The debate "A dictatorship is better than an anarchy" was started by
July 16, 2015, 6:55 am.
40 people are on the agree side of this discussion, while 24 people are on the disagree side.
That might be enough to see the common perception.
It looks like most of the people in this community are on the agreeing side of this statement.
Girl101 posted 2 arguments, historybuff posted 3 arguments, desght posted 2 arguments, PsychDave posted 1 argument to the agreers part.
I_Voyager posted 3 arguments, Sosocratese posted 3 arguments, PsychDave posted 1 argument to the disagreers part.
Girl101, PsychDave, historybuff, desght, HowdyDoody03, The_lamp, jonatron5, cmullins, TruthSeekerCivilSpeaker, zaynsafene, sarah, Sarashouwne, wmd, skyfrancois_97, invincible_01, spellbeechamp, musejay1, mikeyjagar, Freyja and 21 visitors agree.
gouthamabi, I_Voyager, Sosocratese, gerami, Heartless_uh, denno27, Bodaciouslady16, AstroSpace, Skeetc15, AnarchoCommunist and 14 visitors disagree.
I would agree that anarchism is flawed. However, when it comes to what is better, anarchism or a dictatorship, I would still contest that anarchism is superior.
The same criticisms of human nature which you use against anarchism can be applied to a dictatorship. The concept of the benevolent dictator is of course the exception of that criticism However, I think we can all agree that the benevolent dictator is a concept of fantasy.
If greed, the lust for power, and corruption are a part of human nature and thus government, the question is then which system best mitigates those natures. Since there is no system of checks and balances in a dictatorship, those aspects of our nature which are detrimental, are left unchecked. In anarchism on the other hand, a lack of structure keeps any one person from attaining a monopoly on power. Collectively a group is stronger than any individual and thus a tyranny can't develop, unlike in a dictatorship.
Anarchism is also not meant to work for a large populous. The most common type of community described by anarchist philosophy are clusters of small communities working as confederations. So an anarchist society would look more like ancient Greece. City states with direct democracy trying to work together (I understand this is a bit of a flawed analogy since various city states had different types of governments, and even Athens had a government etc...)
The argument then is, anarchism has a system to check those aspects of human nature which we find detrimental and a dictatorship doesn't. So anarchism is therefore superior in that aspect.
I have already shown that anarchist societies have the ability to create rules. Dictatorships have the same ability of course. Now the question is which is the better system for creating rules which benefit society.
I think it's self evident to claim that a dictatorship will likely create laws to benefit their regime rather than laws which serve the society as a whole. I don't mean to say that a dictatorship will always create laws which benefit them alone, however they have the ability to do so.
Anarchism is a form of direct democracy. Therefore, rules are only established through consent of the the populous. These rules are also proposed by the populous, they are interpreted by the populous and applied by the populous, therefore they are inherently not to the benefit of any one individual.
Apparently I touched the vote button while navigating. My apologies for the conflicting vote and comment.
Look at Black Friday sales every year. People will trample others to death to save some money if no one stops them. People are greedy and selfish to some degree. Even if the majority are decent people, there are enough who would hurt others for their own benefit that anarchy would be unattainable for anything larger than a small town of like minded people.
I agree with what historybuff said. The grocery store line rule was used as an example, and sure it makes sense, but waiting in line doesn't risk anything more than wasting an extra 10 minutes of your day. What happens when there's a widespread crop failure for example? People are going to get greedy and those who have food are going to begin to hoard it for the sake of their own survival. Then, when other people get desperate because they don't have the same access, the latter are going to do to the former what they believe they need to do to get food. This could be something as small as a break in or as large as a mass murder.
In my opinion that system is heavily flawed. It assumes that the majority want to work together for the collective good. It assumes people won't have basic human urges. People (in general) are greedy. The reason capitalism works is that most people don't want an equal system, they want to be on the top of the system. It's the reason communist countries keep becoming dictatorships. Despite the fact that they are supposed to be working for the common good of the workers (or peasants in some countries) the leadership invariably starts to favor themselves. I get that anarchists aren't supposed to have "leaders". But there's always going to need to be someone looking after the details of any community. Anarchism is flawed on its most basic level because humans are flawed.
I'm not sure where you're getting your information from Girl101, but anarchists can absolutely establish a "police" force of sorts. I don't know what you think anarchy is, but it's far from simply being "a society without government". By citing collapsed governments as an example of anarchism, you are making a straw man argument. That is to say, you are committing a logical fallacy in which you are misrepresenting the opposing argument/point of view. It's a special case of the "red herring fallacy". I'll explain to you anarchist philosophy a bit since you seem to be ignorant of the facts.
First off there are different types of anarchism; social anarchism, capitalist anarchism, anarchist primitivism, environmental anarchism, etc.... While these all vary in the details, the following excerpt from the FAQ at theanarchistlibrary.org describes the unifying portion of anarchist philosophy
- [Anarchy] is based on a voluntary federation of decentralized, directly democratic policy-making bodies. These are the neighborhood and community assemblies and their confederations. In these grassroots political units, the concept of “self-management” becomes that of “self-government”, a form of municipal organisation in which people take back control of their living places from the bureaucratic state and the capitalist class whose interests it serves.
Anarchist political philosophy assumes that people can self organize and don't need to be put in line. They believe small communities can organize themselves and agree upon rules (they don't like calling them laws, but they essentially function the same). The example they often use is a line at the grocery store. It's not like there is a law to stand in line and wait your turn. We could just as easily have decided to sit in front of the check out counter in a large clump and whoever elbows their way in is served next. We have decided that organizing in a line is beneficial to all. So it's rule by consent rather than consent by rule.
The key here is that it's a participatory community. If you really want to see examples of anarchist societies, here are some examples which you are free to google and learn more about them
Marinaleda, spain => this is perhaps the most famous social anarchist community
Actually, an anarchy doesn't have a police system. If anyone makes laws, they are slowly forming a government. The dictator could be bad, but can't be as bad as people running wild and putting themselves above everybody. There was an anarchy in Somalia, Mogadishu's Italianate architecture, once a gem along the Indian Ocean, has been reduced to a pile of machine-gun-chewed bricks. Somalia has been ripped apart by violence since the central government imploded in 1991. the killing goes on and on and on -- suicide bombs, white phosphorus bombs, beheadings, medieval-style stonings, teenage troops high on the local drug called khat blasting away at each other and anything in between. Even U.S. cruise missiles occasionally slam down from the sky. Over 4 million have died since the goverment imploded. That's an anarchy for you.
So I don't know what you guys are talking about with regards to crime. An anarchist society doesn't preclude law enforcement. It precludes it from being a government entity. One of the cornerstones of anarchist thinking is that community organization may take the place of government. This means that the community may organize a law enforcement type agency.
Violent crime is a problem everywhere. Granted, in well-developed nations it isn't a constant worry for most people, but rape, murder, robberies, and terrorism among others all still exist in those nations. And thats with our security systems, our cell phones, push button alarms and security checks. To take all of that and the police, government agencies, weapons laws (among others), and other protection away is bound to only make matters worse. I will admit that IN THEORY, anarchy would be the solution; as you said, a dictator can do anything he wants as he pleases whereas an anarchic system would be based on common good. However, IN PRACTICE, its simply not true. For anarchy to work you would have to assume that no one will be greedy, no one will be "evil," no one will prioritize themselves or their families over the entire rest of the community, but this simply isn't human nature.
If you don't have a police force how would you stop criminals who are not from your community? You wouldn't know them and unless you catch them in the act you would never find them assuming they were smart enough to keep moving. With no law enforcement outside a local level it would be impossible to maintain a lawful society.
In which country? Many nations do not have a problem with violent crime. I think most people have a theoretical vision of why anarchism must be bad. But there have always been pressures coming from powers to automatically determine an ideology as a descent from order. Democracy was frequently demonized in more imperialistic days as being able to do little more than mingle poverty with the baubles of luxury. But reality seldom favors our irrational suppositions. Most people and places are not violent. Where they are they have been on the receiving ends of national agendas for decades, or they are ruled by religions, dictators or oligarchies. Granted Somalia is not in a great state, which is why I argue an anarchy must emerge out of a state and not out of a collapse.
I'd like to know who disagreed with you because it wasn't me.
On a small scale you would have a point. In a small town this might work. But in a large city without police society would tear itself apart. Violent crime is barely controlled as it is. If you remove authority figures from the equation it would be a disaster.
Not necessarily does anarchy ever entail any of that. In fact, I would argue that in a dictatorship this is more likely as a dictatorship will always enable the fancies of the dictator, which may include pedophilism or rape. Consider the ancient law jus primae noctis which was enforced by the king and which allowed him to sleep with any newlywed wife in the kingdom. The ancient king Gilgamesh was said to have been so horny he had slept with all the virgins, and since lifespans were not much longer than 40 in those days I imagine many 8-14 year old girls were raped by that dictator. And let's not forget the centuries of Catholic dictatorship in which many priests, bishops, cardinals and popes exercised their right to use little boys to their pleasure.
What you presume is that a hierarchical government establishes and enforces laws. Though this can be the case, it is not the only possibility. It can also be the case that without a hierarchy a group of people can agree on and enforce a general set of laws. All which happens in an anarchy is the responsibilities which we usually defer to governments become all peoples responsibilities. Each person agrees to a common law. Each person participates in defending their nation. Each person participates in enforcing laws.
I'm against dictatorship, but I'd rather have it than an anarchy. In an anarchy, pedophiles could just snatch kids and you can't call the cops, because no one can enforce laws that don't exsist. someone could walk into your house, rape you, take your things and leave. Not to mention society would collapse without evil people. why work for money to buy things when you can walk right in and take anything? or go in someone else's home. nothing would get done and we'd end up starving. What would end up happening also, is gangs would form and start fighting, and while some people are getting high on drugs other people are trying to get power. An anarchy would end in a dictatorship. In a dictatorship, we'd be opressed, but safe (as long as we don't break the law) and eventually over throw the dictator and restore democracy. With an anarchy I'd be outside fighting for my life rather than discussing politics.
Dictators must justify their rulership on lies and coercion, where-as an anarchy can be a natural arrangement between people. Furthermore it is difficult for there to be a great dictator. Though they have existed in history, more often rulers are tragically incompetent. I believe an educated anarchy emerging out of a state of government would fair better than a return to dictatorship.
Mind you at their worst they can both be brutally oppressive, violent and filled with foolish people.