Let's build anarchism

The anarchy I propose still has some hierarchical elements in the organisation of production processes because we cannot cooperate everywhere. In the first place , we simply do not have time for it. Also, we have to pass our participation rights in the decision-making processes in society to people who are experts in the fields. Let's give the people freedom to do what ever they think is the best for society but those people must not disappoint us when they decide something in the fields of our interest.  

My anarchy will enforce that by assigning every person an equal right and power to evaluate any other person. Let's say each person gets the right to evaluate three people positively and three people negatively every month. Each positive assessment should automatically bring a small benefit, let's say one dollar, to the assessed person. On the other hand, any negative assessment will result in a punishment of the same form. What would we get? Such a small power in the people's hand will make individuals respect each other strongly. Each member of society will try to create the greatest possible advantages for society, and to diminish or abolish creation of all forms of disadvantages. 

People will judge other people freely. That means an immoral person may evaluate other people dishonestly but it will not matter much because an individual power of one dollar cannot produce harm to anybody. If two people do not like each other they may evaluate each other negatively for years, which would not be a big deal. Getting or losing three dollars in the developed world does not mean much. Individuals will not have much power in society but independent evaluations of people joined together will be very powerful. Besides, the person who receives bad evaluations would never know who has evaluated him negatively. However, the result will be very affirmative because he would try to improve his behaviour towards everyone. A person who receives a large number of negative evaluations would try even harder to avoid doing anything inconvenient to other people and to produce betterment to all. As the result of it, a bully will not harass you at school, your boss will not abuse you at work, your neighbour will not produce noise at night, a salesperson will not cheat on you, politicians will not lie to you; you name it. They will all try to please other people in the best possible way. This is what will eliminate social evil and make a good society.

The higher position in society a worker has, the more responsible to society he would be. I f you are an exposed person, for example a chief of a hundred workers, there is no chance you would be a jerk to the workers (which is by the way a very occasional incident today) because they might evaluate you negatively and it may cost you few hundred dollars monthly. By the system of evaluations, chiefs would immediately lose their privileged status among the workers. They will not have any other choice than to cooperate with workers. The president of the US for example, might get 100,000,000 bad evaluations from the American people for bad policies, lies, and for the criminal aggression on Iraq. That would cost him 100,000,000 dollars in only one month. On the other hand, I doubt that his supporters would certainly evaluate him positively because they might easily have higher positive evaluation priorities and would spend their positive evaluations before he gets in turn. Such a president would not be privileged by any means any more. He would run away from his position so fast that no one would have remembered him as a president. Only the most skilful and bravest individuals, willing to cooperate with all of the people, would dare to lead countries. They will not be authorities any more but our servants.

Everyone will serve others as much as he or she can. Everyone will try hard to please society in the best possible way and that will make a wonderful society. By the time, the system of evaluation will abolish the state laws, police and military force, and very states. Nobody will need it anymore. That would be a perfect anarchy.

A.S. Canada

An anarchist criticism of A.S.'s evaluation based system

1. We are open to new ideas. Let's build anarchism. First we must say that an anarchist society, also of course the AI-organizations and networks, always must be open for new ideas, and discuss this in an open and matter of fact, objective and fair way, not reject new ideas on basis of dogmas. As such we thank A.S. for putting forward new and original ideas for discussion. However history shows that among 1000 new and original ideas, only a few will survive free matter of fact criticism and bring social science and anarchism forward. We are afraid A.S.'s evaluation based system will not survive such criticism, at least not without major improvements. Thus we agree to the title: "Let's build anarchism", but we don't think A.S.'s evaluation based system is the right way to do it, as explained below. 

2. A principal first criticism. First, the form of evaluation that A.S. recommends in "my anarchy" is per definition sustaining hierarchy, in that he/she that evaluate place one or as A.S. suggest three persons on top and three persons down, i.e. a top down approach and principally not consistent with horizontal organization, i.e. significantly without hierarchy and top down approach. The evaluation that A.S. suggest is thus principally not consistent with "our anarchy" and probably not consistent with anarchy at all, with a reasonable definition of anarchy. We think a society with much focus on such evalution, mentally, psychological, sociological, political and economical, will not be efficient and fair, i.e. basically anarchist. We also rejects the tendency towards expert rule indicated by A.S. For   more information on horizontal organization related to this problem, see http://www.anarchy.no/klasse.html  .

3. We evaluate according to A.S. In general persons will not evaluate in the way that A.S. suggests. As an example, following A.S.'s suggestions,  we four authors of this criticism, of course will evaluate each other positively, and evaluate A.S. and his (if any) two most eager followers negatively. For the surplus, paid by A.S. and his two followers, we will increase our spending. If all the about 50 000 persons loosely associated with the AI-network evaluate in the same way, it will be really funny, and A.S. will be considerably poorer.  Is this really anarchism? We don't think so.

4. Free criticism as alternative to A.S. evaluation. In stead of the evaluation as A.S. suggest we recommend dialog and open free matter of fact criticism, based on equality and horizontal organization, and no top down approach. An evaluation within such a horizontally framework,  may work positively, but this is not the A.S. approach.

5. Ochlarchy - not anarchy. Furthermore, our hypothesis is that an evaluation the A.S.'s way will work hierarchically in a very negative way, i.e. probably end up in significant ochlarchy (mob rule broadly defined), and not anarchy.  We will support this hypothesis with several examples 6-9. 

6.  Evaluation based on "trynefaktor". In Norway, connected to evaluation, we have the expression  the trynefaktor , literally translated "mug, snout or face factor or value" which give no good meaning in English, but it means something  like that a person will give unfair positive or negative evalution dependent on what he/she likes/dislikes, including the looks, charm or charisma, and not impartial, accounting for objective qualifications.  If the "trynefaktor" is significant the evaluation will depart from an impartial evaluation reflecting objective qualifications. In this connection it must be mentioned that psychopaths and sociopaths may have a charming, charismatic, appearence. In practice the "trynefaktor" may be significant in an evaluation, and the evaluation be proportionally wrong, in the meaning not reflecting objective qualifications.

7.   Ruling technique. Ochlarchy, mob rule broadly defined, may be based on ruling techniques or the Law of Jante, i.e. mobbing. The A.S. evaluation may increase mobbing, or be used directly to mobbing. For more information on ochlarchy, mobbing, ruling techniques and the Law of Jante, see http://www.anarchy.no/ija136.html  .

8. "Our man" on the top, friends and comradery. Hierarchical organizations, say marxists, may easily manipulate via the A.S. evaluation, to get "their man" on the top. Regardless of qualifications... Any majority may also use this evaluation system to repress the minority, i.e. majority dictatorship, and not anarchy. The A.S. evaluation system also opens for positive evaluation of friends and family and comrades, i.e. corrupting the system.

9. Scientific revolutions and evaluation. The new ideas usually are first formulated by few, or one. Ibsen's "compact majority" may evaluate the new ideas down and ruin the new-thinker...  

10. And we can continue and continue...   We think A.S. should rethink his proposal. We will not live in such an "evaluation society", and it will probably not be anarchist, i.e.significant. Let's build anarchism - A.S.'s proposed evaluation based system is not the way!

Anarchist greetings from H.F., G.J., L.J., and B.H.

30.11.2008: A.o.t. because of this criticism the paper "Let's build anarchism" from A.S. was not adopted as a resolution from The International Anarchist Congress - The 10th Anarchist Biennial 29-30.11.2008. The congress however thanks A.S. for the contribution, and urges A.S. to continue producing new and original ideas. May be some of it will be adopted at the next congress in 2010. "Let the ideas speak for themselves!"