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Author Topic: If Anarchy can work, how come there are no historical records of it working?  (Read 15684 times)
Alpaca John
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May 26, 2013, 03:40:40 PM
 #41

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.   

Yeah you know what, I think I'll actually take up on that offer of yours of starting an army once anarchy kicks in. I'm your man!

Actually, I've got an additional idea. Once we've established sovereignty over a decent area of land, we could maybe figure out some sort of system to devoid future generations from exorbitant levels of tyranny? A system in which everybody could live in relative peace? I was thinking in lines of a balance of powers, or a trias politica? Maybe we could even think of number of rules, or 'rights' if you will, to protect individuals within out society? I think 'human rights' has a ring to it, but this is something we can talk about. Hey you know what, we could eventually even conceive of a system in which the people could rule themselves, a kind of popular sovereignty if you know what I mean? We could even have elections to determine who gets to lead at some point?

I know, I know, all of this sounds very futuristic, but hey, a man can dream right?

Anyways, yeah, it's time for this anarchy thing if you ask me; the sooner that happens the sooner we can work towards realizing these ideas!
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May 26, 2013, 05:07:46 PM
 #42

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.

No, it proves that Anarchy can work, until the anarchy becomes less sophisticated than the world around it.

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May 26, 2013, 09:45:14 PM
 #43

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.

No, it proves that Anarchy can work, until the anarchy becomes less sophisticated than the world around it.

And it always will be less sophisticated.  Violent men organised into states will always have more access to the tools of war than peaceable men organised into farms.  The Normans conquered all they came across from Ireland to Jerusalem.  All they conquered shared the same fate of dispossession and subjection.  They left behind a clear statement: if you don't have a state, you will be our slaves.  Its why we have states.

And nothing has changed....

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May 27, 2013, 07:20:24 PM
 #44


And nothing has changed....

Much has changed.

"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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May 27, 2013, 07:28:25 PM
 #45


And nothing has changed....

Much has changed.

Fair point.  What I meant was the strong still invade the weak. 

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May 27, 2013, 08:01:16 PM
 #46


And nothing has changed....

Much has changed.

Fair point.  What I meant was the strong still invade the weak.  

Yes; but examples of cultures/societies that were more anarchist than anything else have existed, some of which existed without major issues for longer then the United States has existed in total.  I'm not an anarchist either, and I do agree that the world isn't really ready for a total self-governing society just yet.  But the key word there is 'yet'.  The age of the Internet has brought us real examples of voluntary associations able to perform complex social functions that only governments and/or corporations had the organizational structures to perform effectively before.  Bitcoin is one beautiful example of this; as it performs the function of a central bank & minimalist regulatory structure entirely without compulsion, and largely without any third party human intervention at all.  I can't imagine how the other problems may be solved (collective defense & funding of same, being the primary issue, and the one that you highlighted) but that is not to say that they are not solvable.

Furthermore, your complaint is an issue with sustainablility, yet history displays the error of your thinking; as nation-states are not much more stable than the odd anarchist culture.  They also, historicly, have a habit of invading one another every few generations.  The execeptions to that rule also happen to be the most anarchist of nation-states to have existed, such as the union of Swiss Cantons prior to this past century.  Who also happen to have had, and somewhat still do have, a clanish & militant culture; which is why they were not themselves ever conquered fro without; as any attempt to do so resulted in a loose union of city-states to band together and actually act like a nation-state in the shadow of any external threat.  The Swiss cantons were so stable, that they existed as functionally independent city states for eight hundred years, while the nations that go by the names and borders of Britian or France suffered through wars of succesion, military coups, popular revolutions and religious civil wars; functionally re-inventing themselves every couple hundred years at best.

The nations-states we commonly refer to as "Western" are all between 150-250 years old (excluding the entire WWI & WWII debacle) and are thus all getting a bit long in the tooth.  Hell, Britian itself is overdue for another religious civil war; and the French have been inclined towards killing their own leadership for a couple of tense decades already.  A quick move towards an anarchist-like nation-state might be the best chance to avoid getting sucked into another world war, no matter it's long term risk factors.

"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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May 27, 2013, 08:09:50 PM
 #47


And nothing has changed....

Much has changed.

Fair point.  What I meant was the strong still invade the weak.  

Yes; but examples of cultures/societies that were more anarchist than anything else have existed, some of which existed without major issues for longer then the United States has existed in total.  I'm not an anarchist either, and I do agree that the world isn't really ready for a total self-governing society just yet.  But the key word there is 'yet'.  The age of the Internet has brought us real examples of voluntary associations able to perform complex social functions that only governments and/or corporations had the organizational structures to perform effectively before.  Bitcoin is one beautiful example of this; as it performs the function of a central bank & minimalist regulatory structure entirely without compulsion, and largely without any third party human intervention at all.  I can't imagine how the other problems may be solved (collective defense & funding of same, being the primary issue, and the one that you highlighted) but that is not to say that they are not solvable.

Furthermore, your complaint is an issue with sustainablility, yet history displays the error of your thinking; as nation-states are not much more stable than the odd anarchist culture.  They also, historicly, have a habit of invading one another every few generations.  The execeptions to that rule also happen to be the most anarchist of nation-states to have existed, such as the union of Swiss Cantons prior to this past century.  Who also happen to have had, and somewhat still do have, a clanish & militant culture; which is why they were not themselves ever conquered fro without; as any attempt to do so resulted in a loose union of city-states to band together and actually act like a nation-state in the shadow of any external threat.  The Swiss cantons were so stable, that they existed as functionally independent city states for eight hundred years, while the nations that go by the names and borders of Britian or France suffered through wars of succesion, military coups, popular revolutions and religious civil wars; functionally re-inventing themselves every couple hundred years at best.

The nations-states we commonly refer to as "Western" are all between 150-250 years old (excluding the entire WWI & WWII debacle) and are thus all getting a bit long in the tooth.  Hell, Britian itself is overdue for another religious civil war; and the French have been inclined towards killing their own leadership for a couple of tense decades already.  A quick move towards an anarchist-like nation-state might be the best chance to avoid getting sucked into another world war, no matter it's long term risk factors.

I agree.  And we are in a golden age in terms of non-violent bahaviour across most of the world.  Maybe being part of a huge inter-connected hive of humanity is having a positive effect.

Everything that can be done efficiently and fairly in the private sector should be done in the private sector.  Like you, I still don't see border control or defence being in that category but if both become redundant that changes everything.  If we continue to become more and more peaceful as we have done for over 30 years now, the future is very bright.

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May 27, 2013, 08:46:09 PM
 #48

...

Yes; but examples of cultures/societies that were more anarchist than anything else have existed, some of which existed without major issues for longer then the United States has existed in total.  I'm not an anarchist either, and I do agree that the world isn't really ready for a total self-governing society just yet.  But the key word there is 'yet'.  The age of the Internet has brought us real examples of voluntary associations able to perform complex social functions that only governments and/or corporations had the organizational structures to perform effectively before.  Bitcoin is one beautiful example of this; as it performs the function of a central bank & minimalist regulatory structure entirely without compulsion, and largely without any third party human intervention at all.  I can't imagine how the other problems may be solved (collective defense & funding of same, being the primary issue, and the one that you highlighted) but that is not to say that they are not solvable.

Furthermore, your complaint is an issue with sustainablility, yet history displays the error of your thinking; as nation-states are not much more stable than the odd anarchist culture.  They also, historicly, have a habit of invading one another every few generations.  The execeptions to that rule also happen to be the most anarchist of nation-states to have existed, such as the union of Swiss Cantons prior to this past century.  Who also happen to have had, and somewhat still do have, a clanish & militant culture; which is why they were not themselves ever conquered fro without; as any attempt to do so resulted in a loose union of city-states to band together and actually act like a nation-state in the shadow of any external threat.  The Swiss cantons were so stable, that they existed as functionally independent city states for eight hundred years, while the nations that go by the names and borders of Britian or France suffered through wars of succesion, military coups, popular revolutions and religious civil wars; functionally re-inventing themselves every couple hundred years at best.

The nations-states we commonly refer to as "Western" are all between 150-250 years old (excluding the entire WWI & WWII debacle) and are thus all getting a bit long in the tooth.  Hell, Britian itself is overdue for another religious civil war; and the French have been inclined towards killing their own leadership for a couple of tense decades already.  A quick move towards an anarchist-like nation-state might be the best chance to avoid getting sucked into another world war, no matter it's long term risk factors.

Interesting read MoonShadow, thanks for sharing. I always had a few unknowns regarding the Swiss people and their odd way of political organization.

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May 28, 2013, 04:22:00 AM
 #49

Here is an example of it working.



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May 28, 2013, 09:53:55 AM
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Quote
This month marks the 20th anniversary of its demolition.

Sounds to me like it did not work.
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May 28, 2013, 03:23:29 PM
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This month marks the 20th anniversary of its demolition.

Sounds to me like it did not work.

It worked fine for the lower class chinese refugees who moved there or lived there, although by most accounts it was somewhat like the City of Rapture from the first Bioshock, without the amazing bio-tech.  Children were unlikely to be well educated by any modern measure, and by 12 most boys were running freelance jobs of their own; often specializing in providing their neighbors with drinking water, sewage handling, etc., as there was nearly no infrastructure other than the buildings themselves.

It didn't work for the British government, however, and the walled city did provide a safe haven for crime, both 'organized' and otherwise.  The famous "Triads" were rooted in the walled city.  And since the entire thing amounted to Hong Kong's version of a homeless squaters' tent city, the colonial government decided to tear it all down and run everyone off.  It still took many years, because the residents were not the type to be run off easily, and the cops were afraid of going inside even in large groups; and with reason.  Any kind of arrest that had to be performed inside the walled city was akin to ZeroDarkThirty in it's operation, and almost as risky for anyone who looked English or was wearing a badge.

EDIT: The closest modern example of the anarchist order of the Walled City would be the neighborhood of Ajegunle in Lagos, Nigeria. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ajegunle) The entire city of Lagos is an accident of history itself, and much of the city proper lacks "modern" infrastructure. (for which there is a particularly anarchist solution, with respect to drinkable water, known as "Pure Water" street sales.  Both the government and environmentalists hate it.  The government because it cannot be taxed and therefore undermines their own efforts at funding a municipal water distribution system, and the environmentalists because the empty bags are usually street litter afterwards)

Ajegunle itself is considered the 'darkest' and most crime ridden area of Lagos, and that is saying a lot.  Still, many of the young poor have been able to create their own way in life as a direct result of the DIY spirit from Ajegunle.  They tend not to have much respect for government regulations either, in part due to growing up in an area that is basicly ignored by government largesse.  Some residents of this area are highlighted in the economics book, The Stealth of Nations by Robert Neuwirth; which is something that likely could not have happened with residents of the Walled City since any old white guy walking around asking questions about how residents do business without governments is as likely to disappear as simply be ignored in teh Walled City.

"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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May 28, 2013, 03:25:56 PM
 #52

But what about the punk movement....... Oh...... erm never mind Grin

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May 28, 2013, 03:47:04 PM
 #53

http://mises.org/daily/1121

There are.  Here is one that lasted for longer than the United States has been an independent country, before they had their first civil war.

Some have argued that where there is greatest freedom on the planet today, are those places where the Vikings had invaded.

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May 28, 2013, 03:48:46 PM
 #54

http://mises.org/daily/1121

There are.  Here is one that lasted for longer than the United States has been an independent country, before they had their first civil war.

Some have argued that where there is greatest freedom on the planet today, are those places where the Vikings had invaded.

On behalf of one of those countries the Vikings invaded, allow me to say that some have bloody foolish ideas of what freedom means.

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May 28, 2013, 03:52:26 PM
 #55

http://mises.org/daily/1121

There are.  Here is one that lasted for longer than the United States has been an independent country, before they had their first civil war.

Some have argued that where there is greatest freedom on the planet today, are those places where the Vikings had invaded.

On behalf of one of those countries the Vikings invaded, allow me to say that some have bloody foolish ideas of what freedom means.

Indeed.  That statement needs to define what "freedom" means to the observer.  Rights are not the same as abilities, and permission is not the same as liberty.

"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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May 28, 2013, 04:03:26 PM
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If Anarchy can work, how come there are no historical records of it working?
Bitcoin works...

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May 28, 2013, 04:36:04 PM
 #57

http://mises.org/daily/1121

There are.  Here is one that lasted for longer than the United States has been an independent country, before they had their first civil war.

Some have argued that where there is greatest freedom on the planet today, are those places where the Vikings had invaded.

On behalf of one of those countries the Vikings invaded, allow me to say that some have bloody foolish ideas of what freedom means.

Indeed.  That statement needs to define what "freedom" means to the observer.  Rights are not the same as abilities, and permission is not the same as liberty.

And correlation is not causation...

Which raises an interesting anthropological question.  What causes lead toward a society to remaining voluntary?

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May 28, 2013, 04:56:38 PM
 #58

What causes lead toward a society to remaining voluntary?

The answer is simultaneously simple, and complex. It can be best summed up with the quote, "Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty."

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May 28, 2013, 04:56:58 PM
 #59

...snip...

Which raises an interesting anthropological question.  What causes lead toward a society to remaining voluntary?

No-one knows.  A few countries can point to specific events that turn their history on its head and shaped their destiny.  For example, the Japanese can make a direct link between the arrival of Perry, the rulers seeing that if they didn't adapt damn fast they would be colonised and the Meiji era.

Most of the rest of us live in countries where cultures have evolved over centuries and are still changing.  The US, Ireland and the UK have a regard for personal freedom, taxation based on democratic consent and property rights that was clearly visible in the 1640s during the English civil war.  100 years before, none of those things mattered.  

And our shared political culture hasn't really had a major change since then.


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May 28, 2013, 04:57:48 PM
 #60

Which raises an interesting anthropological question.  What causes lead toward a society to remaining voluntary?
Fortunately someone has already done plenty of research on that for us:

http://www.psychohistory.com/originsofwar/01_killermotherland.html
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