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Millions will starve and die in violence in a condition of Anarchy.

–3 votes
This is an argument I've had leveled at me, and heard elsewhere, is this claim wrong? and if so can you provide explanations of why it is wrong?

edited for tags
asked Nov 7, 2013 by Anarcho-Goth (730 points)
edited Jul 15, 2014 by dot
The title of the question doesn't really reflect the discussion. It's not a question, but a statement with undertones that reject anarchy. The discussion isn't negative, but the title makes it seem like this is where all the trolls should come to bash anarchy.
As I said in the body of the question, this is an "argument" leveled at me by people who believe anarchism is a damaging idea(I don't want to say Ideology). My point in titling it as such was to see what the opinion of people on here was. I wanted to hear why and how people would be able to disprove this statement, that I believe to be wrong, but that I in my naivety could not to my satisfaction disprove.

2 Answers

+2 votes
This is a really similar answer to several other answers that are on this site. At some point I might feel motivated enough to search by tags and find them, if so, I'll link to them, but probably I won't.

First off, to nit pick: If the people you are talking to use terms like "a condition of anarchy" I would speculate that they are thinking of a very different situation than what most of us here are talking about. "Condition of anarchy" conjures up images of Somalia in the mid to late 90's or Afghanistan under the rule of various warlords. In both of these examples, there are numerous groups existing without a central state, but within the prescribed borders of a supposed state. Here is a question that might address some of that: http://www.anarchy101.org/2722/is-somalia-an-example-of-an-anarchy-and-if-not-why

Moving past that, I think we should keep in mind that millions (well, to be honest, billions) starve and die or have already done so under capitalism. Take, as an example, the famine in Ethiopia in the mid-90's, which was triggered by governmental policies (drought only exacerbated the situation). The Great Famine in Ireland (1845 - 52) was similarly a man-made phenomenon: although the potato crop failed, Ireland was exporting enough grains to feed the population. What people who object in this manner often mean is that they might starve and die, because they don't actually produce their own food, so without global trade and commerce, they might not get the food they need, or at least the food they would prefer to eat.

Millions (or billions) might starve in an anarchist future. Probably they would, but that doesn't invalidate anarchism any more than it invalidates capitalism.
answered Nov 7, 2013 by ingrate (20,520 points)
edited Nov 8, 2013 by ingrate
It is true to say that millions have and do die under capitalism and the state. I could think of many examples of state and capitalist engineered famines and lets not forget how many people are killed by state violence. One thought that occurs to me, when hearing this argument is that in this current time, millions of people live in countries with states, that do not or cannot provide adequate food and safety to ensure that millions do not die anyway.
+1 vote
If you want to be laconic about it, just say: "Millions starve and die in violence under the political systems we have now."
answered Nov 24, 2013 by MrThisBody (1,590 points)