1. ValianceInEnd
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    ValianceInEnd Active Member

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    Anarchy...?

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by ValianceInEnd, Sep 13, 2008.

    If people were innately good, do you think anarchy would be the best form of government. The current "election war" in America has gotten me thinking about how nice a minimal or no government would be, especially if people were at least nice to each other. Thoughts?
     
  2. Nilfiry
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    Nilfiry Contributing Member

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    If people were all purely good, then sure we wouldn't need someone to be in charge; however, we all know its just a pipe dream.
     
  3. Crazy Ivan
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    Crazy Ivan Contributing Member

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    I dunno, I'm a little too Hobbesist to go along with that idea. (Both the philosopher and the stuffed tiger.)
     
  4. tarnished
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    tarnished Contributing Member Contributor

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    If everyone was truly good, yes, it would work. But the truth is; with the number of crimes commited there is a need for some authority, and Anarchy (in this day and age) would only cause chaos.
     
  5. Scattercat
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    Scattercat Active Member

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    "If you assume the laws of physics didn't apply, do you think humans could fly?"

    Sure!

    Unfortunately, that's about as deep as that thought can go; your assumption is simply too broad and unlike reality to provoke much discussion. If people were inherently caring and altruistic to everyone else, then yes, anarchy would be a great form of government. But they're not; people are, by and large, stupid and greedy. A person can be quite pleasant, but people as a group are not. We are narrow-minded, xenophobic, grasping, and short-sighted.

    So how do you govern that? That's the real question.
     
  6. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    If frying pans had permanently zero-friction surfaces, we wouln't need spatulas.

    Communism looks very good in theory, but it fails in practice because human nature includes ambition. Short circuit that, and motivation to work also declines.

    That's the problem - if you start with overly optimistic premises, you don't design in adequate checks and balances. You're talking about a government DESIGNED with checks and balances, and it STILL is far from perfect.

    Government was created out of necessity.
     
  7. Leaka
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    Leaka Creative Mettle

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    Well I actually watched a show about victims of crime. I know they don't deserve being a victim, but it said that because we are masked or anonymous in the city were are more subjected to attack. Also the way we carry ourselves makes us more subjected to attack.
    If we walk in a way a victim would walked then we are subjected to attack. But if we walked with more pride and confidence then we won't be attacked.
    It was very interesting to learn.
    Now I know why I was bullied.

    So yes, I think an anarchy government would work. If people were more prideful of themselves. And we weren't anonymous. It might actually work.
     
  8. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Pride and lack of being anonomyous wouldn't count for much where anarchy reigned.

    Beyond the fact that not every human has the best interests of his neighbor in mind (understatement), how would society function?

    Who likes having electricity? Okay, so how would one get it? Who would produce parts necessary even to build individual generators? From the raw materials to the manufacture of parts, etc. People would just fall into line to get this done, or someone would have to be in charge, telling others what to do, how and when...the hint of order and structure and control/organization--thus creeping away from Anarchy.

    What about food growth and distribution? What about medicine and hospitals and all the equipment and knowledge/teaching required? Who decides and sets priority, and pay for services, and delivers punishment for those who do something wrong...and who deems what is wrong...and the 'price' to pay for such an infraction?

    Counting on good ol' positive human nature and all just wouldn't cut it. Maybe in a small, more primitive society, isolated from the outside...but even then I have my doubts--very strong doubts.

    Terry
     
  9. lordofhats
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    lordofhats Contributing Member

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    I agree with Ervin. Human nature is one that leans toward self interest and personal survivability, and at the same time we have innate talents for organization and finding easier more efficent ways of doing things. We just aren't a species that Anarchy would work well for. Its against out nature.

    Several early American Colonies actually tried. You can probably find them easily by typing in Utopia in a Wikipedia search and focusing on the concept rather than the novel. Most of these societies failed within two to three years, while a few lasted close to a decade, but frankly the system just doesn't last long even in small groups.
     
  10. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    To echo previous posts, people aren't fundamentally good. That's what led to all the problems with communism, the faulty belief that they are.

    The problems with democracy, in my opinion, stems from the faulty belief that people are fundamentally smart.

    EDIT:

    There was actually a study done, a while back (I can't for the life of me remember the name of the sociologist(s)) that demonstrated that humans aren't meant to be living in as large groups as we are. They had someone feign collapsing in a street, and counted how many people walked past without helping. In a city, it was hundreds. In a smaller village, the first person to come along helped. They did this in numerous different places, and in the end concluded the ideal population size of a human community is around 200. Much larger than that, and people no longer identify with one another, and the result was as demonstrated.
     
  11. Gamecat
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    Gamecat Member

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    Nice people don't necessarily push the boundaries, through out history we have examples of "nasty" people who have furthered our society because they didn't care who they screwed over. Check out Eddison, widely regarded as the grandfather of our electric society but he shat all over Tesla who was the real wizard of the west. Medical science owes a great deal to the experiments performed by the Nazies, I think we can agree they weren't nice people.

    It doesn't even have to be the nasty people who pushed the boundaries, I'm sure that a load of good ideas came about as a reaction to nasty people by nice people, but without the initial need generated by the nasty people they would never have happened. The Magna Carta for instance.

    I can't help but feel that if everyone was nice all the time we'd end up with a stagnant society.
     
  12. The Freshmaker
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    The Freshmaker <insert obscure pop culture reference> Contributor

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    I've actually been reading some anarchist literature lately.

    The concepts are interesting, but not very realistic at all. They assume that, in a situation in which government doesn't exist, people will pick up the slack on their own, doing the right thing when they are not forced to. In an anarchist society, they say, work and play become one and the same since people work for their own good and that of the community, by their own choice.

    That's nice, except for the fact that people are lazy, and they won't do something for nothing.
     
  13. Acglaphotis
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    Acglaphotis Contributing Member

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    With people being innately good what would the need be for any kind of government? Surely they could be utopia. But that assertion that "if people were innately good" is so distorting of reality that I can't imagine it. Good is too subjective. Good isn't universal, it's different from people to people, from culture to culture.

    Besides, with your first statement you already validated the second so the question has little meaning, and few direct answers.
     
  14. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    To form, Cogito has come to the heart of the matter.

    Communism works for herd or hive creatures. Humans are neither; we are pack animals. Yes, like dogs. Communism is a paradigm ill suited to us, ergo, a no-go.

    Humans are actually, IMHO, neither basically good nor basically evil. Two more subjective constructs, I could not imagine.

    We are basically selfish.

    We have a need for self preservation innate to all creatures coupled with (as Cog has already mentioned) ambition which drives us to want a better place in the pecking order of the pack. This ambition drives us to do things which fall outside of the ideals our cultures have created. Ideals are also constructs and are so very seldom adhered to that in those cases when we find people who do adhere to them, we give them exalted places and titles: saints, heroes, etc.
     
  15. Gladiatus
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    Gladiatus Contributing Member

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  16. lordofhats
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    lordofhats Contributing Member

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    That makes perfect sense. Smaller communities tend to be more friendly and more tightly knit than larger ones. However I do feel that as with most studies they've completely ignored outside factors. Just because someone in a small community helped doesn't necessarily mean it was the community size that drove them to help. It only shows a correlation between the two.

    I was speaking more of the Utopia Movement though of the 17th Century and the Great Awakening. Several groups tried an anarchist format for their settlements/colonies and they all failed (the longest one my history text book mentioned was a Shaker settlement that lasted only seven years).

    Wreybies has summed it up pretty good. We just aren't built for it. We started as a tribal species which most likely did give us a pack like structure. Some people defy the norm and don't care much about advancement but there are far to many who do for any idealized anarchist system to flourish.

    PS: Gladiatus that is a pretty funny video :p.
     
  17. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Thank you sir!

    To add to Banzai's study, we learned at uni (those of us in the anthropology school) that humans have lived in groups of 25 or less for the better part of 90% of our evolutionary history as homo somethingorother. 200 would be, in my opinion, the maximum size of a manageable pack.

    And my final say on the subject is:

    We live in a cultural state of micromanagement because of the hugely overpopulated state of the human species. Every single tiny action is accountable to the electron scanning microscope of the law, and our behavior is now governed by a committee of jurisprudence. The fact of the matter is that a hefty portion of today’s inmate population would not have been criminals in simpler times. They would have been the formidable leaders and warriors of the tribe. The very qualities that have them behind bars today are the qualities that would have made them our saviors in times gone past.
     
  18. NaCl
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    NaCl Contributing Member Contributor

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    Simply put . . . anarchy only works for anarchists. The old hippie communes in the late 60's and early 70's worked within their own limited community. However, how many of those idealistic groups continue to exist today? Almost none. Why did they disappear? The lack of reinforcement for achievement (i.e. personal reward for individual effort) led to poverty and underperformance. The "good of the whole" was insufficient motivation. People left the communes, returning to the world of effort/reward where they could improve their individual conditions.
     
  19. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    I don't honestly see any point in this thread. The whole premise of "if people were innately good" is irrelevant, as they aren't, so the discussion has no meaning...
     
  20. Shadow Dragon
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    Shadow Dragon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Anarchy, even if the people were innately good, doesn't work as well as organization. Quite simply tribes (whether it be cities, states, nations, teams, companies, etc) work better, and get more things accomplished when there is a hierarchy of power. Ofcourse that will come with its own set of problems, but it will work more often thatn anarchy.
     
  21. ValianceInEnd
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    ValianceInEnd Active Member

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    I'd like to let everyone know that I don't think anarchy is a good form of government and that I'm not some hippy with his head in the clouds thinking people are all good deep down. People suck and I know it. I'm just trying to make a point through a hypothetical question. I've pretty much received the exact same feedback from everyone so my question has been answered.
     

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