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0 votes
By universal, do you mean state-mandated and supported access to health care, or do you mean something else?
I thought I was logged in when I asked this..
But yes, state-mandated health care is what I was referring to.

2 Answers

0 votes
In an anarchist society healthcare could be managed at the municipal level free according to anarcho-communism as a consumer cooperative that also includes workers representation. As a popular demand put forward by movements in a place with a neoliberal healthcare system such as that of the US i think it should be supported but not uncritically since state funded systems are centralist in nature.

A more detailed anarchist proposal and analysis on the subject of healthcare can be found here: http://www.theanarchistlibrary.org/HTML/Peter_Gelderloos__Anarchy_Works.html#toc26
by (3.3k points)
Good link and great site!
+5 votes
Anarchist perspectives are going to range widely on this from that put forward by Iconoclast to people who reject the idea of universal health care as an outright expansion of state control and authority. I tend to fall towards the latter personally.

I want to be clear: I believe that all people should be able to access the things they need to survive, but I do not support creating more infrastructure and bureaucracy to do so. In particular the model that has been put forward by the Obama administration is really troubling to me in that it uses economic coercion to create the conditions necessary for it to work - you can't opt out. Anything the government (or the workers, or whatever) forces upon us is anathema to my conception of anarchism.

In addition, I am actually wary of any health care that looks like that we understand as western medicine - invasive medical procedures that rely on experts, the spread of super viruses and antibiotic resistant diseases, the increased reliance on technology to prolong life, and so forth make me extremely uncomfortable. To my mind, much of what passes for health care in our society is really trying to fix the problems of industrial civilization through more industrial civilization, as well as being founded on an overwhelming desire and drive to avoid death. At. Any. Cost. Essentially this point boils down to: jettison industrial civilization, and we likely jettison many of the current health problems people face. Sure, some things that are now easily treatable will be more deadly, but, to my somewhat dependent on the medical-industrial complex self, that trade off seems worth potentially exploring.
by (22.1k points)
I feel exactly the same :-)
I hope you are not getting too "primitivist" here since even in tribal societies there are a sort of "experts in the tribeĀ“s wiseman or the lady who knows a lot about herbs and stuff and in most cases there was few if any exchange included and so this means a sort of anarcho-communism.
Iconoclast - I wouldn't describe myself as an anarcho-primitivist, so much as anti (or at least critical of)-civ. I don't have a map or plan for what an anarchist world would look like, nor do I think it is likely that we are all going to be feral hunter-gatherers, though I really don't think that the level of industrial technology we live with is desirable or sustainable.

I also wouldn't dispute that there is some level of specialization and division of labor, even within primitive societies, I think where that is problematic is when a society becomes so complex that there develops a sort of formal expert class (in this case doctors who go through years of technical training). And yeah, in most cases that looked like a sort of informal anarcho-communalism or -communism. I see no inherent conflict there, though I am wary of what is generally described as anarcho-communism.