The State is Over! If You Want It

User avatar
Warren
Posts: 30194
Joined: 26 Apr 2010, 17:03
Location: Goat Rope MO
Contact:

Re: The State is Over! If You Want It

Post by Warren »

Damn you Grylliade. Now I can't help but notice whenever I'm shopping on Amazon that they're pushing bigger, more expensive, soundbars than the one I bought at me.
Nobody, men included, wants a world where men treat women with the same respect they show to other men. - thoreau
User avatar
Hugh Akston
Posts: 19733
Joined: 05 May 2010, 15:51
Location: Elev. 5280 ft

Re: The State is Over! If You Want It

Post by Hugh Akston »

"Is a Lulztopia the best we can hope for?!?" ~Taktix®
"Somali pirates are beholden to their hostages in a way that the USG is not." ~Dangerman
User avatar
Hugh Akston
Posts: 19733
Joined: 05 May 2010, 15:51
Location: Elev. 5280 ft

Re: The State is Over! If You Want It

Post by Hugh Akston »

"Is a Lulztopia the best we can hope for?!?" ~Taktix®
"Somali pirates are beholden to their hostages in a way that the USG is not." ~Dangerman
User avatar
Tuco
Posts: 305
Joined: 18 Feb 2017, 21:00

Re: The State is Over! If You Want It

Post by Tuco »

It's in Spanish, but the most recent episode of Así como suena follows around a bunch of guys on motorcycles who go and get a guy's bicycle back after it was stolen.

https://asicomosuena.mx/#/shows/23
User avatar
Hugh Akston
Posts: 19733
Joined: 05 May 2010, 15:51
Location: Elev. 5280 ft

Re: The State is Over! If You Want It

Post by Hugh Akston »

"Is a Lulztopia the best we can hope for?!?" ~Taktix®
"Somali pirates are beholden to their hostages in a way that the USG is not." ~Dangerman
User avatar
Hugh Akston
Posts: 19733
Joined: 05 May 2010, 15:51
Location: Elev. 5280 ft

Re: The State is Over! If You Want It

Post by Hugh Akston »

This NYer article features a lot of good stories of mutual aid societies doing real good work for vulnerable people during a very difficult time.

But it also reads like a sustained panic attack by authoritarians who cannot come to grips with the reality that government at all levels not only shit the bed hard in managing this pandemic, but also play a huge role in the structural problems that exacerbate social problems in the first place.
In her book “Good Neighbors: The Democracy of Everyday Life in America,” the Harvard political scientist Nancy L. Rosenblum considers the American fondness for acts of neighborly aid and coöperation, both in ordinary times, as with the pioneer practice of barn raising, and in periods of crisis. In Rosenblum’s view, “there is little evidence that disaster generates an appetite for permanent, energetic civic engagement.” On the contrary, “when government and politics disappear from view as they do, we are left with the not-so-innocuous fantasy of ungoverned reciprocity as the best and fully adequate society.” She cites the daughter of Laura Ingalls Wilder, Rose Wilder Lane, who helped her mother craft classic narratives of neighborly kindness and became a libertarian who opposed the New Deal and viewed Social Security as a Ponzi scheme.

I called Rosenblum to ask what she made of the current wave of ungoverned reciprocity. Disasters like this one, she said, have less to teach us about solidarity among neighbors than about our “need for a kind of nationwide solidarity—in other words, a social safety net.” She went on, “If you look at these really big, all-enveloping things—climate change, a pandemic—and think they will be solved by citizen mobilization, it may be necessary to consider the possibility that these problems are actually going to be solved technocratically and politically, from the top down, that what you need are experts in government who are going to say, ‘You just have to do this.’ My own opinion is that you need both top-down and bottom-up.” She continued, “But, still, the idea that what we need most, or only, is social solidarity, civic mobilization, neighborly virtue—it’s not so.”
It will be a loss, Spade told me, if mutual aid becomes vacated of political meaning at the moment that it begins to enter the mainstream—if we lose sight of the fundamental premise that, within its framework, we meet one another’s needs not just to fix things in the moment but to identify and push back on the structures that make those needs so dire. “What happens when people get together to support one another is that people realize that there’s more of us than there is of them,” he said. “This moment is a powder keg.”
A few days after her conference call with Ocasio-Cortez, Mariame Kaba told me that mutual aid couldn’t be divorced from political education and activism. “It’s not community service—you’re not doing service for service’s sake,” she said. “You’re trying to address real material needs.” If you fail to meet those needs, she added, you also fail to “build the relationships that are needed to push back on the state.”
"Is a Lulztopia the best we can hope for?!?" ~Taktix®
"Somali pirates are beholden to their hostages in a way that the USG is not." ~Dangerman
User avatar
Kolohe
Posts: 14668
Joined: 06 May 2010, 10:51

Re: The State is Over! If You Want It

Post by Kolohe »

Been catching up on Mike Duncan’s revolutions podcast on Russia, and the above about mutual aid seems to be an eternal thing that divides ‘The Greater Left’ in Russia & Europe from the 1860s to the end of the century and beyond. (And even now)

Various factions at odds with each other, some pressing for measures for immediately relief of workers, others saying that will just legitimize the state & existing hierarchies, still others saying if stuff gets better for The People, they won’t want to be revolutionaries anymore, so it’s Revolution or Bust.
when you wake up as the queen of the n=1 kingdom and mount your steed non sequiturius, do you look out upon all you survey and think “damn, it feels good to be a green idea sleeping furiously?" - dhex
User avatar
Eric the .5b
Posts: 15105
Joined: 26 Apr 2010, 16:29

Re: The State is Over! If You Want It

Post by Eric the .5b »

Reading that New Yorker article...socialists gotta try to socialize.

Unless you're into BDSM or have a court sentence, who the fuck does "service for service's sake"? You do service to help people, i.e. meet needs they aren't able to meet.
"Better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer."
Cet animal est très méchant / Quand on l'attaque il se défend.
User avatar
Hugh Akston
Posts: 19733
Joined: 05 May 2010, 15:51
Location: Elev. 5280 ft

Re: The State is Over! If You Want It

Post by Hugh Akston »

Kolohe wrote: 15 May 2020, 13:57 Been catching up on Mike Duncan’s revolutions podcast on Russia, and the above about mutual aid seems to be an eternal thing that divides ‘The Greater Left’ in Russia & Europe from the 1860s to the end of the century and beyond. (And even now)

Various factions at odds with each other, some pressing for measures for immediately relief of workers, others saying that will just legitimize the state & existing hierarchies, still others saying if stuff gets better for The People, they won’t want to be revolutionaries anymore, so it’s Revolution or Bust.
Yeah that was a theme that kept coming up in Woodcock's history of anarchism. It's part of the complementary schism between violent and nonviolent revolutionaries. Many nonviolent revolutionaries believed that the best way to eliminate the state was to obviate it by taking over its various functions through mutual aid. Violent revolutionaries meanwhile had an equally detailed plan:
1) Smash the State!
2) ???
3) Anarchotopia
"Is a Lulztopia the best we can hope for?!?" ~Taktix®
"Somali pirates are beholden to their hostages in a way that the USG is not." ~Dangerman
User avatar
Warren
Posts: 30194
Joined: 26 Apr 2010, 17:03
Location: Goat Rope MO
Contact:

Re: The State is Over! If You Want It

Post by Warren »

Hugh Akston wrote: 15 May 2020, 14:12 Many nonviolent revolutionaries believed that the best way to eliminate the state was to obviate it by taking over its various functions through mutual aid.
That's an appealing theory. But the state won't stand for that.
Nobody, men included, wants a world where men treat women with the same respect they show to other men. - thoreau
User avatar
Hugh Akston
Posts: 19733
Joined: 05 May 2010, 15:51
Location: Elev. 5280 ft

Re: The State is Over! If You Want It

Post by Hugh Akston »

Warren wrote: 15 May 2020, 14:56
Hugh Akston wrote: 15 May 2020, 14:12 Many nonviolent revolutionaries believed that the best way to eliminate the state was to obviate it by taking over its various functions through mutual aid.
That's an appealing theory. But the state won't stand for that.
Oh the state will push back, and violently to be sure, but institutions don't last forever.
"Is a Lulztopia the best we can hope for?!?" ~Taktix®
"Somali pirates are beholden to their hostages in a way that the USG is not." ~Dangerman
User avatar
Hugh Akston
Posts: 19733
Joined: 05 May 2010, 15:51
Location: Elev. 5280 ft

Re: The State is Over! If You Want It

Post by Hugh Akston »

Another article about mutual aid that starts off pretty good but then goes off the cliff into a myopic anti-capitalist rant
But studies of historical disasters have shown that this is not how most people actually behave. There are nearly always selfish and destructive people, and they are often in power, because we have created systems that reward that kind of personality and those principles. But the great majority of people in ordinary disasters behave in ways that are anything but selfish, and if we’re stuck with veneer as a metaphor, then it peels off to reveal a lot of creative and generous altruism and brilliant grassroots organising. With the global pandemic, these empathic urges and actions are wider and deeper and more consequential than ever.
As a definition of mutual aid’s ideals, “solidarity not charity” surfaces constantly today. Charity often implies that the afflicted population is powerless or incompetent to address its own needs. Sometimes, it can take away confidence and pride even as it gives tangible aid. Solidarity is, first of all, an affirmation that we are in this together, and mutual aid demonstrates that even in crisis we have strength and capacity to care for ourselves. The term comes from the anarchist philosopher Peter Kropotkin’s 1902 book Mutual Aid: a Factor of Evolution, which argues that aiding and protecting others and serving the needs of the group rather than the individual has been essential to the survival of many species, and is evident in early and traditional human societies.
The US mask-makers, like donors to food-distribution programmes, are in part compensating for governmental failure. Had the federal government prepared for crisis, and supported the scientific advice on how to respond to pandemics, the need for these mutual aid efforts could have been smaller. There has been much talk of the underlying health conditions that make individuals more vulnerable to Covid-19. The US as a whole has underlying conditions – systemic racism, poverty and financial precariousness, lack of access to healthcare and the internet for rural and poor families – that have made this crisis far worse than it should have been. The old conservative argument against social programmes was that these needs should be met by individual and independent institutions’ generosity. In unequal societies, these were never enough to meet the need.
Elsewhere, the New York Times reported on Amish families who, as other jobs dried up, turned to mass-producing cloth masks, face shields and other PPE for the Cleveland clinic, which urgently needed them. (This, like the California government program that lets otherwise shuttered restaurants deliver meals to isolated senior citizens, is when aid becomes literally mutual, meeting needs on both sides of the interaction.) Then there’s the 43 Pennsylvania factory workers who chose to isolate themselves in their workplace for a 28-day marathon of 12-hour days, during which they produced tens of millions of pounds of polypropylene, the raw material from which a lot of PPE is made. Like the Amish, they were paid for their work, and were working in intense new ways, fuelled by social commitment, to meet an urgent need. One of the workers said: “We’ve been getting messages on social media from nurses, doctors, emergency workers, saying thank you for what we’re doing. But we want to thank them for what they did and are continuing to do. That’s what made the time we were in there go by quickly, just being able to support them.”
"Is a Lulztopia the best we can hope for?!?" ~Taktix®
"Somali pirates are beholden to their hostages in a way that the USG is not." ~Dangerman
User avatar
JD
Posts: 12204
Joined: 05 May 2010, 15:26

Re: The State is Over! If You Want It

Post by JD »

The US mask-makers, like donors to food-distribution programmes, are in part compensating for governmental failure. Had the federal government prepared for crisis, and supported the scientific advice on how to respond to pandemics, the need for these mutual aid efforts could have been smaller.
It is kind of strange how all of these articles seem to be built around the unspoken and unexamined assumption that the government's natural function and goal is to do everything. No wonder they think we're monsters - when we suggest a nightwatchman state, to them it's like we're suggesting a state that is inherently a failure.
I sort of feel like a sucker about aspiring to be intellectually rigorous when I could just go on twitter and say capitalism causes space herpes and no one will challenge me on it. - Hugh Akston
User avatar
Hugh Akston
Posts: 19733
Joined: 05 May 2010, 15:51
Location: Elev. 5280 ft

Re: The State is Over! If You Want It

Post by Hugh Akston »

JD wrote: 22 May 2020, 17:42
The US mask-makers, like donors to food-distribution programmes, are in part compensating for governmental failure. Had the federal government prepared for crisis, and supported the scientific advice on how to respond to pandemics, the need for these mutual aid efforts could have been smaller.
It is kind of strange how all of these articles seem to be built around the unspoken and unexamined assumption that the government's natural function and goal is to do everything. No wonder they think we're monsters - when we suggest a nightwatchman state, to them it's like we're suggesting a state that is inherently a failure.
On the one hand I've seen libertarian arguments that public health stuff like pandemics are within the proper function of a minimal state, but on the other hand look how bad almost every government on the planet has fucked this up.
"Is a Lulztopia the best we can hope for?!?" ~Taktix®
"Somali pirates are beholden to their hostages in a way that the USG is not." ~Dangerman
User avatar
Warren
Posts: 30194
Joined: 26 Apr 2010, 17:03
Location: Goat Rope MO
Contact:

Re: The State is Over! If You Want It

Post by Warren »

Hugh Akston wrote: 22 May 2020, 19:19
JD wrote: 22 May 2020, 17:42
The US mask-makers, like donors to food-distribution programmes, are in part compensating for governmental failure. Had the federal government prepared for crisis, and supported the scientific advice on how to respond to pandemics, the need for these mutual aid efforts could have been smaller.
It is kind of strange how all of these articles seem to be built around the unspoken and unexamined assumption that the government's natural function and goal is to do everything. No wonder they think we're monsters - when we suggest a nightwatchman state, to them it's like we're suggesting a state that is inherently a failure.
On the one hand I've seen libertarian arguments that public health stuff like pandemics are within the proper function of a minimal state, but on the other hand look how bad almost every government on the planet has fucked this up.
I have a whole new respect for South Korea.
Nobody, men included, wants a world where men treat women with the same respect they show to other men. - thoreau
User avatar
Kolohe
Posts: 14668
Joined: 06 May 2010, 10:51

Re: The State is Over! If You Want It

Post by Kolohe »

Hugh Akston wrote: 15 May 2020, 15:06
Warren wrote: 15 May 2020, 14:56
Hugh Akston wrote: 15 May 2020, 14:12 Many nonviolent revolutionaries believed that the best way to eliminate the state was to obviate it by taking over its various functions through mutual aid.
That's an appealing theory. But the state won't stand for that.
Oh the state will push back, and violently to be sure, but institutions don't last forever.
A sufficiently organized mutual aid scheme is indistinguishable from ‘the state’
when you wake up as the queen of the n=1 kingdom and mount your steed non sequiturius, do you look out upon all you survey and think “damn, it feels good to be a green idea sleeping furiously?" - dhex
User avatar
Warren
Posts: 30194
Joined: 26 Apr 2010, 17:03
Location: Goat Rope MO
Contact:

Re: The State is Over! If You Want It

Post by Warren »

Kolohe wrote: 23 May 2020, 14:03
Hugh Akston wrote: 15 May 2020, 15:06
Warren wrote: 15 May 2020, 14:56
Hugh Akston wrote: 15 May 2020, 14:12 Many nonviolent revolutionaries believed that the best way to eliminate the state was to obviate it by taking over its various functions through mutual aid.
That's an appealing theory. But the state won't stand for that.
Oh the state will push back, and violently to be sure, but institutions don't last forever.
A sufficiently organized mutual aid scheme is indistinguishable from ‘the state’
piffle. The most organized of mutual aid schemes don't need a military.
My definition of "the state" is that institution with the biggest and most guns.
Nobody, men included, wants a world where men treat women with the same respect they show to other men. - thoreau
User avatar
Kolohe
Posts: 14668
Joined: 06 May 2010, 10:51

Re: The State is Over! If You Want It

Post by Kolohe »

Any sufficiently organized mutual aid scheme eventually develops a police force and then a military. (Sometimes the order Is reversed)
when you wake up as the queen of the n=1 kingdom and mount your steed non sequiturius, do you look out upon all you survey and think “damn, it feels good to be a green idea sleeping furiously?" - dhex
User avatar
Warren
Posts: 30194
Joined: 26 Apr 2010, 17:03
Location: Goat Rope MO
Contact:

Re: The State is Over! If You Want It

Post by Warren »

examples?
Nobody, men included, wants a world where men treat women with the same respect they show to other men. - thoreau
User avatar
Kolohe
Posts: 14668
Joined: 06 May 2010, 10:51

Re: The State is Over! If You Want It

Post by Kolohe »

*gestures towards all of world history*

To be honest, I’ve never read Anarchy State & Utopia.

But the problem is generally, even if existing states don’t try to swat you down (which is the norm) it’s exceeding difficult for anarcho-whatever communities to get beyond a subsistence agriculture with home industry level of economics, and also normally requires strong kinship and/or religious ties to keep everything going for more than a generation. And there’s still a lot of bad faith actors in those communities (hence why they normally devolve to cults)
when you wake up as the queen of the n=1 kingdom and mount your steed non sequiturius, do you look out upon all you survey and think “damn, it feels good to be a green idea sleeping furiously?" - dhex
User avatar
Hugh Akston
Posts: 19733
Joined: 05 May 2010, 15:51
Location: Elev. 5280 ft

Re: The State is Over! If You Want It

Post by Hugh Akston »

Kolohe wrote: 23 May 2020, 14:03
Hugh Akston wrote: 15 May 2020, 15:06
Warren wrote: 15 May 2020, 14:56
Hugh Akston wrote: 15 May 2020, 14:12 Many nonviolent revolutionaries believed that the best way to eliminate the state was to obviate it by taking over its various functions through mutual aid.
That's an appealing theory. But the state won't stand for that.
Oh the state will push back, and violently to be sure, but institutions don't last forever.
A sufficiently organized mutual aid scheme is indistinguishable from ‘the state’
Organization isn't really a hallmark of mutual aid societies, which tend to be ad hoc in their membership, resources, and goals; adapting quickly to the capabilities of the people they work with and the needs of the people they work for. The article I linked to makes a distinction between charity, which has a vertical, hierarchical structure with recipients on the bottom; and solidarity, which is a more horizontal model of neighbors helping neighbors as equals. Mutual aid societies are also not known for extracting resources by force, nor are they particularly renowned for curb-stomping motherfuckers who fail to comply.

But other than that, yeah totally same diff.
"Is a Lulztopia the best we can hope for?!?" ~Taktix®
"Somali pirates are beholden to their hostages in a way that the USG is not." ~Dangerman
User avatar
Kolohe
Posts: 14668
Joined: 06 May 2010, 10:51

Re: The State is Over! If You Want It

Post by Kolohe »

Yes, my understanding is that anarchists have been no tru scotsmaning anarchism for over a 150 years now.

ETA - that may very well be more snarky than it needs to be, but I’ll just say we can continue to agree to disagree.
when you wake up as the queen of the n=1 kingdom and mount your steed non sequiturius, do you look out upon all you survey and think “damn, it feels good to be a green idea sleeping furiously?" - dhex
User avatar
Eric the .5b
Posts: 15105
Joined: 26 Apr 2010, 16:29

Re: The State is Over! If You Want It

Post by Eric the .5b »

In a geeky reference, the novella "The Ungoverned" by Vernor VInge touches on this issue from the an-cap side. It's set about 150 years in the future, where a detective/agent of a large-scale protection agency in a large, anarchic region of the former US visits a local security company in Kansas to smooth over some situation...Except his bosses fucked up by sending only him, because the situation is that the nation-state next door is about to roll its military in and invade Kansas.

The nation-state utterly fails at their invasion because they fucked up to a farcical level and don't remotely understand the an-cap culture or how far some farmers will go to keep intruders off their land. However, the aftermath involves a lot of an-cap people voluntarily coordinating toward things that look like the start of a military. Vinge, in an afterword in his True Names and Other Dangers collection says, while he really likes anarcho-capitalism, an an-cap society probably can't handle many events like that without becoming some sort of nation-state.

Which is a bit of a problem. Unless you have GLORIOUS WORLDWIDE REVOLUTION, potentially hostile nation-states will still exist. And even then, unless people are lynching anyone of any vaguely suspect ideology (a really dumb-ass course of action for libertarians to suggest), you have the potential for things like ISIL, the Taliban, etc. to spring up. And we have plenty of crazies here in this country who'd like to try out building their Pure White Homeland, Proper Christian Theocracy, etc.
"Better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer."
Cet animal est très méchant / Quand on l'attaque il se défend.
User avatar
thoreau
Posts: 30424
Joined: 06 May 2010, 12:56
Location: Back to the lab again

Re: The State is Over! If You Want It

Post by thoreau »

Kolohe wrote: 23 May 2020, 15:07 Yes, my understanding is that anarchists have been no tru scotsmaning anarchism for over a 150 years now.
Eh, in places with effective police forces I don't see much danger of charitable cooperative organizations turning into states. Mafias form (and turn into arguably state-like entities) when there are populations that cops either can't or won't protect, or when lucrative business sectors are illegal (e.g. addictive recreational substances). But neighbors helping each deal with poverty doesn't seem like a ripe niche for organized crime.
" Columbus wasn’t a profile in courage or brilliance despite the odds, he was a dumb motherfucker that got lucky. Oddly, that makes him the perfect talisman for the Trump era."
--Mo
Post Reply