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0 votes
I'm a noob, sorry.
What's left anarchism?
anonymous - this is a site for noobs, so apologies are not required. interestingly, i don't think most left anarchists call themselves such, they just call themselves anarchists. and i'm not sure how many of them come here (if any).

i imagine their argument would be that good decision making processes (like consensus and direct democracy) allow for plenty of time and care taken so that individual voices and concerns are addressed. that's my guess.

human - you should make that its own question.

2 Answers

+2 votes
Left anarchism can mean a few different things, and their are going to be many different opinions on direct democracy and majority rule. Many use consensus which essentially rejects majority rule, others try to temper the principal of majority rule in directly democratic assemblies with processes aimed at addressing the needs of minority groups and individuals, still others organize in much more autonomous and informal structures.

in general, left anarchists want to create a social relations that include both maximum individual freedom and egalitarian social responsibility. There are many different "left" proposals for how to mediate between these two things.
by (320 points)
–3 votes
By left anarchism, I assume you are referring to pro-democracy socialist anarchism as opposed to anti-democracy capitalist "anarchism" ("anarcho"-capitalism.) I should note that anarchism is an ideological movement with historically left-wing tendencies, and on this site the term "left anarchism" is redundant.

There are a few things to bear in mind when analyzing democracy:

1. Humans are generally objective, moral people. Only a select few are selfish & greedy; not nearly enough to push a democracy over its tipping point.

2. If left anarchism were ever truly achieved, people would operate in a socialist mindset; each would have access to enough resources to "opt out" (leave) a collective if they ever felt unsatisfied.

3. One decision must be carried out eventually, and I'd rather it be that of the majority that that of the minority. Even Natural Law is maintained through coercion, as those who try to defect are put back into place through the threat of violence. If natural law were to be carried out solely through the consent of the minority, it would be a case of minority rule, an even worse situation than majority rule.
by (310 points)
f@: Something about preventing rape, murder, and pillaging comes to mind.

By excluding one school from another, I'm not necessarily implying they are the only two schools that exist.

 dot: I'm certainly not fond of objectivity, but most are. I need a common ground to communicate with people on.

 "Whatever that means" defers to whatever most see as an objective, moral person.

 Again, what alternative is there to majority rules? Minority rules? No rules (in which case power would be seized by whoever has the most access to violence?) I think you're struggling to see the impossibility of a system totally free from oppression.

rules do not, have apparently never, prevented rape, murder, pillaging (lol... pillaging?!). it just makes those things only be ok for the rule makers, or sometimes for those working for the rule makers.

edit: re "whatever that means" and deferring -- i'm sorry that i'm not being clear. it is exactly what you're acknowledging in both those phrases--acknowledging that there is no ultimate moral certainty, no universal good that all people agree to (much less act on)--that is in contradiction with some of your comments (things like "humans are generally reasonable").

(i edited this after FA's comment below, so they might not be giving the second part a thumb's up! ;) )

thumbs up to dot's comment immediately above.

@-d: in smaller, voluntary, direct social interactions, the possibility of much more dynamic and egalitarian (if that is the right word, i'm not sure) relations becomes far more realistic. and rules do not (need to) exist for those social relations, though everybody of course has their own needs, desires, likes and dislikes. communicating what those are is the responsibility of every individual involved in any relationship, if and when they deem it necessary. those are the only kinds of relations i desire in my life.
to add to my above comment:

a "system free of oppression" is unrealistic, imo. but it is also undesirable. any "system" provides the breeding ground for systemic abuse; institutionalized oppression can only exist in such a context.
dot: your edit clearly points out a major contradiction that @-d has embedded in their ideas (many, many folks seem to have a similar contradiction in their ideologies). double thumbs up!

we all have some contradictions in our lives. that is a result (among other things) of living in a world (culture, society, etc) that is not really compatible with the ideas of anarchy. it is a distinction between ideas and practice; desires and constrained/enforced reality. when the ideas alone contain contradictions... not sure how to reconcile that.