• thewonder
    473
    So, I've recently come to the realization that anti-authoritarianism is the only political philosophy that any person should adopt. When you think about Politics for an extensive period of time, you realize that the primary concern is not in the creation of some sort of more utopian society, but almost exclusively with the abuse of power. You have to cope with attempts at subjugation before you can even do anything else. There are a lot of ideas and ideals within the libertarian Left, Anarchism, and even Liberalism that are worth substantiating, but, because power has come to be so effectively secured by, primarily, men who often even intend to abuse it, the most effective praxis would ultimately be of some sort of anti-authoritarian philosophy. It's not that I think that things like prefigurative politics or the substantiation of human rights should be totally abandoned; it's just that I think that anti-authoritarianism most adequately addresses not only what generally afflicts us now, but what more or less has throughout almost all of human history.
  • Pfhorrest
    2.8k
    some sort of more utopian society, but almost exclusively with the abuse of power. You have to cope with attempts at subjugation before you can even do anything else. There are a lot of ideas and ideals within the libertarian Left, Anarchism, and even Liberalism that are worth substantiating, but, because power has come to be so effectively secured by, primarily, men who often even intend to abuse it, the most effective praxis would ultimately be of some sort of anti-authoritarian philosophy.thewonder

    Those philosophies are all anti-authoritarian to a greater or lesser degree (anarchism the greatest, liberalism the least).
  • thewonder
    473

    Well, I mean, if I didn't think that then I wouldn't cite them as having ideas or ideals that should be substantiated.

    What I more particularly mean, though, is that the praxis should be slated as a negation of authoritarianism. You ultimately care less about actually reifying what is veritable of the end goals of Communism, the abolition of the State, or effective democracy than you do of not being subject to people in power who abuse their positions. The idea can be summarized as that you have become liberated before you can create any sort of ideal society.

    From an Anarchist perspective in what I can only think to refer to as "the West", for instance, a question is how to effectively create Anarchist communities. The primary concern, however, is what are you going to do about the Central Intelligence Agency, the Secret Intelligence Service, probably a set of political factions to have proceeded from the Gehlen Organization in Germany, the far-Right, the most culpable parties of wealth, the Mafia, factions of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, factions of the local police, certain either Neo-Liberal or Neo-Conservative economists, the think-tanks, certain factions of the United States' Military, certain factions of other militaries in the world, a set of somewhat established politicians in the American Right, a set of somewhat established politicians within the European Right, certain new political factions within the American Right, certain political factions within the Right in Europe, the North-Atlantic Treaty Organization, the School of the Americas, etc. etc., basically the various order-enforcing bodies that comprise what Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri refer to in Empire as the "network-power" that they, particularly, are subject to. Within the Anarchist community, of course, the general assumption is that some sort of effective revolution should take place. As violent revolution is likely to result in a sort of asymmetrical clandestine civil war, the prospect of winning seems to me to be incredibly unlikely, thereby suggesting a return to the political violence that occurred beginning more or less with the Red Army Faction in Germany in the late-1960s, which will only result in another wave of both legal and extra-juridical repression, aside from that that whole sort of thing was just kind of terrible in its own right, such strategy, to me, does not seem to be either effective, advisable, or even possible given the current structures of power that exist. Having come to those realizations, it seems like the focus should be upon how to neutralize their antagonists rather than to engage in what, at best, is an exercise in revolutionary reverie. I, of course, don't really know what to do about all of that either, though.

    I should also like to point out that, while there are grains of truth to the theory that governance becomes as it does because of systemic flaws, I do mean that there are particular, primarily, men who are particularly responsible for out particular plights who have particularly become so because of authoritarianism. That lengthy list of antagonists may be different if you live in the Russian Federation or what is officially still called "The People's Republic of China", but almost all of the parties who are primarily responsible for almost all of the plights in the world are authoritarian men in their forties who never should've been let into any position of power at all by that they had evidently demonstrated that they intended to abuse such power to secure such positions in the first place.

    The point here being that the problem isn't really that what is veritable of the end goals of Communism have yet to have been reified, the State has yet to be abolished, or that democracy is just simply dysfunctional; the problem is that such men have yet to be removed from power.

    With all that being said, there's also the strategic aspect of anti-authoritarianism in that it is how you can win all of the political allies that you do want and none of those that you don't. It seems like, seeing that democracy is dysfunctional and revolution impossible, we'll just have to wait for people to luck out upon discovering anti-authoritarianism at a young age and just kind of sticking with that so that something can effectively be done about all of this. Hopefully that'll happen sooner, rather than later.
  • Pfhorrest
    2.8k
    The idea can be summarized as that you have become liberated before you can create any sort of ideal society.thewonder

    I used to be of that opinion (and thought it the natural conclusion), but I've come to think quite the opposite by now. You have to build an alternative, superior power structure to displace the old one; you can't just tear down the old one and then move forward from there. The reason is that power vacuums get quickly filled by the worst kind of power structures. In order to keep bad power structures from arising, there has to be some kind of better power structure in place: something that will protect liberty against those who would trample on it, without in the process on it trampling themselves.

    That's why I argue that anarchy is not the absence of government, but the limit of good government: what progressively better and better government converges toward. If you just get rid of all government, it will quickly be replaced by the worst kind of government. Instead of doing that, we have to first build a better form of government, with which to displace the bad one. And then build a better one still with which to displace that. Etc. I don't think we'll ever manage to get to perfect liberty, but we can get a lot closer approaching it progressively like than than by tearing everything down and starting over again from the worst of the possibilities.
  • thewonder
    473

    That's probably a better optimistic worldview to have than to suspect that only anti-authoritarian messiahs can usher in the new age, and I don't entirely disagree. I'm of a strange sort of syncretic political that is neither revolutionary, radical, nor reformist and, yet, all of them at the same time, or at least, was.

    I'm an Anarcho-Pacifist, but I left the Anarchist movement in protest of its general proclivities towards crypto-Fascism and political violence and became decidedly a-political. What I found of nonviolent revolution was that believing in it more or less made you a libertarian socialist Pacifist or an Anarcho-Pacifist, and, seeing that those two descriptors can be more or less synonymous, you kind of de facto ascribe to Anarcho-Pacifism, which I actually do, but don't really have any qualms, as some other Anarchists do, with being called a "Socialist" or even a "Liberal". Because of this, in order to get anywhere, you have to get the Anarchist community on your side. As that entails talking them out of violent revolution, which there are a myriad of spurious justifications, appeals via invocation, and over-reactive defense mechanisms for, making it more or less what Anarchist ideology is, that can not be done. An attempt at effective nonviolent revolution is, at best, a sectarian protest, and, at worst, a political crusade. Perhaps other Anarcho-Pacifists will fare better, but dropping out of Anarchism has led me to suspect that I should probably just abandon Politics altogether, which I have, more or less done.

    That's kind of off-topic, though.

    To me, the situation that we're all in demands that something be done, but it also seems like there just isn't anything that effectively can be done. I realize that this is somewhat absurd conclusion, but I do almost believe that only an anti-authoritarian movement of some sort can effectively change things so that effective change can happen. I agree with your sentiments, however. To me, it seems better, though both arguments can be effectively leveled, to invoke something like the, though I don't really entirely agree with the distinction, positive liberty of free association rather than the negative liberty of the freedom from coercion. At the same time, via an appeal to a kind of realpolitik or something, the actual demand is the freedom from coercion. I would prefer, in good company, to discuss the free association, but, in a court of law, would state that I should be free from coercion. Perhaps that's a concession on my part or a form of interpellation or something. To utilize the distinction between positive and negative liberties, however, it seems like positive liberties can only become pertinent when negative liberties are no longer necessary. Perhaps that distinction should just be deconstructed or something, though.

    I'm feeling kind of scatterbrained right now, and, so, apologize if this only seems to make so much sense.
  • Bitter Crank
    8.8k
    I'm of a strange sort of syncretic political that is neither revolutionary, radical, nor reformist and, yet, all of them at the same time, or at least, was.thewonder

    Strange indeed. I think you are utilizing too many labels in your thinking. Pick a label, any label -- communist, neoliberalism, libertarian socialist Pacifist, crypto fascist, or Republican Assholes, and one finds that they really don't fit the intended target all that well [which I don't like because it irritates my discomfort with excessive ambiguity.]

    I am an anti-authoritarian whenever the powers-that-be are getting on my nerves, but otherwise I don't see that big a problem with a fair amount of centralized power and authority. We humans are an unruly lot, and it takes a certain amount of centralized power and authority to keep a lid on, and prevent us from wrecking the means of our existence.

    All that said, we could certainly do a lot better for ourselves and for the world. We have to find a way of prying the Republican Assholes, crypto fascists, neoliberal death cults, and so forth from their ensconced positions in office.
  • thewonder
    473
    All that said, we could certainly do a lot better for ourselves and for the world. We have to find a way of prying the Republican Assholes, crypto fascists, neoliberal death cults, and so forth from their ensconced positions in office.Bitter Crank

    We'll I'm glad that we agree upon that point.

    I do, however, think that the challenge to the concept of authority is well grounded. What has there been historically? There was the Roman Empire to follow the Roman Republic, a litany of feudal warlords or whatever, monarchies, the aristocracy, the nationalism that led to the First World War, Fascism, Marxism-Leninism, Maoism, what I, and some others, refer to as "Empire" that exists now. It's one thing to say not to let a few bad apples spoil the whole batch, but when you can only think of a few good examples, perhaps the idea is just somehow flawed? There is, of course, a difference between authority and authoritarianism. While I do agree with the abolition of all hierarchy, as things now stand, there is something to be said for good leadership or whatever. Even a good authority, though, to me, seems like it ought to abolish even itself, though.

    Strange indeed. I think you are utilizing too many labels in your thinking. Pick a label, any label -- communist, neoliberalism, libertarian socialist Pacifist, crypto fascist, or Republican Assholes, and one finds that they really don't fit the intended target all that well [which I don't like because it irritates my discomfort with excessive ambiguity.]Bitter Crank

    I do identify as being an Anarcho-Pacifist. I had once conceptualized the political philosophy of anti-authoritarian Pacifist Anarchism, but felt that that was a bit redundant. I think that all effective praxis, nonviolent revolution, strikes, certain direct actions, marches, creative endeavors, leafleting, collaboration with the associated press, human rights legislation, civic engagement in the democratic project as it exists now, etc. etc., that reifies Anarcho-Pacifism can and should be simultaneously waged. By "Anarcho-", I do more or less mean libertarian socialism, though am both actually an Anarchist and well aware of that that can be a point of contention within the Anarchist movement. Like I said, though, I actually left the movement and more or less became a-political. I just wanted to find out as to how absurd my theory that people just have to luck out with anti-authoritarianism was.
  • Bitter Crank
    8.8k
    Yes, it's important to disambiguate terms like "authority" and "authoritarian". Thank you.

    I was very inspired by Emma Goldman's writing, some 40 years ago. Also inspired by anarcho-syndicalists, and various strands of anarchist / socialist thinking. The trouble with all of these movements is that they existed on paper almost exclusively, not in reality. There are a few anarcho-syndicalists around--associated with the IWW. But they are so few that it doesn't matter.

    One can (so I am told) be a solitary monk and do good things (like pray) but being a solitary anarchist, anarchy syndicalist, industrial unionist, or for that matter, a solitary Neoliberal is pointless. Even being a solitary monk or a solitary Lutheran has severe limitations. We are made for community, for work, play, thinking, and mating -- all that stuff -- TOGETHER. Same for being gay; being the only gay guy in the world is very troubling; fulfillment comes in finding others of the same kind.

    I was a member of a leftist party of two or three dozen people for some 20 years. We were as ineffectual as everyone else on the far left, but at least we weren't flat-out solitary marxists.

    There are a few thousand Americans (maybe enough to fill a soccer stadium) who are seriously interested in socialism, anarchism, and the like. We all insist on our various narrow programs and methods. Too bad, but we can't get together and be community, because we all insist on our individual group's direct pipeline to the truth.
  • fishfry
    1.6k
    So, I've recently come to the realization that anti-authoritarianism is the only political philosophy that any person should adopt.thewonder

    Are you distinguishing between libertarianism and anti-authoritarianism? Even libertarians like a police force to keep some semblance of order. They might argue for a privatized police force, that would be a libertarian stance. Even so they'd delegate the work to someone. I wasn't able to follow the distinction you're trying to make.

    You can't be fully anti-authoritarian. I don't want the government constantly asking me how I feel about the soybean subsidies in the latest farm bill. I prefer to let my elected representatives decide these things so I don't have to be bothered. There must be SOME authorities, as open to abuse and corruption as authorities are. What would be the opposite? Popular vote on every single issue? That would be Twitter-ocracy and I think we've already seen that it's a disaster. Rule by the loudest and stupidest.
  • Pfhorrest
    2.8k
    The most effective thing anyone in any marginalized political movement can do is raise awareness, get people to care about the same problems enough to support actual political possibilities enough to actually make a real difference. If we want to move in an anarchist (actual anarchism, not anarcho-capitalism) direction, in America, we need first and foremost to somehow change public opinion such that what today’s Republicans stand for is completely outside the Overton window, not even remotely considerable. Once today’s Democrats are popularly considered the whole of the Overton window, we can focus more on getting popular support further to the left of them. And so on until eventually the people in general favor a government fully backing real liberty and equality, who won’t stand for anything less.

    While big chunk of the people openly support fascism, there is no hope for anarchism of any kind, even if it could overthrow the existing government by force. For anarchism to work, for any form of government to work but especially anarchism, enough people have to actively want it, and few enough people have to actively oppose it.

    So the mission is really one of education. Winning hearts and minds. You can’t win peace by violence.
  • thewonder
    473

    Eh, I'm sort of a notorious "sectarian", and, so, you'll have to rally everyone else against me, but, I will concede the point that being of such an inclination is almost entirely pointless. That's a part of why I just became a-political.

    From, let's say, the Left to a set of left-wing Liberals and even, perhaps, a few Centrists, there are a lot of people who ought to be able to get along well enough to engage in some sort of collaborative protest that brings about some sort of change. There are certain propensities or whatever that can result in that that sort of working relationship is just untenable. I can have a conversation with someone who is a Marxist-Leninist, but, because I am an Anarcho-Pacifist, I can't really do something like organize a protest with that same person. The same even goes for certain Anarchists, to be honest. Perhaps I'm just a little too disillusioned, but, I'd like to think that everyone ought to be willing to extend everyone else enough solidarity for things to go well, but I ultimately know that there are certain things that I just shouldn't engage in. To use Anarchism as an example, I'm not entirely sure as to how it is that I feel about showing up at a demo organized by someone with a fanatical bent towards propaganda of the deed, though I actually kind of liked Toward the Creative Nothing, Renzo Novatore, and who is likely to make vehement arguments in favor of the actions of The Conspiracy of Fire Nuclei, as I do suspect that such a person would be likely to be, at best, incredibly reckless.

    Being said, though, there are a number of absurdities to ideological purity. Even if you are right, what's the point of being the only one?

    Are you distinguishing between libertarianism and anti-authoritarianism? Even libertarians like a police force to keep some semblance of order. They might argue for a privatized police force, that would be a libertarian stance. I wasn't able to follow the distinction you're trying to make.fishfry

    Libertarianism sort of began as a left-wing philosophy, but I am specifically referring to anti-authoritarianism and do not mean for it to be synonymous Libertarianism. You could, however, be an anti-authoritarian Libertarian.

    I tell people that I think that there should either be an informal set of a-systemic Liberal democratic governing assemblages and Anarchist communes or a "loosely affiliated set of freely associated societies", I use the term "society" not to refer to an "ordered community", but because "groups" doesn't really seem to refer to what I am attempting to describe. The former is really kind of a programmatic approach to the creation of what Murray Bookchin called the "Commune of communes". In short, and without political jargon, I do not agree that there must be some authorities as you say that there must.

    The most effective thing anyone in any marginalized political movement can do is raise awareness, get people to care about the same problems enough to support actual political possibilities enough to actually make a real difference.Pfhorrest

    I sort of agree. Perhaps there just needs to be a cultural revolution of sorts before there can be any other sort of effective revolution, as I do find that people don't usually tend to know too much about what Anarchism actually is, in so far, of course, that it actually is anything at all, but I wonder if the information isn't just already as far out there as it can get. Anarchists are always trying to get people to read some obscure text or another. There's higher education, but good luck with that. Art, perhaps?
  • Pfhorrest
    2.8k
    Art, perhaps?thewonder

    I think that's likely the only way. Get popular media to show people what actual anarchy is supposed to look like. Have scifi or fantasy movies where the status quo ante of the good guys' civilization is explicitly anarchic, then have space wizard fascists or whoever roll in and fuck it up, and the good guys have to fight to win it back without becoming the thing they're fighting.
  • fishfry
    1.6k
    Libertarianism sort of began as a left-wing philosophy, but I am specifically referring to anti-authoritarianism and do not mean for it to be synonymous Libertarianism. You could, however, be an anti-authoritarian Libertarian.thewonder

    I'm trying to figure that out. My position would be that a libertarian -- small l, to distinguish libertarians from the collection of oddball wackjobs that tend to make up the Libertarian political party in the US, at least -- sees the need for some authority, to keep order and run the schools and so forth. Libertarians just want as much of the authority as possible to be privatized. There's no reason in theory why police departments couldn't be privatized and quite a lot of other things people typically think of as communal. Highways and the like. But to have no authorities at all? That means that when it's time to build a road, we all have to get out there with picks and shovels?

    I must not be understanding you. What does it mean to have no centralized authority at all? How can anything get done? We have to all get together in a big community meeting to decide how to build a road? Nothing could ever get done.

    I tell people that I think that there should either be an informal set of a-systemic Liberal democratic governing assemblages and Anarchist communes or a "loosely affiliated set of freely associated societies", I use the term "society" not to refer to an "ordered community", but because "groups" doesn't really seem to refer to what I am attempting to describe. The former is really kind of a programmatic approach to the creation of what Murray Bookchin called the "Commune of communes". In short, and without political jargon, I do not agree that there must be some authorities as you say that there must.thewonder

    I'd like to see something like this too, in theory. Maybe the loose tribal societies when we lived in caves.

    But what about human nature? What happens when the tribe over in the next valley comes under the spell of a charismatic leader who convinces them to come over and steal all our stuff and make us their slaves? We'd have to organize for self-defense. And by far the best way to do that is a command-and-control structure. You could not run a military operation as a commune. As George C. Scott said in Patton: "We defend democracy here. We don't practice it!"

    I happen to have seen some of your idealized society in action. In 2011 I attended many of the Occupy protests and was a regular visitor to the encampments in the San Francisco bay area. They had this crazy process of making decisions where everyone had to agree and it took hours to decide the most mundane things. "General Assembly" is the name for it. I'd always joke to myself that whatever the shortcomings of business, they know how to decide things in meeting. You get everyone in a room, everyone has their brief say, and if an obvious consensus doesn't develop, or there's a difference of opinion, the senior person in the org chart makes a decision and everyone else gets on board.

    You simply can not function as a group by letting everyone have their say and argue till everyone agrees. There has to be a decision maker, they have to be willing and able to sometimes be arbitrary, and once the top authority figure decides, everyone else has to focus their energy on supporting that decision, even if they disagree with it. There is simply no other way for a group to function than some level of hierarchical power. Which we call authority.

    What do you think? Why am I wrong?
  • Pfhorrest
    2.8k
    Libertarians just want as much of the authority as possible to be privatizedfishfry

    It's clear here that you're talking specifically about libertarianism as understood in the United States since the 1970s, which in academia and internationally and historically is called specifically "right-libertarianism" and considered a continuation of liberalism (in the international, historical, academic, non-American sense), whereas "libertarianism" is short for "libertarian socialism" and is a synonym for anarchism. Even Rothbard, who largely pioneered the use of "libertarianism" to mean what Americans commonly take it to mean now, only 50 years ago, said:

    "One gratifying aspect of our rise to some prominence is that, for the first time in my memory, we, 'our side,' had captured a crucial word from the enemy. 'Libertarians' had long been simply a polite word for left-wing anarchists, that is for anti-private property anarchists, either of the communist or syndicalist variety. But now we had taken it over."Murray Rothbard in The Betrayal of the American Right, page 83

    NB on a similar note that "anarchism" simpliciter is explicitly a form of socialism, and anarchists generally consider "anarcho-capitalism" to be simply not anarchism at all, because capitalism is incompatible with anarchism, precisely because privatized authority is still authority, it's just even less beholden to the people than democratic authority is.

    Also note similarly that libertarian socialism was the older socialism, before so-called Marxists invented authoritarian forms of it; as well as being the original form of libertarianism, as explained above. To libertarian socialists, it kind of beggars the imagination to try to suppose you could have libertarianism without socialism, or socialism without libertarianism, because inequality breeds authority, and authority breeds inequality.
  • Tzeentch
    723
    It is a mistake to regard government as something external, as so many like to do. A government is shaped more by its people than vice versa, even though some governments in the past have tried. We see imperfect, authoritarian government, because it is governing imperfect people who require authority to be kept functioning.

    Society needs authorities to be kept from devolving into chaos. People need, and in many cases desire (even if they would deny this, it follows from their actions), to be ruled. Therefore, a discussion about anti-authoritarianism cannot be held without regard for what it would require from the people to live as such. A society without laws would rely on people's personal integrity to behave in a cooperative fashion.

    In short, the need for authority is a result of mankind's imperfect nature, and living in a society without authority would require mankind as a whole to make significant steps forward in terms of its intellectual development.
  • Harry Hindu
    3.4k
    It is a mistake to regard government as something external, as so many like to do. A government is shaped more by its people than vice versa, even though some governments in the past have tried. We see imperfect, authoritarian government, because it is governing imperfect people who require authority to be kept functioning.

    Society needs authorities to be kept from devolving into chaos. People need, and in many cases desire (even if they would deny this, it follows from their actions), to be ruled. Therefore, a discussion about anti-authoritarianism cannot be held without regard for what it would require from the people to live as such. A society without laws would rely on people's personal integrity to behave in a cooperative fashion.

    In short, the need for authority is a result of mankind's imperfect nature, and living in a society without authority would require mankind as a whole to make significant steps forward in terms of its intellectual development.
    Tzeentch
    Most governments in history have not been shaped by its people, rather shaped by a select few, or just one person.

    Its comes down to how much power should one person, or a group of people, wield over the rest of us when the people wielding the power are just as imperfect as those needing to be ruled.

    Once their accumulated power shields them from losing that power after mismanaging that power, then that is when those needing to be ruled should be worried. Life-long politicians like Joe Biden are a great example of this.

    Is our voting power an illusion? Is our ability to vote people out of office that are mismanaging their power real and effective in today's political climate? The lack of choices, misinformation in the media, and the ability to buy your way to the top are definite obstacles to the people having real voting power. The divide between the people and those that govern us is becoming wider and wider. In the beginning, the U.S. might have been a government established by the people, but there has been a chasm forming between them for a while now.
  • Tzeentch
    723
    Most governments in history have not been shaped by its people, rather shaped by a select few, or just one person.Harry Hindu

    The lack of choices, misinformation in the media, and the ability to buy your way to the top are definite obstacles to the people having real voting power.Harry Hindu

    Let me give you an example.

    Why do politicians tell lies and make promises they know they cannot keep? Why do politicians focus on throwing mud at their competition instead of presenting voters with solid, future-proof policies?

    They do these things because it is what gets them votes. If it gets them votes it means it is what the voters want to hear and see. Thereby the behavior of politicians is directly influenced by the voters' preferences, in accordance with the quote "Every country gets the government it deserves."

    What would happen if the voters were less gullible that they weren't so easily swayed by false promises? Or if they would immediately reject any politician that engaged in mud throwing as 'unfit for leadership' (which they should)?

    Of course one may argue that there are plenty of people who disagree with the politcians' behavior, however as long as that number is not significant enough to affect election results one must still conclude that the majority of voters either like the politcians' behavior or is apathetic towards it.
  • thewonder
    473
    I must not be understanding you. What does it mean to have no centralized authority at all? How can anything get done? We have to all get together in a big community meeting to decide how to build a road? Nothing could ever get done.fishfry

    To be honest, I haven't really put too much thought into questions like "Who will direct the traffic, and so, and so on?" Libertarianism slowly became vaguely synonymous with liberal social attitudes and laissez faire economics during the twentieth century, which is not necessarily what I'm suggesting by anti-authoritarianism.

    Have scifi or fantasy movies where the status quo ante of the good guys' civilization is explicitly anarchic, then have space wizard fascists or whoever roll in and fuck it up, and the good guys have to fight to win it back without becoming the thing they're fighting.Pfhorrest

    The depiction of Fascists as evil space wizards is definitely how to make Anarchism possible!
  • NOS4A2
    3.6k


    If one is anti-authoritarian he must also dislike coercion, which I think places him on the spectrum of the liberty-minded. What do you think of the concept of liberty and individual freedom?
  • thewonder
    473

    I do dislike coercion. I believe that the freedom from coercion should be invoked as a primary right of sorts that should be a fundamental aspect of Politics. I'm an Anarcho-Pacifist. To frame this, again, though I don't entirely agree with the distinction, as it concerns positive liberties, I think that people should engage in Politics that are predicated by some sort of free association.

    I am openly advocating anti-authoritarianism and so am "liberty-minded". I believe that egalitarianism follows from libertarianism. When engaged in Politics, I think that people should be attempting to effect continual maximal liberty, and, as it follows, continual maximal equality. My assumption is that, from that everyone will always rightfully demand to be as free a possible one can conclude that everyone should also be as equal as possible, as differences in equality are likely to result in implicit hierarchies which will let people take freedom away from others. I also advance that all of this should more or less be carried out through a fairly strict adherence to nonviolence, as violence is necessarily coercive, and, therefore, out of keeping with that people should be as free as possible.

    The discourse centered around freedom, to me, seems to have been co-opted by the Right, and even, rather both ironically and ostensibly, the far-Right, which I find to be a very disparaging situation. I love freedom. I am the author of the maxim, "freedom proliferates by its expression alone." Something like total liberation is always necessarily the implicit project, in so far, of course, that there is one, of all of humanity, or even just simply life on Earth. Though I am atheist, I am even somewhat inclined towards a kind of liberation theology that posits that the common liberation of all of humanity is like an eschatological project that will result in an apothetical politic. I'm not, however, quite so optimistic.
  • NOS4A2
    3.6k


    I like your thinking here.

    I do agree that the right has co-opted "the discourse centered around freedom", but mostly because the other side has largely abandoned it and replaced with some form or other of statism.

    So with the continuing encroachment upon our liberties, freedom-loving individuals often find themselves on the side of conservatives given the common enemy. The problem is the tug of war between left and right can only affect the speed, not the direction, of current developments, and the right has many of the same collectivist tendencies of the left. That's why I think the liberty-minded should occupy a different space, away from that spectrum, because it is the only way a new direction can be fostered.
  • thewonder
    473

    There's a difference between the accusation of "statism" and Stalinism. I don't think people who want things like universal healthcare are, at all, guilty of any form of implicit totalitarianism. I generally state that I'm of the "libertarian Left", and am usually willing to suggest that there is a Left and Right that can be meaningfully invoked, but there is something to that a politic could be created outside of that paradigm, as it can be rather limiting at times.

    I fail to understand as to why you side with Conservatives against the "common enemy". It seems like a "freedom-loving individual" such as yourself ought to side with Libertarians and Individualist Anarchists, if you think that Social Democracy, which I do think pails in comparison to democratic socialism, is somehow "statist", which I don't think is quite the right way to put things, but there are grains of truth to.

    There has been a historical problem of what you call "collectivism", being more or less the forms of totalitarianism that existed in the Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China, but I don't really think that, more or less, outside of China, at least, that sort of things is really all the much of a concern anymore. People have gotten over the cult of sacrifice for the greater good of all humanity by now.
  • fishfry
    1.6k
    To be honest, I haven't really put too much thought into questions like "Who will direct the traffic, and so, and so on?" Libertarianism slowly became vaguely synonymous with liberal social attitudes and laissez faire economics during the twentieth century, which is not necessarily what I'm suggesting by anti-authoritarianism.thewonder

    As I understand it there are two major strains of 20th century libertarianism. Cosmolibertarians, who are the liberal wing; and paelolibertarians, who are the conservative wing. Paleolibertarians want to be free from government interference so they can educate their kids in evangelical religious schools. Cosmolibertarians want to be free from government interference so they can smoke dope.

    Cosmo = https://reason.com/

    Paleo = https://www.lewrockwell.com/
  • fishfry
    1.6k
    It's clear here that you're talking specifically about libertarianism as understood in the United States since the 1970s,Pfhorrest

    You're probably right. I never heard of libertarianism before I discovered a stack of Reason magazines (now reason.com) in the library one day and thought Wow these people get it! Free minds and free markets. I'm no theorist. I tend to agree with the perspective of reason.com, that's about as far as my theorizing goes.
  • NOS4A2
    3.6k


    By statism I mean the belief that the state should have substantial control over social and economic affairs. Those who advocate for it advocate for a form of authoritarianism. This is because the state maintains the monopoly on violence and can thus coerce its citizens to relinquish their property for use by the state. It's not despotism proper, but it is what De Tocqueville called "soft despotism".

    I side with conservatives regarding their resistance to current tendencies, such as the aforementioned statism, socialism and the growing intolerance against their views. Libertarians and anarchists lack any political power, I'm afraid.

    As for collectivism, it's true that it is probably on the decline in tandem with the rise of individualism, and for good reason.
  • thewonder
    473

    Paleolibertarianism is kind of just a form of Conservatism. I suspect that they claim to be Libertarians for the sole purpose of seeming more liberal-minded. It is a philosophy that advocates for limited government, but, a lot of Conservatives advocate for limited government. Only "cosmolibertarianism" seems to be, at all, though I am kind of a Socialist, in ways, veritable.

    I side with conservatives regarding their resistance to current tendencies, such as the aforementioned statism, socialism and the growing intolerance against their views. Libertarians and anarchists lack any political power, I'm afraid.NOS4A2

    But what about the social attitudes that Conservatives have towards individual liberties? I don't understand, when you seem to be of an either Post-Left Anarchist or Rational Egoist, in which case, I could, in part, understand, inclination, as to why it is that you would support people who are in favor of social repression.
  • NOS4A2
    3.6k


    But what about the social attitudes that Conservatives have towards individual liberties? I don't understand, when you seem to be of an either Post-Left Anarchist or Rational Egoist, in which case, I could, in part, understand, inclination, as to why it is that you would support people who are in favor of social repression.

    I’m just a liberal. I do not align with a conservative’s social or even fiscal attitudes. Though I find valuable insight from many conservative thinkers, I do not align with many of their views on how a country should be governed, especially because, as I said, they fail to offer a different direction for society.
  • thewonder
    473


    A Liberal in what sense, then? Like, Classical Liberalism?
  • NOS4A2
    3.6k


    Like “classical liberalism“, yes, but I would just call it liberalism. Rather than compromise between the tendencies of right and left with all sorts of political triangulation, like so-called neoliberalism, liberalism would prefer to go elsewhere, towards liberty.

    I understand that “liberal” and “liberalism” has little to do with any political movement that goes under that name today. But I will retain the label.
  • thewonder
    473

    Liberalism is fine, but I am still confused as to why you believe the way towards liberty is to ally yourself with Conservatives, especially when you don't agree with them. It seems like you'd be better off just trying to find some more like-minded people or more amicable allies.
  • NOS4A2
    3.6k


    Liberalism is fine, but I am still confused as to why you believe the way towards liberty is to ally yourself with Conservatives, especially when you don't agree with them. It seems like you'd be better off just trying to find some more like-minded people or more amicable allies.

    I don’t believe that’s the way towards liberty, nor have I implied that. Like I’ve said, I side with them wherever they resist current encroachments.
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