Submitted by ziq in Anarchism (edited )

/w/A_New_Anarchist_FAQ

Here's the alpha 0.1 version that just reformats the intro articles from w/anarchy101

The original "An Anarchist FAQ" is filled with bad information and is incredibly anglo and red-centric. So let's do better.

Need volunteers to write each section. But first we need to put together a list of sections we'll write and figure out the order to present them in.

We'll also need to rewrite some of the existing sections because they're lifted directly from sub.media without permission.

And we should identify all the problems with the old An Anarchist FAQ so we can address them. My observations:

  • Praises Bookchin and insists his ideology is anti-hierarchy when it's anything but. Identifies him as an anarchist when he wasn't one.

  • Identifies green anarchism as being split between Bookchinism and primitivism, then proceeds to tear apart primitivism and decry anticiv ideas as incompatoble with anarchy.

  • Identifies direct democracy as being integral to anarchy when it's simply rule of the majority and thus authoritarian. Our democracy section needs to be a strong critique of democracy, while also noting how some anarchists embrace it and why they're wrong to.

  • Ignores anarchist currents like green nihilism.

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Comments

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CaptainACAB wrote

I'm definitely interested in contributing where I can.

I, like most people here I imagine, could help with the egoist/individualist stuff; but there are some insights that I'd be happy to share about religion and the nature of deities.

I'm also full of critiques regarding social stigma and how it leads to disparities of power between the "normal" and the "abnormal".

And some thoughts on privilege discourse if you want some post-left things.

6

ziq OP wrote (edited )

Well let's start with w/egoism. You can expand that wiki so it can be added to the faq.

Then w/leftism or w/postleft could use some additions.

5

CaptainACAB wrote

Alright, I think I'll start by answering some basic questions, dispelling some common misconceptions, and maybe even linking Egoism to other concepts like anti-civ, post-leftism, and so on.

I'll probably post the rough draft on /f/lobby and/or /f/Egoism and anyone interested can contribute (any questions, contributions, insights, and/or critiques would help immensely); shouldn't take more than a few days.

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moonlune wrote

When I was (not even yet) a baby anarchist, i remember the FAQ as one of the first things I read. Having lots of sections and clearly defined questions was good: I just read the ones I was interested in and skipped a lot of stuff.

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ziq OP wrote

I wonder if anyone has read the whole thing.

4

Fool wrote

I never found my way to the old FAQ... It seems more like something compiled based on answering r/anarchy101 questions.

I don't post in front of a computer, so I don't know if I could write anything long. I could probably help proof read / edit some stuff.

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d4rk wrote

What if it's a development to the old FAQ explaining its some obsolescence instead of overturning the whole Canon.

5

ziq OP wrote

Because then it'll just be rejected as a bastardization of the original and probably smeared as a primitivust hijacking of the 'real' document. Has to be it's own thing and shorter and more succinct than that massive tome which wastes thousands of words talking about things that have nothing to do with indroductory anarchy or anarchy at all.

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d4rk wrote

Speaking from experience bastardization and hijacking are my bread and butter, it's respectable. It allows you to juxtapose your view as a development from the old one that was written in the 90s. I would help myself if it were written in this regard because having a different overall Canon(from the looks of your writings not much has changed) would be using a different perspective and would take codification back a century. Adding an Entry on the whole Green faction would do well for the literature and history overall and doing so would benefit the community at large, kudos.

1

ziq OP wrote (edited )

So some sections I would want to include are:

  • Democracy

We could use my w/democracy essay as a basis, but users like lastfutures have said they don't like that essay so maybe we could just collect quotes from other democracy essays and add commentary for continuity.

  • Free speech

Can use my w/free_speech essay I think.

  • Anarcho Capitalism

My w/anarcho_capitalism essay is fine and it's good it's short since we won't want to dwell on bullshit like this.

  • History

A succinct history of anarchist movements contained in a single section so we don't have to dwell on historic movements in other sections like the old faq does.

  • People

A list of notable anarchists and their contributions to anarchy.

  • Law and Order

The problems with prisons, police, justice systems and anarchists alternatives

  • Post-Left

Explanation of post-left ideas and why the left isn't desirable.

  • Propaganda

Exploring both the state's propaganda and anarchist propaganda.

  • Religion

Could use w/anarchy_and_religion as a basis?

4

ziq OP wrote

I think it's better actually to shift to 'post-workerist' than post-left because anarchy was never left wing and framing anarchy as post-left enables people who spread the smear that there's such a thing as left wing anarchy.

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[deleted] wrote

4

ziq OP wrote

broad overview of anarchy throughout human history 

Agree, i dont like how euro labor movements r given all the attention when ppl have lived anarchically for millennia

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zoom_zip wrote

the one thing with using your essays as a base is that they can be quite emotive. maybe that doesn’t matter, but for an faq maybe those parts could be edited to a more neutral tone.

equally, keep it in and just let it ride, but recognise that it will only resonate with people who feel those same emotions

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ziq OP wrote

I will edit them to be more neutral, you're right.

6

ziq OP wrote

Actually looking at the essays I used, I'm not really sure which parts are emotive, could use specific quotes.

5

zoom_zip wrote

let me get back to you on this later when i can get to my laptop. i have some ideas

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zoom_zip wrote (edited )

so i just looked at the democracy essay and there are a few things i was going to say about it

when i said emotive language, it is that the essay is written from your first person perspective, and so it is styled firstly as an opinion piece, and then uses a lot of emotion in the way it is phrased. it has a sardonic tone to it that is fine for an essay but that you maybe don't want to carry over to an faq wiki. it's also quite long!

i took a stab at trying to cut it down to getting right to the point and also trimming out some of the grim cynicism. i ended up rewriting a lot of it (sorry). i think you could put something a lot leaner like this in the faq and then have further reading links that go to your essay and other valuable texts.

take this and use it or throw it in the trash, it doesn't bother me


Democracy

This article paraphrases parts from the essay "Do Anarchist's Support Democracy?"

What is Democracy?

Derived from the Greek demokratia.

demos - "the people" + kratia - "power, rule".

It means "To be ruled by the people".

Contrast this with the etymology of the word Anarchy. From the Greek anarchos meaning "To have no ruler".

If the definition of the word 'democracy' is "Rule by the People", and the definition of the word 'Anarchy' is "To have no ruler", then the answer to the question "Do Anarchist's Support Democracy?" should be no. Anarchists are against all authority, even authority imposed by a majority of voters.

Of course, it's not always that simple. Some anarchists do choose to engage with electoral voting, believing that a "lesser of two evils" approach is worth the trip to the ballot box. But, this is not the same as believing that democracy works.

Others (social anarchists) might claim that what we have now isn't "real" democracy. Most current systems of democracy are 'representative', where the people elect an individual to hold their best interest in government. The proposed opposition to this is 'direct democracy', where the intermediary is removed and power is given directly to the people to make decisions.

In short, it is the difference between rule by representation or rule by the majority. However you dress it, it is rule--to which anarchists are against.

But, more than this, democracy separates us; pitting the majority against the minority. Many of us--including you--might live in a democracy, and find that those (the minority) outside of the ruling class continue to be exploited, living in perpetual servitude. They don't have the freedom that democracy promises. Yet, because we are given the opportunity to take part, we are lead to believe we have a say in the governing of our lives. As long as we believe that the ballot box is the solution to our problems, we remain the passive alienated minority.

Anarchy rejects this authority of the majority over the minority. Anarchy is about upholding each individual's autonomy and dismantling the authority forced on us by oppressive actors.

Democracy is a hierarchy of coersive power. What happens when the minority disagrees with the majority? They are either forced to conform, or forced to leave. Democracy either promotes or enables the marginalisation of minority groups while putting the onus on them to 'speak up, be heard, and vote for change'. "Power to the people", means "Power to the most powerful group of people". The more power the majority group has, the less power the marginalised minorities have.

Finally, democracy has proven to enable the authority of brutal power hierarchies. State democracy is responsible for some of the worst atrocities in history. More than we could list here. But, to scratch the surface:

  • Funneling wealth to the ruling class leaving billions in poverty
  • The Armenian genocide
  • US Oil wars
  • South African Apartheid
  • Palestinian Apartheid
  • Prison states
  • The democratically empowered Nazi genocide
  • The US carpet bombing of Vietnam
  • Guatemalan death squads
  • and more

Democracy is a tool that maintains the tyrannical capitalist status quo.

So do anarchists support democracy?

Anarchy is the opposition to authority. It is the struggle against oppression. It is the quest to limit suffering. Anarchy is against all rulers. Anarchy and democracy are incompatible.

4

ziq OP wrote

Ok, feel free to add it to the new wiki

2

ziq OP wrote

Do Anarchists Practice Democracy?

This article paraphrases parts from the essay "Do Anarchist's Support Democracy?" by ziq

Democracy is derived from the Greek demokratia.

demos - "the people" + kratia - "power, rule".

It means "To be ruled by the people".

Contrast this with the etymology of the word Anarchy. From the Greek anarchos meaning "To have no ruler".

If the definition of the word 'democracy' is "Rule by the People", and the definition of the word 'Anarchy' is "To have no ruler", then the answer to the question "Do Anarchist's Support Democracy?" would logically be no. Anarchists are against all authority, even authority imposed by a majority of voters.

Of course, it's not always that simple. Some anarchists do choose to engage with electoral voting, believing that a "lesser of two evils" approach is worth the trip to the ballot box. But, this is not the same as believing that democracy works or that it's a form of anarchy.

Others (social anarchists) might claim that what we have now isn't "real" democracy. Most working systems of democracy in the world today are 'representative', where the people elect an individual to represent them in government. Some people instead advocate for a return to the 'direct democracy' of ancient Greece, where the intermediary is removed and power is given directly to civilians to make decisions by voting directly on each government policy.

In short, these two forms of democracy are a difference between rule by political proxies or rule by the majority group of voters. However you window dress it, all democratic systems are ways to rule people - something all anarchists oppose by definition.

But, more than this, democracy separates us; pitting the majority against the minority. Many of us - including you - might live in a democracy, and might find that those outside of the ruling class continue to be exploited, living in perpetual servitude. We have never been granted the freedom and liberty that our rulers promise democracy will grant us.

Yet, because we are given the opportunity to take part in the political process by way of democracy, we are lead to believe we have a say in the governing of our lives. As long as we believe that the ballot box is the solution to our problems, we remain passive and alienated, never taking control control of our own fates.

Anarchy rejects this authority of the majority over the minority. Anarchy rejects the authority of any group over any other group. Anarchy is about upholding each individual's autonomy and dismantling the authority forced on us by oppressive actors.

Democracy is a hierarchy of coercive power. What happens when the minority disagrees with the majority? They are either forced to conform, or forced to leave. Democracy either promotes or enables the marginalization of minority groups while putting the onus on them to 'speak up, be heard, and vote for change'. "Power to the people", means "Power to the most powerful group of people". The more power the majority group has, the less power the marginalized minority groups have.

Finally, democracy has proven endlessly throughout history that it enables the authority of brutal power hierarchies starting from its inception in ancient Greece; where only free land-owning men were allowed to participate in the direct democracy system. Democracy is responsible for some of the worst atrocities in history. More than we could list here. But, to scratch the surface:

  • Funneling wealth to the ruling class leaving billions in poverty
  • The Armenian genocide
  • US Oil wars
  • South African Apartheid
  • Palestinian Apartheid
  • Prison states
  • The democratically empowered Nazi genocide
  • The US carpet bombing of Vietnam
  • Guatemalan death squads
  • and more

Democracy is a tool that maintains the tyrannical capitalist status quo.

So do anarchists support democracy?

Anarchy is the opposition to authority. It is taking a stand against every form of oppression. It is the quest to limit suffering and free people from those who rule them. Anarchy is against all rulers, including democratic ones. Anarchy and democracy are incompatible.

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ziq OP wrote (edited )

the main thing i changed /u/zoom_zip was this thing you did where you said we're the minority and the state is the majority? it didn't make sense to me

2

ziq OP wrote

We'll need to examine the current FAQ and see what it does right and what it does wrong. A big problem I have with it is it's far too long and gives a lot of information that isn't very useful to people trying to learn about anarchy. Here are all the main sections, excluding the appendixes and bibliographies and 10 years later section:

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ziq OP wrote

Section A: What is Anarchism?

A.1 What is anarchism?

A.1.1 What does “anarchy” mean?

A.1.2 What does “anarchism” mean?

A.1.3 Why is anarchism also called libertarian socialism?

A.1.4 Are anarchists socialists?

A.1.5 Where does anarchism come from?

A.2 What does anarchism stand for?

A.2.1 What is the essence of anarchism?

A.2.2 Why do anarchists emphasise liberty?

A.2.3 Are anarchists in favour of organisation?

A.2.4 Are anarchists in favour of “absolute” liberty?

A.2.5 Why are anarchists in favour of equality?

A.2.6 Why is solidarity important to anarchists?

A.2.7 Why do anarchists argue for self-liberation?

A.2.8 Is it possible to be an anarchist without opposing hierarchy?

A.2.9 What sort of society do anarchists want?

A.2.10 What will abolishing hierarchy mean and achieve?

A.2.11 Why are most anarchists in favour of direct democracy?

A.2.12 Is consensus an alternative to direct democracy?

A.2.13 Are anarchists individualists or collectivists?

A.2.14 Why is voluntarism not enough?

A.2.15 What about “human nature”?

A.2.16 Does anarchism require “perfect” people to work?

A.2.17 Aren’t most people too stupid for a free society to work?

A.2.18 Do anarchists support terrorism?

A.2.19 What ethical views do anarchists hold?

A.2.20 Why are most anarchists atheists?

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ziq OP wrote

A.3 What types of anarchism are there?

A.3.1 What are the differences between individualist and social anarchists?

A.3.2 Are there different types of social anarchism?

A.3.3 What kinds of green anarchism are there?

A.3.4 Is anarchism pacifistic?

A.3.5 What is Anarcha-Feminism?

A.3.6 What is Cultural Anarchism?

A.3.7 Are there religious anarchists?

A.3.8 What is “anarchism without adjectives”?

A.3.9 What is anarcho-primitivism?

A.4 Who are the major anarchist thinkers?

A.4.1 Are there any thinkers close to anarchism?

A.4.2 Are there any liberal thinkers close to anarchism?

A.4.3 Are there any socialist thinkers close to anarchism?

A.4.4 Are there any Marxist thinkers close to anarchism?

A.5 What are some examples of “Anarchy in Action”?

A.5.1 The Paris Commune

A.5.2 The Haymarket Martyrs

A.5.3 Building the Syndicalist Unions

A.5.4 Anarchists in the Russian Revolution

A.5.5 Anarchists in the Italian Factory Occupations

A.5.6 Anarchism and the Spanish Revolution

A.5.7 The May-June Revolt in France, 1968

Section C: What are the myths of capitalist economics?

C.1 What is wrong with economics?

C.1.1 Is economics really value free?

C.1.2 Is economics a science?

C.1.3 Can you have an economics based on individualism?

C.1.4 What is wrong with equilibrium analysis?

C.1.5 Does economics really reflect the reality of capitalism?

C.1.6 Is it possible to a non-equilibrium based capitalist economics?

C.2 Why is capitalism exploitative?

C.2.1 What is “surplus value”?

C.2.2 How does exploitation happen?

C.2.3 Is owning capital sufficient reason to justify profits?

C.2.4 Is profit the reward for the productivity of capital?

C.2.5 Do profits represent the contribution of capital to production?

C.2.6 Does interest represent the “time value” of money?

C.2.7 Are interest and profit not the reward for waiting?

C.2.8 Are profits the result of entrepreneurial activity and innovation?

C.2.9 Do profits reflect a reward for risk?

C.3 What determines the distribution between labour and capital?

4

ziq OP wrote (edited )

C.4 Why does the market become dominated by Big Business?

C.4.1 How extensive is Big Business?

C.4.2 What are the effects of Big Business on society?

C.4.3 What does the existence of Big Business mean for economic theory and wage labour?

C.5 Why does Big Business get a bigger slice of profits?

C.5.1 Aren’t the super-profits of Big Business due to its higher efficiency?

C.6 Can market dominance by Big Business change?

C.7 What causes the capitalist business cycle?

C.7.1 What role does class struggle play in the business cycle?

C.7.2 What role does the market play in the business cycle?

C.7.3 What role does investment play in the business cycle?

C.8 Is state control of money the cause of the business cycle?

C.8.1 Does this mean that Keynesianism works?

C.8.2 What happened to Keynesianism in the 1970s?

C.8.3 How did capitalism adjust to the crisis in Keynesianism?

C.9 Would laissez-faire capitalism reduce unemployment?

C.9.1 Would cutting wages reduce unemployment?

C.9.2 Is unemployment caused by wages being too high?

C.9.3 Are “flexible” labour markets the answer to unemployment?

C.9.4 Is unemployment voluntary?

C.10 Is “free market” capitalism the best way to reduce poverty?

C.10.1 Hasn’t neo-liberalism benefited the world’s poor?

C.10.2 Does “free trade” benefit everyone?

C.10.3 Does “free market” capitalism benefit everyone, especially working class people?

C.10.4 Does growth automatically mean people are better off?

C.11 Doesn’t neo-liberalism in Chile prove that the free market benefits everyone?

C.11.1 Who benefited from Chile’s “economic miracle”?

C.11.2 What about Chile’s economic growth and low inflation?

C.11.3 Did neo-liberal Chile confirm capitalist economics?

C.12 Doesn’t Hong Kong show the potentials of “free market” capitalism?

Section D: How do statism and capitalism affect society?

D.1 Why does state intervention occur?

D.1.1 Does state intervention cause the problems to begin with?

D.1.2 Is state intervention the result of democracy?

D.1.3 Is state intervention socialistic?

D.1.4 Is laissez-faire capitalism actually without state intervention?

D.1.5 Do anarchists support state intervention?

D.2 What influence does wealth have over politics?

D.2.1 Is capital flight really that powerful?

D.2.2 How extensive is business propaganda?

D.3 How does wealth influence the mass media?

D.3.1 How does the structure of the media affect its content?

D.3.2 What is the effect of advertising on the mass media?

D.3.3 Why do the media rely on government and business “experts” for information?

D.3.4 How is “flak” used as a means of disciplining the media?

D.3.5 Why is “anticommunism” used as control mechanism?

D.3.6 Isn’t the “propaganda model” a conspiracy theory?

D.3.7 Isn’t the model contradicted by the media reporting government and business failures?

D.4 What is the relationship between capitalism and the ecological crisis?

D.5 What causes imperialism?

D.5.1 How has imperialism changed over time?

D.5.2 Is imperialism just a product of private capitalism?

D.5.3 Does globalisation mean the end of imperialism?

D.5.4 What is the relationship between imperialism and the social classes within capitalism?

D.6 Are anarchists against Nationalism?

D.7 Are anarchists opposed to National Liberation struggles?

D.8 What causes militarism and what are its effects?

D.9 Why does political power become concentrated under capitalism?

D.9.1 What is the relationship between wealth polarisation and authoritarian government?

D.9.2 Why is government surveillance of citizens on the increase?

D.9.3 What causes justifications for racism to appear?

D.10 How does capitalism affect technology?

D.11 Can politics and economics be separated from each other?

D.11.1 What does Chile tell us about the right and its vision of liberty?

D.11.2 But surely Chile proves that “economic freedom” creates political freedom?

Section E: What do anarchists think causes ecological problems?

E.1 What are the root causes of our ecological problems?

E.1.1 Is industry the cause of environmental problems?

E.1.2 What is the difference between environmentalism and ecology?

E.2 What do eco-anarchists propose instead of capitalism?

E.3 Can private property rights protect the environment?

E.3.1 Will privatising nature save it?

E.3.2 How does economic power contribute to the ecological crisis?

E.3.3 Can capitalism’s focus on short-term profitability deal with the ecological crisis?

E.4 Can laissez-faire capitalism protect the environment?

E.4.1 Will laissez-faire capitalism actually end pollution?

E.4.2 Can wilderness survive under laissez-faire capitalism?

E.5 Can ethical consumerism stop the ecological crisis?

E.6 What is the population myth?

Section F: Is “anarcho”-capitalism a type of anarchism?

F.1 Are “anarcho”-capitalists really anarchists?

F.2 What do “anarcho”-capitalists mean by freedom?

F.2.1 How does private property affect freedom?

F.2.2 Do “libertarian”-capitalists support slavery?

F.3 Why do anarcho”-capitalists place little or no value on equality?

F.3.1 Why is this disregard for equality important?

F.3.2 Can there be harmony of interests in an unequal society?

F.4 What is the right-“libertarian” position on private property?

F.4.1 What is wrong with a “homesteading” theory of property?

F.5 Will privatising “the commons” increase liberty?

F.6 Is “anarcho”-capitalism against the state?

F.6.1 What’s wrong with this “free market” justice?

F.6.2 What are the social consequences of such a system?

F.6.3 But surely market forces will stop abuses by the rich?

F.6.4 Why are these “defence associations” states?

F.7 How does the history of “anarcho”-capitalism show that it is not anarchist?

F.7.1 Are competing governments anarchism?

F.7.2 Is government compatible with anarchism?

F.7.3 Can there be a “right-wing” anarchism?

F.8 What role did the state take in the creation of capitalism?

F.8.1 What social forces lay behind the rise of capitalism?

F.8.2 What was the social context of the statement “laissez-faire?”

F.8.3 What other forms did state intervention in creating capitalism take?

F.8.4 Aren’t the enclosures a socialist myth?

F.8.5 What about the lack of enclosures in the Americas?

F.8.6 How did working people view the rise of capitalism?

Section G: Is individualist anarchism capitalistic?

G.1 Are individualist anarchists anti-capitalist?

G.1.1 What about their support of the free market?

G.1.2 What about their support of “private property”?

G.1.3 What about their support for wage labour?

G.1.4 Why is the social context important in evaluating Individualist Anarchism?

G.2 Why do individualist anarchists reject social anarchism?

G.2.1 Is communist-anarchism compulsory?

G.2.2 Is communist-anarchism violent?

G.2.3 Does communist-anarchism aim to destroy individuality?

G.2.4 What other reasons do individualists give for rejecting communist-anarchism?

G.2.5 Do most anarchists agree with the individualists on communist-anarchism?

G.3 Is “anarcho”-capitalism a new form of individualist anarchism?

G.3.1 Is “anarcho”-capitalism American anarchism?

G.3.2 What are the differences between “anarcho”-capitalism and individualist anarchism?

G.3.3 What about “anarcho”-capitalists’ support of “defence associations”?

G.3.4 Why is individualist anarchist support for equality important?

G.3.5 Would individualist anarchists have accepted “Austrian” economics?

G.3.6 Would mutual banking simply cause inflation?

G.4 Why do social anarchists reject individualist anarchism?

G.4.1 Is wage labour consistent with anarchist principles?

G.4.2 Why do social anarchists think individualism is inconsistent anarchism?

G.5 Benjamin Tucker: Capitalist or Anarchist?

G.6 What are the ideas of Max Stirner?

G.7 Lysander Spooner: right-“libertarian” or libertarian socialist?

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lettuceLeafer wrote

hmm, I'm not really interested in working on a faq but I think these are questions that could facilitate a really cool discussion on raddle

C.4 Why does the market become dominated by Big Business?

C.6 Can market dominance by Big Business change?

E.3 Can private property rights protect the environment?

E.3.1 Will privatising nature save it?

G.3.5 Would individualist anarchists have accepted “Austrian” economics?

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ziq OP wrote

How are those even frequently asked questions. So much extraneous stuff in that thing.

4

lettuceLeafer wrote

Hey, Austrian economics has been brought up 1 maybe 2 times in the last 2.5 years on raddle. That's pretty frequent.

5

ziq OP wrote

Section H: Why do anarchists oppose state socialism?

H.1 Have anarchists always opposed state socialism?

H.1.1 What was Bakunin’s critique of Marxism?

H.1.2 What are the key differences between Anarchists and Marxists?

H.1.3 Why do anarchists wish to abolish the state “overnight”?

H.1.4 Do anarchists have “absolutely no idea” of what to put in place of the state?

H.1.5 Why do anarchists reject “utilising the present state”?

H.1.6 Why do anarchists try to “build the new world in the shell of the old”?

H.1.7 Haven’t you read Lenin’s “State and Revolution”?

H.2 What parts of anarchism do Marxists particularly misrepresent?

H.2.1 Do anarchists reject defending a revolution?

H.2.2 Do anarchists reject “class conflict” and “collective struggle”?

H.2.3 Does anarchism yearn “for what has gone before”?

H.2.4 Do anarchists think “the state is the main enemy”?

H.2.5 Do anarchists think “full blown” socialism will be created overnight?

H.2.6 How do Marxists misrepresent Anarchist ideas on mutual aid?

H.2.7 Who do anarchists see as their “agents of social change”?

H.2.8 What is the relationship of anarchism to syndicalism?

H.2.9 Do anarchists have “liberal” politics?

H.2.10 Are anarchists against leadership?

H.2.11 Are anarchists “anti-democratic”?

H.2.12 Does anarchism survive only in the absence of a strong workers’ movement?

H.2.13 Do anarchists reject “political” struggles and action?

H.2.14 Are anarchist organisations “ineffective,” “elitist” or “downright bizarre”?

H.3 What are the myths of state socialism?

H.3.1 Do Anarchists and Marxists want the same thing?

H.3.2 Is Marxism “socialism from below”?

H.3.3 Is Leninism “socialism from below”?

H.3.4 Don’t anarchists just quote Marxists selectively?

H.3.5 Has Marxist appropriation of anarchist ideas changed it?

H.3.6 Is Marxism the only revolutionary politics which have worked?

H.3.7 What is wrong with the Marxist theory of the state?

H.3.8 What is wrong with the Leninist theory of the state?

H.3.9 Is the state simply an agent of economic power?

H.3.10 Has Marxism always supported the idea of workers’ councils?

H.3.11 Does Marxism aim to give power to workers organisations?

H.3.12 Is big business the precondition for socialism?

H.3.13 Why is state socialism just state capitalism?

H.3.14 Don’t Marxists believe in workers’ control?

H.4 Didn’t Engels refute anarchism in “On Authority”?

H.4.1 Does organisation imply the end of liberty?

H.4.2 Does free love show the weakness of Engels’ argument?

H.4.3 How do anarchists propose to run a factory?

H.4.4 How does the class struggle refute Engels’ arguments?

H.4.5 Is the way industry operates “independent of all social organisation”?

H.4.6 Why does Engels’ “On Authority” harm Marxism?

H.4.7 Is revolution “the most authoritarian thing there is”?

H.5 What is vanguardism and why do anarchists reject it?

H.5.1 Why are vanguard parties anti-socialist?

H.5.2 Have vanguardist assumptions been validated?

H.5.3 Why does vanguardism imply party power?

H.5.4 Did Lenin abandon vanguardism?

H.5.5 What is “democratic centralism”?

H.5.6 Why do anarchists oppose “democratic centralism”?

H.5.7 Is the way revolutionaries organise important?

H.5.8 Are vanguard parties effective?

H.5.9 What are vanguard parties effective at?

H.5.10 Why does “democratic centralism” produce “bureaucratic centralism”?

H.5.11 Can you provide an example of the negative nature of vanguard parties?

H.5.12 Surely the Russian Revolution proves that vanguard parties work?

H.6 Why did the Russian Revolution fail?

H.6.1 Can objective factors explain the failure of the Russian Revolution?

H.6.2 Did Bolshevik ideology influence the outcome of the Russian Revolution?

H.6.3 Were the Russian workers “declassed” and “atomised”?

Section I - What would an anarchist society look like?

I.1 Isn’t libertarian socialism an oxymoron?

I.1.1 Is socialism impossible?

I.1.2 Is libertarian communism impossible?

I.1.3 What is wrong with markets anyway?

I.1.4 If capitalism is exploitative, then isn’t socialism as well?

I.1.5 Does capitalism efficiently allocate resources?

I.2 Is this a blueprint for an anarchist society?

I.2.1 Why discuss what an anarchist society would be like at all?

I.2.2 Will it be possible to go straight to an anarchist society from capitalism?

I.2.3 How is the framework of an anarchist society created?

I.3 What could the economic structure of anarchy look like?

I.3.1 What is a “syndicate”?

I.3.2 What is workers’ self-management?

I.3.3 What does socialisation mean?

I.3.4 What relations would exist between individual syndicates?

I.3.5 What would confederations of syndicates do?

I.3.6 What about competition between syndicates?

I.3.7 What about people who do not want to join a syndicate?

I.3.8 Do anarchists seek “small autonomous communities, devoted to small scale production”?

I.4 How could an anarchist economy function?

I.4.1 What is the point of economic activity in anarchy?

I.4.2 Why do anarchists desire to abolish work?

I.4.3 How do anarchists intend to abolish work?

I.4.4 What economic decision making criteria could be used in anarchy?

I.4.5 What about “supply and demand”?

I.4.6 Surely anarchist-communism would just lead to demand exceeding supply?

I.4.7 What will stop producers ignoring consumers?

I.4.8 What about investment decisions?

I.4.9 Should technological advance be seen as anti-anarchistic?

I.4.10 What would be the advantage of a wide basis of surplus distribution?

I.4.11 If libertarian socialism eliminates the profit motive, won’t creativity and performance suffer?

I.4.12 Won’t there be a tendency for capitalist enterprise to reappear in any socialist society?

I.4.13 Who will do the “dirty” or unpleasant work?

I.4.14 What about the person who will not work?

I.4.15 What will the workplace of tomorrow look like?

I.4.16 Won’t a libertarian communist society be inefficient?

I.5 What could the social structure of anarchy look like?

I.5.1 What are participatory communities?

I.5.2 Why are confederations of participatory communities needed?

I.5.3 What will be the scales and levels of confederation?

I.5.4 How will anything ever be decided by all these meetings?

I.5.5 Aren’t participatory communities and confederations just new states?

I.5.6 Won’t there be a danger of a “tyranny of the majority” under libertarian socialism?

I.5.7 What if I don’t want to join a commune?

I.5.8 What about crime?

I.5.9 What about Freedom of Speech under Anarchism?

I.5.10 What about political parties?

I.5.11 What about interest groups and other associations?

I.5.12 Would an anarchist society provide health care and other public services?

I.5.13 Won’t an anarchist society be vulnerable to the power hungry?

I.5.14 How could an anarchist society defend itself?

I.6 What about the “Tragedy of the Commons”? Surely communal ownership will lead to overuse and environmental destruction?

I.6.1 How can anarchists explain how the use of property “owned by everyone in the world” will be decided?

I.6.2 Doesn’t any form of communal ownership involve restricting individual liberty?

I.7 Won’t Libertarian Socialism destroy individuality?

I.7.1 Do tribal cultures indicate that communalism defends individuality?

I.7.2 Is this not worshipping the past or the “noble savage”?

I.7.3 Is the law required to protect individual rights?

I.7.4 Does capitalism protect individuality?

I.8 Does revolutionary Spain show that libertarian socialism can work in practice?

I.8.1 Wasn’t the Spanish Revolution primarily a rural phenomenon and therefore inapplicable as a model for modern industrialised societies?

I.8.2 How were the anarchists able to obtain mass popular support in Spain?

I.8.3 How were Spanish industrial collectives organised?

I.8.4 How were the Spanish industrial collectives co-ordinated?

I.8.5 How were the Spanish agricultural co-operatives organised and co-ordinated?

I.8.6 What did the agricultural collectives accomplish?

I.8.7 I’ve heard that the rural collectives were created by force. Is this true?

I.8.8 But did the Spanish collectives innovate?

I.8.9 Why, if it was so good, did it not survive?

I.8.10 Why did the C.N.T. collaborate with the state?

I.8.11 Was the decision to collaborate a product of anarchist theory, so showing anarchism is flawed?

I.8.12 Was the decision to collaborate imposed on the CNT’s membership?

I.8.13 What political lessons were learned from the revolution?

I.8.14 What economic lessons were learned from the revolution?

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ziq OP wrote

Section J: What do anarchists do?

J.1 Are anarchists involved in social struggles?

J.1.1 Why are social struggles important?

J.1.2 Are anarchists against reforms?

J.1.3 Why are anarchists against reformism?

J.1.4 What attitude do anarchists take to “single-issue” campaigns?

J.1.5 Why do anarchists try to generalise social struggles?

J.2 What is direct action?

J.2.1 Why do anarchists favour using direct action to change things?

J.2.2 Why do anarchists reject voting as a means for change?

J.2.3 What are the political implications of voting?

J.2.4 Surely voting for radical parties will be effective?

J.2.5 Why do anarchists support abstentionism and what are its implications?

J.2.6 What are the effects of radicals using electioneering?

J.2.7 Surely we should vote for reformist parties in order to show them up for what they are?

J.2.8 Will abstentionism lead to the right winning elections?

J.2.9 What do anarchists do instead of voting?

J.2.10 Does rejecting electioneering mean that anarchists are apolitical?

J.3 What kinds of organisation do anarchists build?

J.3.1 What are affinity groups?

J.3.2 What are “synthesis” federations?

J.3.3 What is the “Platform”?

J.3.4 Why do many anarchists oppose the “Platform”?

J.3.5 Are there other kinds of anarchist federation?

J.3.6 What role do these groups play in anarchist theory?

J.3.7 Doesn’t Bakunin’s “Invisible Dictatorship” prove that anarchists are secret authoritarians?

J.3.8 What is anarcho-syndicalism?

J.3.9 Why are many anarchists not anarcho-syndicalists?

J.4 What trends in society aid anarchist activity?

J.4.1 Why is social struggle a good sign?

J.4.2 Won’t social struggle do more harm than good?

J.4.3 Are the new social movements a positive development for anarchists?

J.4.4 What is the “economic structural crisis”?

J.4.5 Why is this “economic structural crisis” important to social struggle?

J.4.6 What are implications of anti-government and anti-big business feelings?

J.4.7 What about the communications revolution?

J.4.8 What is the significance of the accelerating rate of change and the information explosion?

J.4.9 What are Netwars?

J.5 What alternative social organisations do anarchists create?

J.5.1 What is community unionism?

J.5.2 Why do anarchists support industrial unionism?

J.5.3 What attitude do anarchists take to existing unions?

J.5.4 What are industrial networks?

J.5.5 What forms of co-operative credit do anarchists support?

J.5.6 What are the key features of mutual credit schemes?

J.5.7 Do most anarchists think mutual credit is sufficient to abolish capitalism?

J.5.8 What would a modern system of mutual banking look like?

J.5.9 How does mutual credit work?

J.5.10 Why do anarchists support co-operatives?

J.5.11 If workers really want self-management, why aren’t there more producer co-operatives?

J.5.12 If self-management is more efficient, surely capitalist firms will be forced to introduce it by the market?

J.5.13 What are Modern Schools?

J.5.14 What is Libertarian Municipalism?

J.5.15 What attitude do anarchists take to the welfare state?

J.5.16 Are there any historical examples of collective self-help?

J.6 What methods of child rearing do anarchists advocate?

J.6.1 What are the main principles of raising free children and the main obstacles to implementing those principles?

J.6.2. What are some examples of libertarian child-rearing methods applied to the care of new-born infants?

J.6.3 What are some examples of libertarian child-rearing methods applied to the care of young children?

J.6.4 If children have nothing to fear, how can they be good?

J.6.5 But how can children learn ethics if they are not given punishments, prohibitions, and religious instruction?

J.6.6 But how will a free child ever learn unselfishness?

J.6.7 Isn’t what you call “libertarian child-rearing” just another name for spoiling the child?

J.6.8 What is the anarchist position on teenage sexual liberation?

J.6.9 But isn’t this concern with teenage sexual liberation just a distraction from issues that should be of more concern to anarchists, like restructuring the economy?

J.7 What do anarchists mean by “social revolution”?

J.7.1 Are all anarchists revolutionaries?

J.7.2 Is social revolution possible?

J.7.3 Doesn’t revolution mean violence?

J.7.4 What would a social revolution involve?

J.7.5 What is the role of anarchists in a social revolution?

J.7.6 How could an anarchist revolution defend itself?

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zoom_zip wrote

i got bored reading the contents

let alone the content

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asere_que_vola wrote

Hi ziq,

This would be really cool to see!

I'm curious though, you mention one of the problems of the original Anarchist FAQ as being "incredibly US" centered. I find this really surprising, as the main author is from the UK and if anything I always thought of it as more UK centered.

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ziq OP wrote

Should have said anglo-centered

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rot wrote (edited )

on two I would change it to ant-civ being divided between primitivism and green anarchism bookchin shouldn't even be mentioned.

on three; democratic methods like votes might be used by Anarchists but Democracy? no. representative politics is the antithesis of Anarchy

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aaaaarg wrote

I think the main issue with projects like these is about to be repeated.

And we should identify all the problems with the old An Anarchist FAQ so we can address them. My observations:

[...]

They inevitably end up being a sort of internal ideological struggle about what real anarchism is.

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ziq OP wrote

well it's sure as shit not rule of the majority like the writer of that faq insists

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Tequilx_Wolf wrote

I feel like we could use a whole new forum for this project. f/AnarchistFAQ?

I'd be interested to have one thread just for discussion on what questions we consider FAQs, and then building from there (while including what we can from what is already in the wikis)

What do people think?

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ziq OP wrote

a link to it should be stickied on this forum so people who aren't subscribed to that one can find it

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haulonthebowline wrote (edited )

incredibly US and red-centric

The author is British. The 'Anarchist FAQ Collective' is bullshit. It's just one guy writing it.

The best thing about it is it's so long that literally no one has ever read it other than the author. Even his proofreaders only skimmed it, judging by how many errors are in there.

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