I wonder if this is what Alice felt like…

by wfgodbold

Apparently, “anarchists” are protesting against government spending cuts in Greece (again).

If you’re in favor of government, then you’re not an anarchist. 

Either these “anarchists” are playing the part of Humpty Dumpty, or the media is on their behalf:

“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in a rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.”

Or, in the immortal words of Inigo Montoya, “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

This isn’t the first time I’ve complained about people making up their own definitions for words, and I doubt it will be the last.

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3 Responses to “I wonder if this is what Alice felt like…”

  1. “If you’re in favor of government, then you’re not an anarchist.”

    It’s not really a question of being in favour of the government. It’s about being against using the money of the poor to pay for the rich’s f*ck-up.

    This explains it well: http://truth-reason-liberty.blogspot.com/2011/05/cheering-on-state-as-it-attacks-people.html (it’s in reference to a pretty pathetic pro-cuts rally).

    “”anarchists don’t argue for a benevolent state, for state-ownership of industry and services” but rather “think we need to go further as a class, to achieve political freedom as well as economic equality.” That is why “whilst we are defending what we have, we are also attacking the state, threatening its legitimacy and suggesting to people that we would be better off without it.”

    and: “The people who attended this rally claim to be libertarians. But the “liberty” they are defending is the liberty of the ruling class. They are not “against the state” but for it, freeing it of every concession won by the struggle of ordinary people so that it can better serve the interests of capital. This is, in reality, not the “small state” but the strong state – one suited to defending private property without having to face the competing interests of the working class.”

    That said, i would be interested to see what your point of view is. To me at least, anarchism’s base is humanism, and the humanist reaction (yes, i suppose arguably) is to help the poorest in society, rather than hurting them further.

  2. This strikes to the heart of my post; you’re not really referring to anarchy, but to democratic socialism.

    Calling socialism “anarchy” does not make it anarchy, any more than calling the hodge-podge intertwining of the government and market we currently have “the free market” makes it so.

    Anarchists cannot be simultaneously against the state and in favor of the dole, unless the goal is to burden the state to the point that it eventually collapses.

    If that’s the case, then the plan seems to be working just fine.

    Of course, after the collapse, no one will have free health care, or free schooling, or free anything else.

    The Greeks have a problem: their country does not produce enough to pay for what they consume (the US has this same problem, sadly).

    Soaking the rich will only get you so far; eventually, either cuts are made or the whole thing comes crashing down.

    Without property, what reason is there for anyone to do anything? The common good? Some men are only motivated by what they can get for themselves; in an anarchy, there would be nothing constraining the robber barons of capitalism from becoming robber barons in truth.

    Milton Friedman said, “A society that puts equality — in the sense of equality of outcome — ahead of freedom will end up with neither equality or freedom. The use of force to achieve equality will destroy freedom, and the force, introduced for great purposes, will end up in the hands of people who use it to promote their own interests.”

    The anarchism on display in Europe strikes me as more concerned with equality of outcome than with freedom; the US hasn’t gotten as far down that road as Greece has, but we’re on the way there.

    Kevin puts this far better than I in his uberpost “What We Got Here is … Failure to Communicate.

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