Our Anonymous Hero plays a bit fast and loose with the definitions, I think.
That AH was me. I don't think I am distorting the definitions at all, actually. The meaning of anarchism seems pretty clear, given the roots of the word. That is, an- (not or no) arch- (State, government) -ism (belief in, or philosophy of). Others might use it as rejection of authority, but to the extent that force is used, "authority" is Statist, and if no force is used, "authority" is just some sort of suggestion.
"Capitalism: absence of force" isn't even a proper definition, in that it doesn't enable one to distinguish between a something that is an instance of capitalism and something that is not.
Sure it does: if force is used in some transaction, that transaction is not capitalist. So capitalist transactions are those which involve only trade or free gifts.
I'd agree that Capitalism provides opportunities for the state to avoid force in many cases, but the relationship between capitalism and force is complex.
What? Why would the State want to avoid force? Force is the only interaction that the State aggregates unto itself. If non-State entities use force, we call it "crime".
More pure forms of Capitalism involve goon squads.
I'm not sure what you're calling "capitalism", but it doesn't much resemble a free market, and sounds very much like socialism.
And there is no use of force in the Post Office, which is a distinctly non-Capitalist organization.
Um, try setting up your own letter-carrying service (as opposed to packages, which they've generously allowed private individuals to carry), and you, too, can find out how little force the Post Office uses.
Capitalism, as commonly understood, means that the means of production (factories, farms, etc.) are owned and controlled by individuals (often through corporations and other group arrangements) acting for their own benefit rather than by the govornment.
I agree with that, except that corporations are only possible because the State upholds them. They aren't capitalist, but socialist, in other words. In a free market (i.e., anarchy), they wouldn't have the Statist protections that they now enjoy, such as limited liability, and probably couldn't continue to exist, as they'd be less efficient (efficiency being the measure of "good for those partcipating in the economy [society]").
Describing State as the currently most prevalent manifestation of force might be accurate, but doesn't illuminate so much as complain.
Well, I notice that lots of anarchists seem unfocused, preferring to attack the symptoms of Statism than the causes (e.g., attacking McDonald's). If we eliminate the State, the other problems, such as the existence of corporations, copyright law, and most other uses of force (union goons beating up workers, as you mention, for instance), will likely disappear or be less prevalent.
[ Parent ]