the need for a standing army - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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The 'no government' movement.
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#14539191
Now I know that the common belief among anarchists is that there shouldn't be a standing army.
BUT
The fact of the matter is that its a necessary evil as a war deterrent and protection.
I know what some of you will say, that if the need arose people could just partake in guerrilla warfare.
But history has shown that in asymmetrical warfare the guerrilla side always take the most casualties by a very high magnitude.
Also we cant ignore the fact that in the absence of a standing army there'd be warring factions withing the land.
So for pragmatism's sake there should be a standing army.
As far as law and order, that would be up to the communes.
But there would probably be a lot less crime in anarchist society in which the worker's owned the means of production.
#14539217
#14539220
The fact of the matter is that its a necessary evil as a war deterrent and protection.


A standing army as a war deterrent? It seems to me, and I think history would bear me out here, that a standing army is an invitation to war.

Anarchists should embrace drone technology, IMO. They could solve a lot of these sorts of problems.

The drone is the new gun. I don't think the state understands the Pandora's Box that has been opened with the invention of the warfighting drone. That sword cuts both ways...
#14539221
Goldberk wrote:An army to defend what?

The state, it's property and the property of the elite class of the state?


Mostly this. And I speak as a retired Army officer. In a society free of the constraints of a state whose existence depends on armed men, what would be the point of a standing army?
#14539249
Goldberk wrote:An army to defend what?

The state, it's property and the property of the elite class of the state?

The gains of the revolution. It's called the defense question, and it's one of the biggest obstacles for leftists. Communists tend to assume they've solved it by the establishment of a worker's state and a people's army, but if one looks at the history of the Soviet Union and other worker's states, one finds that in the struggle to address the defense question, they end up compromising the very ideals they fought for, and slowly devolve into state capitalism. There is an immense problem in attempting to overcome the systemic violence of capitalism without becoming the very thing you're fighting against.
#14539254
Comrade Tim's answer doesn't solve the problem either. If you look into the Catalan anarchists, they often fled and deserted when faced with Nationalist regulars and "Makhno's Boys" in Ukraine were every bit as brutal and rapey as the White and Red Guards (feeding into the problem Paradigm brings up).
#14539293
A bigger question than that of an army, is simply how to amass a kind of solidarity that can slowly begin to dismantle structures of power and domination within the globalized world. I don't think there are any static answers about military force--that question is really a far distant question to the most important one, which is how to bring people together. What that world begins to look like will then determine what kind of force (if any) is needed to defend it or make it ultimately viable.
#14539303
Goldberk wrote:An army to defend what?

The state, it's property and the property of the elite class of the state?


Revolution itself. Or how you defend against foreign armies? The fact of the matter is that any revolutionary society will need an army and a police if she wants to preserve the revolutionary gains.
#14539353
Red_Army wrote:Comrade Tim's answer doesn't solve the problem either. If you look into the Catalan anarchists, they often fled and deserted when faced with Nationalist regulars and "Makhno's Boys" in Ukraine were every bit as brutal and rapey as the White and Red Guards (feeding into the problem Paradigm brings up).


I'd like to see some sources on that.

Sounds like propaganda to me.
#14539378
Read the wikipedia for the Durutti Column, they never engaged in any major battles:

Efficient in street battles, the militants had neither enough power nor experience to stand a chance against the disciplined and well-armed army from Morocco. Having suffered huge casualties the Durruti column escaped the battlefield


As for Makhno, again just read his wikipedia. Do you think anarchists are saints or something? The Russian revolution was a bloodbath, and the anarchists employed terror as much as the Reds and Whites. The Reds were just the most effective.
#14539393
anticlimacus wrote:A bigger question than that of an army, is simply how to amass a kind of solidarity that can slowly begin to dismantle structures of power and domination within the globalized world. I don't think there are any static answers about military force--that question is really a far distant question to the most important one, which is how to bring people together. What that world begins to look like will then determine what kind of force (if any) is needed to defend it or make it ultimately viable.

Well there would be two ways to go about it
1.revolution
A group of workers would appropriate a manufacturing plant or some other business.
Possibly a union like United Steel workers.
But that wouldn't last long and it'd probably wouldn't gather much sympathy and would just further ruin union's public image.
Besides I'm a christian anarchist so I'm against stealing and killing.
2.evolution
Create some source of easy credit for people who want to start communes or cooperatives.
Proudhoun seem adamant about usury free banking and islamic banks have shown it is possible.
Islamic Banks do profit sharing when lending to businesses instead of charging interest.
I envision profit sharing until twice the principal is paid or so.
It'd be slow and boring, but hey its something.
#14539421
"they often fled and deserted when faced with Nationalist regulars "

"Having suffered huge casualties the Durruti column escaped the battlefield"

So nationalist regulars wouldn't flee having suffered huge casualties? Quote dont support you proposition.
#14539444
I have thought of defense/peace keeping forces as part of my citystate consideration.
Each community supplies a squad as part of an international force.
Each squad stays together as an effort to prevent military hierarchy from becoming too powerful.
This is the best I could come up with.
They act independently and only act with others when necessary.
#14539456
Red_Army wrote:Read the wikipedia for the Durutti Column, they never engaged in any major battles:


Efficient in street battles, the militants had neither enough power nor experience to stand a chance against the disciplined and well-armed army from Morocco. Having suffered huge casualties the Durruti column escaped the battlefield


Presumably in a post revolutionary state (as is being discussed here), the standing army would be well supported in both materials and training. Using your quote to say a de-hierarchisised army would be ineffective, is like saying the collectivised industry's were ineffective because they were starved of resources by a hostile central government.

If you want an objective opinion on the system, George Orwell wrote on the subject just after he fought with them, (albeit with Trotskyists, not anarchists). There's more I could quote from him.

Orwell wrote:"As usual, the breaking-up of the militias was done in the name of military efficiency; and no one denied that a thorough military reorganization was needed. It would, however, have been quite possible to reorganize the militias and make them more efficient while keeping them under direct control of the trade-unions; the main purpose of the change was to make sure that the Anarchists did not possess an army of their own." ibid page 55
"During the first two months of the war it was the Anarchists more than anyone else who had saved the situation, and much later than this the Anarchist militia, in spite of their indiscipline, were notoriously the best fighters among the purely Spanish forces." ibid page 62
"I have described how were armed, or not armed, on the Aragon front. There is very little doubt that arms were deliberately withheld lest too many of them should get into the hands of the Anarchists, who would afterwards use them for a revolutionary purpose...What was more important was that once the war had been narrowed down to a 'war for democracy' it became impossible to make any large scale appeal for working class aid abroad." ibid page 68


As for Makhno, again just read his wikipedia. Do you think anarchists are saints or something? The Russian revolution was a bloodbath, and the anarchists employed terror as much as the Reds and Whites. The Reds were just the most effective.


Wikipedia is not a great source for claims like that. There are documented cases of the RIAU showing clemency to ordinary troops/commoners and sharing out the produce of the land equally, among the poor and rich alike. Just because the Red and White Armies butchered everything under the sun, doesn't mean everyone sold their soul the same way.
#14539495
Well here again you run into the problem that everyone has with anarchism. You are just making assumptions about what would happen in post-revolutionary society just based on hope and dreams. You have no examples of a successful military without hierarchy. Every successful military in the world has had discipline and hierarchy as components and this is not coincidence.

The first time I came in contact with an unsavory depiction of Makhno is in the fictional tale: "Makhno's Boys" written by Isaac Babel. I know it is fictional, but his depiction of the brutalities of both White and Red Guards got him in deep trouble with the Soviet State (eventually leading to his execution) so I don't see any reason to question its honesty. He depicts them as ordinary soldiers (raping women and murdering peasants for supplies). Its possible that Makhno's troops were morally superior to the Reds and Whites in treatment of religious and ethnic minorities, but I don't think its popular for the participants of any civil war to be morally pure.
#14539508
Who kills the right wing people without the army?

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The anarchists tried it their way in Spain. Where did it get them? Franco. The Communists tried it our way in the great Patriotic war, where did it get us? Victory.

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#14539512
Decky's simplification is still important. Spain is the most often cited example of successful anarchism, but does anyone really believe that the Republic could have lasted as long as it did without Soviet support?
#14539514
How would you cite Spain as successful anarchism? As soon as the anarchists came onto the scene it collapsed into fascism.
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