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Author Topic: Anarchy  (Read 8570 times)

Quo_Vadis_Petre

Anarchy
« Reply #10 on: May 10, 2006, 02:08:pm »
This is what I found, under the subtitle "Political Individualism" (the Catholic Encyclopedia article on Individualism):

Political Individualism. Considered historically and in relation to the amount of attention that it receives, the most important form of individualism is that which is called political. It varies in degree from pure anarchism to the theory that the State's only proper functions are to maintain order and enforce contracts. In ancient Greece and Rome, political theory and practice were anti-individualistic; for they considered and made the State the supreme good, an end in itself, to which the individual was a mere means.

Directly opposed to this conception was the Christian teaching that the individual soul had an independent and indestructible value, and that the State was only a means, albeit a necessary means, to individual welfare. Throughout the Middle Ages, therefore, the ancient theory was everywhere rejected. Nevertheless the prevailing theory and practice were far removed from anything that could be called individualism. Owing largely to the religious individualism resulting from the Reformation, political individualism at length appeared: at first, partial in the writings of Hobbes and Locke; later, complete in the speculations of the French philosophers of the eighteenth century, notably Rousseau. The general conclusion from all these writings was that government was something artificial, and at best a necessary evil. According to the Social Contract theory of Rousseau, the State was merely the outcome of a compact freely made by its individual citizens. Consequently they were under no moral obligation to form a State, and the State itself was not a moral necessity. These views are no longer held, except by professional anarchists. In fact, a sharp reaction has occurred. The majority of non-Catholic ethical and political writers of today approach more or less closely to the position of ancient Greece and Rome, or to that of Hegel; society, or the State, is an organism from which the individual derives all his rights and all his importance. The Catholic doctrine remains as always midway between these extremes. It holds that the State is normal, natural, and necessary, even as the family is necessary, but that it is not necessary for its own sake; that it is only a means to individual life and progress.  

Moderate political individualists would, as noted above, reduce the functions of the State to the minimum that is consistent with social order and peace. As they view the matter, there is always a presumption against any intervention by the State in the affairs of individuals, a presumption that can be set aside only by the most evident proof to the contrary. Hence they look upon such activities as education, sumptuary regulations, legislation in the interest of health, morals, and professional competency, to say nothing of philanthropic measures, or of industrial restrictions and industrial enterprises, as outside the State's proper province. This theory has a much smaller following now than it had a century or even half a century ago; for experience has abundantly shown that the assumptions upon which it rests are purely artificial and thoroughly false. There exists no general presumption either for or against state activities. If there is any presumption with regard to particular matters, it is as apt to be favourable as unfavourable. The one principle of guidance and test of propriety in this field is the welfare of society and of its component individuals, as determined by experience. Whenever these ends can be better attained by state intervention than by individual effort, state intervention is justified.

It is against intervention in the affairs of industry that present-day individualism make its strongest protest. According to the laissez-faire, or let alone, school of economists and politicians, the State should permit and encourage the fullest freedom of contract and of competition throughout the field of industry. This theory, which was derived partly from the political philosophy of the eighteenth century, already mentioned, partly from the Kantian doctrine that the individual has a right to the fullest measure of freedom that is compatible with the equal freedom of other individuals, and partly from the teachings of Adam Smith, received its most systematic expression in the tenets of the Manchester School. Its advocates opposed not only such public enterprises as state railways and telegraphs, but such restrictive measures as factory regulations, and laws governing the hours of labour for women and children. They also discouraged all associations of capitalists or of labourers. Very few individualists now adopt this extreme position. Experience has too frequently shown that the individual can be as deeply injured through an extortionate contract, as at the hands of the thief, the highwayman, or the contract breaker. The individual needs the protection of the State quite as much and quite as often in the former case as in any of the latter contingencies. As to state regulation or state ownership of certain industries and utilities, this too is entirely a question of expediency for the public welfare. There is no a priori principle -- political, ethical, economic, or religious -- by which it can be decided. Many individualists, and others likewise, who oppose state intervention in this field are victims of a fallacy. In their anxiety to safeguard individual liberty, they forget that reasonable labour legislation, for example, does not deprive the labourer of any liberty that is worth having, while it does ensure him real opportunity, which is the vital content of all true liberty; they forget that, while state control and direction of certain industries undoubtedly diminishes both the liberty and the opportunity of some individuals, it may increase the opportunities and the welfare of the vast majority. Both individualists and non-individualists aim, as a rule, at the greatest measure of real liberty for the individual; all their disagreement relates to the means by which this aim is to be realized.

As in the matter of the necessity and justification of the State, so with regard to its functions, the Catholic position is neither individualistic nor anti-individualistic. It accepts neither the "policeman" theory, which would reduce the activities of the State to the protection of life and property and the enforcement of contracts, nor the proposals of Socialism, which would make the State the owner and director of all the instruments of production. In both respects its attitude is determined not by any metaphysical theory of the appropriate functions of the State, but by its conception of the requisites of individual and social welfare.
"In our time more than ever before, the greatest asset of the evil-disposed is the cowardice and weakness of good men, and all the vigour of Satan's reign is due to the easy-going weakness of Catholics."   -St. Pius X

"If the Church were not divine, this Council [the Second Vatican Council] would have buried Her."   -Cardinal Giuseppe Siri

St. Peter Arbues, pray for us.

HailGilbert

Anarchy
« Reply #11 on: May 10, 2006, 04:32:pm »
Gentlemen and ladies,

There are a variety of "anarchism" floating around, many that I don't think the Catholic Encyclopedia knows about.

There is a variety of anarchism that comes close to what Distributism stands for, except that Distributism believes that government is necessary, albeit on a local, de-centralized basis. It is called MUTUALISM. Here is the Wikipedia link to it, along with details:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mutualism_%28economic_theory%29

Mr. Kevin Carson is one of the leading Mutualist Anarchist writers in English today. He too has a Wikipedia entry, as well as a blog.

Information on both is here: link

I hope this will help to further deepen and flavor the discussion on Anarchy from a Traditional Catholic perspective. Thank you all for your time and patience.

"The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of the Conservatives is to prevent the mistakes from being corrected." - G. K. Chesterton

Pat

Anarchy
« Reply #12 on: May 10, 2006, 04:48:pm »
It's all useless utopianism, there are so many anarchist theories  because they can only think about it, never implement it.   Truthfully all I want is to live my life, hopefully make enough money  to support a large family.  All of these utopian theories come  from people who are too concentrated on earthly things; look to heaven  and your rags become riches.
 
Dominus quasi vir pugnator, Omnipotens nomen ejus
The Lord is like a warrior, Almighty is His name
Exodus 15:3

CampeadorShin

Anarchy
« Reply #13 on: May 10, 2006, 05:08:pm »
Anarchy just doesn't seem possible.  You'll always have someone in charge.  If anarchy exists, then who is IN CHARGE of upholding it?  What's to stop me from forming a government? 

Anarchism just doesn't make sense to me.

SINCE OCTOBER 26TH, I HAVE NOT BEEN ALLOWED TO POST OR SEND PM'S.  I CAN RECIEVE PM'S BUT CAN'T REPLY.

WHY?  NO ONE HAS TOLD ME.

anamchara

Anarchy
« Reply #14 on: May 17, 2006, 11:44:am »

Nota bene, Joseph Sobran is a practicing Catholic (with what appear to be traditionalist leanings), a sharp critic of Israel and an award-winning columnist. 

 

                 The Reactionary Utopian
                     May 2, 2006

http://www.sobran.com/columns/
WHY DO WE NEED GOVERNMENT?
by Joe Sobran

     About twenty years ago a very intelligent man, whom I'll call Robert (he's actually a sort of composite of
several men), told me he was an anarchist. He didn't
believe in any government, period.

     At the time I considered myself a conservative, with
libertarian leanings. Much as I respected Robert, I
believed in limited government under the U.S.
Constitution -- but none at all? That was taking a good
idea too far, I thought.

     Notice the illogic of my reaction. I was thinking of
a philosophy as a matter of personal taste, as if you
could draw an arbitrary line and stop there. "Would you
prefer a little bit of government, a moderate amount, or
a lot of it?"

     After a while (years, actually) it sank in that
Robert wasn't just telling me what =quantity= of
government he'd prefer. He was saying that the whole idea
of it was wrong in principle -- no matter whether it was
democratic, Communist, monarchist, Christian, or
something else. He would agree that some are worse than
others, but he insisted that all were wrong. Any
government is a monopoly of organized force, inherently
unjustifiable; and once accepted, it's bound to get out
of control sooner or later.

     This notion is hard for Americans to grasp, let
alone assent to. After all, we have what looks like a
solid rationale for government in our Declaration of
Independence, plus a practical plan for keeping it within
due limits in our Constitution and Bill of Rights. True,
American government has become a staggering tangle of
laws, powers, regulations, and taxes, with recurrent
wars, public debt, debased money, and countless other
evils, but couldn't this be cured by returning to the
Constitution?

     That's what I used to think. Besides, what would we
replace the government with? Who would protect us from
violent crime and foreign enemies? Who would coin the
money? Who would pave the streets and fix the potholes?
Others would ask who would feed the destitute, care for
the sick and elderly, protect minorities, and cope with
myriad other crises, emergencies, and easily imaginable
disasters -- most of which, by the way, didn't use to be
thought of as responsibilities of government. Everyone
has a horrible fantasy that makes the actual horror seem
(to him) worth putting up with.

     Read the label on a can of soup, and think how many
laws and regulations the vendor has to comply with. The
rationale for these is that the public has to be
protected -- from what? Unhealthy ingredients of some
sort, I suppose. But would we really be in any peril if
there were no government enforcing these costly
restrictions? Would it be in the seller's
interest to poison his customers, even if there were no
legal penalty for doing so? How often did that happen
before all these laws were imposed? Roadside fruit stands
are still unregulated. Are these dangers to the
purchaser?

     The other day I was ticketed, and my car briefly
impounded, when a policeman noticed that I was driving
with a cracked windshield. My car had passed the required
safety inspection and had the required sticker before
some vandal had thrown rocks at it, so I thought I was
legal. I wasn't hurting or threatening anyone; I posed no
danger I could see. The cop was as polite as a man with a
pistol can be, but as he ordered the car towed away I
asked him quietly, "Just who are you protecting from me?"
The answer was a vague mumble about "the public."

     Later I joked to friends that I'd been "carjacked."
An armed man had seized my car, I explained. Of course he
had a badge, a uniform, and some sort of "law" on his
side, so I, not he, was the criminal. Heaven help me if
I'd tried to defend my property. Self-defense would have
been an even more serious offense. By submitting to
force, I confined the evil to a mere nuisance. This time.

     "Carjacking" or "impoundment"? We now have two
vocabularies for wrongs, depending on whether private
persons or government agents commit them. This is the
difference between "mass murder"and "national defense."
Between "extortion" and "taxation." Between
"counterfeiting" and "inflation." And so on. Other
examples will occur to the astute reader.

     Do you smell a fault? No wonder Frederic Bastiat
described government as "organized plunder."

     Yet for most of my life, I believed that social
order depended on government. That is, I believed that
freedom depended on force, and ultimately that a great
good depended on a great evil. I'm afraid most people
believe such things, and accept armed men in uniforms as
their benefactors.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Read this column on-line at
"http://www.sobran.com/columns/2006/060502.shtml".

Copyright (c) 2006 by the Griffin Internet Syndicate,
www.griffnews.com. This column may not be published in
print or Internet publications without express permission
of Griffin Internet Syndicate. You may forward it to
interested individuals if you use this entire page,
including the following disclaimer:

"SOBRAN'S and Joe Sobran's columns are available
by subscription. For details and samples, see
http://www.sobran.com/e-mail.shtml, write
PR@griffnews.com, or call 800-513-5053."


"What do you think you're doing by infesting the whole world?  Because I do it with a puny boat, I am called a pirate; because you do it with a great fleet, you are called an emperor."


Mernoc

  • Guest
Anarchy
« Reply #15 on: May 17, 2006, 12:07:pm »
Here is my  take on this for what it's worth.

Although anarchism sounds nice in theory it simply wouldn't work in practice.  Man by his nature is social, he groups together with other men for mutual benefit.  In order for the group to function it needs a leader.  That leader will be the most powerful of the group or the one with the most supporters within the group (normally this same individual matches bot criteria).  

The most powerful group will then naturally continue to gain in power as more people join that group in order to enjoy the benfits of membership or are destroyed by that group as its enemies.  Anarchist's would be fragmented and lack cohesiveness compared to the more pwerful group which has a definite leader and as a result its members are all going in the same direction.  As a result anarchists will either be destroyed or amalgamated which is why you find no areas of the globe where anarchists live together (at least not important resource laden areas).  

If a country got rid of its government (not a realistic possibility in my opinion) and decided they were not going to replace it with another form of government but where all just going to do what they wanted society would disingrate ito divided individual pockets of people and as such would become easy prey to neighbouring governments who could deal with them one by one, also good luck trying to develop technology on the scale we have up to this point in a land full of anarchists pleasing themselves.

Anarchism rejects society and seems to promote the individual over the group as a result anarchists will always be weak and isolated this is why it is neither a workable nor a desirable system.


royalcello

  • Guest
Anarchy
« Reply #16 on: May 17, 2006, 12:09:pm »

anamchara

Anarchy
« Reply #17 on: May 17, 2006, 12:18:pm »

Quote from: Quo_Vadis_Petre
How do the anarchists reconcile Jesus' words to the Pharisees about rendering unto Caesar what is Caesar's with their ideology?

I don't see the problem.  Jesus never specified what precise behaviors we are to render unto Caesar.  As far as I'm concerned, we're to render nothing more than the Gold Rule.     

 

I will refrain from stealing from Caesar.  I will refrain from threatening Caesar's life and property to extract from Caesar the funds I require to advance my version of the public good.  I will refrain from spying on Caesar.  I will refrain from dropping bombs on Caesar. 

 

I will refrain from incarcerating Caesar (except in self-defense).  I will refrain from killing Caesar (except in self-defense).

 

Anarchy is simply that political condition under which Caesar, like the public he purportedly serves, finds himself bound by the Golden Rule now binding on the public.  Frightening, isn't it? 

 

 

"What do you think you're doing by infesting the whole world?  Because I do it with a puny boat, I am called a pirate; because you do it with a great fleet, you are called an emperor."

anamchara

Anarchy
« Reply #18 on: May 17, 2006, 12:42:pm »

Quote from: Mernoc
Here is my take on this for what it's worth.

Although anarchism sounds nice in theory it simply wouldn't work in practice. Man by his nature is social, he groups together with other men for mutual benefit. In order for the group to function it needs a leader. That leader will be the most powerful of the group or the one with the most supporters within the group (normally this same individual matches bot criteria).

The most powerful group will then naturally continue to gain in power as more people join that group in order to enjoy the benfits of membership or are destroyed by that group as its enemies. Anarchist's would be fragmented and lack cohesiveness compared to the more pwerful group which has a definite leader and as a result its members are all going in the same direction. As a result anarchists will either be destroyed or amalgamated which is why you find no areas of the globe where anarchists live together (at least not important resource laden areas).

If a country got rid of its government (not a realistic possibility in my opinion) and decided they were not going to replace it with another form of government but where all just going to do what they wanted society would disingrate ito divided individual pockets of people and as such would become easy prey to neighbouring governments who could deal with them one by one, also good luck trying to develop technology on the scale we have up to this point in a land full of anarchists pleasing themselves.

Anarchism rejects society and seems to promote the individual over the group as a result anarchists will always be weak and isolated this is why it is neither a workable nor a desirable system.

Although statism sounds good in theory, it doesn't work in practice.  In the 20th century alone, governments killed 170 million of their own people, not counting the millions upon millions they killed in interstate warfare.  The most dangerous entity in any society is the state.  

 

Anarchists don't dispute that man is social.  Anarchists dispute your conflation of state and society.  Of course, people willingly band together.  They form families, friendships, clubs, churches, neighborhood watch associations, fraternal organizations, etc.  These associations are all voluntary; the individual retains the freedom to secede.  Group funding is accomplished through acts of charity and appeals to social conscience and familial love. 

 

Governments--whether Christian or secular, monarchical, republican, fascist, communist or democratic--bar secession at the point of a gun.  Governments fund their activies by means of threats, force and extortion. 

 

"What do you think you're doing by infesting the whole world?  Because I do it with a puny boat, I am called a pirate; because you do it with a great fleet, you are called an emperor."

Quo_Vadis_Petre

Anarchy
« Reply #19 on: May 17, 2006, 01:09:pm »
I have to repeat this excerpt:

The teaching of the Magisterium on Church and state came to be known as “the doctrine of the two swords,” under the figure borrowed from St. Luke’s Gospel (22:38) by St. Bernard. Approaching the matter at a deeper level, the aforequoted Cardinal Pie taught that Church and state compose Christian society in a manner analogous to the divine and human natures in Jesus Christ. Distinct without confusion, indissolubly joined without separation, each power retains its qualities and operations without change. To part them is therefore in a sense to dissolve Christ.

For the Cardinal this was not just political theory, but revealed doctrine: “Commentators of all times,” he wrote, “have unanimously deduced from the fourth and sixth chapters of Zacharias the divinely revealed doctrine of the union and necessary accord between priesthood and empire. The state of the whole world, says Bossuet, turns on these two powers.” In a talk given in 1848 the Cardinal had also compared the union which should prevail between Church and state to that of the union of body and soul in the individual. “Now, no matter how well endowed with joints, sinews and muscles, a body without a soul is a corpse, and it is the property of a corpse soon to fall into decomposition. The soul of every human society is belief, doctrine, religion, God!” Leo XIII would avail himself of this same analogy in his encyclical Immortale Dei.

This belief that you have, that the State is intrinsically evil, is as, by your admission, not contained in the Magisterium of the Church. It is only an opinion, contradicted by Popes, Doctors of the Church, and theologians. If you find something in Church doctrine supporting the anarchy you espouse, I'll be all ears.
"In our time more than ever before, the greatest asset of the evil-disposed is the cowardice and weakness of good men, and all the vigour of Satan's reign is due to the easy-going weakness of Catholics."   -St. Pius X

"If the Church were not divine, this Council [the Second Vatican Council] would have buried Her."   -Cardinal Giuseppe Siri

St. Peter Arbues, pray for us.