Submitted by Pash in Anarchism

I keep seeing this misconception.

People seem to imagine a stateless society as growing vegetables, raising children, maybe putting up wood-and-mud buildings as a community. But their imagination doesn't stretch to violent defense and enforcement.

Oh shit what'll we do if there's a serial killer or rapist within our community? Surely our model will fall apart then!

The problem with this is that there's no evidence for it. Stateless societies have always organised force, just as they've organised education. Take the two contemporary examples: the Zapatista autonomous region and Rojava. They both are pretty heavily armed and enforce their social norms with community councils.

Pre-state societies had ways of dealing with destructive behavior. Neighbours (not a specialised class of police) brought the person acting harmfully to a community council where they were judged perhaps by a jury or perhaps by elders, and given a chance to atone for their crime and restore good standing. There was no concept of a criminal record; once the tort is set right, that is that.

You see variations on this model in Somalian Xeer, Norse Udal law, Irish Brehon law, Indian ācāra, Haudenosaunee law, etc.

Free people still have muscle, and still despise murderers, that's not an innovation of the state.

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black_fox wrote

People seem to imagine a stateless society as growing vegetables, ....putting up wood-and-mud buildings

i’ve been called out

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ziq wrote

a stateless society isn't stateless when it has community councils (states), elder councils (states), laws & law enforcement (upheld by a state)

what you're describing is a quite literal monopoly on violence

you're a minarchist just fyi

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Pash OP wrote

Armed populace is basically the opposite of monopoly on violence

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ziq wrote

armed populace governed by councils (states) is a monopoly on violence

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Pash OP wrote

I don't like monopolies on violence, I believe in thriving bubbling free-for-alls of violence!

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ziq wrote

collective violence (what you call for) is a lot more dangerous than isolated individual violence

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bloodrose wrote

Thank you for saying it like this. I have been struggling since January to understand what made me uncomfortable about the shit that happened at the US capitol. Other people were upset because "sacred institutions" - and nope, that wasn't it for me. The news said "it's the difference between mob rule and rule of law" and that was closer but I don't like rule of law either. And I don't buy into the "someone must rule - either the mob or the law" sort of thinking. You've made it finally click - it's because collective violence is scary and can often be oppressive and create marginalization. The state is collective violence, hence why I don't like rule of law. But, also we should be weary of collective violence even/especially when it claims "I'm like totally not the state, trust me."

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Pash OP wrote

It's not commutative like that.

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CaptainACAB wrote

If you want to keep what you consider to be the main function of police, then you don't want to get rid of police.

If you want an established territory to have laws, you want a legal system as well as borders.

If you want borders and laws as well as people to enforce them, you want a state.

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Pash OP wrote (edited )

Well what would you say is the main function of police? I was asked and I answered.

Nobody mentioned borders or territory.

If you want to keep what you consider to be the main function of police, then you don't want to get rid of police.

If you want to keep what you consider to be the main function of SUVs (i.e. transport), then you don't want to get rid of SUVs.

If you want to keep what you consider to be the main function of factory farms (i.e. producing food), then you don't want to get rid of factory farms.

If you want to keep what you consider to be the main function of Kardashians (i.e. sex tapes), then you don't want to get rid of Kardashians.

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CaptainACAB wrote (edited )

We're agreed on the main function of police; I even said you were correct when you answered me.

The real difference is that I don't want anything to have that function.

Nobody mentioned borders or territory.

You don't have to mention anything, you didn't object to my comment about how large, sedentary societies mutate into states with anything to imply that you didn't want a sedentary society. And since your whole back and forth with ziq really started because of your query about railways, one could reasonably deduce that you're thinking primarily about sedentary societies because those are the only types to build, maintain, operate, and use railways. And a sedentary society with laws and law enforcement has de facto established territory/borders by virtue of the fact that the reach of a set of laws and that law enforcement doesn't extend to every corner of the world.

EDIT:

If you want to keep what you consider to be the main function of SUVs (i.e. transport), then you don't want to get rid of SUVs.

I want to get rid vehicular transport.

If you want to keep what you consider to be the main function of factory farms (i.e. producing food), then you don't want to get rid of factory farms.

There are other reasons to want to get rid of factory forms that have nothing to do with them producing food.

If you want to keep what you consider to be the main function of Kardashians (i.e. sex tapes), then you don't want to get rid of Kardashians.

Pretty weird and gross of you to designate a group of human beings the main function of making sex tapes by virtue of sharing a name, but okay.

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Pash OP wrote (edited )

You don't have to mention anything, you didn't object to my comment about how large, sedentary societies mutate into states with anything to imply that you didn't want a sedentary society.

What I want is irrelevant; it's not like I'm some magic-wand-waver who can create entire societies by wishing.

Most societies have been patchworks of sedentism and nomadism. In North America, you find nomadic hunting tribes and sedentary people of the corn, and these two trade and intermarry. (Sedentary-in-winter-nomadic-in-summer is a pretty common pattern too.)

And since your whole back and forth with ziq really started because of your query about railways

The railways were an example; it was a query about coördinated action.

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Pash OP wrote

The real difference is that I don't want anything to have that function.

You want zero defense from murderers and thieves? I don't believe you.

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CaptainACAB wrote

You need a group of people to enforce laws to defend you from murderers and thieves?

I've never need laws for self defense.

I don't need law enforcement for it either.

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Pash OP wrote

Ok, we're on the same page then.

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CaptainACAB wrote

Take the two contemporary examples: the Zapatista autonomous region and Rojava. They both are pretty heavily armed and enforce their social norms with community councils.

Not if you agree with this.

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Pash OP wrote

The Zapatista community councils are randomly selected by lot from the community; I'm not sure about Rojava.

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CaptainACAB wrote (edited )

I'm an anarchist.

Why should the democratic methods of granting power from a territory that has explicitly stated that they are not anarchists sway me?

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Pash OP wrote

idgaf about labels

The key distinction is whether enforcement is done by a specialised class or mutually.

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CaptainACAB wrote (edited )

idgaf about labels

If a group of people explicitly state that they don't share the same values that I do, then I have no reason to care about how they organize themselves.

The key distinction is whether enforcement is done by a specialised class or mutually.

Doesn't matter in either case, enforcing laws and social norms makes you cop.

If you can't see the difference between enforcing laws/social norms and exercising self defense, then we have nothing to talk about.

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aaaaargZombies wrote

I don't think we're on the same page in terms of the world we want to live in but I think the title is spot on.

I've seen a bunch of projects who claim to be anarchist try to side step the state but then just implement their own shitty version of police/courts/law/etc. I think a lot of these projects suffer from a belief that these issues aren't structural but that the people running them are evil. They think they will do a better job by being more pure.

What I like about this post is that It highlights that an anarchist critique goes beyond the formal structures of the state and we should be very cautious forms of control even when someone is acting with good intent.

The road to hell is paved with good intentions after all.

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d4rk wrote

In my opinion, we shouldn't. leaving judgement, law & retaliation behind is the key to anarchism. Mercy and Compassion means no prisons, no courts, no police. Evaluate their condition yes, but to punish them for it, in my belief something only G-d can do, we have no authority under Anarchism to punish.

Even destructive behavior can be fine in a social framework[1]. For "capital crimes" such as murder, rape & other crimes, it should be the subject of Mercy, if they keep on doing it, probably lessen the population or if ever we have better healthcare it's fine. But to change them, let them understand their faults and change, is a long process not something that hot heads can deal with. Anarchists are not hot headed people. We love people.

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Pash OP wrote

Mercy is often a principle of justice systems.

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d4rk wrote (edited )

rehabilitation you mean, not mercy.

Mercy is a rare and very unpopular thing that a state exercises. What do you think is the clemency:incarceration ratio in the united states minus the Thanksgiving turkey?

[EDIT: I checked it's 53/2.3M which is 0.0023%]

something that "shouldn't be used often" should be practiced all the time especially under Anarchism.

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Pash OP wrote (edited )

Mercy is a rare and very unpopular thing that a state exercises. What do you think is the clemency:incarceration ratio in the united states minus the Thanksgiving turkey?

The United States?

If I'm understanding right, your argument is "Mercy can't be/won't be/isn't integrated into any justice system because it isn't in the contemporary USA's justice system?"

That's poor inference.

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d4rk wrote (edited )

My Argument would be

  1. Premise: if mercy is forbearance shown especially to an offender.
  2. Premise: if not rehabilitation, which is the process of re-educating and retraining those who commit crime with the goal of re-integrating offenders back into society.
  3. Premise: if Clemency is an act of mercy and incarceration is an act of rehabilitation.
  4. Premise: if the ratio between Clemency and incarceration in the United States is 0.0023%
  5. Conclusion: Therefore, States in general have an institutional interest in preventing or a bias against mercy.
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Pash OP wrote (edited )

The first three points are just standard/common definitions. You're still making the same logical error that you cite a single example (in point 4) and conclude, therefore, in point 5 that it applies to the whole class.

I'd be sympathetic to your conclusion generally, but that doesn't excuse getting there by blatant illogic.

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d4rk wrote

It may have one illogical mistake but the point still stands,

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Vulgar_Soda wrote

Alternative Title: state ≠ state

Sorry Pash, but making it smol doesn't make it any less oppressive.

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Pash OP wrote (edited )

It's not the smolitude that's the key feature; it's the fact that the force is wielded by mutual aid groups rather than one individual or a few.

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black_fox wrote

that’s not what mutual aid is

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Pash OP wrote

if that's what mutual aid ain't, why don't you try telling us what it am

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Pash OP wrote

mutual self-defense is mutual aid

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black_fox wrote

yeah but you’re not talking about self-defense. you’re talking about people’s courts, judgment, and loosely defined juries. you’re also talking about crimes, which can’t by definition exist without the law

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Pash OP wrote

I'm talking more about torts than crimes really.

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black_fox wrote

which is still a legal (civil) term

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Pash OP wrote

See post title.

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black_fox wrote

yeah there’s a typo, you put a line through the equal sign

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Pash OP wrote

How are people gonna defend themselves from torts? I see about three options: statism, mutual aid, or just being defenseless.

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black_fox wrote

oh people should definitely defend themselves. i recommend this primer

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Pash OP wrote (edited )

Self-defense from torts is normal mutual aid, and an important part of any community. Where I grew up, if you scream "thief!" half the neighborhood will rush over with machetes to check it out. Similar all over the world. Nothing to do with a state or cops.

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black_fox wrote

groups wielding force is not mutual aid. there’s nothing “mutual” or “aiding” about harming someone who’s harmed someone.

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Pash OP wrote

What's mutual aid then? Education and building wattle-and-daub?

What you're voicing is exactly the misconception I made the post to address. Mutual aid is absolutely about groups wielding force. The book Mutual Aid is largely about that, rather than about agriculture or childcare or anything.

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black_fox wrote

mutual aid is when i beat my neighbor with a bat for stealing a chicken

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Bezotcovschina wrote

Violence not equal state

Law and violence always equal state

When you delegate the choice of punishment for "misbehavior" to any third party - you are creating a state and classes

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Pash OP wrote

When you delegate the choice of punishment for "misbehavior" to any third party - you are creating a state and classes

That's exactly my point: law and violence ≠ third party law and class violence

There are many examples of it being done by a peer group.

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ShadesPath wrote

I would go even further by saying that violence doesn't equal state but it does equal a form of hierarchy. It combined with laws essentially creates a feedback loop of authority where acts in continuous justification for and by the other.

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