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Does it matter that anarchy is very much misrepresented in society?

+6 votes
To society anarchy means chaos and destruction.  Yet in my eyes it represents the greatest hope for humanity.
asked May 26, 2012 by afunctionalworld (2,030 points)
edited Jun 2, 2012 by afunctionalworld
The words I used "greatest hope" I meant to mean more as a course to allow the greatest potential for the world.  I believe that there should be no hierarchy or control of state to rule over others in order to have a functional society.  In that thinking anarchy leads to a condition of chaos ignores that order could be attained through other options.

1 Answer

+5 votes
I guess it would depend on the kind of anarchism one is speaking of.  If your idea of anarchism relies on the conversion of society – then it matters. If it doesn't give a fuck about society – then, no, its doesn't matter.

If you are focused on being the 'greatest hope for humanity', then the misrepresentation of anarchism in society would be problematic for you and your agenda. That line of thinking relies on knowing what is best for a large group (presumably /all/) of people, and therefore, in order to fulfill itself would need to work to ensure that said 'best' is applied to everyone's life. So, if everyone misunderstood your grand intentions of bettering the world for them, that may be problematic if they don't clearly understand your ideas and reasoning.

However, this is not the only line of anarchist thought out there (thank goodness).

For some anarchism is, in fact, about destruction. It is about destroying and negating what now exists, including the society you say may be misrepresenting them. In which case, their enemy's opinion of them may not mean much, without regard to whether it is right or not.

Of course, there are millions of variations and different ways of viewing anarchy. So, there will be appropriately varying levels of reliance upon society's opinion of them.

And, utopic visions aside, the widely accepted view of anarchism can be annoying, at best, when it comes to court cases. Society is generally less than sympathetic, which often lands anarchists with absurd sentences. In that case, it may matter, but I don't think that is really what you are asking about.
answered Sep 28, 2012 by Katherine diFiore (5,200 points)
Just because I believe that anarchy can work efficiently within a society does not mean that I have an rigid agenda.   My agenda if I do have one is to have a system that works better than concepts of government based on systems that work for people rather than people being slaves to systems and the people who control those systems.
I'm not, necessarily, accusing you of having a 'rigid agenda', but rather addressing that that line thinking holds that there exists a 'common good', that everyone would be bettered by the way of life that such thinking promotes. That it works “to have /a/ system”. I think that there is conflict when one assumes that there is one system or one line of thinking that can save everyone and that everyone wants it.

To some chaos and destruction are the ideal. The /lack of order/ is what provides the space for them to do whatever they fucking want, either with a positive program to continue onto, or because destroying things in and of itself and the freedom to explore the ultimate spontaneity is the realization of what they want in life. To others their good is somewhere in the middle, or way off in left field.

There is no 'common good', what is good for one is bad for another. The openness that is necessary to realize this and act accordingly can come into conflict the idea of having an orderly society. I don't think that 'naturally' everyone wants to hold hands and get along and have a tidy little society. And with no one to enforce order, things will naturally be chaotic. And this is preferable. In my own experiences I have yet to see a social scene, or even a friend circle that is 'orderly and functional' (and that is half the fun of them). I can't imagine trying to aim for such a thing on a grander scale.

I hope this clarifies and adds to the discussion.
What if it is for the mutual good rather than the common good.  We all are not the same so why not have a system or systems that work for each person rather than each person having to fit in a system.  Lets say there are systems that allow anyone to do whatever they want with or without any conveniences available.  I am not defining those systems. Systems work according to the purpose and parameters of their design.  Systems could be designed that only provided maintain certain benefits without crossing over into personal preference or conviction.  

We do not have to get long or need to like each other, but have an understanding that by you having is what you determine as good for you allows me to have what I determine as good for me.  I think that it is a false notion that people must agree in order to have order.  That is because our minds still think that a majority must rule or determine what is beat for others.  Seemingly even most anarchist wish to bring the world to anarchy because that is their personal preference and conviction.

Let me present probably a really  stupid example.  Currently highways are an affective means of transportation.  I like a nice four lane  highway all vehicles traveling at various constant speeds in the same direction.  Others like a highway where anyone can travel in any lane at whatever speed a person wants.  Maybe though t times that person may want a safer and less challenging trip maybe with their family, maybe I at times want the thrill of the other highway.  Users are able to pick the route they want.  Both allow both systems to exist by allowing others the choice of personal preference.

What if a person wants to drive against traffic in the four lane highway.  This certainly could happen but still maybe others could be warned and just pull over till the other driver passes.  

Actually a world with such systems would allow anyone to live they way they wanted.  If we have no such systems and live in total chaos options would offer less choices and actually become harder to live a self-determined lifestyle.  In time there would be no roads, no technology.  Life would likely be hard, where attaining water, food, and supplies becomes our main objective in life and creativity, abstract thought, self expression would be frivolous and a waste of time.  The thing we enjoy and bring us comfort become non-existent in time.

Do you have a favorite website, movie, music group, book, chair, pen, park, phone, place to eat or choice of dinner, drink, hobby, musical instrument, clothes,  even group of friends.  These are not the works of society but of people who benefit from the creative work of other people.  There is nothing that stops us from just walking away from these and living in a forest or wilderness.  But if they are lost they will be gone.  

Systems do not need to depend on society, government, or money. We just have to take those things out of the systems.
i think that many anarchists would point to your framing of what life can/would look like as the beginning of the problem, that is, using system as the base.  It may seem like nitpicking, but viewing life within a mechanistic framework does dramatically limit possibilities.
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