The Instigator
HostileBelief
Con (against)
Losing
5 Points
The Contender
The_Chaos_Heart
Pro (for)
Winning
17 Points

Is Anarchism a Good Political Philosophy

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 5 votes the winner is...
The_Chaos_Heart
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/22/2013 Category: Politics
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,475 times Debate No: 34929
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (26)
Votes (5)

 

HostileBelief

Con

Hello, and welcome. My name is Alex Kozlowski and I wish to debate with an Anarchist to discuss whether or not Anarchism is a good political philosophy. I wish for someone to present the argument of anarchism to me and then we go back and forth about whether or not it's good. My opponent will present the argument and than I will respond with further questions. I come at this debate not fully against anarchism but I'm just questioning with a skeptical mind.

I would like to take this occasion by describing what I know and my history with anarchism. When I was in my third semester of my community worker program at George Brown College, I had a fascination with anarchism and how would an anarchist society would work. To me, what an anarchism is is a society without government. I have a couple of problems with this philosophy.

My first problem with anarchism is the following. As many of us know, in 2008, What's being called "The Great Recession" is being known to be the third most biggest financial crises ever(1). Anyone with a brain could tell that Wall Street was all over this. Due to not enough regulations in the banks and corporations, Banks and Corporations are able to use schemes such as derivatives(2) and the legal definition of "Corporate Person hood"(3). Even though the U.S. has failed to put these people in prosecution, there are some regulations. Now imagine those regulations we have now and being stripped into nothingness. How do you propose to protect the majority of society from corrupt banks and corporations without government?

The second problem that I see in anarchism is that anarchism is made up of many factions going from Anarcho-Capitalism, Anarcho-Communism, Anarcho-syndicalism, and even Anarcho Queer.(4) Described by many anarchists, it's the idea of a community working together. I fail to see this. Take the Green Anarchists for example who are in favor of environmental protection who are willing to do anything including environmental terrorism in the name of the planet. Then take Anarcho-Capitalism which happens to be right beside the Green Anarchist community decided to have a the biggest factory that has emmision of CO2 near the Green Anarchist Community. What we got here is a conflict of interest between communities without any order about what gets done and how. Individual members of society will go into their separate groups based on the individuals interest. The Bottom line with this point is anarchism has no clear specific plan as to where it's going to go and the lack of order due to conflicts of interest( I hope this didn't sound vague)

The Third problem and the most common, Is anarchism technically being hypocritical? Even if anarchists were to overthrow the government and other corporate powers, Aren't they technically a government?

Finally, The fourth point I have which is connected to the 2nd point a bit but I fail to see how anarchism can stay in power. In the Paris Commune, the commune only lasted 2 months and that was with Marxists.

As empowering as Anarchism sounds, I remain skeptical about the system. I feel the lack of organization and the lack of planning a huge problem in anarchism and I don't see how one could be possible. I did say I was an anarchist once but only for my third semester in college however I would like to be proved wrong just to see the other sides point of view. I look forward to your response. Thank you!

References
1. Ask Men Top 10 Financial Crises:http://ca.askmen.com...

2. Capitalism: A Love Story, Derivative
http://www.traileraddict.com...

3. Reclaim Democracy Corporate Personhood
http://reclaimdemocracy.org...

4. Wikipedia Anarchism Schools of Thought
http://en.wikipedia.org...
The_Chaos_Heart

Pro

Before I begin, I think it is important we understand what we are talking about when we use the term "good". Since this was not clarified by my opponent, let me take a moment to provide my own definitions.

1. The state of being moral; a moral action.
2. The state of being sound; a good argument.


So the question then becomes, does Anarchism propose moral solutions to the problems it raises, are it's arguments sound? I feel, and it would seem by my opponent's arguments, that the answer to the first question is a resounding...eh. Anarchism it would seem is neither moral nor immoral in it's propositions, and it does not seem to be the concern of my opponent as to whether or not it is a morally acceptable system. Therefore this question does not seem relevant. My opponent is free to disagree, and raise argument against this, should he like to.

Moving onto the more relevant question, of whether or not Anarchism is of sound reasoning. To understand this, we have to understand precisely what it is we are talking about when we discuss Anarchism. Contrary to popular usage, Anarchism, as a political ideology, is not synonymous with chaos. However, another popular misuse of the term Anarchism is to state it is opposed to forms of government. This is not the case, and is in fact an impossibility, as a man stranded alone on a island is still a part of a government; a government of himself. Rather, Anarchism is opposed to the usage of illegitimate authority, most commonly seen by what is popularly called the State. The State, Anarchism argues, is unnecessary at best, and at worst, harmful and immoral. In all cases Anarchism proposes that the authority the State holds over it citizens is an illegitimate authority, as citizens never provided consent to holding this power over them. Rather, they were born into the society they were born into, and forced to obey the whims of the State all their life. This, Anarchism argues, is an injustice. As noted American Anarchist Benjamin R. Tucker once wrote, "If the individual has the right to govern himself, all external governments is tyranny."


So the biggest question of this debate, aside from the resolution itself, is one of affirming or denying Anarchism's central argument. Is external authority and government an injustice? Can it be justified to hold authority over another human being without their consent? Until my opponent can show why it can be said to be so, it should be assumed that no, external authority is inherently illegitimate, as we all have a right to govern ourselves, as evidenced by the fact that we are all individual, sentient beings, fully capable of and desiring to govern ourselves.

And this, ladies and gentlemen, is all that we really need consider when discussing whether or not Anarchism is a "good" philosophy, as everything beyond this is detail. There are various schools of anarchist thought that propose how we rid ourselves of illegitimate authority, and the best ways to structure society, but none of these schools deny the central premise of Anarchism, and therefore, their disagreements do not serve as evidence to oppose Anarchism. It is the equivalent of biologists and geneticists disagreeing on various theories about gravity, or evolution. The disagreement amongst details does not deny the central truth of the argument, whether it be the existence of gravity, or the legitimacy of authority.


Onto my opponent's arguments.


"How do you propose to protect the majority of society from corrupt banks and corporations without government?"

While this is not entirely relevant, there are several theories within Anarchism with how to deal with this kind of behavior. Some more individualistic Anarchists would argue this is not a problem, and that it is just the will of individuals at work. Other less radical Anarchists may argue for societies without wealth itself, or at least, some other form of economic system. Virtually all will say that human beings will work out amongst themselves the best solution.

This issue here though is that this is not necessarily a relevant question. How we deal with this is not so important to the question "Is Anarchism Good", and would be more appropriate in a debate about specific schools of Anarchist thought. But we are not here to debate over what this schools says versus that; we are here to debate Anarchism as a whole philosophy, which means we are discussing it's central premise.


"The Bottom line with this point is anarchism has no clear specific plan as to where it's going to go and the lack of order due to conflicts of interest( I hope this didn't sound vague)"

I understand what you are trying to say, but the problem is, again, we are not discussing various schools of Anarchist thought, but rather, the argument of whether or not Anarchism is right in it's proposition. Anarchism as a whole has no specific plan, because Anarchism in a broad sense is not interested in a "solution"; it's only interested in whether or not it's right in it's argument about authority and the State. All Anarchism in a broad sense has to say in regards to a solution is that people do not need external authority to tell them what is right and wrong, and that people, if left to their own devices, can solve problems out amongst themselves. If anything, the various schools of Anarchist thought are testament to this, as they are evidence of people, outside of authority, coming up with solutions to proposed problems.

And while Anarchism in a broad sense does not have a defined solution, it's various schools of thought do. Individualist and Collectivist Anarchists, and all their sub-categories, have for the most part very specific ideas on human nature, and what a better society would look like and how it would function. Anarcho-communists, for instance, argue for an immediate abolishion of the State and all capitalist institutions, in favor of common ownership of property (though usually with a respect for individual property). Anarcho-communists would argue that raising people in such a society would prevent issues like the above mentioned Wall Street debacle from occurring, as no one would desire to engage in such selfish behavior. But that is neither here nor there in this debate. The point is, within each school of thought, there are well formed theories on what directions global society should take.


"The Third problem and the most common, Is anarchism technically being hypocritical? Even if anarchists were to overthrow the government and other corporate powers, Aren't they technically a government?"

This goes back to one of the common mistakes I mentioned people make when discussing Anarchism, associating it with an opposition to government, when it is in actuality in opposition to illegitimate external authority, most commonly and obviously found in the State. This is not the same thing as being opposed to "government".


"Finally, The fourth point I have which is connected to the 2nd point a bit but I fail to see how anarchism can stay in power. In the Paris Commune, the commune only lasted 2 months and that was with Marxists."

I'm not exactly certain what point my opponent is trying to make here. If they are trying to claim Anarchism is wrong, because a well-known Anarchist society fell shortly after creation, I should like to remind everyone that the Paris Commune did not fail because of the philosophy which it held to, but rather, fell due to the outside force (the French State) it was fighting against. While it lasted however, the Paris Commune was a haven for working men and women alike. If anything, the Paris Commune in it's entirety, even it's fall, is testament to the truth of Anarchist philosophy; both in it's solutions, and in it's arguments about the illegitimacy and harmful nature of the external authority of the State.

I leave you with this clip from the play "Marx in Soho", in which he discusses the very subject of the Paris Commune.

Debate Round No. 1
HostileBelief

Con

First off, I would like to thank my opponent for responding with such interesting arguments however there are things in my first argument that I do need to clarify for not only the sake of my opponent but also for this audiences understanding on the subject. Not just to clarify but to refute arguments that I found in The Chaos Heart's which seems to me illogical. Also included in this rebuttal, I will also bring justification for why these questions that I have are reasonable and must be answered.

My opponent has started off talking about the confusion about what is considered a "Good Political Philosophy" and what do I mean about that. I will admit that I maybe haven't made the argument clear for my audience in regards to what type of good. From the definitions that the Chaos heart as left, let us use the second definition. In which case, it seems to me that Anarchism is not sound for the most part. Keep in mind though that even though I am taking a position against anarchism as a governing body, I'm still open to idea that maybe it's possible so if my opponent can open my mind to the idea that it's possible then maybe but moving on to more arguments.

I really do want to thank my opponent for clarifying about the definition of good but I also find that my opponent has misinterpreted what anarchism really is. Let's go through the definition of Anarchism. Anarchism according to the Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary Tenth Edition says the following

Anarchism: 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 groups.(1)

Let's use another definition that might tell us what anarchism really is. On Free Dictionary.com, it says
1. The theory or doctrine that all forms of government are oppressive and undesirable and should be abolished.
2. Active resistance and terrorism against the state, as used by some anarchists.
3. Rejection of all forms of coercive control and authority:(2)

With the first two definitions, there is a correlation between them. We are beginning to notice that the main message of Anarchism is that it's a political theory in which it believes that ALL governmental authority is unnecessary. What does this mean according to the language. If ALL governmental authority means that individual you were talking about in the island than yes, anarchism considers all authority wrong. At this point, I feel that my opponent has contradicted himself and made anarchism into how he makes it. While the two other definitions suggest that anarchism is a political theory that is against only illegitimate forms of anarchism.


If the first two definitions mean that all forms of government are illegitimate then that includes all governments. Whether they are illegitimate or not. If it goes by the 3rd and 4th definition, then I can understand why you would be in favor of it however, I fail to see how this is relevant to what were talking about. My thoughts on the first two definitions is that I argue that not all forms of government are illegitimate. For example, the U.S.A. allowed the banks to mess with their money and look where it got them. Does that mean all that governments are bad because of this one particular government. No. Now Chaos Heart, I'm not saying that you think this exactly but according to the definition of anarchism and if that definition is head on, then the argument that I provided in this paragraph should be taken into consideration.

When looking at his argument saying that which idea of anarchism is not important, my opponent has failed to recognize the importance of what anarchist society the people should live by. The reason why it's important is because as we look at history, we will notice that there are certain characteristics from these different forms of anarchism that ether make or break a society. For example, Anarcho-Capitalism is completely different compared to Anarcho-Communism. Talking about a form of study in Science is not the same as a political and/or economic plan unless you experimented with different ideas. Certain communities tend to be more stronger if they are in agreement with one another but when closed off when having boarders and armies trying to go after you, you have to come to a certain conclusion. What I'm trying to say is in desparate times like the Paris Commune, it is required to make decisive decisions.


With response to your counter argument by saying that my argument about corrupt banks and corporations is not relevant. Why not? This has everything to do with anarchism because if it's true that all governments are illegitimate and the anarchists seek to control, how can they take control when they are dealing with extremely powerful groups such as corporations and the banks which then become the next power and already are. This to me is a part of what makes a good political philosophy. You also suggested that there are ways in which anarchists would deal with this situation. May I ask what those measures may be?
The_Chaos_Heart

Pro

First of all, I would like to thank my opponent for accepting my definition of "good". From now on, I will be using the far more accurate terms "logical" and "sound" when discussing the resolution.


My opponent has contested my claims about Anarchism, and has provided a few sources for his claim. These sources however I find to be poor sources, for 2 reasons. The problem with using common dictionaries when it comes to political ideologies, is that common dictionaries use common definitions. Not necessarily the most accurate to the individuals of the ideology itself. This goes back to what I was saying before about common misconceptions about Anarchism. In the common tongue, the term "anarchist" is used to imply opposition to government, but this is simply not the case. Anarchism is concerned with illegitimate forms of authority, not authority in general. Further more, the usage of the term "government" can be tricky, as "government" is commonly used to mean "the State", when, as I pointed out earlier, a government is the method by which human beings organize themselves into a society. My opponent is utilizing the latter usage of "government", and mixing it with the former, incorrect usage of "anarchism", that being of opposing all forms of authority, and coming to the conclusion that anarchy is opposed to all government (thereby giving rise to my opponent's claim that it is hypocritical).

This is not the case. I feel slightly indignant that this is something I must address again, I will admit. As the affirmative in this debate, and as the one defending these ideologies, I should think that I know better than anyone else what exactly it is I am defending. given that my opponent did not define terms in the first round, it is the definitions I have provided which should be taken into account; not the far too broad definitions my opponent has provided.

Beyond that though, let's look at a description of Anarchism from an old college textbook of mine, from a political science class.


"Anarchist ideology is defined by the central belief that political authority in all it's forms, and especially in the form of the state, is both evil and unnecessary. Anarchists therefore look to the creation of a stateless society through the abolition of law...In their view, the state is evil because, as a repository of sovereign compulsory and coercive authority, it is an offence against the principles of freedom and equality...Anarchists believe that the state is unnecessary because order and social harmony can arise naturally and spontaneously, and do not need to be imposed 'from above' through government."

"The defining feature of Anarchism is it's opposition the state...Anarchists have a preference for a stateless society in which free individuals manage their affairs through voluntary agreement, without compulsion or coercion."


The above quotes come from the 5th edition of "Political Ideologies: An Introduction", by Andrew Heywood.

Clearly then the ideas we are discussing are as I have described them; not as my opponent has attempted to do, by usurping my definition. Anarchism is an ideology dealing with rebellion against what it claims are illegitimate forms of authority, most notably the modern state. It claims this because these forms of authority are handed down, as described above, "from on high". They are not consented to, and rather are foisted and forced upon populations, and demand compulsory service.

This is the kind of authority, of government, we are discussing. Not the governments that arise in stateless societies. The State is only one form of government.

Given that, it is my opponent's job to justify the modern State, as the natural form of existence is a stateless society. My opponent, in order to discredit Anarchism, must justify the compulsory, forced service the state demands. He must just this inherent violation of freedom.

If he cannot, Anarchism's central premise (that the state is unnecessary and evil) holds true, and therefore, is found to be a sound argument (meeting the criteria of being a "good" political philosophy).


Now, onto some of my opponent's statements.


"My thoughts on the first two definitions is that I argue that not all forms of government are illegitimate. For example, the U.S.A. allowed the banks to mess with their money and look where it got them. Does that mean all that governments are bad because of this one particular government. No."

Please note that whether or not a government is "good" or "bad" does not change one way or another if they are illegitimate forms of authority. Their illegitimacy comes from their lack of sound right to force compulsory service and subjugation onto people, not their decisions as a government. So to point out that some governments may be "good" is a meaningless argument.


"When looking at his argument saying that which idea of anarchism is not important, my opponent has failed to recognize the importance of what anarchist society the people should live by. The reason why it's important is because as we look at history, we will notice that there are certain characteristics from these different forms of anarchism that ether make or break a society."

Which is, again, a matter of debate amongst Anarchists themselves. But the existence of this debate does not deny the central premise of Anarchism, no more than competing theories about the origin of the laws of physics deny the truth of the laws themselves. This is not a debate about which form of Anarchism is better, and as there are so many theories, it is not something we can properly cover in one debate.

This is a debate about whether the philosophy of Anarchism is, itself, a sound argument. IS the state an illegitimate form of authority? Can people truly function on their own, without the need of an external authority telling them what is right and wrong, and how to live their life? These are the questions we must consider, not whether or not individualist or collectivist forms of Anarchism are superior to one another.


"With response to your counter argument by saying that my argument about corrupt banks and corporations is not relevant. Why not? This has everything to do with anarchism because if it's true that all governments are illegitimate and the anarchists seek to control, how can they take control when they are dealing with extremely powerful groups such as corporations and the banks which then become the next power and already are."

The reason I say it is irrelevant is again, it is a matter that is dealt with by competing theories of how to structure the best Anarchist society. It's not the concern of the collective, broad political theory called "Anarchism". As I pointed out earlier, Anarcho-communists would deal with this problem by simply structuring a society without money to begin with. Anarcho-capitalists might argue that without the aid of the state, such a scenario would never have arised to begin with. Other more extreme individualusts might argue that what occured with the banks isn't even necessarily a poblem, as it is people expressing their free wil to make whatever decisions they like.

These are all questions to be dealt with by competeing sects of Anarchists within anarchism; but the competition of these ideals does not, in any way, influence the truthfullness of the claim "the state is an illegitimate and harmful form of authority", as Anarchism does. This is why it is irrelevant; the question doesn't pertain at all to the resolution.

Whether or not Anarchism is a sound political ideology is not in any way dependant upon the banking crisis.
Debate Round No. 2
HostileBelief

Con

First of all, I would like to make it clear to everyone that the first definition that I used to represent anarchism was in fact a source thats used in Colleges and Universitys hence its name Merriam-Webster's COLLEGIATE dictionary. Now free dictionary might not be the best source but the point that I was trying to get across is if the definition is from a college dictionary is as it says than why would a college dictionary lie. Why would a well respected dictionary say Anarchism is in opposition to all governments vs having to say that its only in opposition of illAnarchist ideology is defined by the central belief that political authority in all it's forms, and especially in the form of the state, is both evil and unnecessary. Anarchists therefore look to the creation of a stateless society through the abolition of law.egitamate governments.


I would like to take an excerpt from your political science book for a moment and really analyze.

Anarchist ideology is defined by the central belief that political authority in all it's forms, and especially in the form of the state, is both evil and unnecessary. Anarchists therefore look to the creation of a stateless society through the abolition of law.

I feel as if my opponent is making a point for me vs having a point for himself. When someone like Andrew Heywood (who seems to be very knowledgeable of politics) describles that ALL ITS FORMS, political authority is evil and unnecessary, that is when I ask. How do you go from unnecessary to illegitamate. The definition of unnecessary is the following


Unnecessary: Not Necessary

Where as the definition of illegitamate is


illegitamate: Not authorized by good usage


While these definitons are similar, they are not the same.


Also to note that my opponent has to recognize that anarchism can also take place in the community. For example, someone can be against the community by having their own self interests and they might feel that they are forced to do something by the community which in itself may be considered a illegitamate authority. In my opponent's textbook, it also talks about the abolition of law. This I feel is moral. While I've said that we are going to do only the definition of good in terms of it being logically sound, I argue why not morally as well. Its important to recognize whether or not anarchism is logically sound and moral. We have laws so people don't commiti crimes such as theft, murder, rape and etc.

Im very confused when my opponent says that whether government is good or bad does not change one way or another if they are illegitimate forms of authority. When my opponent says that they shouldnt even be forced to have a compulsory service in the first place, I agree with him and I dont agree with him. I agree with him in the sense that maybe someone would not want to be subjegated by a certain law but I disagree in the sense that we need laws and governments. The fact that the matter is, most people dont want to become anarchists mostly because they feel that it is a waste of time and less democratic.


The_Chaos_Heart

Pro

I am growing quickly irritated with this rising semantics argument. So this will be the last I speak of this matter (which I shouldn't even be having to speak about because again, as the affirmative, it is my duty to define what it is I am defending, not my opponent's).

First of all, when Heywood speaks of Anarchy being opposed to authority "in all it's forms", he obviously does not literally mean all forms of authority. That would, again, be asinine, because that would mean one's authority over themselves is somehow invalidated. That is not anarchist theory, and I have pointed this out many times to you. Please stop pretending it is, and actually debate the information provided. Heywood is using authority as anarchists use it. To mean hierarchy.

When I say anarchists are opposed to illegitimate authority, perhaps to make it clearer for you it would be best to discuss what kinds of authority they are okay with. Specifically, Anarchists are proponents of non-hierarchal, voluntary, stateless systems. Obviously within the systems one can hold authority, provided people consent to an individual holding that authority. If you need evidence of this:


"First, it is necessary to indicate what kind of authority anarchism challenges. While it is customary for some opponents of anarchism to assert that anarchists oppose all kinds of authority, the reality of the situation is more complex. While anarchists have, on occasion, stated their opposition to "all authority" a closer reading quickly shows that anarchists reject only one specific form of authority, what we tend to call hierarchy."[1]


I suggest reading that source. You don't have to read it in it's entirety, just read the entirety of B.1. It explains what Anarchists mean by authority, and what kind of authority they are and are not okay with. Complete with quotes from notable anarchists to support their case. There's no real reason for me to copypasta such a large wall of text, so click the link below, and read it yourself.


I will not be playing this semantics game any longer, and if my opponent chooses to continue trying to challenge the provided definition of Anarchism, I will no longer be engaging him on the point. I am more than a little insulted that I have had to go to such great lengths to simply get my opponent to understand that I know what the hell I'm talking about. I should think anarchists themselves, more than anyone else, know what they mean by "being opposed to authority". I am frustrated that so much of this debate has been wasted by useless semantics.

As a final note, your college dictionary doesn't lie, it is merely mistaken, as most dictionaries are; because again, they use the common terminology. Not necessarily the terminology in the way actual members of the ideology would use it. This is why it is inaccurate.


"For example, someone can be against the community by having their own self interests and they might feel that they are forced to do something by the community which in itself may be considered a illegitamate authority. "

The community is not a hierarchal authority, and is a form of collective. An individual is not bound to obey the whim of the collective, under threat of punishment; that they may choose to do so out of respect, or desire for the benefits of living in a collective, is not the same as the compulsory servitude imposed upon people from birth by the State, or others forms of hierarchal (illegitimate) authority.


"In my opponent's textbook, it also talks about the abolition of law. This I feel is moral. While I've said that we are going to do only the definition of good in terms of it being logically sound, I argue why not morally as well. Its important to recognize whether or not anarchism is logically sound and moral. We have laws so people don't commiti crimes such as theft, murder, rape and etc."

I'm assuming my opponent meant "immoral" in that sentence.

Please note my opponent (fallaciously) conflates law with morality. The abolish of law is not the abolition of morality, and not a ticket for a free for all with no consequences. It simply means people will not be forced to abide by a pre established set of rules handed down to them by their ruling superiors, and forced to obey. It means they now have a choice in what they do, and can determine for themselves what they believe to be moral and immoral.

If my opponent disagrees with this, I must ask them, are they admitting that it is only the law which prevents them from murdering, raping, and pillaging?


"Im very confused when my opponent says that whether government is good or bad does not change one way or another if they are illegitimate forms of authority."

When Anarchists say a form of authority is illegitimate, they mean it has no right to exist, as it has no right to hold that authority over you. In this sense, it does not matter if a State is "good" or "bad", because that does not change one way or another whether or not it is justified in forcing you to bend your knee to it.


"When my opponent says that they shouldnt even be forced to have a compulsory service in the first place, I agree with him and I dont agree with him. I agree with him in the sense that maybe someone would not want to be subjegated by a certain law but I disagree in the sense that we need laws and governments."

That would be the contention, yes.

And I've been waiting for you to justify that claim this entire debate. Because that's all it is currently. An unsubstantiated claim. A bold, unbacked assertion.

To have a state is to restrict the freedoms of the individual. That requires adequate justification. Justification you have yet to provide, or even attempt to argue about.

And now we're about to enter into the final round...


"The fact that the matter is, most people dont want to become anarchists mostly because they feel that it is a waste of time and less democratic."

The fact that most people don't want to be Anarchists is not testament to it's soundness or unsoundness as a political ideology, and to suggest it is is to suggest a form of ad populem fallacy. Further more, a Stateless society is the most democratic form of society there can be, so for people to feel that they would have less democracy just means they are wrong in what they feel.


I want to end this round by elaborating a little more on Anarchist theory. Anarchism believes that human beings, at their core, are good, or at the very least neutral, and therefore are entirely capable of ruling themselves, without external, hierarchal authority. They don't need to be told "this is wrong, and if you do it, you will be punished by us". They can discover for themselves right and wrong, by virtue of human compassion for their fellow members of society. They do not need to swear fealty to faceless leaders and flags in order to preserve peace and safety. If you need evidence of this, here are examples of successful Anarchist territories:


The Paris Commune: Despite what my opponent might have you believe, the Paris Commune was a smashing success for Anarchists, as it proved that people could thrive economically and intellectually, in a stable setting, without the need of the State or other forms of hierarchal authority. The fall of the commune was not due to it's own ideals and practices, but rather, simply due to it's size, and the presence of a much larger, more heavily armed, aggressive force.

The Free Territory: It arose during the period of workers uprisings and rebellions all across Russia, formed in 1918, and lasting until 1921. It too was a successful display of a stateless society functioning perfectly fine, while also maintaining (limited) military power, for defense purposes. It too fell only when a much larger, more powerful aggressor attacked it.


These are two, commonly cited societies which demonstrate that Anarchist philosophy can be applied successfully. A list of more societies can be found in the sources below[2].


Sources

1. http://tinyurl.com...

2. http://tinyurl.com...
Debate Round No. 3
HostileBelief

Con

I find it disappointing that my opponent has reacted so impatinetly towards me asking simple questions. I don't purposely ask these questions about the definition of anarchism to piss people or troll someone. I simply do it because I want to make sure that the definitions are clear and exact. I also want to challenge peoples definitions because one may not be right compared to the other. If you dont like the fact that people challenge your definitions, I would stop using this site.


I also find about what Heywood saying hard to believe. I understand that anarchism is based on not having someone have authority over you but what Im saying is biologically, we are going to rule each other whether you like it or not. For example, their are character traits that some individuals may have the others don't. There are cases in our society where ones would rule over people in a biological way regardless whether its an anarchist system.


Don't feel insulted or pissed off just because someone may not agree with your definition. Geez.


Its very foolish when my opponent says that I think that law and morality are the same. No, that is true however if you want to stop people causeing crimes like murdering, raping, stealing and pilaging, you have to put some form of consequnce or punishment, these types of criminals will not do these crimes for the most part if it means that they get punished and if the event you come up with a counter argument where you say that the collective decideds the punishment, then isn't that inself considered an authoritarian position. It's possible to be an authoritain in the name of a collective.

I leave you with this video

skip to 4:30






The_Chaos_Heart

Pro

"If you dont like the fact that people challenge your definitions, I would stop using this site."

I must say, I find the prospect of you (a new member) lecturing me on how to use this site to be highly amusing.

That said, you've missed the entire point, which is understandable, given your inexperience at debating. I'll explain. The problem with your actions thus far has been three-fold.


1) When it comes to defining the terms used in the resolution, if the one starting the debate does not explicitly define what it is they are challenging, it is left up to the affirmative to define what it is they are defending. That would be the scenario here. You did not define "Anarchism", and therefore left it up to me, the affirmative, to define what it is I am defending. That is not to say my definition is immutable. But there must be very good grounds on which to challenge my definitions, which you have had none of. There is no reason to challenge my definitions, outside of the fact that it does not fit your pre-conceived notions of the ideology. False notions.

2) It's foolish, and a frustrating waste of time, in that almost always the person defending an ideology knows more about the terms used and beliefs held by members of said ideology, than the person challenging it. An anarchist undoubtedly knows more about what they, as an anarchist, mean by "authority" than a non-anarchist. So your arrogance in this regard, to tell an anarchist they do not know what it is they believe, is incredibly rude, demeaning, and foolish.

But most importantly...

3) You've now turned this entire debate into a useless debate on semantics. You have barely touched upon any of my arguments, conceding most, and dropping almost every argument you put forth in the first round. You've wasted everyone's time with 4 rounds of people squabbling over definitions. This is frowned upon in debate, as it does not get us anywhere meaningful. It does not let us judge the merit or faults of an ideology. This is why it's the job of the affirmative to define what it is they are defending, in the event the negative doesn't define it prior.

In essence, your inability to accept that I, and other anarchists, know what we're talking about when we talk about what anarchist ideology states has wasted everyone's time. It's frustrating, from an intellectual standpoint. Which is why it is looked down upon with such distaste from this community.

That said, I should hope the voters realize anarchists themselves are more fit than anybody to describe what it is they believe in. Certainly more fit than my opponent. That my opponent cannot, or will not, recognize this, is no longer my problem.


"but what Im saying is biologically, we are going to rule each other whether you like it or not."

I would ask you to develop this idea further, and explain and provide evidence for this claim, but seeing as this is the final round, and you have wasted all the previous rounds with semantics, this rather interesting assertion will have remain unbacked, and therefore, be considered irrelevant. This is sad, because these are the kinds of questions I would have hoped to wrestle with in this debate. Questions of human morality and behavior, and whether or not we can function without hierarchal authority.

Questions that will now remain largely unanswered. Pity.


"Its very foolish when my opponent says that I think that law and morality are the same. No, that is true..."

It's foolish to assert that law and morality are not the same, despite the fact that you then subsequently concede that they are not the same thing? That is...interesting to say the least. Especially when, I quote again, you stated:

"In my opponent's textbook, it also talks about the abolition of law. This I feel is [im]moral."

Implying a connection between law and morality, in that the absence of law is the absence of moral goodness.

So...it is foolish to point out the results of your own arguments?


"however if you want to stop people causeing crimes like murdering, raping, stealing and pilaging, you have to put some form of consequnce or punishment"

Which does not equate to having a "law". To take a very simple example, if someone treats you rudely, you may be inclined to stop speaking with them, or show them less kindness. Is it the law that this must occur, or will occur? No. It's not even a given fact that it will occur. But it is a consequence, when it does occur. It is a form of punishment. One exercising their right to not associate with someone, while a consequence, is not the same as a law, which prescribes unconsented, forced punishments upon individuals for crimes they have not even truly agreed to not commit.

That punishments and consequences exist, does not mean "law" exists. So this point too is irrelevant. And if you think these kinds of actions would explode under anarchy, I again, point you to the above cited societies (the success of which my opponent did not argue against) as perfect examples of how anarchist societies could function without law.


"I leave you with this video

skip to 4:30"


This...this is a joke...right?

Am I supposed to be impressed by some guy talking to a camera, about some other, singular anarchist he has disagreement with? Really? This is your big, knock-down argument? Let alone the fact that at roughly 6:50 he agrees with the anarchist claim that the government has no right to control us, because we did not consent to it. He then goes on to claim how anarchy isn't the solution to that, but as I have displayed above, there are several examples of successful anarchist territories throughout history. Therefore, it can be entirely said that anarchism is not only a solution, but a proven, effective, workable solution.

He later brings up a point about murder, which is later entirely undone when he states that he would admit that the anarchist view would still probably be better with regards to it. But he then lobes several, unbacked assertions about anarchism's inability to deal with certain social problems (protecting the environment, building infrastructure, ect.). This again, however, can be completely dismissed by the fact that there have been successful territories who have done these exact things.

All and all, this video is entirely useless to your position.



Ladies and gentlemen this brings us to the end of the debate. There are two main reasons I think you should vote for me.

1) My opponent has more or less turned this entire debate into an argument about semantics, with very few actually relevant points about anarchism and anarchist philosophy being made. Not only is this unscrupulous behavior, as it brings us nowhere intellectually, it means something much more dire for my opponent...

2) Due to the nature of my opponent's semantics arguments, he has dropped nearly every argument he has made in this debate, and consequently, has failed to even attempt to refute nearly all of my own, and especially failed to refute the most important ones (i.e., the success of anarchist territories).

All in all, I have quite readily proven my case that Anarchism's claims about authority, and about it's potential to be a real, workable solution to the problem it claims to be out to solve. My opponent has failed to disprove either of these claims. In fact, he has more or less not even attempted to do so. And in the end, my opponent's own video source agreed wth the central anarchist claim, that the state has no right to hold authority over the populace, when we have not consented to it holding that authority. By conceding the central argument, the central premise, of anarchism, all this video has done is serve as an argument in support of the resolution, that Anarchism is a good (sound) political ideology.

In short, my opponent has utterly failed to display in any way the faults of Anarchist theory. Therefore, vote Pro.
Debate Round No. 4
26 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by The_Chaos_Heart 4 years ago
The_Chaos_Heart
"Personally, it's not about the points. Its about trying to be respectable to your opponent which you have clearly not shown."

Debate is about points made, not respect, in the end. Conduct is there to berate someone for pot conduct, but ultimately, who wins and who loses comes down to who made the better arguments.

" I also find it very ironic how you criticize the fact that In the video I've shown which was a person who is overweight but it video you shown me, we see Marx who is fat. Very hypocritical man."

...I never criticized your video because the person in it was fat. What are you even talking about?
Posted by HostileBelief 4 years ago
HostileBelief
Personally, it's not about the points. Its about trying to be respectable to your opponent which you have clearly not shown. I also find it very ironic how you criticize the fact that In the video I've shown which was a person who is overweight but it video you shown me, we see Marx who is fat. Very hypocritical man.
Posted by The_Chaos_Heart 4 years ago
The_Chaos_Heart
For the record, I'm not all that concerned about the conduct vote. I did chastise my opponent, and so I can see how that could be a knock on conduct.

It's more so the asinine S&G and Sources vote that bothers me.

Medv, in response to your comment about S&G, come off it. My argument is not unreadable, and is structured just fine. Just because it does not follow some rigid, formal structure doesn't matter. And in fact you will find in the real world, when people to professional debates in front of live audiences, the format is far more akin to that of a turn-based discussion, than some rigid high school formated outline.

The fact remains that if anyone should be knocked for S&G, it is my opponent, for the frequent spelling errors every round. And even I am not so petty to suggest they truly should be knocked for it. I understood their argument, and you can clearly understand mine. No one really deserves those points.

As for sources, quit your whining that I used TinyURL. It's already been explained to you why, and using TInyURL in no way speaks good nor ill about the source itself; just that it's URL was shortened, so more characters could be used.
Posted by wrichcirw 4 years ago
wrichcirw
If this was truly professional, then I would imagine that citing sources would not count towards character limits.

I haven't seen any real "professional" internet debates, so I will not comment further on them. Most "professional" content I read utilize embedded hyperlinks, if they source from the internet at all.

Regarding modification after the fact, that could be true of any cited URL.
Posted by medv4380 4 years ago
medv4380
@wrichcirw You're assuming that I don't have tinyurl.com blocked on a firewall to prevent the propagation of malware. They can also be modified after the fact so they are still untrustworthy even if you click on them to verify. Using them on a professional level is unacceptable.
Posted by wrichcirw 4 years ago
wrichcirw
@medv4380:

Well, I don't consider "checking" a source to be looking at the first few characters of its URL. If the point warrants checking a source, and if I see wikipedia there, yes it will be a ding. If I see tiny URL there, I will click on it and make a judgment.

Sometimes sources can add up to thousands of characters and can take up significant real estate on a debate. Personally I don't think there's anything wrong with tiny URL...if the source is solid, it will be solid regardless. If it is crap, it will be crap regardless.
Posted by medv4380 4 years ago
medv4380
@wrichcirw If the citation isn't valid in a High School, or University paper then it's not valid here. Because Tiny URL's can be used to mask the validity of the source. They are far worse then citing Wikipedia. If character count were an actual issue I'd expect the verbose wot to be trimmed down, and be more concise.

@The_Chaos_Heart As for my reasoning regarding spelling, and grammar. Your "...eh" is a reflection of your intent to consciously format your entire debate poorly. Your inability to keep a consistent format impedes the ability of the reader to read your argument. Your debate would have resulted in my General Manager going on a "Strunk & White" rant against the research departments writing skills. Your argument would have cost me a few hours correcting. Con kept it simple so I'd only have a half hour, or less, of corrections. I can't say any of the mistakes Con made got in the way of reading it.

If you had done better in the conduct, S&G, and sources I'd be able to make a clear choice for the argument. So I'm ether going to have to leave it tied for the argument, or work through the mess to reach a conclusion.
Posted by wrichcirw 4 years ago
wrichcirw
@medv4380:

"Because the site shortens urls for you there is no need to use them, and are a fare greater sin then citing Wikipedia."

It shortens them for audiences, but not for debaters. Some URLs take up hundreds of characters, which are a gigantic ding for debaters with limited real estate for their arguments.
Posted by wrichcirw 4 years ago
wrichcirw
"After some time, CON clarified his operating definition of anarchism (lack of hierarchy), so I will rescind S&G."

Change to:

After some time, PRO clarified his operating definition of anarchism (lack of hierarchy), so I will rescind S&G.
Posted by wrichcirw 4 years ago
wrichcirw
21) PRO: "You have barely touched upon any of my arguments, conceding most, and dropping almost every argument you put forth in the first round. "

Again, PRO has BoP. Where I stand with this currently is that PRO has established the framework of anarchy, and CON has not exactly challenged it.

22) PRO: "To take a very simple example, if someone treats you rudely, you may be inclined to stop speaking with them, or show them less kindness. Is it the law that this must occur, or will occur? "

This is an exceptionally weak argument to defend against murder, rape, and theft. If someone murders you, you just ignore them??

23) PRO: "Due to the nature of my opponent's semantics arguments, he has dropped nearly every argument he has made in this debate, and consequently, has failed to even attempt to refute nearly all of my own,"

This is quite true, CON pretty much dropped the ball in his final 2 rounds.

24) PRO: "All in all, I have quite readily proven my case that Anarchism's claims about authority, and about it's potential to be a real, workable solution to the problem it claims to be out to solve. My opponent has failed to disprove either of these claims."

Although I disagree that anarchism is a "real, workable solution", I agree that CON failed to disprove the claims.

CONCLUSION

I find anarchism to be absurd, as is apparent in my own comments. However, I recognize that PRO laid out an admissible case for anarchism, and that this case was largely uncontested by CON. After some time, CON clarified his operating definition of anarchism (lack of hierarchy), so I will rescind S&G.

I found PRO's demeanor to be rather haughty and condescending to both CON and audiences, so conduct to CON.

Arguments PRO, because even though I find his arguments to be exceptionally weak, he is correct that they were not contested by CON.
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by Lerch 4 years ago
Lerch
HostileBeliefThe_Chaos_HeartTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro's explanations, presentation, and arguments were far more in-depth and convincing that Con's, though I feel that both did fairly well. Con's continued arguing over semantics made it difficult to understand his key points at times. Philosophical debate is always rough. Good show, fellas.
Vote Placed by MassiveDump 4 years ago
MassiveDump
HostileBeliefThe_Chaos_HeartTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Counter poor RFD. Explanation by request: "eh" does not justify poor grammar. I didn't see pro throw a fit, troll, or forfeit, so conduct need not be awarded, and awarding sources because Pro used a TinyURL has nothing to do with credibility or interpretation of the source.
Vote Placed by wrichcirw 4 years ago
wrichcirw
HostileBeliefThe_Chaos_HeartTied
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Total points awarded:13 
Reasons for voting decision: see comments. Strongly suggest that CON continue debating until the final round, instead of ceasing half-way as he did in this debate.
Vote Placed by medv4380 4 years ago
medv4380
HostileBeliefThe_Chaos_HeartTied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Grammar goes to Con because of the use of "...eh" by Pro. Conduct goes to Con because of Pro's short temper with someone that they knew was new to the site. Instigating a semantics debate by ignoring direct references to anarchist groups mentioned by Con in round 1, and then showing frustration with it as if your opponent was to blame is poor conduct. Sources go to Con for making proper and clear citations, and Pro insisted on using a tinyurl. Because the site shortens urls for you there is no need to use them, and are a fare greater sin then citing Wikipedia. Argument is tied until I've had a day or two to reflect on what points were actually made, and proven, if any.
Vote Placed by TheHitchslap 4 years ago
TheHitchslap
HostileBeliefThe_Chaos_HeartTied
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: RDF in comments