[eDebate] Topic 'Anarchy'?

Trond E. Jacobsen Trond
Thu Jun 21 19:34:45 CDT 2007

Can we please dispense with the enthymeme that this topicality good/bad 
debate, or whatever it is, has anything to do with anarchy?

Topic anarchy?  Please.

At least clarify your use because anarchy has a rich tradition with 
many successes, failures, variants, and adherents.  If you mean ?I want 
to argue whatever I want?, say so.  If you mean ?being forced to 
advocate X? is oppressive, say so.  If you mean ?violating social norms 
is bad?, say so.  If you mean ?breaking rules? creates chaos, say so.

All these things have been said, making gratuitous the thread title.  
To me it unfairly continues the propagandistic framing that anarchy is 
so terrible to contemplate it becomes short hand for something, 
anything, we don't like and from which we must intellectually flee 
without so much as firing up another synapse:

?I am NOT advocating anarchy/chaos!? or ?You ARE advocating anarchy/chaos?.

Nobody is advocating either and they are not the same.

I do have one general question that is not meant to be accusatory or 
dismissive of anyone and the hard work they do.

Do we need a topic committee?

If ?yes?, why?

If ?no?, why not?

If ?yes, but a different process?, which one and why?

I?ve tried to ask a neutral question and I do not have a strong, 
pre-formed view, but I would tend toward the third and need to think 
about the changes I would propose.

Please note that this is a different issue than whether or not the 
current system is democratic and sidesteps questions about whether it 
is a just democracy.  Also note it is not really a question about 
whether we need a topic or what responsibilities community members bear 
in relation to that topic.  At least that is not what I have in mind in 
asking the question.  I more have in mind: "To get to a good/adequate 
topic, must we have a topic committee or can alternative configurations 
better achieve that end at lesser 'cost'?"

No, I will not engage in a debate about anarchy, I am only suggesting 
it is not an appropriate term to bandy about to refer to the issues 
under discussion, with the (small) disadvantage that it further 
infantilizes political theorizing and discourse.

Trond E. Jacobsen

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