Box 13, item 997: Draft argument chapters on anarchism

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Box 13, item 997: Draft argument chapters on anarchism

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Typescripts and handwritten chapters, with handwritten emendations and annotations. Includes copies of published works by other authors. Published works redacted from access file (PDF) due to copyright restrictions. Title in collection finding aid: Blue Folder - Anarkism - Argument Chapters.

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The University of Queensland's Richard Sylvan Papers UQFL291, Box 13, item 997

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This item was identified for digitisation at the request of The University of Queensland's 2020 Fryer Library Fellow, Dr. N.A.J. Taylor.

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For all enquiries about this work, please contact the Fryer Library, The University of Queensland Library.

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[73] leaves. 195.22 MB.

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Manuscript

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Lake George - Floor - Pile 7

Text

The following has been redacted from access file (PDF) due to copyright restrictions.
Annotated cutting (photocopy) of Meyers DT (1981) 'The inevitability of the state', Analysis,
41:46-47, https://doi.org/10.2307/3327871. (3 leaves)

The following has been redacted from access file (PDF) due to copyright restrictions.
Annotated cutting (photocopy) of four pages from Chomsky N (1992) Deterring democracy, Hill
and Wang. (2 leaves)

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The following has been redacted from access file (PDF) due to copyright restrictions.
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The strategy of the first section of the book is to see where we might
fnd up if we began with a state of nature as described by Locke and
ttuck within the constraints of the Lockean "laws of nature". We "focus
a nonstate situation in which peopie generally satisfy moral conuratnts and generally act as they ought. Such an assumption is not wildly
'Wmistic... Yet it is the best anarchic situation one could reasonably ! )
for... If one could show that the State would be superior event to
most favored situation of anarchy... it would justify the state." (5)
J
why should we do this? Presumably Locke and before him
painted their pictures of the state of nature as they did because
thought that's the way people really were. Nozick doesn't seem to
that, thought he also seems to think that Hobbes' characterization
^mptjusibte or unreliable. But if truth to fact isn't the motive, then what
there is. in short, the question of how we are to
the alternatives
. *hat ^nteria of superiority one is going to use. And here lies the rub.
^jrcty Locke and Hobbes were trying to paint a picture of the "state
^*!urc which wou!d not only provide a point of comparison but also

-2993>

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avC-

3.

In §2 introduce contrast between left-leaning and right-leaning anarchisms.

In the enlarged version will carry both of these through the arguments, comparing

The main initial, and striking, differences concern replace­

and contrasting them.
ment.

The following, for example, is how mere right-leaning replacement will tend

to look:[A ?irst complication of the simulation argument:-

A properly democratic

state can be simulated, in that all it accomplishes that is considered

worthwhile can be duplicated.

The argument is as before for services for

which the means can be obtained.

_ ___ ___ __

.

Otherwise let S'

be a service for which

s^L-Lici. und.it cnjmpu_L so ry caxarion Or tLie

, -

But if it is in the collective interest then it will obtain the means, e.g. it

generates these by its own operation, as a telephone service does, or it raises
the equivalent of subscriptions as a community television station or magazine may.

Then however the network n may be replaced by a network n* of relations of operators

who choose to do the work without state directives and n' accomplishes a service
s^ which duplicates s.^

Given the means, which the collective interest assumed,

state authority is nowhere required for such a service, as is evident from examples

where community or private services grow up alongside state services where permitted

to do so.

Often anarchists have such services will be performed better than the
A

H

state services they replace.

Note that the left-leaning argument does not assume

that organisation is unnecessary or that people
in their 0^1 interest.

It assumes

will always and inevi/j&6 ly act

that people themselves,

and net some power­

ful elite in charge, are best placed to determine what is in their

and to pMcfe it

though VcJunhiry

04M interest

organisation and cooperation.

However people will do things themselves in an organised way, instead of

being, as often now, passive recipients of welfare.
Beneficial services, such as community-access radio and television stations,
and also welfare arrangements, would in general be reorganised so that all the
necessary infrastructure became community owned, and those wishing to use the

service would

and^ to operate it, would carry out much of the operation

themselves - taking the operation into their own hands instead of being the
passive recipients of good things metered out to them by powerful agencies or

professionals who take it upon themselves to judge what is in their [best!]

interests.

3.^

the means are not forthcoming.

Then the state would not be able to

supply means either unless it exceeded its democratic mandate.]
Let service s, e.g. a telephone or postal or transport service, be some state

activity which is in the collective interest, and let it be accomplished by network
n which will include a system of operators standing in various relations.

Picture

the network that makes up a state postal system or a local radio station.

Such a

system does not require the authority of the state of operate:

what it may require

is means to operate acquired by methods other than compulsory taxation or the like.
But if it is in the collective interest then it will obtain the means, e.g. it

generates these by its own operation, as a telephone service does, or it raises
the equivalent of subscriptions as a community television station or magazine may.

Then however the network n may be replaced by a network n of relations of operators

who choose to do the work without state directives and n' accomplishes a service
s^ which duplicates s.^

Given the means, which the collective interest assumed,

state authority is nowhere required for such a service, as is evident from examples

where community or private services grow up alongside state services where permitted
to do so.

/a?
Often anarchists have such services will be performed better than the
n
A

state services they replace.

Note that the left-leaning argument does not assume

that organisation is unnecessary or that people
in their 0^1 interest.

It assumes

will always and inevi/a.bly act

that people themselves,

and not some power­

ful elite in charge, are best placed to determine what is in their
and to pn?$qe it

tliough V<7?un?ary

OMH interest

organisation and cooperation.

However people will do things themselves in an organised way, instead of
being, as often now, passive recipients of welfare.

Beneficial services, such as community—access radio and television stations,
and also welfare arrangements, would in general be reorganised so that all the
necessary infrastructure became community owned, and those wishing to use the

service would

and^to operate it, would carry out much of the operation

themselves - taking the operation into their own hands instead of being the
passive recipients of good things metered out to them by powerful agencies or

professionals who take it upon themselves to judge what is in their [best!]

interests.

7^

Arguments from freedom, autonomy and personhood.

Re §8:

Observe that these

arguments do not require the rejection of society or of voluntary cooperation:
it is the (claim to supreme) authority of the State that is essential to the

Nor do the arguments depend on individualistic assumptions, such as

argument.

that persons stand in isolation and are not intensionally inter-related to one
another:

all that is supposed is that responsibility for actions can be (largely)

individually assigned.^

8.

Re §9:

It is likely to be objected that most of the experience is of pre­

industrial societies.
experience.

First, this is not true:

there is now lots of local

Secondly, insofar as it is true regarding large-scale industrial

societies, it is not damaging.

For it is precisely the structures of these

societies that the aim is to change.

Etc.

Re §10.

The replacement (or substitution) argument when duly followed through
i)
that is elaborated in requisite detail for each component of State actually that

9.

is in the collective interest, shows that the State is not necessary.
There are finitely many components which can be readily enumerated.

In the

case of each component anarchist replacements or alternatives have already been

worked out, often in some detail;

Put alternatively,

see especially Kropotkin's work.

the replacements enable the construction of a model

which reveals a society functioning without the State, the design of,
what can be arrived at in other less constructive ways, a practically

possible stateless world;
(practically) necessary.

and this shows that the State is not
But it can always be claimed that the modelling

procedure has left out some critical feature of real world circumstances
especially as to human psychology, that makes the model inapplicable to

real world circumstances.
This is a further point where^ appeal to the argument fjc/pi experience,

that at various times and places anarchism has worked.

Examples of

Were the argument to depend on individualistic assumptions, it could be re-presented in an interesting reductio form, beginning: Suppose, as arguments for the
State do, that persons are individuals (of the following cast; purely selfinterested, competing, ...). Then ...

10.
such organisation with.a State suffice to show that critical real-

world features have not been omitted.
Criticism of Undirected Happening, and Anarchism with^Organistion

In §10.

10.

In particular, the Roszak position of an undirected change just happening is

inadequate.

The conditions for change have to be determined in some detail at

least, and nurtured.

No more satisfactory than the Let's Leave Everything Open,

and so excessively to chance, is the Blueprint for the Future idea which tries to

set everything into place.

For example, how untried arrangements will work is

uncertain, and in future possibilities may arise which have not yet been clearly
envisaged.

A much

more flexible model is wanted:

model is intended to provide.

(See also 13).

Beware of arguments concering organisation based &n efficiency (as usually

11.

Need replacement for efficiency as for several other organis­

defined E = 0/1).

ational values.

Similarly for economic terms

:

optimum quantity of as defined in economic terms.
quantities of nuclear power.
12.

this the forest succession

e.g.

(in §3) be

This may

i of

eid^e.g.^to optimum

Point same as with respect to efficiency.

Although the forest succession model (pp.11-13) is attractive, you do not

seem to have provided any gripping arguments for its superiority, which might run

along the lines of the moral value of anarchist means reflecting anarchist ends,

or more concretely in terms of a political analysis of contemporary society (e.g.
as done by Dennis Altman).

as a relevant one.

In short, the model needs to be justified in some way

More generally, the basic thrust of the paper is on the

superiority of anarchism as an end state.

The part on strategy opens up a vast

new area, including for example the tactics of anarchists in relation to elections,

to mass uprisings, to opportunities opened by social cataclysms (e.g. Germany
after WWI), to heavily authoritarian governments, etc. - which you don't treat

so far.
13.

Re

6:

The Tragedy of Commons issues arise again between States, e.g. over

fisheries, air pollution, etc., as well as war (cf. also Sinking Ark, p.105).

11.
14.

In footnote 14.

Th^s Bakunin urged a revolution everywhere at once:

other­

wise there remained a continual risk and worry of State colonisation of adjacent
areas, as of State imperialism.

In footnote 12:

There are steps towards locally managed legal arrangements,

on which see Stone in Nemos XIX.
15.
2)

On self-managed medicine, see Illych.

Footnotes not fully taken up (through some overlap):

A detailed argument to this conclusion is presented in Taylor, who also points

out how the "Tragedy of the Commons" is the same general type.

In fact Taylor

Contends that arguments of the type -represent 'the strongest ca$e which can be made

for the desirability of the State'

5)

The small f^rms of economic

(p.9), and that they are wanting.

theory and the natipn states of political theory

also, of course, satisfy the independence requirements.

An independence require­

ment is retained in Hobbes' theory, though an individual's payoff is supposed to
depend as well on the individual's eminence.

[Marxists on social determinism?]

Such organisations could in any case be valuable, not only in improving the
Some.
e/*
eV"
lot of those $*tuck in dilemma situations, but in providing ^situations, a matter
8)

?)
about which there is increasing speculations and argument.
9)

We don't of course wish to suggest that working within the system is just a

waste of time, and we should watch it all go while we sit back and wait for the
revolution.

But in each urgent battle it's easy to lose sight of fact that each

hard won victory is only temporary, to lose sight of the urgent necessity to
begin constructing the sort of society in which they will not be so temporary.
This is not and cannot be a matter of imposing some sort of Boy Scout 'Conservation

Ethic' or minor changes in the direction of energy saving on a society which

produces environmental degradation as a matter of its fundamental structure.
12)

It also overlooks the extent to which the structure generates its own style

of politicians and its own self-supporting procedures and mechanisms.
16.

Opposition to the theoretical in Australian intellectual life runs right up

through the universities even to research institutes, e.g. the Research School of

Social Sciences at the Australian National University.

12.

17.

None of the ways are original, all being found in at least rudimentary form

in 19th century anarchist writings.

original.
18.

But no more were the ways of Aquinas

[Ties with several footnotes.]

Re detailed replacement:

In the contemporary situations of privatisation

of wealth and resources (by State distribution and enforcement thereof) nonstatist
public and community organisations all struggle, even given a supply of voluntary

labour, for want of community infrastructure, which under alternative social
arrangements would be provided.

Because under (&. g.) left-leaning (communal)

forms of anarchism, wealth, resources, etc., are held or controlled by the

community, there is no need to apply coercion to wrest these from often unwilling
privatised individuals in order to /^rnisA infrastructure, etc.

The situation in right-leaning anarchism is very different.
19.

The extent to which States operate in the public good is vastly exaggerated.

The situation as regards wealth, large corporations, etc, are only some examples.
Cities are another:

they are not designed so that they operate in the interests

of people, of all those who dwell in them or visit them, but are dominated at

present by the interests of commerce.

Compare also modern metropolitan, where

cities dominate life of the countrysides.
20.

Serious defects in Wolff's arguments:

a) reasons on p.78 are quite inadequate,

b) false dichotomy between voluntary/constracts.
21.

Conclusion:

the State has

the myth of legitimacy.

no legitimacy.

Weber has material (essay?) on

This should be compared with Edelman's material on bogus

legitimacy obtained by symbolic means.
The transformation of the State is through the State;

the removal of the

State is by the State.

22.

Rewiode!:

(1)

In some of these things alternative groups work with the

State or its representatives (as rainforest patches grow within a eucalypt
forest).

This does not imply recognition of the State as legitimate, as a power

de jure;

but its de facto power is hard to avoid, and like the judo expert

alternative groups will try to take advantage of the power of the operation.

points OK:

reeXD/-e$$*. ]

[Seme

13.

(2)

An appropriate natural evolution model exonerates us from the difficult -

and unnecessary - task of setting down a blueprint for change, or for trying to
predict how things should go.
false dichotomy.

23.

It shows that revolution/evolution presents a

In between is, e.g. Encouraged of speeded-up evolution

Further questions.

Re §1:

a) All current States are evil,

but is even

the best State attainable seriously flawed? While ideal states with ideal
citizens are not evil (as model worlds will show), the ideal is unattainable?
Otherwise, where is the necessity (of evil)?

one-world necessity, virtually:

Also "necessity" contracts to

in all worlds like the real one is having states,

there are states, so "necessarily" there are states,

b)

of upturns to individuals is over intensional features.

The reduction failure

The point deserves

expanding.
Re §10:

The extent to which the new organisations permit punishment, or

a)

constraints, or rely upon it, is a ticklish issue, especially given the
argument,

b)

Generally there are various ways of changing or regulating an

organisation, e.g. external/internal.

For instance, outside, state,regulation

is replaced by group regulation, e.g. worker-consumer, which is an intery)a^*eA&Mrn<t/
mix.

24.

How

useful is this distinction?

An important prerequisite for directed (i.e. unaimless) change is an alter­

native view, such as the Alternative Paradigm affords, the rudiments of theory,

where some goals are indicated.

Once such a view is obtained, in rough outline,

efforts can be made to further it, e.g. to put into practice with, for example,
more people attempting to introduce changes into their own lives.

In the energy case, to take a major example, the goals are clear enough:

maih"T.y to lead less energy consumptive lives. Ways to do this are well enough

known, e.g. to wear sweaters instead of switching on radiators, to reduce motor
commuting by living nearer one's work and friends or going less frequently or
using alternative transport, e.g. public or bicycle.

But— though most Australians

14.
(e.g.) are in favour of energy conservation, in principle - social arrangements

are so structured that some of the alternatives are impossibly difficult or are
arduous, e.g. a may may have little option but to commute long distances when

the factory at which he works moves to an outer industrial suburb, and all his

commitments lie in the areas to which he is mortgaged.

Similarly packaging is

increasingly difficult if not impossible to avoid, even in essential purchases
and those designed to lead the good life.

Thus an effective change is often

going to have to be part of a more far-reaching change.
For a working example - reforming and restructuring forest services - see

Anarchism letter, p.3 ff.
Further Arguments for the State, not already taken up explicitly:-

25.

The argument from efficiency, growth, etc:

(1)

isation !

really the argument from organ­

Efficiency is little double edged as e.g. in efficiency ys employment:

There is a trade-off.

(Griffin

on 6?ff,C4C7tcyof smaM-scale argiculture).

itarian states more efficient, etc. (disputed).

Total­

Maximization of efficiency is not

that the game is about - antifreedom, antidemocratic, anti-good-life, and what is
valuable.

Also reward for initiative in terms of grossly inequitable distrib­

ution of wealth is not required.

Work is often undesirable.

No way in which the

the upper<$ worth the salaries they get.
The argument from political possiblity, "reality".

(2)

argument from the status quo, from^Old Paradigm.
invalidity.

realistic" or

The argument is really an

An historical comparison shows

Life without the Church would no doubt have been dismissed as "un­

impossible" by many of those who lived in the Middle

Ages.
More generally different economies are extar)t and many more are possible.

Supply demand theory and theory of historic market will work without profit
maxim assumption, but instead e.g. certain satisfactions (satisfying).

is needed is an assu_jnption of rea SO/) able return.

All that

A range of other assumptions.

However, marginal (calculus) theory builds in assumption of profit op* return

15.

Maximisation.

There are several Myths concerning the Market to dispose of here:

a) it s historic

b) it's efficient: depends how assess:

e.g. net

of new technology.

Paradigm differences, deep differences in what is considered valuable, begin
to emerge rather quickly in arguments for the State, once discussion of their
the Dominant Paradigm organisational goals of

In particular,

adequacy begins.

efficiency and growth (on which see Scott), instead of being taken for granted as

formerly, are up for debate and overturning.

Is it possible to obtain an exhaustive diversification of arguments for

26.

the State?

It is doubtful that theoretical classifications so far are of nh/cA

merit.
Classification Scheme 1:-

Empiricist (pragmatist)

*Non empiricist

( ?

Idealist

*Nonidealist
Classification 2:-

?
?
*Non-u^itarian

?

?

Empirical survey gives

Contract

U^.ity

economic

Idealist

Don't often

get State, but only

Society,as e.g. in Green.

And it is important to distinguish these: for anarchism admits Society.
27.

a)

Russell, History of \N. Phil, makes some useful points:

Glorification of the State begins, so far as modern times are concerned, with

the Reformation.

In the Roman Empire, The Emperor was defied, and the State

/

16.

thereby acquired a sacred character;

but the philosophers of the Middle Ages,

with few exceptions, were ecclesiastical, and therefore put the Church before

the State.

Luther began the opposite practice ... Hobbes ... developed the

doctrine of the supremacy of the State, and Spinoza, on the whole, agreed with

him.

u.
Rosseau ... thought that the State should not tolerate other political

organisations.

Hegel ... goes to lengths which are astonishing (p.739).

that these are all protestants that are cited.)

(Note

On p.742 there is a goodish

page on Hegel's doctrine of State including:
' If shj} follow

from Hegel's principles that every interested which

is not Aatmftll ^the community and which can be promoted by cooperation,

have its appropriate organisation ... 'jjhere is also some good stuff in
Russell on holism (trad, logic) ett. on pp.744-5 and p.732 bettei^J

Comment on collectivism
"Collectivism -the doctrine that the means of production

should be collectively owned - is,

like many other

features of radical dogma, the bastard child of
capitalist parents.

Collectivism is the doctrine of

people who imagine production as taking place in large
collectively operated units - it's a factory or production-line

picture.

Historically it arose after the industrial

revolution had driven people off the land and created
workers for the large-scale factory enterprises set up

by capitalists for their own profit.

The class which

supported it were the urban workers in such enterprises,
not the peasants, and others in self-directed employment,
such as craftspeople, carpenters and shoemakers - the

latter group were mostly mutualists, later anarchists.

This is why Marxism, which lays heavy stress on collectivism,
also emphasises the role of the urban proletariat at the
expense of other non-capitalist groups, and also stresses
the idiocy of rural life, the blessings of progress,

technology, and industrialism generally.
Collectivism essentially buys the large-scale, mass-producticn

technology-dependent character of capitalist economic

organisation.

It does not see that if one does not have

such a structure, collectivism amounts to an otiose,

damaging and unjustifiable restriction on possible forms
of non-capitalist social and economic organisation, ruling
out particularly the self-directed type of option for

production and various combination cooperative forms."- Richard

Routley and Vai Routley

The following have been redacted from access file (PDF) due to copyright restrictions.
1. Cutting of Routley R and Routley V (1982) 'The irrefutability of anarchism', Social
Alternatives, 2(3):23-29. (9 leaves)
2. Annotated cutting (photocopy) of Grofman B (1980) 'Review, Taylor, Michael, Anarchy
and Cooperation, John Wiley and Sons, London, 1976', Theory and decision, 12(1):107114, https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00154661. (5 leaves)

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. * The state is necessary ybr this or that, for the optimal provision of public goods (including,
but not merely, preservation of public order). Notice that this important type of argument need
/ot presume to establish necessity. It is obvious, from the operation of nastier states, that

' societies can function not only without optimal provision of public goods, but indeed with very
little
provision of any such goods. It would, moreover, be a rash archist who pretended
that modern states deliver anything remotely approaching optimal allocations of public goods.
Competition for anarchistic alternatives is accordingly not with opdmal allocations, but perhaps
only a matter of exceeding rather poor provision. More generally, it is enough that these
alternatives do well enough, satisize not maximize.
Most of the arguments from provision of public good depend not only upon maximization

assumptions, just rejected, but also upon, what flows from individualism, a false private/public
dichotomy, with the private delivered by individuals or individual firms, and the public by the
state. In between, however, lie many social groupings: clubs, communities, unions, societies,
clans, tribes, and so on. Such groups can deliver social goods.
As the modern state developed more or less at the time of the rise of individualism in its

extreme modem forms, it is hardly surprising that there is a heavy individualistic setting

presumed in most arguments to the state. An important group of the arguments alluded to

(variations upon Prisoners' Dilemma, Tragedy of the Commons,...) take the following broad
form:- individuals operating on their own, in a certain prearranged settings which involve

relations to other individuals also operating independently, will make seriously suboptimal

18
decisions or follow suboptimal practices - unless brought into line by an outside authority,
swiftly presumed to be a surrogate of the state. It should be evident, even without proper details

of the arguments, that the state is neither sufficient nor necessary for resolution of the problems
that issue from independent individual operations and from individual competition. It is not
sufficient because commons' tragedies, such as the overexploitation of commons' resources by
individual competing firms, can proceed apace in the presence of the state and may even be
encouraged through state activity. It is not necessary because the dependence-relations of
individuals in dilemma or tragedy situations can be exposed, and restored, in a variety of ways
into which the state does not enter; for example, by establishing communication linkages, by
social activity or arbitration by engaged societies, special groups, and so on. (Commonly such
relations are, in any case, evident in analogous real-life situations before the state becomes
involved, or can be persuaded or pushed into being involved.) Also indicated thereby is how
anarchism can resolve such dilemmas as need to be resolved in the absence of the state, namely
by having alternative arrangements and organisation in place which will serve instead.

One of the major deceits of modern political theory hides in the persistent theme that the
state, with a centralised monopoly of force, is necessary in order to assure adequate public
goods, including public order. But the most that appears required, the most that arguments
would deliver, are specific organisations that look after specific kinds of goods. There is no
inherent reason why societies should not institute and regulate specialised bodies, coordinated
among themselves by negotiation, or failing that by recognised arbitrators, to ensure the
adequate maintenance or production of various types of public goods, including control of
damaging crime. Each such institution would gain community standing from its support base,
for instance through possessing fairly general democratically-generated recognition. Such an
institution would aim to secure execution of its recommendations and decisions by sanctions and
like means, and for this it could mobilize in co-operation with other recognised institutions.

spheres

postal and communication arrangements (Kropotkin's favourite examples) to sport.
Each major sport has its international [organisation] that regulates a variety
of matters ranging from the rules of the game to the administration of
competitions. Such bodies are, of course, open to schisms and rivalries,
but these are rarely a major problem, in spite of the fact that they have no
sanctions to enforce their authority other than excluding competitors from
participation in the events they organise (Burnheim p.221, whom the
whole preceding paragraph paraphrases).

* An apparently powerful argument for the state, again from public order concerns, advances
the following claim:- The state is required to control and limit such social evils as crime and
corruption. Observe, it is not supposed these features of life are eliminated under the state; so
questions arise about tolerable levels, cost-benefit ratios upon varying levels of controls (down
to the point of any controls at all), and so on. Observe again that the typical state, so far from
limiting corruption and crime, is itself a major source of them. The state structure, by virtue of
its power, expanse and character, indMcay much of the evil it is supposed to remove, such as the
extent of crime. There are several different reasons for this. For one, the state tends to become
the guardian of a partisan morality, and tried to prosecute what, outside a "moral minority", are
not offences at all, are victimless "crimes", and so on. Thus a range of medical, sexual and
drug "offences". For another, the state acts to protect its questionable monopolies, whence a
range of banking, gambling, gaming and other offences. Differently, state-supported or
sponsored social outcomes, such as gross inequalities, and privatization of wealth and
resources, encourage property crime.
Anarchists agree that the major background source of these crimes, the state and its legion
of "law and order" officers, should be removed. Over what, if anything, replaces this extensive
apparatus, they differ. Different forms of anarchism are bound to offer different suggestions.

For example, under communist forms, where an extensive institution of private property
vanishes, property crimes will therewith disappear also; but under individualistic forms which
sanction unlimited accumulation of property, some procedures for safeguarding property will

need to be provided. There are again many ways, much less demanding than resort to the state
to achieve some requisite protection of property. One is what effectively operates in many
places that also waste their finances paying for police protection, namely insurance. Another is
private, neighbourhood, or community security.

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Sojustified or not, there is no practical aiternative to the state. A/^e .f ika
* Anarchism has not worked in practice, and is unworkable.^ Meiiher is true. Before the
modern era of states it seemed to work well enough in some places, for instance in parts of the
Americas and of the Pacific. Since the modem advent of states, it has been afforded but little

opportunity to work at the national level, but it remains operative - a most striking example - at
the transnational level.
According to a condescending pragmatic argument, simple primitive societies may have
been able to struggle along without state structure or organisation, but it is entirely out of the

question for the practical operation for modem industrial societies. No recent anarchist societies
have worked. A short response is that but few have had an opportunity to succeed. There is
extroardinarily little room for social experiment in modem state dominated societies. Moreover,
where anarchist societies have had some chance to flourish, as briefly in Spain before they were

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20
suppressed, they appear to have functioned moderately well.
At the international level, anarchy has operated for many generations, although few would
wish to argue that the arrangements, though they
though successful in a sense, are
particularly satisfactory. The international order is anarchistic, because there is no coercive
government or authoritiative political body, with the authority backed by enforcing power.

International order is instead a prime example of anarchy (not a wonderful example, but then nor

are many states terrific examples of archy). And it affords a conspicuous counterexample to
stock arguments, like that of Hobbes, to some sort of well-ordering authority such as the state.
Granted, then, international order leaves much to be desired (though it is not significantly

worse than order in some states); so there are repeated calls for new world orders of one sort or
another. It has been persuasively argued (through a sort of top-down argument against states)
that international order is as bad as it is because of the power and intransigence of states. One

way to an improved world order is through the erosion of states, diminution of state
sovereignty.
As for real testing in practice, there is now no experimental space outside states. There
used to be some room in the world for sizeable political experimentation, for testing different

arrangements. We are now locked into large, overpopulated states with little room to move, let
alone experiment without states. There is however space w/r/un more liberal states for limited
experimentation, and there is increasing scope for simulation and modellings as computer power
and versatility grow. Most of the experimentation has been with small commune arrangements.
[What practice has shown, about all it has shown negatively, is that communistic arrangements
do not tend to work well for long with present humans, unless they are committed to an
authoritarian ideology.]
*

As some stage as the dialectic advances, argument merges, as here, with responses to

criticism. But before criticisms are considered in more detail, it is important to examine

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The prob!em of cont robing the
power of the state and preventing
the State once established from
usurping further power to the
State in the mandate, is oniy
satisfactorily solved by not ceding
power to the State in the first
place.

Collection

Citation

Richard Sylvan, “Box 13, item 997: Draft argument chapters on anarchism,” Antipodean Antinuclearism, accessed May 27, 2024, https://antipodean-antinuclearism.org/items/show/67.

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