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Forums - Politics Discussion - What is "socialism"? - An attempt to clear up myths/misconceptions

sc94597 said:

stuff

Been a while since I got back to responding, hope that doesn't make things too out of date.

Additionally, there is no pre-requisite that the whole of society or the community be involved. It could merely be a matter of arbitration between the affected parties, where both the man who killed and the family/interests of the person who was killed resolve the dispute with a mutually agreed arbitrator/judge/jury. They agree to accept whatever decision is made at the end of the process. Under a system with no/less hierarchy, and since both parties mutually agreed to the arbitrators, there is no/less worry of unfairness. Possibly, built into this agreement there is also an appeals process, where somebody has special protections. Ultimately, what is just and what is fair is decided by those involved and nobody else. 

I think this just kicks the issue back to a previous step, good luck getting people to agree to who is and isn't a fair mediator. Perhaps this can best be illustrated through Arizona's attempts to help put a stop to gerrymandering, where an independent, bipartisan commission was assigned to redraw districts as fairly as possible. Within a couple of months, both parties were accusing that commission of being biased towards the other side. Unless there are authorities that both sides are required to submit to, you're just going to end up in a cycle where no one will concede on who is fair and even less gets accomplished.

Both the girl and her mother asked the judge for leniency, nobody felt harmed, yet he still was punished. Such a large misappropriation of justice, where nobody felt to be the victim wouldn't happen in an anarchic society. This is a perfect example of how fixed laws can (and I'd argue often do) fail to achieve justice out of an aim toward expediency. Expediency seems to be the main argument you are making throughout your response, that it would be too difficult or costly to have flexible rules and flexible justice systems. But isn't the point to have an accurate justice system which proportions the costs to those whom have been inter-subjectively evaluated to have induced costs upon others? Where the focus is on helping those in conflict resolve the dispute, rather than impose moral mandates passed down by fixed laws? This can only happen in the absence of rulers, rulers whose will is just as arbitrary as any of ours, but is imposed on us from above. 

I don't really think I've said much about expediency, it's more a question of whether justice is ever delivered at all, and again, with an anarchic system you're simply substituting one failing of justice for another...except in the latter system, the failings are far more frequent. I would prefer a system with fixed rules that admittedly have failings to a system that is based on the cooperation of accused parties. Perhaps this reflects the split in our thinking more than anything; I don't view humanity (or at least, a significant portion of it) as ever being capable of developing the restraint necessary to participate in a society like that, whereas it appears you do.

Fixed rules are there to provide consistent rulings, not to promote expediency (as someone who's worked for both a law firm and a judge before, I can tell you that the US justice system isn't particularly concerned with expediency). There's already accusations made towards the justice system about judges applying the law unfairly to certain demographics, and those complaints would only increase if judges decided not only how to apply rules, but also what the rules themselves were. 

Assaults and other forms of violent crime are things which I'd largely think wouldn't be in the business of the public, unless they are exceptionally brutal or the assaulter is a serial assaulter. These are things which would be resolved through arbitration or immediate social peers. One does not have to mobilize the whole city to judge every crime, but maybe the immediate neighborhood would be involved, or maybe merely the two private parties would resolve the dispute themselves. It depends entirely on the case and whether or not it affects many people. 

A thought process like this concerns me immensely, especially in the case of serial assault from family members. Many victims who are beaten by parents, spouses, etc. become so afraid of their assaulter that many of them are either extremely nervous about reporting their circumstances to law enforcement, and some never do at all. Law enforcement in general has worked to make it easier for victims to ask for help and find safety, but it's still extremely difficult because of the inherent fear of the assaulter. I'm trying to imagine a situation where victims now have no law enforcement to go to, but instead have to rely on the public for help. Who would you even go to for protection, especially in cities that aren't large enough to form their own, citizen-organized relief house? Hope that you've got a friend who will let you stay over permanently? And who, then, resolves a crime like this? The victim is probably too terrified to go public on their own without the backing of the law, and the neighborhood could just as easily be even worse if the assaulter is well established.

I'm not as familiar with circumstances surrounding rape and other forms of sexual assault, but every report I've read leads me to believe that there's a similar fear factor that plays in, so tack that on as well.

So in the United States most communities already have such authority, gun laws and castle doctrines can be determined at the local level. Many other laws like zoning laws, laws regulating police, tax laws, etc are determined by communities and it works fine (some would argue better than having a unitary state do these things.) What I am suggesting is that communities not have fixed, discrete borders, but rather gradient ones. The community is bound to its members rather than a geographical area, and these members can leverage the community's common resources to seek justice. There is no need to keep track of laws, because the law is whatever comes about through the arbitrated dispute resolution. So this discussion is really about the pros and cons of dispute resolution via arbitration vs. dispute resolution via fixed laws determined by an external authority. 

As a public administration student and someone who's worked in local governments in multiple cities, I think you're vastly overestimating the control that local governments have, at least in respect to gun laws/regulations. Local governments are very limited in what they can do in regards to guns; these laws are by and large decided at the state level, and attempts to subvert those are usually blocked when offended parties either report or even file lawsuits alleging their rights being infringed upon. In fact, I did a quick search through my home city of Chattanooga to see how many gun laws had been put in place over the past five years and found absolutely nothing beyond one ordinance specifically applied to parks. A quick google search found at least five from the state alone.

Police and zoning both tend to be regulated much more at a zoning level, so I agree there, but my point was more directed at laws that passerbys would need to be aware of. Zoning regulations certainly don't fall into that category, and police regulations, for the most part, do not either.

Furthermore, militaries are by-products of nation-states, and in order for the military to exist there must first be a nation-state (with a fixed tax-base) to fund it. So under the conditions of an anarchic society where nation-states have been rejected by most people as legitimate entities, where exactly is this military going to get its initial resource allocation? 

I'm not trying to state that an actual, full scale military would pop into existence, rather using the comparison of how the absence of a force dedicated to protecting people becomes problematic.

How did the gang come to exist in the first place? Gangs must start somewhere. 

Option 1 would be that they move in from a country that doesn't share our hypothetical country's anarchic views. Perhaps they're a widespread gang like Mexico deals with currently, and perhaps their individuals who moved over recently, still possess a "hierarchical" mindset, and then proceed to organize into a gang when they find themselves dissatisfied with the social system here.

Option 2 would be that they are local citizens who just find themselves discontent with anarchy and believe it would be better suited under some other system, and then choose to pursue violence as a means to that end. Perhaps they themselves were discontent with what they felt was the community failing to distribute justice correctly. 

Option 3 would be to meet social needs, which might sound silly at first, but it's nowhere as uncommon as it sounds. According to Mike Carlie, professor at Missouri State, many gangs form just from unfulfilled social needs. In really simplistic terms, people struggle making friends and turn to other outcasts as a means of social gratification. Their collective disdain for those they perceive as rejecting them may eventually result in violence. It's not uncommon, and it's not something that laws play a noticeable role in, either.

And there's probably plenty other options that I haven't thought of that experts could speak to.

If I lived in an anarchic community, and a bunch of people were proselytizing for people to join their gang -- a system of organization based on hierarchy -- I'd bring it up with my peers, we'd form a community militia, and then forcefully disband the gang which is acting in anti-social ways.

And how exactly do you plan on doing that? Do you know anything about dealing with gangs, or does anyone in your community? Do people in your community have experience following and giving the orders necessary to carry out raids? Do they have experience in tracking down gang members and projecting where they might appear next? Does your community have enough experience with wielding firearms to be able to defend themselves?

This might be an extreme case, but take something like the Gulf Cartel, which has come across to the US from Mexico and maintained a steady presence in Southern states. The Gulf Cartel, or CDG, is operated very efficiently, almost like a military. Many of its sect leaders have significant combat experience with Mexican police, as well as experience training recruits and hiding from law enforcement. And this isn't an isolated groups; gangs consistently cross borders into other countries.

So let's say in this anarchic nation, a gang from a hierarchical nation crosses over, with that level of danger attached. Are you really prepared to go fight groups that routinely kill trained police and likely have years of combat experience with people pulled from your community, many of whom may have never participated in a serious fight before?

So you're ignoring four things in this hypothetical: 1. the gangs need to recruit within the external society, 2. anti-gang people can associate just as easily as the gang can, and because of its hierarchical nature it only takes killing key managers in the gang to rid oneself of it whereas you can't do the same with an egalitarian organization. 3. gangs are most prolific in destitute societies with corrupted authorities already extant. 4. gangs fill a niche for people who feel they don't belong, but under socialism this sense of alienation becomes less likely as social bonds are a strong value. 

I think you're underestimating how easy all of these things are. Recruiting is very easy for gangs; many of them specifically target unpopular high schoolers who feel isolated by classmates, and it develops from there. Unless you want to make the case that an anarchic society undoes the awkwardness of growing up, #1 and #4 are still present regardless.

I would argue #2 is, at best, misleading. While you can perhaps associate as easily as a gang can, that's not the major concern here. The concern is whether "anti-gang people" can organize and operate as efficiently as a gang can, and that I'm just not convinced of at all. Without the training and combat skill necessary to intercept and kill members, you're getting nowhere real fast.

Finally, #3. Gangs are most prolific in societies where a significant number of people feel alienated, and that can be entirely independent of the job authorities are doing. Long Beach, Los Angeles, Newark, Oakland, and Oklahoma City are the top five cities by gang violence in the United States; regions with not a lot in common. I'd argue the city itself is rarely the problem, it's just about where the gang can establish a foothold. And that foothold is largely dependent on how well they can recruit, which is mostly due to alienation.

The key word is "presently." There was a time when civil society and direct democracy were very important parts of people's lives. Think of the town meeting.  It was through capitalism and the internalization of bourgeois values that this has been reduced.

Sure, it's admittedly been higher in the past, but the point is that history has demonstrated that it can fall off. And unlike the present system which at least sort of works with minimal participation, a community agreed to system completely falls apart with that level of participation. I'd also be very curious as to what you're base the claim that capitalism and bourgeois values are to blame for this on. Local government participation has fallen off more markedly since the 1950s, and you'd be hard pressed to make the argument that society has become even more favorable to capitalism since then.

You don't have to, but why join the community in the first place then? I'm assuming that if somebody voluntarily joins a community they'd be active in it. Otherwise they could merely be an atomic person, with all of the pros and cons which come with that. Under the conditions of freedom people will only associate if there is a benefit to association. If the individual costs of being part of a community exceed the individual benefits then of course somebody will exit the community. Those whom remain will be the ones who deliberate

Why do people move into cities if they don't want to participate in town meetings? Why do people join neighborhood societies if they have no intention of showing up to weekly meetings? People want the benefits of community without the cost. Or, in your example of an anarchic society, perhaps they'd just like there to be someone to look into their death if they get murdered since the police are gone and communities are largely looking out for themselves.

Do you think that an educated population can't have said intelligent debate in the absence of hierarchy? I don't think anarchy can be achieved without an educated population. If somebody feels they aren't qualified they can always appoint a friend to decide on their behalf. This is different from electing somebody because you directly appointed the person you know rather than elect somebody you don't know as a collective with people whose interests you might not share. 

I'm a little uncertain of where that came from; my point is directed at people being willing to give up their time in order to have an intelligent discussion about every potential person who might be entered into the database. If anything, this is a point about time, not intelligence. To reference a previous point, jury duty comes to mind. It's not that you can't have intelligent jurors, it's that they just won't show up unless they're compelled to.

Without those laws there would never had been a need for the civil rights movement in the first place. Black men, women and their allies would've been able to defend themselves ( especially in counties where they were a huge majority) by associating and empowering one another. But since the Jim Crow states prohibited association and empowerment, they had to work within the system. That doesn't mean the system is valuable in itself, but it is necessary to work with in the short term. 

I feel like this paints a very inaccurate picture of US history, and world history in general. Slavery was legal in the United States, and to my knowledge, all European countries that employed the practice, until a law was passed that specifically restricted it. I suppose you can make the argument that Section 9 of Article 1 of the Constitution comes close to that (preventing Congress from making slavery illegal until 1808), but slavery took place long before any US government existed. Slavery was taking place in Virginia in the early 1600s, a solid two decades before the first law regarding slavery was put in place by the existing government.

The concept of slavery itself dates back far beyond any system of government at all, people were subjugated and forced into servitude long before any laws existed. I think this gets at my larger point more than anything; despite there being no hierarchy in place to alter people's views of each other, humans still created their own hierarchies and forced others to the bottom of them. Laws became necessary to undo those hierarchies that had been formed. In the case of the United States, laws (specifically amendments 13-15) had to be passed to deal with the systems of racial oppression that had been built over the course of several hundred years, most of which were initially constructed outside of the influence of the law. These amendments weren't perfect, they still left several "voids" in authority like I've mentioned before, which Southern governments then used to exploit the intention of the law and keep oppression in place through Jim Crow, and more notably, the Black Codes. The laws had to continually be tweaked over time to address these issues, and as time has gone by, the country has moved towards a less inequal society. The US certainly isn't perfect when it comes to racial issues, but I find it notable that an issue that initially began with no interference from the government at all, i.e. people taking advantage of others and forcing them into slavery, was one that was ultimately solved with laws.

Except its not, "just left in the open." Anarchy is not merely statelessness. It is the process of actively opposing hierarchies, including the state. All of the institutions in an anarchic society are designed to prevent hierarchy from arising, which is significantly different from "just left in the open." People associate into cooperatives, communes, and syndicates to prevent capitalist exploitation. People form militia to prevent exploitation through direct violence. People accept norms of property that are mostly fair and egalitarian. People participate in civil society in order to achieve the goals which they can only achieve with the support of others. So on and so forth. They don't need an authority or ruler to do these things. 

I think I've covered this before, but the issue is not one of "could this work if the society you've described was actually implemented." It's "could a society reasonably make this transition?" For the sake of debate, I'll assume that you're right and that if people were associated into various groups to prevent authority being subsumed, they would. But the issue is, for a country in the midst of a transition, people are not. And my argument is that any country attempting to make that transition will inevitably fail because the safeguards that you talk about that are supposed to stop the subsuming of authority, i.e. the people associated into cooperatives and the likes, are not in place yet. In a country that stands as a democracy today, any one segment of authority that is taken away will be "just left in the open," because the things that you've alluded to that could protect it either do not exist yet or are not well organized enough and cannot be until after the transition.

Individual protestant churches might have been abusive and exploitative, but on the macro-level Christianity became much more egalitarian with the protestant reformation. I don't think that can be contested. Religion is a useful tool for authority, so it makes sense that authoritarians will use it. 

I'd argue there was actually quite a bit more abuse than you're giving it credit for, but the point about the reformation is interesting, because in countries where protestants did ultimately gain a foothold, they held virtually no authority until after a civil war. France, England, Hungary, all had wars where division of religion was at least one major factor, and resulted in more protestant control. In other words...the idea itself didn't spur change, the war itself (and the changes in authority that resulted thereafter) did. In other words, yet again, nothing changes until authority is taken from someone and actively kept from that person.

Last edited by MTZehvor - on 06 February 2018

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MTZehvor said: 

1. I think this just kicks the issue back to a previous step, good luck getting people to agree to who is and isn't a fair mediator. Perhaps this can best be illustrated through Arizona's attempts to help put a stop to gerrymandering, where an independent, bipartisan commission was assigned to redraw districts as fairly as possible. Within a couple of months, both parties were accusing that commission of being biased towards the other side. Unless there are authorities that both sides are required to submit to, you're just going to end up in a cycle where no one will concede on who is fair and even less gets accomplished.

2. I don't really think I've said much about expediency, it's more a question of whether justice is ever delivered at all, and again, with an anarchic system you're simply substituting one failing of justice for another...except in the latter system, the failings are far more frequent. I would prefer a system with fixed rules that admittedly have failings to a system that is based on the cooperation of accused parties. Perhaps this reflects the split in our thinking more than anything; I don't view humanity (or at least, a significant portion of it) as ever being capable of developing the restraint necessary to participate in a society like that, whereas it appears you do.

3. Fixed rules are there to provide consistent rulings, not to promote expediency (as someone who's worked for both a law firm and a judge before, I can tell you that the US justice system isn't particularly concerned with expediency). There's already accusations made towards the justice system about judges applying the law unfairly to certain demographics, and those complaints would only increase if judges decided not only how to apply rules, but also what the rules themselves were. 

4. A thought process like this concerns me immensely, especially in the case of serial assault from family members. Many victims who are beaten by parents, spouses, etc. become so afraid of their assaulter that many of them are either extremely nervous about reporting their circumstances to law enforcement, and some never do at all. Law enforcement in general has worked to make it easier for victims to ask for help and find safety, but it's still extremely difficult because of the inherent fear of the assaulter. I'm trying to imagine a situation where victims now have no law enforcement to go to, but instead have to rely on the public for help. Who would you even go to for protection, especially in cities that aren't large enough to form their own, citizen-organized relief house? Hope that you've got a friend who will let you stay over permanently? And who, then, resolves a crime like this? The victim is probably too terrified to go public on their own without the backing of the law, and the neighborhood could just as easily be even worse if the assaulter is well established.

I'm not as familiar with circumstances surrounding rape and other forms of sexual assault, but every report I've read leads me to believe that there's a similar fear factor that plays in, so tack that on as well.

5. As a public administration student and someone who's worked in local governments in multiple cities, I think you're vastly overestimating the control that local governments have, at least in respect to gun laws/regulations. Local governments are very limited in what they can do in regards to guns; these laws are by and large decided at the state level, and attempts to subvert those are usually blocked when offended parties either report or even file lawsuits alleging their rights being infringed upon. In fact, I did a quick search through my home city of Chattanooga to see how many gun laws had been put in place over the past five years and found absolutely nothing beyond one ordinance specifically applied to parks. A quick google search found at least five from the state alone.

6. Police and zoning both tend to be regulated much more at a zoning level, so I agree there, but my point was more directed at laws that passerbys would need to be aware of. Zoning regulations certainly don't fall into that category, and police regulations, for the most part, do not either.

How did the gang come to exist in the first place? Gangs must start somewhere. 

7.a Option 1 would be that they move in from a country that doesn't share our hypothetical country's anarchic views. Perhaps they're a widespread gang like Mexico deals with currently, and perhaps their individuals who moved over recently, still possess a "hierarchical" mindset, and then proceed to organize into a gang when they find themselves dissatisfied with the social system here.

7.b Option 2 would be that they are local citizens who just find themselves discontent with anarchy and believe it would be better suited under some other system, and then choose to pursue violence as a means to that end. Perhaps they themselves were discontent with what they felt was the community failing to distribute justice correctly. 

7.c Option 3 would be to meet social needs, which might sound silly at first, but it's nowhere as uncommon as it sounds. According to Mike Carlie, professor at Missouri State, many gangs form just from unfulfilled social needs. In really simplistic terms, people struggle making friends and turn to other outcasts as a means of social gratification. Their collective disdain for those they perceive as rejecting them may eventually result in violence. It's not uncommon, and it's not something that laws play a noticeable role in, either.

And there's probably plenty other options that I haven't thought of that experts could speak to.

8. And how exactly do you plan on doing that? Do you know anything about dealing with gangs, or does anyone in your community? Do people in your community have experience following and giving the orders necessary to carry out raids? Do they have experience in tracking down gang members and projecting where they might appear next? Does your community have enough experience with wielding firearms to be able to defend themselves?

9. This might be an extreme case, but take something like the Gulf Cartel, which has come across to the US from Mexico and maintained a steady presence in Southern states. The Gulf Cartel, or CDG, is operated very efficiently, almost like a military. Many of its sect leaders have significant combat experience with Mexican police, as well as experience training recruits and hiding from law enforcement. And this isn't an isolated groups; gangs consistently cross borders into other countries.

10. So let's say in this anarchic nation, a gang from a hierarchical nation crosses over, with that level of danger attached. Are you really prepared to go fight groups that routinely kill trained police and likely have years of combat experience with people pulled from your community, many of whom may have never participated in a serious fight before?

11.a I think you're underestimating how easy all of these things are. Recruiting is very easy for gangs; many of them specifically target unpopular high schoolers who feel isolated by classmates, and it develops from there. Unless you want to make the case that an anarchic society undoes the awkwardness of growing up, #1 and #4 are still present regardless.

11.b I would argue #2 is, at best, misleading. While you can perhaps associate as easily as a gang can, that's not the major concern here. The concern is whether "anti-gang people" can organize and operate as efficiently as a gang can, and that I'm just not convinced of at all. Without the training and combat skill necessary to intercept and kill members, you're getting nowhere real fast.

11.c Finally, #3. Gangs are most prolific in societies where a significant number of people feel alienated, and that can be entirely independent of the job authorities are doing. Long Beach, Los Angeles, Newark, Oakland, and Oklahoma City are the top five cities by gang violence in the United States; regions with not a lot in common. I'd argue the city itself is rarely the problem, it's just about where the gang can establish a foothold. And that foothold is largely dependent on how well they can recruit, which is mostly due to alienation.

12. Sure, it's admittedly been higher in the past, but the point is that history has demonstrated that it can fall off. And unlike the present system which at least sort of works with minimal participation, a community agreed to system completely falls apart with that level of participation. I'd also be very curious as to what you're base the claim that capitalism and bourgeois values are to blame for this on. Local government participation has fallen off more markedly since the 1950s, and you'd be hard pressed to make the argument that society has become even more favorable to capitalism since then.

13. Why do people move into cities if they don't want to participate in town meetings? Why do people join neighborhood societies if they have no intention of showing up to weekly meetings? People want the benefits of community without the cost. Or, in your example of an anarchic society, perhaps they'd just like there to be someone to look into their death if they get murdered since the police are gone and communities are largely looking out for themselves.

14. I'm a little uncertain of where that came from; my point is directed at people being willing to give up their time in order to have an intelligent discussion about every potential person who might be entered into the database. If anything, this is a point about time, not intelligence. To reference a previous point, jury duty comes to mind. It's not that you can't have intelligent jurors, it's that they just won't show up unless they're compelled to.

15. I feel like this paints a very inaccurate picture of US history, and world history in general. Slavery was legal in the United States, and to my knowledge, all European countries that employed the practice, until a law was passed that specifically restricted it. I suppose you can make the argument that Section 9 of Article 1 of the Constitution comes close to that (preventing Congress from making slavery illegal until 1808), but slavery took place long before any US government existed. Slavery was taking place in Virginia in the early 1600s, a solid two decades before the first law regarding slavery was put in place by the existing government.

16. The concept of slavery itself dates back far beyond any system of government at all, people were subjugated and forced into servitude long before any laws existed.

17. I think this gets at my larger point more than anything; despite there being no hierarchy in place to alter people's views of each other, humans still created their own hierarchies and forced others to the bottom of them. Laws became necessary to undo those hierarchies that had been formed. In the case of the United States, laws (specifically amendments 13-15) had to be passed to deal with the systems of racial oppression that had been built over the course of several hundred years,

 18. most of which were initially constructed outside of the influence of the law.

19. These amendments weren't perfect, they still left several "voids" in authority like I've mentioned before, which Southern governments then used to exploit the intention of the law and keep oppression in place through Jim Crow, and more notably, the Black Codes.The laws had to continually be tweaked over time to address these issues, and as time has gone by, the country has moved towards a less inequal society. The US certainly isn't perfect when it comes to racial issues, but I find it notable that an issue that initially began with no interference from the government at all, i.e. people taking advantage of others and forcing them into slavery, was one that was ultimately solved with laws.

20. I think I've covered this before, but the issue is not one of "could this work if the society you've described was actually implemented." It's "could a society reasonably make this transition?"

For the sake of debate, I'll assume that you're right and that if people were associated into various groups to prevent authority being subsumed, they would. But the issue is, for a country in the midst of a transition, people are not. And my argument is that any country attempting to make that transition will inevitably fail because the safeguards that you talk about that are supposed to stop the subsuming of authority, i.e. the people associated into cooperatives and the likes, are not in place yet. In a country that stands as a democracy today, any one segment of authority that is taken away will be "just left in the open," because the things that you've alluded to that could protect it either do not exist yet or are not well organized enough and cannot be until after the transition.

Individual protestant churches might have been abusive and exploitative, but on the macro-level Christianity became much more egalitarian with the protestant reformation. I don't think that can be contested. Religion is a useful tool for authority, so it makes sense that authoritarians will use it. 

21. I'd argue there was actually quite a bit more abuse than you're giving it credit for, but the point about the reformation is interesting, because in countries where protestants did ultimately gain a foothold, they held virtually no authority until after a civil war. France, England, Hungary, all had wars where division of religion was at least one major factor, and resulted in more protestant control. In other words...the idea itself didn't spur change, the war itself (and the changes in authority that resulted thereafter) did. In other words, yet again, nothing changes until authority is taken from someone and actively kept from that person.

1. There are costs involved in the arbitration itself. Eventually people will be sensitive to any further sunk costs and opt to resolve said dispute. The reason why you don't see this in your legislator example is because there are no personal costs involved with the legislators. The legislators are acting and working on the tax-payers dime for what they perceive to be the taxpayers interests (being generous here), and would be spending their time in session regardless of what they do with that time. You might argue that there are political costs, but it isn't entirely clear that the political costs of not conceding outweigh the political costs of conceding, and hence you don't have concessions. 

Finally, one can make the agreement  in a way such that one is bound by the rules of one's selected jury or arbitrators. This is not totally voluntary and free, but it is more free and voluntary than in our current system. 

Most disputes even in our current society are resolved by arbitration, so I don't see why you think the idea is all that far-fetched. 

2. Is it not the evaluation of whether or not justice has been achieved an individual value? Do you believe in objective morality? Whether or not you answer yes or no to the latter question determines significantly how you see the maximization of justice. 

3. Consistent rulings to what? All cases are different, even if the difference might merely be who is involved. The only reason why there is a question of fairness is because the judge is not selected by the disputed parties in a fair manner, but by the public as a whole or an appointee (and therefore might represent public/external prejudices.) Juries are a bit more fair (because they're randomized and selected), but even then the selection process is often skewed. 

Again I must inquire about whether or not you have a belief in an objective morality, because this determines whether or not you view consistency as a valuable standard. 

4. Are you suggesting there won't be any communitarianism in the absence of legal mandates? Certainly things like domestic violence shelters, help-groups, and other means of community/social-based assistance exist in a socialist society where many resources are commonly shared. Remember, you are judging the necessity of government-mandated social institutions in a capitalist society based on private property and large-scale alienation. There is a reason why anarchists are also socialists. That law enforcement currently does a thing, doesn't mean it can't be done by other alternative social organizations whom use common property available to the whole community. 

5. In my state, both of the largest cities Pittsburgh and Philadelphia have gun laws exclusive to them. I am sure it is true of other municipalities. For example, it is legal to open carry without a license in the whole state except in Philadelphia. So certainly many local governments have power over gun laws, devolved to them by the state of course, but all local laws are devolved by the state in our current society. 

6. Can you provide a concrete example? 

7.a This just becomes a matter of foreign invasion. In that case, guerrilla warfare has been quite effective at staving off organized foreign invaders. Just look at the ability of the United States to intervene in local conflicts abroad, with the best funded and trained military the world has ever seen. 

7.b For that matter, they would have to secretly organize, if they wished to rule others. Again remember, an anarchist society is one in which the majority of people have rejected rulers and abolished the institutions which allow rulers to rule. If a subset of the population wants to institute rulers they're going to have to go against the social systems which have been especially tuned to eliminate ruler-ruled relationships. That's easier said than done, in a context of a society where ruler-ship has already been eliminated. For example, suppose I wish to reinstate private property and the state to protect it. I'd have to convince all of the people around me who share that view, in secret, that I wish to do such a thing. If I do it out in the open, then everybody who is around me that doesn't want private property and the state to be reinstated would prepare for any act of aggression on my (or my peer's part), if not outright kick me out of the community. Remember, anarchism is the state of not having rulers, it isn't the lack of organization and preparation. Such things can and will exist. 

7.c  Again, the greater anarchist society is already socialist, which implies that people's varying social needs are being met as best they can given the resources available (you can disagree that socialism achieves this, and it would be my job to convince you.) It would have to be shown that a hierarchy with a ruler can better address people's social needs than an egalitarian community designed precisely based on providing social needs. That is merely an argument on the viability of socialism. 

8. Yes, how do you think institutions of hierarchy were overthrown and destroyed in the first place? An anarchist society requires people (and the social institutions they create) to be attuned to and have the means of preventing relations of ruler-ship. 

Furthermore, all of your questions apply to the people whom wish to create the gang too. How would they find out how to create a gang? How would they persuade people to join? Are they familiar with using guns? 

It's almost as if there hasn't been a precedent of people self-organizing, but there has. Militia and guerrilla warfare have existed for millennia now, in fact, much longer than institutional gangs or militaries. 

9. How did the Gulf cartel grow? Who initially trained its first members? Where did its funding come from? I am going to assume that there was quite a bit of involvement from the Mexican and American governments which led to its creation, and most of its funds likely came from the illegalization of valuable commodities. 

10. If I were able to overthrow the state -- an institutionalized powerful entity with a disproportionate ability to levy tribute from its population -- in the first place, what is a gang compared to that? If I were able to overthrow the state because it was weakened, have I also not recognized that I must weaken gang power in order to achieve anarchism? Are state power and gang power separate?  

11.a There is much more to the psychology of a gang member than "high school students who were awkward or don't feel as if they belong."  Structural poverty and the ability to profit on criminal activity are much more correlative here. The viability of a gang depends significantly on how desperate the population is. It's why you find so many more gangs (per capita) in a country like the United Kingdom (I chose not to mention the United States due to its border) than you do in Norway, despite Norway being relatively soft on crime. 

11.b Why wouldn't common people have access to training and combat skills? These things can be taught in community schools or by parents at home. Furthermore, are most gang-members very trained? You can cite the odd gang here and there, but plenty of gangs have poorly trained members who don't even know how to hold a gun. 

11.c But you're not considering the resources the gang needs. They need an ability to make super-normal profits. It's why most gangs in Mexico and the United States are tied to the drug trade. They make profits due to the illegalization of drugs. Likewise, early mafias made profits due to the illegalization of alcohol. Organized crime has very much been tied with the ability to make special profits. How can this occur in a socialist society? Furthermore, you mention alienation, but one of the key points of socialism is to reduce alienation. 

Structurally there are significant differences between the way gangs operate and grow based on the policies of the states which most directly influence them. It's not a case of random and spontaneous organization, actual structural institutions and laws are very important here. 

12. I actually can argue that society has become more favorable toward capitalism since the 1950's. In the 1950's a third of all people were in labor movements which internalized quite a bit of socialist ideas, and a much larger proportion of the population were agrarians, skeptical of big banks and big corporations. Today, only about 7% of the population participate in labor movements, and a much smaller proportion of the population are agrarian. The Boomer generation (onward), due to their suburban-lifestyles have internalized quite a bit of bourgeois social values and have become much more accepting of capitalism than prior generations. This is why fusionist Reaganism appealed to them so much. 

13. The thing is, in an anarchic society community membership is somewhat detached from geographical membership. Many communities will overlap according to geography in so much as there are no common property disputes. In our current society, people have no choice but to join a community based on their geographical location. This is the difference between freedom of association and not being free to associate. 

14. Which is why I mentioned the ability to appoint somebody who is willing to participate. Those who have the time can represent those whom trust them. 

15. American slavery was based on the power imbalances (and exploitation) between the English, colonial Americans, certain tribal African slave-sellers, and other tribal Africans. This doesn't tell us anything about a world (or society) where power has been devolved to the common person, and where technology is not selective to a particular group of people. In other words, the global society we live in today is significantly different from the 16th century relationships between monarchies and colonial Africans. Furthermore, domestically, there were laws protecting the ownership of slaves. State militia were used to quell any thought of a rebellion. The fugitive slave act was passed to prevent people from fleeing. To ignore the laws (and state aggression) which institutionalized slavery (and therefore reduced the costs of holding slaves) is to ignore the history and culpability of the people involved. 

16. Actually no. Slavery developed along the first agrarian societies, and the first governments. These were intimately connected. Pure hunter-gathering societies didn't have slaves, because that would've been another mouth to feed and there really was no benefit. Now you can possibly say that slavery predates statutes (and states), but not necessarily law. The law was merely what the ruler(s) (arbitrarily) said it was. Slavery was not abolished by laws, but by popular sentiment. The laws were only created to override previous laws that lagged behind popular sentiment. 

17. You're not analyzing how humans created hierarchies though. That is very important. It was through the institutionalization of power through fixed ideas: religion, appeal to tradition, etc and disproportionate ability to induce violence (due to technological differences) that people were able to create and maintain these hierarchies. In an age of science, reason, and skepticism the first have been weakened, and in an age of rapid technological advancement and globalization the second has been reduced. 

This brings me to my next point. You're confusing the effects of the law for the social change. It takes a change in people's mindsets for a law (under a somewhat democratic system) to be created in the first place. Without laws meant to institutionalize slavery (and yes, they did exist, don't deny this!) slavery would've been eliminated as it became too costly for an individual to maintain slave ownership as the social pressures surrounding them accumulated.

A good example of a hierarchy where changes in law really won't do as much at this point as changes in sentiment, is the gender hierarchy. For all intents and purposes women and men are treated as legal equals (with some marginal inequalities), but they still aren't equal. Why? Because many people (enough) still have not internalized that some of the prejudices they hold aren't legitimate. The #metoo movement shows us that changing the social institutions through social conditioning directly (rather than relying on the law) can be at times be more effective. I am not opposed to using laws as a short-term solution where they are convenient, but the law is not the fundamental force of social change. 

18.  Sorry the companies that brought the slaves over to colonial America were chartered by law, the protection against slave rebellions were there due to law, the colonies themselves were charted by law.It is not obvious that in the absence of these things chattel slavery (at that scale) would've been viable. And again, one can't ignore the institutionalization of slavery which prolonged its status. There were laws in the United States (and Britain before there was a United States) which protected and enabled chattel slavery in way of social forces which opposed it. 

19. I can't see how you can ignore the influence of the British Empire on the slave trade here. There was not "no government influence." 

20. But this argument can be made for any social change, really. Look at the French revolution. It took many tries before the French fully abolished the monarchy and reactionary forces, but it still happened. Nothing of its equivalent replaced it. That it doesn't happen in one revolution doesn't mean it won't eventually happen. Change can happen via many smaller revolutions, and unless the hierarchy which replaces the prior hierarchy is equally hierarchical eventually a state of infinitesimal "near-anarchy" will come to exist, just as we don't need a perfect geometric circle to call something in the real world that approximates one -- a circle.

21. My argument was based on distinguishing abuse and hierarchy. While hierarchy is rooted in abuse, they aren't the same thing. The protestant reformation was necessary in order for the separation of the Catholic church (which was, and is, objectively much more hierarchical than the majority of protestant denominations) to lose its power over European kingdoms, estates, and the people which they controlled. This, in turn, was necessary for future political revolutions to flourish. The degree of hierarchy is important. This is not a mere binary of exchanging "hierarchy a" and "hierarchy b" when "hierarchy b" is much less hierarchical than "hierarchy a." Equating two different hierarchies gets us nowhere. As for the idea itself, it did spark change. It was the idea that the Catholic Church was not the mouthpiece of God which set the basis for the idea that the "divine right of kings" was bull-crap, which set the basis for "republicanism is a good idea." You can't ignore the power of ideas in determining where violence should be directed. 

Also, I am a bit confused in your use of "protestant" as some unified entity. The name itself kind of illustrates what it was. It was a movement of many different groups of Christians to protest the Catholic Church's power and authority. To speak of "protestant authority" and "protestant power" seems odd to me in this context. 

Last edited by sc94597 - on 07 February 2018

Leadified said:
DonFerrari said:

You mean governments that wanted to keep their power gone and intervened??? That doesn't really make capitalism to be at risk. I do not fear socialism, I do fear their tryouts that end up killing a lot of people in the process.

And since inequality is the biggest issue it certainly is better to live in Vietnam or Cuba than USA, and that is why we see daily migrants going from USA to both countries.

" That doesn't really make capitalism to be at risk." -> "You mean governments that wanted to keep their power gone and intervened???"
You just proved my point.

Revolution happens when society cannot take it anymore, violence becomes a viable solution. When you try to shove issues like inequality or exploitation under the rug like it's nothing, all it says to me is that capitalism can no longer solve these problems so their supporters choose to ignore them. 

Locknuts said:

Nah inequality isn't really a problem, so it doesn't really need to be talked about. All it does is stoke resentment and aid those who promote class warfare. As long as poverty is going down instead of up that's cool.

I'd say Zambia is a mistake on that list, but the rest seems pretty solid.

I disagree with your premise given the evidence I've provided so I don't think we can go further than this.

I don't know how to put it simpler to you that government instilling fear because they want to keep their power is totally different than capitalism being at risk... the socialist countries fall by themselves and capitalism was thriving at the same time... so it's hard to say it was at risk.

Sure, the violence was so needed that they had to kill their own followers to keep their power... but that was the socialist countries.



duduspace11 "Well, since we are estimating costs, Pokemon Red/Blue did cost Nintendo about $50m to make back in 1996"

http://gamrconnect.vgchartz.com/post.php?id=8808363

Mr Puggsly: "Hehe, I said good profit. You said big profit. Frankly, not losing money is what I meant by good. Don't get hung up on semantics"

http://gamrconnect.vgchartz.com/post.php?id=9008994

Azzanation: "PS5 wouldn't sold out at launch without scalpers."

morenoingrato said:
DonFerrari said: 

That is because generally only people that have a good standard of living and didn't lived on the places that they tried Socialism really defend it... like in Brazil where Socialists are mostly milionaries that think the government should do everything instead of using their own money.

I know what you mean. I'm currently studying in the States, and there is vocal and obnoxious Socialist community here that stages protests all the time. All I see there is privileged, entitled brats that are too blind to see how easy they have it.

I'm from Ecuador myself where socialist policies for 10 years left our economy in tatters and our democracy, international credibility and institutions seriously damaged. Even though our current government is slightly more centrist I don't think it goes far enough in eroding the previous toxic policies.

Yep... the demands can always be summarized to "take it from the others who have more and give to the ones that have less... unless I'm to be considered one that have more and could give it willingly"



duduspace11 "Well, since we are estimating costs, Pokemon Red/Blue did cost Nintendo about $50m to make back in 1996"

http://gamrconnect.vgchartz.com/post.php?id=8808363

Mr Puggsly: "Hehe, I said good profit. You said big profit. Frankly, not losing money is what I meant by good. Don't get hung up on semantics"

http://gamrconnect.vgchartz.com/post.php?id=9008994

Azzanation: "PS5 wouldn't sold out at launch without scalpers."

sc94597 said:
Seventizz said:
Socialism is stupid and anti freedom. I thought you liberals liked freedom, no?

You millennials really need to educate yourselves. You're making your generation look really dumb.

Lol, the juxtaposition of "Socialism is... I thought you liberals liked freedom, no?" when referring to liberal-critical socialists and "You millennials really need to educate yourselves" is so ironic. 

Socialism and modern forms of liberalism (the political ideologies used to justify and protect capitalism) aren't even remotely the same thing. Socialists are critical of liberalism. That you think the people supporting socialism in this thread are liberals shows a lack of knowledge on your part. 

Have you considered that there are many different concepts of what freedom is? 

He is probably looking from USA POV where socialists and other left wing call themselves liberals while requiring more government intervention.



duduspace11 "Well, since we are estimating costs, Pokemon Red/Blue did cost Nintendo about $50m to make back in 1996"

http://gamrconnect.vgchartz.com/post.php?id=8808363

Mr Puggsly: "Hehe, I said good profit. You said big profit. Frankly, not losing money is what I meant by good. Don't get hung up on semantics"

http://gamrconnect.vgchartz.com/post.php?id=9008994

Azzanation: "PS5 wouldn't sold out at launch without scalpers."

Around the Network
DonFerrari said:
sc94597 said:

Lol, the juxtaposition of "Socialism is... I thought you liberals liked freedom, no?" when referring to liberal-critical socialists and "You millennials really need to educate yourselves" is so ironic. 

Socialism and modern forms of liberalism (the political ideologies used to justify and protect capitalism) aren't even remotely the same thing. Socialists are critical of liberalism. That you think the people supporting socialism in this thread are liberals shows a lack of knowledge on your part. 

Have you considered that there are many different concepts of what freedom is? 

He is probably looking from USA POV where socialists and other left wing call themselves liberals while requiring more government intervention.

That's not what socialism is though, I clarified it in the first post. If we have to resort to misinterpreting what it is to denounce it, that's not a good sign.



VGPolyglot said:
DonFerrari said:

He is probably looking from USA POV where socialists and other left wing call themselves liberals while requiring more government intervention.

That's not what socialism is though, I clarified it in the first post. If we have to resort to misinterpreting what it is to denounce it, that's not a good sign.

I agree, and also left wing in USA shouldn't call themselves liberals since they want a lot of intervention... and although one can't reduce socialism to be always based on government intervention you know that is what most people have been exposed to.



duduspace11 "Well, since we are estimating costs, Pokemon Red/Blue did cost Nintendo about $50m to make back in 1996"

http://gamrconnect.vgchartz.com/post.php?id=8808363

Mr Puggsly: "Hehe, I said good profit. You said big profit. Frankly, not losing money is what I meant by good. Don't get hung up on semantics"

http://gamrconnect.vgchartz.com/post.php?id=9008994

Azzanation: "PS5 wouldn't sold out at launch without scalpers."

DonFerrari said:
VGPolyglot said:

That's not what socialism is though, I clarified it in the first post. If we have to resort to misinterpreting what it is to denounce it, that's not a good sign.

I agree, and also left wing in USA shouldn't call themselves liberals since they want a lot of intervention... and although one can't reduce socialism to be always based on government intervention you know that is what most people have been exposed to.

I actually think it's liberals calling themselves left-wing, rather than leftists calling themselves liberals.



VGPolyglot said:
DonFerrari said:

I agree, and also left wing in USA shouldn't call themselves liberals since they want a lot of intervention... and although one can't reduce socialism to be always based on government intervention you know that is what most people have been exposed to.

I actually think it's liberals calling themselves left-wing, rather than leftists calling themselves liberals.

You may think they shouldn't be calling themselves left-wing, I won't complain about it, but when they want the government to interfere on economy on ever increasing size and frequency and also the "social freedom" they want is also through lawmaking to make things they don't like forbidden.... nothing the american "liberals" preach are really liberal in concept independent of what name or ideology they say they have.



duduspace11 "Well, since we are estimating costs, Pokemon Red/Blue did cost Nintendo about $50m to make back in 1996"

http://gamrconnect.vgchartz.com/post.php?id=8808363

Mr Puggsly: "Hehe, I said good profit. You said big profit. Frankly, not losing money is what I meant by good. Don't get hung up on semantics"

http://gamrconnect.vgchartz.com/post.php?id=9008994

Azzanation: "PS5 wouldn't sold out at launch without scalpers."

DonFerrari said:
VGPolyglot said:

I actually think it's liberals calling themselves left-wing, rather than leftists calling themselves liberals.

You may think they shouldn't be calling themselves left-wing, I won't complain about it, but when they want the government to interfere on economy on ever increasing size and frequency and also the "social freedom" they want is also through lawmaking to make things they don't like forbidden.... nothing the american "liberals" preach are really liberal in concept independent of what name or ideology they say they have.

Government intervention is not necessarily left-wing though, if the goal of the intervention is to reduce income inequality then sure, but some times it is done to break up unions, cut social services, etc.