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Can 7 billion people be fed in an anarchist society?

–2 votes
I think it is a must to have a highly organized society to feed seven billion world population. But i am not sure if this organization can be non-hierarchical. If high organization means hierarchy, how can we manage to feed seven billion people in an anarchist society? And if we can't, doesn't fighting for anarchy mean actually killing people - mostly innocent, poor people? How to convince someone to fight for anarchy if this is the case?
Same goes for revolution. Since revolution is unpredictable, shit may happen. So a revolutionary should be ready to take the responsibility of death of people, am i wrong?

Edit: Typo.
asked Sep 24, 2014 by Metalist (910 points)
edited Sep 24, 2014
Downvoted because basically this is one of those loaded questions. Hey 'anonymous,' have you stopped kicking your dog lately?

Yes? Oh so you were kicking your poor innocent dog. No? Oh so you still kick your poor innocent dog.

But, let's unpack it a bit.

1."I think it is a must to have a highly organized society to feed seven billion world population."

How was 7 billion reached in the first place? What mechanisms and institutions allowed for this number to be reached? Why is 7 billion the magic number? Why 'should' we not shoot for the stars and go for 12 billion? More is better, right?

2."But i am not sure if this organization can be non-hierarchical."

Why? Because hierarchy hasn't allowed for question #1's very conditions.?


3. "And if we can't, doesn't fighting for anarchy mean actually killing people - mostly innocent, poor people?"

Oh. The old specter of the 'bomb-throwing anarchist.' Bob Black's short answer is still one of the best: as opposed to what? Bomb-dropping presidents?

4."Since revolution is unpredictable, shit may happen."

Living is unpredictable. We do the best we can, particularly within states, economic models and ideological constructs which destabilize the lives of the majority of people on the planet in order to make the lives of a few relatively more stable and predictable through violence and theft.

5. "So a revolutionary should be ready to take the responsibility of death of people, am i wrong?"

Personally, I'm not quite convinced of 'revolution' or 'revolutionaries.' But, again, do the masters at present 'take the responsibility' of killing people? Nope. Never. Only if they are caught, usually through war, by another master.

More importantly, to whom 'should' we be accountable and what is the standards of 'responsibility' to be measured?

And perhaps even more important, it's not so much the focus on how people will die or how many, but how may humans live more joyously.

*Edited toward an afterthought.
I registered to answer AmorFati's comment.

1. We have reached to seven billion because of advanced agriculture, and i do not claim that it is a success, since we become dependent to advanced agriculture.

2. I do not claim that an organization can't be non-hierarchical. I claim that a HIGH LEVEL organization can't be non-hierarchical.

3. I don't mean this, i am familiar with anarchist ideas. The reason why i say "doesn't fighting for anarchy mean actually killing people" is most people attack primitivists since their utopia leads death of millions of people, but if i am right, if a high level organization needs hierarchy, then any anti-hierarchy movement will cause death of a number of people even if not as much as a primitivist utopia would cause.

5. I don't care if masters take responsibility or not, i care if revolutionaries take responsibility or not. If you work for collapse of the system, you are responsible in some degree for its consequences. I am not saying this in a blaming matter or anything, but if you don't want these consequences, reformism can be a better choice.
downvoted because I don't like any questions asked from the perspective of "we".

Who is/are "we"? i.e. you the asker and me the answerer, some imaginary group of anarchists, the entire planet with all human beings supposedly in concert with a central idea at some point in the future, a group of people on this website who have reached consensus on some concept, as defined by a particular definition of anarchy that I would attempt to represent in my answer, etc.

Also, is there an assumption in the question that this "anarchist society" would exist in 2014 with the swipe of a magic wand with all conditions existing exactly as they are today, except there is no government, no federal currency, no prisons, no countries, or are you asking for a picture or story that would unfold over decades beginning today, etc. ?

What I'm saying is that there are all sort of implications or assumptions contained within the question(s) that can only be known by the person asking them. This question is not the kind of thing I normally think about, so I have no parameters to base an answer - you'd have to supply them for me.

edited: to expand ideas
metalist: i appreciate you responding, although your response seems to me to raise more questions.
how are you defining a high-level organization? what anarchists do you know who support this h-l org premise?

is there something inherently wrong with killing people? if yes, then i guess we disagree. if no, then under what circumstances is it ok? who gets to decide?
if there is a revolution, what makes you think that anarchists will have anything to do with creating it or sustaining it? supporting the change that might happen as a result of a dramatic change seems different (to me) from causing it. i think that people's misery would be the cause, and it's hard to take responsibility for the consequences of people's misery, when i have nothing to do with maintaining or creating *that*.

i probably have more questions but i also have other things i should be doing. lol

ps: i think your question should be upvoted precisely because it is coming from a common concern, especially with all the tacit assumptions it contains.
dot, I'm thinking about your reason for upvoting and considering why I downvoted it. It might be that I get generally annoyed with tacit assumptions...yet here I am engaging, so..I don't know
Metalist: " primitivists since their utopia leads death of millions of people," and then "reformism can be a better choice"

I find this kind of thinking specious, at best. But, it's really a false-dichotomy between a strawman and the status quo.

You may have to read some, but there's many 'primitivists' who have no ideological utopia and yet maintain a critique of civilization which includes notions that civ is already too far gone to save, thus, we have little to no choice in the matter.

Then you come in with: " I don't care if masters take responsibility or not, i care if revolutionaries take responsibility or not."

Oh, I see. So those who, in *actuality,*  and *actively* over-extend the carrying capacity of our planet, who cause and have caused undue human and non-human suffering for their own gain, are somehow let off the hook because some 'primitivist' critiques the very basis of the former and *imagines* a life very different from the one we are subjected to (any 'choice' in the matter is beside the point I'm making here, btw). Perhaps you may benefit from reading some primitivist lit like Kevin Tucker who is *not* a 'revolutionary.

2 Answers

+4 votes
re: your basic questions, i don't know if you're wrong or not.

some anarchists believe that people would self organize around workplaces (as the anarchists did in the spanish civil war, and as the soviets did before the bolsheviks subverted them). ie the idea that we need bosses to be organized is false.

other anarchists believe that people are already dying, and while deaths would accompany this hypothetical re-organization, the differences in numbers wouldn't necessarily be that much. and that poor people would perhaps have *more* capacity to get what they need since they would not be waiting for others to give it to them.

other anarchists believe that a short, but un/less alienated life is worth dying for.

other anarchists would question the idea that "we" would be feeding anyone. and would emphasize that people would be responsible for feeding themselves and their cared for, and that the whole premise of the question maintains a top-down perspective. as does the idea of taking responsibility for the deaths of people in a revolution...

other people don't think that a revolution is what is called for, since it just leads to a different group in power.


ps: some anarchists would laugh at the idea of an innocent person (as a reification of purity and victimhood that does a disservice to any actual living human being).

edited to correct punctuation!
answered Sep 24, 2014 by dot (52,130 points)
edited Sep 24, 2014 by dot
Government rulers are the cause of the distribution issue the world faces.  People want to produce goods and be able to exchange with as many people as possible which widens their opportunities for friendships, experience and choices.  The fact that we have obese people in the U.S., and starving people across a body of water, is because our government controls exports with the Import Export Banking Regulations.  Embargo's keep us from informing oppressed people, and allowing them access to technology that can give producers and charities the knowledge of where goods are in demand.  NAFTA is an example of how unless the government authorizes trade, it can not be legally established.  Its the artificial lines drawn by state rulers however many years ago, and the mindset people have that 'these people's opinions and rules must be obeyed', that stops other countries from being fed.

Also, with that many consumers, you also have that many people who can come up with ideas to exchange and work to produce those goods necessary for life; along with the 98% of the world that is uninhabited allows the many more resources to be used as effectively as possible.

In short, we know when corporations use governments to rule, people starve; and this is a continuum seeing as how when business gets bigger governments grow and people are more likely to starve. (North Korea, USSR, Vietnam, Indo China, etc.).  The best hope we have is that people value human life enough to work towards allocating resources to those in need, while understanding- when you have rulers, there are no rules.

Hope this helps, please post or email me if you have any comments.
keithknight13, ancaps do not answer questions on this site, as is clearly stated (for what that's worth) on the about us page.
you may ask questions and comment.
also, you don't need to repost things multiple times as you did with your contact information. once is sufficient per thread. (also, putting your email on an anarchist/any site seems like a very poor decision, but your call.)
+2 votes
We do not know if 7 billion people could be fed in a non-hierarchical society.

We do know that hierarchical society does not have a good track record for keeping people fed. According to the UN 1 in 8 people on this planet suffer from 'chronic undernourishment.'


On reform: While revolution may be unpredictable, the social peace known as civilization is mapping out its possibilities for us pretty nicely. So far it has been able to produce the Holocaust and the ongoing genocide of American Indians. It has created the possibility of mutually assured destruction with nuclear weapons and done irreversible damage to the entire biosphere.

You cannot reform the bad off of bad.
answered Sep 25, 2014 by flip (3,980 points)
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