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How would An Anarchist society deal with healthcare?

+2 votes
How an Anarchist society would provide adequate and affordable healthcare is something I have wondered about a lot. The "Anarcho-capitalist's" seem to think that healthcare can be dealt with by the free market ideal, and that the demand for high quality care will be naturally met by companies who are dependant upon satisfied customers. However I think this will result access to quality care being very much dependant upon wealth and status, with those with the money demanding the best medical care and poorer people having to make do with a lower standard. How would other Anarchist societies deal with this problem?
asked Jun 26, 2013 by anonymous
theres a different anarchist society for every kind of anarchist out there, so it depends on what that society in general looks like to you.  if i may infer, it sounds like you are suggesting anarchist society is a massified society that in some ways looks like the one we have now, but 'anarchist' instead of capitalist.  i just cant imagine an anarchist society within this context, with a 'healthcare system' and jobs and paying to get medicine.  perhaps it would be helpful if you describe what an anarchist society looks like, and perhaps more importantly, what the 'scale' of that society is.
That's true, I'll tell you what I envision an anarchist society to look like. I personally think of a society based upon small groups or communes of people, the basis for the formation of these groups would preferable be personal affinity, they'd be groups of friends and/or family. I suppose my personal thoughts on it, would be a rather green form of anarchy, possibly with food and resources acquired either from trade with other communes or most preferably from farming or hunting/gathering. This vision does not really require or even benefit from healthcare in the modern western sense. However I try to be realistic, I think this vision is a bit utopian, and an alternative may be necessary that can be implemented in the real, modern world. Perhaps the affinity based communes could live in cities with other communes living around them and perhaps have use of modern technologies like cars and infrastructure. However, I find a problem here how does a society like this without capitalism and without the state demanding tax, deal with the seemingly very necessary element of modern healthcare? As far as I'm concerned the other statist excuses for the existence of government; the police and army are completely unnecessary and undesirable, as I'm sure most anarchist's would agree. It's just I can't get my head around how a modern society could do without some form of modern healthcare, and if so how would it be provided? Sorry for the long reply.
Right now the government provides health care for the poor. Without government, the job would be upon charities to help the poor. I know you cannot completely rely on charities, but logically, the only reason charities don't exist as much as they should is because the government takes care of the poor instead (in the USA). An anarcho-capitalist would say that health care would be taken care of by companies and the free market. I highly agree because competition creates better quality products and services, consumer  satisfaction, and lower prices. Not only that, I read an article about how a doctor lowered the cost one would have to pay at a specific hospital a whole lot by getting most of the patients off government healthcare. Instead of paying for example 80 dollars for a check-up, one would only pay maybe 30 dollars (numbers aren't factual). And it makes sense to me that in an anarchist society, companies would provide healthcare to make people want to work there. Communism aims to help the working class. I think capitalism would do a better job because it lowers prices, sparks competition, and promotes freedom.
I for see a situation where health care was largely provided by the commune itself. Members of the commune could train in things such as first aid and home remedies and basic healthcare and resources required could be provided by trades and bartering with other communes, potentially without the exchange of money. I suppose more severe health problems and things such as surgery could be provided by a free market system, it would certainly be preferable to the state funded wealth-fare systems we have to deal with in my country and many other wealth-fare states. However, I oppose the concept of anarcho-capitalism because of the retention of private property. I think this would only lead to the amassing and monopolization of wealth and thus power.
Hey Brad, you do know what kind of website this is, right? If I could vote down your comment more than once, I certainly would.
I was under the understanding that this website was about providing information about anarchy. What is wrong with my comment?
I know what you mean. This is one thing I fear too. But I own my body so I deserve to be able to govern myself and my actions. If I perform a service for somebody I deserve to be compensated however they wish to compensate me and I deserve to be able to trade things I work for for other things that people wish to trade. And money funds power. So if a company is going out of control, you "vote" in a sense by stopping the funding. In an anarchist society we would prevent centralization in general. Government only has success because they have pretty much a sure way of getting money, by force and taxation. Companies wouldn't have as much power because they couldn't do that. So our purchases would be more direct. There will always be problems. But I would still revolt in a communist society of any kind because I have voluntary rights. I make my own decisions whether economic or personal and I will fight any type of government that prevents that. Even anarcho-communism.
I am an anarchist.
If you were an anarchist, you would be opposed to the existence of private property because it requires force to uphold.

Since you're not, your answers aren't really going to be seen with any legitimacy here.
*Government only has success because they have pretty much a sure way of getting money, by force and taxation. Companies wouldn't have as much power because they couldn't do that.*

someone needs to read up on company towns, among other things.

also, RB, i expect the ancaps think that it would require force to *deny* private property too, so your shorthand might be too short to be useful.

1 Answer

–7 votes
Healthcare or the care to be strong and not weak is a government term and i can see why. Strength goes to work, follows orders, militantly kills traitors, supports its nation, conforms, and stresses over external problems. Weakness is pacifist, kind, quiet, knowledgeable, and loving. A society cannot be Anarchist. You either have society or Anarchy. Society is an organization, an institution, a corporation. We as Anarchists can't have that. That is what we as Anarchists are against. I've answered your question on all sides of the spectrum but I'll end here, simply. If healthcare by political means is nonprofit, nonkilling, and egalitarian, it will work, but if not, then we will continue having, careless overdoses, epidemics, and abuse of the profit-marching system.
answered Oct 28, 2013 by Anarchy1001 (-150 points)
What do you mean by healthcare? What kind of care do you think you may need that you will not be able to get?
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