View Poll Results: Favorite/best form of government?

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  • Democracy/republic

    31 67.39%
  • Monarchy (constitutional/absolute)

    2 4.35%
  • Theocracy

    2 4.35%
  • Anarchy

    7 15.22%
  • Other (explain in post)

    4 8.70%
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Thread: Favorite/best form of government?

  1. #81
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    Re: Favorite/best form of government?

    Quote Originally Posted by atrasicarius View Post
    Well yeah, that's usually how it goes down in reality. Assuming it was working the way it was supposed to, though, the people would collectively own the means of production, so no one has authority. You can't have an authoritarian system with no authority, and you can't call someone an authoritarian when they're advocating such a system. Idealist, maybe, but not authoritarian.
    That's just it, the way it's supposed to work is a physical impossibility.

    Authoritiarian may not be right but idealist sure ain't right either. Incoherentarian, maybe.

  2. #82
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    Re: Favorite/best form of government?

    Quote Originally Posted by other View Post
    Still, this highlights another major defect in such a system: it cannot defend itself from extant state-level powers with the means and the willingness to bomb them to ****.

    While I am certain that you and I would disagree on the proper role and form of government, you cannot deny that a "state-level" government is necessary to defend its citizens against the encroachment of other nations-- looking to your own example above.
    The Spanish anarchists weren't the only people to be bombed at the hands of the Luftwaffe. The centralized governments of Poland, Hungary, Austria, France ect didn't exactly stop Nazi advancement. Besides, the anarchists were fighting on the side of the republic, which was a "state-level" government.
    "It has been said that man is a rational animal. All my life I have been searching for evidence which could support this." Bertrand Russell

  3. #83
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    Re: Favorite/best form of government?

    The Spanish anarchists weren't the only people to be bombed at the hands of the Luftwaffe. The centralized governments of Poland, Hungary, Austria, France ect didn't exactly stop Nazi advancement.
    Of course. But it wasn't anarchists that stopped them either... it was state-powers actually capable of defending themselves and others.

    Besides, the anarchists were fighting on the side of the republic, which was a "state-level" government.
    That's my point... Anarchist communities are only viable if affiliated with state-level powers capable of higher-scale military protection/projection.

    The Amish as pacifists, for instance, do just fine in the middle of Pennsylvania, they wouldn't do so well founding their own autonomous and completely independent country.

    While anarchists may not be pacifists, they still aren't able of defending themselves from state-level countries... at most, you need to rely on a state-level society at some level, as long as they are present elsewhere.

    One of the reasons a libertarian grudgingly accepts that state-level governments are necessary, however limited, is the need for physical protection.
    Last edited by other; 07-08-11 at 06:10 PM.

  4. #84
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    Re: Favorite/best form of government?

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Incognito View Post
    I understand you all too well. The means of production is a type of private property, period full stop. If you don't support ownership of means of production, then you don't support private property ownership in any meaningful way.
    No, there is no conflict, we're talking about two fundamentally different things.

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Incognito View Post
    And anyway, without coercion, how do you expect to get people who own means of production to give it up? By asking really nicely?
    'Coercion' is kind of nebulous. There are a multitude of possibilities. However, most likely, I would say that transfer of the means of production from an elite minority to the public would occur by one of two means;
    A: Being physically occupied by the public directly, in in the context of a, most likely, violent, political upheaval.
    B: A slower, gradual dissolution, over an extended period of time.
    I, actually, tend to favor the latter.

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Incognito View Post
    Look, Remington Steele, just 'fess up to being an authoritarian already.
    No, this is fundamentally false. Again; what I am advocating is the least authoritarian model of social organization imaginable. At the very least, I am significantly less authoritarian than yourself, which renders such criticisms fairly meaningless.
    Economic Left/Right: -7.25, Authoritarian/Libertarian:-7.13
    All over the place, from the popular culture to the propaganda system, there is constant pressure to make people feel that they are helpless, that the only role they can have is to ratify decisions and to consume. -Noam Chomsky

  5. #85
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    Re: Favorite/best form of government?

    Quote Originally Posted by other View Post
    Still, this highlights another major defect in such a system: it cannot defend itself from extant state-level powers with the means and the willingness to bomb them to ****.
    I wouldn't necessarily say it absolutely can't, however, in this case it, clearly, was not able to do so. However, there are some essential points that I think need to be made. This is not an argument against Anarchism; it's an argument against Nation-States, and Nationalism; the religion of the Nation-State.

    Quote Originally Posted by other View Post
    While I am certain that you and I would disagree on the proper role and form of government,
    That's a strong possibility.

    Quote Originally Posted by other View Post
    you cannot deny that a "state-level" government is necessary to defend its citizens against the encroachment of other nations-- looking to your own example above.

    Even if such a system could maintain internal stability -- which I doubt -- it would be especially vulnerable to extermination by external threats... not a good model.
    Again, this is not an argument against Anarchism, but against Nation-States. If the human species is to keep progressing, ultimately, we're going to have to make a number of changes. Among them, we're going to have to abandon this primitive tribalism, which has, already, on at least one occasion, led us to within a hairs' breadth of oblivion. Otherwise, at best; the human race will never be able to progress past a certain point, at worst; and, perhaps, more likely, it will spell certain doom. Ultimately, this will have to be a collective, global project. However, there's no reason why certain, finite communities can't take the initiative. This is one of many points of seperation between my philosophy, and Marxist-Leninism. Is it impossible to have a large, modern, functioning society organized on Libertarian lines? I don't see any reason why not. There's only one way to find out. I say; Let's identify the existing systems of oppression and exploitation, and let's dismantle them, and replace them with better, more democratic alternatives, and see where that leads.
    Economic Left/Right: -7.25, Authoritarian/Libertarian:-7.13
    All over the place, from the popular culture to the propaganda system, there is constant pressure to make people feel that they are helpless, that the only role they can have is to ratify decisions and to consume. -Noam Chomsky

  6. #86
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    Re: Favorite/best form of government?

    Quote Originally Posted by NGNM85 View Post
    'Coercion' is kind of nebulous.
    Coercion is not nebulous at all. You're just clouding the issue and attempting to redefine the plain meaning of the word to suit your purposes. Coercion is what it is: forcing somebody to do something against their will.

    You're either foolish and naive thinking you can get people to give up means of production which they own, or else you are going to have to do it by coercive means.

    Either way, I can see from your lack of counter argument that you have no way to account for the confiscation of property from its owners; and you yourself admit to coercive tactics in the "violent political upheaval" you envision in your first scenario. Nor do you bother to define your second, gradual scenario in any substantial way.

    Quote Originally Posted by NGNM85 View Post
    A: Being physically occupied by the public directly, in in the context of a, most likely, violent, political upheaval.
    B: A slower, gradual dissolution, over an extended period of time.
    So, again, by your own words, you favor either a) violent coercion, or b) candyland.

  7. #87
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    Re: Favorite/best form of government?

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Incognito View Post
    Coercion is not nebulous at all. You're just clouding the issue and attempting to redefine the plain meaning of the word to suit your purposes. Coercion is what it is: forcing somebody to do something against their will.
    My, we’re awfully sensitive.

    No, I was trying to elucidate, specifically, what you meant. Now, I know.

    While we’re being all technical, you should know that simply exercising authority, or accepting/tolerating the exercise of authority does not, by itself, make one an Authoritarian. Anarchism doesn’t reject all authority, it merely asserts that authority should be subject to a heavy burden of proof as to it’s legitimacy. Often, authority is illegitimate, but not always. Also, as I said before, literally speaking, Anarchism is the polar opposite of Authoritarianism. Also, in case there was any confusion; I did not say that you are an ‘Authoritarian’, I merely pointed out that your philosophy is more Authoritarian than my own.


    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Incognito View Post
    You're either foolish and naive thinking you can get people to give up means of production which they own, or else you are going to have to do it by coercive means.
    The means of production are controlled by private entities. They have no right to them. No one person does. One might as well speak of the ‘right’ of a slaveowner to own slaves. That this form of exploitation is commonplace, and institutionalized, does not change the fact that it is fundamentally illegitimate.

    I think methodology is largely determinant on circumstances. The circumstances in Russia, or North Korea, are fundamentally different from the circumstances in the United States, or the United Kingdom. There is no one plan for all circumstances, it must be fluid, and deal with the facts-on-the-ground. What is constant, however, is the fundamental principles that guide said action.

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Incognito View Post
    Either way, I can see from your lack of counter argument that you have no way to account for the confiscation of property from its owners;
    See above.

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Incognito View Post
    and you yourself admit to coercive tactics in the "violent political upheaval" you envision in your first scenario. Nor do you bother to define your second, gradual scenario in any substantial way.
    If you wanted me to elaborate; you could have asked.

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Incognito View Post
    So, again, by your own words, you favor either a) violent coercion, or b) candyland.
    A lot of this concerns some of the fundamental differences between Anarchism and Marxism, especially Marxist-Leninism, and it’s related antecedents. Anarchism asserts that this change must be democratic, and must come from the people, themselves, through a grassroots movement; from the bottom-up. In the past, popular movements have won several decisive victories, in the United States, which are now under threat. Progress isn’t a one-way street. Just as the tide is turning back, now, it can be reversed, again.
    Economic Left/Right: -7.25, Authoritarian/Libertarian:-7.13
    All over the place, from the popular culture to the propaganda system, there is constant pressure to make people feel that they are helpless, that the only role they can have is to ratify decisions and to consume. -Noam Chomsky

  8. #88
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    Re: Favorite/best form of government?

    Quote Originally Posted by atrasicarius View Post
    At the time of the Russian Revolution, Russia was not in any way industrialized. Despite its enormous flaws, the Bolsheviks rapidly industrialized the country.
    Yes.

    Quote Originally Posted by atrasicarius View Post
    An anarchistic society wouldn't have been able to do that.
    We'll never know. Worker's democracy; real Socialism, wasn't on the agenda, that was ground into the dust.

    Quote Originally Posted by atrasicarius View Post
    On that we agree.
    Ok, then you can stop stating this piece of 'common wisdom' as if it were empirical fact, and we can move forward, accordingly.

    Quote Originally Posted by atrasicarius View Post
    Liberals were originally people who supported free market capitalism. Now liberal has become a left wing term, and libertarian has become right wing. Changing terms really aren't that big of a deal.
    There's Classical Liberalism, which is embraced by the Left, and to varying degrees of the moderate right, but not the far right, and modern-day Liberals. However, the two are fundamentally linked. Liberalism may be diverse, but there are consistent themes that have evolved organically that can be traced back through the history of Liberal thought. This modern perversion of the word 'Libertarian' has, essentially, no connection, whatsoever to the literal definition, or the intellectual history thereof, and, again, is strictly confined to North America. That this word is often misused in this locality does not change the fact that is being misused.

    Also, my choices are severely limited by the options availible to me, on this forum; it was a choice between 'Libertarian', which is widely misuderstood, but literally accurate, or the nondescript, dull; 'Other.' I would happily change my orientation to the more specific ; 'Anarchist', or to the synonymous 'Socialist', were said options availible. I'm not the only person who has suggested this. So far, the powers-that-be have not taken it upon themselves to make this choice availible. Until then; I see no reason to change it.
    Economic Left/Right: -7.25, Authoritarian/Libertarian:-7.13
    All over the place, from the popular culture to the propaganda system, there is constant pressure to make people feel that they are helpless, that the only role they can have is to ratify decisions and to consume. -Noam Chomsky

  9. #89
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    Re: Favorite/best form of government?

    Quote Originally Posted by NGNM85 View Post
    I wouldn't necessarily say it absolutely can't, however, in this case it, clearly, was not able to do so. However, there are some essential points that I think need to be made. This is not an argument against Anarchism; it's an argument against Nation-States, and Nationalism; the religion of the Nation-State.
    No, it is an argument against anarchism. In a world where nation-states exist, anarchism simply doesn't allow for communites with enough cohesion and direction for adequate defense against more organized/authoritative systems. Even a nation-state with a limited government has more of a fighting chance. A community that cannot defend themselves lives only by the good will or benevolence of a stronger system. Lacking that, they are crushed by forms of governance that can fufill that basic need, and go beyond that.

    Again, this is not an argument against Anarchism, but against Nation-States. If the human species is to keep progressing, ultimately, we're going to have to make a number of changes. Among them, we're going to have to abandon this primitive tribalism, which has, already, on at least one occasion, led us to within a hairs' breadth of oblivion. Otherwise, at best; the human race will never be able to progress past a certain point, at worst; and, perhaps, more likely, it will spell certain doom. Ultimately, this will have to be a collective, global project. However, there's no reason why certain, finite communities can't take the initiative. This is one of many points of seperation between my philosophy, and Marxist-Leninism. Is it impossible to have a large, modern, functioning society organized on Libertarian lines? I don't see any reason why not. There's only one way to find out. I say; Let's identify the existing systems of oppression and exploitation, and let's dismantle them, and replace them with better, more democratic alternatives, and see where that leads.
    If I believed world peace (or a world without primitive tribalism, as you say) was possible, I would probably be much closer to an anarchist myself... I don't see that happening though -- and why would I? -- it certainly hasn't ever happened before, even before nation-states existed, and people are all individuals with different personal motivations and drives. Call me cynical, but I envision a world without nation-states as a reversion back to feudalism or warlordism, at best; no amount of good intentions, education, technological progress will suddenly make humans entirely peaceful. We're not like that, as a whole. Some will want to be peaceful and work together without sparking injustice, and then some, inevitably, will not -- and they will ruin it for the rest of us, every time.
    Last edited by other; 07-14-11 at 04:21 AM.

  10. #90
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    Re: Favorite/best form of government?

    Quote Originally Posted by other View Post
    No, it is an argument against anarchism. In a world where nation-states exist, anarchism simply doesn't allow for communites with enough cohesion and direction for adequate defense against more organized/authoritative systems. Even a nation-state with a limited government has more of a fighting chance. A community that cannot defend themselves lives only by the good will or benevolence of a stronger system. Lacking that, they are crushed by forms of governance that can fufill that basic need, and go beyond that.
    I'd phrase it somewhat differently, I'd say such a society lives only to the extent that neighboring societies, or, more accurately, the cadre of elites that control them, don't feel threatened by it, or desire it's resources, and, then, initiate a fit of mass homicide.

    This is, ultimately, an argument agains nation-states, because it highlights the corrosive effect of nationalism, and it's fundamental incompatibility with civilization. It divides people, on a completely arbitrary and irrational basis, into opposing camps. Those in the other camps, those outside the nation-state are, at best; naughty children, at worst; vermin to be exterminated. As long as this primitive tribalism holds sway, human progress is significantly limited.

    It very well might be impossible for a large, more-or-less,... 'fully realized', shall we say, Anarchist society to coeexist alongside other nation-states. This is another point of divergence from Marxism, I don't make any definitive assertion, nor do I claim to be able to predict the future. I think it depends on the circumstances. At this time, however, one simply cannot, definitively, say. In the interim, I have suggested following the basic principles; identifying and dismantling institutions of oppression and exploitation, etc., etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by other View Post
    If I believed world peace (or a world without primitive tribalism, as you say)...
    I think it's a very accurate characterization.

    Quote Originally Posted by other View Post
    was possible, I would probably be much closer to an anarchist myself...
    Excellent.

    On a serious note, my late grandfather once said to me that there are probably a great many people, who would never describe themselves as 'Anarchists', while not being particularly ideological, or approaching it in a systemic way, believe very much the same as I do. I think that's true.

    Quote Originally Posted by other View Post
    I don't see that happening though...
    Again; I don't claim to have any special knowledge, or powers of precognition.

    Quote Originally Posted by other View Post
    -- and why would I? -- it certainly hasn't ever happened before, even before nation-states existed,
    Before nation-states, there were kingdoms, and empires, of which the modern nation-state is a descendent. Before that, there were small, loosely organized tribes.

    That something has not happened is not, by itself, necessarily, proof that it cannot happen. Also, this argument is a double-edged sword.

    Quote Originally Posted by other View Post
    and people are all individuals with different personal motivations and drives.
    Yes.

    Quote Originally Posted by other View Post
    Call me cynical, but I envision a world without nation-states as a reversion back to feudalism or warlordism, at best; no amount of good intentions, education, technological progress will suddenly make humans entirely peaceful. We're not like that, as a whole. Some will want to be peaceful and work together without sparking injustice, and then some, inevitably, will not -- and they will ruin it for the rest of us, every time.
    I don't find this cynical, myopic view of human nature remotely compelling. At the outset, we should be suspicious of it because it is the gospel of authoritarians everywhere, as it justifies their existence, as well as the monolithic institutions they control. That, alone, is reason for skepticism. Perhaps, more importantly, however, are the mountains of evidence to the contrary. This contention flies in the face of reality as you and I experience it. Not to mention all of the evidence from evolutionary psychology, etc.

    Unfortunately, the worst representatives of humankind have oftentimes (not entirely surprisingly) have been the clerics, politicians, and generals.
    Economic Left/Right: -7.25, Authoritarian/Libertarian:-7.13
    All over the place, from the popular culture to the propaganda system, there is constant pressure to make people feel that they are helpless, that the only role they can have is to ratify decisions and to consume. -Noam Chomsky

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