The Instigator
TheSkeptic
Pro (for)
Winning
20 Points
The Contender
E-Pro
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Anarchism has failed to supply an adequate reason for abolishing the state.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/10/2010 Category: Politics
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 5,387 times Debate No: 9719
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (55)
Votes (5)

 

TheSkeptic

Pro

I thank my opponent for accepting this debate - anarchism is an interesting political philosophy and despite it's problems prima facie, it should be something to be discussed and evaluated.

So for this round, I will first simply define the key terms and concepts. If my opponent has suggestions/revisions, I advise him to say this in the comment sections as to avoid wasting rounds. Then, I will provide a brief argument against anarchism in general.

====================
Definitions
====================

[Anarchism]
[http://www.thefreedictionary.com...]
"The theory or doctrine that all forms of government are oppressive and undesirable and should be abolished."

[Abolish]
[http://www.thefreedictionary.com...
"To do away with; annul."

[State]
[http://www.merriam-webster.com...]
"A politically organized body of people usually occupying a definite territory; especially : one that is sovereign b : the political organization of such a body of people c : a government or politically organized society having a particular character "

====================
Argument against Anarchism
====================

Anarchism, in a purely idealistic sense, is the most preferable system. After all, with maximum freedom and no oppression from the state the concept itself sounds quite appealing. However, pragmatically anarchism is doomed to failure. This is because it is in human nature to generally be selfish. People will hurt others, and this is a problem that will probably never be cured. Conflicts will arise, people will bicker, and crimes will run rampant. This is where the government comes in.

Three primary roles of government are security, allocation of resources, and conflict resolution. Of course, you can give or take one of these roles, but the one most would agree on is the first one - security. At a very bare minimum, a country should provide security for it's citizens. This is to instill peace and order and prevent those who wish to do harm to get away with it.

So why is anarchism a failed political system? Because pragmatically it has no way to properly or as effectively deal with conflicts as the state can. Criminals can run loose with a much less fear of being caught, meaning crime will skyrocket. Gangs and criminal organizations will become the top dogs in society because they will likely have the greatest power in terms of deadly force. In the end, anarchism reduces humanity to a literal survival of the fittest - a brutish condition that rational humans have long left, and rightfully so.

===============
Conclusion
===============

The rest should be pretty straightforwards - semantics is not allowed. Basically, I'm saying the rationale for anarchism, whether it be for moral reasons, practical reasons, or a mixture of both is inadequate to justify anarchism. Even if anarchy can be shown to be a coherently ethical political philosophy, it is pragmatically doomed to failure. So even if it can justify the former, without having the latter secured anarchists have yet to supply an adequate reason for abolishing the state.

I implore my opponent to offer such a reason.
E-Pro

Con

=================
Argument for Anarchism
=================

I thank my opponent for creating this topic, for I love to speak of this subject. Now, the appeal of government-free society is not really about there being no government. It is no established government. It is a state in which all law is upheld by the people in the state without obligation. That they will develop as they see it without being told.

Now, in your argument, you said that crime will skyrocket. Do you believe that the owners of property will not protect it? In the beginning, there will be chaos. But from chaos comes order. The owners or property protect it and gang together. Police and citizens will work hand in hand to protect each other, not from law saying so, but out of natural obligation.

=========
Conclusion
=========

Anarchy is a misunderstood term, seemingly always associated with chaos and destruction. Know that the point of anarchy isn't no law, but self law. For citizens to be able to govern themselves and not be told right and wrong, because they already know it.
Debate Round No. 1
TheSkeptic

Pro

I thank my opponent for accepting this debate - it was originally for another user as a challenge but he never went through with it despite my agreement to his proposed revisions. Nevertheless, you have offered an argument that I have anticipated, so let's start the dismantlement:

====================
Argument for Anarchism - Rudimentary organization
====================

"Now, the appeal of government-free society is not really about there being no government. It is no established government. It is a state in which all law is upheld by the people in the state without obligation."
----> Yeah, don't get me wrong. I agree that an anarchistic society can develop some sort of hierarchy of power (that would naturally form between human groups given our social nature); obviously I am referring to political powers as being absent.

"Now, in your argument, you said that crime will skyrocket. Do you believe that the owners of property will not protect it?. . . The owners or property protect it and gang together. Police and citizens will work hand in hand to protect each other. . ."
----> Yes, but do you truly believe that citizens will be as adept as defending themselves as a military or police force would? This is one of my main arguments against anarchy - to have security depend on the shoulders of militia and concerned citizens is a much too unstable and weak option. It is almost undeniable that an organized police force will be MUCH more effective than citizens who happen to have weapons, and what not.

Take the following situation: a crime family gets quite powerful, on par with the status of Yakuza, Chinese Triads, the Mafia, etc. Given the minimum of police presence, if any at all, crime will undoubtedly run rampant. In fact, given the absence of any overarching political power with at least the capability to suppress such a crime family, as long as the crime family is stronger than any opposition then it can do whatever the hell wants. And from there on it can only get stronger, as it pulls in more resources and what not.

What's interesting about anarchy is that such a position would force us likely to revert from a civilization back to more primal forms of human social formation - such as tribes, or chiefdoms. Obviously, it be much more intricate but the presence of a community will be much smaller than a state. If we take away government, then we take away it's most important job, security.

". . . , not from law saying so, but out of natural obligation."
----> What exactly is this natural obligation?

====================
Conclusion
====================

"Anarchy is a misunderstood term, seemingly always associated with chaos and destruction. Know that the point of anarchy isn't no law, but self law."
----> And the point to be made about self law is that it is extremely inefficient. The practical reason as to why anarchy is inadequate is because the goals it seek to achieve (unhindered freedom) can not be actualized in such a political scheme. Ironically, in fact, the complete opposite happens given that MORE crime and thus LESS freedom will arise. An anarchistic society will revert humans BACK a sociological stage of development; instead of civilizations we will come back to the stage of chiefdoms, tribes, or somewhere amongst.

"For citizens to be able to govern themselves and not be told right and wrong, because they already know it."
----> I find it not only speculative, but rather pretentious to say that everyone knows what is morally permissible and what is not.
E-Pro

Con

Alright, so, in hindsight, I failed to reach the criteria of the debate, so I will try once again to explain a good reason for Anarchism to reign supreme, then I will reply to my opponent replying to me.

Now, the reason I believe in it is that government is slow to act. The system, atleast in the US, where I hail from, is slow to pass any law or act unless it is brought on by an attack on the motherland. Beyond that, government is big and unwieldy. It has many branches and facets. Hundreds of little voices shouting out for democracy, which is reason enough for anyone to want to let it take a hike. Any system that is decided by the members of the system will automatically be slow and will always act in the interest of the majority, or in their opinion of the minority.

Now, about your arguments

Do I believe that every human being knows right from wrong? Yes. Do I think they will all act on those notions: no. And I don't think it makes me pretentious to believe that a civilian police force would arise.

Do I think citizens can defend themselves as well as an armed force? Well, how about this: in the American Revolution, the American forces were mostly unorganized, working with limited ammunition and guns versus a very well equipped British force. What did that teach us? Knowledge of terrain can compensate for formal training. I believe the same would happen again

Now, the need for working with criminal families would drop as well. People went to them to obtain objects they couldn't get lawfully. So, eliminate the laws, eliminate lawlessness. That's not much an argument, so I'll move on

Anarchism is not a step backwards. It's a blind step forward. It's human interaction at its quintessence. Humans will interact with each other completly by their own merits, and will have to live with the result of that

Now, you described governments most important job to be security. Security from what?

And natural obligation is fruity wording for doing what's right. Granted, I disown that statement, so nevermind

============================
Conclusion
============================

A strong reason to go to anarchism is to eliminate the middle man of government. It lets people to be free to do what they want, and have to accpet the concequences of their actions. This is how we learn things, as seen when we tried things as kids.
Debate Round No. 2
TheSkeptic

Pro

I thank my opponent for accepting this debate, and although I find his arguments for anarchism to be unconvincing it was a pleasure to hear the rationale from an anarchist.

Before I go into detail about my opponent's argument, I want to remind the audience about my argument. I am claiming that anarchism is an inadequate political framework because it allows TOO much freedom; it's idealized goals pave the way for an astronomical increase in crime, chaos, and subjugation. Ironically, because of the absence of the state, anarchists will doom society to not more freedom but less - this will happen due to the fact that there will be many human beings who will hurt others to get what they want. Entities such as crime families, gangs, etc. can run rampant as long as they stay in power. This, coupled with the fact that there will be ones who will successfully grow stronger, means anarchy reduces humanity to a previous stage in development. Think of society in terms of chiefdoms or tribes, except with modern day technology.

====================
Argument against Anarchism
====================

Taking this into account, my opponent attacks my arguments by arguing the citizens can secure this themselves - essentially, he is arguing that the people can protect themselves from the chaos that will ensue. I've pointed out this as being ridiculous, given that citizens are much less motivated and effective then a centralized police/military force. Here is his response:

"Do I believe that every human being knows right from wrong? Yes."
----> Which is a complete assumption, especially given the fact that you also assume there is such a thing as an objective moral value. Nevertheless, you never defend this peculiar moral psychological fact and thus it should be treated with disregard.

"Do I think they will all act on those notions: no. And I don't think it makes me pretentious to believe that a civilian police force would arise."
----> I'm sure a civilian police force could and would arise, but the fact remains that they will likely be MUCH less effective than a government police force. The latter is much more intricate, large, well-equipped, etc.

"Do I think citizens can defend themselves as well as an armed force? Well, how about this: in the American Revolution, the American forces were mostly unorganized, working with limited ammunition and guns versus a very well equipped British force. What did that teach us? Knowledge of terrain can compensate for formal training. I believe the same would happen again"
----> You really need to read your history correctly when making such references. The reason why the colonists won was indeed partly due to knowledge of terrain, but more important factors include the limited supply of resource for the British (up to 3 months), a dangerous social climate (the French is an obvious example), poor communication, and faulty initial plans boiled up to the British retreating[1][2]. If Britain was bent on conquering North America, I'm sure they could have if they poured their resources into it (though at the time, there wasn't any motivation to make them do such a rash thing).

"Now, the need for working with criminal families would drop as well. People went to them to obtain objects they couldn't get lawfully. So, eliminate the laws, eliminate lawlessness. That's not much an argument, so I'll move on"
----> This isn't much of a rebuttal, so I recommend you stay on this point. If criminal families have no need to supply illegal products, then they can simply shift to other more commercial products. The possibilities are endless, and if they can gain control over it and have some influence on it's supply, then they have a great way to make money as they have before. It is the case that many criminal families were born out of the need many people had for illegal products, but this doesn't prevent criminal families from stretching outside these original goals and dealing with other industries as well.

"Now, you described governments most important job to be security. Security from what?"
----> To secure people from other people who wish to harm.

====================
Conclusion
====================

My opponent states that he supports anarchy because the government is too slow, and that anarchy can force people to accept the consequences of their actions. While this is great and all, it greatly overshadows the perilous consequences of anarchy - a very high increase in crime. If there is no government, then there is nothing significant to prevent criminal families from rising and gaining control - because without the government, which was the strongest force (unless taken into comparison with other governments), the one with the biggest guns is the ruler. Anarchy doesn't make everyone free, it simply takes the government off the pedestal and places criminal families on the top.

Anarchism is an incredibly naive and romanticized political ideology, and it shouldn't be taken seriously given it's very weak rational basis.

---References---
1. http://www.history.com...
2. http://hawkeyeplanner.com...
E-Pro

Con

E-Pro forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
55 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by TheSkeptic 7 years ago
TheSkeptic
Absolutely - thanks for the compliment and challenge me whenever you wish!
Posted by infam0us 7 years ago
infam0us
TheSkeptic: i had a lot more to say but we're on comments, not a debate. perhaps i will debate you when i have some free time, you seem like a worthy opponent. cheers and congrats on the win in this debate.
Posted by SexyLatina 7 years ago
SexyLatina
Yeah, dude, I'm all about Spanish militant Christianity. Guns for Jesus -- or rather, armas para Cristo! It's heavy stuff. Ancient, too: were YOU alive during the 1930's?
Posted by TheSkeptic 7 years ago
TheSkeptic
Haha, nice. A Christian socialist, that makes more sense to me if you're a Christian - hell, I'm not sure how you can be a Christian and not a socialist.
Posted by SexyLatina 7 years ago
SexyLatina
I don't debate, I just make snarky comments and offer analysis. Look at my profile for evidence of my perfect record.

Anyways. I'm actually a socialist, for serious.
Posted by TheSkeptic 7 years ago
TheSkeptic
I agree that governments have a lot of detriments to them - and as I've said before ideally I would support an anarchy as well. However, the truth of the matter is that a lot of $hit goes on in this world, and without a government things would be much worse. If we still disagree, I guess this calls for a debate :D?
Posted by SexyLatina 7 years ago
SexyLatina
I would call it apathy instead of optimism. Governments don't make a whole lot of difference to me. I certainly am not regretting that we have one, but I wouldn't know to regret it if I didn't, would I? Or if I did, then that would be fun too.
Posted by TheSkeptic 7 years ago
TheSkeptic
"Well, they'll live under the rule of that unruly gang and eventually overthrow it. They might even display ingenuity in overthrowing it."

How optimistic of you. Why don't we all just do that with our problems - who needs the cops when we can just be ingenious and try to overthrow it?
Posted by SexyLatina 7 years ago
SexyLatina
Well, they'll live under the rule of that unruly gang and eventually overthrow it. They might even display ingenuity in overthrowing it.

Don't forget that governments have CAUSED evils, too. And having a government comes with a cost. I'm of the mind that the cost is probably roughly equal to the benefit, so I don't much care one way or the other.
Posted by TheSkeptic 7 years ago
TheSkeptic
Haha, we could always do that but how easy will that be? To not only find the right culprit, deliver the appropriate punishment, and do it all successfully? How would a small town in Japan (for instance) deter an unruly gang that gathers in strength and size?
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mcc1789
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