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Does anarchy mean that I can't try to coerce people or only that they're free to walk away if I do?

0 votes
asked Apr 10, 2012 by anonymous
edited Apr 10, 2012
Coercion may not be a word I would use because it denotes a pressure appled to forcefully change the minds of people.  Coercion suppresses individual thought.

1 Answer

+3 votes
Anarchy means you are welcome to try to coerce people, if that is what you choose to do. It also means those people are welcome to walk away without paying you any mind, or, should you be insistent in your attempts to coerce, to punch  you in the throat and then carry on their way.

It might be unpopular to try to openly coerce others into acting against their will, but that doesn't mean that people will suddenly all stop doing so, or that there will be some law prohibiting coercion. Rather, if we believe the anthropologists, coercion would be countered with shaming about such behavior through things like mild needling and teasing, sarcasm, etc.

To whit, coercion would likely be countered with coercion. Problem? No, not necessarily. The issue is one of power. Anarchy is a delicate balance of societal needs and individual wants, and of individual needs and societal wants. Ideally things would be settled by persuasion as opposed to coercion, but that is talking about ideals, which hold very little when dealing in real lives and desires.

Perhaps as a counter argument, I would ask, why attempt to coerce as opposed to persuade? There are times where both are appropriate, in my mind, but I would much rather create a new question than authoritatively circumscribe that exploration.
answered Apr 11, 2012 by ingrate (23,670 points)
People are unhappy with the world yet the world offers no other options or solutions; and it does not intend to.  That is what is a great opportuntity to give people another choice.  No form of government cannot do this.  Anarchy can.
"any other form of government cannot do this."
anarchy is not a form of government.
also, your comment is not an answer to the question.

do you think that if every post has your name on it that you've won some prize?
Thanks, corrected.  
Do I win a prize?   Just kidding.  

My point was choice is a more effective means of change.  I think people would want a change if something better was presented.   That takes the task off trying to coerce them into giving them a better options.  Coercion seems wrong no matter what idea you are trying to spread.
thanks for changing to comment... (sorry i lost track of this thread for a year).
and my anarchy not a govt comment was a joke that didn't work, didn't mean to sound as snarky as it probably did.

i hear you re: coercion, but i think that coercion is a moving target. what is the difference between convincing someone and coercing them? if you say violence or the threat of violence (as an example of an argument someone might make), then you've just moved the foggy term to violence instead of coercion. what is violence? is a mom arguing with her child always in a coercive relationship because of the implicit power dynamic of authority and age (and perhaps size)? if someone is smarter than another person, or just more articulate, or more able to think quickly in a conversation, or able to emotionally pull strings in the other person, does that count as coercion?
i don't know. this is probably off topic. i just think the question of obvious coercion vs subtle is interesting.