"...it's not the training to be mean but the training to be kind that is used to keep us leashed best." ~ Black Dog Red

"In case you haven't recognized the trend: it proceeds action, dissent, speech." ~ davidly, on how wars get done

"...What sort of meager, unerotic existence must a man live to find himself moved to such ecstatic heights by the mundane sniping of a congressional budget fight. The fate of human existence does not hang in the balance. The gods are not arrayed on either side. Poseiden, earth-shaker, has regrettably set his sights on the poor fishermen of northern Japan and not on Washington, D.C. where his ire might do some good--I can think of no better spot for a little wetland reclamation project, if you know what I mean. The fight is neither revolution nor apocalypse; it is hardly even a fight. A lot of apparatchiks are moving a lot of phony numbers with more zeros than a century of soccer scores around, weaving a brittle chrysalis around a gross worm that, some time hence, will emerge, untransformed, still a worm." ~ IOZ

Dec 8, 2010

The naming of names, or something...

Demarchism is not anarchism. The enforcement of the popular will is still enforcement. Since unanimity is a chimaera, the popular will must reduce the individual will to an adjunct subject, or those who claim to represent it cannot enforce the will they ask you to believe they represent.

Devolved power is still power. Devolution may reduce, for a time, the size of the subject populations which an authority can claim, and capture, but it does not alter the fundamental relation of subject to command.

If the relation of subject to command is justifiable under any circumstances it is justifiable under all - because the exercise of power has no immediate relationship to the justifications given for it. The responsibility to enforce the enactments of authority requires a means by which those who claim to represent the general will can, and do, impose that assumed will. They require, in short, coercion. Once justified, the argument that coercion has useful limits, or can be limited according to a common good, fails to answer the original justification, because that justification itself demands the enforcement of a defining good by an arbitrating group or class which must remain separate from the mass it governs, in order to govern it. The capacity to delegate relies on the ability to compel the person to whom a task is given to perform the required task, and to accept the obligation of it. A justification for the exercise of authority does not confer that authority. It only explains why some believe they have it, or must obey it.

Democratists and democratizers may intend to devolve power until it reaches an assumed point of identity with representation, meaning that the will of all persons is represented in the identity of the democratic judgment - but they cannot resolve the disconnect between assumed universality of judgment and a single instance of dissent, unless they whitewash or ignore the mechanisms by which they enforce those judgments which they believe have an exact identity with a presumed social will.

Which, of course, doesn't even begin to address the (assumed) validity of the idea of social will, or popular will, which informs the social contract implied in demarchism and democratization.

Advocate demarchism, or democratization, or devolution. Assume whatever you want about the potential for non-coercive coexistence.

Let's just not pretend that these systems of rule are anarchism.


Randal Graves said...

Sounds like you're not in favor of my idea of government by random dice roll. Think how fun and unpredictable it will be with every natural 20!

Jack Crow said...

On a sliding scale of preferences, I'd accept it more readily than our current timocracy-masking-itself-as-a-moral-meritocracy.

I wonder though - at how one reconciles "random" with "govern."

[smiles innocently]

JRB said...

I'm enjoying your train of thought on these questions. Keep up the good work!

Al Schumann said...

One of the great reducers of the disposition to violence and retribution is a set of folkways devoted to conflict resolution. It can be done anarchically, and is to a much greater extent than nightstick fetishists will ever admit. But it takes forbearance and strength of character. The persistent defector from mutual benefit still eventually faces non-cooperation and eventually shunning. The alternatives are dissolution of the anarchic community, pathological capture, veiled retribution or toxic psyches.

The caveat to the above is the scenario plays out under tremendous outside pressure: the state.

Jack Crow said...


My non-answer is MacCleodian: let 'em opt out. Ostracism isn't the same as prison or poverty. Feed 'em anyway, too.



Al Schumann said...


I reckon that's about as good as it gets. It's worth trying, anyway, and absolutely: feed them too. Facilitating the chance for self-salvage keeps everyone human.

Jack Crow said...


I was coming back with a supporting thought, but you already wrote it.

My longstanding objection to revolutionary centralism obviously isn't the revolutionary part. It's the inhumanity (I know - suckass vague term) of centralism.

I know a comrade or twenty prefer themselves some Stalin, but the fucker starved people. That almost recommends the Inquisition's purification by fire, or the guillotine, by comparison.