Third Party & Independents Archives

Anarchy?

Unfortunately there is a small segment on the left that has a continued interest in the idea of anarchy. Again unfortunately some of this very small segment of the left that describes themselves as anarchists are trying to influence the Green Party and become Green candidates. The Green Party platform and anarchy are undeniably at odds with each other.

According to the dictionary anarchy means:
1. Absence of any form of political authority.
2. Political disorder and confusion.
3. Absence of any cohesive principle, such as a common standard or purpose.

Lets see how this relates to the Green Party, ok.

Well a very large majority of the Green Party endorses the idea of national health care. National health care would be government administered. Anarchy however calls for no government, only chas. Obviously this Green value is incompatible with anarchy.

Probably the one issue that is most tied with Greens in the media and in the minds of the majority is the environment. Being pro-environment entails being pro-regulation of those who would seek to harm our Earth. Yet anarchy would be no rules or regulations, just chaos. Thus the environmentalism that such a huge percentage of Greens want would be null and void in anarchy.

Rape? Well under anarchy there would be no rules and regulations, each person would fight for him or herself. So rape would happen and those who raped would face no state sanctioned punishment, because there would be no state.

I could go on and on about how anarchists and Greens have nothing in common, but I think I made my point.

Hey anarchists we don't want you, and we don't need you.

Posted by Richard Rhodes at June 16, 2006 3:36 AM
Comments
Comment #158283

Please visit www.gp.org (Green Party’s official website) and you will see we are not anarchists in any sense of the word

Posted by: Richard Rhodes at June 16, 2006 3:49 AM
Comment #158284

errr….

Maybe it would help if you explained what brought this Anarchy Article about? I get the feeling something happened…

btw… I don’t think “the left” has anything to do with Anarchists. Liberals need laws to keep from getting killed by the men with guns. The Left needs Order and Peace. They are not anarchists.

Posted by: Aldous at June 16, 2006 3:56 AM
Comment #158295

Dammit - I thought we were the tax & spend party!?!?!? Nothing more at odds with anarchy than that right?

Now we’re for anarchy… please get it striaght so I’ll know which way I should be thinking…

Posted by: tony at June 16, 2006 7:03 AM
Comment #158386

Richard,

And as long as the “major” parties continue to paint the Green party as an ultra-liberal lunatic fringe splinter group, the Green party will continue to have no impact. The so-called major parties point to that “element” in the Green party and continue to tell everyone who will listen that that’s what the Green party is all about.

Remember, only a very small percentage of the electorate actually do any research into what the different parties are all about before they vote.

It’s all about perception…or the lack thereof.

Posted by: Jim T at June 16, 2006 1:54 PM
Comment #158421

Aldous is right that anarchists are not leftists, but leftists have been too tolerant of anarchists because they tend to overlap with revolutionaries and they speak in the kinds of clichés lefties enjoy.

Leftists also sometimes do not condemn anarchists enough. When somebody like Ted Kaczynski does something horrible, you hear “yes what he did is horrible, but his goal/motivation/anger etc was understandable.”

You should get rid of them whenever you can. No good can come from associating with true anarchists. They are the cockroaches of the ideological world.

BTW - watch “The Big Lebowski” if you want to see anarchists.

Posted by: Jack at June 16, 2006 3:33 PM
Comment #158433

Folks, it does not appear a single writer in this article’s comments understands the nuts and bolts of the anarchist movements. First of all, grouping all anarchists into one group utterly fails in understanding. There are a number of anarchist groups and philosophies out there, and the only common ground among them is the fact that they view governments and/or social institutions as the source for the problems they address.

Given that definition, Democrats are now anarchists as Newt Gingrich and fiscally conservative Republicans still are as they shout how horrible big government and overreaching government is.

There are environmental anarchists who view the corporate/government institution enemies of our planet and healthy environments for children and other living things. Many of the most vocal in the U.S. hail from New Mexico way.

Then there are the socialist anarchists who view the capitalist institututions and their blackmailing hold on the basics for life itself, as antithetical to society and individual effort, where a very hard working miner putting in 12 hours a day, 6 days a week, makes a millionth of the CEO of the mining corporation who works 10 hours a day, maybe 5 days a week, behind a desk or on a jet in commute.

Then there are the direct democracy anarchists who view republic forms of democracy as the root of corruption, and incumbent power to remove limits and consequences for the exercise of that power.

These are just a few examples. And each has a valid argument at its core belief moving it toward social protest and action. But, as I said, to group all anarchists and label them as inconsequential or dangerous, is to a large extent, to label ourselves inconsequential and even dangerous, because many Republicans, Democrats, Environmentalists, identify with the core beliefs of one or another anarchist groups.

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 16, 2006 4:04 PM
Comment #158440

Jim T et al:

“And as long as the “major” parties continue to paint the Green party as an ultra-liberal lunatic fringe splinter group, the Green party will continue to have no impact.”

Perhaps a pinch of anarchism would give the Greens a credibility they’ve never possessed.
Anarchism isn’t throwing bombs anymore—and it’s real claim to fame, in my opinion, was it’s short-lived labor-rooted experiments in Spain in 1936-37, before the Communists squashed them.

I think there is a reason that anarchism never quite goes away, despite the ridicule, the disgust and disdain that is heaped upon it (anarchists are the cock-roaches of the idealogical world, for instance). I’ve always found that the viciousness of capitalism, the strike-breaking, the murders, the ballot-stuffing history of capitalism is never likened to cock-roaches. I guess the winners do write the history.

Anarchism will never entirely disappear, because power, capital, and government will never lose their repugnance and their corruption, and their cruel adherence to the corrupt status quo. Anarchism is a release valve of dispair against barbarism and economic and political injustice. It’s intellectual ideaology is window dressing for university dilettantes

Anarchism is a final attempt to have a trump card on injustice. That it’s excesses, outrages and failures are constantly harped on shows that capitalism sees those failures in itself.

The Big Lebowski is to anarchism as Reds! was to Russian history.

Posted by: Tim Crow at June 16, 2006 4:11 PM
Comment #158476

Tim

But the “Big Lebowski” is funny. “Reds” was just really long.

Posted by: Jack at June 16, 2006 5:59 PM
Comment #158482

C’mon Jack, anything Warren Beatty does is funny.

Posted by: Tim Crow at June 16, 2006 6:07 PM
Comment #158492

Tim

But not always intentionally.

“Big Lebowski” is a great movie and the anarchists are a big part of the fun.

Posted by: Jack at June 16, 2006 6:29 PM
Comment #158502

Jack:

Point taken.

Posted by: Tim Crow at June 16, 2006 6:47 PM
Comment #158530

David R Remer stated, “There are a number of anarchist groups and philosophies out there, and the only common ground among them is the fact that they view governments and/or social institutions as the source for the problems they address.

Given that definition, Democrats are now anarchists as Newt Gingrich and fiscally conservative Republicans still are as they shout how horrible big government and overreaching government is.

There are environmental anarchists who view the corporate/government institution enemies of our planet and healthy environments for children and other living things. Many of the most vocal in the U.S. hail from New Mexico way.

Then there are the socialist anarchists who view the capitalist institututions and their blackmailing hold on the basics for life itself, as antithetical to society and individual effort, where a very hard working miner putting in 12 hours a day, 6 days a week, makes a millionth of the CEO of the mining corporation who works 10 hours a day, maybe 5 days a week, behind a desk or on a jet in commute.”

1. Democrats and Republicans may see government as the source of problems on some issues, however these issues would be different for each party, but the fact remains that the two main parties are not anarchists. In the large realm of public policy they each see government as a good, except in different situations again. Merely because they see government as causing problems does not make them anarchists. Moreover the fact that they have organized as a political party could be considered as denouncing anarchism, chaos, and this is the same for other parties such as Green or Libertarian.

2. The complete idea of a environmental anarchists is an oxymoron. Granted the government and corporate institutions play a large part in the desecration of our environment. However the idea of complete chaos, no government, and no rules or regulations, can be seen by anyone as even worse for the environment. Environmental anarchism would entail not only tearing down corporations and government but would also tear down every single regulation we have to protect the environment.

3. The idea of a socialist anarchists is laughable. Anyone who knows anything about socialism knows that socialism requires government. Socialism could not exist under anarchy. Under anarchy every single tenet of socialism would never exist. How could there be national health care, fair pay for all, provisions to allow all to work and contribute to the good of all.


Anarchy is obviously very far from the left and from Green political thought and the Greens should never ever embrace anarchy. However I believe that the majority of so called ‘anarchists’ are not real anarchists, because to be an anarchists is to not care about people at all, not at all. To be an anarchists is to want chaos, to want all to exist in a world without rules, regulations, social programs to help the poor, sick, and elderly. To want a world where there is no punishment for crime. Where rape and murder have no consequences for those who commit these crimes.

The Green Party (www.gp.org) is progressive, and progressivism stands in stark contrast with anarchy.

The Democratic Party is a mix of liberalism, centrism, and conservatism, and stands in stark contrast with anarchy.

The Republican Party is a mix of extreme conservatism, religous conservatism, free market conservatism, and the occasional sprinkle of moderatism, and stands in stark contrast with anarchy.

Posted by: Richard Rhodes at June 16, 2006 9:03 PM
Comment #158539
BTW - watch “The Big Lebowski” if you want to see anarchists.

You’d probably have better insight by watching “Fight Club” IMO.

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 16, 2006 9:39 PM
Comment #158540

Richard said: “Merely because they see government as causing problems does not make them anarchists.”

Don’t tell that to the British under King George about the Colonialists. They would throw you in prison for being anarchist sympathizers.

Richard, your comments about environmental anarchists reflect a serious ignorance of the movement. Environmental anarchists make very valid arguments that local government is environmentally sound by and large, and national governments are not. They are not about doing away with law and order and common defense and such. They are about government allowing communities to control the actions through local law, of corporate and business enterprises which defile the environment for a profit.

Come to think of it, their local government rights position and penchant for the government that governs best is the government that governs least, has a catchy ring to it don’t you think? Sounds like the rhetoric of many Republicans.

Again, Richard, you are looking at the word anarchy out of context with anarchist movements. The ignorance of your comments regarding what these organizations stand for is really quite pronounced. Try doing a little research before allowing your comments to run away unfounded.

Wikipedia states: “The word “anarchy”, as most anarchists use it, does not imply chaos, nihilism, or anomie, but rather a harmonious anti-authoritarian society that is based on voluntary association of free individuals in autonomous communities, mutual aid, and self-governance.”

As you can see, they are NOT out to abolish government; they are for a different kind of government - local over national. There, I have provided a real world foundation for education on the anarchist movements. Now, go forth, do the homework, and learn of what it is your words speak.

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 16, 2006 9:42 PM
Comment #158554

BTW, Richard, the communes of the 1960’s, a few of which still exist, were socialist self contained and largely self-sufficient local governing communities.

So, no, socialism is not anti-thetical to government. A cursory review of modern British or French history should be sufficent to dispel that incorrect statement. Socialist policy and national government co-exist in these and a great many other nations in the world, including our own.

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 16, 2006 10:25 PM
Comment #158569

David
Whether his views are accurate or not (and I believe you that they’re not), the statements Richard has made about anarchy do reflect the commonly held views that most people have when they think of the word “anarchy” because they (and I) only know of it through the teachings popular culture.

I’m happy to have been educated, but the label does have a stigma.

Maybe we can blame the Anarchist’s Cookbook?

Christine

Posted by: Christine at June 17, 2006 12:15 AM
Comment #158575

“Anarchy…does have a stigma.”

I am waiting for the day (and I hope it will be before I die) that capitalism has a similar stigma.

Posted by: Tim Crow at June 17, 2006 12:39 AM
Comment #158683

Christine, it is ignorance and dogma that I am going after here. Richard happened to be the one espousing the general understanding of the word anarchy without seeking its meaning in terms of political philosophy and real world groups. The word “democracy” has a general definition too, but, that definition does not accurately depict our government model nor many of Europe’s models for republics and parliamentary governments.

Americans are generally quite ignorant when it comes to political understanding outside the spin of their self-identified party. Its one of the reasons we have unsolved problems about to overwhelm our nation with no concensus on solutions. We tend to reject what we don’t understand rather than exert the effort to learn about it when it comes to politics.

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 17, 2006 7:46 AM
Comment #159369

>>They are the cockroaches of the ideological world.

Wow, studied smear politics with Cheney did you?

I think a more useful phrase instead of socialist anarchism is libertarian socialism. Which is a turn of phrase used as far back as the communard of 1870 in Paris. libertarian socialism is the idea of socialism that works to minimize the central role of the vertical state by maximizing horizontal democratic institutions. Not abolishing government entirely, instead seeking to keep it restrained by focusing more power in these horizontal democratic institutions and mechanisms.

And, shock horror, the central theme of the Green Party - Decentralism, Grassroot politics, communitarianism, small business, proportional representation, future focus all can be seen as being “anarchist/libertarian” in their historical origins. Just as Social and economic justice are obviously “socialist” in origins. It is the combination of these historical strains of thought with a central underpinning of environmentalism that makes Green politics what it is.

I’d suggest folks read about the history of the original Green Party in Germany.

Posted by: Deran at June 20, 2006 1:20 AM
Comment #165869

Just thought that i would let everyone know that Anarchists, true anarchists do not believe in complete lack of government and chaos. No one really wants chaos. Real anarchy consists of a very structured government but on the localest level possible. A large centralized government, attempting to but itself into the lives of ordinary citizens is what we are against. We want peace and freedom to live the way we want to. And if you don’t like the laws in the place where you live you can go somewhere where the laws are more to your liking.

Posted by: Devin at July 8, 2006 3:44 PM
Comment #236037

Most people who are against anarchism only know the dictionary definition. There are many political philosophies called anarchist. The capitalist one was invented by Murray Rothbard, but I’m not going there. The one most anarchists support is socialist and started with Pierre Joseph Proudhon, and was built upon by Bakunin and Kropotkin. Even within anarchosocialism there are various ideas about how to run it. Socialism can mean worker control rather than government control.

Me, personally I would like to see a society where each workplace and residency is run democratically by its participants. These workplaces and residencies are free to federate together for mutual benefit, and to unfederate if they feel the federation no longer serves their interests. These federations could be large, national, even international and could make decisions on complex issues. The important thing is that membership is voluntary. Groups would respect each other’s autonomy and wouldn’t interfere unless one group was using force or coercion against another or against its members (killing members or forcing them not to leave is unacceptable).

Unlike some anarchists I think gradual reform is necessary. We can’t just force anarchism as was tried by anarchists in the Russian Revolution(which was hijacked by Bolsheviks). Forcing any system on a populace that doesn’t accept it will never work. Look at Iraq. And withdrawing from society won’t help bring it about. Direct action is good and should be encouraged, but we shouldn’t shut down other avenues of change like voting. We could amend the constitution and turn the government into a voluntary federation. That would be ideal. The Green Party might not be calling for that now, but its left bent and focus on decentralized decision making will move us toward that goal.

Posted by: ReformAnarchist at October 13, 2007 4:11 AM
Comment #242002

Theres a horrible fear that has come running back from within me.
All of a sudden I am but a boy, arguing at the family present and obligatory holiday dinners.
“There would be no police! And anyone could kill you if there was no police!”
“Anyone can kill me now, insofar as I don’t fight back. Including, and more than likely, the police themselves.”
“But.. you understand!”
“I understand that I know, that in all our hearts, there is a good that has the potential to live without restrictions. A good that I know can propel us into a place where we need not the long arm of the law to FORCE us to be the kind, loving, communal people we need and have to be to survive in this world.”
“But, Luke. I don’t believe that humans are all good.”
“Then keep your police.”
I haven’t immersed myself among those whom I need to in order to steadfast my ideals. I awake every day surrounded by anarchists. We work day in and out for one another. Cherishing, and loving the gifts we’re given, and the opportunity to give gifts. And never do we have to argue the against our desires. But if I was posed soon to stare into the face of such a wretched statement as Anarchy is Chaos, then I believe this is how I might respond:

“Anarchy is not chaos, disorder, or really, anti-narchy.
All anarchists know this.
And I shouldn’t blame you for your accusation, as in this world we more than not are offered only a format for interaction which is grounded in competition and domination. It would be a threat to the power of our oppressors if we were daily afforded an opportunity to do as we please, and it might take a few interactions by the right name to discover the beauty which is Anarchy.
On the contrary, Anarchy IS Order. (Don’t believe me? See Proudhon, this statement being a quote of his, a well venerated anarchist philosopher back in the beginning, when we were discovering the title for all our dreams. Still dont beleive me? Ever wonder what the ring round the A means that painted outside most of your towns anarchist homes and camps stands for? A for Anarchy, and the Circle? An O for Order.)
Anarchy is Actually order. The most evolved developed order in existence. Where all are responsible enough for themselves and their families and friends and lovers and neighbors and co-workers to respect those whom offer them life, to HELP.
To give gifts of labor in order to relieve the pangs of freedom from their comrades.
Anarchy calls from us to trust our most basic and resounding human qualities, in order to produce a grand harmonious living situation for all, where, each are equal, restricted not by color, sex, gender, age, or beliefs, only so long as those beliefs don’t cause undesirable pain upon others. And if they do?

The paradox of this argument is simply lingual.
Anarchy, though by its prefix-suffix definition has it as a synonym for chaos, it is actually known by those at potluck dinners, in cooperative houses, in syndicalist worker unions, by those in love, by those willing to risk undoing everything, bearing the cold and breaking with discovery, its real face.
The paradox become even more complex when you beging to consider the supposed rewards of this modern order.
If you so believe that this “ordered” world is worth sustaining, fighting and dying for. Where success is writ within our opportunity to conquer and oppress others, where money and possessions author our passage to happiness. Where simple existence requires capitalizing on the weaknesses, the ignorance, and the lack of economic opportunity of your neighbors, the destruction of our natural world, and the lack of fulfilling life experiences of ourselves…
…if this is order…
…then what is so shocking about what history as recorder about DISorder?
What is so unnerving about,
Anarchy?

Posted by: luke at January 2, 2008 8:33 PM
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