So anarchists view the military the same way as they view the police?

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carbon_black
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Apr 6 2009 11:31
So anarchists view the military the same way as they view the police?

I don't know how clear it is to you guys but I don't know very much about anarchism. I would think that the military would me looked at in a distasteful fashion...

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jef costello
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Apr 6 2009 13:53

In general the class composition of the military is different and so are the requirements. This does depend on the country, in some the lines between military and police are not as distinct as in the UK.
The army will be sent against a revolution but the police will stand against it.

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Entdinglichung
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Apr 6 2009 14:47

generally, the composition of the army is relatively important, you have to develop another policy dealing with an army which contains a high number of drafted young people doing compulsory national service than against a professional army of volunteers ... but there are also different kinds of "volunteers", e.g. on the hand hand people in the states for whom joining the army is the only possibility for getting a job or scholarship for university or e.g. on the other hand volunteers of the Légion Étrangère or the Legión Española or in general members of specia units ... it always depends on the specific situation

Alderson Warm-Fork
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Apr 6 2009 15:25

As people say, attitudes towards members of the army varies depending on their situation and background. That said, I think it's pretty much always agreed that the army itself as an institution is to be opposed, and that the purposes it serves are not ones we endorse.

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cantdocartwheels
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Apr 6 2009 21:30
Quote:
I don't know how clear it is to you guys but I don't know very much about anarchism. I would think that the military would me looked at in a distasteful fashion...

Most anarchists would define themselves as being against militarism
eg http://robertgraham.wordpress.com/2008/08/13/against-war-and-militarism/
and so on http://libcom.org/tags/anti-war

Anarchists would argue that the army and the police force have a repressive role in society, they are both used in a brutal fashion at home and abroad, and when people organise in any great number to fight to improve their living conditions and/or change society then the police and military are used against us in the streets and on the picket lines.

Wars are generally fought for control of territory, monopoly over natural resources and for profit, they are justified by nationalism, racism, religion and other ideologies. An anarchist world would see war consigned to the history books, since there would be no profit or monopoly of resources to fight over and no notions of racism or nation to give as excuses for hating your neighbours, thus we wouldn't need an army.

In contrast you probably would need some sort of police force in an anarchist society, since you'd still have a few paedophiles or drunk drivers like you do now. However you'd need a lot less police than you do now, the police force would be run very differently and you definitely wouldn't need riot police. Most prisoners are inside for theft and drugs offences and capitalism creates a lot of crime through its reliance on ideas of private property and through the high levels of poverty and boredom it creates.

In terms of waht this means in practice; anarchists see soldiers and police as working people doing a job for a wage. However, while this is true and for regular bobbies and squaddies it is ''only a job'' at the end of the day, we don't really support them going on strike and getting more money, coz at the end of the day soldiers would just be asking for more money to shoot iraqis and be kept in garrisons ready to shoot us if they need to which is hardly something we'd agree with. Generally the anarchist approach to the army and the police is basically to call for a mutiny*, obviously the army are more likley to mutiny than the police because of the armies vested interest in not getting killed in a war.

*eg http://libcom.org/library/mutinies-dave-lamb-solidarity

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D
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Apr 6 2009 22:01

Why do people go on about the class composition of the military as if that makes how we should view them any different from the police

Would how we view the police suddenly change if they all came from very poor, working class backgrounds.

The only way I can see a justifiable difference in approach to the army is if it was conscription, but in regards to the UK it isnt

If anything I would say what the army does is worse as they are killing people at a far higher rate

and the fact the army has been historically more revolutionary is also not a reason to treat them differently. Certain working class proffessions have had a higher rate of milatancy that doesnt mean someone doing that proffesion now is more valuable than someone from another job

ajjohnstone
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Apr 7 2009 03:19

The SPGB case is that policemen have much the same attitudes as other workers since they are conditioned by the same economical , social and historical forces operating in society. Eventually, the world’s workers , will respond to capitalism’s inhumanities to the extent that they understand and desire the socialist alternative . Then Socialist ideas will be just as prevalent in the minds of policemen . They will be for the revolution , not against it .

Undoubtedly many policemen have obnoxious political and social ideas , and there can be no denying that some of them are prone to use violence . But if they sometimes behave brutally towards demonstrators , think how many other workers with all their prejudices would behave towards them , if only they had the policeman’s authority and opportunity. Police are “pigs” then they are only a reflection of a society of "pigs"

http://mailstrom.blogspot.com/2008/01/all-coppers-are-workers.html

When socialist ideas begin to spread among the working class it is most unlikely that those in uniform will remain unaffected. When a majority of workers generally are socialists, so will most of their fellow workers in the police and armed forces be too.

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cantdocartwheels
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Apr 7 2009 05:18
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Why do people go on about the class composition of the military as if that makes how we should view them any different from the police.

Well it is true in the UK and is worth mentioning. Like you say it isn;t worth dwelling on too long though, since if you lived in say south america or countries with past or present military dictatorships you'd probably take a different stance on things vis a vis the dofferences between the military and the police and their class backgrounds.

Quote:
and the fact the army has been historically more revolutionary is also not a reason to treat them differently.

The approach isn;t practically that different though is it, since your effectively asking both the police and the armed forces to lay down their arms and/or mutiny. The army is just more likely to do so in a revolutionary situation coz they're the ones getting shot at, sent off to die in deserts and jungles across the globe and being potentially ordered to fire on demonstrators etc.

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Tojiah
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Apr 7 2009 23:05

I do not think that conscription is entirely the issue. Case in point: the IDF.

The IDF is made entirely of conscripts, and the last time I heard soldiers acting against the State and for the workers was in the Sailors` Strike in 1951, when they allowed union leaders --- who were drafted into the military as if they had breached their exemptory status by striking unlawfully --- to leave their bases daily in order to attend unofficial union meetings and rallies. This was not a grass-roots action, though: high-level military officials were offended that PM Ben-Gurion was using the IDF in this way, and ordered this move in order to get back at him. A mere intra-State power struggle, common in those days. While there are the occasional rebellions, against poor conditions or, say, a new commander who is disdainful of an infantry division's culture, these are easily quelled, and can be counted on one hand, as far as I know. In fact, many reports attribute bored and/or trigger-happy privates as partially responsible for escalating violence with the Palestinian population in the West Bank and Gaza during the Second Intifada. Conscription is not a formula for pro-revolution or internationalist soldiering.

On the other hand, the draft in Israel is only applied to Jews, and some communities in other "loyal" minorities, such as Bedouins, Druze and Adyghe, but hardly ever to the Palestinian minority. Though this view is collapsing, the draft is seen and pushed as expressing Zionist solidarity in a way that is perhaps different than the way it was used, say, in the US. But I'm sure Americans (or people from other countries in which a draft is or was instituted) will have more to say.

capricorn
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Apr 8 2009 06:23
tojiah wrote:
On the other hand, the draft in Israel is only applied to Jews, and some communities in other "loyal" minorities, such as Bedouins, Druze and Adyghe, but hardly ever to the Palestinian minority.

Who are the Adyghe?

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Entdinglichung
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Apr 8 2009 08:06

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adyghe_people#The_Diaspora & http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kfar_Kama & http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rehaniya

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Apr 8 2009 08:14

Conscription/drafting as itself was struggled against, but even so there's other perfect ways the state effectively conscripts labor to its imperial forces. They send army recruiters into high schools everywhere to tell kids they have no future, there's not gonna be any jobs for them, nothing for them to study for, and that their best chance is the army. Or in the US they offer it as a perfect way to pay for university. Then there's the nationalist & patriotic mindset they try and condition us to as kids all the way through school.

So there's been no effective end to conscription, the state just goes about it in different ways.
It's also perfectly necessary to support soldiers if they choose to engage in struggle against being sent to kill and die, especially as they're forced into it through the same social environment that sents us to any work. The difference between police and soldiers is that soldiers are just told what to do by a person, whereas the police are given power to enforce the law. Power i see as the difference.

xo

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jef costello
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Apr 8 2009 08:32

There's a difference between national service and the draft though, although in a militarised society like Israel I suppose that line must be a lot thinner.

This kid I knew from America had a rucksack
"US ARMY 100% free college tuition"
which pretty much sums it up. Round here there are signs on buses telling kids they could earn 16k a year as soldiers.

Rum Lad
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Apr 8 2009 12:34

I don't think one should feel a more resonant anti-militarism against the armed forces in a country that doesn't have forced conscription. Where I live quite a lot of young people have very few opportunites for work, apart from MacDonalds or working in the local Creamery Factory. The Army offers these people a stable employment, food, a reasonable wage, the opportunity to learn practical skills and the opportunity to travel all over the world. The horror of war is contrasted with "treats" such as a three month ski holiday in the Austrian alps or working as an Engineer repairing tanks in Germany when your not on Tour of Duty. I know this because I met a guy over Christmas in the pub, who was about 19 and had just come back from Iraq. He was absolutely certain that me and my mates would not want to talk to him and hear his stories because he has encountered a lot of discrimination for being a soldier. In the end we had a nice little bond over how much we all hate police. The poor bastard was definitely suffering from some kind of trauma, kept telling us this story about seeing his best mate get hit by a mortar whilst he was sat next to him chatting on MSN to his family.

capricorn
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Apr 8 2009 17:40

Thanks. Yes, I see, the Circassians. I'd heard of them, but hadn't realised there were Muslims. You live and learn. From one of the articles you mention it seems that most of them join the army or police force because there are not many other jobs for them to do. Which, I suppose, is why many workers in all countries join or allow themselves to be conscripted into the killing machines that armies are.

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Entdinglichung
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Apr 9 2009 15:20

the Wikipedia article on the Adyghe also says:

"The Adyghe were a warlike people. Grown men were expected to carry arms, and boys trained to be warriors."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adyghe_people#Culture

says probably more about Wikipedia and traditional ethnography than about the persons who identify themselves as Adyghe

akai
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Apr 9 2009 19:27

I don't think we should advocate maintaining police in an anarchist society any more than maintaining a military. It's all hypothetical, but if anarchism was not universal, than there might be arguments for maintaining a militia and this might be even a pressing need. But in general, we have to move away from a punishment society towards a healing one and ideas like having police and jails are just not in sync with what we want to do. Imperialist type wars either. It will be a great social effort to change our ways of dealing with conflict and anti-social behaviour, but ultimately this will we'll have to give this great priority because this is one of the main arguments people use against anarchism.

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Apr 9 2009 22:03
akai wrote:
I don't think we should advocate maintaining police in an anarchist society any more than maintaining a military. It's all hypothetical, but if anarchism was not universal, than there might be arguments for maintaining a militia and this might be even a pressing need. But in general, we have to move away from a punishment society towards a healing one and ideas like having police and jails are just not in sync with what we want to do. Imperialist type wars either. It will be a great social effort to change our ways of dealing with conflict and anti-social behaviour, but ultimately this will we'll have to give this great priority because this is one of the main arguments people use against anarchism.

I dont blame people for being critical when they encounter the scattergun "FREE ALL PRISONERS!!!" approach. The fact remains that in an anarchist society there would probably still be a (probably very small) number of people who quite simply need to be segregated from the rest of society, either temporarily or permanently; psychopaths, Fritzls, whatever, and there'd need to be the facilities to do that, not even necessarily as a punitive measure.

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Apr 9 2009 23:24

Well, if we're hypothetically assuming that there are would be the odd sociopathic crime (and I think this would be the case), we'd have to have some way of investigating them in order to be able to identify any sociopaths and contain them. So there'd have to be some kind of investigative body - the question is how it relates to the population at large and its function.

Caiman del Barrio
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Apr 10 2009 09:08

Community policing in Mexico: http://libcom.org/library/popular-justice-community-policing-guerrero-mexico-26032009

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Apr 10 2009 14:43
Quote:
this is one of the main arguments people use against anarchism.

Well yeah and its hardly surprising, if your actally advocating getting rid of all investigative bodies and having a society with no professional law enforcement agency of any typea nd no prisons then thats quite genuinely not a world i would want to bring my kids up in.
Put bluntly if you don't beleive in those things when someone commits rape or paedophilia you won't have a ''healing society'', you'll have a lynch mob. Without a reasonably professional investigative service, a clear and impartial legal system and a way for society to punish individuals, how would you go about catching and convicting a rapist?

Personally i think a police force in an anarchist society would obviously be a lot smaller, and like a lot of jobs would consist of a small core of experienced regular staff to lead investigations, do training and take a lead in dealing with sensitive cases and the like bulked out by a larger number of short term staff who'd do it for a few years and either try and graduate as a long term regular or much more likely do some other job.In this sense it would bridge the gap between an accountable ''local militia'' and a professional police force.

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Apr 10 2009 16:43

That's exactly the extreme we don't want to go down, replicating bourgeois 'justice'.

The point is, rapists shouldn't be punished, but they should be excluded from society for their own good and others. We've seen decades of retribution handed out, sure, not by an anarchist legal system, but the praxis is still the same, and it hasn't worked. We would hopefully move away from that, study the causes of these acts of behaviour, and try to ward society as a whole away from it with other measures than being locked up.

tastybrain
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Apr 10 2009 17:04
jolly roger wrote:
We would hopefully move away from that, study the causes of these acts of behaviour, and try to ward society as a whole away from it with other measures than being locked up.

Such as?

late
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Apr 10 2009 19:37

Tagging could be an option, counselling, maybe even therapy. As long as the victims of the crimes were given counselling and therapy and maybe even some kind of compensation I think that would be fair. At the moment the system spends loads of money on locking people up but doesn't spend much money on the victims of crime.

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Apr 10 2009 21:37
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The point is, rapists shouldn't be punished

Oh don;t talk hippy dippy nonsense, of course rapists should be punished.

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try to ward society as a whole away from it with other measures than being locked up.

Like what?

Quote:
some kind of compensation I think that would be fair

Well I don;t really think that when it happens to me or someone i care about i;'d be happy to see the guy go unpunished and just get a few bob for it. Plus you've also just given people a solid incentive to make up false rape allegations. Also we're discussing this in a hypothetical anarchist society, hence monetary compensation is unlikely to be very useful.

Quote:
tagging

Er we do this today
http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2006/jan/18/childrensservices.politics1
Its not really an alternative to prison though.

Like i say you'd be doing that to some degree anyways after the guy got out of prison, but without prison essentially you've just let the guy get away with rape. Basically you'd have a society where someone can commit rape and paedophilia once in the full knowledge taht the worst that can happen is that they get tagged.
And also if he does re-offend, what then? Move straight to the death penalty? Or put the guy in a prison where he belonged in the first place?

tastybrain
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Apr 10 2009 22:46
cantdocartwheels wrote:
And also if he does re-offend, what then? Move straight to the death penalty? Or put the guy in a prison where he belonged in the first place?

Presumably if imprisonment is off the table, so is the death penalty roll eyes

Barry Kade
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Apr 10 2009 23:21

Earlier question.. ...are cops workers?

Well, not according to the scriptures i learned in my yoof:

"The fact that the police was originally recruited in large numbers from among social-democratic workers is absolutely meaningless. Consciousness is determined by environment even in this instance. The worker who becomes a policeman in the service of the capitalist state, is a bourgeois cop, not a worker. Of late years, these policemen have had to do much more fighting with revolutionary workers than with Nazi students".

Have to concur with the ol butcher of Krondstandt on this one. While Trotsky was here talking 'bout German cops, the rise of Fascism and revolutionary workers - the point remains.

i.e. The day to day experience (or determining environment) of the police is of hostile conflict with the working class - usually in conflict with petty criminal youth or Saturday night drunks - but also with people like ourselves on protests and pickets. Their daily experience of solidarity formed through 'canteen culture' is not solidarity against the boss - but solidarity against us!

Squaddies are not usually recruited to repress the working class that they are extracted from - police are.

Of course, soldiers do act as violent agents of the capitalist state overseas - and this will generate racism and nationalism. I fear that the situation in Afghanistan / Pakistan will make quite a few soldiers into psychopathic Nazis who might dream of doing terrible things to Asian and Muslim members of the working class back home.

late
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Apr 10 2009 23:50

How about you have a police force that is directly answerable to the working class? so that it is controlled by them and not a ruling elite. There would be no seargents, everyone would be an officer and on equal pay, no hieracrchy whatsoever. They would also vote democratically on everything that affected their working conditions but they would be answerable to the working class who would also vote on how they should best represent their interests?

And just to add the Sun is not the mouthpiece of the working class. It sets itself up as the mouthpiece of the working class but it isn't. It's just a bit of propaganda
owned by one of the richest people in the world who decides what its editorial line is going to be. If the police served the interests of the working class they wouldn't be controlled by reactionary knee jerk responses to crime, thats a myth
perpetuated by Rupert Murdoch.

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cantdocartwheels
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Apr 11 2009 11:03
Quote:
How about you have a police force that is directly answerable to the working class? so that it is controlled by them and not a ruling elite. There would be no seargents, everyone would be an officer and on equal pay, no hieracrchy whatsoever. They would also vote democratically on everything that affected their working conditions but they would be answerable to the working class who would also vote on how they should best represent their interests?

Well yeah in an anarchist society the smaller police force would be more answerable to the working class because the bulk of police would be short term staff, doing traffic patrol work and other (in relative terms) unskilled work for a few years before moving onto something else while only a tiny core of regular long term police would exist to carry out tasks that required a better degree of experience (eg some investigative work) and to offer on the job training etc.
Like you say, police forces like any workplace would be run by means of democratic working class self management.

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flaneur
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Apr 11 2009 14:59
cantdocartwheels wrote:
Quote:
The point is, rapists shouldn't be punished

Oh don;t talk hippy dippy nonsense, of course rapists should be punished.

Because all these centuries of punishment have worked a treat, eh?

It is has been shown, that retribution offered by the 'justice' system on behalf of the populace, doesn't reform crime nor dramatically alter it. Whether it's your hands cut off in the Middle East, or your life ended in a chair in America, 'crime' persists.

The problem is rather than looking at the root of the problem, the state is happier to condemn. That a socialist would wish to replicate that same broken process is baffling. It offers very little to those affected by crime, it guarantees repetition, and it does nothing to find solutions.

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Apr 11 2009 15:21

Personally if I lived in a society where there was no sanction for rape, Im pretty sure the victims (or their friends / family etc) of such a crime would take it uopn themselves to make sure the perpetrator was punished, as probably would most victims of the crime that would still exist.
But Id rather nobody had to resort to lynch mob justice, so I think it would be preferable there were a socially agreed way of punishing such offences.