I came across the following debate which is a very good look at the degrees to which government plays a role in our lives. It is also very applicable to my usual contemplations about this subject. This page was originally just the "Letter To An Anarchist", but the following debate makes a great companion to my article, so I felt like I should add it here. Following is the video of the debate. After the video you will find my thoughts after watching it, which was way too long to post in the comments of the vid. I also did a video response that ended up being almost twenty minutes, so I'll get it on youtube when I break it in half (to get around the youtube ten minute limit for videos).
This is very applicable to my contemplations. I used to be a fullout anti-state anarchist.
As time went on, I assumed a position of minarchism, exercised through a belief in Constitutional literalism.
Another question for Stefan would be "What happens when the "private defense company" decides it wants to take control and/or be the defacto government?
Another would be that when he says the defense company would try to raise rates and you could respond by not paying your bills and switching companies,
why doesn't that work with the mafia and it's "protection rackets"? Because they have the power of force to enforce their will.
What Jan is trying to demonstrate is that somebody will step into the void created in an anarchist society.
And who is that going to be, the one with the most power. And just like government does, whichever group gets control will do everything they can to
monopolize their control and power. Basic free market principles would demonstrate that any entity will do what they have to to maximize their position.
Also Stefan repeatedly states that "contracts" would protect the consumer, but the idea of limited government is a "contract" between the government
and the people. In an completely anarchist society, what court of law will uphold these contracts? And will total free market principles override or
compromise the integrity of the "dispute resolution" entities? They will be subject to the dictates of remaining viable in the market which they exist.
And any free market will ultimately be ruled by human nature.
And what free market check and balance will protect against human nature? One has to remember that in the utopian anarchist state, the market will be
subject to the people who have no conscious and will do only what it takes to maximize profits.
Stephan asks how the minarchist experiment in America turned out, while stating a variety of injustices, to which I agree on all of them. But, I would
answer that it failed because people were lead away from that ideal by the same people who will maximize power in the anarchist state.
The number one problem I see in the market is gross monopolization in almost every sector by corporate state. We have no anti-trust protections left at all.
Every sector of the market is being monopolized. The same will happen in any system that doesn't set up protections against it. And the anarchist state will
never happen because human nature will always override it. In a true anarchist state (which is actually more like what we have now, a government and corporate free for all)
your leader will be Gordan Gecko.
I used to be an anarchist, but you can't remove human nature from any equation. We live in a world ruled by law, not ideals. And the supreme law of the Constitution is the only law that protects your basic human liberty. God cannot protect you in this world, and neither will the absence of government. Your only tool in this world is the law.
Forsaking it is unwise.
[I did a video that follows the above text, but has my usual expanded thoughts also]
[the following is my article that addressed the same subject in the above debate]
Letter to an Anarchist
I talked with an anarchist about his stance that a flag carried no weight with him, so his burning it would be meaningless...I responded over the course of a few messages with the following, which I did edit
to clean it up and remove the personal references...I might have missed some. -ed
The act of waving a flag is the same as burning one.
Aside from that, the act of burning a flag is a political statement, which is a protected form of expression. So, any attempts to ban that is in defiance of our freedom of expression.
What you are describing isn't the result of some flag, or nationalism, it's basic human nature.
Remove these boundries you attack, you will find the same issues that are a simple product of human nature.
Taking pride in my nationalism isn't a product of brainwashing.
The rights of man and human rights are set in that piece of paper. You do care about basic human liberty, right?
All things are questionable, but the basic rights of man are not. And those principles are enshrined in that "piece of paper".
GWB said The Constitution was just "a goddamn piece of paper".
I believe in the ideals I know in my heart to be truth. It just so happens that this country was founded on those ideals. Why would I reject those ideals I know to be true?
I wasn't taught this shit. I once said the same things you are saying now. But, my research lead me to see that my freedom was being taken from me in a systematic manner. This isn't the result of nationalism, it's the result of a LOSS in nationalism.
The people have failed at governing themselves.
They submitted their will to people who would work against them. How can they be free if they aren't fit to use the power they have?
I don't see too much truth in this world. What little truth I do see I hold dear and work to spread that truth. This isn't from some pre-programmed nationalism. It is from research and determination.
The powers that be do everything in their power to try and see that I don't get educated on my civil rights. Schools don't teach basic civil liberties, TV and newspapers teach us to submit, the whole system is geared to making me a well conditioned drone.
I broke out of that mold and found out why I wasn't free. I found out why the shit is the way it is. And it isn't because of nationalism, it's from FALSE nationalism. And that's a whole other issue, which starts to show the problem isn't nationalism, the problem is people are
hypocritical scum who choose to remain uncivilized.
If I burned a flag, it would be in protest of our government and it's actions, not the flag itself, or what it stands for.
To state you are in need of a more progressive system and would burn the Constitution is fine, that makes sense. If you would burn it in an act of rejecting it's principles, which you openly stand for, that would be insanity.
And flag burning is for pussies. Self-immolation is a far more balls out protest.
Your just attacking symbols. That would be chasing phantoms, also.
And when you burn that flag in an act of defiance, you are the same as those who wave it.
Two sides of the same coin. The act of waving a flag is the same as burning one.
Both serve a vital function in the propagation of false nationalism.
It's not nationalism that's wrong, it's false nationalism. Blind nationalism. These are still the faults of people, not nationalism or statism.
Every system is flawed, but that is not the systems that fail, it's the people who fail.
And you gotta choose something, or your just a product of cynical rejectionism, which also serves a purpose in this corrupt system.
The system is broken, it isn't wrong, it is just corrupted. Just like every other system. Ideals are worth dying for. Your family is worth dying for. The right of liberty is worth dying for. Plenty of
shit worth dying for. Much more worth living for, I must add. But, that doesn't negate the need.
We may be fucked ten ways to sunday, but we still have a history and level of freedom that must be admired.
I agree the whole place is going to hell in a handbasket, but I can't just assume anarchism, just so I can reject everything and essentially become a nihilist. Reveling in cynical apathy, dressed up as some refusal to submit is not a solution.
Getting together on the shit we believe in and rejecting the rest...that's a solution.
If you have nothing to believe in, and nothing you will die for, what is your reason to live?
I am forced to challenge a corrupt system, that is such because of inaction by the people, which also causes me to reject society, even though I desire a just society.
You can't eliminate systems, no matter how hard you try. For every law of chaos, there is also a law of order. For every system that naturally breaks down, another will rise to replace it.
Just as when you die, your atoms will regroup and do something else.
For that matter, every so many years you have replaced all your cellular content. You biologically and systematically break down and reform. Order from chaos.
And I disagree that anarchism isn't a system. I can easily demonstrate that it is. Core components underly all forms of philosophy, including anarchy.
It is my contention that The United States Constitution is a nice compromise. Call it "limited anarchy", if you will. (oxymoron alert!)
It strives to enact the most limited form of government possible, and places the liberty of the people first. Sure, that isn't what we see today, but that's the fault of the people, not the system.
If you choose to participate in a system, that is not coercion.
You have made a choice. That's what makes our system the best...you can be a proud American and a proud anarchist at the same time! That isn't bigotry, that's common sense!
Look at socialist countries in Europe that actively censor and criminalize certain viewpoints.
The whole "political correctness" thing gone mad, of course.
More systems out of control, due to the fact people are fucking stupid!
The system isn't flawed, it the goddamn people!
Nationalism is not bigotry. I can't just accept these concepts without some form of validation. I just don't see nationalism as analogous to racism, sexism, speciesism, or any of the other social inequities we see today. I can understand that conclusion, but I contend it's a
conclusion taken to far. Like "political correctness", good intentions and all, ya know?
I can adequately demonstrate a biological imperative for systems. The entire universe is built on systems. You can't take systems out of nature.
Man made systems are a natural method of control. The bottom line is our survival depends on our ability to control the world around us. Just like a shark controls his environment.
Nations are an extension or product of civilization. Primitive they may be, but the progress of man has been built through the ages on the power of nations.
A nation is nothing more than a collective will. A union. And I can see no moral justification for rejecting the right of people to form collective bonds and capitalize on the resources that
provides. And a restriction on "the right to peaceably assemble" would surely not fit the definition of anarchy.
The truth isn't a myth.
I'm affirming my rights, regardless of a piece of paper or government...but like I've said, this particular piece of paper is my ticket. Get it? The pen is mightier than the sword.
And no matter what laws they pass, the supreme law of this land is what it is. And if the people collectively come together and demand justice, we can achieve that goal.
You have a choice. We have a choice.
I'm trying get people to come together and embrace the system, because it is a legal mechanism that we can use to our benefit, to achieve these ideals you desire in the rejectionof systems.
Anarchists are trying to get people to reject the system, which will only serve our masters. If people don't affirm their rights, than they are submitting to coercion. And it is the consistent submission to coercion that has given them the ultimate control over us.
Our system of constitutional law is the most limited form of government possible. As long as you have people, you are going to have governments. It is a natural product of civilization.
A nation is nothing more than a statement of collective will. How is that bigotry?
Just because it gets used for that doesn't mean the guilt is with the system, the guilt is with the people who run the system. You want to put the blame for societies ills on systems, governments, and all the "systems of control", but the blame is with the people.
The bottom line is if people don't get together and use our collective will to manifest change, than we deserve the prison we live in.
Their monopoly of power is nothing more than an illusion, as I agree. The rejection of a system that provides a safeguard of rights is lunacy. It may not be utopia, but it's a start.
You may be talking to the future, but the future is right now. And right now, extreme conditions demand extremes responses.
And The United States Constitution is the only tool we have to protect ourselves in this system...which doesn't require violent action. We have the tools to stop the violent oppression.
And nothing says that we can't use the same system to secure the rights of all men. I believe they knew what the fuck was going on way back then and gave us the keys. It's up to us to use them.
The powers that be know this, this is why they operate to subvert our will and our inherent human rights.
It should be obvious what our "leaders" are doing. They are purposely destroying our system from within. They are bankrupting our economy, our integrity, and ultimately, our legitimacy.
They do this because they know that system (The Constitution) is the most primary threat to their power. Yes, ultimately their "monopoly on power" is an illusion. But, that is not very practical in the here and now.
The power they wield in our legal system is real. It is a threat to our liberty. But, we have the power to declare these laws as unjust.
All it takes is collective will. And I can't help but feel like anarchy is running counter to our goals and desires.
In the here and now, who does anarchy benefit most?
The powers that be. Our masters.
The rejection of systems is the rejection of our power to manifest our collective will.
In systems resides power. This should be obvious. Without labor unions and such in the early
1900's, would the conditions for workers have improved when they did? No. Yes, change is inevitable, but it can be brought forth through the power of collective will.
And a union is just another form of government. People joining together to manifest change.
The same way governments form, the same way old ones are overthrown and new ones replace them.
People acting together with common goals. Strength in numbers.
Best example. Four guys get together and create some mind blowing jams from another dimension that transcend time and space...the result is greater than the sum of it's parts. That is the power of many. Take the power of one and realize the exponential power of many.
The American people can take back their freedoms through a collective demand. Easy as that.
No violent overthrows, or any of that needed.
Just some Ghandi style peaceable protest and we're good to go.
In the history of civilization, there has never been a group of people that did not form a government. All culture resolves to govern itself. I believe it's part of the natural order.
I'd go as far is to say anarchy isn't physically possible, considering my thoughts on this whole thing...
Anarchy is a system. The intent of anarchy makes it a system. The system of no systems. A systematic rejection of all systems.
Anarchy is a contradiction.
Pure anarchy would be nothingness. Everything and nothing. You will have transcended this dimension. Or returned to the source.
The system I'm trying to defend, the "state", is a product of the people. You keep placing blame on the state, but the blame is with the people, not the state. Our system, by design proves the people have failed, not the system.
Nationalism is a collective will. Almost an exact definition.
True anarchy represents the rejection of all social systems. Just like the end result of socialism is authoritarianism.
Anything else is not anarchy. You might as well reject the term because it is a disservice to your cause. The word is propaganda that is used against you. The definition they give it is the one that carries the weight.
Anarchists seem to be in agreement over common causes, but you refuse to unite under a system declared to be fit for these goals.
It isn't the system of nations that is wrong, it's the subversion of nations that is wrong.
The very people who start these wars and perpetuate these injustices are the same ones that seek to eliminate the nations of the world?
A nation is the joining of people for a common cause. Government is a common cause.
Mankind is also so ultimately primitive that we are nowhere in any position to be free from government.
You gotta be realistic here. I understand the true ideals of anarchy, but right now we need practical solutions. If people don't act now, we will be enslaved forever and there will never
be a true anarchist utopia.
I'm of the opinion, we can use the Constitution to restore our freedoms before it's too late.
You're gonna get your wish when the elite erase the borders. One more step towards global corporate enslavement.
I'm not saying anarchy is wrong, I'm saying energies could be better spent forming a collective for change within the legal system we exist in. It's a pragmatic necessity type thing.
I know how to fix the system we're in. At the very least, make it something worth building on.
Esoteric discussions on anarchy aren't practical. We need to do something that will affect change now. Anarchy in the here and now is like the "wasted vote" thing. We need to be getting people together and forming labor and protest movements, not advocating anarchy.
Remember how I keep challenging the blame being put on the state and saying it's people that are to blame?
Think about the "manufactured definition" of anarchy and what effect that has on the average Joe. They automatically think chaos. The general population is stupid and is destined to be
herded like cattle. It's human nature, it's nature, period. People are sheep. I believe this is inherent to the species, as we are a biological group with hierarchy built into our social structures. Which means the majority follow the leaders. Kinda like monkeys and other
mammals, ya know?
And think about what would happen if you implemented direct representation right now:
The TV would possess the masses like a demon and we'd be fucked for sure. Tell me that you have that much faith in your fellow man...that'd be some scary shit wouldn't it?
The natural order of things is not chaos, and it's not order. It's a perfect balance of the two. It's what defines existence. Anarchy is a noble goal, but highly unlikely, considering the species.