Friday, January 8, 2016

Anarchy Debate

Since we were doing these long comments on Facebook, I figured it would be cool to put them up here in order to continue the debate. My edits are in red, original comments are in normal typeface.

First, Max's post that started it:

"Not sure why everyone is hating on the people who took over the federal building in Oregon. I understand that it is a hypocritical double-standard to treat them in this way (if they weren't white, the national guard would have already been called in). But is what they're doing not the definition of a socialist revolution? Maybe I haven't read into it enough, but it seems like they are workers seizing their means of production (in this case, land). I've heard them be described as right wing and they sadly probably imagine themselves in this way. Honestly, they have probably never read Marx and probably hate him despite their actions. Nonetheless, they seem to be doing exactly what Marx proposed (i.e. seizing the means of production) Opinions? Please take the time to educate me if I'm wrong, I would greatly appreciate it."

Then Millan commented: "
Sounds about right actually. Amazing how many "right wing nuts" are actually on the bottom of the political circle where fascism and extreme socialism/communism reside. Either way, it's ridiculous that no one is doing anything to stop them, considering their actions could be considered treason or at least conspiracy to commit treason."

This is pretty much what started the debate, so from here I'll just post people's names, and then what they said.

Max: "
I don't believe in the political "circle." It's just a fantasy for moderates to justify their own sterile beliefs."

Millan: "
lol fair enough Max, to each their own. As you know, I'm not exactly moderate. As for the public lands thing, that's definitely an extension of socialism, because the land is viewed as collectively-owned land which we all have a stake in, thus why it isn't given to private owners usually."

Josh: "Awwww Max i thought i've 'proven' the circle to you!!!"

Max: "haha a circle? na i imagine a grid. left and right in the traditional sense and up and down in terms of government control. we could maybe say anarchist communism (or just communism as it already implies the disappearance of the state) in the bottom left and tyrannical fascist capitalism in the top right. 

It would be hard to place something like the ussr though. at first glance it would maybe be in the top left, but if we actually consider it a capitalist system, it actually appears in the top right with fascism. this is maybe why people mistakenly imagine a circle."

Patrick: "I feel like a big point is that (like I've said a million times) putting the theory of anarchist communism into practice is going to require some central body mandating that capital doesn't accumulate in private hands...they just won't call it a government (maybe that isn't the right word anyway). This is where the similarities to dictatorial fascism come in for me -- although I'm not sure if this is really a good argument for a literal circle, and I'm also still open to the idea that the people may be able to regulate themselves in a smaller society, rather than requiring a central body that takes care of regulation..."

Josh: "
Does pure libertarianism overlap with anarchist communism then?"

Patrick: "Lol I think that's a stretch, just because of how they differ in allowance of private capital, ownership of the means of production -- basically I feel like Communism makes rules about financial shit that Libertarianism doesn't wanna make rules for. That's part of my point though...since Communism makes these rules about economic behavior, it seems kinda hard to believe that it'll be purely anarchist...otherwise what stops it from becoming Libertarian at least economically?

Also wouldn't Libertarianism require a central regulating agency as well? Like aren't there at least certain rights (right to life, property) that we need a police/judicial system to protect? Or would/could it be complete anarchy?
Then again, maybe they're more similar than I thought politically...they both just make a few very important rules (about the economy/production on one hand, about killing/theft on the other), and then require some small regulating body to maintain these rules..."

Max: "True but an interesting essay is Coupat/Tiqqun's Introduction to Civil War. It says that anarchy is the full playing out of "forms of life." Anarchy is going towards whatever you believe, making friends based on that and also enemies. The state is merely the apparatus that stops this full playing out of conflict from taking place."

Patrick: "yeah that's totally fair, but then it's hard to wed that kind of idea to communism, which mandates a certain "form of life""

Lloyd: "Joshua, One would think libertarians would be anarchists if only they were more consistent. Indeed, anarcho-syndicalism/communism is often called social libertarianism (and that's a much less intimidating sounding name for the general public). In practice, libertarians tend to believe that the state, limited in power, is necessary to protect individual rights. In particular, libertarians have more respect for property rights. Anarchists believe that no organization (i.e. the state) should have a monopoly on violence and that individual rights should be upheld by individuals voluntarily associating into organizations, decentralizing power.

There's a joke that goes: "What's the difference between an anarchist and a libertarian?
6 months.""

Josh: "
 Hi- my question was more rhetorical, as i don't believe they overlap and was trying to use that as a dig at Max's grid.

Pat- its a social contract, a convention, whatever you want to call it. No gov't necessary- violations will be made and will be dealt with amongst involved parties. Yes, that [likely] won't work past smaller societies/ maybe in general.. And then you get your centralized justice-enforcing body. How that manifests though is up to the parties involved and directly controlled by the parties involved (i.e the society, not the violator/victim). All in all, I think you have the right idea though- in the abstract, the principles and goals are very similar.

Lloyd- I think you're right about most of that. I think, for pure Libertarians, the 'limited state' does not have a monopoly on power. What's important about the "state" is that it is an arbitrator, an impartial third party that enforces the local conventions the populous have determined/cemented (which for libertarians, comes entirely from their deference to the Property Right). For practical purposes (and frankly, a warped desire to not take total agency) a state is suitable. But I'd bet many libertarians would completely agree with anarchists ("Anarchists believe that no organization (i.e. the state) should have a monopoly on violence and that individual rights should be upheld by individuals voluntarily associating into organizations, decentralizing power."). It's the syndacalists and communists that libertarians hold contention with and the unfortunate conflation of syndacalism and communism with anarchy.

What did you mean by more consistent? Certainly I think that the term "libertarian" has been grossly distorted, perhaps contributing to this inconsistency... But I'd like to know what you have in mind.

And hahah that's fantastic

Also I think that joke is a perfect summation of my response to Pat"

Max: "
Libertarians find problems with anarchists and communists simply because they haven't read the literature. That is the only conclusion one can make, since Marx literally proved that capitalism leads to hierarchical exploitation, if not slavery. "Libertarians" seem to want freedom -- even the freedom to enslave others, which is a contradiction.

Also the state can never be impartial since it will eventually always find itself as a secondary (not tertiary) party in conflicts."

Josh: "I find problem with you belief that such pursuits need to be validated through "the literature" or such dogma. I hope the reason is obvious and you of all people should understand!

Human life on this planet since its inception has literally proved th
at the human condition necessitates individual liberty, property, and inevitable capital. What communist system is going to prevent me from accumulating capital? Most of the time you don't even have to TRY and you have capital-- that's why bartering is so great. And you also should know that capital isn't limited to the physical. What about the other forms of capital?

Libertarians certainly do not want the freedom to enslave others-- if you choose to work for me, that isn't enslavement. The reason there is exploitation and what you drfine as "slavery" is due to a corrupted system founded on the ILLUSION of libertarian principles but with the PRACTICE of oligarcy/fascisim/whatever.

And if the state, theoretically, would only have as much power as we'd allow-- since the goal is an impartial state, if UNCORRUPTED humans can maintain that vision and goal, than a state can remain impartial.

As long as the state has means to monopolize every aspect of society, as long as the state remains out of the hands of the people and in the hands of a corrupted minority, as long as the majority of society remains ignorant to the vast injustice and degradation of libertarian principles perpetuated by the state, then you will have exploitation, you will have a partial state, and you will have a perverse understanding of libertarian and anarchical principles and goals.

In the same way that the USSR and Stalin have distorted the communist ideal, so has the corrupted implementation of libertarian principles in the United States constitution distorted libertarianism. Add on top of that the United States, ironically, is cementing itself as the biggest enemy to individual liberty, then yeah I see why people get confused. Fuck the literary dogma and just look at what's happened/ happening in the world."

Max: "You criticize me for being dogmatic simply for urging people to read Marx. Clearly you yourself have not read him! I am not a Marxist but he is simply indispensable to the intellectual. You literally think that me being forced to work for a capital-owner is my own choice. It is. But the only other option is starvation. That's why capitalism is a more efficient form of slavery. Capitalists don't have to OWN people to enslave them. That is what is so damaging about capitalism. As George Orwell said "freedom is slavery." This is why this quote is so controversial and confusing to the modern mind. Because although we can readily understand his hatred of Stalinism, we cannot comprehend his simultaneous hatred of capitalism.

There is no libertarianism under capitalism. Please explain to me how it can be possible. Wage exploitation has been proven. There is no debate. Explain how wage exploitation is compatible with libertarianism!

I apologize for not responding to every one of your points. But you have not responded to mine.

The reason the US has established itself as the biggest enemy of libertarianism is because it was never based on libertarianism. It was always based on capitalist exploitation. The founders were simply revolting against feudalism, which is hardly a revolutionary from the modern perspective."

Josh: "I have read Marx, we've gone over this. There is more than starvation and using some intellectual capital will help you along that path (not to mention self-sustainability..).

You're also equating capitalism with libertarianism- capitalism is a logic
al next step based on the tenets of libertarianism but not necessary.

I'm not advocating capitalism nor do I care to. What people decide to do with a basic respect for individual liberties is up to them. Do not use ani-capitalist rhetoric to critique libertarianism when you yourself say they cannot coexist...

I never denied wage exploitation or any other exploitation. That is directly my point on the illusion of libertarian principles (exploitation comes from capitalism and corruption, not libertarianism). Your comment about the US never being based on libertarianism is worrisome given the overt and inescapable libertarian rhetoric that was the dominant theme during the revolution. Revolting against feudalism is simplistic and holding a 200+ year old revolution up to "modern" standards is naïve and unproductive. Also your comment on it being based on *capitalist* exploitation is also just plain wrong as the (socially and economically consequential) industrial revolution was still a century away and the economy was wholly propelled by agrarian bounty and nothing close to a factory, assembly line, or large scale industry.

Orwell should have said pacification is slavery. It is the illusion of freedom he is obviously referring to- freedom itself is not slavery.

What points have I missed?"

Lloyd: "Joahua, Libertarians are inconsistent because they say "Central monopolies shouldn't exist, *except for some functions."

You cannot be self-sustaining if you don't own land, which is definitely capital.

I haven't read Marx's proof that Max refers to, b
ut I think I get the idea: Capital gains are recursive, so capital exponentially accumulates in the small number of hands of those who are first able to seize it. This is particularly problematic for property there is a fundamentally limited supply of e.g. land, and substances extracted from it like gold and oil. This is why capitalism in the US had a period of mitigated abuse (for white people) as manifest destiny integrated more land into the capitalist system.

On the other hand, I see the possibility of reducing the exponential wealth inequality seemingly inherent in capitalism, since real GDP is also increasing exponentially. Their own mind and body is a means of production that free people (in the libertarian sense) always have. Perhaps technologies will allow human labor to increase in value faster than private capital."

Max: "True, except for the last paragraph. We have talked about this, Lloyd. If what you say is the truth, then why has work not decreased for decades? Capitalism necessitates pointless work. The only way to reduce work or to ABOLISH it is to abolish capitalism. Capital literally wants to necessitate work and consumption even to the post of providing a guaranteed minimum income! Capitalism will pay you to consume!"

Lloyd: "Well, I don't have much empirical support prepared, but for instance, in the UK there is an unprecedented number of self-employed people, 1 in 7. I was speaking theoretically, since your claim is that it's theoretically impossible for capitalism to not lead to exploitation. Do you think that Marx's proof requires the assumption that there is a limit to the generation of capital?"

Patrick: "To Josh:
'Yes, that [likely] won't work past smaller societies/ maybe in general.. And then you get your centralized justice-enforcing body' -- Fair enough. That's all I'm trying to get at.

'the 'limited state' does not have a monopoly on power.' -- It's more about a monopoly on violence, i.e. the state is the only entity that can justly use violence (through punishment). Which obviously can't go full throttle (people shuold be able to justly defend their lives with violence, for example), but I think that even in a libertarian society, you want to leave it up to the central regulating body to do most violence (mainly to punish peoplen who violate the rights of others).

'What communist system is going to prevent me from accumulating capital? Most of the time you don't even have to TRY and you have capital-- that's why bartering is so great.' -- yep, this is why I think communism won't work on a large scale if anarchist

'if UNCORRUPTED humans can maintain that vision and goal, than a state can remain impartial.' -- that's way too hard to argue for...if people could be so uncorrupted, why do we even need a state in the first place? I feel like the point is that the state can at least set clear rules and stick to them.

'What people decide to do with a basic respect for individual liberties is up to them.' -- You're kind of ignoring the point here, though...what Max is saying is that people shouldn't be allowed to do whatever they want if what they are doing is exploitative (a fair point), and further that the capitalist system is inherintly exploitative (more controversial imo).

To max: " the state can never be impartial since it will eventually always find itself as a secondary (not tertiary) party in conflicts." -- That's real but the state can at least be more consistent (and maybe more partial) than leaving decisions up to the people involved. Although again, if the people of the society are the regulators of the rules (so no state), then the people can/will also be the arbitrators...I just don't really see this working on a large scale, or producing as much scientific/technological innovation (is that even what we want though?)

"You literally think that me being forced to work for a capital-owner is my own choice. It is. But the only other option is starvation." -- I'm torn here. There are other options...they just suck (going "off the grid" somehow, starting a mom n, pop business, etc). But at the same time, what's going to happen in your system? Everyone just does what they want, and shares the benefits? That actually sounds pretty sweet, but it would be hard to stop people fom being exploitative whether through business or through whatever central body is set up.

"Wage exploitation has been proven" -- Yeah, still really oughtta read Marx...

To Lloyd: Go on about your last point -- I haven't really heard the argument but it sounds interesting.

All in all: A.) I don't think Libertarianism could be called inherently exploitative, since it's so minimal in what it lays out -- although I think it certainly allows for exploitation for that reason. B.) Still gotta read Marx to make a good comment on capitalism being inherently exploitative. C.) Libertarianism seems way to bare bones to me. I like the general idea, of laying out a certain body of rights to be respected, but often the list is too short. You know I want public education, at the very least, as well as police, a judicial/legislative system, and other things like gas/electricity/water...none of that shit should be private on the US scale i.M.O because people are dicks. D.) Max your system still seems whack though...,i feel like you need some sort of central body, that will somehow need to still be equal with everyone else (and those people like to be corrupt). And, will workers who own the means of production/the company be able to efficiently make the hundreds of decisions that a single CEO might make in a day?"

Lloyd: "Patrick, Institutions of education, utilities, police, legislation, etc. don't have to be either under the state or privately owned - this is a false left/right dichotomy. The state is effectively privately owned. Under anarchy, these institutions could be truly public, since they could be controlled by the general public.
Workers probably cannot collectively make all of the decisions of a CEO, as in a direct democracy, but that doesn't mean that the CEO has to be chosen by a board of capitalists. The CEO could be chosen by the workers. I think there are a lot of problem that arise in the sustainability of such models, but I think they are worth exploring.
There are lots of possible systems for collective decision making and I won't pretend to know which ones will be best; it is a task of social engineering to figure it out. But that is one of the appeals of anarchy: with people/localities/organizations free to participate in or create whatever systems they want, we will be able to empirically see which ones work better. Even giving sovereignty back to US states to allow them to associate with one another directly on their own terms instead of thru a corrupted central federal government would be an exercise in anarchy, and the greater diversity in policies would give us insight on how to run society.

About the idea I was expressing before: To me, socialism is the effort to seize democratic control of the economy. With this in mind, this idea might be seen as an effort to reconcile capitalism with socialism i.e. to achieve socialism while respecting private property. Some examples of (at least superficially) socialist institutions that have already formed within the capitalist framework are worker's unions, worker's cooperatives (e.g. Mondragon Corporation), credit unions, and mutual insurance companies.

Capitalism is exploitative via a small number of people controlling the means of production. Without any way to produce effectively on their own, the masses must give most of their labor to the capitalists. Now consider that the supply of the means of production is not fixed; the means of production can itself be produced, by the "meta-means of production", if you will. The meta-MoP has also largely stayed in the hands of capitalists, and thus they are able to swipe up ownership of all newly produced production means. Perhaps the greatest meta-MoP is the means to organize large numbers of humans. For example, currency is used to direct the behavior of many humans to produce more MoP (e.g. it's difficult to find even start-ups that haven't had to sell out a lot of their equity to venture capitalists just to get off the ground). But if even relatively small amounts of meta-MoP were to slip into the hands of common people, it could be used to exponentially obtain more, and break the monopoly over the MoP the capitalists currently hold.

Looking to the future: With advancing communication technologies, I think the power to organize on large scales could potentially fall into the hands of common people very rapidly. Crypto-currencies could break current monopolies on currencies. 3D-printers could replicate themselves, making them a meta-MoP, breaking monopolies on manufacturing.

I'm not saying that tenants shouldn't seize their homes from their land lords, or that communities shouldn't seize their local natural resources from multinational corporations. They would have my support. But in case that remains politically unviable, then we should have a back up plan, or at least something to better our position against the capitalists in the mean time."

Patrick: "Fair enough that private vs. state owned is a false dichotomy -- but the major point still stands that those things I listed should not be privatised. The state does not need to be privately owned, though -- in fact, I would argue that this anarchist public ownership system would end up being employed through some state-like apparatus.

Take water, for example: everyone should be distributed an adequate amount of water, but not everyone wants to spend all of their time gathering/distributing water. So, some altruistic group of people says that they'll take it upon themselves to find a way to gather large amounts of water to distribute to the public. But at no point does this group claim to own the water that they distribute -- they are just taking on the task of distributing this public good, so that other people can spend their time doing the things they want to do. If this isn't how it would work in your system, then stop me right here -- I'm claiming that for things like water, electricity, gas, etc, people should have these things fairly distributed to them (and even have shared ownership of these things), but not everyone wants to spend their time gathering these resources, so people would divide the labor. Note that the general public can still have full ownership of the water, and the means of gathering/distributing it, as well as full democratic power in deciding how the water is gathered/distributed/etc. I understand, though, that I might be setting up a strawman for anarchist society that's easy to knock down -- maybe this sort of division of labor and distribution of goods isn't ideal? Maybe it doesn't have to work like this in smaller societies? Maybe I'm just not really getting what public ownership would really entail? Let me know, because I'm actually really interested in seeing how this sort of thing would work.

The main thing I want to note is that when these systems start to develop for water, gas, education, justice/legal systems, etc, it starts to look a lot like a democratic state (that doesn't have an idea of private property). There isn't some larger federal body that regulates all of these things, rather the people are in charge of regulation, budgeting, etc. But, we still have some common rules (X services must be distributed adequately and fairly) that are being enforced society wide, as well as public services being offered, which is all I really have in mind for a state anyway.

Also, even if I have set up a strawman, and this isn't how Anarchy would work, then I have to go back to Max's definition of anarchy as allowing for people to live out their desired "form of life." What if I desire to sequester off a lake, such that I effectively own the water (no one else can take it from me without killing me, and I have guns etc) -- then we start to see private accumulation of wealth, and so this needs to be stopped. What if cannibalism is my desired form of life -- do we really allow this in our anarchist society?

But those are real questions that I'm curious about -- how can an anarchist society lay out any ground rules that it expects people to follow? Or does it not?

"There are lots of possible systems for collective decision making and I won't pretend to know which ones will be best; it is a task of social engineering to figure it out. But that is one of the appeals of anarchy: with people/localities/organizations free to participate in or create whatever systems they want, we will be able to empirically see which ones work better"

I like this point, actually. Maybe there are better systems out there; we sure haven't tried much else.

As to your later point: Very interesting idea. I think it'll be hard to get this to actually happen, mainly because the capitalists control the laws as well -- 3D printing is a really intriguing one to me, so I'm gonna riff on that.

I think there is A LOT that will go into what you can 3D print -- if the 3D printer ever makes it into the common household. Lexus doesn't want you printing their cars, Apple doesn't want you to print an iPhone, no one wants you to print an assault rifle, no one involved in business wants you to easily be able to print everything you want. In the first place, lobbying from a lot of people is going to slow the 3D printer's transition to a household item. Either it will remain too expensive, or the printing materials will, or the industry will be regulated to the point that you can only buy certified printers that can only print from a pre-selected list of blueprints (that don't include guns or iPhones). Or maybe consumer 3D printers will only be able to print from a range of materials that are useful for ornaments and the like, but won't be able to print anything super expensive or useful. Whatever happens, the people with money and power really don't want a universal 3D printer to be affordable and easy to use for the average consumer, so there's going to be a lot of legal footwork in this area that I think is going to really hamstring any dreams of 3D printing really breaking any economic control.

Not sure how this relates to cryptocurrencies or other example though -- thoughts?"

Lloyd: "When I say "the state" I refer to a dominating, monolithic, inescapable institution. The key difference in anarchy is voluntary association. In statism, there is assumed a single self-legitimatizing authority, that individuals must associate with. In anarchy, an organization gains legitimate authority by people choosing to associate with it. Authority should be derived from the bottom up rather than the top down.

Voluntaryism - all forms of human association should be voluntary. It sounds like a perfectly reasonable philosophy to me.

I'm not depending on anyone to do anything out of the goodness of their heart. I think free individuals have to have incentives for society to behave intelligently. So they will have to offer compensation to get the water distributed.

The difference between syndicalism and a democratic state (if that's even possible) is that different services may come from unrelated institutions, and you may have multiple options for a service. Thus we avoid any central power that can be corrupted. If people feel that an institution isn't being fair to them or meeting their needs, then we shouldn't find it acceptable for them to be forced to support it.

Now what I'm describing is an idealization, or anarchy taken to an extreme. But I try not to be ideological. I understand that this would be not be possible or desirable to implement immediately; people are currently too dependent on the state. Rather, I would like to describe how we can move towards a more anarchic society. Anarchy at it's core is about decentralizing power to promote individual sovereignty, and we can approach this from two directions. From the top down, federal power should be moved to the states, and state power moved to cities, and in particularly large cities, power should be moved to individual districts. From the bottom up, people should promote their independence with self-sufficiency, and self-organize in community organizations, which can in-turn form networks with each other. Even if there had to be a single authority in small geographical regions, a nation made up of associations between sovereign city-states would be pretty good imo.

In a way, the biggest difference in anarchy is in people's minds. People are brainwashed into thinking the actions of the state are legitimate even when they are against their citizen's wishes. Think of Ferguson, where clearly the community did not think the police were serving their interests, but people still think that their police department should continue operating, because of course; they're the state. What are they suppose to do, allow a popular uprising take place? The people should occupy the police office, remove those who work there, arrest offending officers, and hold a public committee to re-instantiate the department. Anarchy is about acknowledging the primacy of the sovereignty of citizens over the bodies that they form.
I think that anarchy will be an eventual consequence of people pursing their own interests, unless they are conditioned to be subservient slaves.

How do we establish ground rules? Each community can decide what they find unacceptable. People would only want to associate with communities that give them the freedoms they want while having adequate measures in place to prevent criminal activity. It is crucial for a community's success to be able to associate with other groups, for trade, joint projects, etc, and this provides pressures/incentives for communities to maintain good relations with their neighbors. Anarchists generally agree on the non-aggression principle as a ground rule tho.

I'd like to think that if 3D printers were outlawed, people would see it as tyranny and it would make the state less legitimate in their minds. Maybe that's too hopeful of me. But 3D printers could become almost entirely self-replicating; people wouldn't have to buy them. That kind of technology would be difficult to crack down on.

Think about how valuable gold is, but how little its physical properties are actually put to use. Fiat currencies have become entirely abstractions, having lost their tie to gold. But gold isn't valuable because of its usefulness as an electrical connector. Being a ledger of value is itself valuable. Currency systems are an abstract means of production that are monopolized. What crypto-currencies do is make possible for any group to create an effective ledger system, outside of banks, manipulated currency markets, the dictates of the federal reserve, inflation.

I just think about how we all have personal super computers. If we can't win our freedom at this point, it's our own damn fault."

Patrick: "Even if there had to be a single authority in small geographical regions, a nation made up of associations between sovereign city-states would be pretty good imo." This is the main thing that I wanted to hear. One of the big snags for me when thinkingabout Anarchy is scale -- it would be hard to have the 350 million people in the U.S. united as a single body without the state, but surely smaller city states will be able to run much better/more easily in an anarchist system. I actually really like what you are suggesting here, this really brought it home for me: "an organization gains legitimate authority by people choosing to associate with it. Authority should be derived from the bottom up rather than the top down." This rings really true for me, and the system that you describe sounds pretty awesome. I have a few more questions, though, about how this would actually work:

In the first place, am I right to assume that these anarchist societies would be much smaller in scale than the U.S. or even a state? You describe a system of communities, where "each community can decide what they find unacceptable," which seems viable only on the small scale. This isn't a flaw in the system, just something I want to clear up: in anarchy, would the area now occupied by CA, for example, be instead occupied by hundreds of smaller communities?

Secondly, if I'm right about that first assumption, how can we regulate inter-community relations (mainly trade)? I get the argument that "it is crucial for a community's success to be able to associate with other groups, for trade, joint projects, etc, and this provides pressures/incentives for communities to maintain good relations with their neighbors." But, this still allows for economic exploitation between the communities. Monopolies, for example, would be a real threat -- a community by a mine could artificially inflate the price of diamonds since other communities have no access. Natural disasters could also be devastating -- if there is only a small body of water in an area that gets affected by a severe drought, whatever community has the closest access to the water can start to charge ridiculous rates. You get the picture -- who's to stop these different communities from exploiting each other, even if the relations within each community are non-exploitative? Maybe I'm looking at it wrong though -- maybe, if the relations of the communities are mutually beneficial, this sort of exploitation just wouldn't arise?

Sort of in the same vein -- nothing is stopping any individual community from becoming capitalist, right? If everyone in an area were up for it, their community could resolve around a leader/manager of a factory where the other citizens work in exchange for food (that is unequal to the labor they put in). I get that people just might not be down for this, and so it might never arise, but there's nothing inherent to anarchist communities that prevents capitalism, right? This would also lead to more economic dangers -- if my community decides to gull full steam ahead for economic efficiency, and is then able to massively produce goods that another community exports as their main source of income (but hand crafts at a slower rate), this other community would be devastated.

Finally, how does the legal/justice system play out? I get that each community gets to decide what works best for them, but what's a better option than giving artificial authority to a judge/arbitrator that has the final say in all cases? Or, if some system with a judge is chosen, what prevents this authority from being legitimising from the top down like the state? Obviously the people can't just throw out the judge when they don't like the decision, since then there's no point in having a judge in the first place. So what type of system do people generally land on that strikes a balance between objectivity in decisions, and authority that is legitimate through the desires of the people?

Genuinely curious here -- again, I'm intrigued by the system, but have a lot of questions about how it would work.

As for that explanation of cryptocurrencies: I might just not have enough understanding of Econ to get this -- like once the currency becomes as big as BitCoin, doesn't it start to become influenced by the general economy/banks/etc?

And yeah I mean with 3D printing, if we could get a printer that prints other printers, it's game over. I just think that manufacturers won't be allowed to make printers that can do that, or print guns, etc, which means your average consumer can't buy one. Of course, there's always a black market for this type of thing, and like you say, once we get our hands on self-replicating printers, we won't have to buy much stuff."

And that wraps up what has been posted on Facebook -- let's continue the debate here!