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2/23/11 9:37 AM
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Voluntaryist
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History shows that most human beings would literally rather die than objectively reconsider the belief systems they were brought up in. the average man who reads in the newspaper about war, oppression and injustice will wonder why such pain and suffering exists, and will wish for it to end. However, if it is suggested to him that his own beliefs are contributing to the misery, he will almost certainly dismiss such a suggestion without a second thought, and may even attack the one making the suggestion.

The belief in authority, which includes all belief in government, is irrational and self-contradictory; it is contrary to civilization and morality, and constitutes the most dangerous, destructive superstition that has ever existed. Rather than being a force for order and justice, the belief in authority is the arch-enemy of humanity
2/25/11 3:13 AM
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Joe Ray
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Voluntaryist - 

The belief in authority, which includes all belief in government, is irrational and self-contradictory; it is contrary to civilization and morality,


Please elaborate on this part?

Authority and hierarchy have always existed and all civilizations have been built on them to various degress.

One should make the claim that they are not contrary to civilization but are in fact integral to it.


2/25/11 9:18 AM
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Voluntaryist
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Authority has not always existed. There is a great book called The Art of Not Being Governed by James C. Scott, about the history of anarchist civilizations throughout upland southeast asia. Its the seen and the unseen, just because you have been brought up with this horrendous belief in authority doesn't mean that is how it must be.

The belief in authority is certainly contrary to being 'civilized', do you consider coercion, force, aggression, theft, and violence 'civilized'? Everywhere there is the belief in so-called 'authority', these authorities are the very ones committing all the violence and aggression while claiming to be protecting people from violence and aggression.... seems pretty contradictory.

'Authority' can be summed up as The Right to Rule. It is not merely the ability to forcibly control others, which to some extent nearly everyone posseses. It is the supposed moral right to forcibly control others. What distinguishes a street gang from 'government' is how they are perceived by the people they control. The trespasses, robbery, extortion, assault and murder committed by common thugs are perceived by almost everyone as being immoral, unjustified, and criminal. Their victims may comply with their demands, but not out of any feeling of moral obligation to obey, merely out of fear. If the intended victims of the street gang thought they could resist without any danger to themselves, they would do so, without the slightest feeling of guilt. They do no perceive the street thug to be any sort of legitimate, rightful ruler; they do not imagine him to be 'authority.' The loot the thug collects is not referrred to as 'taxes,' and his threats are not called 'laws'. But why call the loot a supposed 'authority' collects 'taxes'? Why call the threats a supposed 'authority' makes 'laws'?

If you truly believe 'authority' is an integral part of civilization could you please tell me where one gets this so-called authority from? What makes a human being above another human being? If you vote for Obama, and i choose to vote for no one and Obama 'wins'...How is Obama now an authority over me? I wanted no authority, i don't believe in the most dangerous superstition called authority.

2/26/11 9:17 AM
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Joe Ray
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The belief in authority is certainly contrary to being 'civilized', do you consider coercion, force, aggression, theft, and violence 'civilized'? Everywhere there is the belief in so-called 'authority', these authorities are the very ones committing all the violence and aggression while claiming to be protecting people from violence and aggression.... seems pretty contradictory.


It is indeed a great irony that what we label civilization is built on those very uncivil things you mentioned.


If you truly believe 'authority' is an integral part of civilization could you please tell me where one gets this so-called authority from? What makes a human being above another human being?.....i don't believe in the most dangerous superstition called authority.



Human beings are not equal. To put it bluntly, there are the strong and there are the weak. The strong, powerful, noble, best, most qualified dominate have the right to rule by virtue of being the strongest and the best.

The myth of human equality is the greatest superstition.
2/27/11 1:12 AM
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Roly_Poly_Puppy
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Firstly, this:

https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Naturalistic_fallacy

Secondly, the problem with anti-authoritarian movements is that they are part of the same memeplex that gives rise to authoritarian and totalitarian systems, particularly in the West the roots are in the Judaeo-Christian memeplexes. This leads anti-authoritarian movements to take up the same authoritarian bullshit that they supposedly are against (especially when they take power, as power increases hypocrisy [1]).

The majority of anti-authoritarian (mostly left wing) movements have their roots in religious movements. Particularly Christian millenarianist movements (more particularly in that they are a secular form of post-millenenialists, i.e. they want to bring about utopia on Earth). Nietzsche basically had it right about Christian values pervading our systems of belief.

Examples abound, the first communist league was a Utopian Christian Brotherhood (The League of the Just) with its main aim as "... the establishment of the Kingdom of God on Earth, based on the ideals of love of one's neighbor, equality and justice" [2].

The bolsheviks during the Russian revolution were heavily millenarianist [3].

Contemporary American Progressives have their roots in North-Eastern American Puritanism [4] (and their systems of belief can go back further to the anti-monarchist dissenter sects like the diggers -- arguably the first proto-communist group -- during the English revolution [5]).

Anarchism also has millenariast roots. The two major books exploring anarchist history are Hobsbawms' "Primitive Rebels: Studies in Archaic Forms of Social Movement in the 19th and 20th Centuries" and Joll's "The Anarchists".

Of course "the right" is not immune to this particular form of mind virus (nazism and neo-conservatism are two millenarianist ideologies that come to mind), but to suggest that classical anti-authoritarian movements are somehow beyond abuses of authority (when their ideologies have embedded Millenarianist values) is laughable.

Notes

(1) http://pss.sagepub.com/content/21/5/737.abstract

(2) See Billington's "Fires in the Minds of Men: Origins of the Revolutionary Faith"

(3) See Rowley's "Millenarian Bolshevism, 1900 to 1920," but also read any pre-revolutionary, czarist-era, Russian literature like Dostoevsky's "The Possessed" or any of Chekhov's plays.

(4) The main history of this is "The Puritan Origins of American Patriotism" by George McKenna. But also see Hatch's "The Democratization of American Christianity," Billington's "The Protestant Crusade 1800-1860: A Study of the Origins of American Nativism," Ranger's "Evangelical Christianity and democracy in Africa," Smith's "Freedom's Distant Shores: American Protestants and Post-Colonial Alliances in Africa," and Oren's "Power, Faith, and Fantasy: America in the Middle East: 1776 to the Present." All those books are scholarly takes on the Protestant drive to spread democracy around the planet.

(5) See "The Many-Headed Hydra" by Linebaugh and Rediker. Also read this book from the 1800s: http://sacred-texts.com/utopia/csus/index.htm
2/27/11 1:31 AM
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Roly_Poly_Puppy
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Edited: 02/27/11 2:32 AM
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I should also add, that I'm not against revolution/change. Obviously there ARE bad governments out there.

My main problem seems to be that the current belief systems we use to address bad government seem to contain the very same ideological bugs that led us there in the first place.

Currently, I'm at a loss at how to move forward.

second edit: I should also add, that I'm not massively anti-christian as well. To me there are obviously good things about Christianity and some of the more left-leaning social movements (moving humanity forward socially/morally), but it would also seem there is a drive toward batshit insanity/true believer like behaviour as well.
2/27/11 2:01 AM
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Roly_Poly_Puppy
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Edited: 02/27/11 2:03 AM
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I forgot to mention, another anarchist history is historian of millenarianism Norman Cohn's "The Pursuit of the Millennium: Revolutionary Millenarians and Mystical Anarchists of the Middle Ages," which is very good (this book also had a heavy influence on John Gray's works).
2/27/11 3:25 AM
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Joe Ray
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Good stuff RPP.
2/27/11 3:31 AM
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Joe Ray
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Anarchism is a whimsical, naive, utopian creed of levelling.

Human beings dominate other human beings. Always have, always will.

2/27/11 3:38 PM
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Joe Ray
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RPP, are you purchasing John Gray's new book?



2/28/11 2:09 AM
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Roly_Poly_Puppy
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Edited: 02/28/11 2:18 AM
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Probably not, too much to read at the moment, plus have uni.

I did find a book in the library the other day that counters the "Christianity as the underpinning of Progress" argument. I'll have to read it in the next few months (and if the argument is good -- and on a brief perusal it does look good-- I might end up changing some of my beliefs on the topic, or at least re-think certain things). Link to said book:

http://mitpress.mit.edu/catalog/item/?ttype=2&tid=7218
2/28/11 1:28 PM
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Voluntaryist
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@Joe Ray,

If you're going to make comments like, "Anarchism is a whimsical, naive, utopian creed of levelling." you really need to supply evidence to prove this. For the record I have never claimed an anarchist society would be full blown utopian, I have made the claim that freedom is far better than authoritarian...anarchism is freedom, in order for me to live free, I must also allow others to live free. Obviously, living free does not mean free to hurt people with no personal responsibility. But government is a legal fiction with a falsely believed aura of legitimacy, they also give themselves sovereign immunity...they have no personal responsibility, this is why all government people are not held accountable for their actions...for example police can harm peaceful, innocent people without ever being held accountable. A police officer harms a peaceful person and they get a paid vacation, while they investigate themselves and come back saying the officer did everything by the book. Its pathetic. And i'm forced by government to pay for my own and other people's enslavement. Its so amazing to me to see people argue non-stop for their own enslavement, you are forced to pay the government to oppress you. Insanity.

@Roly_Poly_Puppy,

I think you need to take it a lil further than the comment "Obviously there ARE bad governments out there.".. All governments are force, violence, aggression, and theft. It would be better to say "Obviously ALL governments are bad". Unless you have no problem with force, violence, aggression and theft.

I just want to make sure of something, are you saying that the reason we can have NO government is because it will lead to having a government?

As for me, I'm not at a loss of how to move forward... Its a process of evolving the mind toward an understanding of voluntaryism. If people want to have their lil socialist group then they are free to do that just don't force me or anyone into it...If a group of people want to get together and try to go to war against other people, go for it, good luck raising enough money to fund such a thing because you could not use force to extract this money from the people. (what governments do, only governments go to war). I want to live in my own voluntary world, voluntarily interacting with people i choose to interact with for business and pleasure.

If you would like to compare body counts as far as 'death by anarchists' and 'death by governments' you may be shocked to see how many human beings governments KILL, eventhough I knew about the inherent violence within ALL governments I was still shocked. So by being against government I am against mass murder, to lessen the amount of death and destruction is to get rid of the idea of government....how could that not be a much better world? (once again, not saying it would be a utopia).
Peace cannot come from an inherently violent organization called government. Social order does not come from violence. Since government = violence then social order cannot come from government.
3/1/11 6:42 AM
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Roly_Poly_Puppy
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Edited: 03/01/11 7:00 AM
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The three main problems with your metaphysical worldview are thus:

(1) Your government = violence argument means you are committed to a set of necessary and sufficient conditions that if there is violence there is government, and if there is government there is violence. Violence exists without government, this is an archaeological fact, and can be found in any first year archaeology text discussing political economy in prehistory. Steven Pinker talks about it The Blank Slate in his chapters on violence. Another good book is How Chiefs Come to Power: The political economy in prehistory, another is War Before Civilization by Keeley. The aforementioned books are littered with empirical fact that contradicts your worldview that government implies violence and vice versa.

(2) Secondly, power relations exist outside government. Power is always conserved. Even if you get rid of oppressive figures, power and its relations are still there, they are just dispersed and more chaotic. Get rid of the big stick, and you'll just have thousands of little sticks ready to smash each other over the head. That's the fundamental problem with most anarchist philosophies (apart from perhaps libertarian socialism), people are going to oppress each other.

(3) Finally, you've been infected with a particularly nasty mind virus, and you come across as someone who is incapable of rational thought. Perhaps the largest indicator of your mind virus -- apart from talking in absolutes -- is how (paradoxically) you want everyone to live, nay, force them to live, by your ideology, which also claims it has voluntarism as its foundation. If you were as dedicated to your creed as you say you were, you'd let people choose what the hell they want to choose, and stop moralizing other's decisions.
3/1/11 6:50 AM
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Roly_Poly_Puppy
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Edited: 03/01/11 6:54 AM
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Actually, don't worry about the first few sentences of point three, as it is getting into ad hominem territory (edit: actually it is ad hominem, my bad), and it is perhaps unfair and beside I don't know anything about you (perhaps you are just passionate about stuff, so, my apologies).

However, I still stand by the fact that there is an ethical discrepancy between your creed and how you are coming across though.

edit: I will also grant your arguments about government being the major killer of people.
3/1/11 9:48 AM
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Voluntaryist
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I never said people would be forced to live by way of voluntaryism..I actually said if a group of people want to get together and do their lil socialist thing...good luck to them. That is what true freedom is, allowing others to be free and others allowing me to be free. There would also be a big emphasis on private property. If someone is harmed the market would provide real 'justice' services, of course I cannot say for sure what those services would look like but I certainly have some ideas. I would think arbiters, insurance and restitution would all play big roles in 'justice' services, unlike the phony monopolized 'justice services' of today. Today if someone harms another individual, the person doing the harm now owes the state instead of the victim...not to mention the prosecutor, the judge, and the public defender are all paid by state money (stolen money), there is NEVER a so-called 'fair trial'.

And how in anarchist philosophy would one 'get away' with oppressing another? The anarchist philosophy I am speaking of is market anarchism, of course. The one being oppressed upon would have a tort claim, they would be due some sort of restitution. I also assume there would be some kind of rating system for one's reputation...resembling the credit rating system, or even something kind of like ebay's rating system. Why would someone want to ding their reputation if it means they will have a hard time doing business with people? I realize I haven't really explained my ideas on this thoroughly so you may be lost by what I am saying. All I am saying is that there are already free market 'justice' systems out there, and many more ideas unseen beacause of the governmental monopolies on what they call 'services'...not sure how you can call these things services when people are forced by threat of violence and aggression to pay for them.
3/4/11 11:02 AM
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RoidsGracie
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 Under capitalism, there's nothing that stops people from living in a commune/socialist structure on their own. I know of a few religious based communities where people share living space, produce and share food and other produces with each other, etc. There is of course secular versions of this as well.
3/4/11 1:24 PM
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Joe Ray
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Edited: 03/04/11 2:47 PM
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Free market anarchism is still a system ruled by principles of authority.

Have you never read Karl Marx?

Capitalist enterprises are inherently hierarchial and governed by layers upon layers of authority.

The idea that you can simply strip government down to zero and then authority will dissappear is a utopian fantasy.

It will merely be replaced by other forms of hierarchial power & authority structures.
3/5/11 10:57 AM
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Dan O'Connell
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4 later
3/5/11 11:00 AM
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Dan O'Connell
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ttt
5/6/11 8:25 AM
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Subadie
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Edited: 05/06/11 8:31 AM
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r_p_p - you have quite the impressive bibliography there, and I have completely revised my current reading list because of it. Thanks

Also, dont worry about the ad hominem's. You're not being graded, and you're probably correct.
5/25/11 3:46 PM
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Voluntaryist
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I prefer the 'y' so people know that it is stressing 'voluntary' interaction.

No need to address thirdleg's ad hominem attacks..

Monopolies are bad, would we all agree on that? So, we should create a monopoly that has the 'legal' right to violently go after the people whenever the people do something the violent monopoly has deemed 'illegal' eventhough the violent monopoly was created by the people?

One question I would like to ask anyone who can give a responsive answer is, Can an individual delegate a right, of which they do NOT inherently have, to some entity called government?
An example, incase you don't understand the question...
I as an individual do NOT have to right to go to my neighbor's house and forcibly demand 40% of their income by way of threats of throwing that neighbor in a cage and if they do not pay up then I do NOT have the right to throw that person in a cage nor do I have the right to steal their house from them...
Government (supposedly of the people, by the people, for the people) somehow has the 'legal' right to do just what I explained above...but where do they get that 'legal' right? If government is from the people, but the people do not have that right, how can that right be delegated to government???? There is some magical thing going on here, *poof* government created by people has more rights than the people who created it... No logic, no reason... Government is illegitimate..

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