So. Here we are at Kropotkin….
His wiki: “In the animal world we have seen that the vast majority of species live in societies, and that they find in association the best arms for the struggle for life: understood, of course, in its wide Darwinian sense – not as a struggle for the sheer means of existence, but as a struggle against all natural conditions unfavourable to the species. The animal species, in which individual struggle has been reduced to its narrowest limits, and the practice of mutual aid has attained the greatest development, are invariably the most numerous, the most prosperous, and the most open to further progress. The mutual protection which is obtained in this case, the possibility of attaining old age and of accumulating experience, the higher intellectual development, and the further growth of sociable habits, secure the maintenance of the species, its extension, and its further progressive evolution. The unsociable species, on the contrary, are doomed to decay.
— Peter Kropotkin, Mutual Aid: A Factor of Evolution (1902), Conclusion.
And, commentary, from Sale: “With Mutual Aid especially, and later with Fields, Factories, and Workshops, Kropotkin was able to move away from the absurdist limitations of individual anarchism and no-laws anarchism that had flourished during this period and provide instead a vision of communal anarchism, following the models of independent cooperative communities he discovered while developing his theory of mutual aid. It was an anarchism that opposed centralized government and state-level laws as traditional anarchism did, but understood that at a certain small scale, communities and communes and co-ops could flourish and provide humans with a rich material life and wide areas of liberty without centralized control.”
Great! now we’re getting somewhere…but, again… these men lose me, when I think about History…and so called “Human Nature”…
Suppose that Mason County, all of Us, decide to implement such a system…and assume no interference from the State of Texas, or the Fedgov…the neighboring counties are free to implement their own systems…wonderful.
So we, in Mason…live happily ever after, voluntarily being there for one another, and eschewing coercion and all the bad things States do….until Llano County, due to their mismanagement, pollutes their water, eats all their meat animals, and poisons their soil….
Now Llano County is casting about, looking for help…which is not forthcoming. Mason has not the means, nor the will…sorry.
Now, in Llano, some Strong Man arises…Impassioned Appeals to the People…”I have the Answer! We shall Take what we Need, from our Neighbors…for we are Mightier that they!”
This has happened before.
Many, many times…from the very Dawn of what can even most loosely be termed, “Civilisation”.(see Gimbutas).
Greed seems to be a permanent part of Human Nature…but we do not, therefore, have to bow to it’s influence.
Our System of Governance holds that We, the People, make the Laws, and Enforce them.
It is the attempt, however woefully, to Impliment Kroptkin’s Ideal.
Since we are doomed, it seems, to Live Together….(refute this, please)…We must have some agreement on How to Live Together.
To Mitigate the Bad parts of Human Nature, We come together, and work out our Differences…so as to Agree on some Compromise…
That’s the whole Idea of Government.
And Our Government is , in my opinion, the Best Yet, System of making it Possible to Live Together, and to Mitigate the effects of our more Animal Tendencies.
There is, of course, much Room for Improvement.lol.
More: “In another of his books, The Conquest of Bread, Kropotkin proposed a system of economics based on mutual exchanges made in a system of voluntary cooperation. He believed that should a society be socially, culturally, and industrially developed enough to produce all the goods and services required by it, then no obstacle, such as preferential distribution, pricing or monetary exchange will stand as an obstacle for all taking what they need from the social product. He supported the eventual abolishment of money or tokens of exchange for goods and services. Kropotkin believed that Bakunin's collectivist economic model was simply a wage system by a different name, and felt that such a system would breed the same type of centralization and inequality as a capitalist wage system. He claimed that it is impossible to determine the value of an individual's contributions to the products of social labor, and felt that anyone who was placed in a position of trying to make such determinations would wield authority over those whose wages they determined. He further developed these ideas in Fields, Factories and Workshops.
Kropotkin points out what he considers to be the fallacies of the economic systems of feudalism and capitalism, and how he believes they create poverty and artificial scarcity while promoting privilege. He goes on to propose a more decentralized economic system based on mutual aid, mutual support and voluntary cooperation, asserting that the tendencies for this kind of organization already exist, both in evolution and in human society.
His focus on local production leads to his view that a country should strive for self-sufficiency – manufacture its own goods and grow its own food, lessening dependence on imports. To these ends he advocated irrigation and growing under glass to boost local food production ability.”
It appears that I must read Kropotkin…Localism, Decentralisation etc…all are things that I advocate…
But preventing my neighbor, or a group of neighbors from 2 counties over, from invading, and taking my/our stuff….well…what’s to stop them, if not the Rule of Law.
As I’ve said, I agree with many, if not most, of the sentiments expressed in my, admittedly, cursory grazing in Anarchism.
My issue is the How…and my Critique hinges on the All-or-Nothing Tendencies that seem inherent in Anarchist Thought.
Since I support the Idea of a State, albeit a Better One than we have , today…it is Assumed or Implied, that I , therefore, Support Dictatorship and/or Totalitarianism.
This is another manifestation of the Bifurcated, Black/White, Dualism that has been so prevalent in American Politics…at least since Reagan.
”If you’re not with us, you’re with the terrists”…etc.
Once again, We are stuck in the Ditch, on one side of the road…and the Road , itself, is forgotten.
I’ll see if the Library can muster the acumen to borrow Kropotkin, at least, from the State Library System…(unlikely, due to Republican’s apparent Hatred of Free Inquiry). Wiki is inadequate…and opens me to accusations of overeliance…
Comments, as always, are welcome...especially the Thoughtful kind.