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–7 votes
I've seen people say often that all anarchism is socialist or socialistic. I seem to disagree as there are aspects and ways anarchism can function non-socialist-ly. The biggest example would be Anarcho-Capitalism.
I've seen some talk about how anarcho-capitalism isn't real anarchy because it requires a government to recognize and protect/recognize private property rights, however I have found this to not be accurate the more I learn about it.

So how is anarchy all socialist if there are things like anarcho-capitalism?

edited for tag
edited by
Yeah maybe if you elucidated upon how exactly anarcho-capitalism doesn't require institutions of force and hierarchy to uphold private property, this question might make more sense.

There's also the implicit assumption that anti-capitalism is, by definition, socialist, which is also inaccurate.
The same way you'd uphold personal property, I would assume.
Except personal property doesn't necessarily involve the ownership of basic means of survival, means of production, land and resources that you aren't putting toward any particular purpose, and other shit that everybody needs and shouldn't be forced to work/trade for.

Private property, on the other hand, is all of that. Personal property doesn't require any particular system to protect, because it's on a small enough scale to be handled by individuals and there's not much reason to steal somebody's possessions unless you really want to fuck with their life (or, in present times, because you can liquidate those possessions for money). Private property is potentially large-scale and, within its jurisdiction, requires arbitrary wage labor of some kind that can be traded for basic needs of survival. So how is this system protected from people who say "I don't give a shit if you 'own' this empty building, a need a place to sleep"?
If someone tries to steal your personal property, such as your watch, you wouldn't use force to protect yourself and it?

If someone says "I don't give a shit if you own those second pair of socks you have on. Its cold and I have no socks at all" and attempts to take it, the person with two layers of socks doesn't fight back when assaulted?

If I am a farmer and some bandits and theives attempt to burn my barn down and steal my crops, the same would occur. The farmer would use a shotgun or whatever to protect his personal property (the crops) from being destroyed and stolen.

Per your example of someone entering an empty building because they need a place to sleep. What if a person is attempting to simply destroy the claimed empty building? Is the "ownership/caretaker able to protect it from destruction? Can the neighbors or community protect it?
What if the building isn't empty. What if you live there with a wife and kids and I force myself in stating I need a place to sleep and I don't give a shit who's already here. Are you not allow to kick them out because kicking them out may require force?

I'm trying to understand where the lines are here. Anarcho-capitalism (not all, as there are a few different forms) doesn't always have an institution of force or hierarchy to uphold private property. Ultimately in any system, isn't it the individual who protects their own property, personal or otherwise?

How does anarchism handle if a man builds a fence and claims land for himself. No institutions or groups other than himself defending and attacking anyone who crosses into his one acre.

You are right that I do not know or understand that anti-capitalism is socialism. I am curious as to what a third or more options are?
>"Ultimately in any system, isn't it the individual who protects their own property, personal or otherwise?"

No. For example, many places in modern society do not empower individuals to protect their own property unless there is reason to believe that their life could be in danger, in which case they may act to protect their own life. Practically zero places empower individuals to reclaim property that has already been taken; generally this is the role of police and police alone.

As another example, very few CEOs protect their own wealth and property; they have laws, lawyers, police, courts, prisons, various employees, and entire societal institutions that do so.

>"How does anarchism handle if a man builds a fence and claims land for himself. No institutions or groups other than himself defending and attacking anyone who crosses into his one acre."

It depends on whether there's any reason to come into contact with the man? If the man is self-sufficient and lives out in the middle of nowhere and never comes into contact with anybody, then what's the point of the question? Alternately, if the man lives in a very populated area and builds a fence around a vital acre of fertile land and water, then why would anyone tolerate him?

>"You are right that I do not know or understand that anti-capitalism is socialism. I am curious as to what a third or more options are?"

Many anarchists do not advocate for a specific economic system to replace capitalism. It's possible to be anti-capitalist without being pro-socialist. In fact, it's possible to be anti-capitalist without being pro-anything.

But as for potential alternatives: gift economy, barter, communism, mutualism, any number of gray areas and free-for-alls and who knows what.

2 Answers

+7 votes
Best answer
there cannot be anarcho-capitalism.

ps: also, not all anarchism is socialist.
by (53.1k points)
Of course there can, moron. Since Capitalism is nothing more than the free and equal trade between people, you can't have Anarchism WITHOUT Capitalism. It's the centralized state monopolies of Socialism that conflict with Anarchism, and that fact doesn't change just because the butthurt, pseudoanarchist statist shitbag mods of this site try to delete, ban and censor all information and argument proving it.
I voted this down because the second half of the answer is completely incorrect.  All anarchism is socialist.  Post-leftism is anti-socialist and not anarchist.  Just being anti-state and anti-capitalism is not enough to make someone an anarchist.
Sorry mate but that just isn't true,  not historically, not in terms of anarchist principles and not in the real world right now.  Additionally,  most post-leftists' claim to anarchism is based on more than just being anti-state and anti-capitalist, and your posts here suggest that you're more interested in differentiating yourself from post-leftism the you are understanding it, which I'm guessing is why you've been relying so heavily on sweeping holier-than-thou ad hominem generalisations in your arguments, which contain a shit-tone of assumptions that even a cursory understanding of the basic points of the post left critique would preclude.  Also post-leftism is not on the same side as Anarcho-capitalism, and tarring us with the same brush you use to tar them is just plain hyperbolic stupidity.
I've had quite a lot of contact with post-leftists and so far I've yet to actually see anything remotely anarchist from any of them.  All they seem to be concerned with is making sure that nobody is doing anything to help others.  There primary feature seems to be hatred of socialism.  If they actually are anti-state or anti-capitalist then it is certainly a much, much, much lower priority than doing all they can to prevent activism.
But there can be anarchists who believe in free trade.
@dotnetspec do we want to pick apart these words?
+1 vote
All anarchies are not socialist.  Many are not.  The people telling you this want to make a convenient erasure of what falls outside of their program.  They want to be the Answer, the One True Anarchism.  Many anarchies are neither capitalist not socialist (in the traditional sense of the word socialist).  People like Landauer have used the word socialist in other interesting ways, but for the most part socialism means a commitment to, among other things, economy, politics, bureaucracy, etc.  Many anarchists are against these things and also capitalism.  What socialism and capitalism have in common are an obsession with political economy, and a tendency to frame all of life in terms of economy and production, but there are many who do not care for playing number games and a life of toil.
by (2.3k points)
I think you make a lot of jumps. You assume that the parts I require come from far off places and produced in sweatshops.
What if I can make all the parts needed, thanks to my skills. Or I trade shoes for the parts I need that are created via my community. I go to a repairman and through voluntary exchange, agree to an arrangement for X amount of shoes for X amount of hours fixing and maintaining the machines.
What if, those I hire to work at the shoe factory, through voluntary exchange, own an equal portion of the product or equivalent portion?

Perhaps a non product example is based due to the negative connotations that exist.

Let's say I am skilled at human biology. A doctor or nurse. I offer the use of my skills in exchange for things I need, like food, water, clothing (including shoes :P ) and housing.

Or lets say I am a baker. I need wheat and so through voluntary exchange, agree with a wheat farmer to bake him X amount of bread each week for X amount of wheat aka barter to gain the materials I require to be a baker. I need other things like clothes, water, yeast, etc and setup rates of how much bread for how much material in return.
what you refer to as economics is really just the civilized perspective.  Those phenomenon (gifts and gift giving) exist in the world, -that outsiders (in this case scientists) chose to interpret and frame it through a specific set of values (that all life is economic) is another matter entirely.  Economic life isnt a truism, at least not for everyone.  Even the fact that we call a 'gift economy' an 'economy' is misleading, because its key features are actually in direct conflict with what is generally termed 'economics'.  gift economies are not sciences (in the western sense) and they are not abstractions.  They exist only in the people who 'use' them, and distinct character of them is the lack of calculating and quantifying life that is involved in 'economics'.
I don't see how its the civilized perspective or are all sciences just the civilized perspective of something?

Gift economics is merely the study of how gifts are different then other means of exchange. Again, economics is human interaction which covers primarily exchange. Whether it be exchange of goods or services. Services are one person doing something for another person.

So when you analyze how a gift is different than a barter economy or market economy. It even says gift economics is not like normal exchange of goods and services for money or whatever. Its not even a system in itself like other systems. Merely an analysis of function.

I don't see how scientists are okay when studying other biological organism, but as soon as they study the biological organism known as homo-sapiens, people start viewing us apart from nature.

Also gift economics is a science. They analyse the differences in gifts, such as gifts (aka bribes) that occur in government and positions of power in comparison to sociological effects and functions of gifts. It also looks at how the commercialized gift ideologies different from other gift forms.

To say all gifts are the same is incorrect and if all gifts are not the same, then there is no reason why those differences can't be analyzed through an objective scientific means. Or does anarchism have a part to it that I do not know about that rejects humans as being part of nature or unique to science in some way?

There are also lots of economic fields and theories that are way off. Just because an economic theory exists, does not make it correct or correct in all application. But this is a problem with the data or perhaps the method of analyzing the data. It does not mean the scientific field of economics doesn't apply. I think a lot of people do not understand what economics is. I know I didn't when I began to study a few years ago. Most of the US is economically illiterate so its not surprising so many don't understand it and the word economics/economy has developed a lot of negative connotations due to capitalists and socialists ideological fighting.

I've actually spoken at length with a PhD from one of the world's top economic universities. Because human interaction is so varied and great, you have people with PhDs getting some areas completely wrong. PhDs tend to get their degrees in two or three fields of study. The one I spoke to specialized in Public Choice and one other behavioral economic field. He currently teaches economics in college and the book the college forces him to use has major F' ups. The author had degrees in macro economics and no training in Public Choice so the books section on Public Choice was completely wrong as he confused it for another area of economics.
So major misunderstandings of these scientific fields is common place, even for PhDs since its so grand that no economists is an expert in all fields.

But I do not see how my references to economics is different than what economics is. Its like saying a botanists is the civilized perspective of plant biology. Different terms for the same thing. If I can explain how it may be a misunderstanding or lack of knowledge on economics, I will refer to Public Choice again. Public Choice is analyzing human behavior in the situation of having a democratic governmental system. If we lived in an anarchist state, then obviously, Public Choice would not apply. At least not exactly as it is today. We would have new economic theories being presented based on what economists analyze from people living in an anarchist society. These theories would be tested and time and debate, as well as historical examples would then be used to narrow down the economic theories.

This is also a key difference between positive and normative economic analysis. Most of the industrialized government world uses theories to manipulate and control economic functions and systems, like keynesian economics. These are applied theories and ideas of how to manipulate. These should not be confused with economics which simply analyses 'what is', instead of 'what should be' or 'what a centralized government wants to be'.

I think I have a good short vid which shows the difference in economic theories. :)

Hope these help to understand the idea how economics is used by government and people to manipulate, control and structure an economy but that's not what economics is about. Its the equivalent of quantum mechanics being used to create an a-bomb. Don't let the misuse of science make you think science is bad or evil. It just is and people use it for bad, good or just to understand.
I think the greatest assumption you're making is that, in each of your examples, you assume that exchange is automatically a recognized and accepted activity.

Maybe people don't want to exchange anything for anything. Maybe you're not "a baker" because the division of labor no longer exists and people are capable of being whatever is necessary at any given time rather than specializing into niches because it's profitable. Maybe the wheat farmer won't give you anything because he doesn't like you.
You start off by saying that gift economics isn't what jingles says it is, but this is obviously a matter of semantics. If you want to actually understand the argument, you should probably learn what anarchists mean when they say "gift economy", because it has absolutely nothing to do with studying the notion of giving gifts to politicians.

On the same note, saying that "people don't know what economics really is" is probably also a matter of semantics. The definitions of words and concepts change based on the language of the group you're in. "Capitalism", for example, means completely different things depending on whether you're speaking to a free-market economist or a student of Marxist theory. "Internationalism" is another good example for the same groups. "Science" will be interpreted differently by a neurobiologist than by a primitivist. "Work" has different connotations for a socialist compared to a post-left insurrectionist.

I have to disagree with you that science as the study of "what is" is less bad or more neutral/objective compared to the practical application of science relating to manipulation and control. There are plenty of sociologists, psychologists, environmental researchers, and economists who present their studies as objective truths about the world when, of course, science is always influenced by ideological frameworks.