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Thesis for the Illegitimacy of the State
The issue of whether or not a State (Government) has legitimacy as well as any form of hierarchy or force over an individual or group of people. Though it is varied in its methodology and on various points, Anarchism views all forms of force as illegitimate and therefore unjustifiable; therefore all relations that have legitimacy must require consenting participants.
Thesis: Anarchism has legitimacy (that is to say that the State is illegitimate) because all forms of involuntary association treat the individual as either a tool or participant of the State in some form or fashion rather than as an individual who is Sovereign.
Arguments against alternatives: Monarchy, Aristocracy and Theocracy all make an argument from either a superior bloodline, class of people, or divine instruction to formulate and regiment society. However these associations have proven to be hazardous to human welfare and tranquility, producing substandard living conditions, education, crime and wars derivative of nationality or religion that increase the amount of controls a State have on a society (silencing or jailing anyone who dissents against the King, military, or ruling group) to produce a more subservient mass of people to be murdered in warfare that most of which were manipulated from birth to consent to, never did consent to, and will not profit from. There is no evidence that leadership based on genetic lineage, class, or any divine instruction produces prosperity, freedom, harmony or any other conventionally valued trait pursued in social discourse.
Argument against the argument: Tradition and culture are typically an argument for older styles of Government. The simple fact that things have been done a certain way for centuries is not an argument for their value or legitimacy. The argument cannot be valid because different civilizations have had different models that are just as old as what the person arguing for their nation’s heritage and culture has been practicing. Also human beings have lived in hunter-gatherer societies with informal forms of authority for millennia. So, if there is to be any argument for tradition or longevity of practice, hunter-gatherer societies involving tribalism and ancient superstitions that only a fraction of the planet’s population still adhere to would be the only valid claim to this argument. Also assuming prosperity (using loose and almost universally accepted standards of prosperity such as health, happiness, individual freedom, opportunity to fulfill one’s ambitions, opportunity to live a just, decent, and purposeful existence) is what is to be desired or striven for in the theory and practice of social structures, human history shows that these forms of Government in almost every way in hundreds of examples throughout centuries produces ill-favored effects and are not only corrupt in their dealings of the citizen, but corruptive in producing mentally unwell people who cannot think critically, are physically unwell and are morally questionable at best.
Further counter-arguments: Some also make arguments for a particular Government or social mores derivative of Divine Command Theory. They hold that a God has instructed the human community to deal with each other by a certain code of conduct or has forbid certain actions; because they view their God has the creator of humanity and the arbiter of right-and-wrong, force is justifiable to see that their God’s will is conformed to. This is invalid because believing in any God and any interpretation of said God’s (or Gods’) mandates on humanity is a personal choice and should remain so both for the freedom of those who believe in no God, a different God, or a different perception of the same God (as is seen in the numerous forms of Judaism, Christianity and Islam covering merely the Abrahamic Faiths) and for the significance of conforming to said God’s dictates to the faithful. If say the Sunni interpretation of Islam is the true and legitimate faith, to mandate obedience to the Koran’s mandates would be to make faithful and willing adherents to the faith’s observance meaningless. If any God exists it is a being that is either apathetic to human actions or created humans capable of disobeying his preferences. Since the Faithful wish to adhere to their God’s wisdom, they should first do so by allowing all supposed blasphemers to sin in peace. Whether or not a God will punish them for living their lives as they choose is totally without significance for Earthly affairs.
Arguments against more alternatives: Representative Democracy is the more acceptable and to state the obvious contemporary form of Government in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Representative Democracy holds its legitimacy by allowing a nation’s populous to vote in senators and congressmen that in theory will legislate the dealings of the commonwealth for them with their views in mind. This however seems illegitimate for various reasons; the first being that statistics show that the majority of individuals in America are dissatisfied with congress for a litany of reasons. Unless the populous are incredibly ill-informed or are schizophrenic in their views (that is voting for a congressman but damning him for doing what the voting populous supported) it seems that the Legislative Branch of Government is ineffective or unwilling to legislate based on the citizenry’s desires. Also to have a society where the average individual need not make the important decisions necessary in our communities but instead passes on his or her moral responsibilities to others creates a almost wholly ignorant and apathetic populous who do not concern or involve themselves with the pursuit of proper dealings in society because they legislated their authority over to a Government to do their deeds, say their words and think their thoughts for them. Human beings operate under necessity in most cases of tasks that aren’t of immediate pleasure. If concern and understanding of the functioning of society is not required of the citizenry, they will stagnate and putrefy in their capacity for concern and reasoning for it is no longer required of them. Taxes also do this by taking finance from the average citizen by force and using a portion of it for acts that are considered a form of benevolence or charity. People are less likely to involve themselves if they believe that the Church or State is doing their good deeds for them.
Counter-argument: Those who argue for Representative Democracy argue that people by nature are incapable of organizing voluntarily for the good of all – or for the fair dealings of all at the least. They make the claim that people are short-sighted and selfish by nature and require senators that will represent their essential viewpoints but are far-more educated and knowledgeable any given situation or issue that most be acted on. This however is largely untrue based on the malleable nature of human beings. Human beings are largely products of their environment, and if they aren’t expected to be the leaders of their own communities or even their own lives in some instances than their minds will atrophy through years of conditioning, being instructed instead implicitly and in some extreme instances explicitly to follow the dictates of law, religion, or corporate policy rather than what the reasoning of their own minds persuade them towards. The individual nor humanity is an abstract entity but a biological thing that is subject to the laws of physics and its own material nature. Any sweeping generalization of humanity’s character, intelligence, capacity for any desirable or regrettable trait or anything else is largely unfounded suspect to personal prejudice. The Twentieth Century and the ongoing Twenty-first both in its capacity for scientific and technological achievement and its capacity for incomprehensible horror and evil is evidence that human potential and any underlying human essence is still largely unknown. Basic claims based on sound reasoning is possible but the claim that people are incapable of organizing and operating their own communities is both unfounded and there is evidence to the contrary seen in Spain in the 1940’s, America in a intermittent period between British and American rule among others.
Further arguments against alternatives: Though Anarchism is generally thought to be arguing against the State, it also argues against (or at the very-least is intrinsically questionable of) the legitimacy of hierarchy in sexual, racial, inter-national and economic dealings. The most reoccurring in Anarchist Philosophy being arguments against the rationality and morality of Capitalist economics and social dealings. Anarchists argue that the Earth is communal property for all those who are born have an equal right to its resources which should be used for public access and benefit rather than the profit of an incredibly minute percentage of the human population. Capitalism is a form of theft as result of the businessman profiting off the labor of the employee by not compensating him or her properly for their endeavors. More profit is made by charging more for a commodity or service than it’s worth and pockets the difference between cost and revenue either using said capital to either expand his businesses scope and economic efficiency or personally pocket it. The interest of his workers is seldom considered and cannot be to be competitive with his fellow businessmen who wish to drown all competition either through competition or Government favoritism to further his fulfillment of the profit motive.
Counter-argument: Defenders of the private enterprise system argue that Capitalism is a source of great societal benefit and technological advance. They compare countries like America to the former USSR or China and claim America’s prosperity to the free market system and the profit motive. However, they get the cart before the horse in-terms of the causation of technology and Capitalism. Private mercantilism and small trade of cobblers, bakers, tailors, etc has existed for thousands of years, however it was the birth of the Industrial Revolution that made Capitalism a possibility (some argue a inevitability) of economic forces by requiring large sums of people to perform a specific task on a assembly line (Division of Labor) when before the majority of commodities were made by single craftsman and their apprentices. Society had already established itself on private ownership, so would be unlikely to transfer suddenly to collective or communitarian (whether or not it would involve a State) economic model simply because the Industrial Revolution created a need for a great urban work force. Making the argument that the cell phones are a product first-and-foremost of market forces is tantamount to identifying satellites to Communist technology considering the former Soviet Union designed satellites (among numerous other things) before America (which is regarded as the leading and most prosperous free-market country by most) had achieved said feats. If this logic were continued, it would followed that if Albert Einstein or Sigmund Freud stayed in Nazi Germany, than the Theory of Super-relativity and Freud’s Theory of the Subconscious would be “Fascist ideas” or contributions to mankind that were directly motivated by the economic and political forces and ideals of the Third Reich. Also Capitalism exists and is prosperous in countries like Indonesia, Taiwan and supposedly-Communist China, but prosperity for the common man, woman and child is not to be found for their lot in life is to exist solely to be cheap labor for the businesses that profit billions in their toil and ship their products to America where they are bought by consumers who speak of the magnificence and uplifting qualities of private enterprise.
Summation: To close, Anarchism holds that all forms of force whether explicit or implicit in the form of Capitalism (no one is forced to labor that does not meet their needs or dictates, but since the alternative for many is stifling poverty and working a job under the management of a boss is socially common there is little resistance economic exploitation just as slavery has existed for centuries with little resiliency by the enslaved) is invalid and without proper rationale even if it would supposedly create beneficial results for a section of the populous. Forcing one man to die for another man’s freedom is always immoral, and voluntary association and mutual aid is far-more conducive to desired social behaviors and expectations than forced taxation or corporate structures./