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Does the very nature of anarchists make cooperation impropable on a large scale?

–1 vote
asked Jun 14, 2012 by afunctionalworld (2,090 points)

1 Answer

–1 vote
This question probably could be framed better.  Fascists cooperate to wipe out dissidents.  Privates cooperate with Lieutenants in a military conflict.  On the flip side, fathers and sons quarrel as do friends and associates.   I suppose the question is meant to ask if anarchist systems or lack of would keep systems of domination from forming.  In theory, it would seem so.  For thousands of years people were able to live in such a way and outside of the roles that civilization imposes on us there seems to be quite a bit of cooperative behavior where people share with those they connect with despite threat of outside interventions (law enforcement, gangs, children's services, hospitals).

It is too bad this format doesn't encourage a back and forth before judgement is leveled, as I would request more information, like: What do you mean by "very nature of anarchists" and does this contrast with the very nature of society?  From what I can tell, most of society is flawed.  The Eristic and Aneristic relational view  where the individual can see both all the chaos in the world and all the order in the world and how this interpretation of perception holds different meaning for different people.

Large scale group dynamics does have more complexity, so we probably could agree that it is more difficult to create cooperation in large groups, but I'd hardly consider this improbable.
answered Jun 14, 2012 by hpwombat (4,070 points)
The nature of anarchist would be more a position of individual motives.  A position that allows that individual to do whatever he desires and not to be bothered anyone else.  By what I have seen here, there is no great vision that includes others, no common ground other than to be free from all authority and systems that either are used to oppress people or to distinguish some concept of class between people of who is privileged and who is not  , and who is important and who is of less importance.  

Of course these would be good for everyone, even those who believe they benefit from such forms and systems. Yet vision of anarchy is not for society or the good of the population but what is seen as what is good for self.

I am somewhat new idea that I am likely an anarchist.  It seems that anarchy presents a wide spectrum of possibilities.  It also seems that existing in the conditions of anarchy could allow everyone to achieve the desire of autonomy, and if approached as a common vision could create a plan to guard against any return of the former positions.  Without such a plan would only create the conditions by which authority and control could return to levels of slavery and warring parties who would murder and plunder any who could not defend themselves.   With a plan the world could possibly free itself from any hierarchical system and authoritarian positioning.  But by focusing on seemingly short-term individually based objectives, there is likely a chance for that sort of plan or effect to happen.
People would desire what they want.  If you have a plan, it will likely extend as far as those that agree with it.  Perhaps this great plan would be embraced beyond those few connections you make and it would herald a great change in society, though I am skeptical of such things.  

Many anarchists throughout history have drafted plan after plan, attempted to blueprint how the revolution will happen and how such a blueprint would ensure a victory and ensure there is no return of systematic domination.  Decentralized councils and federations, municipal assemblies, syndicates, communes, tribal bands, forums, democratic and consensus using decision making forms, individualistic small units, etc.  Who knows what form of whatever people will take on and what will prevent the rise of new threats.  

People can speculate on what forms communization, negation, subversion, revolt, revolution, destabilization, undermining, resistance, unrest, insurrection or whatever will bring down these systems and how that will do the job.

What you seem to really want is anarchists to behave as a vanguard and lead, with ideas or whatever, people to a future world.  Such things I can't agree with.
Failure to bring about a society within the conditions of anarchy does not mean that it cannot be don't.  Failure is often more of a product of a lack of understanding than of the possibility of achievement.   

Possible considerations to implement and safeguard anarchism through a the development of a plan:
1) Make forms of government and hierarchical obsolete by designing systems with better efficiency and effectiveness.   Present an alternative choice that  makes a change one that is beneficial and preferred that does not dictate standards but values diversity.

2) Create systems of processes that basically run themselves, that are not controlled by something or someone.    Created effective lateral and direct processes of communication.

3) The strategy is not to be against people but to be for all people.  We do not need to take away the "wealth" from the rich but to make it where wealth had no real benefit or need.   Not to take away the power from the ambitious but to undo that power within the imaginations of the people.  

4) To make this a transition not a revolt.  

It is anarchy itself that would be able to insure a world free of authority and oppression.  Yet there needs to be a stature based on anarchy that does not leave that space vacant.  

I just wish there were people who would ask how can this work rather than to be so determined that it cannot.  Failure is what governments do every day.  Certainly something that has nothing to do with government could exist.  For the whole population what part of our day is benefited or positively affected by a government.   Did it build my home, supply my transportation, put food on the table, design my computer, or create the internet.  Out of everything that occurs in daily life of each person what does the government add.  If it shut down would we miss it.  I think not.   People who say the government does so much sees a distorted picture of reality.  Taxes pay for all the roads, the education and welfare systems, social aid.  Where does all that money create by the taxes come from.   Who builds the roads, who builds our houses, who makes our computers and makes the food accessible to put on our tables.  The government and monetary system do absolutely nothing and cause many of the problems that they cannot fix.

Somehow someway people could do all of this better than our current system.  I am not sure every one who has a certain degree of quality of life needs to jeopardize that.  We could have a wold where food and shelter are something every one has.

It is easy to see to problems.  Identifying problems is the first step to fix or replace them.   Design should be based on the desired outcome.  Objectives keep that design within acceptable parameters.  Why can't there be a plan for a world to function within the conditions of anarchy?
You could look into dual power relationships, which attempt to answer these problems in the manner you speak of, however such systems have a tendency to be recuperated back into the social order.  If you want to have a counter system that grows in power by building the new world in the shell of the old, it has been attempted historically.

Studying anarchist history and why some anarchists think this is possible would probably be better than to approach it ahistorically as if it has never been attempted.   "An Anarchist FAQ" is one document that attempts to approach the situation as you'd like to see happen.  Platformist anarchist groups are based around some of these concepts and if that is just too rebellious, there is libertarian municipalism, anarchist syndicalism and other methods people have used which mimic what you want.
Thanks for your responses BTW.
Lets say that the objective is not to build a new world.  Say the main objective is to develop a better system than government and commerce.  How would we start? Objectives?  Common needs or basic values?  What sort of lateral process could replace government that is not a social order, but more of a functional order; and could that also extend to maintenance, development, and research.  

Do you think any of these conditions work against any desired change:
a) A group determining what is best for every one else.
b) that efforts are focus more against the people that are work within flawed systems rather than the systems themselves
c) That diversity of thought is usually seen as conflict rather than a way to lead to better understanding and answers
d) that contrary to many approaches a probable solution must be inclusive to go beyond social divisions, prejudice, and imposed morality and to believe that if people are given an actual better alternative that change can then occur.
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