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+6 votes
what i mean is:

we see so many questions here that ask about how anarchists can/should/would/do behave in particular situations. so much of the time, the questions differ only in the specifics of the situation; they don't appear to try to get at the underlying principles/concepts of anarchist thought, which would provide a fairly consistent approach to such questions (even with widely different answers).

i guess i am just wondering out loud whether there is a way to encourage those new to anarchist ideas to see where and how anarchist thought is so different from conventional modern western democrapitalistic thought, before asking questions like "who will maintain the roads?" or "what about criminals?"

i realize it could be a bit of a catch-22. how does one learn how anarchist thought is different from non-anarchist thought, without asking questions? i am not trying to stifle questions, i am merely trying to figure out whether there is a way to convey some core/basics that might help make beginner questions a bit less redundant and a bit more relevant and nuanced.

thoughts and discussion? i would love to hear from "newbies" on this also.
by (13.4k points)
i agree that newbie thoughts on this would be great/more useful than mine, but for what it's worth--i think that the point of this kind of site is to be available for questions from people who don't do any research. the issue (for me) is that i get bored answering the same questions over and over again. but there's an argument that leaving them up (and continuing to get them) does more to encourage newcomers to continue asking, and old timers to re-word (sometimes to better affect) and perhaps re-think responses we've had before.
i agree with both points, anarchism is ultimately obscure and to arrive at anarchist thought one would have to desire it. Unfortunately, modern thought isn't anything like anarchism except reptition of the word "freedom"

"to arrive at anarchist thought one would have to desire it."

huh? i'm not following, could you explain that to an aging anarchist?  what, exactly, does one have to desire?

i think rs666 (who will correct me if i'm wrong, of course) is referring to the idea that people who desire things put effort into finding out about them, there is some agency involved?

at any rate, that's how i read it, and i like that reading ;)

i guess i didn't read it that way because of the phrase "to arrive at anarchist thought". which to me implies (mayhap incorrectly) that the person was unfamiliar with it to begin with. which is why i found the phrasing confusing. if one is not familiar with something, how could they desire that thing?

desiring something different - anything differentthan what they have experienced their entire life is not just understandable, but (could be) admirable. but if they already know what that is (the different thing they want), then they must have some idea about it. 

am i missing something major? i am simply being too literal?

edit: someone is unhappy with how things are, and they know they want something different. they don't know what that is, so they simply explore any/all ideas that are "different". they hit upon anarchy, and ... baboom!

is that what you meant, rs666? if so, i obviously misunderstood, sorry for being so dense.

dot: "i think that the point of this kind of site is to be available for questions from people who don't do any research"

which kind of makes this site their source of (initial) research, in a way. the process of asking a question here implies a certain level of interest (trolls notwithstanding). so what does that mean? fuck if i know.

i definitely understand the difficulties in figuring this shit out (i mean the site's purpose/intent, from the perspective of those implementing it). and you have a commendable amount of patience, i must say. :-)

yeah, i mean that in contrast, a conservative simply doesn't want to experiment with different ways of thinking...whereas an anarchist is someone isn't satisfied with the more mainstream philosophical perspectives (unless they are anarchists for want of being part of a group, "badass image" ect.), and has at least been open to other explanations for the way things are, or as dot says, went to some effort to find things out for themselves.

if we were actually happy with the way things were, we would not be anarchists, and in my case i've always been interested in gaining new perspectives on things
i think most children question hierarchy, and coercive attempts at controlling them. i know i did, as did most other kids i knew.

and most people i encounter today (regardless of age) don't seem very content with having to work at jobs, or with trying to coerce their own children to go to school, or economics, or the police, or the government, or....

and i think most people retain some level of questioning the institutions that surround them and attempt to "govern" them. but a lot of those instincts to question and experiment and fight back get suppressed or ridiculed or numbed and anesthetized .....basically, those feelings and desires get lost....but i think something of them remain, perhaps as a ghost or a memory or an intangible feeling....and that feeling might drive a person to ask questions even when they don't know for sure what led them there.

edited to add...

funky, i had the same thoughts the very night before you posted this question (i had planned to ask it myself, so thanks :)  )....about these types of questions, and how they annoyed me, and how they seemed redundant and far from the underlying questions that interest me...

.i like the question, and when i thought about it a little more, the above ideas came to mind.

Just a thought, maybe when the thing up top that pops up, make crime and/or punishment clickable to lead to Perhaps that'll lessen the repeated question on those topics and maybe they'll ask questions based on answers of whichever question or something. 

ba, i like your comment as well, its all a big mystery how we can live our ideas and be more supportive of other people's struggles

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