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Author Topic: If Anarchy can work, how come there are no historical records of it working?  (Read 15680 times)
Mike Christ
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March 22, 2013, 07:10:19 PM
 #21

Personally I might do well in an anarchy. But make no mistake I would organize an army and take what I want.

Where would you get the money to organize an army?

You wouldn't be able to print your own money. You wouldn't be able to borrow enough money either. Taxation is only working currently because billions of people believe it is morally right. Once that changes, you would be spending more money on bouncers than you would gain from pillaging. Especially with Bitcoin, where you can't even know how much you can pillage from a particular household.
Temujin is my template. I would start by killing my closest neighbors with a few friends. Temujin led about 3-5 warriors when he started. By the end of his career he had taken most of the ungoverned land he knew of. You would know him better by the name Genghis Khan. 

Assuming your neighbors are completely unarmed, it's possible.  But you'd have to eventually cower and hide away somewhere, giving orders to your men from an undisclosed location, as bullets have a way of leveling the playing field, so to speak Tongue

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March 22, 2013, 07:37:26 PM
 #22

Personally I might do well in an anarchy. But make no mistake I would organize an army and take what I want.

Where would you get the money to organize an army?

You wouldn't be able to print your own money. You wouldn't be able to borrow enough money either. Taxation is only working currently because billions of people believe it is morally right. Once that changes, you would be spending more money on bouncers than you would gain from pillaging. Especially with Bitcoin, where you can't even know how much you can pillage from a particular household.
Temujin is my template. I would start by killing my closest neighbors with a few friends. Temujin led about 3-5 warriors when he started. By the end of his career he had taken most of the ungoverned land he knew of. You would know him better by the name Genghis Khan. 

Assuming your neighbors are completely unarmed, it's possible.  But you'd have to eventually cower and hide away somewhere, giving orders to your men from an undisclosed location, as bullets have a way of leveling the playing field, so to speak Tongue

Exactly. We're not unarmed peasants, anymore. When you get some spare time, do read that short story I linked.

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March 24, 2013, 04:43:04 AM
 #23

I'll take the slave girl.

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March 24, 2013, 07:46:31 PM
 #24

I'll take the slave girl.

Or she'll shoot you first.

OK, maybe she won't, but then you'll get hunted down by her relatives, and private police. Anarchy doesn't mean people cannot defend themselves.
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March 25, 2013, 12:54:18 AM
 #25

Excellent find on that article.

"This was because free farmers could change allegiance between godi without moving to a new geographical location. "The legal godi-thingman bond was created by a voluntary public contract."

That fixes an issue I was having with decentralization, that in our day and age if they wanted to change state/allegiance they would have to move. But ye, allow that they don't have to move to change allegiance.

Interesting... I guess if you switch allegiance, you switch to their taxes, and wages (maybe need to work at a 'same allegiance' work place?), but what about if the state you lived in did not allow guns, but your new allegiance did? Or drugs?

If it's legal to defend yourself with a gun vs a burgler in your allegiance state and someone breaks into your house, though you live in a no gun state... then what? Because he's broken into your property it counts as your allegiance state?

I think it's the key idea for this to work in our day and age, just trying to wrap it around my head.
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March 25, 2013, 04:00:03 AM
 #26

I think it's the key idea for this to work in our day and age, just trying to wrap it around my head.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anarcho-capitalism
See also: http://mises.org/document/2716

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March 25, 2013, 04:17:40 AM
 #27

The anarchists I know cite many precedents for anarchist governance systems, but the ones that spring to mind first is Spain, and I think there is some kind of tribal consensus based collectivist anarchism in Madagascar.  Of course, David Graeber is probably the best place to look for more examples like this.

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March 25, 2013, 04:38:08 AM
 #28

I don't know guys. I think anarchy is like communism. It sounds great on paper, but doesn't scale well beyond a commune.
Anarchy is everything you enjoy in life, and violence is the opposite.

Personally I might do well in an anarchy. But make no mistake I would organize an army and take what I want. I would charge you tribute or burn your village, take slaves, etc.
Join me and be with the strong! In exchange for your unwavering obedience and occasional military service I will allow you to live in peace.
Gota love anarchy!
What you describe is not "anarchy," but an attempt (by you) to set up a state.

Which is exactly what anarchy allows and encourages and makes necessary.
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March 25, 2013, 04:49:11 AM
 #29

I don't know guys. I think anarchy is like communism. It sounds great on paper, but doesn't scale well beyond a commune.
Anarchy is everything you enjoy in life, and violence is the opposite.

Personally I might do well in an anarchy. But make no mistake I would organize an army and take what I want. I would charge you tribute or burn your village, take slaves, etc.
Join me and be with the strong! In exchange for your unwavering obedience and occasional military service I will allow you to live in peace.
Gota love anarchy!
What you describe is not "anarchy," but an attempt (by you) to set up a state.

Which is exactly what anarchy allows and encourages and makes necessary.

None of the above.

You might enjoy that short story, as well. (Enjoy might be too strong a word. Learn from, perhaps.)

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March 25, 2013, 03:11:39 PM
 #30

I think it's the key idea for this to work in our day and age, just trying to wrap it around my head.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anarcho-capitalism
See also: http://mises.org/document/2716

Thank you Smiley
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March 25, 2013, 05:59:21 PM
 #31

I don't know guys. I think anarchy is like communism. It sounds great on paper, but doesn't scale well beyond a commune.

+1
An extremely isolated and small island, which used to have an unusual tribal/political system many centuries ago -- it sounds totally realistic and doable!

There was also the germanic culture prior to the formation of a German state.  For hundreds of years a loosely cooperative culture existed that spread across nearly all of the northern half of the European landmass, that never formed anything remotely like a government or a state.  However, it's hard to use that one as an example of success, since they were also largely illiterate, so we don't really have any documation concerning their culture other than the records of encounters with other cultures; primarily the Roman Empire.  The Romans considered them to be barbarians, but the opinions of third parties (particularly those in a state of low level warfare) are not trustworthy.  We know that their economy was largely resource based, and mining was a major part of their trade and livelyhood.  What little trade that they did was usually in mined salt (as noted in the history book about the topic, simply called Salt) and they were also noted to have very colorful clothing.  The old germanic tales about dwarves were likely based upon their culture.

And then there was the long history of the Swiss culture, which was stable without a central government authority or structure for a thousand years.  But, of course, that's just one little example of a bunch of mountain hillbillies, right?

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
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March 25, 2013, 07:24:15 PM
 #32

I think it's the key idea for this to work in our day and age, just trying to wrap it around my head.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anarcho-capitalism
See also: http://mises.org/document/2716

Thank you Smiley

No problem. Some further reading:
The Market for Liberty, by Linda & Morris Tannehill. (also available as an audiobook)
The Machinery of Freedom, by David J. Friedman.

Once you've read those, you should have a pretty good idea of how a modern market anarchy would work.

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March 25, 2013, 10:07:44 PM
 #33

"what about the roads?!?" in 5...4...3...2...

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March 25, 2013, 10:19:36 PM
 #34

"what about the roads?!?" in 5...4...3...2...

Heh!

The publicly accessible roads in my home state have never been built by governments until very recently, and even now only at the county & city levels.  There are plenty of roads, mostly in the countryside, that are still privately owned.  I was recently looking at buying a 10 acre wooded lot that used to be part of a larger farm.  The road frontage, which is gravel, is shown to be 1/2 owned by the owner of that plot and 1/2 owned by the owner of the opposite side.  In other words, four or five feet of gravel is owned by one person and the other four or five feet is owned by the other person.  The only deed restriction is that the owners of those properties cannot deny the owners of properties further up the road "innocent passage" (English Common Law legal term, just look it up).  Likewise, as an owner of undeveloped land in the state of Kentucky (technically a commonwealth) I can't deny anyone innocent passage across my land as long as they are on foot, don't intend to cause harm and are not intending to hunt on my property (not harvesting my wildlife against my wishes, which would be a 'harm') and are not walking after dark.

Not that most rednecks would know that I have an old right of 'innocent passage' across their fields, nor would they consider such hiking to be 'innocent', but still.

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
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March 25, 2013, 10:21:30 PM
 #35

I am sure that the anarchist society in iceland had no roads. Everyone had to live on the sea and take boats to get anywhere.

Because everyone knows that there would be no roads without government.

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May 25, 2013, 08:39:49 PM
 #36

Working on Starting a Bitcoin town here:
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=216139.0

And there IS record of Anarchy working. Look up "Town of Anarchy" and either Hong Kong or Japan. It was a building that survived in complete anarchy.

And ancient Ireland, no one even knew how to read or write, everything was passed on by word.

If everyone is thinking outside the box, there is a new box.
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May 26, 2013, 01:34:03 PM
 #37

Actually, humanity has arguably known anarchism all over the world for tens of thousands of years - most of its existence. Historians label that period in time prehistory.
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May 26, 2013, 02:18:01 PM
 #38

Actually, humanity has arguably known anarchism all over the world for tens of thousands of years - most of its existence. Historians label that period in time prehistory.
That's a good point. The first 90k years of humanity were exclusively free of any authority greater than the tribe. (as far as we know)
That era included some of humanities greatest challenges; such as the ice ages, competition with Neanderthals, and legendary adventures with Pleistocene beasts. I doubt we have ever been in more danger, or more free.   

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May 26, 2013, 02:21:28 PM
 #39

Working on Starting a Bitcoin town here:
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=216139.0

And there IS record of Anarchy working. Look up "Town of Anarchy" and either Hong Kong or Japan. It was a building that survived in complete anarchy.

And ancient Ireland, no one even knew how to read or write, everything was passed on by word.

Ireland and Iceland both prove the same thing.  A small weak society can survive as an anarchy until someone powerful comes along and decides that they want to rule the place.  Iceland was subverted by Norwegians)?) and that was that.  Ireland was invaded in autumn 1169 and by spring 1170, it was a Norman vassal.

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May 26, 2013, 02:44:09 PM
 #40

I don't know guys. I think anarchy is like communism. It sounds great on paper, but doesn't scale well beyond a commune.
Anarchy is everything you enjoy in life, and violence is the opposite.

Personally I might do well in an anarchy. But make no mistake I would organize an army and take what I want. I would charge you tribute or burn your village, take slaves, etc.
Join me and be with the strong! In exchange for your unwavering obedience and occasional military service I will allow you to live in peace.
Gota love anarchy!
What you describe is not "anarchy," but an attempt (by you) to set up a state.
Yes. I think my state will dominate any unorganized place. Join me myrkul, with your warrior skillz we will rule like Gods! Think it over, and please accept this slave girl as a token of friendship.

I agree with you ,the reason why there were so few real anarchical communities in human history, is that they simply can't stand on their own in the face of the organized power of the states, or even tribal federations, after all, people are greedy, and xenophobic, they will sacrifice what they already have to authorities, in exchange for the chance to plunder more.

The highest form of struggle, according to Huntington, is not even the conflicts between the nations, but that between the civilizations--people unite under a certain set of ideas and customs, can form imagined communities beyond the border of nations, and even between different eras. This maybe why most of the largest religions in the world are monotheistic, rather than polytheistic, it's much easier to get people to follow one god, rather than many gods which may cause them to constantly argue about the precedence of gods and also create new gods to worship, which creates schisms.

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