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"Anarchy? We don't want anarchy because who will protect us? People will get beat up."

0 votes
"They will gang up on you, and then the gangs will start new institutions that will rule over the rest of us. What about our jobs? What will people do for a living if there no businesses to work for?" Can someone please help me with this stupid crap?
asked Sep 10, 2013 by anonymous

2 Answers

+5 votes
There are a million misconceptions about anarchy and anarchism. Presumably this is some kind of typical response you get when you tell people you're an anarchist. With people who haven't thought about what a self-organized culture might look like, you have to go with baby steps. I have had the best results by answering objections like these with redirected questions.

For example, "who will protect us?" can be responded to with: "who do you think protects you right now?" The cops only come after something bad has happened; you know what they say: never one around when you need one. The plain fact is that police don't protect you or your family or your stuff because their job isn't crime prevention, but law enforcement. There's a reason they call it that, and a reason folks in that line of work call it that.

"People will get beat up" can be responded to the same way: "what prevents people from beating you up right now?" Most people aren't interested in beating other people up, but if they are, typically it's in the course of a robbery. Robbery exists because capitalism is based on the unequal distribution of wealth and property. Most robbers rob because they need to get money to pay for other things, like food, drugs, rent, whatever. In a culture that has abolished wealth distribution inequality, the motivations for robbery would be greatly reduced.

If you take apart the objections into digestible bits, turn the question back on the asker in a way that provokes them to think about what their current situation is, then you'll in a better position. But it's important to be confident and knowledgeable. Hope that helps.
answered Sep 10, 2013 by lawrence (18,030 points)
–1 vote
Vigilante neighbors.

A key component of anarchism is that an attack on one is an attack on all.
answered Feb 13, 2015 by FreeBorn Angel (320 points)
vigilante neighbors maybe. the second sentence... no.
The 'An Injury to One, Is an Injury to All!' was definitely close to the heart of the old wobblies.  Was this confined to syndicalism?  Or did this recur in other veins of anarchism or communalism as well?

I've long had the germ of an idea about self-defense (in whatever form) being an intrinsic component of what makes a 'community'; but i've never been able to articulate the thought properly.  :(
I agree with dot's wariness about the absolutism of a sentiment like "an attack on one is an attack on all," though I've harbored similar thoughts about self defense being a critical component to functional community at times, though admittedly I haven't really thought about that topic for awhile, and since then my concept of "community" has soured rather a bit.

At the same time, there is something to that notion. I might see if I can tease this out a bit...
So, you would stand by while someone rapes your neighbor?
It is ok to rape someone in another town because it doesn't directly impact you?
The reason that an attack on one is an attack on all is because if you wait for them to get around to attack you there may be no one left to help you.

http://veni.com/articles/firsttheycameforme.html
This is consistent with the non-aggression principle, to tolerate an attack on one is to get in line to be attacked.
Anyone that uses violence to control others is a threat to the peace brought by anarchy and is an attack on all anarchists.
Hmmm,...are my replies going into one line, or are they under each reply?
If the later then they are sequential from the top.
@ingrate
If you tolerate the forced coercion of  your neighbor it is only a matter of time until the forced coercion gets around to you, better to nip it in the bud and stop any forced coercion as it occurs regardless of it's target.
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