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Saturday, August 16, 2014

Anarchism and (Some of) Its Different Flavors - via "Non-Partisan Liberty For All"

Just Don't Lick Someone's Ice Cream Without Their Permission
A little while back, I took part in a discussion of Anarchism on a Las Vegas based internet radio show, which is entitled "Non-Partisan Liberty For All" and is hosted by Dave Bourne. The show is embedded below, if you want to skip all of my filibustering and just listen to it.

It was a fairly casual "roundtable" sort of discussion also involving Sean Gruber, who is a Libertarian (although he's had some issues with them lately) from Pahrump that is pretty well known amongst people active in Las Vegas, and Janel Florez, who is a "Voluntaryist" Anarchist from Kansas City and the co-founder of KCK Cop Block and Women of Cop Block.

As anyone that's (genuinely) studied it knows, Anarchism is a pretty complicated subject and because of the fact that people are obviously encouraged to think for themselves and decide what works best for their own situation, rather than imposing a one size fits all solution on everyone, there are a lot of different variations. Of course, as long as no one enforces their own interpretations upon others by force, that's not only okay, it's actually one of the strengths of Anarchism. It does, however, make it difficult to definitively explain the ins and outs of Anarchism or even one segment of Anarchism within the space of a two-hour show, especially when there are four people (including Dave, the host) sharing that time.

So, this is really a surface level discussion of the basics of Anarchism and on my part left libertarianism, rather than anything in depth. I also did discuss some of the history of the Libertarian party, my very limited experiences with it, and why I don't agree with Minarchism or, in general, with the idea of trying to work within the political system vs. direct action and grassroots organizing. Also, because left libertarianism is somewhat of a hybrid between what's commonly considered the left and right spectrum that believes in (true) free markets, but not capitalism, I addressed my opinions of how such a market situation could be worked out absent governments, workers' potential roles within such a societal structure, the need for legitimate, fighting unions; such as the IWW; to protect those workers' interests, and why I believe those workers would actually realize that bosses (as we know them) would no longer be needed; once all of the false barriers against economic involvement are removed.
If We Just Vote Harder Next Time...

In addition, there was some discussion of morality (natural law) and why the common myth that an Anarchist society would lack any structure or safety without the coercive and forced hierarchies of government is false. How government itself actually enables bad people to use violence against others, even those who might not be able so of their own volition. Also, I explained that I do believe we should have social networks to help those in need, but why I believe that government-based social "safety nets" are ineffective and in many cases, actually counterproductive to such goals. Plus, why I don't rely on the Constitution for protection of or consider it a source of my individual rights. There was also a very brief mention of property rights and issues many left libertarians have with absentee ownership.

The other thing that was discussed, which is something that I bring up quite a lot when discussing the different "strains" of Anarchism, is the need to define terms when doing so and especially if people are debating about them (which wasn't the case here). In my own experiences (often as a neutral party during such debates), I've generally found that most of the disagreements between "left" and "right" wing Anarchists stems from the opposite side using state-based definitions of the other side's position (I.E. Socialism = Communism and Free Markets = Capitalism) or even self-identifying using that terminology with a definition reflective of the broader movement, rather than the smaller subsets within them. For the most part, once everyone actually makes it clear what they are really arguing for (and against) they tend to not be that far apart, within an Anarchist framework, in their beliefs. Personally, I've always felt that, once government is removed from the picture, members of a community can (voluntarily) work out the economics for themselves, based on their own needs and desires.

Online Politics Radio at Blog Talk Radio with Non Partisan Liberty For all on BlogTalkRadio


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