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The world is an anarcy.

 
 
Cyracuz
 
Reply Mon 5 Dec, 2005 10:06 am
A thought that came to me from browsing the thread entitled "anarchy":

We might say that the international society is an anarcy. My nation has a democracy, and so does most nations nowadays, but outside those nation's borders anything goes, as we have seen in recent years.

Sure there are international treaties, but not that all countries have signed or abide by, and not on every subject. The rule that goes on an international level is the survival of the fittest, and it is a true anarcy, since the most powerful one can do precicely what he wants.

If we were to declare anarcy in the united states today, it would only be a matter of time before people started grouping together, forming their laws and rules within their groups, competing with other groups, just as is the international situation today.
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Acquiunk
 
  1  
Reply Mon 5 Dec, 2005 10:15 am
International society as always been anarchy. However global instant communication gives us a consciousness as global citizens, which did not previously exist. It also makes us more aware of the lack of control and standards in international relations which previously did not exist
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Cyracuz
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Dec, 2005 08:40 am
Yes, but it changes nothing. If we see the international society as one state that state is an anarcy. Our many democracies are merely buffers, making it harder for one man or a select few to assume control, but it is by no means impossible.

Also, the instant global communication you mention makes me see how illogical it is that we still have many states. The whole earth should be one nation.
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joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Dec, 2005 10:07 am
Re: The world is an anarcy.
Cyracuz wrote:
We might say that the international society is an anarcy. My nation has a democracy, and so does most nations nowadays, but outside those nation's borders anything goes, as we have seen in recent years.

Political scientists routinely describe the realm of international relations as an anarchy. Indeed, the first person who thought in those terms was probably Thomas Hobbes in the seventeenth century. You're not saying anything that hasn't been said thousands of times before.

See, e.g., Rethinking the Hobbesian Metaphor for International Politics
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Cyracuz
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Dec, 2005 09:08 am
Three hundred years since the first one? And it still holds true... Hmmm... Don't know what to make of that.
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Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Dec, 2005 09:48 am
Cyracuz wrote:
Sure there are international treaties, but not that all countries have signed or abide by, and not on every subject. The rule that goes on an international level is the survival of the fittest, and it is a true anarcy, since the most powerful one can do precicely what he wants.

If we were to declare anarcy in the united states today, it would only be a matter of time before people started grouping together, forming their laws and rules within their groups, competing with other groups, just as is the international situation today.

In a later post, Cyracuz wrote:
The whole earth should be one nation.

Alternatively, one might conclude that anarchy isn't all that bad, and that it ought to be introduced within nations too. David Friedman once wrote an interesting and provocative book about the subject called The Machinery of Freedom -- a Guide to Radical Capitalism. Among other things, the book explores how people in an anarchy may go about doing just what you describe: "Grouping together, forming their laws and rules within their groups, competing with other groups". Friedman argues that the institutions emerging from that competition may well be as attractive as democratic nation-states, perhaps even more. Friedman did not convince me entirely, but I found his "anarcho-capitalism" a fun system to contemplate and think through. You might enjoy reading "Police, Courts and Laws -- on the Market". In this chapter, Friedman describes how those may emerge under anarchy. The chapter is webbed on his homepage here.
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Cyracuz
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Dec, 2005 09:51 am
It is a good thought. I believe that the problems arise when one group is much more successful than another. If that group is intent on world domain, then a dictatorship is what we'll get. If that group is intent on success but not at cost to the others, then we'd be ok.

And thanks for the link. I've bookmarked it for later digestion.
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