MA Thesis Defense: David Ramirez-Ruz
June 23 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
David Ramirez-Ruz (Cal State Long Beach)
‘A defense of communist anarchism’
23 Jun 2021 • 3:00pm–5:00pm • online
Abstract: Theorists have long disagreed as to whether we should accept or reject the political state. Recently, new arguments for the state have entered the debate between statists and anarchists. Massimo Renzo argues that, by not embracing the state, anarchists pose an unjust threat to others. Since we have duties not to pose unjust threats, and welcoming the state is the only way to prevent posing an unjust threat, Renzo concludes that anarchists must enter the state. Luara Ferracioli, another champion of the state, argues that the state is necessary for cultivating people’s autonomy. Because of the weight anarchists place on autonomy, Ferracioli argues that they must embrace the state. Both of these arguments are a kind of internal critique of the anarchist’s position: if the anarchist genuinely believes that we should not pose unjust threats to others and supports autonomy, then they ought to welcome the state because only the state can ensure these things. Furthermore, amid anarchist camps there is disagreement as to which conception of anarchism best meets reality’s challenges. On one end of the political spectrum are anarcho-capitalists, such as Michael Huemer, who argue that a totally free market society would best address any concerns one would have for anarchism. Anarcho-capitalists argue that we will only be able to enter into consensual agreements in a free market society. These consensual agreements will in turn lead to individuals acquiring greater freedom and experiencing greater happiness. On the other end of the political spectrum are anarcho-communists who argue that a communal anarchist society has the best prospect of success. They argue that, while the state may provide us with certain benefits, societies based on an ideal conception of community would provide us with the same or equivalent benefits while relieving or eradicating many of the issues that anarchists associate with the state, such as its unjustified coercive structure. Much of the theoretical emphasis of anarcho-communism is placed on this ideal conception of community. I argue—contra Renzo and Ferracioli—that stateless societies can provide us with the same goods and services that the state is said to provide us with; and therefore anarchists need not welcome the state. Then, I argue that Huemer is wrong to suppose that anarcho-capitalism is the better social arrangement when compared to opposing forms of anarchism. Ultimately, I argue that anarcho-capitalist societies risk falling into a destitute version of the state of nature if they do not embrace a state, which means that anarcho-capitalism is ultimately an unsound society.
Oral defenses are open to the public. For a draft copy of the thesis in advance, please contact David <firstname.lastname@example.org> directly.