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+3 votes
Any answer will probably depend on each individual's personal "anarchy", but I'll just give this a shot.
Basically my reasoning is that we can all already do as we please and live as we wish if we want to, there's just possibly a lot of institutional consequences for doing so (i.e. the pigs will try to beat me down if I just walk out of a store with food, throw me in a cage if I don't pay taxes, etc.). And maybe the existence of such institutional attempts at control means we don't live in anarchy to some...or most. But at what point do we go from "not living in anarchy" to "living in anarchy"?
Let me put it this way:
The whole world living in anarchy (assuming "your" anarchy for the sake of the question) would be anarchy.
But what about most of the world living in anarchy, minus North Korea and Albania or whatever; is that still anarchy?
Is half of the world living in anarchy, while the other half continues on with government or capitalism still anarchy?
Is it still anarchy if just the American continents are in anarchy?
Or if just Mexico is in anarchy? What if it was in anarchy but still had cartels fighting for control of drugs and turf?
Is it anarchy if just Oklahoma was in anarchy? Or one city? A district? A neighborhood? A street? A house? What if one person lived in anarchy? Is that still anarchy?

-Note: There is no need to answer any specific question besides the original one. All others are essentially just for clarification of the one. Suggestions for tags would also be great(:
by
"Basically my reasoning is that we can all already do as we please and live as we wish if we want to, there's just possibly a lot of institutional consequences for doing so (i.e. the pigs will try to beat me down if I just walk out of a store with food, throw me in a cage if I don't pay taxes, etc.)."

i think that this is assuming that authority and coercion are purely reactionary (passive, not active), after the fact things, not ever present and determining the conditions of and limitations of our ways we choose (or can choose) to act.  maybe im not understanding exactly, but its seems kinda like saying you can choose to eat healthy, but the only things you can eat are mcdonalds and subway.  

i guess "we can live as we want to" only makes sense to me if we say that the limitations and coercions imposed are accepted and then we go from there and decide how we live, but it doesnt really say much about what it means to not accept the limitations

2 Answers

0 votes
the first question is simple. the answer is no.
you're definitely talking about the difference between individualism and anarchy (or something).
according to my definition, anarchy does involve other people; but as well as that, anarchist understandings of the world involve understanding how i have been impacted by the capitalism (and other isms) around me. the difference (for example) between stealing food and just being able to eat freely of the food around me.

the second part of your question (at what point do we live in anarchy) is more complicated and i'm not sure how to answer it.
but i guess we do when the impact of living under a state is no longer dominant on us? not a particularly satisfying answer perhaps... it's a big question. and it does address the idea that the state is more than just a body of people in a government (just as capitalism is more than the corner store).
by (52.9k points)
edited by
0 votes
In response to the first question I would have to second dot in saying “no”; we do not already live in anarchy. While we can make choices, they are made within a framework that not only enforces consequences for those choices, but also informs them. That framework is society, the state, capitalism, woven together into something that is definitely not anarchy.

I think the question you posed in some ways is similar to asking about choice; when is it our own, when is it the same as freedom, what does it mean....I think choice might be posed as freedom in our current context because it is the only thing that comes close. Maybe choice, or at least the choice between limited options with imposed and arbitrary consequences, is a poor stand in for freedom (anarchy) and serves to placate us more than be an interesting option.

As for the second question, it seems that your clarifying questions implied that you wonder how many people or how much space is required for anarchy. I don’t know the answer to that question. I think it is more about outside influence. 20 people living in the middle of nature with no contact with or connection to society might be anarchy while those same 20 people living in an apartment complex in a city would not be. The other part of your question might be rephrased as “how concerned would people living in anarchy have to be with people not living in anarchy?”. I don’t think there is any obligation to rescue other people living under a state infrastructure provided there was no influence or power their position has on you, but ultimately that gets pretty speculative.
by (1.5k points)
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