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Is Somalia an example of an Anarchy, and if not why?

–4 votes
asked Mar 20, 2012 by waagwaan (140 points)

3 Answers

+3 votes
No Somalia is not a sufficient example of anarchy, at least not to the extent that warlords are still in control.  Also attempts to establish a new centralized government are ongoing there as well.

Warlords (as with any other dominant collective social formation) obviously destroy the prospects for a society free from such coercive power regardless as to weather it comes from well established modern states, or temporary semi feudal gangs. I think the confusion derives from the oversimplified and ideologically charged use of the word "anarchy" which means no rulers, not just a mere absence of a modern state.
answered Mar 21, 2012 by skitter (3,950 points)
edited Mar 21, 2012 by skitter
Word to this. Anarchy means "no rulers". Just because an entity isn't an internationally-sanctioned state doesn't mean they're not a ruler.
Thanks RB, but better yet, word to Lawrence's answer in the link I posted above.
–5 votes
Is it an example of Western anarchism? No. Is it an example of autonomous areas resisting the government? Yes. Are Somali pirates expropriating from the wealthy. Yes and they even give to the poor.

Are they an example, yes, but not a pure Western version. It's not something to hold up to your parents as an example.
answered Mar 21, 2012 by veranasi (190 points)
I feel like commenting that this kind of ignores that the "autonomous areas" in this context can often mean warlords and authoritarian religious societies. Just because a governing force isn't recognized by the major international powers doesn't mean that it's not a government.
+1 vote
This is a question only someone living in Somalia could answer. Whether there is a government or not, whether there are warlords or not, whether there is corporate hierarchies or not are irrelevant to anarchism. The question is how do people live their lives? Do they feel theselves subject to the government/warlords/corporations in their daily lives? Or do they organize themselves as individuals and communities?

Many people in countries with nominal governments experience anarchy if the government is distant or if they refuse to give it the power it demands. Many people in a country like Somalia without a government do not experience anarchy if other forms of oppression are present in their lives.

But again, this is not a question anyone but a Somali could answer since we don't actually know their experience.
answered Mar 27, 2012 by Sweater Fish (560 points)
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