Are Anarchists Naive?



well thank you everyone so much for joining us on this chilly a Sunday up here in Canada I really appreciate it I wanted to start with a topic that got me just a little riled up this this weekend we had a gentleman I won't sort of get into his name but he was I guess a fairly prominent libertarian he dropped pass to the boards and began to chat with us about mineral kizza meant for those who are not into these technical definitions minarik ISM is the philosophy that sort of the foundation of the u.s. philosophy it's the idea that a small government is the way to go that it's not good to have a very big government but that it's very good to have a small government and this this in the anarchistic model this is a particular kind of fantasy or a particularly dangerous kind of fantasy and so as he put forward with the idea the people on the board so I think quite rightly so ended up asking him questions of principle like if violence is bad if the initiation or the of the use of force is bad how can it be good if it's smaller if slavery is bad it's not like less slavery is better it's a smaller focus it doesn't mean that something that you change things from bad to good it's not like if and we're all pretty much agree that if a hundred percent of the government of the economy of a country is owned and run by the state that that's a bad thing ninety percent is pretty bad and it's not like if it gets down to ten percent suddenly it becomes really good or or one percent even the ability to use force against other people to initiate taxation against them to draft them into an army to to regulate the use of their own private property and so on is is a poison pill and it really doesn't matter whether you swallow a hundred of them or one of them it is going to go to result to the same kind of thing and of course there's no example of a society in history where a government has stayed small government's always grow and grow and grow so people questioned and criticized this gentleman and he gots a little volatile I'll just read you a quote that he had sort of account that when he said he said you money okay um I've had a fee he said somebody said we just handed you your ass which you know it's not necessarily the best way of approaching a debate but things are things flared a little bit and he said somebody wrote to him and said confronting a person active in Libertarian Party politics lots of life seems like such a contradiction want to hear that term like this is good stuff it should happen more often and more publicly when they continually get their asses handed to them maybe people will start to see the inconsistencies of menarche ISM and there can be a real growth in the awareness of market Henry as an alternative paradigm to the state as a whole and we like people who are abolitionists in the 19th century the abolitionists didn't say we need less slavery they said slavery is Amaro to its route to its core there is no way to be a moral slave owner and it's not about making slave owners treat their slaves better and it's not about giving the slaves every third week off to go to town and have fun and it's not about this that or the other it's about one core issue that there is no way to morally open another human being and the same thing is true in the way that my anarchist approach the question of the problem of the state there is no moral way that one human being has the right to initiate use of force against another and the state is really predicated on that whole principle of being able to have a small group of people who can use force at will against everybody else and of course that's going to corrupt and it's going to grow and it's going to expand that isn't that so people began to question this guy and he said he replied back to this post i just read which wasn't mine but he said you might have a point if i had actually got my ass handed to me but the opposite is true I've had a few feeble and childish arguments tossed at me and I destroyed them this is actually WWF script as well also there is nothing in consistency with min are key and libertarian philosophy obviously i won't be posting here again I've got better things to do than to crush the week and laughable arguments of children who believe in utopia and if you can I apologize for reading this kind of intellectual nonsense or anti-intellectual nonsense but i think it's a it's a pretty graphic way of explaining or describing the kinds of opposition's that has anarchists get handed failure often that we're considered to be naive a utopian fantasies that it's never going to happen there's just no possibility it's mad we've got to work within the system we should vote for Ron Paul we should run as libertarians we should go move to me New Hampshire we should buy seal and we should do all of these things and it's all the most arrant nonsense and I'll sort of tell you why and then also have open it up to either responses to this topic or anything else that people want to talk about why do I not think that anarchism is pie in the sky utopianism well the probability of things that could of an events occurrence does not mark whether or not one is a fool for believing in it sure snapping my fingers tomorrow or today maybe the day after it's not going to you can sit down it's not going to get rid of the state no question stays probably gonna be around for as long as I am and I'm no spring chicken so that prediction is getting better day by day but the fact that it's improbable somewhat you're bossing democracy improbable wasn't American improbable wasn't eliminating slavery improbable wasn't equal rights for women improbable these things so what it doesn't matter if it's progress it's progress whether it's probable or not doesn't really have if you look at Thomas Edison and he took like two thousand different ways of trying to make the lightbulb work each one of those ways was improbable that a tiny them and after fifteen hundred of them I'm sure each of the next one look even more infinitely improbable but so what why does probability having anything to do with it but you're looking for a radical improvement in human condition you have the entire weight of history tradition and the inertia of society against you but so what why would why would it be any fun if it were easy right that doesn't seem to me to make any sense so the probability of something occurring doesn't matter if you have to sort of climb if you have to sort of claim your way over a mountain and it looks to be very daunting to do so then you can choose not to climb the mountain but don't wander into the valley and think that you're getting over the mountain and this is sort of the problem that i have with traditional party politics or those who say that if you vote for ron paul things will be better in grunt ball is a pseudo libertarian / republican who is one of the smaller government advocates within American politics and I think he's considering running for president or something like that so the fact that getting rid of the state is very difficult an improbable task it has nothing to do with whether it's the right thing to do or not you could spend 40 years looking for a vaccine for a particular medicine maybe you'll fail maybe you'll get that vaccine up and running of course it's highly improbable that you're going to succeed how many people worked at Fermat's Last Theorem before it was soft hundreds thousands so how many people have been currently struggling they're trying to do the grand unified theory Einstein sort of dream about one set of equations or paradise that's going to explain all of the forces from week in the universe it's all enormously improbable but so what it's still what you do if you want to make a you know something really great with your life of course you have to aim for the improbable let me go I'm picking up the mail this afternoon is not that improbable actually know for me it kind of is because white handles that stuff but but in probability doesn't mean anything to do with it if you're aiming at eliminating violence as a moral norm within society it's never a moral norm for people in their own individual lives but it is a moral norm in terms of how we think of as the state tax is a good illegal immigration is bad and regulation is good for a lot of people invading foreign countries is is good so if you're looking at eliminating violence as a moral paradigm which is really the set of focus of what's going on in the anarchistic movement at least the part that I'm interested in it's not that people are like oh let's get rid of the state that's why I wake up in the morning what happens is people say I think violence is bad and that's that's really this total of it I think violence is bad I don't forget self-defense they were just talking about the initiation of the use of force I think violence is bad that's really all anarchism comes down to violence abuse for verbal physical emotional sexual violence is bad that's lose all its coming down too and if that's a really tough thing for people to to to work with if they want to find all of these areas and nooks and crannies and hidden corners and craters and clouds through which to hide violence and justify violence and say that yeah violence is bad but but then we have this war on terror so now violence is good but that's fine then you just saying violence isn't bad but I'm saying violence is bad and that's the central massively complicated thing right i mean all Einstein did was say maybe the speed is like the light is constant that that changed everything and all anarchist is doing is saying violence is bad it's really not that complicated so if getting to a society where violence is generally conceived of as bad which is a long way off if that's getting over the mountain then since the state is really defined as little other than an agency within a particular geographical region a group of people who claim the right to initiate force to initiate and use violence against other human beings then participating that in that in a voting way in a support way and so on you're just saying well yeah violence is bad but let's use it here violence is bad but but we need to deploy it here in violence is bad so we should have less of it well none of that really makes any sense if violence is bad I mean if you're getting punched in the face is bad there are not a lot of people who say ok I'd like to get punched in the face with a non ring finger but from a different angle right or I don't like getting punched in the face every day if I could get it down to every five days I would be so happy you'd say no I want to get punched in the face like if I could just not get punched in the face that would be good for me so if participating within the state in a very proactive kind of party politics vote for people go support campaign this stamp the other if that is supporting the use of violence which in my book it kind of is then you're not getting over the mountain you're going into the valley and you don't have to go over the mountain you don't have to say that violence is bad a high cliff that on the other side is liberto PIAA you don't have to do that but if you go the other route and you say that that violence is good or acceptable or should be less or should be used in a different kind of way or ron paul is the the new christ of pacifism who can use violence in a way that's better than george bush as if dust matter it's like saying well if we put this other guy in charge of the Mafia it'll turn into the united way well it's not going to happen so the fact that we're called naive i think is really quite interesting the last thing that I'll say about this and I could go on so I'm sure everyone's aware the last thing that I'll say about this before hoping back to questions is I think that anarchism is as a political site not in terms of the personal anarchism for me is mostly a personal philosophy but as a political philosophy anarchism is really composed of two things one a violence is bad and two and two and two nobody can use violence Europe and nobody can use violence and and do well your violence corrupts everyone the power to initiate force against hundreds of thousands or millions or billions of people for obscenity human being who comes into contact with it there's nobody who can run the state and do a good job there is nobody who can use violence against unarmed opponents or mostly disarmed opponents and save their soul so violence is not only bad but it's infinitely corruptible it infinitely corrupts the human soul a mineral kiss on the other hand or a libertarian who's involved in Party politics or somebody who wants to vote for Ron Paul or whatever what they say is well sure violence is you know bad when it's too much so so we should reduce it we should just just just shrink it down you know like like like if we get key motive to reduce the size of the cancer then we're good we don't know the Kansas it because that that's bad in some way so if we can just we can just get the cancer to shrink if we can just get it down to the point where it's it's like a manageable sickness to the point where you know maybe it only sticks out of our armpit confidence rather than two feet that's a that's a real advantage and if you shrink it down any further than that then that becomes very very bad well I don't think that that is a rational position I think that if you accept that there is no human being who can be put in charge of running a state of using violence against their fellow citizens and do it in a way that is not going to be corrupt and corrupting and growing and increasingly predatory I think that's not even I think it's naive to have this magic spatula right you just think of a whole bunch of peas on a counter on a kitchen counter this is the freedomain radio cooking shit for those who are right think of you know you got a whole bunch of peas on a kitchen county get this magic spatch let me go back right down the middle and you flick 10-piece to the left and then like nine thousand million peas to the right now those piece on the left see they can handle running a state but those Peas on the right oh my god they need to be ruled over they need to have guns pointed at them they need to have prisons they can't be allowed to run their own life their own businesses there are incomes they kind of have to hand over their children of state education all this kind of nonsense I think it's naive to say that there's this massive differentiation between the peas on the left of the piece on the right and say those guys on the right they can't handle their own freedom those guys on the left they can handle and they can flourish from in society as a whole can flourish from the use of violence that is coalesced within a minority called the government but those people who want to wield that high power one-half the trolls around to nuclear weapons and nuclear submarines and air forces and legions of people going around collecting taxes and and the power to draft it's a draft people and regulating the Star Wars and to run foreign policy whatever let me all of those people those 10 piece on the left they can do all of that and they'll be great those people can handle all the capacity to use violence that the modern state offers and they'll do a great job but all those other piece they can't even be allowed to run their own lives and to come to voluntary negotiations with each other because those people can't handle freedom so they need a state okay it's a small state they say but they need to state all those Peas on the right knee to state those couple of peace on the left they can handle that kind of violence well what insanity is in my view to say that there are people who can't even handle their own freedom because that are so susceptible to corruption or that are so confused or they're so idiotic or whatever they're all these peas on the right that can't even handle their own freedom but there are these few pees on the left who can handle the power of violence and force and all of the power of the stage and all the power of cattle prodding all the other piece on the plantation around and not be corrupted that is naive to split humanity into the sheep and the Shepherd's into the livestock into the end and the herders into the maze of the farmers that is naive that is irrational you there is no magic spatula wherein you can divine human beings into those who must be ruled and those who can rule without being corrupted that's naive and anarchism is the only philosophy that recognizes that power corrupts in a very fundamental way what kind of human being wants to take control of a military and a judicial system and the Congress what kind of human being wants that kind of power over other human beings the virtuous one small now of course not the bullies the actors the shallow the hateful the false yeah of course you




Comments
  1. so he's for progress in the areas that coincide with his philosophical argument but against it (progress) in terms of reduction of tyranny ie (less slavery) or (less confiscatory taxation) ?? How about less hypocricy ?

  2. Arguing that anarchy is unlikely to be attempted is a bad argument against anarchy, but arguing that anarchy is unlikely to succeed on long enough time scales to matter is different and is a meaningful argument.

    If you know that anarchy is not a long term stable solution, but still insist that it is the only acceptable strategy, then you are an ideologue. If you instead insist on choosing the least bad option of the long term stable options, then you are, like me, a pragmatist and hence will inherit the earth.

  3. Nukes by themselves will not solve the problem. There is an excellent argument in British tv series 'Yes, Prime minister' (S01E01). No space to repeat it here but in a nutshell they are worth having but do not rely on them to defend you. On the bright side thou, I don't think that a free society would need to maintain anything more then a small stockpile of high yields(question remains on who would fund and develop them, and vehicles to carry) and most of all strong air force.

  4. A nuclear deterrent (maintained by donations to competing firms) could eliminate the need repel invasions.

  5. I know, and I am all for it. But a political system 'wins' by being more effective then others not by wishing them away. Ability to defend the laws of the land is crucial in survival of the system, and 15 corporate armies would not be able to defend anything. I am pretty sure that there would be a way to support one army(mainly air force and navy) by voluntary donations, proceeds from lottery and paid for services in the event of let say flood and other rescue operations.

  6. i think the idea is that not just one country abolishes the state but that multiple countries around the world abolish the state, with fewer and fewer states, wars dont exist

  7. Ok, it is all beautiful and desirable to have and live in a 'land' like that. And you have won all the moral arguments too. Now how on Earth do you imagine such a peaceful and voluntary place would defend itself? From a real enemy not TV-enemy?
    Yeah,… no, you cannot outproduce them. There is a good reason why states go to 'Central Planning Mode' during all out war. Free market like you propose would not be able to switch from producing wealth, to destroying it via war production…

  8. Bambi? 😀
    Human nature is adaptiveness – quite recently Stefan did a vid on this. You are conditioned to think otherwise when you are a child. Mummy knows best, love mummy mummy loves you, if mummy beats the crap out of you (and she does most of the cases) it MUST be good. Otherwise it makes no sense.

    IT must have been terrible, really, think about it – the person that your life depends on just flips you and beats to get what she wants. For her/his own mistakes! How traumatizing this must be

  9. Violence isn't bad. Violence is our nature. We are animals, animals are violent. Animals are 'cruel', animals are nature. WE are nature, but we've become something else. A scared herd of sheep is what we've become.

  10. In response to your last point, maybe these people you are talking about (e.g. Ron Paul) simply want to take over this system because they think that, while we do have these corrupt systems in place, at least they will be able to minimize the damages of it more than others. Perhaps it isn't the power over others that motivates them, but rather a belief that better it's them controlling it than someone who has more sinister intentions.

  11. @BJ151 We are easily conditioned in every society, so it just takes a person/people with a desire for greed to be conditioned that violence is a fast, profitable way to feed off of the rest, to create chaos again:p (unfortunately)

  12. I think that both options are naive, because if you take human nature/reality into account, then you're dealing with genes and everything it implies. (personality traits like narcissism,neuroticism) I believe that the power of a society that views violence as BAD doesn't measure up against the power of the shortcomings of humans.

  13. Stef misunderstands. His naivette isn't in his criticism of the present system but in his proposal of his own system. I've been to his website. I've read his articles & listened to his videos.

    Stef admits in either this video or another that his utopian society is improbable. His argument is that we should strive for the improbable. That is a noble ideal. My criticism of naivette is that he isn't fully considering the probability that his utopia would turn into just a new form or oppression.

  14. @EvilLaughKid
    True. Small government could simply be even more concentrated power. This would lead to even more corruption and abuse. A large government at least includes many people who can disagree and challenge eachother. That is the idea of US separation of powers.

  15. @scottferrie
    Afghanistan is an interesting example of a failed state which for all practical purposes is a stateless society. All governance is localized in tribal leadership. The tribes create temporary shifting coalitions to protect their territories. All permanent large governance is entirely dependent on the agreement of tribes, but the state government can't force the tribes to do anything. What is the result of this stateless tribalism? Endless violence!

  16. @tridentmovies
    Yep. Wishful thinking. Logic? It makes for a nice theory. Human nature? The reality of humans always gets in the way of all good theories. Has a state ever been overthrown without a new state taking it's place? Nope. Oh well. It's nice to dream.

  17. Well self defence is violence and i am sure your not condeming that so there are exceptions to your rule 'violance is bad'.

  18. The answer is simple: just convince enough people that anarchy is the best choice and when the state loses it's power over enough people the government will simply disappear.

  19. So if I punched you in the mouth because I believed that you were polluting the discussion with an idiotic comment, would it be immoral?

  20. People's self-interest is just what they take it to be, and the idea that all are good-natured or would just peacefully exchange goods is wishful thinking. Somalia is in turmoil because numerous ambitious individuals are vying to take power by killing all their opponents, not for the reasons you gave. And statism does work economically – on the list of the wealthiest countries in the world you'll see many with large states (Sweden, Germany, France etc.)

  21. Thanks, but you haven't answered my two questions : (1) In the absence of all government will individuals behave like angels? ; (2) What justifies the idea that states grow inevitably (recent experience seems to prove the opposite)? I believe it is because these questions are unanswerable, but none of my opinions are unrevisable!

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