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Laws: contradictive in an Anarchist society?

+1 vote
I've read multiple articles where some Anarchists believe it's okay for a community to have laws, as long as they were created and accepted by all the individuals within that society.

What are your thoughts? Doesn't creating laws contradict the word "Anarchism" itself? Sure, it may be consensual through all the other individuals in that society but wouldn't that place restrictions?

I guess laws being formal and then being agreed upon are two big factors in this, as well.
asked Mar 19, 2012 by AnarchicSaint (240 points)

2 Answers

–1 vote
Every society is bound by certain restrictions: they have to be. Now, such "laws" might not be set in stone; actions might be discouraged merely by social pressure; they might be labeled "morés" instead of "laws," but they are still proscriptions on behavior.

I don't mean to imply that I reject society out of hand. I like living with people and though I've been tempted from time to time to give it all up and live like Jeremiah Johnson (or Thoreau), I don't think I could live that way much longer than the length of a vacation. (Then again, talk to an anarcho-primitivist and you might get a much different answer.)

I think society's (we'll call them) rules should be minimized, unbound by the monopolistic juridical structure of today's "justice" systems, and centered around the harm principle. Hopefully, in a stateless society they would be. (Still, it seems to me that workers' councils and federations are just as liable to tyranny as what we have now.)

But, regardless of the particular format of control, it's still control and control is anathema to that iconoclastic autonomy at the heart of anarchist living. Once again, a law's worth--like anything else--is only valuable to an anarchist insofar as it is tasteful and useful. When it isn't, you can either: follow it strategically because it would be disadvantageous to rebel, set it on fire and laugh with the tongues of flame, or blithely and surreptitiously sidestep it. The choice is always yours.
answered Mar 20, 2012 by MrThisBody (1,590 points)
edited Sep 18, 2012 by MrThisBody
0 votes
Do laws protect or control?  If one breaks a law then who has the right or authority to respond?  What is that response and who authorizes that response?  Who determines the consequences?  

Laws are reactiive and do not deal with the real issue of Why?  Laws do not deal in regards to fairness, or consider what is the best resolution?  You break a law: you are guilty and will receive the punishment of "justice".

But how is it decided what actions are acceptable or not or what acts and treatment are permissable or not to others?  Maybe by a contract or agreement, and breech of that contract could have certain undesireable consequences, or that a resolution can be achieved based on fairness and the effort to fix whatever wrong resulted.

Can there be functional and better alternatives to law.  I think anarchy is that ground by which a better way can be achieved.
answered May 27, 2012 by afunctionalworld (2,090 points)
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