Note that the site is in archived, read-only mode. You can browse and read, but posting is disabled.
Welcome to Anarchy101 Q&A, where you can ask questions and receive answers about anarchism, from anarchists.

Note that the site is in archived, read-only mode. You can browse and read, but posting is disabled.


0 votes
I understand  in an anarchist society individuals make up community/commune/affinity groups to deal with crime. But what about criminals that committed crimes and then immediately fled to overseas?

For example, a physical gym charges a one time payment for a 1 year membership. Members can use the gym's facilities within that 1 year. But then after acquiring certain amount of members the gym shuts down and the owner flees to another country with the money. How can an anarchist community rectify the loses of those fellow citizens? This question came to me because a local gym fitness chain just got bankrupt and are shutting down all their branches. Many customers have paid membership fees to this gym chain but didn't get what they were paid for. Now for bankruptcy, there are bankruptcy and winding-up procedures in law to deal with these issues. But still customers who have paid this gym for membership and haven't expire yet want the government to intervene in case if the directors or shareholders of that gym have fled the country to ensure they get back what they paid for but haven't accessed yet. How will an anarchist society deal with such issues?
There's also this way to think about it: there are advantages and to disadvantages to being rooted (as in, living in a locality) and being transient.

A lot of people tend to choose to stay in one place for their lives because there's a certain strength and security to it, but as you pointed out, being able to just get up and go somewhere else can have its advantages as well. If your gym scammer went overseas, first of all that's a lot of effort (and include the fact that anarchists wouldn't have any way of building airplanes since they hate central control of factories and work itself) and plus they wouldn't know what to do with themselves overseas.

Humans will never be able to control everything they want, and the closest you can get to that is a president/monarch/ceo, some social position
In a hypothetical anarchist society, none of those things would exist, like paying for gym membership, bankruptcy, and crime. Those are things that have to do with capitalism and the state, both of which anarchist are opposed to. Everything wouldn't be the same as it is today in an anarchist society. To of which your question assumes.

This question seems more for how will Ancapistan deal with such things. Beats the heck out of me.

4 Answers

0 votes
so... your example presumes some things that wouldn't exist in any kind of anarchy that i would recognize as such, namely capitalism (or at least money--open question if money could exist at this point without capitalism) and borders (not to mention whatever body is granting bankruptcy!).

but say we assume that your example is mostly for the purpose of explaining the logistics of what you're asking about (ie people who do bad things to others and then leave the area) then leaving aside your specifics, transgression-with-travel would be dealt with the same way in principle as other transgressions. that is, if people cared enough to search them out and find them, and had the resources to do so, then they would. if they didn't, they wouldn't. if people had the capacity to inform those where the transgressors had traveled, then presumably the word would get around and the transgressors would find their options curtailed eventually.

part of the challenge of an anarchist vision is considering how different relations would be when there is no longer a body of experts (either in rules or in violence) to appeal to. anarchists of course recognize that that certainly cuts off some options, but we believe it opens up a lot more, and better, ones.
by (53.1k points)
0 votes
For starters, with no universal currency (as such a thing requires a government to produce it and enforce it's value), the thief has fled with useless whatever, so ostensibly your local people with their closed economy simply print/manufacture/craft more of your subjectively valued currency and recoup your losses.

Laying that aside, historically exile is the highest of punishments. If they've "fled" your community, they've already done more than you could ever ask to them. Time to move on.
by (1.4k points)
Not quite. Assassination has also been practiced and is arguably worse than exile...
i'd say that assassination is for people who are not considered part of the group, whereas exile is for group members who have transgressed. but yea, murder has certainly been used. edit: i agree with you that it's arguable if murder is worse than exile
While, strictly speaking, I don't consider execution to meet the minimal criteria of a punishment as it excavates it's own ontological foundation, what I actually meant is that it is historically more common for cultures to not practice execution than to do so, and among such cultures exile is the most severe of punishments. As frontiers into which to cast out exiles have been exhausted, the prison has become the de facto place of "removal from society."
0 votes
First of all, you are making a few assumptions:

1. Crime would exist in anarchy.

2. Capitalism would be the economic system.

3. Money would exist in an anarchist society.

The first assumption is false. There are no laws in anarchy. Crime is a violation of the law, but there is no law to violate in anarchy, therefore, assumption #1 is false.

Assumption #2 is false as well. Anarchists oppose capitalism. Anarcho-capitalists are not anarchists. Capitalism has hierarchical relations.

Assumption #3 can be true depending on what you mean by "money". The current currencies in existence are based a lot on the state(authoritarian structures) since they support it. A form of exchange can exist.

Such a scenario wouldn't exist in a society based on the anarchist vision.
by (290 points)

zer0, perhaps i am reading this in a different way than you intended, but i am very wary of phrases like: "the anarchist vision".

it implies that there is a single, unified "vision" that all anarchists share. is that your belief?

There are different visions among the schools of anarchism, but they all have some similarities(like abolishing the state, hierarchical order, etc). I added capitalism as at odds with anarchism(unless your counting anarcho-capitalism as a anarchist school of thought).
0 votes
What you are talking about can't really be prevented in an anarchist community. Bankruptcy is not always fraud; and not even wrong in all cases. It is humiliating, and the honest man will want to make it right as soon as possible.

Don't do business with him again;

make it difficult for him to physically return to the community;

inform other communities with which you are in contact that a man of very questionable character is at large;

UNTIL the man returns with the ability and willingness to make it right and recover the trust of those he let down.
by (600 points)
Note that the extent of the damage caused by this failure to honor a deal would be very limited in my ideal world:

He would have no employees (no anarchist will work with another except as an equal) and no capital beyond what his individual customers would provide as payment in advance (which is what they lost).  No customer would pay in advance more than they would dare risk losing.  The gym would be small. It's death would not leave a big hole.
Dang. That ' keeps jumping into my its. Sorry.