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Tequila_Wolf OP wrote

Via Aragorn Eloff:

I've just started reading Eric Laursen's new book, The Operating System: An Anarchist Theory of the Modern State, and I'm struck by the clear, commonsense way in which he explains the complete structural inability of the State to meet the needs and desires of people.
In the podcast below, he provides perhaps the most obvious example of this: the pathetic failure of states everywhere to even begin to guarantee the future of life on Earth in the face of ecological crisis. If states cannot even do this, surely it represents an utter failure to meet even the most rudimentary aspects of their self-declared social mandate? Surely we then need to urgently begin to consider non-State alternatives for achieving our individual and collective ends?
I can highly recommend the podcast and the book for anyone looking for an accessible entrypoint into contemporary critiques of the State.

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celebratedrecluse wrote

: the pathetic failure of anarchists everywhere to even begin to guarantee the future of life on Earth in the face of ecological crisis. If anarchists cannot even do this, surely it represents an utter failure to meet even the most rudimentary aspects of their self-declared social mandate? Surely we then need to urgently begin to consider State-based alternatives for achieving our individual and collective ends?

just for fun

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subrosa wrote

I rarely use anti-statism because that would get me in trouble real quick; I really don't have a good grasp on what the state is. It always made more sense to talk about anti-governmentalism, which also seems to better 'translate' to an anarchist analysis of the workplace and other spheres.

I'll save this for later, thanks for sharing.

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celebratedrecluse wrote

I was just playing with the original actual quote

I think it's a weak argument for anarchy, because it's too easy to flip around and be basically as convincing. It just depends what you think is hegemonic-- whether you focus on the state's control of material resources and work, or on the non-profit and "social movement" world's frequent appeals to anarchist aesthetics and imagery and discourse. it's a funny joke to me because, hegemonic (not Raddle) anarchist logic (idealism and abstract forms > materialism) would actually lead you to conclude the second quote, not the original, because the state's control over material resources and work shouldn't matter if it's just all about cultural and social signification/forms.

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subrosa wrote

Well, maybe I do have a good grasp on what the state is, but I'm a bit confused by how anarchists use it, or why the focus on anti-statism is so prominent.

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celebratedrecluse wrote

the state is the religion of hierarchy, in the social sphere. it is the police, the military, the unelected petty officials, the media outlet, the religious organizers, the planners of industry. It remains basically unchanged in every election, and continually expands in order to survive very similarly to the market which is produced by its life activity.

governments are just the people in the official positions, who give the commands formally. they are not really in charge for the most part, and are just a superstructure built upon the state.

these are my understandings, do they align with your? because it seems common sense, on this definition, why anarchists are primarily anti-state, and only agnostic/apathetic on governments and elections etc.

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subrosa wrote

Not really, no. My understanding of things would go something like this:

Governmentalized societies are politically organized; the social relations and institutions they give rise to are constituted externally and 'directed' by authorized people in various hierarchical relations. The state is the largest political entity, consituted by 'the government' / state government, with a (written) constitution as the basis for legal order, and represented by a handful of individuals.

The reason I generally talk about anti-governmentalism is that anti-statism doesn't address governmental relations in smaller polities. Without a state, you could still have a network of smaller democracies, workplace democracies, authoritarian assholes in 'externally constituted' communes, etc.

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celebratedrecluse wrote

Without a state, you could still have a network of smaller democracies, workplace democracies, authoritarian assholes in 'externally constituted' communes, etc.

Shh, the anarcho-democrats do not want you to say this lol

Interesting redefinition. I actually agree, but yeah the classical anarchist and current hegemonic within anarchist position, is what i described, at least as far as I understand other people's ideas. your position is more nuanced and the definitions are more useful and efficiently generalizable to a useful praxis.

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