Re: Anarchy

Warrl kyree Tale'sedrin (
Sat, 4 Apr 1998 10:11:14 +0000

> From: Yak Wax <>

> Warrl kyree Tale'sedrin wrote:
> > If "everybody wants the power" in the sense
> > that they are competing against each other
> > for it, they will form gangs.
> I've never heard of a gang without a leader. I'm not sure it's
> possible, even consensus among the gang members would mean giving up a
> degree of power. If an organisation could be formed within this
> situation it is likely to be short-lived and highly unstable.

Gangs tend to be unstable in the sense that the leadership shifts,
and relative power between gangs changes.

However, a member of a gang, even if not a leader, shares in power
and privilege as compared to people who are not gang members, to the
extent that the gang is able to do as it wills without interference
from some more-powerful authority.

Without gangs, the ninth- and tenth-strongest people in a small area
are unlikely to have very much power. If they band together in a
gang, they will jointly probably be stronger than the fifth-strongest
person. If they can get that fifth-strongest person to join their
gang, they will probably be stronger than the strongest person. So
even though the ninth- and tenth-strongest persons have to share the
power the gang wins, they have far more power than they would have
without the gang. Naturally, the strongest person doesn't like this,
so he's forming a gang too. Then you get a situation where personal
strength may be important, but ability to make good decisions for the
gang and to inspire confidence, enthusiasm, and loyalty is *more*
important. If the tenth-strongest person can get half of all the
weaker wanna-be-leaders to back him, and the nine stronger people
divide the other half evenly among themselves, then the
tenth-strongest person has the power to choose the king -- or be king

A gang, to the extent that it tries to control the actions of
non-members (or extract wealth from them, or make them join) without
their consent, is a government.

> > A stable anarchy would indeed make each
> > person a government -- over a very small
> > area that doesn't overlap with anybody
> > else's very small area except by mutual
> > consent. That doesn't create the
> > situation of multiple governments over
> > the same area.
> The original idea of anarchy is to give all individuals the ability to
> pursue their own freedom. A freedom dictated only by other like
> individuals (the reason why "traditional" anarchists are against large
> corporations and establishments.) Once you start using restriction
> and consensus to achieve this goal you loose the original intent. The
> truth is, although we can talk about how anarchy might occur (and try
> to encourage those elements involved), forcing it to do so is a
> complete contradiction to its very nature.
> But we are in agreement on one fact - all individuals must fill the
> power vacuum. The only way this can occur is through more powerful
> and ubiquitous technologies of 'control.' The definition of 'control'
> has becoming ubiquitous communication (broadcast.) The original
> ideology of the Internet was to give all users the power to create,
> distribute, and use information in an attempt to decentralise the
> power of the media. Without a doubt continuing this trend would be
> advantageous to all individuals (especially me.) And don't be fooled
> by the consumer-capitalist front-end that's been tacked on to the
> Internet recently, it's just there to fund it's own demise.
> Randall R Randall wrote:
> > > not really, take away private
> > > property and Bill Gates's magical
> > > powers dissolve into thin air.
> >
> > And with them go technology and any
> > cooperation on a large scale.
> Without private property *all* you get is large-scale co-operation.

Without private property, why do people cooperate?

The purpose of work is gain the resources to survive and do what you
*really* want to do. For most people, each of those takes some
amount of property they have personal sole control over -- private
property, or property shared among a *small* group according to a
known schedule. A writer cannot function without writing equipment
and supplies (paper, pens, pencils, computer, typewriter, whatever)
that is reliably available to him. A dancer cannot function without
a practice space, preferably one built to a dancer's specifications
(dancers tend to be very very fussy about floors), reliably
available, probably for several hours a day. A dedicated couch
potato needs a couch. An inventor needs space and tools to tinker
with her inventions, with confidence that inventions-in-progress
too big to move easily (along with the tools and raw materials) can
be left there and will be unchanged when she returns.

But the inventor's tools and space, the dancer's floor, the writer's
pencils, are all "means of production" and under even the less
complete versions of socialist "elimination of private property"
would be shared equally among all people. The dancer has no right to
say that for this period each day the dance studio he built is *not*
available as a place for small children to play. The inventor has no
right to bar others from taking apart his half-finished invention.
The writer has no basis for protest when a bored neighbor makes paper
airplanes of his manuscript and flies them into the lake. The couch
potato cannot expel the neighbor's cat from his couch.

Without the ability to control property, the writer cannot write; the
dancer cannot dance; the inventor cannot invent; the couch potato
cannot loaf.

Whither then anarchy? Whither then freedom? Whither then
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