Why Anarchism is unfeasible

Ok, so if you ever get into a kerfuffle with an anarkiddy about state socialism or “tankies”, then use this statement:

Anarchism is unfeasible because the lack of a state makes a nation vulnerable because it doesn’t have a centralized military to protect itself. Marx’s “stateless classless moneyless” society is only possible if the whole world is under one state socialist government first. However, what anarchists want is to go directly from capitalism to stateless socialism, which is impossible.

@yogthos
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Yeah that’s basically Lenin’s argument in The State and Revolution. To add to that, I personally find the whole idea of anarchism incredibly naive. Hierarchies arise time and again in human societies, and they even predate humans. Social animals who are our closest relatives organize hierarchically as well. So, even if you somehow managed to create a completely flat society, it will reinvent hierarchies sooner or later.

We need to acknowledge the fact that hierarchies tend to arise. As Engels explains in his On Authority essay, there is nothing inherently nefarious about hierarchies and they are a necessary tool for coordinating labor.

Furthermore, our current society is hierarchical and centrally organized. We need to have equal amount of organization in order to combat the class that currently holds power effectively. There is a reason armies have a strict command structure.

Anarchist desire to abolish hierarchies is fundamentally misguided. What we should be focusing on is figuring out how to prevent abuse of power within hierarchies. How we can keep people in positions of power accountable, how we can do recall when they abuse power, and so on.

I also don’t think we need to try and come up with a perfect system. We just need to come up with a system that’s better than the current one and that’s open to self criticism and gradual improvement.

Frog of War
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There are various things you can point to when explaining to the Anarchists why their ideology is the metaphoric equivalent to a dog chasing cars.

  • States arise naturally. If we can assume anything by looking at the development of humans, and say it’s a part of our nature, it’s the formation of state-like structures to facilitate administration. Our pre-historic ancestors likely empowered members of the ‘tribe’ structure to be authorities on certain things, perhaps the oldest hunter was entrusted to oversee the hunting operations. Perhaps the oldest orator oversaw the lore elements of the tribe. Humans didn’t just put forth hierarchical structures all over the world without reason, they naturally came to the conclusion that certain people within the societal structure needed to work in administrative roles to oversee the efficiency of the society. The Roman Republic was formed when 100 senators from the city of Rome came together to co-govern the territories held by the Roman city-state. What followed was one of the most efficient and industrial states to exist at its time. Which tells us;

  • States are stronger than decentralized bodies. Centralized bodies are capable of being formed and reformed to increase productivity and efficiency within society. That efficiency is what allowed Rome to have a large standing army that was - by the later period - standardized and professional. Rome’s army being well supplied, regimented, and properly organized gave it an advantage against their decentralized enemies. If we transpose to the modern day, if an Anarchist body was to form and find itself up against outside forces, those outside forces would have a natural advantage and would be able to bring the Anarchist body to its knees.

  • Crowd justice is never just. Any time in history that we’ve seen regular citizens take the law into their own hands en masse, we’ve seen lawless bloodshed without any varifying of guilt. The Anarchists think this is how criminals should be dealt with in their society, without a body of law to protect the innocent from accusations, and without a body of law to investigate and find the real guilty parties. In the best case, it means people living within an Anarchist society would become forced via fear of their peers to fall in line with the values of the society, and at the worst, the Anarchist society would be far more bloody than any Socialist society today. Just imagine if you had a falling out with someone, and they accused you of stealing grain in the middle of the night. Just imagine if you had a temper and people didn’t like you much, and someone decided to accuse you of being violent towards others. Without a judge and a jury to fight for the innocent, mob mentality supersedes justice.

  • Without a means of defending themselves from interior agents, societal bodies are subject to rotting from within. Counter-revolutionaries are dealt with in Socialist states by the empowerment of a law enforcement body, in the Soviet Union it was the NKVD. This body exists solely to police the society, and defend it from internal threats. The Anarchists maintain no such body, and so leave themselves vulnerable to counter-revolutionary efforts. Some Anarchists would argue against that, idealistically, by assume that everyone in the Anarchist society would want to defend it. But if history has anything to say about that, groups that tended to lean right before and during the revolution will continue to lean right after. And these groups will attempt to consolidate their power together, and force the society to re-empower them. So, what’s keeping someone from assuming control of the local granary? What’s keeping them from then using their control of the grain supply to force people to bend to their will? The long and short of it is; nothing. nothing will keep counter-revolutionaries from trying to regain right-wing government bodies. In reality, Anarchist society would only push human civilization back to pre-history in terms of politics, and we would only see history repeat itself again.

  • Then, of course, we can talk about how few Anarchist projects have lasted more than a year, and how many Marxist projects have lasted many decades. And about how Anarchist projects in the west tend to be supported by petty-bourgeois landowners, who can afford to buy and maintain the rights to the land the Anarchist commune is founded on, and the communes that have lasted for decades only do so because they pose no real threat to Capitalist society and have no plans to ever go against Capitalism on a large enough scale to matter.

  • Or we can talk about how entirely unviable Anarchism is outside of the west. It’s little wonder why a majority of Anarchists outside of the west happen to speak English, the parts of the world that you see decently big Anarchist populations happen to also be parts of the world where pro-western sentiments are found. Hong Kong, for instance, has a decent Anarchist contingent. But, if we look in parts of the world where the westerners are actively leading imperialist projects onto people who happen to not want to be imperialized, you’ll see large Marxist populations. Hmm, I wonder if that’s because Marxism is the only anti-imperialist ideology that actually gives answers to how to lead an anti-imperialist movement, and has had those answers tested… repeatedly.

LunaticHacker
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it is also very important to note that Marx and Engels defined the state only as what enforces the interest of a certain class over another.

In our modern and common understanding, the state also fullfills the job of an administrator of things, which is not gonna wither away even after socialism. Such administration of things can be various regulations on standards of safety and ecology, antitrust laws, laws on destructive behaviors such as murder and theft that will be enforced by a police force etc…

Anarchists often don’t diffenciate between the two very different roles that the state plays and want to abolish both of them, including the vital and not-withering-away role of administrating things

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@ksynwa
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I think if Anarchism was feasible we would have seen a few examples of successful anarchist societies or nation but alas.

@fruechtchen@lemmy.ml
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rojava is an anarchist self organizing region which has succesfully fought militarily against turkish invasion and the islamic state.

mickie
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Rojava is a puppet entity of the NATO, controlled by the separatists YPG/PKK. Since the invaders could not overthrow the Syrian government, they now seek to dismember the country to make it ungovernable and facilitate their plunder. It is a coincidence that this “banana republic” is located in an area of rich hydrocarbon deposits. And by the way, who is in charge of facilitating the transportation, sale and payment of this resource? A Picture.

Frog of War
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No, not at all actually. Western Leftists just decided to back Rojava without knowing much about it, then decided to call it “anarchist” to suit their political arguments.

Kurdistan is divided between two political groups, that manifest themselves between the YPG (and YPJ) and the Peshmerga. The YPG follows a more ‘democratic’ variation of Socialism, upholding the social and economic values of Socialism, but still believe in the state. They might have Anarchist elements, but the YPG aren’t Anarchists. Then, the Peshmerga of Iraqi Kurdistan, are much more conservative. I couldn’t tell you much about their economic values, but I can tell you they’re shitty about social values. Neither major faction is Anarchist, though.

@fruechtchen@lemmy.ml
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Western Leftists just decided to back Rojava without knowing much about it, then decided to call it “anarchist” to suit their political arguments.

it was just me who did that and i call it that way because it satisfies my anarchist desires of “Bottom-up” organization which is one core reason i am anarchist. Notice that there are many different people calling themself anarchist.

And yes of course i don’t like peshmerga.

@CriticalResist8
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Rojava, which means West in Kurd, oppresses their Assyrian population to make an ethnostate. You cannot oppress people without a state and, as far as I know, they have never claimed to be anarchists.

@pimento
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Rojava is also collaborating with the US military, letting them steal Syrian oil.

https://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2021/07/16/662390/Hasakah-Syria-Iraq-stolen-oil-US-convoys

@fruechtchen@lemmy.ml
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this article does not say anything about rojava, pkk, kurdish people, etc. So not very precise given that many different people live in that area

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