On Anarchy:Chaos and Order

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What comes into your mind when you think of “anarchy”? Chaos and destruction everywhere? People randomly killing each other on the streets?

In actual fact, there are two types of anarchy:primitive anarchy and complex anarchy. I like to call them “primitive” and “complex” because they accurately reflect the social order(or lack thereof) that is present inside these two similar yet different systems.
Primitive anarchy would be what Thomas Hobbes envisioned pre-civilization to be:a gigantic mess of killing and murdering, robbing and raping, chaos and destruction. A good way to define primitive anarchy is “the strongest survives”.
(Before you ask, yes, I got the concept of primitive anarchy from Cracked, though they didn’t slap a label on it like me and instead compared it to a rugby scrum.)

But if the world’s laws were to suddenly and completely vanish from existence right now, I believe that instead of descending into primitive anarchy, the world would instead turn into what I like to call complex anarchy. Instead of “the strongest survives”, it’s now “the strongest rules”.

This is mostly because of two things:advancement of technology and advancement of human intelligence.
Advancement of human intelligence tells us that engaging in pointless and needless wars is stupid and only wastes human lives, thus the reason for the need to establish legislation banning murder.The Neanderthals were not as smart as us, which was why they constantly fought and killed each other.

Advancement of technology is a more practical factor. Simply put, back then in the Stone Age, the “strongest” was defined by whoever was literally the strongest, whoever had the most muscle mass and stamina.

Seeing as the range of human strengths do not vary too widely, it means that the strongest do not have that much of an advantage over the other humans. Thus they are forced to fight to survive. They can survive, but only at the expense of wantonly killing people that would challenge them.

But then came swords and guns. Now the power of an individual can vary MUCH more widely. For example, if I have a Skorpion machine gun and you are unarmed, I can most likely beat you. If this were primitive anarchy, I would have to slug it out toe-to-toe, day after day.

However, in modern society, I can simply whip out my good ol’ Skorpion and say “listen, buddy. I can kill you at any time with this thing, so you’d better obey me.”

If a Neanderthal tried that, the others would simply gang up against him. But in this case, due to the raw power of a machine gun, I can cut down everyone trying to gang up against me, especially as I have my own followers(compelled to loyalty as they are threatened by machine gun) to help me.

So in a complex anarchy, what would happen was that due to advancement of technology, there would be a person or persons who would essentially have control over the rest of the people.

And due to advancement of human intelligence, they would order their people not to kill each other, and impose laws upon them. But then what is different from the current state of government now? Isn’t complex anarchy the same as democracy, except with a different type of election?

To answer that question, I refer you to a riddle I read in the fine political intrigue series Game of Thrones. In the first book, a character asks,“Why would anyone obey a king? What power does the king have over them?”

The obvious reply is, “Because the king can command his soldiers to kill the rebels.” Then comes the retort, which was left unanswered:“Why, then, do the SOLDIERS not rebel? Military might is the basic unit of a king’s power; the king is given power only because the soldiers give it to him. If the soldiers do not, then the king has no power.”

The reason why soldiers obey their kings is because of the “social contract”. If someone asks you to move as you’re blocking the path, why do you move? Do they physically force you to move by threatening you(assume they’re just random strangers and not scary gangsters) with violence?

Again, the social contract states that we should obey authority, respect people, obey a genuine request if it’s reasonable and doesn’t cost you much and so on. In complex anarchy, there is no social contract. I obey my king not because my king has soldiers that will kill me, but because the king himself can kill me.

To conclude:there is primitive anarchy and complex anarchy, the latter of which is what I believe civilization would move into if there were no laws. And complex anarchy is “the strongest rules”.
Is that so bad? It’s simply natural selection taken to its most refined form. Think about it; anarchy is reasonable after all.

Thoughts?

 
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Advancement of human intelligence tells us that engaging in pointless and needless wars is stupid and only wastes human lives

I wonder when we advance to that level. Actually… isn’t ‘pointless’ and ‘needless’ subjective?
What is pointless to someone…

 
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Originally posted by helltank:


If a Neanderthal tried that, the others would simply gang up against him. But in this case, due to the raw power of a machine gun, I can cut down everyone trying to gang up against me, especially as I have my own followers(compelled to loyalty as they are threatened by machine gun) to help me.

Unfortunately your machinegun requires bullets, of which there is not an infinite supply. It requires maintenance. Sooner or later your gun is going to cease to function, or you will run out of bullets. An anarchy does not support complex manufacturing and servicing infrastructure. Evntually you will have to discard it, and take on something more primitive.

Piece by piece in such an anarchy, our technology will disintegrate, as we no-longer have the support systems in place to supply or maintain it. Eventually, we will be forced back into your cave people analogy where raw physical strength is all that matters.

 
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What if I, as the machine gun wielder, simply force my subjects to make more bullets?

 
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Giving them access to the materials and tools to make bullets may be a mistake, as you are directly giving them access to the ability to forge their own weapons.

Even if you do this, what about when the gun requires maintenance? How will you protect yourself whilst you dismantle and clean it? How will you protect yourself whilst replacing a part?

 
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i don’t think there is actually any real difference to your two types of unorganised anarchy. you just changed the background; the technological level of the society. for politically that would only change scale.

your “primitive anarchy” are small scale bands or tribes in endemic struggle, living in a type of pre-capitalist gift-economy and pirate democracy; while your “complex anarchy” is large states in a constant global struggle. and i’d say the latter is probably worse, but would also be impossible because without organisation, nothing is keeping any dominant power from taking control, so you will almost immediately have the entire world controlled by a few warring military juntas.

unless you have organised Anarchism, which is a whole different animal.

 
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Originally posted by helltank:
To conclude:there is primitive anarchy and complex anarchy, the latter of which is what I believe civilization would move into if there were no laws. And complex anarchy is “the strongest rules”.
Is that so bad? It’s simply natural selection taken to its most refined form. Think about it; anarchy is reasonable after all.

Thoughts?

Anarchy is basically a rebelion with no cause. Actually, scratch that, it is a rebelion to overturn the “opressing” rules of society. So in effect it is a rebelion to de evolve humans back to animals. You could argue that a form of anarchy could be applied in a utopian kind of society when humans have learned to respect each other and have learned how to behave without needing rules written in stone. We are as far from this utopian reality as we are from traveling to other galaxies.

 
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oppressing* devolve* rebellion*
and no it’s not.

…sorry about that.

 
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When a leader becomes involved, it is no longer anarchy. When power becomes involved, it is no longer an anarchy. If a group of five people live in a house, and there are no established rules, but no one is being murdered or stolen from, that is still an anarchy. Any utopia is an anarchy, because ideally, we think of having no constraints on ourselves, but that we impose our own constraints on ourselves.

 
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you can have leaders within anarchy though, so long as submission to these leaders is voluntary. just like you can have dictators in a democracy, such as military leaders or company presidents, and it’s still a democracy.

 
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No, you cannot have leaders in an anarchy. You did not read any of my post. A government submitted to voluntarily is still a government.

 
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Originally posted by OmegaDoom:

you can have leaders within anarchy though, so long as submission to these leaders is voluntary.

Anarchists always talk about the rule of “survival of the fittest”. The thing is, even in animals there is a hiearchy. A pack of wolves has an alpha male which is the leader. And the case you make about that role being voluntary is off, wolves fight for the spot and in the end the other males submit to the dominant one. The very basis of anarchism is flawed.

 
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Dante, you have no idea what anarchism is. Anarchists never talk about survival of the fittest. you have them confused with right-wing libertarians or Laveyan Satanists.

Originally posted by Ivan62300:

No, you cannot have leaders in an anarchy. You did not read any of my post. A government submitted to voluntarily is still a government.

i didn’t say government, i said leaders. there’s a distinction. you can have leaders, so long as their power is not coercive. leading by example, for instance, is in no way contradictory to anarchy.
if you live in an anarchic society, and you have a football team in which someone is the captain, your society won’t be any less anarchic.

as for government, that just means giving direction to something. any functional anarchy needs a lot of direction, so a government is in no way contradictory to anarchy, just so long as no one is in charge of it.

 
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Anarchism is flawed, but Anarchy itself is a pretty clear concept. No one has any more power than anyone else. You can live an entire life without ever knowing what “power” is. If you are sick, I can voluntarily find medicine for you without you or another person commanding me to. But without any sort of concept of power, I could be sick and feel hopeless because I know that there’s no way I shall get medicine unless someone offers up to do it themselves.

 
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how is anarchism flawed? i don’t think you know what it is.

and anarchy is not that simple, because without any power to prevent some people from being more powerful than others, nothing keeps the violent from gaining power.

also as for your finding medicine to help one another…now you’re talking about commitments between people, which has nothing to do with anarchy, so could easily be done in an anarchy. the problem would be that guaranties are hard to forge because you can’t easily have any authority to make any contract binding.

 
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Once power becomes involved, it is no longer an anarchy by definition, and is thus out of the jurisdiction of this thread.

 
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Originally posted by OmegaDoom:

Dante, you have no idea what anarchism is. Anarchists never talk about survival of the fittest. you have them confused with right-wing libertarians or Laveyan Satanists.

Originally posted by helltank:

What comes into your mind when you think of “anarchy”? Chaos and destruction everywhere? People randomly killing each other on the streets?

In actual fact, there are two types of anarchy:primitive anarchy and complex anarchy. I like to call them “primitive” and “complex” because they accurately reflect the social order(or lack thereof) that is present inside these two similar yet different systems.
Primitive anarchy would be what Thomas Hobbes envisioned pre-civilization to be:a gigantic mess of killing and murdering, robbing and raping, chaos and destruction. A good way to define primitive anarchy is “the strongest survives”.
(Before you ask, yes, I got the concept of primitive anarchy from Cracked, though they didn’t slap a label on it like me and instead compared it to a rugby scrum.)

But if the world’s laws were to suddenly and completely vanish from existence right now, I believe that instead of descending into primitive anarchy, the world would instead turn into what I like to call complex anarchy. Instead of “the strongest survives”, it’s now “the strongest rules”.

This is mostly because of two things:advancement of technology and advancement of human intelligence.
Advancement of human intelligence tells us that engaging in pointless and needless wars is stupid and only wastes human lives, thus the reason for the need to establish legislation banning murder.The Neanderthals were not as smart as us, which was why they constantly fought and killed each other.

Advancement of technology is a more practical factor. Simply put, back then in the Stone Age, the “strongest” was defined by whoever was literally the strongest, whoever had the most muscle mass and stamina.

Seeing as the range of human strengths do not vary too widely, it means that the strongest do not have that much of an advantage over the other humans. Thus they are forced to fight to survive. They can survive, but only at the expense of wantonly killing people that would challenge them.

But then came swords and guns. Now the power of an individual can vary MUCH more widely. For example, if I have a Skorpion machine gun and you are unarmed, I can most likely beat you. If this were primitive anarchy, I would have to slug it out toe-to-toe, day after day.

However, in modern society, I can simply whip out my good ol’ Skorpion and say “listen, buddy. I can kill you at any time with this thing, so you’d better obey me.”

If a Neanderthal tried that, the others would simply gang up against him. But in this case, due to the raw power of a machine gun, I can cut down everyone trying to gang up against me, especially as I have my own followers(compelled to loyalty as they are threatened by machine gun) to help me.

So in a complex anarchy, what would happen was that due to advancement of technology, there would be a person or persons who would essentially have control over the rest of the people.

And due to advancement of human intelligence, they would order their people not to kill each other, and impose laws upon them. But then what is different from the current state of government now? Isn’t complex anarchy the same as democracy, except with a different type of election?

To answer that question, I refer you to a riddle I read in the fine political intrigue series Game of Thrones. In the first book, a character asks,“Why would anyone obey a king? What power does the king have over them?”

The obvious reply is, “Because the king can command his soldiers to kill the rebels.” Then comes the retort, which was left unanswered:“Why, then, do the SOLDIERS not rebel? Military might is the basic unit of a king’s power; the king is given power only because the soldiers give it to him. If the soldiers do not, then the king has no power.”

The reason why soldiers obey their kings is because of the “social contract”. If someone asks you to move as you’re blocking the path, why do you move? Do they physically force you to move by threatening you(assume they’re just random strangers and not scary gangsters) with violence?

Again, the social contract states that we should obey authority, respect people, obey a genuine request if it’s reasonable and doesn’t cost you much and so on. In complex anarchy, there is no social contract. I obey my king not because my king has soldiers that will kill me, but because the king himself can kill me.

To conclude:there is primitive anarchy and complex anarchy, the latter of which is what I believe civilization would move into if there were no laws. And complex anarchy is “the strongest rules”.
Is that so bad? It’s simply natural selection taken to its most refined form. Think about it; anarchy is reasonable after all.

Thoughts?

Eemm, you were saying, OmegaDoom?

 
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damn your ninja! @ Ivan:

exactly. so, in order to discuss anarchy on any serious level, we need to include some way to prevent power from becoming involved in society.

you can’t just slap on anarchy and say “ok, now it’s anarchy”. you have to make your anarchy viable, or there’d be nothing to discuss but impossibility.

@Dante:
Helltank is not an anarchist, and he wasn’t talking about Anarchism. he was talking about lawlessness.

 
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Originally posted by OmegaDoom:

exactly. so, in order to discuss anarchy on any serious level, we need to include some way to prevent power from becoming involved in society.

you can’t just slap on anarchy and say “ok, now it’s anarchy”. you have to make your anarchy viable, or there’d be nothing to discuss but impossibility.

Nothing can make anarchy viable. Anarchy is an idea to overthrow the established order regardless of whether it works or not.

 
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Originally posted by OmegaDoom:


@Dante:
Helltank is not an anarchist, and he wasn’t talking about Anarchism. he was talking about lawlessness.

First, you don’t know whether he/she is an anarchist or not. Second, he/she makes it very clear that he/she talks about anarchy. Doesn’t it say so in the title too?

 
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anarchy ≠ Anarchism. also, who says Helltank actually knows what he’s talking about?

and no, anarchy is not the idea to overthrow the established order regardless of wether it works or not. i guess that would be sedition, or any other synonym.

anarchy is simply the state of their being no coercive authority. wether at the result of insurrection, or any other disbanding of a state or authority.

 
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I am not an anarchist. For those wondering “leader=not anarchy”, I am not talking about anarchy in the conventional, NO LEADERS AT ALL RAWR sense(that’s primitive anarchy). I’m proposing that if no laws were enforced, the world would turn into a complex anarchy, instead of a primitive anarchy as most imagine.

 
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Originally posted by helltank:

I am not an anarchist. For those wondering “leader=not anarchy”, I am not talking about anarchy in the conventional, NO LEADERS AT ALL RAWR sense(that’s primitive anarchy). I’m proposing that if no laws were enforced, the world would turn into a complex anarchy, instead of a primitive anarchy as most imagine.

Correct me if I am wrong but the anarchy you envision is depicted in The walking dead series.

 
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Originally posted by OmegaDoom:

anarchy ≠ Anarchism. also, who says Helltank actually knows what he’s talking about?

and no, anarchy is not the idea to overthrow the established order regardless of wether it works or not. i guess that would be sedition, or any other synonym.

anarchy is simply the state of their being no coercive authority. wether at the result of insurrection, or any other disbanding of a state or authority.

Definition of anarchism as of Merriam-Webster:
Anarchism:
1: a political theory holding all forms of governmental authority to be unnecessary and undesirable and advocating a society based on voluntary cooperation and free association of individuals and groups
2: the advocacy or practice of anarchistic principles

Definition of anarchist, Merriam-Webster:
Anarchist:
1: a person who rebels against any authority, established order, or ruling power
2: a person who believes in, advocates, or promotes anarchism or anarchy ; especially : one who uses violent means to overthrow the established order

 
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One would argue that anarchists aren’t something different from the people who in France tried to promote democracy by criticizing monarchy or rebelling against it. However, one needs to understand something very important, when those people were trying to overthrow the established order of kings they did it with something better in mind, democracy. Now, to try to overthrow even democratic regimes to revert to anarchism is just meaningless. Democracy when used correctly is the ideal form of government. Anarchy cannot be viable. Never was viable. This is not about something out of place like “there is order within chaos”. That fancy line is only used in science and mathematics to describe chaos as defined in physics and math. Social chaos is just that, chaos. We can’t live without rules or without someone who organizes people. We need hierarchy. Even animals have hierarchy, at least animals that are organized in groups. It’s not viable to live in a world where each of the 6 billion people have a different set of rules. Simple as that.