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Can anarchists use force or coercion against authoritarians?

+1 vote
asked Jul 30 by coyote (130 points)
I think I have an answer, but would like it if you could elaborate a bit more.

People use subtle coercion and manipulation in their daily lives regardless of their philosophical or political views. I guess it depends on what you mean by coerce and force because they can be viewed as cinnamons synonyms in instances (because of the potential peer pressure, I spelled it correctly).

Peer pressure is coercion and I'd say some anarchists use it towards their anarchist pals, like for trying to maintain obedience to ideological purity...

I guess, sure, you can use coercion or force against authoritarians, if you want.

yes.  they /can/.  can meaning are capable of.  but this often pales in comparison to the force and coercion authoritarians are capable of using against anarchists.

the question of whether they 'should', i.e. concerning an anarchists 'moral duty' or whatever, is not one i would answer, simply because i dont believe in moral duties.

the question of whether they will depends on the anarchists and situation in question.
yes to all the comments so far...

yeah, i'd say flushing out every word of the question would help to possibly answer....or at least hint at another (perhaps deeper, or more specific?) question...
Or are you asking if whether or not an anarchist would still be an anarchist if they used coercion or force?

1 Answer

+1 vote

yes. it is consistent with anarchist principles to use some level of force or coercion against authoritarians. as far as i know, there isn't really any debate about this among anarchists, except for among pacifists. the level might be in question, and what counts as an authoritarian, and under what circumstances (self defense? what counts as self defense?) might also be in question, but as stated, the answer to your question is yes.

i personally tend towards a foucauldian definition of power, which argues among other things that power flows between people all the time, and force and power can be synonymous....

note: i'm sure i'm defining force / coercion more broadly than you are. this is what happens when you ask a vague question though.

answered Aug 3 by dot (51,340 points)
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