So I went from having my finger on the delete button for this post on Social Anthropology, to dropping another comment on the subject blog post, instead. Call me crazy, silly man, or whatever gives you a sense of affirmation. I ultimately got ready to just delete and be done because some crazy bitch simply refuses to leave me alone, and in this case, seems to have had to mark her territory (Blogger is AWEFUL at comment permalinks, so the comment is 17 April 2013 07:00….incidentally, I just got done walking the dogs).
…Then I saw a tiny bit in the comment that gave me hope (and a subsequent reply to the proceeding comment, even more). I’m a helpless sucker for the Dialectic (that’s what most of you are doing when commenting on blogs, you Hegelians), so we’ll see if there’s a future synthesis to be had. Here’s the comment (19 April 2013 01:28) to the post. I was replying to this (18 April 2013 20:46). I’ve edited tidbits for typos, style & such, added emphasis here & there, as well as some links.
Ironically, the opinions you hold on the subject of rape reveal your political grounding – not in current ‘anarchic’ theory at all – but to be embedded quite predictably in patriarchal principles derived from a history of ‘domination’, which you state to be opposed to.
Once you explicitly outline the “opinions [I] hold on the subject of rape,” I’ll more easily be able to explicate how you’re wrong.
Conversely, the parameters of the ‘anarchy’ you espouse appear to be confused, and not well formulated. I suggest you explore Deleuze and Guattari who stress a process of “becoming minoritarian” as a way to challenge hegemony.
Well let’s see. I began my study of anarchism while living in the south of France, October of 1990, nearly 23 years ago. It’s quite a few books and essays over the years. Quite a lot of thinking and writing as well. In the mid-90s I was active on just about every anarchism BBS, Listserve and USENET newsgroup you could name. There’s no argument for or against anarchism I haven’t heard or discussed a million times.
And guess what? Everybody is wrong. Not all-inclusive, but here’s most of the main forms of anarchism (to the extent various factions advocate “statelessness”):
- The communists were deadly wrong (ref: U of Hawaii’s R.J. Rummel and his long work on “Democide”.
- The syndicalists are wrong (it’s basically just socialism / communism).
- The capitalists (including corporatists and “free marketeers,” etc.) are wrong…it’s basically just fascism, i.e., a state-corporatist alliance a-la the good ‘ol USA and they just want to tip the balance in favor of corps over state.
- The mutualists (Proudhon, et al) are wrong because the Labor Theory of Value is wrong, among other things; i.e., technology (including food for large numbers, even real food) is impossible without private property (The Ukrainians, Chinese and other massively starved people found this out the hard way).
- The collectivists are wrong (basically communists).
- The individualists, Randians, libertarians, egoists, greens, feminists, pacifists, primitivists and a few other anarchic branches (in that context) are wrong, but each have important pieces of the overall puzzle—but ultimately wrong because it comes from a top-down approach.
- Agorism gets the most right more of the time in my view—because it’s more of a bottom-up approach.
In more recent years, bits and pieces of the social anthropology (a lot of it coming indirectly via various musings about the various practices of various HG tribes in a food context) have helped quite a lot. Most of my study has been in the area of various works of philosophy and economics. For a decent treatment of how “informal” law has arisen historically in a bottom-up fashion (communities & customs), see Benson, The Enterprise of Law: Justice Without the State .
Minoritarianism is an interesting line of thought that I can find some right with, the ultimate minority being the individual—but that answers no questions, because anarchism applies to human animals qua social animal. I’d like to see if there is any critique of democracy along that line of thought…because I still have never been able to find any better critiques than good ‘ol Lysander Spooner. I’ll probably have to wait.
“Women are human beings, and consequently have all the natural rights that any human beings can have. They have just as good a right to make laws as men have, and no better; AND THAT IS JUST NO RIGHT AT ALL. No human being, nor any number of human beings, have any right to make laws, and compel other human beings to obey them. To say that they have is to say that they are the masters and owners of those of whom they require such obedience.”
…and so on.
In the end, Anarchy Begins at Home because (here’s the 9-part blog series / here’s the 18-minute summary presentation at AHS12 at Harvard):
- The individual has no ruler but himself, so anarchy is N/A.
- Small social circles (30-60 people in in HG tribe, for example) are inter-dependent, with individuals being integral to the whole: valuable, influential, persuasive when essential to get the tribe to change direction for its survival.
- We evolved to account for the values and actions of 30-60 other individuals.
- Does not scale to 100,000, 100 million, or a billion.
- paleo is equator ro arctic, sea level to 16,000 feet elevation, everything in-between, and just as there are different sources of food in each distinct environment, there will be need of having different social structures, customs, character of human relationships.
The Food Pyramid, LC, Low Fat, Veganism, et al, is wrong and always will be, because it seeks to apply to all what is only relevant to an individual (what works for you). Similarly—in the context of ethics and politics—democracy, socialism, fascism, statism of all forms is wrong because we didn’t evolve that way. It does not scale and it never will, no more than we will be better off eating crap in a bag or box. The human animal always wants to be close to and importantly influence the social milieu in which that individual finds herself—and while we can quibble endlessly about what the ideal or maximum number of individuals that is, it’s never, ever going to be a large number.
I took this up primarily because I saw the last three paragraphs I quoted in my post as a strong, competent critique of DOMINATION…logical, anthropologically valid. So I am a bit disappointed to find, after all, that you’re really not against top-down domination. You appear to only be against who’s being dominated now, in favor of having other people dominated. Whether it’s some “affirmative action” scheme you have in mind or not, is irrelevant.
There is no top-down solution. There are only bottom-up solutions, and the first step is swearing off all forms of domination for everyone, at all times, zero exceptions ever. Conversely, self, familial and tribal defense against initiation or preemptive domination, force, coercion should be brutal, preferably lethal.
Regarding anarchy, it is solely the anarchic spirit that I would advocate
That is the only reason I ended up going to the trouble with this comment. I’m holding out hope for you. So, yea, I’m ending with condescension, just as you did.
Now I’ll head over and reply to the brief comment Anna has posted in response, so far.