The Instigator
AnarchistJewels
Pro (for)
Winning
7 Points
The Contender
voxprojectus
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Anarcho-Capitalism does not equal Anarchism

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
AnarchistJewels
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/23/2013 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,592 times Debate No: 35011
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (6)
Votes (2)

 

AnarchistJewels

Pro

Just to clarify, this debate deals more than with simply the loose definition of Anarchism, but what it means as a philosophy and how I believe that the Capitalist system contradicts with the philosophy of Anarchism

I will explain in the second round why I don't think Anarcho-Capitalism qualifies as Anarchism based on my definitions and the definitions of the first Anarchists

Con will argue that Anarcho-Capitalism is in fact Anarchism and how it does not contradict with the philosophy of Anarchism
voxprojectus

Con

I'm a little leary of this debate because it seems largely rooted in definitions you have yet to provide. That being said, I understand both Capitalism and Anarchism and Anarcho-Capitalism as theories of political systems, so I'm happy to do my best. I am not passionate about Anarchy or Capitalism, so this is going to be Devil's advocate for me whichever way you slice it.

I look forward to your argument. Good luck!
Debate Round No. 1
AnarchistJewels

Pro

Okay

Definition of ANARCHISM1:a political theory holding all forms of governmental authority to be unnecessary and undesirable and advocating a society based on voluntary cooperation and free association of individuals and groups2:the advocacy or practice of anarchistic principles

http://www.merriam-webster.com...

"Anarchism is often defined as a political philosophy which holds the state to be undesirable, unnecessary, or harmful.[1][2]However, others argue that while anti-statism is central, it is inadequate to define anarchism solely on this basis.[3]Therefore, they argue instead that anarchism entails opposing authority or hierarchical organization in the conduct of human relations, including, but not limited to, the state system.[4][5][6][7][8][9][10]Proponents of anarchism, known as "anarchists", advocate stateless societies based on non-hierarchical free associations.[5][11][12][13][14]"

http://en.wikipedia.org...

Those are simply the loose definitions. Now let's delve deeper.

Let's look into history

http://en.wikipedia.org...


^ The origins of Anarchism

There is no question that the first described Anarchists were Anti-Capitalistic. All the first renowed Anarchists were Anarcho-Socialists/Anarcho-Communists. Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, Peter Kropotkin, Emma Goldman, and Mikhail Bakunin just to name a few.
What has been described as the earliest forms of Anarchist thought has been from Taoist philosophers Laozi and Zhuangzi etc. Zhuangzi's ideology was clearly both Anti-Statist and Anti-Capitalist as evidenced in what he wrote, "A petty thief is put in jail. A great brigand becomes a ruler of a Nation."
The very first self described Anarchist was Proudhon, who you know was a Socialist.

Now if you are advocating Anarcho-Capitalism and you are obviously aware that the original definition for Anarchism was anti-Statist and anti-Capitalism (As well as anti-hierarchal) then your advocation for Anarcho-Capitalism I am assuming is based upon the fact that you either disagree with the oldest Anarchists with the fact that Capitalism is inherently authoritative, you recognize that the meaning has changed but your definition of Anarchism is different to the oldest Anarchists, or whatever other reason.

Now let's take the wikipedia definition and break it down

However, others argue that while anti-statism is central, it is inadequate to define anarchism solely on this basis.[3]Therefore, they argue instead that anarchism entails opposing authority or hierarchical organization in the conduct of human relations, including, but not limited to, the state system.[4][5][6][7][8][9][10]Proponents of anarchism, known as "anarchists", advocate stateless societies based on non-hierarchical free associations.[5][11][12][13][14]"


So even though it doesn't anywhere specifically state that Anarchism is anti-Capitalistic, we can assume through history and following the philosophy and definition logically, that Anarchism would not include Capitalism

Let me explain

Since we now know that Anarchists argue against hierarichal and authoritative structures, let's figure out whether or not Capitalism is hierarchical or authoritative.

1)Hierarchical?
hi·er·ar·chy

/G2;hī(ə)G6;rärkē/

Noun

  1. A system or organization in which people or groups are ranked one above the other according to status or authority.
  2. The upper echelons of a hierarchical system; those in authority.

A hierarchy (Greek: hierarchia (O85;εραρχ^3;α), from hierarches, "leader of sacred rites") is an arrangement of items (objects, names, values, categories, etc.) in which the items are represented as being "above," "below," or "at the same level as" one another. Abstractly, a hierarchy can be modelled mathematically as a rooted tree: the root of the tree forms the top level, and the children of a given vertex are at the same level, below their common parent.

http://en.wikipedia.org...;

Now since the idea of a hierarchy is less complex than explaining an entire philosophy in a definition, we can rely on definitions to describe what a hierarchical system is like.

Now let's thoroughly define Capitalism

We know that Capitalism is an economic system which is characterized by private or corporate ownership of capital assets and goods. https://en.wikipedia.org...

Correspondingly, Capitalism also maintains a class structure called wage labor. Wage Labor entails that the worker who produces labor will achieve a sort of wage or salary while the shareholders and/or Capitalists reap the rest of the profits from the product that is produced.

They are entitled to this legally because they legally own the means of production.

This system creates a definite hierarchical structure in which the Capitalists remain at the top of the pyramid, while the workers remain at the bottom, giving their extremely neccesary labor in return for a meager wage as the Capitalist who "owns the means of production" enriches himself.

"In the capitalist system the whole working class sells its labor power to the employing class. The workers build factories, make machinery and tools, and produce goods. The employers keep the factories, the machinery, tools and goods for themselves as their profit. The workers get only wages.

This arrangement is called the wage system.

Learned men have figured out that the worker receives as his wage only about one-tenthof what he produces. The other nine-tenths are divided among the landlord, the manufacturer, the railroad company, the wholesaler, the jobber, and other middlemen.

It means this:

Though the workers, as a class, have built the factories, a slice of their daily labor is taken from them for the privilege of using those factories.That's the landlord's profit

What is left then - one-tenth of the real worth of the worker's labor-is hisshare, his wage.

Can you guess now why the wise Proudhon said that the possessions of the rich are stolen property? Stolen from the producer, the worker.

The whole capitalist system rests on such robbery.

The whole system of law and government upholds and justifies this robbery.

That's the order of things called capitalism, and law and government are there to protect this order of things.

Do you wonder that the capitalist and employer, and all those who profit by this order of things, are strong for 'law and order'?

But where do you come in? What benefit have you from that kind of 'law and order'? Don't you see that this 'law and order' only robs you, fools you, and just enslaves you?

'Enslave me?' you wonder. 'Why, I am a free citizen!'

Are you free, really? Free to do what? To live as you please? To do what you please?

Let's see. How do you live? What does your freedom amount to?

You depend on your employer for your wages or your salary, don't you? And your wages determine your way of living, don't they? The conditions of your life, even what you eat and drink, where you go and with whom you associate, - all of it depends on your wages.

No, you are not a free man. You are dependent on your employer and on your wages. You are really a wage slave."


http://dwardmac.pitzer.edu.........;

Capitalism without a doubt forms a hierarchy.

2)Authoritative?

Hierachical systems are systematically authoritative.

Capitalism without a DOUBT is an authoritative economic system. Since this is true, I have no reason to believe that Anarcho-Capitalism qualifies under Anarchism which is intended to abolish oppressive systematic hierarchical structures. The State isn't the solitary authoritative structure that needs abolishing. And while most Anarchists agree that there is some small forms of authority allowed in Anarchism, they oppose systematic and largely oppressive forms of authority.

voxprojectus

Con

Let me simply challenge your notion that Capitalism is by definition Hierarchical.

In a truly anarcho-capitalist society, the fact that I have more money than you would in fact entitle me to no greater rights than you as an individual. I would not have the right to tell you what to do, nor would I have the right to FORCE you to work for me. You could work for whomever you chose, or choose to not work at all. The consequences of those choices would be your own, but I in no way would hold power over you in any way shape or form.

In a true hierarchy, people's status over one another is somehow codified, if not into law, than into the structure of the organization or system in question.

Should people CHOOSE to defer to those richer than them, this would only be their choice, not a system of hierarchy, therefore, the society in question would still be an anarchistic one.
Debate Round No. 2
AnarchistJewels

Pro

What are you talking about?

Just by the simple fact that you own more money gives you more economic freedom.
You are free to make grander financial decisions than one who has less and you are able to have a stable, well fed lifestyle.

Once you are an Employer/Shareholder/Capitalist, you are in a postion of authority and you now have the right to pay that individual however much you want to pay them in return for their labor (That's only if in this Anarcho-Capitalistic society had no established minimum wage) and you basically FORCE your employees to do whatever you ask them to do, or their position as a puppet in your strings earning meager wages will be threatened!

The have barely any say in any of the decisions you make regarding their employee status because YOU ARE THE EMPLOYER and you HAVE THE POWER.

"I would not have the right to tell you what to do, nor would I have the right to FORCE you to work for me. You could work for whomever you chose, or choose to not work at all. The consequences of those choices would be your own, but I in no way would hold power over you in any way shape or form. " -Con

The worker has a choice, really? What kind of choice is it to pick between one or the other form of wage slavery. Which puppeteer do I want to control me and rob me? The one who is the least cruel puppeteer? The one who will exploit me the least?
What are you talking about? The employer has all the power. That is why so many employers don't want to hire workers that belong to unions, because by being in a union, you automatically have more say in the matter.
People don't CHOOSE to defer to those richer than them. People have to in order to survive.
Most people will not just "simply not work" because they feel exploited.
Many people will continue to work no matter how exploited they feel in order to earn their daily bread.

An Anarcho-Capitalistic is not an Anarchy because it still upholds a hierarchical economic system that exploits people constantly.
Capitalism does create a true hierarchy because the relationship between worker and Capitalist is definitely codified and upholds a very unequal distribution of power.

voxprojectus

Con

Economic freedom is NOT absolute freedom. That I can choose to buy more has nothing to do with whether or not that choice exists. That I choose to work more and earn more is also entirely self-directed.

But I can also choose not to work. In an ideal Anarcho-Capitalist state, the one who refuses to work is neither to be scorned nor looked up to. Rather, if he or she can make his or her own way in the world without money, more power to them. Likewise, the one who holds the most money has no special power.

Remember that in a capitalist state that is not anarchistic in nature, the capitalists, the wealthy, are largely propped up by the fact that IF their way is defected against, you WILL b put in prison.

Not so in our Anarcho-Capitalist utopia. You MAY work hard and earn. You MAY not. But the only consequences your actions will have will be those that effect you directly. Hunger. Cold. Ill health. What-have-you. But at no point will anyone come and enforce rules or force a hierarchy on you. The wealthy man will hold no authority that you do not freely grant by virtue of wanting to curry his good favor.

Without rules or government, Capitalism is not a rigid system, but rather a non-system in which the existence and representative value of money is acknowledged. But NOT enforced.

Without the threat of force, there can be no structure, and lacking in that structure, there can be no hierarchy.

Again I say, with no hierarchy, Anarchy is achieved.
Debate Round No. 3
AnarchistJewels

Pro

In a Capitalist economic system, the business owners who "own" the production of labor, is the most that reaps the most profits while the labor workers earn a meager wage.
Capitalists don't get rich by "working hard." They get rich by exploiting the hard work of labor workers and reaping most of the profits while handing them a small wage.
In a Capitalist state that in not Anarcho-Capitalism, you will not be put in prison just because you don't work. You will starve because you will not earn money and you can't buy food. There's no law that says you have to work.
That's the same exact thing in an Anarcho-Capitalist utopia. That's just the way Capitalism works.
Just because you voluntarily work so that you can survive, doesn't mean the Capitalism system doesn't build a hierarchy.

People work and passively accept their unfair wages because otherwise they'd have no means to achieve money any other way. The employer unfairly receives much more than the workers and this system is perpetuated because it is impossible if you are a worker in a Capitalist system, to live any other way.

How are you going to live by without any money in a system that only provides you resources if you have money?

No economic freedom is not absolute freedom, but the person who has more economic freedom, has more freedom than people who have less. Just like I said before
Once you are an Employer/Shareholder/Capitalist, you are in a postion of authority and you now have the right to pay that individual however much you want to pay them in return for their labor (That's only if in this Anarcho-Capitalistic society had no established minimum wage) and you basically FORCE your employees to do whatever you ask them to do, or their position as a puppet in your strings earning meager wages will be threatened!

Capitalism basically does force you to work for an employer (or else you'll starve. Again what kind of "choice" is that?) And Capitalism is a rigid economic structure that builds a definitive hierarchy between the employer and the employee.

Yes with no hierarchy Anarchy is achieved, which is why Anarchism can not include Anarcho-Capitalism.

So Reclus simply stated the obvious when he wrote that "the anti-authoritarian critique to which the state is subjected applies equally to all social institutions." [quoted by Clark and Martin, Op. Cit., p. 140] Proudhon, Bakunin, Kropotkin, Goldman and so on would all agree with that. While they all stressed that anarchism was against the state they quickly moved on to present a critique of private property and other forms of hierarchical authority. So while anarchism obviously opposes the state, "sophisticated and developed anarchist theory proceeds further. It does not stop with a criticism of political organisation, but goes on to investigate the authoritarian nature of economic inequality and private property, hierarchical economic structures, traditional education, the patriarchal family, class and racial discrimination, and rigid sex- and age-roles, to mention just a few of the more important topics." For the "essence of anarchism is, after all, not the theoretical opposition to the state, but the practical and theoretical struggle against domination." [John Clark, The Anarchist Moment, p. 128 and p. 70]

This is also the case with individualist anarchists whose defence of certain forms of property did stop them criticising key aspects of capitalistproperty rights. As Jeremy Jennings notes, the "point to stress is that all anarchists, and not only those wedded to the predominant twentieth-century strain of anarchist communism have been critical of private property to the extent that it was a source of hierarchy and privilege." He goes on to state that anarchists like Tucker and Spooner "agreed with the proposition that property was legitimate only insofar as it embraced no more than the total product of individual labour." ["Anarchism", Contemporary Political Ideologies, Roger Eatwell and Anthony Wright (eds.), p. 132] This is acknowledged by the likes of Rothbard who had to explicitly point how that his position on such subjects was fundamentally different (i.e., at odds) with individualist anarchism.
http://www.infoshop.org...;

voxprojectus

Con

As this is our concluding round, I will be brief in summation.

While PRO has illustrated that Capitalism, and by extension Anarcho-Capitalism, is an exploitative system that is difficult to live in without acceptance of some form of dominion through labor, CON extends the standing core argument: There is no hierarchy coded into Anarcho-Capitalism, and thus any choice to adhere to some sort of Hierarchy, is just that: Choice.

As such, I rest my case and urge you to vote CON.

And my thanks to my opponent for the debate.
Debate Round No. 4
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by wrichcirw 3 years ago
wrichcirw
@vox

If your point was clearer in the debate, I probably would have awarded you arguments, lol.

PRO was pretty clear where she was going in differentiating anarchism and an-cap, but I didn't see that same level of clarity in equating them in your arguments.

Otherwise yeah, outside of this debate we're pretty close to full agreement on this topic.
Posted by voxprojectus 3 years ago
voxprojectus
Thank you for your vote and comment Wrichcirw.

I suppose if i have any frustration, I feel that not just anarcho-capitalism, but also plain ol' anarchy would seem to be just as subject the fallacy you pointed out in my argument.

I think any anarchist state has already failed the second you have two people who want different things and a third who agrees with one of them, but, like I say, devil's advocate here.
Posted by wrichcirw 3 years ago
wrichcirw
This was a difficult debate for me to evaluate because I find anarchism in any form to be a pipe dream.

1) PRO does an excellent job in laying out the core foundations of this debate, and given the length and elaboration of her points, I will automatically award S&G.

2) PRO makes IMHO a false association of an-cap with a labor class. The way I envision an-cap is that there is no labor class, everyone is a capitalist. CON never goes here though. Instead, CON argues that there is the possibility of surviving without participating in a capitalist system while in an-cap.

3) CON: "But the only consequences your actions will have will be those that effect you directly. Hunger. Cold. Ill health. What-have-you....Without the threat of force, there can be no structure, and lacking in that structure, there can be no hierarchy."

This is my main philosophical issue with anarchism in general. The natural environment obviously threatens an individual with force...that force is embodied in "Hunger. Cold. Ill health. What-have-you..." Anarchism can thus only be achieved when such coercive forces cease to exist, which essentially means that scarcity would not exist, nor would the problem of evil exist...a total pipe dream.

4) CON: "There is no hierarchy coded into Anarcho-Capitalism, and thus any choice to adhere to some sort of Hierarchy, is just that: Choice."

IMHO CON concedes the debate here, by conceding that in an-cap, there is the possibility of choice of hierarchy...in a true anarchist society the choice would not exist. Therefore, an-cap as conceded by CON is not anarchism.

---

CONCLUSION

Well, this was an interesting debate about two impossibly impractical ideologies. CON concedes that an-cap does not conform to anarchist principles, and thus concedes the debate. Arguments and S&G to PRO.
Posted by AnarchistJewels 3 years ago
AnarchistJewels
LOOL :p
Posted by voxprojectus 3 years ago
voxprojectus
Dear sweet God I hate what I'm typing in this argument. Devil's advocate makes me feel DIRTY.
Posted by AnarchistJewels 3 years ago
AnarchistJewels
yaya
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Noumena 3 years ago
Noumena
AnarchistJewelsvoxprojectusTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: While I have problems with the underlying structure of the debate itself (attempting to codify a 'proper' def against an 'Other' system seems like little more than an implicit way of normatively de-legitimizing opposition), Pro won the second Con chose to argue against the reality of hierarchy under capitalism. Another (more defensible) position to take would have been to focus the debate as against 'linguistico-realism' or to deny that anarchism proper has anything to say about non-codified inequality (inequality as incident as opposed to structural). These options would have presented Pro with serious questions in need of a response. However, Con began by denying the existence of hierarchy, then withdrew a bit to defend capitalist hierarchy as defensible so long as it isn't overtly violent. However, seeing as Con had already implicitly conceded that hierarchy contradicts the base principles of anarchism, Pro had an easy time sweeping him.
Vote Placed by wrichcirw 3 years ago
wrichcirw
AnarchistJewelsvoxprojectusTied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: see comments