Talk:Anarchism/Archive 6

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don/'t feed the troll

It seems like we're all decending into flame and troll. This is a real problem which requires its own solution. My suggestion is a self-enforced edit freeze.

The excuse for this troll/flame war, an ideological division combined with a lack of political eduction is sad. [anarchism] should probably be a nexus article, leading out to topic articles, frex: anarchic societies in history, or anarchist political economy. This would help the problem of trying to place every anarchist position under the head article. Additionally, these smaller topical articles is where libertarian socialist ideology naturally confronts the ideology of the US Libertarian movement.

The crowding ideological battle distorts this encyclopedia's entry on anarchism away from disciplinary issues or historical importance. It is as if contemporary Americans on the right and left are solely describing this issue. For goodness sakes, some of the anarchists here don/'t even know about Kronstadt!

A final issue: right wing Americans must conceed the centrality of libertarian socialist and allied strains of anarchism in terms of total historical numbers. The CNT/FAI were a real social force. The US IWW caused the US government to panic and purge its own citizens, (illegally deporting people too). Nobody on this page has even mentioned Italian syndicalism at depth. I guess this paragraph asks: What disciplinary methods do we use to discriminate relative importance and division of subject matter in this article?

in sadness about the current emotional state of the anarchism editing community, Fifelfoo 04:46, 5 Mar 2004 (UTC)

I think he makes some good points, and while I may not agree with everything, I do agree to spend some time studying and reflecting and discussing before making any changes. Actually, I think it would be GREAT if we could come to any kind of concensus here in talk, before overhauling the page. Thanks for your calm words and even hand. Sam Spade 10:13, 5 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Sorry to interrupt the flamewar, but this sentence needs clarification:

Recent examples of short-term anarchy or long-term warlordism include Afghanistan and Albania around 1990, Rwanda/Burundi in the early 1990s, Somalia from the early 1990s to the present, and Bosnia around 1995.

It's not entirely clear which term applies to which country: which countries were ruled by warlords (Afghanistan and Somalia, I know, but other readers might not), and which were in short-term anarchy? Can someone fix this? --67.69.188.153 10:25, 5 Mar 2004 (UTC)

pirates and quakers

well, thats a weird combo above. Anyhow, I just wanted to share with you some musings of mine that I find relevent. After massive amounts of research and discussion (here and elsewhere) I have come to a conclusion about two types of anarchism. I think these are perfect examples of each. One is the black anarchist, the pirate. He wants to loot, and behave wildly, defying the state, but he also likely chooses to follow a pirate code. He is necessarilly hierarchical, but reserves the right to change ships (or captains) whenever they dock. The other type is more similar to the utopian ideas expressed on this page and elsewhere in regards to anarchism, and that is the quakers. They are non-hierarchical, and yet are able to function (and have for some time), a remarkable feat. They accept the state, but don't conform to it. They are also pacifists, but I'm not so sure that is a concept fundamentally related to anarchism in any way. Anyhow, theres a couple of alternate examples for ya. Sam Spade 08:07, 9 Mar 2004 (UTC)

A good book on pirates and anarchism is Pirate Utopias (ISBN 1570271585).

As to whether pacifism is inherently related to anarchism, note the difference between pacifism and non-violence. Quakers, traditionally, are both; while the "propoganda of the deed" folks 100 years ago were strictly only the former. -- Toby Bartels 02:12, 11 Mar 2004 (UTC)

I don't agree that a distinction between non-violence and pacifism is useful, but then its not my area of expertise ;) Sam Spade 02:52, 11 Mar 2004 (UTC)

edits

I made enough edits for me to feel good about the header being removed, so assuming they arn't all undone feel free to remove the dispute headers. I would, but I've found its unseemly to do the editing, and then take the headers off. Additionally, I would really appreciate additions regarding syndicalism and nihilism, as my dictionary states these as synonyms for anarchism. Finially, if anybody can find a cool way to wrap the stuff I brought up about pirates and quakers in, that would rock. Any how, let me know what you think. Sam Spade 22:10, 13 Mar 2004 (UTC)


moved from article

Since the 1980s changes in capitalist society have commodified information. In response to the conversion of information into capitalist property, many people have used the cheap instant communication of cell phones or the internet to form loose communities organized along anarchist lines. Most of these communities have as their purpose the production of information in a non-commodified or use-value format, a goal made attainable by the availability of personal computing, desktop publishing and digital media, which have made it possible for individuals to produce information of comparable quality as that produced industrially. Examples include Usenet, the free software movement (including the GNU/Linux community and the wikiwiki paradigm), and Indymedia. A famous work analyzing how this new anarchic mode of production is possible is Eric S. Raymond's The Cathedral and the Bazaar. Traditional historical materialist analysis, used by many libertarian socialists, also allows for an analysis of the political economy of non-commodity information production.

This strikes me as highly POV, enough so I feel it needs a rewrite, and one which I am not readilly qualified for. I understand the general concept being expressed, but it needs to be NPOV'ed by someone more familiar with it. Sam Spade 01:08, 14 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Here is my rewrite of it, let me know what you think

Anarchists and others might say that "changes in capitalist society during the 1980s have commodified information". Many people use cell phones or the internet to form loose communities which could be said to be organized along anarchist lines. Some of these communities have as their purpose the production of information in a non-commodified or use-value format, a goal made attainable by the availability of personal computing, desktop publishing and digital media. These things have made it possible for individuals to share music files over the internet, without economic incentive, and even with a certain amount of risk. There are also open source programming communities, who donate their time, and offer their product freely as well. Examples include Usenet, the free software movement (including the GNU/Linux community and the wikiwiki paradigm), and Indymedia. A book analyzing how this new "anarchic" mode of production is possible is Eric S. Raymond's The Cathedral and the Bazaar. Traditional historical materialist analysis, used by many libertarian socialists, also allows for an analysis of the political economy of non-commodity information production.

Sam Spade 08:10, 14 Mar 2004 (UTC)



This statement, "It is therefore the longest lasting and only currently existing example of a "successful" anarchy," is closer to open speculation than anything else.

These two sentences, "Many non-violent communication practitioners are Bright's, a philosophy that embraces what is claims as a naturalistic worldview. People practicing Unitarian_Universalism being a the exception.", seem to be a tangent of an already tangentially related subject matter. Kev 06:51, 16 Mar 2004 (UTC)


discussion of some particulars

Sam, this statement is simply not true according to the link you provided yourself: "It should be noted that "mainstream" philosophical anarchist thought does not advocate for chaos or anomie, and has a radically different interpretation of anarchy than the one generally used[1]."

Take a look:

  1.  Absence of any form of political authority.
  2. Political disorder and confusion.
  3. Absence of any cohesive principle, such as a common standard or purpose.

While there is no universal consensus in the anarchist community about the meaning of the term (and there really can't be), many anarchists DO think that anarchism implies an absence of political authority. And of course this is not the only definition or dictionary we could refer to. Merriam Websters is a very popular dictionary:

1 a : absence of government b : a state of lawlessness or political disorder due to the absence of governmental authority c : a utopian society of individuals who enjoy complete freedom without government 2 a : absence or denial of any authority or established order b : absence of order : DISORDER <not manicured plots but a wild anarchy of nature -- Israel Shenker> 3 : ANARCHISM

Obviously most anarchists agree with the definition as absence of government, some would agree at least that it is a society of individuals who enjoy complete freedom without governmnet, and most would agree that it is the denial of any authority or established order. I will hold off on further editing of that sentence for a couple days and give you time to think about it.

Further, I would appreciate it if you supplied your reasoning for why we should consider this: "The anarchy sought by these philosophical anarchists is not to be chaos or anomie — that is, an absence of order, rules, or organized structure — but instead an absence of coercion." an improper distinction. Are you implying that anarchy is necessarily chaos and anomie? If not, then it is perfectly possible for anarchists to actually seek something other than chaos or anomie, not to merely claim that they are seeking something else. Kev 22:20, 16 Mar 2004 (UTC)

I anticipated such objections/thoughts, and that is why I worded things as I did, to be fair to all sides. In the first example, I was VERY careful to state that "mainstream" philosophical anarchists mean something other than the full common dictionary definition. I use mainstream in quotes, as I'm very much uncertain as to who is or isn't a mainstream anarchist (I based it largely on what I see here on the wiki, which isn't a good way to go about defining it...), and maybe that ("mainstream") should be removed. Anyways, as to the second, I am by no means alone in assuming that what anarchists are actually seeking is chaos and anomie, regardless of what they say, think or feel. If you remove the state, and attempt to remove heierarchy, alot of people I know are going to kick your ass, take your stuff, and do as they darn well please. There will definitely NEVER be an abscense of heirarchy, because so many of us will happily appeal to the stick, and so many others will equally happily obey those who demand authority so as to ensure physical security and the meeting of basic needs. It's fine to theorise otherwise, but you can't say it will happen in the article. If you can cite where it has, fine, because I can certainly cite where it hasn't ;) Sam Spade 23:48, 16 Mar 2004 (UTC)
In the first example, I was VERY careful to state that "mainstream" philosophical anarchists mean something other than the full common dictionary definition.
You did not say anything about a "full" dictionary definition, and your new rewrite has now torn apart the entire opening paragraph to a POV so biased toward your own political thinking it is hard to even look at. But I'm going to wait for someone else to edit or revert it, because I don't think it is going to take very long for someone to realise how you are trying to skew the portrayal of anarchism here. Kev 04:32, 17 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Anyways, as to the second, I am by no means alone in assuming that what anarchists are actually seeking is chaos and anomie, regardless of what they say, think or feel.
So you are challenging anarchists in an article supposed to explicate their philosophy as being both liars (say), idiots (think), and naive (feel). In other words, you are again using this article as a soapbox for your own POV, not as a means of educating on the subject matter. Kev 04:32, 17 Mar 2004 (UTC)
There will definitely NEVER be an abscense of heirarchy, because so many of us will happily appeal to the stick, and so many others will equally happily obey those who demand authority so as to ensure physical security and the meeting of basic needs.
Once again, you state your personal POV as fact. I'm not wasting time on you anymore Sam, you behavior has repeatedly demonstrated your insincerity. I'll give others time to note this themselves and hold off on any action in the meantime. Once they have, I will happily support any edits which undo the damage you are doing. Kev 04:32, 17 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Thank you for copying rather than rearranging my text. Sam Spade 05:53, 17 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Merging/moving

I have linked to the page Past and present anarchist communities under "See also", but shouldn't a lot of the content on this page Anarchism be moved to Past and present anarchist communities? Just a thought.... --Vikingstad 04:46, Mar 20, 2004 (UTC)

I think yes, alot of, but not all of the content about such communities. There needs to be enough on this (anarchism) page for a person to get a reasonable undertsanding from here alone. Sam Spade 04:49, 20 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Dispute

Anarchism is a generic term given to various political philosophies which advocate a society of free individuals without a government. It should be noted that much of philosophical anarchist thought (particularly within this article) does not advocate for chaos or anomie, and generally does not intend their statements regarding the term "anarchy" to include the full, standard definition[1].


Clearly there is not unaminity that this is an excellent introductory paragraph. I myself don't like the wording, and find it awkward. On the other hand, it is important that the information be kept, valid and insightful points are mentioned. Discussion? Proposals? Rewrites? Wikiquette please, you know who you are :) Sam Spade 04:53, 20 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Anarchy v. Anarchism and POV

Why are the introductory paragraphs of a page entitled anarchism, almost completely about anarchy. Sam Spade insists on using the dictionary definition of anarchy on a page about anarchism, and he insists that this is the "typical definition". I have a few complaints as he seems to be trying to push his own agenda.

A dictionary definition will always be limited by scope and space, whereas an encylopedia (like wikipedia) should be more detailed. Simply giving dictionary definitions of anarchy and a few examples that match one aspect of this definition doesn't suffice for an encyclopedia article on anarchism.

Secondly, the definition of anarchy in most of the dictionaries that I have looked in, is much broader than the definition of anarchism. I think Sam Spade knows this, and he's tring to have the page reflect his own POV by letting this fact slip his mind.

I looked in an actual dictionary (my World Book Encyclopedia dictionary) instead of an online dictionary, and found the following definitions:

Anarchy: 1. An absence of a system of government and law. 2. Disorder and Confusion.
Anarchism: 1a. The political theory that all systems of government and law are harmful. b. The practice or support of this belief. 2. Lawlessness.

The wikipedia page on anarchy reflects the broader definition of anarchy, the wikipedia page on anarchism should relect the narrower definition, and the historical and political aspects of anarchism as a political/economic theory.

Also, it should be noted by Sam Spade that the first definition a dictionary gives is usually the one with the most prominant or original usage.

Lastly, dictionary definitions are varied enough that almost anyone can find a dictionary definition that can be twisted into agreeing with their own views. millerc 20:08, 23 Mar 2004 (UTC)

BS :). You can put me down as disagreeing w 95% of the above, with particular emphasis on the last sentence. Your dictionary definition is superb, and proves my point exquisitely, as does every other dictionary definition I have seen, heard, or thought of ;). Maybe you can produce a "anarchist's cookbook type" dictionary where the definition is blurred enough by rhetoric to be suitable for your purposes, but that would be just fine. I'd gladly have you cite or reference dubious and biased sources, so long as you don't interfere with me citing reliable, time honored sources. I can see this will be an uphill battle towards verifiability, but I expect the smiles of comprehension and understanding we will eventually be able to bring to the faces of our fearless readers will be well worth the struggle. Please try to remember that what we do here is all about informing the reader, not about engaging in a war of words with our political or philosophical "opposition". In short, lets agree to disagree, and get to work citing our sources, increasing NPOV, and decreasing our own POV in the article. Sam Spade 20:36, 23 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Anarchist Cookbook? What makes you think I agree with anything that book says? I was trying to be nice by citing actual criticisms I had of your edits on this page, instead of changing the thing completely myself, as you have done. You blame others for lack of Wikiquette, but it seems obvious that you have none. I'm starting to think that I'm either talking to someone who's 7 years old, or at least at that level of social retardation. I don't have patience for evangelism of any ideology, that includes your's. You have turned this page into something which no wikipedian can be proud of.

Reread my statement, if you are actually functionally literate, my dictionary definition does not prove that this article is about anarchy, it is about anarchism. Is that too complicated for you to understand? The first definition a dictionary uses is the most common. So in this case, anarchism is about The political theory that all systems of government and law are harmful. The details depend on which brand of anarchism the anarchist buys into. You may say that libertarian socialism = communism. That's your POV, and POV does not belong in a wikipedia article. I think that anarcho-capitalism = oligarchy in practice, but that's my POV, and doesn't belong in a general article about anarchism. These, points may belong in an article about criticisms (regardless of if they are warrented), but not in the introduction of a general topic article. Is that too hard for you to understand?

I've noticed in my short time here that you have a lot of time on your hands, maybe you need a productive hobby? If you think something is wrong with what I said, be polite (remember Wikiquette, please!!!), and state the exact nature of your problem as I have done. If you say mindless crap, people will believe you actually are mindless. millerc 21:49, 23 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Some specifics...

Your dictionary definition is superb, and proves my point exquisitely.

What point? Do you actually have one other than evangelism?

Maybe you can produce a "anarchist's cookbook type" dictionary where the definition is blurred enough by rhetoric to be suitable for your purposes, but that would be just fine.

Your POV. Dictionary definitions do differ between dictionaries, apparently you aren't functioning at a high enough literacy rate to see this.

I'd gladly have you cite or reference dubious and biased sources

Are you calling World Book enyclopedia biased? You only seem to take the parts of definitions you agree with, and you ignore the rest (including the first part of the definition which is the historically most accepted definition). That's bias! And I thought you would have considered World Book non-biased.

In short, lets agree to disagree, and get to work citing our sources, increasing NPOV, and decreasing our own POV in the article.

Do you have any non-dictionary sources? Dictionaries don't exactly contain much information. Also, your sources need to be talking about the topic of the article which is anarchism, not anarchy.

Also if I can find dictionary definitions of Christianity which don't have all the information on the Christianity page or if they can be read in a biased way to differ from the Christianity page, does that automatically make the Christianity page wrong? If so should we have a vote to delete it? millerc 22:13, 23 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Dear fellow-workers, I have to say that the Oxford English Dictionary 2nd Edition supports anarchism as a political doctrine. While the first usage represents chaos or anomie, this was a Burkian political idea of government without divine right. Infact, the etymological root of the first OED2 use implies a political doctrine of statelessness. Of course, the second meaning (and predominant one) for anarchism is a political doctrine of statelessness, interestingly (for OED2 1980s revision) one commonly used in English to imply libertarian socialism. Given OED2 is simply the best record of English usage and derivation, I say we go with OED2. Fifelfoo 22:18, 23 Mar 2004 (UTC)


Thank you Fifelfoo, for your civility. But the main point that I disagree with is not what definition we use, but rather, I think that we should not base the introduction of the page around any dictionary definition. Of course there will be some definition of anarchism implicit in the article, but I don't think that we should cite a dictionary as a main source for the article.

Since anarchism is an ideology, the anarchism article should be about what anarchists believe, regardless of wheather or not we agree with what they say. To keep it NPOV, we need to make it clear that this is only what anarchists believe. By replacing the beliefs of the anarchists with the beliefs of someone else (say Sam Spade) we are not making it less POV. Thus most of our sources should be primary sources (it should be "strait from the horse's mouth"), not some third party source like a dictionary.

Since anarchism is a contentious idea, I think if we think of improving the article in terms of what we would like to see happen in articles with our own ideologies, then we will all be better off. For instance, if I wanted to learn about Christianity, I would look at primary sources like the Bible, and what Christian theologians have written. I would not merely look at what the dictionary stated about that religion, because I would only come away with a very shallow and naive understanding of what it meant to be a Christian. All I want is this same understanding from those who want to turn wikipedia into their soapbox for evangelism. millerc 01:26, 24 Mar 2004 (UTC)


I just found the following on Wikipedia:NPOV:

Unbiased writing does not present only the most popular view; it does not assert the most popular view as being correct after presenting all views; it does not assert that some sort of intermediate view among the different views is the correct one. Presenting all points of view says, more or less, that p-ists believe that p, and q-ists believe that q

So saying "Anarchists believe..." in the anarchism article should make it NPOV. This might be followed by a quote from such an anarchist, and a reference. millerc 02:28, 24 Mar 2004 (UTC)

...And I just found this on Wikipedia:Faux_pas_avoidance:

Making dictionary-type entries. We take the stance that Wikipedia is not a dictionary. Wikipedia's goal is not to define words, as this would duplicate the information you could find in a dictionary. Wikipedia articles should cover topics and teach something. There is a sister project, Wiktionary, which concerns itself with dictionary definitions. millerc 04:42, 27 Mar 2004 (UTC)