Tweet Almost half a century back, John Kenneth Galbraith, the US ambassador to India and a renowned economist, had called India a "functioning anarchy", where the implication was that the country did well despite the government not doing much. A lot has happened since then, with India going through a series of ideological changes ending in a phase of economic reforms where a number of institutions and structures were created or changed. Here it would be interesting to look at our public institutions to gauge the extent of progress or regression.
Conclusion Introduction We decided to compile this critique of democracy because we recognize an inherent tension between democracy and the freedom of individuals to create their own lives as they see fit.
Some of the problems we find with democracy have been acknowledged by defenders of democracy as well, but have only led to the development of amended types of democracies as various thinkers tried to prune the concept into an acceptable shape.
By contrast, our analysis has led us to abandon the concept altogether, because we find some fundamental faults with the idea itself that can not be reconciled by new modifications or reforms. Our critique is of democracy in all its various forms, whether representative or direct.
We are not echoing confused cries for more democracy, we are calling for its entire abolition. Definition Of Democracy To start, we offer a definition of what we are critiquing. Democracy is a theory of government where the law reflects the will of the majority as determined by direct vote or elected representatives.
Typically, the legitimacy of a democracy begins with the adoption of a constitution, which establishes the fundamental rules, principles, duties, and powers of the government and some set of rights for individuals against those of the government.
The enumeration of rights attempts to protect individuals from the whims of a democratic majority, a concept developed as republicanism during the overthrow of monarchism. To begin our critique of democracy, we start by talking about the more general anarchist critique of alienation.
Anarchists distinguish themselves by asserting a direct and unobstructed link between thought and action, between desires and their free fulfillment.
We reject all societal processes that break that link—such as private property, exchange relations, division of labor, and democracy. We call that broken link alienation.
Passions and desires can only be a delight when they are real and definite forces in our lives. In this condition of alienation, however, they are inevitably muted by the knowledge that the conditions of our existence are not under our control.
In this context, dreams are only for dreamers, because our desires are constantly faced with the impossibility of action. In this sinister way, when we lose our connection with the desires and passions that drive us forward, it is impossible to wrest back control of our lives and we are left to linger in a condition of passivity.
Even the desire to change the material and societal conditions that function on alienation is met with this passivity and hopelessness, essentially leaving them intact.
Society thus ends up divided into the alienated, whose capacity to create their lives as they see fit has been taken from them, and those in control of these processes, who benefit from this separation by accumulating and controlling alienated energy in order to reproduce the current society and their own role as its rulers.
Most of us fall into the former category, while people like landlords, bosses, and politicians compose the latter.
Democracy does nothing but maintain the existence of alienated power, since it requires that our desires be separate from our power to act, and any attempts to engage in that system will only serve to reproduce it. It makes no difference whether one transfers that power to an elected representative or to an elusive majority.
Democracy has given it to the majority. You have been alienated from your capacity to determine the conditions of your existence in free cooperation with those around you. There is an important distinction here.
Parties are political in their claim to represent the interests of others. This is a claim to alienated power, because when someone takes power with a claim to represent me, I am separated from my own freedom to act. In this sense, anarchists are anti-political.
We are not interested in a different claim to alienated power, in a different leadership, in another form of representation, in a regime change, or in anything that merely shuffles around the makeup of alienated power.
Any time someone claims to represent you or to be your liberatory force, that should be a definite red flag. We are anti-political because we are interested in the self-organization of the power of individuals.
This tension towards self-organization is completely orthogonal to democracy in any of its various forms.
Our critique of alienation is connected to problems with decontextualization, because in democracies, decisions are also alienated from the contexts in which they arise.
Democracies require that laws, rules, and decisions be made separate from the circumstances that people find themselves in—thus forcing individuals into predetermined and reactive roles, rather than allowing for free-thinking individuals or groups of individuals to make decisions in various contexts at various times as they see fit.
To organize for a vote, the complexities of an issue, its causes and effects, and its possible resolutions get reduced to yes or no, either or, for or against.An Anarchist Critique of Democracy Introduction Definition Of Democracy Alienation trying to reform a system that in its best and most functional form can only hope to oppress everyone, equally, an equal percentage of the time.
Direct Democracy Isn’t Anarchy, You Fucks. Ross’s anarchy may seem to be unrealistic but that doesn’t mean that his criticism of the present state of democracy in India and elsewhere is not . Anarchy functions, if I'm reading the question right, by a lack of government, but without chaos.
It relies on the nature of people to make things. A democracy that's really a functional anarchy As India marked the 60th anniversary of its independence last year, a clutch of books celebrating the nation’s meteoric rise in the aftermath of the opening up of its economy in the s was released.
4 It is the greatest paradox of the Indian system that in an apparent phase of 'electoral democracy' or of Galbraith's 'functional anarchy' people have reposed their full faith in.
Ross’s anarchy may seem to be unrealistic but that doesn’t mean that his criticism of the present state of democracy in India and elsewhere is not valid.