Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.

Is ET a nest of anarchists?

by Sven Triloqvist Sat May 5th, 2007 at 04:16:00 PM EST

Purely for your entertainment, I have assembled a few snippets from the annals of anarchism.

"Anarchism, in its most general meaning, is the belief that all forms of rulership (and thus also involuntary servitude) are undesirable and should be abolished."

Anarchy is:

A form of government or constitution in which public and private consciousness, formed through the development of science and law, is alone sufficient to maintain order and guarantee all liberties. In it, as a consequence, the institutions of the police, preventive and repressive methods, officialdom, taxation, etc., are reduced to a minimum. In it, more especially, the forms of monarchy and intensive centralization disappear, to be replaced by federal institutions and a pattern of life based on the commune.
Pierre-Joseph Prouhdon (1809 - 1865) Spontaneous Order anarchist

The value of labor is a figurative expression, an anticipation of effect from cause.
Pierre-Joseph Prouhdon

"Mutualist economics is characterised by a dedication to free association, a democratically run mutualist bank, and voluntary contract/federation."


It is not the product of his or her labor that the worker has a right to, but to the satisfaction of his or her needs, whatever may be their nature.
Joseph Déjacque (1821 - 1864) Anarchist Communism

We do not want to rob any one of his coat, but we wish to give to the workers all those things the lack of which makes them fall an easy prey to the exploiter, and we will do our utmost that none shall lack aught, that not a single man shall be forced to sell the strength of his right arm to obtain a bare subsistence for himself and his babes. This is what we mean when we talk of Expropriation...
Peter Kropotkin (1842 - 1921) Anarchist Communism

Anarchism is no patent solution for all human problems, no Utopia of a perfect social order, as it has so often been called, since on principle it rejects all absolute schemes and concepts. It does not believe in any absolute truth, or in definite final goals for human development, but in an unlimited perfectibility of social arrangements and human living conditions, which are always straining after higher forms of expression, and to which for this reason one can assign no definite terminus nor set any fixed goal.
Rudolf Rocker (1873 - 1958) Anarcho-Syndicalism

Political rights do not exist because they have been legally set down on a piece of paper, but only when they have become the ingrown habit of a people, and when any attempt to impair them will meet with the violent resistance of the populace
Rudolf Rocker

"Rudolf Rocker said that the different types of anarchism presented "only different methods of economy, the practical possibilities of which have yet to be tested, and that the first objective is to secure the personal and social freedom of men no matter upon which economics basis this is to be accomplished."

Anarchism means no government but it does not mean no laws and no coercion. This may seem paradoxical, but the paradox vanishes when the Anarchist definition of government is kept in view. Anarchists oppose government, not because they disbelieve in punishment of crime and resistance to aggression, but because they disbelieve in compulsory protection. Protection and taxation without consent is itself invasion; hence Anarchism favors a system of voluntary taxation and protection.
Benjamin Tucker (1854 - 1939) US Anarchism

"Benjamin Tucker, who was one of the most prominent individualist anarchists, opposed what he called four "monopolies": the money monopoly (state control over currency, credit, and banks); the land monopoly of land-titles that remained in effect if individuals were not using their land; patents, which prohibit competition; tariffs, which restrict competition in favor of established firms. There was also agreement among the early American individualists on the permissibility of employment ("wage labour"). Tucker believed that if the state stopped protecting these "monopolies" from competition that "it will make no difference whether men work for themselves, or are employed, or employ others. In any case they can get nothing but that wages for their labor which free competition determines."

Capitalism is the fullest expression of anarchism, and anarchism is the fullest expression of capitalism.
Murray Rothbard (1926 - 1995)

"Anarcho-capitalists such as Rothbard being economics-inclined, believe that different prices of goods and services in a market, whether completely free or not, are ultimately the result of goods and services having different marginal utilities rather than the fact they contain differing amounts of labor - and that there is nothing unjust about this."

Socialism and Communism both demand a degree of joint effort and administration which would beget more regulation than is wholly consistent with ideal Anarchism; Individualism and Mutualism, resting upon property, involve a development of the private policeman not at all compatible with my notion of freedom."
Voltairine de Cleyre (1866 - 1912) Anarchism without Adjectives

The First International

"Mikhail Bakunin (1814 - 1876) joined in 1868, allying with the anti-authoritarian socialist sections of the International, who advocated the revolutionary overthrow of the state and the collectivization of property. At first, the collectivists worked with the Marxists to push the First International in a more revolutionary socialist direction. Subsequently, the International became polarized into two camps, with Marx and Bakunin as their respective figureheads.

Bakunin characterised Marx's ideas as authoritarian and predicted that, if a Marxist party came to power, its leaders would simply take the place of the ruling class they had fought against."

The Russian Revolution

"Anarchists participated alongside the Bolsheviks in both February and October revolutions, many anarchists initially supporting the Bolshevik coup. However, the Bolsheviks soon turned against the anarchists and other left-wing opposition, a conflict that culminated in the 1921 Kronstadt rebellion. Anarchists in central Russia were either imprisoned or driven underground or joined the victorious Bolsheviks. In the Ukraine, anarchists fought in the civil war against Whites and then the Bolsheviks as part of the Makhnovshchina peasant army led by Nestor Makhno."

Anarchism in Spain

"In response to the army rebellion, an anarchist-inspired movement of peasants and workers, supported by armed militias, took control of Barcelona and of large areas of rural Spain where they collectivized the land. But even before the eventual fascist victory in 1939, the anarchists were losing ground in a bitter struggle with the Stalinists."

"Some anarchists do not see the destruction of property as a violent act. Anarchists see war, however, as an activity in which the state seeks to gain and consolidate power, both domestically and in foreign lands, and subscribe to Randolph Bourne's view that "war is the health of the state.""

"Most non-individualist anarchists follow Proudhon in opposing ownership of workplaces by capitalists and aim to replace wage labour with workers' associations. These anarchists agree with Kropotkin's comment that "the origin of the anarchist inception of society" lies in "the criticism . . . of the hierarchical organisations and the authoritarian conceptions of society" rather than in simple opposition to the state or government. They argue that wage labour is hierarchical and authoritarian in nature and, consequently, capitalism cannot be anarchist. Such anarchists would agree with scholar Jeremy Jennings when he argues that it is "hard not to conclude that these ideas [i.e. anarcho-capitalism] -- with roots deep in classical liberalism -- are described as anarchist only on the basis of a misunderstanding of what anarchism is."' In Demanding the Impossible: A History of Anarchism, Peter Marshall argues that "few anarchists would accept the 'anarcho-capitalists' into the anarchist camp since they do not share a concern for economic equality and social justice. . . Anarcho-capitalists, even if they do reject the State, might therefore best be called right-wing libertarians rather than anarchists." However, anarcho-capitalism is often considered to be a form of anarchism by scholars."

"All anarchists oppose the use of coercion related to international trade, as carried out through institutions such as the World Bank, World Trade Organization, G8 and World Economic Forum. Some anarchists see such coercion as neoliberal globalization.

Other market anarchists and anarcho-capitalists see the worldwide expansion of the division of labor through trade as a boon, and oppose the regulation and cartelization imposed by the World Bank, WTO, etc. Many also object to fiat money issued by central banks and resulting debasement of money and confiscation of wealth."

I hate Communism because it is the negation of liberty and because for me humanity is unthinkable without liberty. I am not a Communist, because Communism concentrates and swallows up in itself for the benefit of the State all the forces of society, because it inevitably leads to the concentration of property in the hands of the State.
Mikhail Bakunin

Free market, libertarian communist, syndicalism, and other kinds of collectivist anarchists must learn to coexist in peace and mutual respect today, in our fight against the corporate state, and tomorrow, in the panarchy that is likely to succeed it.
Kevin Carson

"Anarcho-capitalists see pollution of air, water, and earth as the direct result of inadequate property definition or protection. The tragedy of the commons is an example of the former, and nationalization an example of the latter. Since a property owner will naturally tend to improve and maintain the value of his property for its retail value if nothing else, a greater number of owners (or lack of ownership as in "the commons," or pseudo ownership as in state property) is said to reduce accountibility for that property. Libertarians in general claim that the state tends to support polluting industries for short-term political gain (i.e. job creation)."

"Anarchist communists see class society as being at the root cause of pollution. They argue that a small class of owners or controllers will have the wealth to avoid the worst repercussions of pollution while a very much larger class of workers without such wealth have no say in the running of the workplace. Thus under capitalism and other class societies those who control workplaces are also those with the least interest in minimising pollution - indeed as most anti-pollution measures add to costs that class will have an interest in minimising such measures. Under capitalism pollution is often a product of externalising costs - that is a transfer of a pollutant from the property of the owner to a public river transfers the cost from the capitalist to society at large. The anarchist communist solution is to ensure that all those working and living within the ecosystem of a plant have control over all its outputs, including pollutants."

"Christian anarchists believe that there is no higher authority than God, and oppose earthly authority such as government and established churches. They believe that Jesus' teachings and the practice of the early church were clearly anarchistic. Some of them feel that the teachings of the Nazarenes and other early groups of followers were corrupted by contemporary religious views - most notably when Paul of Tarsus reintroduced Phariseeic Judaism via dialectical legalism, and when Constantine declared "Christianity" to be the official religion of Rome."

Leo Tolstoy is considered to be the most famous Christian anarchist.

"Buddhist anarchism originated in the Chinese Anarchist movement of the 1920s. Taixu, one of the leading thinkers and writers of this school, was deeply influenced by the work of Christian anarchists like Tolstoy and by the ancient Chinese well-field system. A much more recent incarnation of this school of thought was popularized by Jack Kerouac in his book The Dharma Bums."

Aaah so that's what I am - A Buddhist Anarchist ;-)

"David Graeber and Andrej Grubacic offer an alternative use of the term (anarchism with a small `a'), applying it to groups and movements organising according to or acting in a manner consistent with anarchist principles of decentralisation, voluntary association, mutual aid, the network model, and crucially...."

...the rejection of any idea that the end justifies the means, let alone that the business of a revolutionary is to seize state power and then begin imposing one's vision at the point of a gun.

Some prominent self-styled anarchists:

  • Henri Cartier-Bresson
  • Naom Chomsky
  • Germaine Greer
  • Robert Anton Wilson
  • John Milius

"Recent technological developments have made the transmission of anarchist ideas accessible to a wider public. Many people use the Internet to form on-line communities. Intellectual property has been undermined to some extent and a gift-culture supported by sharing music files, collaborative software development, and free software (also called open-source software) has arisen. These cyber-communities include those that support GNU, Linux, Indymedia, and Wikis. Others use technology to remain anonymous, communicate securely using public key cryptography, and maintain financial privacy through digital currency."

All highly selective cut&pasting, of course....

Poll
Come to think of it
. Good grief - I must be an anarchist! 48%
. I agree with more than half of the concepts and statements here 32%
. Utter balderdash 20%

Votes: 25
Results | Other Polls
Display:
by Sven Triloqvist on Sat May 5th, 2007 at 04:26:10 PM EST
I attended an anarchist convention in Toronto. (Met my wife there!) The police were being extremely in-your-face - engaging in stopping cars and so on. The police were provoking violence.

The anarchists on the other hand were refusing to be provoked. They were going to riot when they were good and ready, and not before. A small group of us engaged in a demonstration against this desire to fight the police. The comments of most of the anarchists were - there were so many of them there and they didn't have this chance very often.

So, riot they did - at the time and location of their choosing. The police bitched and moaned, the anarchists bitched and moaned and everyone had a great time.


aspiring to genteel poverty

by edwin (eeeeeeee222222rrrrreeeeeaaaaadddddd@@@@yyyyaaaaaaa) on Sat May 5th, 2007 at 08:36:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Anarcho-Capitalist comes close, I reckon....

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson
by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Sat May 5th, 2007 at 05:12:22 PM EST
Eek!

Bush is a symptom, not the disease.
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat May 5th, 2007 at 05:26:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I agree with "Eek!", but I'd be interested to hear what aspect most directly provokes your response.

Words and ideas I offer here may be used freely and without attribution.
by technopolitical on Sat May 5th, 2007 at 05:53:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The fact that anarchocapitalism seems feirly innocuous in theory, but the opinions I have heard/read from anarchocapitalists have convinced me that it is not.

By the way, you've mentioned Somalia in a parallel comment. I suppose you are aware that Somalia was commonly put forward as an example of "functioning anarchocapitalism".

Bush is a symptom, not the disease.

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat May 5th, 2007 at 06:26:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No, I had no idea that Somalia was viewed this way, but I've only heard bits of mainstream news/propaganda on the subject.

Regarding anarchocapitalism, it is of course wonderful in theory, and fatally flawed in minor matters such as implementation, stability, and aspects neglected by the theory. And yes, the adherents tend to have distasteful opinions, partly because of the ideas themselves.

As a general rule, however, I urge caution in judging unusual ideas by the character, opinions, etc., of their adherents. The adherents of an unusual idea are inevitably drawn from the tail of some distribution and are apt to exhibit noxious syndromes common to most marginal groups. Their syndromes, in turn, will be modulated by pathologies unique to the specific unusual idea in question, both through self-selection of the adherents and through the interaction of their pathologies with the content and imagined implications of the ideas.

Briefly, unusual ideas are apt to draw crazies even if the ideas themselves are sound. The crazies, in turn, will repel sensible people and color both the presentation and perception of the ideas. The intellectual world can get stuck through this mechanism.

Words and ideas I offer here may be used freely and without attribution.

by technopolitical on Sat May 5th, 2007 at 06:46:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
See here for some hazy recollections.

Bush is a symptom, not the disease.
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat May 5th, 2007 at 06:54:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I agree with "Eek!", but I'd be interested to hear what aspect most directly provokes your response.

A perfect summation of the spirit of ET in a single sentence.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sat May 5th, 2007 at 07:37:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]


You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Sat May 5th, 2007 at 05:38:46 PM EST
In France I've always seen the sign with the horizontal bar of the A going to the edge of the circle...

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères
by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Mon May 7th, 2007 at 08:54:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
From the LA Times article:

But current and former followers of the anti-government philosophy scoff at Los Angeles police claims that a well-organized group of anarchists helped ignite a melee during Tuesday's immigration rights marches.

Word that anarchists might have played an inciting role in the MacArthur Park confrontation -- now the subject of a police excessive-force investigation -- also surprised at least one officer who surveils violence-prone provocateurs.

Unbelievable.  This is the same thing Seattle was saying about the WTO riots -- it wasn't us, it was anarchists from Oregon!

This, however...

A 2001 May Day rally in Long Beach brought another strong turnout and resulted in more than 90 arrests.

...made me a bit homesick.

Maybe we can eventually make language a complete impediment to understanding. -Hobbes

by Izzy (izzy at eurotrib dot com) on Sat May 5th, 2007 at 05:43:44 PM EST
Oh great, not only are we hard left, we're hard left anarchists!
Although, from what I gather, that's nothing compared to what goes on in Malta.

"The basis of optimism is sheer terror" - Oscar Wilde
by NordicStorm (m<-at->sturmbaum.net) on Sat May 5th, 2007 at 05:48:33 PM EST
That's an amazingly wide range of meanings for 'anarchy'.

I think that 'anarchy' is generally taken to mean an absence of government, which people naturally equate with failed states: Anarchy = Somalia = Hell on Earth. This is not good marketing for whatever it is that the self-declared 'anarchists' are selling. In my view, most of them are advocates not of 'anarchy', but of reforms in governance so deep that they require one to rethink the nature of government.

I favor deep reforms that require rethinking the nature of government, but not all are reforms that anarchists would like. Nonetheless, anarchist ideas can be illuminating because they test concepts by stretching them to their limits and thereby provide new perspectives on them.

Words and ideas I offer here may be used freely and without attribution.

by technopolitical on Sat May 5th, 2007 at 05:48:58 PM EST


Bush is a symptom, not the disease.
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat May 5th, 2007 at 05:50:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
intellectual-interpretation( 'Anarchy') != chaos
widespread-interpretation( 'Anarchy') == chaos

Words and ideas I offer here may be used freely and without attribution.
by technopolitical on Sat May 5th, 2007 at 05:58:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I assume that the latter is an intended (and succesful) piece of propaganda to describe what the promoters of the state viewed as the logical outcome of absence of rulers.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Sat May 5th, 2007 at 06:17:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There's a basic problem in describing an idea in terms of what it's not. In this case, the interesting ideas are about what systems of order would replace rulers, but the etymology and common use of the name suggests merely the absence (or removal) of rulers, which has indeed often led to chaos.

Words and ideas I offer here may be used freely and without attribution.
by technopolitical on Sat May 5th, 2007 at 06:25:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It is a naïve position that just removing the rulers will solve the problems of social organisation associated with their existence. Functioning anarchy is an issue of education [not to be confused with schooling or instruction] which seems to be a basic prerequisite.

Anarchism shares with most other utopias the assumption that the people involved conform to certain behavioural, cultural and philosophical characteristics which are not currently present.

Bush is a symptom, not the disease.

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat May 5th, 2007 at 06:31:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
My favourite historical example of this is the "forced collectivisations" undertaken by the "anarchists" during the "Spanish Revolution" which is another name for what is described in what Sven quotes here
Anarchism in Spain

"In response to the army rebellion, an anarchist-inspired movement of peasants and workers, supported by armed militias, took control of Barcelona and of large areas of rural Spain where they collectivized the land., namely



Bush is a symptom, not the disease.
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat May 5th, 2007 at 06:38:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It is naive and only accepted by simpletons.

The overthrow of the rulers and to have a just society emerge from the process requires the alternative structures for that society to be erect first.  Then it becomes a matter of telling the parasites to go play with it.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sat May 5th, 2007 at 06:44:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Anarchism shares with most other utopias the assumption that the people involved conform to certain behavioural, cultural and philosophical characteristics which are not currently present.

That's it in a nutshell.

A sustainable anarchic society is something to strive for, in my opinion.

But to minimize, confront, and compensate for freerider, bandit, and gangster activity, you will need coercion to keep people in line to have any kind of sustainable society.

Sadly, I'm afraid, freeriders, bandits and gangsters will always be with us until human behavior (human nature?) evolves* significantly beyond what it is today.

Exhibit A

*How is such spiritual evolution possible?  Through education, as Migeru suggests?  Through cultivation through the arts?  Through genetic engineering?  Meditation?  Psilocybin?  Contact with extraterrestrials?

Truth unfolds in time through a communal process.

by marco on Sat May 5th, 2007 at 10:38:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We will evolve to a "proper" or "perfect" system, when we will be focred to. In the meantime, we will try out every other possibility while we can afford to.

Can we afford "pure" anarchism? Well, no one fully succeeded with that as yet, apparently...

by das monde on Sun May 6th, 2007 at 08:05:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Since you bring up ethimology, let me note that the opposite of chaos is not archos (leader) but cosmos (order).

Bush is a symptom, not the disease.
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat May 5th, 2007 at 06:45:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ack, etymology.

Bush is a symptom, not the disease.
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat May 5th, 2007 at 06:46:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And the opposite of cosmos (order) is taxis (order), no? Too much Hayek...

Words and ideas I offer here may be used freely and without attribution.
by technopolitical on Sat May 5th, 2007 at 06:58:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You've been quiet for a long time, what kept you away?

Bush is a symptom, not the disease.
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat May 5th, 2007 at 07:03:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What kept me away is what I'm even now feeling guilty for neglecting. I've been skimming the site every day that I've been in front of my computer, though. Actually, more than once per day... [guilt deepens]

Words and ideas I offer here may be used freely and without attribution.
by technopolitical on Sat May 5th, 2007 at 07:37:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Embrace your guilt, there's no cure for ET.

Bush is a symptom, not the disease.
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun May 6th, 2007 at 03:16:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It seems to me that the one thing that all anarchists agree to is the principle of non-coercion, the differences being chiefly about their understanding of what constitutes coercion.

Anarchy doesn't mean lack of organisation, it means non-coercive organisation.

Bush is a symptom, not the disease.

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat May 5th, 2007 at 06:21:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm sorry, but you're acting like an intellectual and in a way contrary to the will of The People as expressed in Their chosen meaning for 'anarchy'. If you continue, we will have to punish you to restore semantic order.

Words and ideas I offer here may be used freely and without attribution.
by technopolitical on Sat May 5th, 2007 at 06:29:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I submit that the meaning of the word "anarchy" as understood by those who self-describe as anarchists supersedes the meaning as understood by those who don't. To do otherwise is like letting Christian fundamentalists determine the meaning of "atheism".

Bush is a symptom, not the disease.
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat May 5th, 2007 at 06:35:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Interestingly, 'atheism' is another example of a label that describes something in terms of what it is not. These empty-vessel terms may be especially vulnerable to being redefined (in a practical sense) by their opponents.

Note that atheism, paralleling anarchism, is a bad term to use when marketing positive views regarding, for example, evolution or secular government.

By the way, as a normative matter, I agree with you, In intellectual circles, the norm you suggest actually operates rather well. In fact, is a feature that helps to distinguish intellectual discourse from ignorant or politically manipulative discourse.

Words and ideas I offer here may be used freely and without attribution.

by technopolitical on Sat May 5th, 2007 at 07:11:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
being defined by the rightwing.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sun May 6th, 2007 at 05:14:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Indeed.

My understanding is that the French distinguish between:

(a) "Contrats de mandat" = coercive/ "imposed"/ one-way contracts (in the UK, either "statutory "Law" or - a lawyers' paradise - judge-made "Equity"); and

(b) "Contrats de societe" = consensual/ non-coercive/ two-way contracts.

The key point about the simple but radical "Open" Corporate forms I bang on about - of which the UK LLP is the first example (the UK LLP had roots in a Jersey LLP and hence in French law, according to a legal commentator) - is that it allows a consensual/ non-coercive legal framework to come into existence within which "anarchists" may "self organise".

ie it need not be an "organisational form" at all, as all other legal entities have historically been.

Moreover, it allows a new form of synthesis between closed = "proprietary" and "open".

ie closed, because only Members have rights, but also "open" because anyone who consents to the agreement may become a member.

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Sat May 5th, 2007 at 06:41:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
the UK LLP had roots in a Jersey LLP and hence in French law, according to a legal commentator

Do you have a link to that?

Truth unfolds in time through a communal process.

by marco on Sat May 5th, 2007 at 10:07:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This

http://visar.csustan.edu/aaba/jersey1.htm

is very informative about the way the Jersey LLP legislation was "bought" in the mid 90's by the accountancy profession.

As is Prem Sikka's paper:

http://www.essex.ac.uk/AFM/Research/working_papers/WP04-01.pdf

I know a guy, John Christensen, now of the Tax Justice network, who told me he resigned as Economic Adviser to the States of Jersey over it.

But while the fact that it was "conceived in iniquity and born in sin" is maybe an irony of cosmic proportions the point re the French jurisprudence aspect is here

http://www.jerseylegalinfo.je/publications/jerseylawreview/feb98/limited_liability_partnerships.aspx

Note firstly that

 The Limited Liability Partnerships (Jersey) Law 1997 ("the Law") creates a new type of legal entity in Jersey: a partnership that is a separate legal person distinct from the partners of whom it is composed

But crucially.

but which is not a body corporate

The UK LLP, on the other hand IS a "Body Corporate".  It had to be, because in England & Wales - unusually - a Partnership has no separate legal existence. So the first thing that the UK Act says, essentially is that, despite the name "this is a Corporate, not a Partnership".

The article then goes on to consider whether or not the Jersey LLP is legally a partnership.

In this context the paper refers to French "contrats de societe".

A consideration of contrats de société in this context is nevertheless valuable. The consonance of partnerships and contrats de société has been acknowledged in statute law in Jersey.

and gets to the nitty gritty, here

"Partnership is the relation which subsists between persons carrying on a business in common with a view of profit" .

Pothier defines a contrat de société as follows:

"Le Contrat de Société est un contract, par lequel deux ou plusieurs personnes mettent ou s'obligent de mettre en commun quelque chose, pour faire en commun un profit honnête, dont ils s'obligent réciproquement de se rendre compte".

Pothier sets out four characteristics that are essential to a contrat de société:

(i) that each of the parties brings or obliges itself to bring something to the arrangement;

(ii) that the arrangement is established for the common benefit of each of the parties;

(iii) that the parties propose, by the arrangement, to make a gain or profit in which each of the contracting parties can hope to have a share by virtue of what it has brought to the arrangement; and

(iv) that the business which is the object of the arrangement and for which the contracting parties entered into the arrangement should be something lawful and that the profit which they propose to withdraw should be an honest profit.

It will be seen that a [Jersey] limited liability partnership, satisfying the requirements for registration under the Law, exhibits all of the characteristics essential to a contrat de société

So the conclusion was that the Jersey LLP is a Partnership.

But a Partnership with Limited liability.

The UK LLP on the other hand is a Corporate, not a Partnership - and does NOT have the individual "several" responsibility of one partner acting as an agent for another.

That is the crucial point which makes the UK LLP a unique synthesis of the collective and the individual.  

The first ever "Open" Corporate, and as we see above, a participative and consensual beastie in its partnership/ contrat de societe origins.

The fact that we may agree, with our fellows a collective responsibility but WITHOUT necessarily taking an individual responsibility is, truly, revolutionary.

This goes beyond us bloody anarchists, I'm going to diarise this.

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Sun May 6th, 2007 at 08:10:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
all anarchists agree to is the principle of non-coercion

That's about the size of it.

The major theoretical differences stem from the prediction of what socio-economic structures will emerge from Bottom/Up self-organization.  This prediction implies the tactics and organizations needed now to help the process along.  


She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sat May 5th, 2007 at 06:53:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, FWIW, the future I see is essentially people linking together with people legally/economically using consensual protocols - legal XML, if you like.

Law is Code: the Semantic Web, and so on.

Because there isn't even a requirement for an agreement to be in writing, the consensual "LLP agreement" enables non-hierarchical "partnerships of partnerships" / cooperatives of cooperatives to evolve organically.

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Sat May 5th, 2007 at 06:59:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In some cases it's better to have a written agreement for the inevitable arguments.  ;-)

Of course, most of the 'rules' humans obey aren't written down such as "Thou Shalt Not attempt to headbutt a giraffe" -- to quote Terry Prachett -- and "The Speed Limit is 186,000 miles/second; it's the Law; Obey it."

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sat May 5th, 2007 at 07:10:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I have hundreds of books on my shelves which quote the speed limit law. So - and I'm going to score myself a big sweaty handful of PN points - I don't think that law hasn't been written down anywhere.

I've never seen the law about headbutting giraffes in print though. However, since there are many silly laws one or two more won't make a difference. (Unless you keep a giraffe as a pet.)

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sat May 5th, 2007 at 07:44:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Terry Pratchett - my spelling ability seems to have wandered off somewhere - is the British author of the "Discworld"  book series.  (The Discworld is a disc supported by 4 elephants standing on the Great A'Turin, fippering its way through space.)  The books are a humourous take-off of the Tolkien-type fantasy genre.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Sat May 5th, 2007 at 07:57:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There may have been just a smidgin of unseriousness in my comment, perhaps.

I probably have all of Mr Pratchett's novels downstairs - some of them in rare and expensive hardback editions, which would be worth a small fortune on Abe, if I wanted to sell them, which I don't, particularly.

(Nor do I keep a pet giraffe.)

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sat May 5th, 2007 at 08:32:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hayek argues for avoiding coercion where possible, and for restricting necessary coercion to the enforcement of general, stable laws, as distinct from enforcing the situation-dependent will of an individual or group (including the Will of the People).

This is a middle ground that allows for any degree of state power while constraining the nature of that power.

Words and ideas I offer here may be used freely and without attribution.

by technopolitical on Sat May 5th, 2007 at 07:19:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That is why Hayek was a libertarian but not an anarchocapitalist.

Bush is a symptom, not the disease.
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat May 5th, 2007 at 07:22:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hayek was a liar and an apostle of evil. Brilliant writer though.
by rootless2 on Sat May 5th, 2007 at 07:49:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'd say the opposite on all three points.

Words and ideas I offer here may be used freely and without attribution.
by technopolitical on Sat May 5th, 2007 at 07:54:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
When I think of Hayek I think of secret policemen and hidden graces, the effects of needlenose pliers on human joints, and the Great Professor Himself toasting Economic Freedom in front of Pinochet's Generals. Anyone who can pitch torture as freedom and make so many converts has gotta be a good writer. No?
by rootless2 on Sat May 5th, 2007 at 09:11:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I had forgotten or been unaware of Hayek's support for Pinochet -- or more accurately, his support for some of Pinochet's policies. It certainly stinks. The brutality and lawlessness of the Pinochet regime is, however, opposed to everything Hayek taught about free societies and the necessity of restraining arbitrary power by the rule of law. Hayek did not pitch torture as freedom: quite the opposite.

I assume that the CIA propaganda machine had been in full operation when Hayek formed his views. Was the nature of the Pinochet regime inescapably visible -- at the time in question, and from overseas, peering through the fog of media and lies? Please give him the benefit of the doubt.

Reading further, I found this excellent discussion thread, Hayek and Pinochet: One more time, on John Quiggin's blog. It includes a range of perspectives on the times, persons, and ideas, along with debates regarding historical parallels in intellectual and political life. I recommend it.

Thank you for bringing up this issue.

Words and ideas I offer here may be used freely and without attribution.

by technopolitical on Sun May 6th, 2007 at 12:36:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Many right-wing thinkers confuse freedom and power. Essentially they support a kind of aristocratic freedom - the old-fashioned feudal ideal is perhaps rarely conciously realized, but it is implicitly there. This is the freedom to exercise whatever power you have. On the surface, there are legal and ethical restrictions, but the powerfull have all freedom to circumvent their "spirit", or subjugate them. The greatest sin to these thinkers is not having people with negligible lot of power (and ergo freedom), but to let a collective arrangement supersede any individual power.

In effect, these people support anarchy of power.

The leftish anarchists propagate anarchy of freedom, with a tacit expectation (or even faith) that it would prevent power concentration. The unspoken emphasis is that you let other powers control yourself in as much as you allow them to control you - people ought to use their freedom to reject subordinating contracts.

by das monde on Sun May 6th, 2007 at 08:01:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This is correct. So for Hayek, the "economic freedom" that Pinochet brought Chilean landlords (by torturing and killing labor union organizers and enforcing feudal land tenancy laws and getting rid of tarrifs so that cheap agricultural exports produced by serfs could be released) was freedom. This is freedom as defined by de Sade.

The test for all this stuff is to ask the hypothetical question of whether it would be desirable if it became technically possible for all human beings to have sufficient to live reasonably well and to have a great majority of their time at their own command by e.g. entrusting the economy to some vast cybernetic mechanism. For Hayekians, such a regime would be despotism - precisely because it would not allow rich people to exercise power.

by rootless2 on Sun May 6th, 2007 at 10:46:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Hayek is known as advocate of liberty and rule of law. Before one accuses him of advocating torture, one should have excellent documentation of statements that allow no other interpretation. I haven't seen any.

Regarding your second point, Hayekians (or at least this semi-Hayekian) would ask what it means for "the economy" to be entrusted to a cybernetic mechanism, yet for people to have a great majority of their time at their own command. (And would wonder whether this means that the rest of their time is under actual command, a form of servitude.) Regarding the time at their own command --

  • Are they free to use this time to create what others will value?
  • If so, are they free to exchange those things -- goods, services -- with one another?
  • And if so, in what sense has "the economy" been entrusted to a mechanism?

If the answer to the first or second question  is "No", then this does indeed seem more than a little despotic, does it not? If the answers are "Yes", as I would hope, then the answer to the third must be "It hasn't, or only partially."

Words and ideas I offer here may be used freely and without attribution.
by technopolitical on Mon May 7th, 2007 at 03:58:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The first two answers are "yes". But I may take two shots at puzzling a (semi)-Hayekian.

The first bullet-aspect is called "information". Even if people are free to do whatever they want, they better know what to do. But knowing everything is very hard, as Niels Bohr would say. People have to learn it from trustable sources (the family, friends, school, TV, books, internet, government, and/or etc), or learn it on their own skin with a number of setbacks. A lot of manipulation and exploitation can happen due to assymetry of information, lack of information, willful disinformation, different learning opportunities. A man may think that he absolutely wants to do what he is doing - but he could get ripped off and trampled along the way by someone else or a "mechanism", over and over again.

There are many "brave new worlds" imaginable where people know just the right kind of information to feel happy and assume they act in free will, while completely subjugated for a certain purpose. (The Island is an uncomplicated and entertaining film to this point, for example.)

In general, outright disinformation or Orvellian conditioning need not be necessary - information monopoly and learning barriers can go a long way as well. It seems tricky to draw ethical lines in a potentially wide spectum of "information inequality". Even without behavioral forcing, how can you be sure that your "free actions" are not supervised, classified and utilized by "mechanisms"? That may not always be a bad thing, I can reckon. But would you prefer these "mechanisms" to be patently overt, or wouldn't you mind at all someone having all freedom to exploit your "free choices" without your knowing?

The second aspect is this. Even if we just exercise the free will with immediate benefits to everyone without any restrictions, can we be sure of favourable long-term consequences? The sum of our free wills still functions as a kind of mechanism. Will it go all well for long? Where will our (fairly recent) faith in the free market machine lead us? I am not optimistic. For the next civilisation cycle, we may need to keep some of our free wills in check somehow...

by das monde on Mon May 7th, 2007 at 07:36:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A few points:

  • A central contribution made by Hayek is to show the consequences of limited information -- in particular, the extremely limited information held by central planners in comparison to the knowledge held by individuals, including their collectively vast and intrinsically decentralised knowledge of the particular circumstances of their lives, work, and preferences.

  • The market mechanism can and does need to be shaped by law, and by judicial and regulatory mechanisms that implement that law. This is fundamentally different from placing some people (or any centralised mechanism) in command of how people act.

  • The best answer to information asymmetry is to spread information and opportunities to join informed organisations, not to put some people in command of the rest. The latter empowers ignorance, and creates enormous opportunities for abuse.

  • One can never be sure of favourable long-term consequences, but the centralisation of enormous power has a poor track record, consistently creating bad consequences. I place my hopes in freedom constrained by law and supplemented by government and spontaneous collective action, and in better information revealing, sharing, and evaluation mechanisms to guide both individual and government actions.


Words and ideas I offer here may be used freely and without attribution.
by technopolitical on Wed May 9th, 2007 at 01:20:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Let's suppose that the cybernetic mechanism assigns to each person a part-time job, say a couple of hours a week. And this job is not degrading or particularly dangerous, unless the person volunteers for a dangerous job. And that there is sufficient surplus so that people can then on their own individual initiative or with others have time and resources to create and build or do nothing or socialize or party or ...

For me, the loss of "freedom to exchange" in such a system would be no loss at all. For Hayekians, actual freedom to direct one's own time and freedom from compulsion of either the state or "market force" is not as real as freedom to trade and that makes no sense. I'm open to arguments that some particular mix of market and government maximizes freedom to direct one's own time, but that is an argument that properly limits economics to the sphere of pragmatic mechanism instead of religious principle.

by rootless2 on Mon May 7th, 2007 at 07:38:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I see no clear dividing line between making things for pleasure and making things for the pleasure of giving them away, or for the pleasure of giving them to others who are often pleased to later give something in return, or to others on the the condition that they give something in return (provided, of course, that this pleases them), and giving things away in exchange for money.

Why ban economic acts between consenting adults? If this is wise, the surely there is an argument for stricter regulation of sex, marriage, child bearing, and other activities with huge consequences that can often be better foreseen by statistical formulae than by the individuals who now decide.

Note that market mechanisms are cybernetic mechanisms. They can be shaped and, in some sense, programmed by law and law-based regulation. Hayek argues (and well, I think) that only decentralised mechanisms can use distributed human knowledge, and that only market mechanisms can consistently lead people toward actions that are responsive to the needs and preferences of the rest of humanity. (See "socialist calculation debate".)

Sufficiently capable artificial general intelligence could perhaps make a difference regarding the latter. It could, however, also make human labour completely unnecessary to the achievement of any goal that is not (in effect) defined to require human participation. But this is a step through the looking-glass into another world.

Words and ideas I offer here may be used freely and without attribution.

by technopolitical on Wed May 9th, 2007 at 01:40:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hayek opposed power in its most basic and dangerous form: coercion of one person by the will of another. He advocated avoiding power concentration by restricting legitimate coercion to the enforcement of impersonal laws.

(This isn't the end of the story, of course, regarding other kinds of power and the justice or injustice of laws.)

Words and ideas I offer here may be used freely and without attribution.

by technopolitical on Mon May 7th, 2007 at 03:40:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thank you, for the second approximation!
by das monde on Mon May 7th, 2007 at 04:01:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think that Pinochet is implicit in Hayek's vision which is very much tied to the exercise of power via money. Hayek treats government day-care as if it were despotism, and refuses to understand that the market and the system of laws (and the police power that backs it) are two sides of the same coin. Rational people have to admit that direct government intervention in the market, e.g. by criminalizing racial discrimination in accomodations or forbidding child labor, can increase human freedom. And I think Hayek uses a notion of economic primacy to cover his preference for oligopoly.
by rootless2 on Sun May 6th, 2007 at 10:37:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think Hayek would regard laws of this sort as laws, rather than commands -- and he gave a degree of relative approval to almost any arrangement based on universally applicable law, because these don't enable persons to direct the actions of other persons in a master/slave, despot/subject, or planner/coerced-worker relationship.

I read Hayek as honest and grappling with difficult issues in sometimes overly obscure and abstract language. You read him as having hidden agendas, in part (I think) because you see him as evil because of the hidden agendas you read into his work. Hermeneutics validates a kind of circular reasoning in interpreting texts and people, but it's a dangerous game.

Where does he show a preference for oligopoly?

Words and ideas I offer here may be used freely and without attribution.

by technopolitical on Mon May 7th, 2007 at 03:35:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Hayek is misunderstood by followers and detractors alike, who generally haven't read him either. But his unsavoury political leanings in the 1970's, and the unsavouriness of his present followers, still stand.

See, by the way, Some thoughts on Hayek's "The Road to Serfdom" by Colman
on September 12th, 2006

Bush is a symptom, not the disease.

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon May 7th, 2007 at 03:42:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't think Hayek's agendas are hidden at all. First of all, Hayek's approval of the Pinochet torture regime is to me something that cannot be ignored any more than "socialists" who tried to excuse Stalin. The concrete facts of lime pit burials, poets with fingers chopped off and blowtorches on genitals are more real than any words or excuses. Second, the enthusiastic reception for Hayek by e.g. General Motors, should tell us something. Third, the lack of historical models for Hayeks golden age of individual capitalism is important. In every historical era, capital and state are intimately enmeshed - the anti-combination laws of England, the East India companies of Holland and England, the building of US railroads on land seized by the cavalry, the creation of legal sanction for vast bureaucracies like GM are all standard parts of the history  of capitalism and can be treated as exceptions in precisely the same way as Mao and Stalin can be treated as abberations in Marxism. Fourth, Hayek's blithe assertion that one's employer has less control than the most limited government bureaucrat is utter fabrication - capital almost never needs labor as much as labor needs bread.

To me, the fundamental error of Hayek is the same as that of Marx - the assumption that economic organization is binary and basic.

by rootless2 on Mon May 7th, 2007 at 07:27:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That's an amazingly wide range of meanings for 'anarchy'.

Well that's the thing, if your an anarchist, why would you want to let anyone else tell you what anarchism is?

I think that 'anarchy' is generally taken to mean an absence of government, which people naturally equate with failed states: Anarchy = Somalia = Hell on Earth.

And why would any government sell it as being anything else? after all the last thing they would want people to know is that there might be a viable alternative to the currently accepted forms of government.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat May 5th, 2007 at 06:07:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Trying to get anarchists to behave in a coordinated manner is like herding cats.

Bush is a symptom, not the disease.
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat May 5th, 2007 at 06:23:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well the only way you have any chance, is to give them capes, floppy hats and  round bombs with fizzy string fuses, if you equip them properly then they'll do anything for you

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat May 5th, 2007 at 06:51:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Another way is to give them polyhedral dice and call yourself Dungeon Master.

Bush is a symptom, not the disease.
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat May 5th, 2007 at 07:04:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Your expertise with cats must be considerably higher than mine.
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sun May 6th, 2007 at 06:20:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
either that or he's displaying a considerably higher level of self delusion than even I can manage.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun May 6th, 2007 at 09:12:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
... at least what little I have encountered of his work.

There are some small midwestern towns in the US that came close to meeting the ideal of minimizing the role of institutions of coercive power like the police ... but mostly through a stifling social conformity.


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Sat May 5th, 2007 at 07:28:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Imagine a society where there is no coercion but "punishment" is administered by shunning. I think it would end up divided into small pockets of stifling social conformity.

Bush is a symptom, not the disease.
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat May 5th, 2007 at 07:32:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You mean like the blogosphere?
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sat May 5th, 2007 at 07:45:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Sat May 5th, 2007 at 07:52:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The oddest ones I have run into are Anarcho-Monarchists.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat May 5th, 2007 at 06:12:55 PM EST
That's mostly a put-on to play with people's minds.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Sat May 5th, 2007 at 06:54:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No they are utterly serious, believe in absolute anarchy, except for in relation to foreig policy, where they think that the monarchy should have primacy.

The populace however should have a terminal veto, performed with an axe if the monarchy gets too far out of line.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat May 5th, 2007 at 07:00:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I did write - experience tells - "mostly."  ;-)

What the hell.  If someone wants to dress up in robes, wear a crown, issue edits, and some people want to follow them who am I to say them nay?  After all it was in the US, San Francisco to be precise, that His Imperial Majesty Norton I Emperor of these United States and Protector of Mexico reigned gloriously from 1859 to 1880.


She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sat May 5th, 2007 at 07:20:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I hereby issue an edit to your comment: edit -> edict.

Bush is a symptom, not the disease.
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat May 5th, 2007 at 07:23:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
... only the commentator has the authority to edict his or her own comments.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Sat May 5th, 2007 at 07:30:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No, no, no.  Gently, gently, gently.

Migeru, poor lad, was corrupted at an early age by Physics.  We need to realize his infirmity and humor his psychological needs.  Now that he has taken up a REAL science - Economics - the doctors expect a complete recovery.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sat May 5th, 2007 at 07:41:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The first version of the comment was:
Who are you to issue edits to infringe his freedom to provide his commentary compleat with whatever typos, mis-spellings and Jungian slips he or his circumstance may care to issue forth upon this blog. How dare you! By what right do you arrogate to yourself such power?
... so I figured that what I actually wrote was fairly mild.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Sat May 5th, 2007 at 07:46:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think you could find quite a few in Spain, given that we have an anarchic bent and that most (even republican) Spaniards are Juancarlists.

Bush is a symptom, not the disease.
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat May 5th, 2007 at 06:56:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Off topic, the United States clearly needs a powerless monarch. Having the personified symbol of the nation also wield the power of the state has proved to be destructive. It leads a large segment of the public to conflate patriotism with blind, loyal support for...(How can one describe it?)...what we see in power today.

Words and ideas I offer here may be used freely and without attribution.
by technopolitical on Sat May 5th, 2007 at 07:25:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If Alexander Hamilton had had his way, the US would be electing Presidents for life. Not very different from the old Germanic elective monarchies.

Bush is a symptom, not the disease.
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat May 5th, 2007 at 07:27:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Remove the power that Hamilton surely had in mind, and this might be a workable substitute.

Words and ideas I offer here may be used freely and without attribution.
by technopolitical on Sat May 5th, 2007 at 07:41:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
... he was a strong money man. A powerful President would have been a war-mongering President, and war weakens the money.

He wanted a strong Federal government, but certainly not a strong Presidency.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Sat May 5th, 2007 at 07:51:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Anarchism, like communism, libertarianism and several other "isms" all posit certain characteristics about human behavior.

Some see an overriding trait as controlling all actions. The common one these days is the libertarian idea that people are all motivated by selfishness.

Others like Marxism believe that human nature will change in the future. Certain religious groups also believe that people can change their nature by proper concentration or effort.

The problem is that all philosophies which have the solution to "everything", especially a simple solution, are a) wrong and b) impractical.

Using the appropriate "ism" is a good way to gather followers and seize control. In that respect many of them have been successful - at least for the new leaders.

Policies not Politics
---- Daily Landscape

by rdf (robert.feinman@gmail.com) on Sat May 5th, 2007 at 07:15:25 PM EST
"...the libertarian idea that people are all motivated by selfishness...."

...a concept which has been debased into idiotically narrow, materialistic, unenlightened self-interest.

Words and ideas I offer here may be used freely and without attribution.

by technopolitical on Sat May 5th, 2007 at 07:29:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
never seem to explain much. In my experience anarchists are earnest and thin, chain smoke, wear lots of black leather and are often stubbly. Many have shaved heads.

Since no one seems to be able to provide a comprehensive definition of anarchism that everyone agrees with, my definition is probably as good as any other.

The reason isms never seem to explain much is because they're second order phenomena. By the time you get to an ism, the original point is already obscured by two or three layers of misdirection.

Which is one reason definitions are rarely useful. What do liberals believe? What do conservatives believe? What do communists believe?

Intellectual definitions seem to be less useful than looking at actions and pragmatic values.

On that basis - no I don't think ET is a nest of anarchists. So far at least, we're all much too tame here.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sat May 5th, 2007 at 07:54:02 PM EST
So having shaved this weekend am I less Anarchic than usual?

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat May 5th, 2007 at 08:25:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It depends upon which part of you was shaved ;-)

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Sun May 6th, 2007 at 02:24:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
depends which part of your anatomy...

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sun May 6th, 2007 at 03:58:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I kind of suspected that there was an anarchist bent here, especially as there are powerful connections to non-hierarchical systems.

Though anarchism is a very wide field ;-)

I was very selective in choosing the snippets. But there's plenty more at wikipedia, as of course you have already discovered:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anarchism

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Sun May 6th, 2007 at 01:23:04 PM EST
Uhh...let me think this over for a second...

yes!

"Once in awhile we get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if we look at it right" - Hunter/Garcia

by whataboutbob on Sun May 6th, 2007 at 04:37:43 PM EST
Sven, you are such an optimist!  

The Fates are kind.
by Gaianne on Mon May 7th, 2007 at 12:58:18 AM EST


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