Reading Recommendations for a Fellow Anarchist

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Tarwater's picture
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Aug 16 2012 17:57

It is a shame that you ignored Soc's post and continued to repeat yourself ad nauseam. (S)he offered you a unique perspective to discuss things a different way and you continued to quote old dead guys as if anyone cares...

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Aug 16 2012 19:35

Ah, universal principles. If everyone receives the full product of their labor (leaving aside the question of how you want to measure it without basically keeping the present system around), what about the people who can't work? You could say "Well, the working population supplies them with what they need", but then not everyone receives the full product of their labor. Is this society you're imagining supposed to be a sort of free market society for the young and healthy?

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Aug 16 2012 19:39
Tarwater wrote:
It is a shame that you ignored Soc's post and continued to repeat yourself ad nauseam. (S)he offered you a unique perspective to discuss things a different way and you continued to quote old dead guys as if anyone cares...

I addressed soc's post. I clearly stated what I consider to be equitable and moral relations between people in society. I don't think I am in any way obligated to agree with everything other people say, so I am only writing my opinion on behalf of myself, not on behalf of "dead guys". If you don't care about what I am saying then don't read my posts, is that so difficult? Or maybe this is communism showing its true face - everyone has to be in everyone else's business all the time...

I have so far not had an answer to the key question - what makes it right for communists to confiscate the product of my labor? When capitalists do it, we all protest, but change the name of the system and it's suddenly allowed!? That is completely ridiculous. Either people have a right to the product of their labor and then capitalism is immoral and compulsory communism is just as immoral, or people don't have a right to their labor and capitalism is just as fair as any other system.

It is also funny the way you use the word "unique". There is nothing unique about communism, where everyone has the same rights to the same things and is ruled by dictates from the "majority" (which magically possesses divine powers of determining right and wrong courses of action).
Uniqueness is the essence of individualism. Each individual is unique and must be allowed to pursue whatever ends he wishes to pursue, regardless of majority opinion or "society's" needs and purposes.

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Aug 16 2012 19:42

non-aggression principle + charity = voluntary social security

<=>

non-aggression principle = voluntary social security - charity

boom headshot!

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Aug 16 2012 19:43
jura wrote:
Ah, universal principles. If everyone receives the full product of their labor (leaving aside the question of how you want to measure it without basically keeping the present system around), what about the people who can't work? You could say "Well, the working population supplies them with what they need", but then not everyone receives the full product of their labor. Is this society you're imagining supposed to be a sort of free market society for the young and healthy?

People who can't work (such as children) can rely on others for sustenance. But they are certainly not entitled to confiscate the labor of others. I do not see anything wrong with people voluntarily giving their product away to others or participating in collective schemes of providing for those who cannot work or providing for everyone's retirement needs.
The essence of anarchism is not that everyone consumes all that they produce in isolation, but that they must have the opportunity to do so if they wish.

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Aug 16 2012 19:52
ComradeAppleton wrote:
People who can't work (such as children) can rely on others for sustenance. But they are certainly not entitled to confiscate the labor of others. I do not see anything wrong with people voluntarily giving their product away to others or participating in collective schemes of providing for those who cannot work or providing for everyone's retirement needs.

I could have sworn that Ron Paul made this exact argument. Forgive me, as I don’t remember the context.

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Aug 16 2012 20:04
sabot wrote:
I could have sworn that Ron Paul made this exact argument. Forgive me, as I don’t remember the context.

I'm a vegetarian, and so was Hitler. Does that mean I am a Nazi?

Everyone deserves the full product of their labor and those who do not work do not have a right to use the product made by others.

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Aug 16 2012 20:14
ComradeAppleton wrote:
People who can't work (such as children) can rely on others for sustenance. But they are certainly not entitled to confiscate the labor of others. I do not see anything wrong with people voluntarily giving their product away to others or participating in collective schemes of providing for those who cannot work or providing for everyone's retirement needs.
The essence of anarchism is not that everyone consumes all that they produce in isolation, but that they must have the opportunity to do so if they wish.

Fuck any society where anybody is dependent on charity from the like of you for their survival.
Heres you:

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Aug 16 2012 20:18
PartyBucket wrote:
Fuck any society where anybody is dependent on charity from the like of you for their survival.

I have no problem with you not liking my kind of organization. Thankfully since we are both anarchists neither of us has to live in the other's society. You can have yours and I can have mine. You can organize only with people who think charity is evil and share everything (which is a contradiction because sharing is charity). I'll live in a society where everyone is responsible for himself/herself only and in troubled times depends on comraderie and aid of others. We're all free to do whatever we like in a world where no state exists.

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Aug 16 2012 20:27

Nowt to do with 'evil' more disgust at the idea that you think you can reserve the right to decide whether someone eats or not dependent on your mood, or that it would be a magnanimous gesture from you.
Patronising shite.

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Aug 16 2012 20:38
PartyBucket wrote:
Nowt to do with 'evil' more disgust at the idea that you think you can reserve the right to decide whether someone eats or not dependent on your mood, or that it would be a magnanimous gesture from you.
Patronising shite.

At least I'm not advocating dictatorship of the majority.

Judging by most of the recent replies people are here are Marxists rather than anarchists. I can now sort of see why the 19th century individualists hated Marx so much.

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Aug 16 2012 20:45
ComradeAppleton wrote:
Judging by most of the recent replies people are here are Marxists rather than anarchists. I can now sort of see why the 19th century individualists hated Marx so much.

I think people told you from the very start that Libertarian Communists accept large parts of Marxist theory, that doesnt make anyone 'Marxist' in the sense that I suspect you are using it.

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Aug 16 2012 20:53

Materialism > idealism, simple as that

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Aug 16 2012 20:55
PartyBucket wrote:
I think people told you from the very start that Libertarian Communists accept large parts of Marxist theory, that doesnt make anyone 'Marxist' in the sense that I suspect you are using it.

By Libertarian Communists I think you mean people who accept that communism has to be voluntary? So then why all the hostility? I only wanted to know a few things about communists, such as that the commune would not invade my own rights.

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Aug 16 2012 20:56
Railyon wrote:
Materialism > idealism, simple as that

Well you'll get no argument from me there smile

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Aug 16 2012 21:52
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I addressed soc's post. I clearly stated what I consider to be equitable and moral relations between people in society. I don't think I am in any way obligated to agree with everything other people say, so I am only writing my opinion on behalf of myself, not on behalf of "dead guys". If you don't care about what I am saying then don't read my posts, is that so difficult? Or maybe this is communism showing its true face - everyone has to be in everyone else's business all the time...

I have so far not had an answer to the key question - what makes it right for communists to confiscate the product of my labor? When capitalists do it, we all protest, but change the name of the system and it's suddenly allowed!? That is completely ridiculous. Either people have a right to the product of their labor and then capitalism is immoral and compulsory communism is just as immoral, or people don't have a right to their labor and capitalism is just as fair as any other system.

It is also funny the way you use the word "unique". There is nothing unique about communism, where everyone has the same rights to the same things and is ruled by dictates from the "majority" (which magically possesses divine powers of determining right and wrong courses of action).
Uniqueness is the essence of individualism. Each individual is unique and must be allowed to pursue whatever ends he wishes to pursue, regardless of majority opinion or "society's" needs and purposes.

It's disturbing that every time you respond to someone, you subtlety or radically change what they were saying, twisting the discussion back into the echo chamber that you inhabit. Anyway, I don't care about people "confiscating" my labor, I don't work that hard or care that much about my work normally. I do care about the alienation, fear, shame and stress that Capitalism and your weird small business utopia do and would inflict upon me. And that was the "unique" part of Soc's post. They took the discussion out of a theoretical and largely useless discussion about abstract "rights" (a bourgeoisie concept in and of itself) and just so stories about "the future" and talked about why we want things to change now, and how that shapes theany discussion of a better arrangement. A fundamental critique of things as they are and therefore radical, whereas your critique of "everyone wants whats mine!" is childish, boring and inanely typical. No one will ever want the shit from your garden, don't worry. What is stopping you from living off the grid and acting out your fantasy? It's better than baiting people on a forum, misrepresenting their views, pretending to read things they offer you and misunderstanding terminology, no?

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Aug 16 2012 22:34
Tarwater wrote:
It's disturbing that every time you respond to someone, you subtlety or radically change what they were saying, twisting the discussion back into the echo chamber that you inhabit. Anyway, I don't care about people "confiscating" my labor, I don't work that hard or care that much about my work normally. I do care about the alienation, fear, shame and stress that Capitalism and your weird small business utopia do and would inflict upon me. And that was the "unique" part of Soc's post. They took the discussion out of a theoretical and largely useless discussion about abstract "rights" (a bourgeoisie concept in and of itself) and just so stories about "the future" and talked about why we want things to change now, and how that shapes theany discussion of a better arrangement. A fundamental critique of things as they are and therefore radical, whereas your critique of "everyone wants whats mine!" is childish, boring and inanely typical. No one will ever want the shit from your garden, don't worry. What is stopping you from living off the grid and acting out your fantasy? It's better than baiting people on a forum, misrepresenting their views, pretending to read things they offer you and misunderstanding terminology, no?

I don't see how I changed anything that was said - if I did, I apologize.
Now to answer you (again I hope I am not changing what you said). It is okay if you don't care about other people confiscating your labor. In that case you can live in a communist commune and feel great about working and not being rewarded proportionally to your work. There is nothing wrong with that. If you feel alienated by the pressures of the current environment (as do I and all people working today except for the few exploiters) then the current system has to be abolished so that you are not forced to live in it. I also want this. I do not like the current system where most people are serfs working for a few select masters.
My critique is not childish, boring, or typical. It is just as legitimate as yours. Everyone's critique is as legitimate as everyone else's. If you don't recognize that then you obviously hold yourself as some kind of elite with singular monopoly on truth. If you think abolishing the state and creating a commune is radical, then what could you say about my demands - abolish the state, the commune, the society. These are all pretty much words for the same thing anyway, a collective entity which has claims on my liberty and my labor. I reject any such claims.
Life is beautiful because of individuality not because of commonality. Living as an independent entity is impossible now and would be impossible under communism, so I am considering other solutions.

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Aug 17 2012 10:34

Let me ask this question that bugs me quite a bit.

Communism is defined not by the end results, but rather the whole process of social transformation: Based on the argument I put forward in my previous post, the communist model of social transformation is that we form an organisation of those who have the same experience and came to the same conclusion as we did. There are quite a few different ideas how such an organisation would look like, that makes different strands, like council communists, anarcho-syndicalists, (social) insurrectionists, etc.. But at the core the idea is that communism eventually emerge as a active, militant organised movement that starts out as a resistance movement against those experiences I described previously, and turning in to project of reorganising the entire social aspect of life, the very core of the capitalist relationships. At the heart of oppression we found that it is the property as a social function that characterises all oppressive regimes throughout history. We found that in our present situation, property takes shape decisively as private property. Without citing now the entire history property, you should remember the distinctive feature of Feudum over private property: the single most important thing in the mediaeval production was the land. Feudum thus was a property that belonged to a family, not to a single man. In practice, it meant that no owner can sell his land because nobody had the right to deprive his heirs from the property. The nature of property reflects the nature of society.

You are concerned that communists come after your property. In reality, people have a very complicated and tightly integrated society, where different groups relying on a mutual access to each other's property, in diverse scopes. Even without taxation and government, you'll find that your property isn't controlled only by you. Going by the example of the feudal property system, you can see that family was and is seen as a property holder and within the family, the access to property is controlled by the inner working of the family. A free man in the medieval Europe couldn't gamble away his property, even if he really wanted to. But the benefit of his property was controlled by him, making him the head of the family. A single person responsible for the family fortune. However, feudum and private property had never belonged to the producers, they belonged to the respective ruling class, the minority that imposed control over the rest of the population. Property is nothing but a control of access and to have control, you have to prepare to impose your will over others. In feudal structure it was the tribal military hierarchy which was the guarantor of the feudal property rights, and for the private property it is the State. Incidentally, the rest of the social functions like justice was also under the same control as the access to the key elements of social reproduction. Land lords were not simply property holders, but as such they also had control over other people, the slaves of the property.

Communism comes as a movement of those who had no free access to their reproduction. This makes communism inherently anarchist: It creates a free access to the social production process. That's why I said, that nobody will go after your shoes and nobody go after your possessions at all. But you will not be granted by the right to exclude others from any resource either.

Finally, I would like address your recurring theme of being oppressed by the collectivity. First of all, what others already tried to explain to you, humans tend to be collective beings. It is an evolutionary fact, that cooperation makes the human race so successful as it is. Communication the exchange of ideas, and organised actions (hunting for instance) made our race widely spread around the planet and despite the great inequalities, we're growing in numbers, thus biologically successful. The individual will was, is and will be always subordinated to different forms of collective will. Your individualism however suggest that you would not surrender your right to private property, thus the possibility of imposing your individual will over others. All we have is your morals which never stopped anybody to anything. You see, Christians preach the ten commandments and still commit murder. We need more than your word that your will not accumulate property to turn it to capital over others. We need a social organisation that doesn't allow individuals to get more power over others only by gaining access to more resources at a single moment and starting an accumulation process (which definitely will follow, see the Historical Experiences section smile ).

So there's two logical objection to your individualist approach:

1) You need somebody who protects your rights. It can be either you, or the State. Given your opposition to the State it follows that you would like to be a dictator of your own, with no competition from the "collective". You sir, want to use property against the collective entity of the human race.

2) As a big weakness of your theory is that your moral stand will oppose the actions you have to take in order to achieve what your moral dictates. You can't call a collective movement of individualists because that movement must be more consistent and effective than a rant crowd of not-in-my-backyard types. The only way of getting that consistency is that you and your fellow anarchists form a proper collective with capable of collective actions and decisions, and ultimately, collective reproduction (you see, you want others to join, after all). Without this force, your ideas just stuck on the level of a child who hysterically throw himself on the floor and rant against reality.

The funny thing is, that I do not consider my self as an advocate of democracy, or majority rule at all. I had my fair share of argument with my comrades here, vicious fights even, but I believe that there are other collective processes to and that in a communist society decision making is overrated in the first place because we would not step on each other toes that often.

* Note that capital in our discourse doesn't mean just any tool. It means the process where a tool is operated by someone who is hired as a wage worker while the tool and therefore the product is entirely owned by somebody else. You use the word capital without this distinction which rather shows that you jumped on to the capitalist bandwagon, where even friends, culture, and basically everything in the world is capital: intellectual capital, social capital, cultural capital, and the most disgusting of all, I heard in many cases called the workers as the holder of their own body as capital - as if they were just like Henry Ford with a less efficient turn over, aren't they?.

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Aug 17 2012 11:43
ComradeRomney wrote:
Life is beautiful because of individuality not because of commonality. Living as an independent entity is impossible now and would be impossible under communism, so I am considering other solutions.

Bollocks, communism is all about realizing the individual, which is impossible with private ownership of the means of production. One quick question: what is the relationship between individuals and society? Seems like you argue that individuals emerge independently from society, or that society is simply the aggregate of individuals (i.e. society as arithmetic)

I suggest that you read Soc's posts very carefully as s/he is really going to the trouble to explain very carefully what libcommies mean with communism. Don't just skim like it seem you do with everything (how else would you not be able to engage) and then go back to your unfounded and ahistorical assumptions about life, the universe and everything.

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Aug 17 2012 17:40

Comrade soc, thank you for the long explanation of the process. I don't think any historical points about property and its nature are relative to anything, however, because the whole point is disavow the past and create a fair present and later a great future. It does not matter what injustices took place in the past and what the organization was in the past. We are trying to find a good system of organization for the present and the future. This we cannot base on the past because in the past no such system existed. Furthermore any objections that we are indebted to the past or owe something to the future are mere assertions which make no sense. I don't owe anything to anyone who is dead because they can't have a claim on me anymore - they are dead. Dead people don't deserve anything from me. The same is true of future people. Future people don't exist therefore they have no claim on anything of mine or anything I do. The individual can only live in the present, not in some "historical continuum". The individual can only interact with the present, never with the past or the future. So, again, no historical analysis (though interesting as a point of trivia) can help us determine anything about how the future should look. What we can learn from the past is, perhaps, how not to do things.

soc wrote:
This makes communism inherently anarchist: It creates a free access to the social production process. That's why I said, that nobody will go after your shoes and nobody go after your possessions at all. But you will not be granted by the right to exclude others from any resource either.

First, anarchism has nothing to do with "access to the social production process". Where did you get that idea from? Anarchists don't have to be social. They can be completely anti-social. Being an anarchist inherently means that you have the right to choose all things for yourself. I am an anarchist, but an individualist at the same time. I assure you this is entirely possible.
The next two sentences in that statement are contradictory. If I can't exclude anyone from any resource, then my shoes are actually fair game in case of a shoe shortage. If I have a house with a number of bedrooms and suddenly many people in my community start new families creating a housing shortage, some people might move into my house and take what they consider I have "too much" of - like food or other resources. So you have to choose. Either people have a right to go after my possessions (whatever form those possessions take) or they don't have such right. If they don't have a right to go after my possessions (such as my house, my garden, etc) then I have a right to exclude them from my possessions.

soc wrote:
First of all, what others already tried to explain to you, humans tend to be collective beings. It is an evolutionary fact, that cooperation makes the human race so successful as it is. Communication the exchange of ideas, and organised actions (hunting for instance) made our race widely spread around the planet and despite the great inequalities, we're growing in numbers, thus biologically successful. The individual will was, is and will be always subordinated to different forms of collective will. Your individualism however suggest that you would not surrender your right to private property, thus the possibility of imposing your individual will over others. All we have is your morals which never stopped anybody to anything. You see, Christians preach the ten commandments and still commit murder. We need more than your word that your will not accumulate property to turn it to capital over others. We need a social organisation that doesn't allow individuals to get more power over others only by gaining access to more resources at a single moment and starting an accumulation process

I never denied that social cooperation and working together are good and necessary for higher levels of production. For that we need industrialization and the division of labor which require larger numbers of people.
The statement that the individual always will be subordinated to the collective will is exactly what all individualists are attacking as tyranny. The way you can just say it and then keep talking without having seen the tyrannical nature of that statement is astounding. It is really sad that you wouldn't allow one individual to assert self-rule over himself, but you would allow a mob control over individuals in it.
As for your point that you need guarantees I will not turn my property into some kind of "exploitation machine" I can only tell you that nowhere but in a Utopia will you see any guarantees against abuse. Your communist system cannot guarantee that tyranny will not emerge either. As I wrote here before, you can't guarantee that people will not use knives to kill others. But is this sufficient justification for banning knives? Please answer this question. And if you require proof that I will not misuse my property, please prove to me that communists will never abuse me in any way, take my possessions, and order me to do anything I am not willing to do. If you can prove these things, then I will happily become a communist.

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Aug 17 2012 18:30

Here try this

Make sure you eat the same berries he did.

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Aug 17 2012 18:42
PartyBucket wrote:
Here try this

Make sure you eat the same berries he did.

I actually quite liked that movie (though I never read the book). I hope you will one day understand that anarchism is not some communist utopia, but is instead a system of free association for all peoples. One doesn't have to be an isolationist mountain-man to be an individualist. All that is required is an independent spirit and a uncompromising rejection of all authority.
On a side-not, I don't know if you ever tried living in the wilderness, it can be very difficult but also very rewarding. I once spent some time doing that sort of thing just to test myself. It was quite an experience.

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Aug 17 2012 18:46
ComradeAppleton wrote:
I am an anarchist, but an individualist at the same time. I assure you this is entirely possible.

Only you would know.

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Aug 18 2012 00:17
knotwho wrote:
ComradeAppleton wrote:
I am an anarchist, but an individualist at the same time. I assure you this is entirely possible.

Only you would know.

Even the extremely pro-communist Anarchist FAQ acknowledges this simple fact. Radical individualists are also anarchists.

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Aug 18 2012 01:11
ComradeAppleton wrote:
…if you think abolishing the state and creating a commune is radical, then what could you say about my demands - abolish the state, the commune, the society. These are all pretty much words for the same thing anyway, a collective entity which has claims on my liberty and my labor. I reject any such claims.

This is just pure ignorance that demonstrates your lack of a genuine and coherent understanding of contemporary society. Previous participants in this thread have already explained to you the functions of the state, and how it is distinct from society. But you continue to make this claim, as the one you made above, that the “state”, “society”, the “commune”, etc. are all referring to the same thing. It’s exactly the kind of critique offered by “anarcho”-primitivists. Similarly to the primitivists, you seem to believe, from what I’ve read from your posts, that the problems (oppression, exploitation, etc.) we face in society stems from organization in and of itself. It is totally absurd to believe that organization “naturally” oppresses people, and that all we’ve got to do in order to free people is to get rid all of it. I for one believe that it is not organization in and of itself that is root to all of our problems, but rather “hierarchical” and “undemocratic” organizational structures such as that of capitalism.

A few times in this thread, you have fully admitted that you reject society. You clearly express belief in a dichotomy between the individual and society, a dichotomy that abstracts the individual from society; puts the two in complete opposition to one another. First of all, society is real, and we, as individuals, are certainly not outside of it. But just because we belong to society doesn’t mean we are oppressed by it. Once again, what’s oppressive is not society in and of itself, but the ways in which it is organized. I often prefer to use in place of society, the word community. We do not have to scrap communities all together. It is not community that destroys individuality and diversity, an assertion you would make, but structures that puts the command over the community in the hands of a few. Replacing the current order with a so-called “free” territory of isolated, independent individuals is not going to restore individuality. But rather creating communities that allow individuals to retain their individuality and autonomy will do so, communities that will give individuals the ability to expand their faculties and/or capacities to live a good life. The question for us, at least for me, is how should such a community look like and how do we get there.

The answer will certainly not come from your small markets’ approach of isolated individuals who’ll compete (or cooperate somehow) between and amongst themselves. You never explain how such an order can assure us that it will never give rise to power and exploitation. You seem to believe that your fairy tale world will remain “small” and “local” forever. Apparently there’s no changing dynamics and processes inherent in the kind of world you describe. That’s also absurd, because as we have seen historically and explained to us by many socialist thinkers, it will inevitably lead to monopolization and exploitation, which is what we are experiencing today. You never explain how your market-based fantasy won’t end up with this fate.

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Aug 18 2012 04:26
Agent of the Fifth International wrote:

This is just pure ignorance that demonstrates your lack of a genuine and coherent understanding of contemporary society. [...]

Like i said, his views are reactionary inasmuch he wishes a return of some imaginary, idealized world made up of discrete, isolated individuals. He fails to acknowledge that all that he is is thanks to a complex series of social interactions that took place for over half a million years.

His proclaimed hatred of authority, as he understands it, is really an expression of an immature personality, resentful of the need to interact with others and wishful of a world wherein he alone can impose his own authority on people.

His views are those of incipient fascism: The uni-personal authority of the Nazi version of the Nietzchean Übermensch, which is what I've always thought to be at the root of Randian "libertarianism".

As you correctly pointed out, beyond his indignant protestations against the present, he offers no logical path to his malignant little fantasy world.

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Aug 18 2012 05:21

Agent of the Fifth International,

I do not claim that organization and cooperation are inherently oppressive. I only state that organization and cooperation are oppressive when they are made compulsory because any compulsion of one person by another (or others) is by necessity a form of oppression. It is impossible to claim that communities are always good - there are both good and bad communities. Bad ones oppress individuals, good ones are voluntary associations. That is all I am saying.

I do not reject society as a useful abstract concept which allows us to talk about how humans interact. But this is all armchair sociology - in the real world we are all separate people and no such thing as society actually physically exists. Ergo, society cannot have any claims on any individual or individuals (I will perhaps consider the claims of "society" once I meet this "society" and talk to him/her personally, as I do with anyone else who alleges to have some claim on me).

Therefore the question is that of organization. No one of us, however, has any right to determine the form of organization others will engage in. We are all free to choose and define our own relations with other people. That is the essence of freedom and therefore the essence of anarchy. You made a great point:

Agent of the Fifth International wrote:
But rather creating communities that allow individuals to retain their individuality and autonomy will do so, communities that will give individuals the ability to expand their faculties and/or capacities to live a good life. The question for us, at least for me, is how should such a community look like and how do we get there.

Each of us must make a choice about what they want their life to be like and what kind of people they want to spend their life with. Everyone must be free to choose their own responsibilities and their own way of life. Individuals must be allowed to (as you wrote above) retain their autonomy. In order for an individual to be autonomous, he/she must have the ability to choose (that is either accept or reject) any type of social structure or relations at any given time.
By saying that we are all "society" you perhaps unconsciously make the mistake of already establishing a social structure - something you have no right to do for others, only for yourself. You cannot simply say to someone "oops, you are part of society now, so society makes the decisions now". Whether democratic or not, any group which is not completely voluntary has no right to exist.
We, the common folk, have always been oppressed by the elite who used some extrasensory excuse to make us obey. First it was god, now it is the state. In the future I do not want the illusion of "society" to have dominion over any individual. So, like the state, it must fall and make way for free independent or, as you described them, autonomous people.

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qbbmvrjsssdd
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Aug 18 2012 06:55
ComradeAppleton wrote:
But this is all armchair sociology - in the real world we are all separate people and no such thing as society actually physically exists.

I definitely think you're mistaken in this kind of solipsism and I would posit that bourgeois civilization encourages this type of thinking which is so deprived of collective sensibility and so incognizant of the fact that individuals belong to a densely interconnected web of life. What makes individuality so rich is that it happens within a plurality of individuals, that is, a society. In social interactions the boundaries between self and other merge; the societies in which we live still tend to try to preserve this boundary though, most powerfully exhibited, of course, in property relations, whose underlying social reality is suppressed... communism is the actualization of this reality and the means for each individual within society to participate freely in the creation of their existence. Communism is not the enforced sharing of every single material object, though it can become that, but that's where the inevitable social wrangling of democracy comes in. However, I would argue that there is perfect anarchy in a person seizing a loaf of bread from another who has two and will not part with either. How can a person said to not be impinging upon someone else's autonomy when they are depriving them of the means of life out of their own perceived sense of autonomy, of their 'right to own the product of their labor'? The anarchist is the one who expropriates the bread without politely and long-windedly going into a discussion of 'rights' and 'liberties'. However, there certainly can be cases where the product of one's labor is being taken unjustly.

I think that anarchism naturally merges with communism, even though communism can become prone to majority rule. But that is because individual interests will necessarily clash in the societies to which they are inherently bound up with. To become a social isolate is not very anarchistic, also, because anarchism is inherently social; that is, so long as their are rulers (whether they be dictators, tsars, parliaments or communes) in the world, there is no anarchism.

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ComradeAppleton
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Aug 18 2012 07:30
qbbmvrjsssdd wrote:
However, I would argue that there is perfect anarchy in a person seizing a loaf of bread from another who has two and will not part with either. How can a person said to not be impinging upon someone else's autonomy when they are depriving them of the means of life out of their own perceived sense of autonomy, of their 'right to own the product of their labor'?

I agree that since anarchy is an absence of laws, theft can also be a way of life under anarchy. But in a real functioning anarchist order I think people would have more respect for one another than just to practice petty theft as a way of assuring sustenance. Most people tend to realize instinctively that if I worked on something and made something, it rightfully belongs to me. In a world where theft and other kinds of aggression are universal, there can be no autonomy or respect for others to speak of.
Also in social interaction boundaries between people don't "merge". I don't know what world you live in, but I never "merged" with anybody. I am always myself. Boundaries are always strict and permanent. There is interdependence of different kinds (economic, emotional), of course, but each individual still makes all decisions independently of others and such ties can usually be severed at any time through a simple act of will. That's just the way the world works - we all decide for ourselves. We are ourselves and ourselves alone. We can never "merge" with other people.

Anarchism is not inherently social. You have nothing at all to back up this blatantly false assertion. Anarchism can be social, but does not have to be.
I recommend educating yourself on other branches of anarchism before making such statements:
http://www.panarchy.org/armand/individualist.html

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Aug 18 2012 09:27

I'm gonna merge with you, comrade... you can't escape The Commune, comrade... But it's that emotional interdependence which binds us to others and overcomes the duality of self and other. No matter how strong-willed a person is they still share their existence with others and participate in others' lives. You can, of course, become a complete hermit and live away from everybody. But that reclusive lifestyle can hardly be called anarchy. Being personally free from the rule of others, while humanity still remains subjected, is a very inadequate form of anarchism. And indeed, if one can justifiably say that one's efforts could be useful in aiding the overthrow of governments, then to forgo this potential and turn one's back on society would be indirectly participating in the perpetuation of this government. So, anarchism is social, so long as there are governments that exist. Once every single person in the entire universe is an anarchist, however, I agree, you can go live on the top of Mount Uranus for all I care.

I also have another example of the potential problem of individualism. Let's say you were involved in the Paris Commune, and, as you probably know, were facing an immediate attack by the French bourgeoisie. But you and some other individualists don't want to fight. Let's leave aside the fact that the Paris Commune was doomed. But because of the gravity of the situation the Commune needed as many fighters and barricade-builders as possible... now, would you stay firm to your principles of self autonomy and resist the communards, and face ejection from the Commune? Or would you fight for the good of all?