[FoRK] Democracy not Democrazy, was: Re: When Democracy Failed (Why ESR is an "anarchist")

John Parsons bullwinklemouth at yahoo.ca
Thu Jun 24 21:20:09 PDT 2010

--- On Fri, 6/25/10, Stephen D. Williams <sdw at lig.net> wrote:

> I can only see anarchy working if you prevent pooling of
> power - which seems best done by democracy.  Just not
> democrazy.

There seems to be no such practical thing as anarchy. Absent some form of central adhesion, opportunism and tribalism seem the default condition. I can't immediately think of any valid examples of truly anarchistic society lasting long enough to be noted.

Anarchy is also not the cheap or efficient panacea some adherents believe. I suggest that government at its core is to make constituent interpersonal relations more standardized and hence efficient. As far as we have come from that ideal, does not by default, validate anarchy.

I'm a little troubled by your easy dismissal of the op-ed piece in question, and some of the assertions relating to Interwar Germany and present day US. For example:
> The German people of that period, and especially in the Bavarian area where the Nazi party took off, were hyper-religious, still traumatized by WWI, and clearly not stable or sane by any measure.

In the above, substitute the locations, "the reactionary party of your choice" for "Nazi", and "war on terror/drugs/Vietnam, etc." for "WWI", and you have an equally apt description of a sizeable chunk of America.

I'm also sure that the Germans had an educated population and ample "cultural features"; many that have been emulated to great benefit by the rest of the world. I suggest it's too soon to tell if the framers of the constitution and the subsequent editors have created sufficient "legal features and strengths" to resist a similar failure, but let's hope so, yes?

I suggest the sole causative factor is the "trauma" as you mentioned. A population under such duress can create it's own psychoses, such that they too can appear "not stable or sane by any measure". The future holds a lot of traumatic times ahead, as the US faces an inability to balance its budgets, mitigate peak oil, and deal with shrinking global influence.

I'm not sure how a democracy can handle the conflicting demands and entrenched polar positions that will be encountered, but it will be a good test.


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