Exarchist Autonomous Zone

After more than a week of street fighting, the riots in Greece have subsided but have not yet ended. The violent protests, set off after a cop shot a teenager, have been led by the "make total destroy" wing of the anarchist movement, which apparently is headquartered in the Athens neighborhood of Exarchia.

I don't have much to say about the riots themselves, other than the obvious comments (police brutality is bad, retaliation against innocent people and their property is bad, "anarchists" should not be doling out collective punishment, etc.). Instead I'll highlight the curious things I'm reading about Exarchia, described here by Reuters' Dina Kyriakidou:

Exarchia is a haunt of artists and left-wing intellectuals. Favoured by lawyers, architects and publishers, is it one of the city’s most charming neighbourhoods.

It is also one of its most violent, a stomping ground for anarchists, drug addicts and anyone who likes to challenge authority—a tradition many say stems from the opposition to the 1967-1974 military junta.

"What others call a riot, we call a street party," one of my neighbours once said.

About two years ago, a public order minister acknowledged it was too dangerous to send officers into the area, which has defied decades of attempts by socialist and conservative governments alike to bring it under control.

Hold on. Scroll back. Anarchists, artists, and lawyers?

The BBC claims that "Greece's anarchists regard the quarter of Exarchia as their fortress and they frequently lure police into ambushes so they can attack them with rocks and fire bombs." The Christian Science Monitor calls the neighborhood a "dense warren of concrete apartment buildings" where "clashes between police and radicals are common."

I don't know how much of this is exaggeration. Roderick Long, who visited the area earlier this year, chuckles at the phrase "dense warren of concrete," noting that "if all that means is that there are lots of narrow streets criss-crossing between tall concrete buildings, okay, that would describe most of the city." Here's the description of the place he wrote in June:

I then walked through Exarkheia/Exarhia, which is supposed to be the "anarchist" neighbourhood of Athens; I don't know much about Greek anarchism (at least subsequent to Diogenes of Oinoanda), but the shops did seem marginally more bohemian and the appearance of the residents exhibited a mild hippie or punk or goth sensibility (though far less so than in, say, the Little Five Points area of Atlanta). Surely there's more to it than this?

Apparently so.

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  • ||

    This sounds a lot like if not exactly like Kruzberg in Berlin. At least in 1990 and 1991. I have no idea what it's like now. I walked through riot, burning cars and rock throwing punk rockers to get to a falfel place on the other side of said riot. The girls we were with were reciting the message coming from the cops loud speaker for comic affect. The bars closed their metal shutters and people continued to drink. One friend I made there said he loved New Years, May Day and now Unification day, because then they riot and set the streets on fire. Good times, good times.

  • ||

    So Greece is like South Korea, where throwing firebombs at police is standard protest behavior? That doesn't seem to happen in the U.S., perhaps because the throwers are more likely to get shot.

  • Lefiti||

    Maybe American police are less likely to harrass protestors because the protestors are more like to shoot the pigs...er... the cops. We could teach the world a lot about peaceful coexistence through threats of mutual shooting. If everybody carried a piece nobody would mouth off to anybody. We should send NRA representatives to Greece. The greeks need to learn that if you see a fucking hippie, shoot first and ask questions later.

  • ||

    Kreuzberg is very nice now. Fairly typical euro boho/bobo neighbourhood but better and cheaper.

  • Abdul||

    So Greece is like South Korea, where throwing firebombs at police is standard protest behavior?

    I was in Korea in the early '90's and there were no more Molotov Cocktails being thrown then. The story I had heard was that in the '80's, an unlucky policeman caught one in the facemask and died. After that, the government charged firebomb throwers with attempted murder and the entire crowd as accomplices, so the crowds refused to allow individuals to throw bombs.

  • ||

    I really wish people would stop referring to Marxist assholes who destroy property and (usually) oppose globalization as "anarchists". Maybe these Greek dudes really are, but their behavior doesn't seem to indicate that. Too many people use "anarchist" as a cover for being a dickhead who thinks it's cool to smash stuff if you don't get what you want.

    I do give them props for giving the pigs hell, though.

  • Egosumabbas||

    It's shithead "anarchists" like these which make me refuse to take up that moniker.

    Only problem is that most people have no idea what voluntarist, consensualist, or agorist mean.

  • Shannon Love||

    In my experience, "Anarchist" are just people without the courage to label themselves as honestly as communist or some other brand of authoritarian socialism.

    However, watching "anarchist" try to rationalize why they think the state should strongly regulate international trade is almost entertaining enough to make them worth keeping around.

  • Shannon Love||

    Hold on. Scroll back. Anarchists, artists, and lawyers?

    We same the same dynamic here. The real political breakdown in the modern world is between people who make things i.e. food, clothing shelter etc and those who manipulate other human beings i.e. layers, writers, humanities academics, journalist, artist etc.

    The latter group pursues a political doctrine which maximizes their own economic freedom and prosperity while suppressing the economic freedom of everyone else.

    People who label themselves "anarchist" rarely actually produce anything.

  • Mister DNA||

    I really wish people would stop referring to Marxist assholes who destroy property and (usually) oppose globalization as "anarchists". Maybe these Greek dudes really are, but their behavior doesn't seem to indicate that. Too many people use "anarchist" as a cover for being a dickhead who thinks it's cool to smash stuff if you don't get what you want.



    Indeed. When I lived in San Francisco, the "anarchists" idealized a society in which everyone would be free to earn $30,000 a year and manufacturers would be free to have the means of production controlled by the workers. When it was point out that their anarchy sounded a lot like communism, the usual response was something like, "It's about smashing the system, man".

  • Robert Heinlein||

    "Maybe American police are less likely to harrass protestors because the protestors are more like to shoot the pigs...er... the cops. We could teach the world a lot about peaceful coexistence through threats of mutual shooting. If everybody carried a piece nobody would mouth off to anybody. We should send NRA representatives to Greece. The greeks need to learn that if you see a fucking hippie, shoot first and ask questions later."

    A well-armed society is a polite society.

  • ||

    Charming and violent?

  • ||

    does the title "Anarcho-Capitalist" still work?
    I think that sets me apart from the marxists, and socialists that just like to break stuff right?

    Besides, I have a cool t-shirt that says "Anarcho-Capitalist"

  • Warty||

    I love when Lefiti makes good points without realizing it.

  • ||

    does the title "Anarcho-Capitalist" still work?

    Not any more. Capitalist is a dirty word, dude. It's all that capitalist deregulation that BushCo did. It's why we're in this bailout situation. Deregulation. Say it 50 times and it becomes true, right Mr. Frank?

  • Egosumabbas||

    @kwais
    "does the title "Anarcho-Capitalist" still work?"

    Only if your only aim is to prematurely turn polite conversations into shouting matches.

    "ZOMG YOU LIKE TO EAT HOMELESS BABIES DONT YOU!"

  • The Angry Optimist||

    I do give them props for giving the pigs hell, though.

    I won't. Rule of Law and respect for property rights is what makes a country better, not worse. Luring police into traps is reprehensible.

    Roderick Long, who visited the area earlier this year, chuckles at the phrase "dense warren of concrete," noting that "if all that means is that there are lots of narrow streets criss-crossing between tall concrete buildings

    "Dense warren", repetitious phrase though it may be ("warren" means a dense or tight grouping of slum buildings, means exactly that, so I don't get what Mr. Long is particularly tickled over.

  • ||

    Hakim Bey is thrilled at the headline.

    By the way, lawyers love hippies chicks: they put out, occasionally invite their hot female friends over for a threesome to prove sexual liberation bona fides, have good connections for pot, and they usually can't hold their liquor. Downsides are armpit hair and vegan cooking.

  • Jerry||

    Southern European squatters are the worst. I wish I could carry here in Europe.

  • anarch||

    That debasement/co-option/misappropriation of the term anarchist is well over 100 years old.

    There ought to be a law. (So to speak.)

  • ||

    They must not be anarchists because they're violent?

    Huh?

  • And the low reading comprehens||

    joe. What a shock.

  • Kolohe||

    "ZOMG YOU LIKE TO EAT HOMELESS BABIES DONT YOU!"

    I fail to see why this is a problem; they're free range, no?

  • ||

    Homeless babies are not vegan.

  • Bags||

    Huh?

    And joe has the balls to call Moynihan "a troll." Stupid fucking tool.

  • ||

    Maybe these Greek dudes really are (anarchists), but their behavior doesn't seem to indicate that. Too many people use "anarchist" as a cover for being a dickhead who thinks it's cool to smash stuff if you don't get what you want.

    Did you get that part, troll? They don't seem like anarchists, because they're behaving violently?

    Or is your reading comprehension lagging a bit these days?

    Sincerely,

    oe, whose reading comprehension is just fine, thanks, and avoids writing things so abominably stupid that he won't put his name on them.

  • ||

    Garble bargle froth spit JOOOEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Ha ha.

  • ||

    I predict a profanity-laden tirade explaining why my accurate restatement, complete with quote proving its accuracy, of a someone else's statement demonstrates my perfidity and partisan blindness.

    Maybe three.

  • ||

    No, you'll just kill the thread, joe. People don't like dickheads, which is why no one cares for you. Enjoy your miserable life.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    joe, Epi said that these people do not seem like anarchists. Why? Because they are being violent, and in his experience, "Too many people use "anarchist" as a cover for being a dickhead who thinks it's cool to smash stuff if you don't get what you want."

    He didn't say anarchy is devoid of violence, just that most anarchists whom he's encountered are not violent and the violent ones are rarely actually anarchists.

    How hard is that?

  • ||

    Seriously, what were you thinking?

    "They can't really be anarchists, because they're violent!"

    I mean, an American president was assassinated by an anarchist. Anarchists planted the Haymarket bomb in Chicago, the most lethal act of terrorism in American history before 9/11.

    You know what your problem is, Episiarch? Partisan blinders. You relate to anarchists and share (some of) their ideals, so you reflexively reject the notion that there could be bad guys who are anarchists.

  • Nigel Watt||

    Is that a cop on fire, or am I confused?

  • @ joe||

    I think what was meant is that true anarchists are violent only in immediate self-defense.

  • Joel||

    If everybody carried a piece nobody would mouth off to anybody.

    A piece of what? I'd like to get some. For world peace.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    What are you thinking, joe? Oklahoma City was worse than Haymarket.

  • @ joe||

    And that some anarchists are pacifists.

  • BakedPenguin||

    I can't help thinking that if there were a few more riots here when innocent people get shot by police, we might have a bit less police brutality.

    This, of course, would be totally unnecessary if police actually faced any consequences for killing people.

  • ||

    TAO,

    joe, Epi said that these people do not seem like anarchists. Why? Because they are being violent Which is precisely what I stated.

    He didn't say anarchy is devoid of violence, just that most anarchists whom he's encountered are not violent and the violent ones are rarely actually anarchists.

    Actually, he went beyond that, and said that the violent behavior of these particular people indicated that they weren't anarchists. Once again, it is unlikely that they're anarchists, and you can tell, because they acted violently.

    Imagine the response "Maybe these corrupt oliticians really are liberals, but their behavior seems to indicate otherwise, because most corrupt people aren't really liberals, but just use that label as a cover for corruption." I'd get laughed off the thread.

    How hard is that? It's not hard at all. In fact, it's exactly what I wrote.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Most "anarchists" I've met talk about what they would outlaw the second they came into power. Cops pushing people around are fine with them, so long as they're their cops.

    Nigel - the cop is in the foreground. The fire is in the mid ground, there are more cops in the background.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Actually, he went beyond that, and said that the violent behavior of these particular people indicated that they weren't anarchists.

    He did? Where? You should have quoted it, if that is what he said.

  • ||

    @ "@ joe,"

    Anybody can do a "true whatever" argument.

    Those terrorists are true Muslims, because true Muslims reject terror.

    Tom Delay isn't a true conservative, because true conservatives don't dole out earmarks for favors.

    There's even a logical fallacy called the "No True Scotsman" fallacy.

  • Naga Sadow||

    This sounds like a nice neighborhood. This . . . Exarkheia/Exarhia sounds great. Drug addicts, firebombs, anarchists, and . . . oh . . . wait a minute . . . lawyers? I take it all back.

  • ||

    Naga,

    Don't forget all the baby-kebab places.

  • ||

    TAO,

    He did? Where?

    What are you, kidding me?

    I DID quote it: Maybe these Greek dudes really are (anarchists), but their behavior doesn't seem to indicate that.

    Did you miss that part?

    Here, let me walk you through it:

    1. They're probably not anarchists, because

    2. Their behavior (ie, smashing things) indicates that they aren't anarchists.

    Not anarchists. Behavior. Indicates.

    Seriously, WTF?

  • Egosumabbas||

    Also, I've been to Athens, and the whole damn *city* is a sprawling warren of concrete apartment buildings, with a few ruins and public buildings here and there to break the monotony.

  • ||

    Right, OKC is what I should have written.

  • @ joe||

    joe, since you're good with these things, what's the term for the fallacy of saying that since the No True Scotsman fallacy exists, one can never say a soi-disant professor of a principle must be representative of that principle? Like whatever a Christian-in-name does must be representative of Christianity?

  • The Angry Optimist||

    joe, this was your summation of Epi's argument earlier:

    he went beyond that, and said that the violent behavior of these particular people indicated that they weren't anarchists.

    Now, your summary is:

    1. They're probably not anarchists, because

    2. Their behavior (ie, smashing things) indicates that they aren't anarchists.


    Wonder why you did that?

    Right, OKC is what I should have written.

    Well, no, because McVeigh probably was not an anarchist.

  • Naga Sadow||

    Oh good lord, SugarFree! Baby kebabs? I cant' stop myself from reading the comments now. How the hell did baby kebabs come up anyway?

  • ||

    Anarcho-Capitalist = Eats homeless babies + Greek ==> Baby kebabs

  • ||

    what's the term for the fallacy of saying that since the No True Scotsman fallacy exists, one can never say a soi-disant professor of a principle must be representative of that principle?

    Never having made that argument, I'm not sure why you're asking me.

    Someone made an assertion about whether these people are or are not anarchists, and whether we can tell by the fact that they are violent.

    Someone else pointed out the fallacy of that thinking. Maybe they're not anarchists, maybe they are. We can't tell by their level of violence, though.

  • @ joe||

    Sorry, lost in the double-negatives.

    What's the fallacy of saying Reagan must have been a libertarian because he said he was one?

  • libertarian democrat||

    Really, while often apt to bring up around libertarians, the no true scotsman fallacy really does work best outside of any philosophy.

    And there are plenty of different anarchist philosophies, some of which have no respect for private property. Most lefty-anarchists I know are completely non-violent, however.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Someone made an assertion about whether these people are or are not anarchists, and whether we can tell by the fact that they are violent.

    No one made that argument, joe.

  • ||

    joe,

    Czolgosz's experiences had convinced him there was a great injustice in American society, an inequality which allowed the wealthy to enrich themselves by exploiting the poor. He concluded that the reason for this was the structure of government itself.



    Sounds more like your buddy Hugo than Pierre-Joseph Proudhon.

    I guess if people started shtting in people's mailboxes and called themselves "Democrats" you'd welcome them with open arms.

  • ||

    Wow, TAO, you're really going to retreat all the way to "probably," and hope that nobody notices that "probably not anarchists" and "indicates that they aren't anarchists" are both statements about probabilities?

    That's just pathetic.

    Well, no, because McVeigh probably was not an anarchist. Well, yes, because the statement I made was that it was the worst act of terrorism prior to OKC, not that is was the worst act of ANARCHIST terrorism prior to OKC. Which it was. The Haymarket bombings were the worst act of terrorism in America prior to the OKC bombing.

  • ||

    "@ joe",

    Ask your question to someone who's argued that people must be what they self-describe as.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Wow, TAO, you're really going to retreat all the way to "probably," and hope that nobody notices that "probably not anarchists" and "indicates that they aren't anarchists" are both statements about probabilities?

    They are different arguments, joe, despite your efforts to equate them. And no, saying that "violence = not anarchists" is not a statement about probabilities, it is an absolute.

  • Lefiti||

    "I love when Lefiti makes good points without realizing it."

    You mean you love [it] when I mouth your dogmatic platitudes. Actual thought is pretty scary, though, huh?

  • @ joe||

    To anyone who professes to be joe:

    What's the fallacy of saying Reagan must have been a libertarian because he said he was one?

  • ||

    SugarFree,

    As libertarian democrat points out, there are more strains of anarchism than the one you decide you admire. In fact, throughout history, anarchist movements have been far more common among the left than the right.

    I guess if people started shtting in people's mailboxes and called themselves "Democrats" you'd welcome them with open arms. There's nothing about shitting in mailboxes that prevents Democrats from doing it. There's nothing about violence that prevents anarchists from engaging in it.

    Don't be so partisan. People with a poltical philosophy that is broadly analogous to your own can be bad guys, too.

  • ||

    Anyone up for a 200 post thread containing a painfully detailed semantic argument, with blockquotes, accusations, and snark galore? Good thing, too...

  • ||

    No one made that argument, joe.

    I'm not pasting that statement a third time.

  • ||

    No one professing to be joe has written a word about anybody professing anything.

  • @ joe||

    That's why the call went out. Don't answer it.

  • ||

    They are different arguments, joe, despite your efforts to equate them.

    Oh, really?

    Let's go to the tape:
    violent behavior of these particular people indicated that they weren't anarchists.i>

    vs.

    1. They're probably not anarchists, because

    2. Their behavior (ie, smashing things) indicates that they aren't anarchists.

    I see a statement that violent behavior indicates that people aren't anarchists, followed by a statement that there is a low probability of people being anarchists, followed by a reason to think that probability is low (their violence).

    You're really gong to hang your hat on "indicates" vs. "probably?"

    You have fun with that.

  • libertarian democrat||

    For example:

    If I am an anarchocapitalist who holds to a philosophy regarding not initiating force, and I meet someone on the street (say Joe, since he probably lives nearest me of you all) and just punch them because I dislike their politics, there are a few ways to interpret this action:

    1. I'm not very good at practicing what I preach/I have low self-control but really do believe the aforementioned philosophy is best and philosophically still hold to it.

    2. I don't really believe the aforementioned philosophy because I broke its tenets.

    3. I really am an anarcho-capitalist but with a slightly different view about the initiation of force, and am too dumb to realize it.

    Now think: that was a fairly clearly defined philosophy. There are TONS of different anarchist philosophies, as well as tons of different minarchist ones. Someone saying they are an anarchist doesn't mean they hold to the one you like best.

    That said, I would hold that interpretation 1 could be a valid one, depending on the person. I personally am for stronger animal protections, but I sometimes mess up and eat meat, and I have a few things made of leather, to say the least. I just think I'm bad at it =)

  • libertarian democrat||

    I apologize for the poor grammar, hopefully it does not distract from the points.

  • ||

    joe,

    I'm not being partisan. I'm not an anarchist, left, right or whatever. Epi's an anarcho-capitalist. I understood his point perfectly. In fact, I bet everyone else here understood it as well. You love to gnash and wail at people you say are playing dumb. Physician, heal thyself.

  • ||

    What's the fallacy of saying Reagan must have been a libertarian because he said he was one?

    Purely my take: A little cherry picking mixing with a dollop of the intentional fallacy.

  • libertarian democrat||

    Also, not discounting the idea that people say they are anarchists without really holding onto any similar political philosophy.

    Sort of like Bill Maher (who I find very entertaining) and pretty much any form of big tent libertarianism, but way less entertaining and more jerky.

  • ||

    SugarFree,

    Nobody misunderstood Episiarch's comment. None of us.

    He said that the rioters were probably not anarchists, because they were violent.

    There is no confusion here. Nobody missed the point. Nobody's playing dumb.

  • Jordan||

    In fact, I bet everyone else here understood it as well. You love to gnash and wail at people you say are playing dumb. Physician, heal thyself.



    Indeed.

  • libertarian democrat||

    Joe:

    I would make the argument, however, that most violent or destructive individuals in America that call themselves anarchists don't really hold to much of an anarchist political philosophy. Some, but not many.

  • ; - )||

    "I apologize for the poor grammar, hopefully it does not distract from the points."

    Comma splice, misuse of adverb, and do I hear a third?

  • ||

    It is not obviously contrary to anarchist principles to use force against agents of the state, or engage in revolutionary violence in an effort to bring about a stateless situation?

    I'd go so far as to say that it is not contrary to anarchist principles at all.

  • Jordan||

    There is no confusion here. Nobody missed the point. Nobody's playing dumb.



    Except you. If somebody claimed to be antiwar and then joined the marines and said "put me in the infantry and send me where the action is", you'd still claim they were antiwar.

  • HAHAHAHAHA!||

    The problem is that Greeks haven't learned English well enough to use the term anarchist properly.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    what this is really about is individuals who have historically called themselves anarchists and whether that is consistent with actual anarchism.

    joe, you knew that, but you felt the need to equivocate when you understood that the term was being used in different contexts between you and Epi.

    Although, this time, I do not wonder why you did it. You did it because you crave attention.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    I would make the argument, however, that most violent or destructive individuals in America that call themselves anarchists don't really hold to much of an anarchist political philosophy.

    This was Epi's actual argument.

    The way joe framed it, he claimed that Episiarch made a claim that the presence of violence was absolutely preclusive as to whether the violent were anarchists.

    And they are not the same arguments.

  • ||

    libertarian democrat,

    I'd say that most people who identify themselves by a political label are using it mainly as a statement of broad affiliation with a political movement.

    I've read some of the stuff the footsoldiers in the American Revolution used to believe. King George was conspiring with the Pope to make everyone in the colonies convernt to Catholicism. Not exactly your Enlightenment Republicanism.

  • ||

    Jordan,

    Your analogy fails because using violence against agents of the state, and revolutionary violence in the cause of anarchism, are not contrary to anarchist philosophy, whereas joining the marines and asking to be sent to a combat zone are acts the inherently contradict the anti-war philosophy.

    Unless we're redefining "anarchism" as "stateless pacifism," which would be absurd, because the vast majority of anarchist movements have not been ideologically pacifist, or in any sense hostile to mixing it up with the police.

  • ||

    libertarian democrat,

    He doesn't care. Words only mean what joe says they mean. That he's on a libertarian comment board with many anarcho-capitalists, a board that has had many, many threads where the differences between individualist-anarchist and communist-anarchist have been chewed over extensively, commenting on the comment of someone who is a self-professed anarcho-capitalist fan of the pacifist Proudhon and Rothbard... well he doesn't have to figure any of that in because the only definition in joe's dictionary is for left-anarchists bomb-throwers.

    He either is dumb or is playing dumb. I'm fine deciding either.

  • libertarian democrat||

    That's how I interpreted what Epi is saying as well. Although I personally think that was more clear from:

    Too many people use "anarchist" as a cover for being a dickhead who thinks it's cool to smash stuff if you don't get what you want.

    Than from:

    Maybe these Greek dudes really are, but their behavior doesn't seem to indicate that.

    The latter could be interpreted to mean that anarchists are generally non-destructive, whereas there are certainly anarchist philosophies that allow property destruction and violence against the state. Most don't hold to that, but there are certainly anarchist beliefs that do.

    I was mostly addressing that possible interpretation. I agree with the other interpretation.

  • ||

    what this is really about is individuals who have historically called themselves anarchists and whether that is consistent with actual anarchism.

    There is no definition of "actual anarchism" that is both consistent with the use of the term throughout history AND which does not encompass the use of force against the state.

    I amend my earlier statement; there do seem to be some people who are confused here. There seem to be a number of people who seem to be under the impression that acting violently in the pursuit of anarchism is inconsistent with the definition of anarchism.

  • ||

    This was Epi's actual argument.

    Um, no, THIS was Epi's actual argument:

    I really wish people would stop referring to Marxist assholes who destroy property and (usually) oppose globalization as "anarchists". Maybe these Greek dudes really are, but their behavior doesn't seem to indicate that. Too many people use "anarchist" as a cover for being a dickhead who thinks it's cool to smash stuff if you don't get what you want.

    I do give them props for giving the pigs hell, though.


    Not just that people self-describe as anarchists wrongly, but that the use of violence is a good indicator of who they are.

  • ||

    SugarFree,

    That he's on a libertarian comment board with many anarcho-capitalists, a board that has had many, many threads where the differences between individualist-anarchist and communist-anarchist have been chewed over extensively, commenting on the comment of someone who is a self-professed anarcho-capitalist fan of the pacifist Proudhon and Rothbard... well he doesn't have to figure any of that in because the only definition in joe's dictionary is for left-anarchists bomb-throwers.

    You fail, because you think that "anarcho-capitalist" is a synonymn for "anarchist."

    Please, guy who thinks those two terms are the same, talk down some more about how poorly I understand political science.

    I guess only Rothbardian anarcho-capitalists are "true anarchists." Lol.

  • ||

    Those other guys - you know, 99% of the anarchists throughout history - aren't actually anarchists.

    No no, we're the only True Anarchists. Those other poseurs? Um...they just don't reed to gud.

    Whatever.

  • ||

    joe,

    Anarcho-capitalist are anarchists in the original definition. Just as you and your ilk shit all over "liberal" forcing we who think your ideas are abhorrent to adopt the label "libertarian," anarchists were forced to become "anarcho-capitalists" to avoid association with communists who appropriated "anarchist" to their own uses.

    You know all this, right? You profess to know everything. I guess you are going with "playing dumb" then.

  • ||

    I define anarchists as people who herd sheep. Flame me!

  • If you herd sheep...||

    Wut did de sheep say?

  • ||

    SugarFree,

    Anarcho-capitalist are anarchists in the original definition Yes, they are. They fit comfortably under the definition of "anarchist."

    So do many other variations of anarchism.

    anarchists were forced to become "anarcho-capitalists" to avoid association with communists who appropriated "anarchist" to their own uses. But many of the people you are defining as "communists" not only got there first, but have been much more numerous.

    Like most fringe movements, anarchism excels in internicene squabbles. Did you know that the SRs weren't actually socialists, blah blah blah?

    Yes, I am familiar with the relevant political history here, thanks (though "know everything" is a big much). I simply don't buy into one or the other faction's proclaimations that it, and only it, can correctly claim the term that rightfully applied to them all.

  • ||

    joe,

    But many of the people you are defining as "communists" not only got there first, but have been much more numerous.

    You haven't heard a Proudhon I've said, have you?

    So you know there are many different factions of anarchism, yet you deliberately choose the one that made a hash of Epi's comment? You've gone from "playing dumb" to "jackass." Congratulations.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Not just that people self-describe as anarchists wrongly, but that the use of violence is a good indicator of who they are.

    Again, no, joe. Let's parse this out: I read the argument as "In my experience, people who are nothing more than violent douchebags co-opt the label of anarchist, even when they, in all likelihood, have nothing in common with anarchism at all."

    Which is wildly different from the way you're framing the argument.

  • PJ Proudhon||

    Property is theft.

  • libertarian democrat||

    SugarFree,

    I think Proudhon would fit more into some of the left-anarchist than the right-anarchist schools of thought. Or maybe a middle-of-the-road-anarchist.

  • ||

    Congratulations. You managed three words of a long book. Just because I don't care much for the arguments of geo-libertarianism doesn't mean mutualism and communism are the same thing.

  • anarcho-capitalist||

    a middle-of-the-road-anarchist

    So long as that road is private - and all roads should be private - you can do anything you damn please in its middle and call it what you want.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Anarchist:

    an⋅ar⋅chist
       /ˈænərkɪst/ [an-er-kist]
    -noun
    1. a person who advocates or believes in anarchy or anarchism.
    2. a person who seeks to overturn by violence all constituted forms and institutions of society and government, with no purpose of establishing any other system of order in the place of that destroyed.
    3. a person who promotes disorder or excites revolt against any established rule, law, or custom.



    "Real anarchists" (even anarcho-capitalists who abhore the initiation of violence) can decide that the coercion was initiated by the state and therefore justifies a violent response aimed at overthrowing civil government.

  • ||

    libertarian democrat,

    Proudhon was a pacifist. The first person that self-identified as an anarchist believed in a peaceful devolution of political power to city-level non-interventional political powers--a far, far cry from the massive state apparatus required to make the equal outcomes desired by communism.

  • Please||

    ...don't be so selective.

  • ||

    Neu Mejican,

    I'm fine with all those definition existing simultaneously. Since they do, maybe it would be an example of arguing in good faith to at least make some pretense of looking at the word in context when replying to another commenter.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Sugarfree,

    It seems to me the true descendants of Proudhon, historically, are the anarcho-syndacalists.

    Anarcho-capitalism seems best described as a later development for the most part (Tucker, Spooner, et al. seemed to have problems with amassed wealth that could act like a defacto government...not big fans of capitalists...no?).

  • Neu Mejican||

    Since they do, maybe it would be an example of arguing in good faith to at least make some pretense of looking at the word in context when replying to another commenter.

    Epi was, it seems, the one trying to stake claim to the term and it's "real" meaning. Even if we go with TAO's summary of his point (which is close, I think) that he doesn't like assholes without a political philosophy calling themselves/being labeled as "anarchists."

    The label applies to the violent assholes when used according to definition 3 above...Epi seems to have a problem with that.

  • ||

    Neu,

    Yes and no. At the time, "capitalism" was defined closer to what we would call "government-backed oiligarchy." To be anti-capitalist in Proudhon's construction was to be against the accumulation of unused property (geo-libertarianism) but have no problem with property in the "mixed your labor with land" sense. Largely this was because the holding of unused property was a largess of the state (land grants from kings, etc.)

    But, I agree that Proudhon is most seen in modern anarcho-syndicalists. Proudhon was mostly brought up to rebut the assertion that the roots of anarchism are violent proto-commies.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Episiarch,

    Too many people use "anarchist" as a cover for being a dickhead who thinks it's cool to smash stuff if you don't get what you want.

    That is a proper and widely accepted use of the term "anarchist."


    Right! Now ha, ha,
    I am an antichrist
    I am an anarchist
    Don't know what I want
    But I know how to get it
    I wanna destroy the passerby

    'Cause I wanna be Anarchy
    No dogs body

    Anarchy for the UK
    It's coming sometime and maybe
    I give a wrong time stop a traffic line
    Your future dream is a shopping scheme

    'Cause I wanna be Anarchy
    In the city

    How many ways to get what you want
    I use the best
    I use the rest
    I use the enemy
    I use Anarchy

    'Cause I wanna be Anarchy
    It's the only way to be

    Is this the M.P.L.A or
    Is this the U.D.A or
    Is this the I.R.A
    I thought it was the UK
    Or just another country
    Another council tenancy

    I Wanna be Anarchy
    I Wanna be Anarchy
    Oh what a name

    I wanna be Anarchy
    Know what I mean?

    And I wanna be an anarchist
    Get pissed
    Destroy!



    This song is, I would say, the blueprint for the modern anarchist and the most common usage for the term.

  • ||

    Neu,

    Epi seems to have a problem with that.

    That was what I was getting at with the "Democrats shitting in mailboxes" construction. It's not a "no true scotsman" fallacy for Democrats to renounce anyone doing that. Just as it is not a fallacy for us to distance ourselves from Rockwell or Dondero "libertarians." Or for Epi to distance his beliefs from dumbasses who think anarchy is throwing a trash can through a McDonald's window.

  • Neu Mejican||

    At the time, "capitalism" was defined closer to what we would call "government-backed oiligarchy."

    Not really.
    Spooner specifically criticized the use of private wealth to amass private armies and act like a government. He was not, in that case, talking about a collusion between government and wealth, but about the similarities between the actions of the wealthy to privately secure their property and the actions of the government.

    "[a]ny number of scoundrels, having money enough to start with, can establish themselves as a 'government'; because, with money, they can hire soldiers, and with soldiers extort more money; and also compel general obedience to their will."
    L. Spooner

  • ||

    Neu,

    We can agree to read it differently, but the Spooner quote is too fine a hair to split between your interpretation and:

    Oligarchy is a form of government where political power effectively rests with a small elite segment of society distinguished by royalty, wealth, family, military powers or occult spiritual hegemony.



    It seems to me that Spooner is saying with 'government' that the group of scoundrels are forming is the actual ruling party of a country and not a shadow government running in opposition of a fairly elected bodies of citizen representatives. It seems to me that "using soldiers to extort money" sounds much more like taxes than capitalism. ;-)

    In my view, his denunciation of business interests after the Civil War edges him closer to modern anti-capitalism than the European anti-capitalists. Both were against the aristocracy, it's just that the aristocracy of America is the rich.

    Anyway, nice to have a rational debate for a change. I've got to skedaddle.

  • Mihkail Bakunin||

    joe is one of the smartest commenters on this board, unlike you!

  • ||

    Neu M,

    This song is, I would say, the blueprint for the modern anarchist and the most common usage for the term.

    Your damn right it is.

  • Neu Mejican||

    It seems to me that Spooner is saying with 'government' that the group of scoundrels are forming is the actual ruling party of a country and not a shadow government running in opposition of a fairly elected bodies of citizen representatives. It seems to me that "using soldiers to extort money" sounds much more like taxes than capitalism. ;-)

    Well, in an anarchy, there would not be a fairly elected body of citizen representatives, so it seems a distinction without a difference.

    Spooner seems to be saying that, in the absence of a government (i.e. anarchy), there would be a danger from those who amass great amounts of wealth because they would have the resources to act as a government...and for that reason, the wealthy are a real danger to liberty in an anarchistic society.

    I think historically this is fairly accurate...and points to the problem with anarchy...it will always lead directly back to some form of government. Libertarians, of course, recognize this...the motivation for a minarchist position in many cases, it seems.

  • !||

    so sad, another interesting thread turns into a "joe" thread.

  • Neu Mejican||

    B. Tucker also seems to be fairly anti-capitalist...

    each man reaping the fruits of his labour and no man able to live in idleness on an income from capital....become[ing] a great hive of Anarchistic workers, prosperous and free individuals [combining] to carry on their production and distribution on the cost principle.

    Of course, Tucker wasn't really much of an anarchist either. He didn't have a problem with their being police, or prisons, or armies, or other institutions of force.

    So he doesn't make much of a proto-type for anarcho-captitalists as he was neither pro-capitalism nor really opposed to the existence of the state.

  • Egosumabbas||

    @ joe:

    Please click on my name to see why "anarchists" are colossal assholes for co-opting the brand without acknowledging other facets of non-government.

    I have a feeling that most of these idiots in Greece just want to break stuff and haphazardly justify their actions later with some kind of half-baked ideology (in the same way that asshole rent-seeking pseudo-capitalists latch on to objectivism without understanding it).

  • ||

    I like this one:

    Anarchism(anar-kisim)(from Greek ἀν (without) + ἄρχειν (to rule) + ισμός (from stem -ιζειν), "without archons," "without rulers") is a political philosophy encompassing theories and attitudes which reject compulsory government (the state) and support its elimination,"".

  • Head||

    sweet! We even have our own flag!

    Special!

  • eristikophiles||

    as an anarchist who believes that violence should be expressed in a natural way and not become subject to ideals, organized warfare, and hatred, i'd just like to say that i feel like punching joe in the face right now. .. more importantly, perhaps, i can re/construct a logical argument for why such feelings and actions should be expressed as they arise. in the same vein, just because an army, a police force, or special ops of a government do it doesn't make it not terrorism. there are plenty of days when i wish here in the US we would have more riots. it would be much, much better if there were no riots because of lack of reasons for them, but there are plenty of reasons. and instead the most we have happen is a bit of window-smashing now and then, which does nothing to change either the power structures or how people feel they can act. aggression and violence are a natural part of human life. instead of refusing to accept that, it is healthier to act on it in an appropriate manner. instead of organizing it into systematic hate and warfare, it is better that people do it on a personal level. next time someone tries to tie up an hour of your time with pointless semantics, whether you're on their side or not, either yell at them and leave or go ahead and give them a solid punch.

    i hope the kid's parents feel a tiny bit better knowing Exarchia is on their side.

    note: i do not advocate violent overthrow of the US or any government. i am fully confident that due to their hateful and destructive policies, all governments will manage to collapse on their own.

  • ||

    In this time of high unemployment and overpopulation, it is crucial to start eliminating immigration. Both legal and illegal immigration should be reduced to zero.

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