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0 votes
How would you deal with immigration and emigration in a pre-revolutionary stage of the world, but post-revolutionary in one area? For your undestanding, I mean we had a revolution in a country-sized area, but we haven't achieved full anarchy in the world.

How would this be controlled? Wouldn't it?

Also, you can discuss here about immigration and emigration in a pre-revolutionary stage of all the world and a post-revolutionary stage of all the world (which I consider it wouldn't need control).
by (340 points)
people (and animals, air, water, dirt, you name it) move. sometimes a little, sometimes a lot, sometimes with conflict, sometimes without. if hierarchical, institutional, authoritarian structures began to break down more rapidly, i  imagine that movement would increase in some places and become more restricted in others. but i don't want to imagine how to "control" it.

immigration and emigration only make sense within the context of states, and national boundaries, borders, etc. so it doesn't interest me to think in those terms for some future version of the "world".

2 Answers

–5 votes
I wrestle with this question, too.  I've come to the conclusion that borders are important in my version of the ideal society to limit disruptive imports of both goods and people.  It is clear to me that free-trade and significant immigration of unskilled labor into Europe and the USA results in net positive human alienation: those on the inside see the value of their labor decreased, while the new arrivals hardly experience any real improvement in self-esteem.

I admit I don't see how "borders" can exist without a state. I can only imagine networks of well-established business relationships that are particularly dense at the very local level. It is conceivable that such a network can, at a certain size, be essentially autonomous. Webs of exclusive business relationships can be as impenetrable as any physical wall.

It is desireable that communities be relatively small and relatively stable. I would be interested in others' comments on this.
by (600 points)

a. this is not answering the question, so should be posted as a comment (you can edit your post to easily make it a comment).

b. unless you can explain to my satisfaction how your "businesses" can exist without capitalism, i will request that you not answer any more questions (you can continue to post comments and ask questions).
Perfect dot. You have (intentionally?) provided an example of my above answer to the question. The question being "how would you deal with immigration?" and my answer being "tight business networks are as effective as a wall" If existing members, between them, occupy all useful roles (autonomy) there is no room for an immigrant. So even if he did come he woudn't stick around long. Indeed, after an honest but futile effort by the existing people and the newcomer to find a useful role for the latter, some or all of the existing people would request (by word or other form of communication) the prospective immigrant move on -- making it clear he/she is unwelcome.

I admit it is a strange answer. But you have nicely shown how natural it is.

Business.  Busy-ness.  This is activity with a veiw to exchange. It is not just activity, since watching TV is also an activity. It is the same as free labor; only "labor" suggests something anonymous, forced and disagreeable whereas "business" to me suggests something exciting wherein the individual finds and seizes his place in society and his meaning in life.

I see no reason it can't exist without capitalism. In fact, capitalism will ultimately kill small business -- which is the only kind of business I think should exist (no wage or salaried labor whatsoever -- only individual entrepreneurs/artisans/consultants/handy-men, etc).  

I would even say that capitalism is something of a perversion of business, since it is a system of attributing jobs, products and values among people that is NOT based on the actual busy-ness of the people !  I fully subscribe to the labor theory of value where all value is the product of labor.  I say that all individuals have the right to own the product of their own labor, and control its use by others, but NEVER claim to own the product of another person's labor. They can only be accorded, through fair exchange, the right to use the product of another's labor. They can add value to it only through their own labor, and this alone can justify the attribution of value. The attribution of value in the exchange of labor for labor, directly or indirectly through currency.  So the men in high-finance, land and resource ownership, multinational corporations, politics, etc. would have a hard time explaining to me how they are engaged in busy-ness. I am convinced at this point that most or all of them are in fact parasites, using the threat of police and military force to extract value from true businessmen without providing anything in exchange that exists as the direct result of their own activity.

close enough to satisfied.

please don't put words in my mouth, even by analogy. i was not asking you to move on. i was asking you to limit your participation to specific areas of this forum.

"all value is the product of labor"

i value the beautiful mountains that dominate my view. exactly how does that value relate to labor? and whose labor produced that value?  remembering that you claim only sentient beings have will and everything you associate with that.

but i digress...

Funkyanarchy, I don't see how the mountain can have value in the way I mean it: exchange value. How much of your time and effort could you offer the mountain in exchange for its beauty? Your enjoyment of it, much less the mountain itself, and not even your view can be considered legitimate property. Nothing can own it, control it or exchange it.  It is priceless.
syrphant, somewhere previously i specifically asked about those different (to me) meanings of the term "value", and you stated that they are in fact one and the same to you. now it seems you are making a distinction.
Let's think it through, funkyanarchy, because it could indeed be a fair and welcome challenge to my worldview.

I suggest you are misplacing the value. Let's admit the mountain in question is barren rock (no vegetation, so it is only the non-living mineral matter you are looking at). You can be awed by unwillful forces. I am awed by storms, sunshine, etc. But they do not embody the importance of any living thing on my levels of existence. So, while essential and useful, these have no more value than the dimensions of space and time. You think you value the mountain, but maybe you really value the window through which you see it while sheltered from the wind; you value the knowledge of how it was formed and how it affects climate; you value the sturdy boots you wear to experience the mountain close-up.

It is probably true that my reasoning on value is circular: I just see no point in assigning the value to me of something that is not the result of labor that can be recognized and compensated. Non-living "laborers" (movements of the earth to create mountains) don't give a shit whether or not I assign value to their works; living things actually need to feel their work has meaning. So, when trying to figure out who to thank for something like a mountain, I would try to find living things who are responsible for my enjoyment of it. I don't want to waste value.

The mountain example is kind of like the case of simple externalities, left-over effects from the dead-and-gone, etc. The reason I get indignant when someone talks about their value is that it is often with the suggestion or insistence that I pay someone for its use or enjoyment -- someone who is no more responsible for its existence than I am, thus no more entitled to income from it than I am. That is, not at all.

appreciate your response on this.

but i still find huge disagreement with your rigid views on "value" (and work and meaning and...) as well as how you describe your personal response to "awe" or whatever.

"Non-living "laborers" (movements of the earth to create mountains) don't give a shit whether or not I assign value to their works"

the same could be said of many, many living beings (what you call "laborers"); they don't give a shit about how you "value" their "work". again, that is a purely economic perspective, and if that is truly the only lens through which you can see and interact with the world around you (which surely appears to be the case, by your posts and your own admission), i actually feel sorry for you in some way.

"I suggest you are misplacing the value."

no, actually you are re-interpreting my use of the term "value" to fit into your (rather limited, imo) definition. seeing those mountains gives me immense joy; i greatly value joy in my life; therefore, those mountains have value to me. i value them. nowhere in any of that is there economic exchange, work, labor, or your kind of "value". 

remain in your purely economic world if you must. i avoid that shit like the plague. not that i don't have to deal with it at times, of course. but that motherfucker would be gone gone gone from my world if i could make it happen.

Been giving this some thought.  I can't figure out how to value a mountain. What would you give for it? Who would you deal with?

A value is some kind of number on a scale with other, relative values. You can value the view... and exchange something just to have that view. Maybe even consider that taking the time to soak in that view and enjoy it is worth the opportunity cost -- what you could be doing if you weren't enjoying the view of the mountain.  Anyway, yes, I think economics is a certain approach to philosophy; one way of many to look at things, probably niether more nor less true than some other perspective. Just don't confuse it with "interest rates" and "stock market" and all that other financial baloney that gets associated with economics. Fundamentally it is about seeing all activities in terms of costs and benefits -- not necessarily financial !

For me, the mountain just "is."  It's part of the indifferent environment where living things find themselves and their struggles.  I'm thinking of the mountain where I grew up.  It was forested, so I valued the activities of the living things on it, not the unfeeling geological formation itself.
syrphant, i see how you can look at life that way, and your economic use of the word "value"....and as you said, one can look at life in other ways.

to "value" something can also mean that a person desires it or feels it important in/to their life, without thinking about exchange or a cost/benefit analysis.

what this has to with borders and immigration, i don't know... :)
We've definitely left the immigration topic far behind, but the discussion is useful to me. Here, I'll try to tie it back into borders and immigration:

What if a migrating people poured into Funkyanarchy's area and built mines all over that mountain? Made lots of noise and clouds of dust? Built ugly buildings obstructing his view? It is one of the most troubling images for me -- so obviously undesirable yet to erect and defend borders feels equally wrong!

Ultimately I have to say that my ethical responsibility is greater for those who are already in my circle/community and lesser for those who are outside. That responsibility must diminish to virtually zero for those creatures that not only create nothing of positive exchange value to me but that I would actually expend effort to keep out of my existence! Otherwise, I just don't know how to reconcile my aversion to immigration with my feeling of a universal respect for individual freedom.

A seed migrates. Where it believes it has found its calling it germinates. At that point it no longer migrates; it takes care of the organisms it values right there in its own physical location. It makes offspring capable of going out into the broader world, but its own life is firmly rooted, and it doesn't -- can't -- feel any responsibility about what happens in a forest miles away or what suffering the poor conditions in that other forest cause to organisms that it would care about were they part of our tree's zone of influence.

An adult human should not uproot and migrate once established somewhere ("once established" is key here, because young people have to seek their places). The established person should stay and fight to the death for her community. Life is a struggle anyway, wherever you are. Death is inevitable anyway, wherever you are. Dignity matters. Crashing another's party is not right, should feel wrong, and makes you an antagonist -- fair game for trouble from locals.

My problem is the obvious danger of locals slipping into xenophobia. It would take superhuman will to actively draw in useful seeds of diverse and complimentary species/varieties and encourage them to germinate in your community.  Diversity is so important to the flourishing of life, but so naturally rejected by human psychology.

Funkyanarchy is right: my worldview is pathetic. It is sad and worthy of pity.  The reason is just as stated: most humans don't give a shit about whether or not I value their existence, no more than the mountain. So there's no exchange of value. So I don't feel valued. That is the reason why I'm so depressed and cynical. If only some more people saw value as I do -- as a form of communication of mutual importance between living things, being only meaningful if reflecting the honest appreciation of another living thing, and serving to guide living things towards meaningful excercise of free-will -- things would be better.

Right, I admit that I tend to disregard any philosophical idea as irrelevant if it doesn't deal with ethics. No other question requires urgent attention. Assigning value should not be wasted on what "is" or even on what "could be" but entirely wasted on the futile pursuit of what "should be."

That doesn't mean assigning value of geological formations isn't enjoyable. It means that such things are of no value relative to living things that NEED value judgements more than they need air and water. Life will cease if living things find no meaning in each others' eyes. Dead things -- rocks -- can't make me feel valuable; so they are of no value in my world. They can only be means by which living things create value, which is the end of the creature's reason for living, the realization of the creature as an end in itself.  Means shouldn't have value except as the embodiment of some willful action by an end -- some reason for living.  The belief that non-living things have value is the basis of our greedy society -- hoarding, stealing, appropriation, etc.   Building a wall around a mountain...  yet funkyanarchy's source of inspiration cannot be just given up to immigrants !

Incoherent rambling, I know. Sorry.  Very deep discussion though, and not entirely off-topic since it is the foundation upon which all my thoughts on all topics are built, and the origin of serious contradictions and turbulence in my head like with immigration.

Who/what are the symbiotes? Who/what are the antagonists? Who/what has value? How much relative to others? Hard to discern. I think mass waves of balance-upsetting immigration can be resisted without moral qualms.

syrphant, you continue to demonstrate to me that:

a) your worldview is hugely divergent from my own, and

b) you seem a rather interesting thinker, with a sense of humor, and i would surely have a drink with you around the fire pit. 

"my" area would be defended as necessary, i have absolutely no problem fighting off others that try to come in and fuck with my life (and those i choose to share it with). the mountains that bring me so much joy are probably 40 miles away, so it would be up to those beings who make those mountains their home to allow or deny others coming in to fuck shit up. i would likely have some discussion with them, about what the mountains mean to me, what the mountains mean to them, and to strategize over possible alliances against such intruders.

your distinction between "living" and "dead" things seems somehow off kilter to me. i assume you would consider water to be dead (as separate from the mass of life existing within it)? yet no living thing could survive without it. what about fertile soil? can you really separate the rock mass and soil of the mountain from the plants and animals that live and grow on/in/around it? 

ba@: to "value" something can also mean that a person desires it or feels it important in/to their life, without thinking about exchange or a cost/benefit analysis.

well said.

So I have been reflecting on value and trying to see what's been put out there by smarter people. I am shocked to learn that the system I want and the way I operate in business is considered "gift economy." The term is so misleading I have been rejecting it without understanding it.

The Wikipedia entry on gift economy presents many different uses of the term, one of which (attributed to Chris Gregory) perfectly describes my position:

"In such situations where gift-giving and market exchange were intersecting for the first time, some anthropologists contrasted them as polar opposites. This opposition was classically expressed by Chris Gregory in his book "Gifts and Commodities" (1982). Gregory argued that

Commodity exchange is an exchange of alienable objects between people who are in a state of reciprocal independence that establishes a quantitative relationship between the objects exchanged ... Gift exchange is an exchange of inalienable objects between people who are in a state of reciprocal dependence that establishes a qualitative relationship between the transactors (emphasis added).[33]

Gregory contrasts gift and commodity exchange according to five[citation needed] criteria:

Commodity exchange

Gift exchange

immediate exchange

delayed exchange

alienable goods

inalienable goods

actors independent

actors dependent

quantitative relationship

qualitative relationship

between objects

between people

(end copy-paste)

Clearly my Kantian-ethics-based exchange economy is just Gregory's "gift exchange" economy, and my use of the term "value" is limited to the estimation by the receiver of the worth of the gift in terms of what she feels obligated by fairness to give in return.

The concept of inalienable goods: it is great to now have a way to describe my view of all products resulting from the activity of living things. I hold that all exchangeable products embody the producer, and we businesspeople only add value (or try to) by putting something of ourselves into it. That is basically why I am disgusted by the prevailing attitudes in business: today the focus of the valuation tends to be the object or service itself and not the living organisms that made it.  I see all activities and products of activity as unique -- not commodities, never perfect substitutes. All exchanges are unique because no two pairs of actors are in the same context, and context is necessary for the determination of exchange value to the two parties.

The justification for money and accounting is simply the trouble of assuring fair reciprocity over time and space with imperfect memories.

Fundamentally the above must be why I can't assign a value to your mountain. I'm stuck. Due to my lack of understanding I cannot perceive any living things giving rise to its existence, much less figure out what and how I can give something back to them. The exchange is how value is determined. Unable to imagine the exchange, I cannot assign value.

Regarding your question about soil -- that's different. Of course soil is alive. I can work with the soil, enriching and empowering it in recognition of what it does for me. The mountain in our conversation I have conceptually equated with a rock on the moon: a purely geological mineral thing. When we add plants, microbes, etc. it enters my world of economics. But life is not necessary for the creation of a mountain.

"... estimation by the receiver of the worth of the gift in terms of what she feels obligated by fairness to give in return."

yeah, i can see why you like it so much. worth (value), obligation, fairness... all things you seem enamored with. the terms gift and economy are essentially contradictory, as i see them.

The Greek etymology for economy basically comes out as "household management," so I think right down to its origins we can see a conceptual break there, though that tends to incline me towards viewing "gift economics" as a provocation: a thing which is not an economy yet excludes economics by precisely occupying space economics requires for its own use.

One of the key elements of so-called gift economics, according to Graeber in Debt, is something I will term here "inequivelancy." That is, every gift must leave a relationship of social indebtedness intact whether by the gift being insufficiently great as to cancel out whatever one may owe from past gifts received in kind, or so great as to leave ones "creditor" now in debt to them. Paying back all what one owes and being paid back all of what one is owed is the final act one takes before leaving a group forever, this final balancing of the books exactly equivalent with a goodbye, whereas leaving things somewhat out of balance is in itself a promise to return.

So, the sort of accounting and balancing of books which is foundational to household management, and is the basic task from which economics as a discipline emerges, begins at exactly the place where a gift economy dies.

If economics is the "discipline for the management of households," however large we might take those households to be, this other thing is instead an "anti-discipline of social cultivation."

i wonder how you all feel when giving or receiving?

especially in those instances not related to consumerism, holidays or other hierarchical functions (birthdays, christmas, graduations, etc.)....when you receive or give something, whether a material thing,  or energy/skills/effort.

do you feel differently as the giver or receiver? what makes you inclined to give or receive, without an occasion? do you feel a sense of obligation or debt when you receive? or that the other person owes you when you give? what other feelings or thoughts arise? how does it affect your relationship with the person? does it affect the likelihood of you receiving and giving with other people not involved in that particular gift? if you (or the other person) used money, do you feel or think differently about the gift than when not? do you consider offering or asking for help with something a gift (even things like asking for or offering a ride somewhere)? 

these questions (and others) feel relevant to me, more so than thinking in terms of economy, or in other ways more removed from my life. 

just some more food for thought and exploration.

ba@, that is a spectacularly useful question (or set of questions) imo. one that i think deserves its own discussion, perhaps a new question.
thanks, funky@. i'll work up a question.
Good points. I also find the term "gift economics" poorly suited to the concept that I would simply call Kantian commerce (ie exchange guided by the categorical imperative).

I feel so naive when you say "enamored" Funky@.  My whole framework is challenged... which is good. which is why I'm here. My desire to be good might not survive this discussion. I might just succumb wholly to my other side: deep cynicism, with nothing to balance it.
"My desire to be good might not survive this discussion"

here's hoping it doesn't!

cynicism seems a rather healthy approach to this world (though of course not the only one), and it has done pretty well by me. but it is merely a starting point. there are always going to be times when balancing one's cynicism with other filters is appropriate. confining oneself to a single way of being/relating seems rather limiting.
+3 votes
This is a weird question to me, from an anarchist standpoint. So, borders are not material things that exist in the world, but juridical concepts negotiated between nation-states. I'm not even sure that the ancient world, for example, talked about the somewhat different notions of "territory" and "influence" in those terms, but it is certain that without a government of some sort, borders can't really exist, though obviously the uncontrolled territory on a map could be so designated, creating a sort of negatively defined border around it, but in practice this is rarely the case, instead you see such places subsumed into the mantle of the internationally recognized, regional authority, whatever that may be.

Now, if you mean would putatively anarchist groups in a heterogenous political landscape patrol a "territory" in which they live and concern themselves with outsiders they encounter, then yes, probably. Like any other things involving anarchists, though, I imagine that every such culture will develop a unique approach to these issues suited to their specific situation.

Obviously good contemporary examples to look to for ways this might be approached are the Zapatistas and Rojavans. Both seem to have welcomed outsiders to visit, but have had different reservations about who could stay and for how long.

As to how? For starters, while the fully atomized individuals of capitalism can pretty much go anywhere they can speak the language and engage others in purely monetary relationships, in a non-capitalist community personal relationships are far more important (see Graeber's Debt: The First 5000 Years) and pose natural barriers to newcomers simply inserting themselves into the life of that region. This implies that each immigrant would need to individually negotiate their way into a community and begin building relationships from scratch. A moderate amount of charity on the part of the indigenous people would probably be necessary to get them started, which may place local hardship conditions as a limit on the viability of joining the group. I suspect the place to turn to for what all that might look like are personal accounts of American frontiersmen and escaped slaves who fully joined native communities.

Of course, putative immigrants could endeavor to simply move into the area and live independently, but this looks a lot more like a small scale invasion than immigration, and while not an automatically violent situation, probably resolves itself a lot more like a negotiation between two at-odds communities. Similarly, see the history of homesteaders on the American frontier for different ways this can shake out.
by (1.4k points)
Yes, the importance of relationships and trust would be a significant barrier to migration. Each community would have its own flavor of hospitality. You said what I was trying to say, only you said it better.

However, I'm not sure I really like what you and I see as the most likely anarchist response to this issue. At first glance it appears corruptible by prejudice ("your kind ain't welcome here.") We -- meaning relatively kind individuals -- would have to really work to try to support, sponsor and welcome at least some people of diverse backgrounds into our networks. To offset the possibly natural but self-destructive preference for familiarity in association.
I disagree with and reject all the ways you are talking about this.
I don't know how you could disagree with me while I agree with you. I guess your answer must be full of symbolism and metaphor I am just to simple to get. Please, don't bother descending to my level of comprehension to try to explain how your answer is different from mine. ;)
You don't agree with me, rather you do not disagree with my post.

To better understand my perspective on my answer, take your first comment and negatively apply it to my answer. Each time you use a noun, verb, or adjective I do not, imagine that I explicitly excluded it from my meaning.

Edit: Changed "intentionally" to "explicitly" in last sentence.
You can also add pronouns to that list: I definitely do not agree with your use of "we."
I completely agree with your answer to this question.  If you don't like that, too bad.
For you all things are but a mirror in which you see yourself.