A response to David Harvey’s claim that anarchists can’t run a nuclear power plant

September 2021 Forums General discussion A response to David Harvey’s claim that anarchists can’t run a nuclear power plant

Viewing 13 posts - 1 through 13 (of 13 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #81811
    jondwhite
    Participant
    #91906
    jondwhite
    Participant

    "start to think about forms of coordination which … require a form of political organization that is not horizontal, that can be rather hierarchical, and a lot of people on the left are rather hostile to that idea. But, as i try to say, well, next time if you fly the Atlantic and you're half-way across the Atlantic and somebody says, "Well, flight traffic controllers in New York have gone into assembly-mode right now and they are going to discuss which airline should get priority landing," just imagine what you would think!"

    #91907
    Young Master Smeet
    Participant

    Blithering nonsense.  In socialism, there will have to be safety officers who, if not obeyed, will mean a worker will have to leave the site.  There'll still be captains of the ship, who will have to be obeyed at sea.  The difference is, they will be chosen from among the crews and will have no material benefit to their position, no more than the captain of a Sunday football team.  The difference being, chiefly, that there will be limits to their authority, but authority they will have and authorities there will be.

    #91908
    DJP
    Participant

    I haven't read the Harvey article or the response, but the title would suggest that Harvey is critiquing some kind of strawman Anarchism.Here's a bit of Bakunin

    Bakunin wrote:
     Does it follow that I reject all authority? Far from me such a thought. In the matter of boots, I refer to the authority of the bootmaker; concerning houses, canals, or railroads, I consult that of the architect or the engineer. For such or such special knowledge I apply to such or such a savant. But I allow neither the bootmaker nor the architect nor savant to impose his authority upon me. I listen to them freely and with all the respect merited by their intelligence, their character, their knowledge, reserving always my incontestable right of criticism and censure. I do not content myself with consulting a single authority in any special branch; I consult several; I compare their opinions, and choose that which seems to me the soundest. But I recognise no infallible authority, even in special questions; consequently, whatever respect I may have for the honesty and the sincerity of such or such individual, I have no absolute faith in any person. Such a faith would be fatal to my reason, to my liberty, and even to the success of my undertakings; it would immediately transform me into a stupid slave, an instrument of the will and interests of others.If I bow before the authority of the specialists and avow my readiness to follow, to a certain extent and as long as may seem to me necessary, their indications and even their directions, it is because their authority is imposed on me by no one, neither by men nor by God. ions and even their directions Otherwise I would repel them with horror, and bid the devil take their counsels, their directions, and their services, certain that they would make me pay, by the loss of my liberty and self-respect, for such scraps of truth, wrapped in a multitude of lies, as they might give me.http://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/bakunin/works/various/authrty.htm
    #91909
    Young Master Smeet
    Participant

    And here's Kautsky:http://www.marxists.org/archive/kautsky/1892/erfurt/ch04a.htm

    Kautsky wrote:
    It is true that socialist production is irreconcilable with the full freedom of labor, that is, with the freedom of the laborer to work when, where and how he wills. But this freedom of the laborer is irreconcilable with any systematic, co-operative form of labor, whether the form be capitalist or socialist. Freedom of labor is possible only in small production, and even there only up to a certain point. […] Freedom of labor has come to an end, not only in the factory, but wherever the individual worker is only a link in a long chain of workers. It does not exist either for the manual worker or for the brain worker employed in any industry. The hospital physician, the school teacher, the railroad employee, the newspaper writer – none of these enjoy the freedom of labor; they are all bound to certain rules, they must all be at their post at a certain hour.

    Or, put anyother way, once you've chosen to commit to a project, obligations apply.  We could take the option of not having advanced industry, but once we do, we'll need to have ways of transmitting one way signals (which is another way of saying hierarchical)…

    #91910
    alanjjohnstone
    Participant

    "next time if you fly the Atlantic and you're half-way across the Atlantic and somebody says, Well, flight traffic controllers in New York have gone into assembly-mode right now and they are going to discuss which airline should get priority landing,"Having worked in air traffic for a couple of years a long time ago at Prestwick, it is indeed a silly argument Harvey is making. Air traffic rules exist and are clearly set down for almost every conceivable eventuality including who goes into a holding stack and those who fly understand that they obey instructions for their OWN safety as well as everybody else's. The rules are surprisingly very basic. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Separation_%28air_traffic_control%29Air traffic control is indeed an example of efficient world co-operation. (little known fact that during the Cold War Berlin Airlift, Russian and East German air traffic controllers were assisting the West's flights)I think Pieter Lawrence was endeavouring to answer this issue in his debate upon law that as Harvey probably correctly says, some anarchists fetish "the total freedom" argument rather than accept that there is a limit on an individual's liberty and requires personal responsiblity in accepting certain decisions outwith your expertise or experience and there are rules to be obeyed for the collective well-being. Within the party the real debate if i recall was centred upon the role of sanctions and penalties for breaking the rules.But the counter argument conclusion is probably closer to the truth "In fact, removing the management hierarchy and profit incentive…might not only make a safer world,"

    #91911
    Anonymous
    Inactive

     A good point YMS and as I always say I wouldn’t want someone taking out my appendix who was not ‘authorised’  to do so. However, what if the ‘authorised’ person started to remove healthy lungs instead of an unhealthy appendix and an ‘authorised’ captain started to deliberately sink the ship. What then? Take it up with your branch? Failing that then take it to conference? Or would another mechanism be required? If so. which one?

    #91912
    Anonymous
    Inactive

     Any explanation why these posts were rejected ? Is this moderation or censorship?Posted  00.09 on 25th 1st on “A response to David Harvey's claim that anarchists can't run a nuclear power plant” A good point YMS and as I always say I wouldn’t want someone taking out my appendix who was not ‘authorised’  to do so. However, what if the ‘authorised’ person started to remove healthy lungs instead of an unhealthy appendix and an ‘authorised’ captain started to deliberately sink the ship. What then? Take it up with your branch? Failing that then take it to conference? Or would another mechanism be required? If so. which one?

    #91913
    steve colborn
    Participant

    This is off-topic. OGW posted at 12.26, his post is still not up at 2.47 am, why not. How long does his, "moderation queue probation go on? how many weeks? You just doing his moderation queue on an ad-hoc basis?This is wrong comrade!Steve.

    #91914
    admin
    Keymaster

    FINAL WARNING TO STEVE COLBORN. Persistent off-topic posting. Forum comments are not to be used to communicate with the moderator. Post #8 above plus similar posts in 2 other threads.

    #91915
    Young Master Smeet
    Participant
    TheOldGreyWhistle wrote:
    A good point YMS and as I always say I wouldn’t want someone taking out my appendix who was not ‘authorised’  to do so. However, what if the ‘authorised’ person started to remove healthy lungs instead of an unhealthy appendix and an ‘authorised’ captain started to deliberately sink the ship. What then? Take it up with your branch? Failing that then take it to conference? Or would another mechanism be required? If so. which one?

    Well, if someone started taking out my lungs without authorisation, I suspect there'd be damn all I could do about it, since I'd be unconconscious with my lungs hanging out. You are right, though, that taking the matter to a proper democratic channels would be the correct way to deal with and remove/sack an aberrant official, however, like your evil surgeon, if the captain were trying to sink the ship during a storm, or similar emergency, there'd be no way to remove him through nice channels (and I doubt you'd necessarily notice, again, until it were too late).The point is, yes, officials would be subject to democratic appointment and dismissal, and there would have no interest separate from the group they were serving, and by and large we would have to show self discipline by sticking by the democratically and agreed rules of the activity/workplace/organisation.Of course, now isn't the time to come up with details Laws of the Sea Under Socialism, or guidebooks for medical practitioners, at best we can come up with general principles.

    #91916
    alanjjohnstone
    Participant

    "Labour that is directly social, community labour on a large scale, always stands more or less in need of guidance, of a management which can establish harmony among the individual activities, and fulfil the general functions that belong to the movement of the unified productive organism as contrasted with the movements of the independent organs out of which the organism is made up. An individual violinist manages his own affairs ; an orchestra needs a conductor. This function of guidance, superintendence, and arrangement devolves upon capital as soon as the labour subordinated to it becomes co-operative…"(Capital)

    #91917
    Young Master Smeet
    Participant

    And, just to keep plugging at an idea: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viable_System_ModelAttribution: Nick Green at the English language WikipediaOf course, such a model is recursive, and each stage is replicated in subordinate and superordinate units of an organisation. Now, such models exist, and can be used by use to create a classless society, but the iterative 'hierachies' would have to be used…

Viewing 13 posts - 1 through 13 (of 13 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.