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Can anarchy "work" in the U.S.?

+2 votes
By "work" I mean is it plausible for capitalism and the government to cease to exist in the U.S. at the present moment? Is America "ready" for anarchy?


edited for tags
asked Mar 6, 2012 by anonymous
edited Jul 15, 2014 by dot
"...where no one obeys, no one commands."

No, I don't think Americans are ready for anarchy. When and if they ever are, it will happen. That's the only way it can happen--voluntarily, and that will also be the signal of their readiness to accept such a philosophy.

1 Answer

+2 votes
As with so many questions here, it depends on what you consider anarchy to be.

Since many people don't consider anarchy to be a totalizing system (ie, anarchy doesn't have to exist contiguously in many places for it to be "working"), those people could easily say yes, anarchy can work in the u.s. (they might even say that it is already working, in some form).

other people, using anarchy almost as a code word for "a specific kind of better world", would say that anarchy doesn't really exist while anyone is oppressed, so not only would capitalism and the government have to cease to exist, but so would all the isms, familiar and un-. those anarchists would be more likely to say that no, anarchy could not exist in the current time.

still other people would say that there will never be a time when people are entirely ready for such a dramatic transition, and that change comes whether people are ready for it or not, so that the question focuses on the wrong thing... (green anarchists have been known to go this route, among others).
answered Mar 7, 2012 by dot (50,730 points)
"Since many people don't consider anarchy to be a totalizing system (ie, anarchy doesn't have to exist contiguously in many places for it to be "working"), those people could easily say yes, anarchy can work in the u.s. (they might even say that it is already working, in some form)."

Right, but someone's basement or internet club =|= "working in the US," at least not as far as the question is directed toward.

"would say that anarchy doesn't really exist while anyone is oppressed, so not only would capitalism and the government have to cease to exist, but so would all the isms, familiar and un-. those anarchists would be more likely to say that no, anarchy could not exist in the current time."

I do agree with this, but it's one of those things that cycles. Every so often, there's a new group that comes through and gets all excited then, oh... people... weren't... willing to put their money where their mouth is.

"still other people would say that there will never be a time when people are entirely ready for such a dramatic transition, and that change comes whether people are ready for it or not, so that the question focuses on the wrong thing"

I'd say this is the general feeling, at least on this side, even when Occupy was happening. At lot that has to so with the above points, 1. "people thinking their houses and cable lines"=anarchy and 2. "no one is actually willing to put their money where their mouth is, but hey did see this new zine/fashion statement?"

It might change. It does, every so often.
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