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The Circular Argument made by Left & Right Anarchists
First off, let me apologize for using those terms, left & right. What I mean by that is Anarcho-Communists and Anarcho-Capitalists.
What I mean by 'circular argument' is that it just goes around and around, always returning where it started, with no resolutions or agreements made. No further understanding is achieved either. Usually, neither side understands how in the world the other can believe what they believe. Let me be one of the few to say, I understand BOTH sides & I think that we argue with more platitudes than realistic statements.
One of the biggest issues there lies in the time setting of the discussion. I often find Anarcho-Capitalists will discuss life in a time AFTER government has been abolished, anarchy has been accepted as the most moral way of life, & communities are deciding amongst themselves what their rules should be (unanimously). Anarcho-Communists will discuss life in a time that is either BEFORE government has been abolished or DURING the abolishment of government. In the discussion of life before government is abolished, they usually seem to argue for a conversion from our current governing structure into communism, then just pull the leaders out afterward (I know I'm hacking the argument apart to a very bare bones view, but stick with me here). In the discussion of life during the abolishment of government, they're usually explaining that the conversion into anarchy would inherently (in their belief) go straight into communism, but without any leaders.
At first glance (& if you've never watched one of these arguments amongst anarchists happen) you might not see why that matters. So I hope I can lay out the arguments & dissect it accordingly so it all makes sense. I'll attempt to do so using the arguments as they usually happen when I'm in them.
THE ARGUMENT BEGINS!
Someone says something that's pro Capitalism or pro Communism & then the opposing anarchist feels the need to interject. Lets say an Anarcho-Communist is talking about how Capitalism is inherently bad because of something that applies to the CURRENT state of affairs with the US economy & job market. An Anarcho-Capitalist will step in & correct them & inform them that America was never a free-market capitalist economic system, as we've had corporate laws in America since it's inception. Thus, the state has ALWAYS had it's hands on the economy, making it inherently NOT a free-market. Sure, there was a lot more freedom in the market "way back when," but the state still had their fingers in it & they only got more & more involved as time went on. This, unfortunately, has a term applied to it known as "State-Capitalism."
Reading up on the definition of what that means, it's basically the exact same thing as Fascism, but there is ONE difference: corporations don't OPENLY own & operate the government in State-Capitalism, instead they do it through intermediaries of various degrees (though they very much do own & operate the government). Fascism is the same, just no middle man.
Back to the argument: The Anarcho-Communist will claim that it is inherent in any form of Capitalism that there will end up being a state & even free-market Capitalism will result in State-Capitalism. The Anarcho-Capitalist will explain that if it is in the interests of the people in Anarchy to not have a state ever again, then there will not be one. The Anarcho-Communist will try to explain that corporations will make a state. With all the power and money they have they'll be able to pull it off. The Anarcho-Capitalist will explain that it's physically impossible, as there wouldn't be corporations because corporatehood is a title granted BY a state to a business owner who chooses to file the proper paperwork for said title. If there is no state to grant such an immunity to a business owner, then corporations would never exist ever again (nor should they). Here's where time becomes an issue.
The Anarcho-Communist's agrument continues dealing with more of the "how it is right now" scenario & attempting to switch over to Anarcho-Capitalism being impossible. The Anarcho-Capitalist is talking about a time AFTER government has been abolished & what that system would be like in a clean-slate free society with a free-market. So their arguments go around & around because neither of them seem to get past this barrier of "what point in time is this discussion taking place?" I personally have tried to clarify this within the discusison & most Anarcho-Communists continue to talk in either a pre-government abolishment or mid-government abolishment time setting.
SO WHAT'S THE BIG DEAL?
There's a huge rift between the two, when (in my opinion) it should really only be a tiny personal choice difference. I understand Anarcho-Communists' desires. I understand the emotional connection & the empathy therein. I identify with Anarcho-Capitalists most because it's far more logical & non-invasive upon the individual. Anarcho-Communists seem to think that Anarcho-Capitalists identify with the current playing field of rich people in America. Nothing can be further from the truth. They didn't achieve their wealth through a free-market, nor would they be able to. The only way they have is through using the government as their mob goons. I've tried many times to explain to Anarcho-Communists that without a government, without patent laws, copyrights, etc, without corporatehood to protect the owners of businesses from the punishments of their wrongdoings, no human could ever reach the dizzying heights as we've seen in the past century. Corporations have used their riches by manipulating law, thwarting justice in the judicial system completely (over 95% of court cases today don't ever go to trial), and screwing innovation out of existence (the number of admitted blocked patents regarding alternative energy innovations is ridiculous). This all happend with NO free-market. This all happened with growing fascism via middle man. Yet for some reason, no matter what evidence you give Anarcho-Communists, they STILL will claim this is just inevitable when you have a free-market. Even though that's a non-scientific argument, as there's no precursor to base the statement on.
Having said that, there is also no precursor to base Anarcho-Communism on either. "How can you say that when we've seen SOOO many communist countries & how they inevitably end?" All of them had a government. So, once again, it's not a very scientific argument. I understand the concern though. As I would fear that the sociopaths who currently seek out positions of power in government would simply seek out positions regarding distribution of goods (or on boards that might decide what's fair distribution) instead, then attempt to corrupt everything from there.
WHAT SHOULD WE DO?
Come together. Our desires are more inline than we choose to believe. We have different methods of getting there & both sides don't have much to stand on when it comes to examples of why one way is better than the other (at least, no examples where a government wasn't present to f*** things up something royal). I often get concerns thrown at me as though I'm heartless & don't care about people.
For example: I've been told, by Anarcho-Communists, that all forms of capitalism require that people labor for their needs. But throughout history, competitive innovation has led to more and more automation. And if you're saying food should be free, well nobody would stop you from growing your own food or hunting for your own food. But moving on: The assembly line used to be full of people, while today most assembly lines are full of robots that are calibrated to be amazingly accurate (even so, the best places that use that method have quality control checkpoints to assure the machines aren't making mistakes). Farming used to take a tremendous number of people, now it takes less than 1 family to do (sometimes just 1 person).
This is usually when an Anarcho-Communist chimes in with: "see, the capitalist first requires labor, then they take the jobs away, creating massive ammounts of poor people." That's assumptive & unimaginative. All of human history, we've invented & innovated, yet we've never hit some wall of what I'll call 'satiated technology.' When processes become easier & cheaper to perform, supply goes up while cost to produce goes down. That doesn't mean there aren't newer things for which people can go to work. In fact, without a government, patent laws, copyrights, and lawyers, there would likely be MORE innovation & jobs due to the absence of anyone really getting very far with an invention/creation before someone else comes along with an improvement that you can't sue them for. Which means nobody gets SUPER rich, yet innovation moves faster & we get further as a society, technologically speaking.
Eventually, we're going to HAVE to get off this planet. Of all the near misses we've had with asteroids, that risk alone is worth attempting to achieve cosmic residency. If not that, then the fact that our sun doesn't live forever (yes, I know there's billions of years left) should be reason enough. Many Anarcho-Communists argue for a complacent lifestyle. But I personally don't think that would breed innovation as much as Anarcho-Capitalism. But in either case here's the REALITY:
NEITHER argument matters. Seriously, if we work together to eliminate government, what makes you think each respective community isn't going to go with whatever they choose anyway? I could live in a local community that unanimously chose to be more capitalist & that community might be 5 miles away from a more communist community & we could happily live this close together not bothering each other, and maybe even trading with each other. THAT is the truth of the scenario. But first we need to just get rid of government already. As every passing day goes by, government keeps falling on its face in it's own feces. It shouldn't be that hard to express that at least a voluntary society would be better. And a voluntary society is something BOTH Anarcho-Communists and Anarcho-Capitalists seem to agree on. For if it isn't voluntary, then it's forced. If it's forced it's basically a government.
Oh, and here's some ammunition for when a statist who's curious about anarchy (should we call them anarcho-curious?) says "well what about Somalia? Hmm? They're anarchists & they're doing terrible, what with the warlords." The answer to that is simple: Anarchy means no rulers. Rulers tell people what to do and how to live, yes? What would you say the warlords are doing? Ah! See? That is a government. Albeit numerous small ones, but still a totalitarian tyrannical miriad of them.