights. The monopoly on violence is dependent upon the maintainence of those individual rights, to the point where I wouldn’t like the possibility of competing, armed gunmen fighting against each other in a bid for land, resources or customers. If there are some infringements to be made on individual rights to a monopoly on violence, be it through the enforcement of cessation of violence or a ban on particularly dangerous drugs, then I can say with fair confidence it is for their own good and the good of their neighbours.

I’m not particularly fond of your own utopian society as it makes demands of people who are unwilling and also uncapable. It seems unpleasant to have a dollar value determine everything you possess and the services you are privvy to, to the point where there is nothing for you if you don’t have money.


Wilkox’s response can be found here


~ by freeze43 on July 26, 2010.

One Response to “Dialogue with wilkox on anarchy part IIX”

  1. […] anarchy, freeze43, government, morality, rights, state, violence This is my response to part VIII of an ongoing dialogue with freeze43 on the topic of anarchy. Read freeze’s introductory post or […]

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