Questions about Anarchism

Discussion in 'Anarchy' started by Bubble, Jan 19, 2009.

  1. Bubble

    Bubble Member

    If an Anarchist society is defined as “a society without political, economic, or social hierarchies” (definition from, how could such a society be achieved?

    Also, how could internal imperialism be prevented in an Anarchist society? To put it another way, if/when such a society develops, what would prevent coercive/violent/hierarchical/exploitive social organizations from developing within the society (and gaining power over other aspects of the society, or even gaining power over the society as a whole)?

    Also, how could such a society be defended against other countries/societies which would seek to exploit/enslave its people/resources?
  2. How exactly does one country, say Mexico, take over another country, say the US, when there is no centralized form of control already in place? When there is centralized control, all Mexico would have to do is roll into DC and kill a bunch of people and claim control. If there is no central power they would basicly have to come and knock on everyone's door and tell them that they are now ruling over them. How possible do you think that would be?
  3. Bubble

    Bubble Member

    I suppose either possibility seems equally likely (in my opinion). I think that if Mexico invaded DC, it's extremely likely that the American people would overthrow the occupying Mexican government (probably with the assistance of the overwhelmingly massive US military), as well as set up a new (perhaps temporary) capitol in a different city.

    Now that you point it out, though, I can see how a country without centralized control could be difficult to invade (provided that it is composed of a well-armed populace that is capable of defending itself).

    I still don't understand what would prevent internal conflict/war or the development of hierarchical social organizations within such a society, though.
  4. It is similar to the issue with another country taking over an anarchist one. With no central power it would be difficult to take over a large area. Whereas if there is a strong central power it would not be too difficult to take over internally be it through force or more likely political persuasion.

    An anarchist society is unlikely to be a "lawless" society in that might makes right, as that would not be an anarchist society. There would be some system to deal with those that wish to harm others.
  5. Bubble

    Bubble Member

    And what are some examples of non-hierarchical systems that would prevent internal violence?
  6. I think all of that would depend greatly on what kind of anarchist society it is. Searching around you can find different ideas. The biggest problem with these questions are that you are asking me. If one person is to design the society then that is more like a dictatorship. I can't really give you a detailed plan as that would go against the whole idea. It would have to be up to the specific society as a whole to work it out.

    A idea is that there would still be judges, courts, and a type of police, but unlike the present situation they would not have a monopoly. There could be several different court systems within an area. If one system got a bad reputation for corruption, favouritism, or just bad judgements people would stop using them and other systems would spring up to give competition. And unlike now you could retaliate if you were harshed or wrongfully accused.
  7. Bubble

    Bubble Member

    I'm not asking you specifically to answer these questions. I'm asking these questions in a public and open forum, and, so far, you have been the only one who has been willing to answer them (which I appreciate).

    I don't have the time or energy to read through pages and pages of dense political theory, and so I figure a quicker and easier way to have these questions answered for me would be to ask them to people who have more expertise on the subject than I do (and I assumed that the Anarchy forum would be a good place to do this). I certainly take to heart Anarchism as a personal philosophy (and I certainly feel that the healthiest human relationships/interactions are the ones lacking hierarchy), but I feel that I need to have these questions answered before I can view it as a practical political structure for a society.

    I agree that if only one person were to design the society, this would be hierarchical (and therefore not anarchic). But I don't think that asking for hypothetical or historical examples of ways in which an Anarchist society has been/could be organized necessarily implies that one person would be designing the society. I would be just as satisfied (if not more so) with a believable example (even if it's only a hypothetical example) of people organizing themselves into a peaceful, stable, non-hierarchical society.

    Maybe I'm misunderstanding this example, but I have a hard time seeing this as a practical structure for a safe and peaceful society. At first glance, it seems extremely sectarian and unstable, and I don't see what would prevent the various court systems from engaging in violent competition for dominance (especially if the different court systems vary greatly in their concepts of ethic and are convinced of their own moral righteousness, as would likely be the case).
  8. Dr.Claw

    Dr.Claw Guest

    Instead of having our lives be organized by distant abstractions and rigid rules, anarchists prefer to connect with real living experience: the trust bonds that form between individuals (who, unlike in centralized systems, actually know each other and interact on a daily basis) to create active communities of collaboration, instead of passive communities in which arbitrary laws are enforced upon us by a barely-trustworthy bureacratic entity known as "government." If we want a world without the "abuse" of power, we have to recognize that power is abuse.(
  9. Sorry I have not been around here for a bit to reply to you.

    To be honest if you want details about how a society will work then you really have to do some reading, though there are anarchist podcasts out there if you prefer to listen. :) A general answer will probably never satisfy as it seems you want details. Plus there are many ideas on the subject.

    My own opinion is that for an anarchist society to work the vast majority of the society has to want an anarchist society. Everyone will be vigilant against those that try to take that away from them. Everyone will have the responsibility to ensure that the society functions as they see fit, and not a select few. As such a justice system may develop that is completely different than what we have today. I think it would work best if it is not planned out but allowed to develop to fit the needs of those in a certain area.

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