|Reviews for The Achievement of a Rational Society|
| Technopeasant 1/25/12 . chapter 1
An interesting piece that was well thought out, though I have to question the idea of this being anarchism. Granted, as you mention, definitions for words vary - but the society you seem to envisage sounds more like Karl Marx's utopian ideal for communism than anarchism as I understand it. According to Marx, the state and authority was as you say the opposite of freedom and freethinking rational thought. Like you, he posited that over time, after a majority revolution, the basic functions of the state would wither away and be replaced by a loose consensus based public consciousness. Your description of the economic model, the judicial model and all the rest sounds very much like Marx's communist ideal. Anarchism as I understand it tends more to place the value of the rational individual, when you stress in your opener the strength of the rational collective. I am a socialist myself, with strong Marxist tendencies; I envisage a society wherein all aspects are handled through discussion and, when necessary, majority vote or delegate representation in all spheres - economic, political, social - and where the basic rights to economic bastions like housing, nutrition and work are codified rights (ala the Soviet Constitution, or FDR's Second Bill of Rights for the U.S.). This is my version of the stage Marx described as socialism, and as for communism - that would be the ideal, but I do not seriously know if anything like it, or what you suggest, is actually ever going to happen. Still, impossibility does not render something invalid as a goal to seek for it might still produce benefits.
On other points, I do have to agree with your words on how parents can abuse their authority over children, though it does have to be said that children do need some direction (no, do not go and walk through that sewer!). In your model, would parenting be handled by these grand debating councils? You also touch upon an important issue of accepting that utilitarianism is intellectually the most rational model for ethics, but acknowledging the fact that human ignorance or failings means that we can not trust to a relativist platform in its own right. I personally do not think freedom is the most important or anything like that myself, through a basic materialist argument. In the Western liberal democracies we are granted constitutionally the right to freedom of speech, as can be shown by my writing this, but I am restricted by my own material limitations. I can publish here, but if I wanted to pop it into a well-read newspaper or in a book I would need to be published by a publishing house owned by people with far more wealth and resources. Thus, freedom is lessened without economic and material equality - thus I place egalitarianism as a higher requirement than legal freedoms. Your points are somewhat answered by the broader ethical standpoint of consequentialism, where, instead of a majority view dominating on its own, an action is viewed by the group based on what occurs from it. This answers a few ethical enquires, such as your example of 19th century slavery. It was not creating wealth and happiness for the majority, even if many would have thought so, and thus would be invalidated in under a consequentialist model. This is how the court model is also suppose to work in some respects. The simplest way I can put this I think is that intellectually morality is relative, legally it has to be absolute - but the absolute can still shift per public demand, if that makes any sense. ;-)
| gentleduck 5/3/09 . chapter 1
Very well written and researched, though I didn't learn anything new really, since I have researched and thought about anarchism a lot myself. But I like the examples you use and your "reason" reason for anarchism.
| No Trust 6/23/05 . chapter 1
The ends one aims to achieve are determined by arational desires. If you’re using reason to determine what ends to aim for then they are not ends but higher-order means to some other end.
| dSdQT 6/22/05 . chapter 1
But how can one know what ends to try to achieve without using reason?
| No Trust 6/11/05 . chapter 2
An action is rational to the extent that the actor thinks that action is conductive to the ends he employs it to achieve.
Desires/values are arational. This includes morality.
| dSdQT 6/10/05 . chapter 1
How would you rather it be used?
| No Trust 6/10/05 . chapter 1
Gawd. If I want to see the term "rational" abused I'll read Ayn Rand or some moron neoclassical economist, thank you very much.