Fascinating discussion, all.
I suppose my next point is this: If your ethics are truly
built around the individual rather than the collective (as mine are), you are dependent on the goodwill and friendship of others because you have nothing else - no tribe, no religion, no nation, no pack of any description. There's only the drop and the ocean - you, the drop, and the myriad other drops around you. It's easy to say "be upfront and open with your distaste for others' ways", and I see the wisdom in this, but you won't make many friends that way, and if you're psychologically unable to join the pack you value empathy, fairness and support far more than power and force (of which you either have none or you know it will be ineffectual and self-destructive). The benevolent anarchist - for such I am, by nature not by choice - values cooperation, quasi-objective fairness, and friendship more than they do posturing, no matter how justifiable that posturing may be. I understand why this can be problematic; if everyone were a natural anarchist, things would run smoothly. But they're not, a harsh lesson that I had beaten into me (sometimes literally) by those who valued the pack and their own power over fairness and mutual support. How to stop the individual imposing on others when they don't share the anarchist nature and thus value power and control, the natural concern of the group-minded? If you all followed my ethics, how could you prevent that which strikes you as unjust? This is one reason why I'm open to other ways of seeing things and doing things; my ethics work great, so long as most people share them. If they don't, then a perspective like DevilEyes'
is valuable as a counterbalance.
says it's highly dangerous ground to ignore individuals in favour of "the group". I agree, though I have a problem with the idea of "individual rights
". I would propose that rights are themselves a concept imposed by a collective that disempower the individual in favour of a group. The individual choice has been subordinated to an imposed framework that cheats by insisting that it's actually inherent to the universe rather than a construct of the sapient mind. It can't even be honest with itself. The very idea that individual dignity can be protected through an imposed framework drawn up by others is itself dangerous. If the rights are guidelines
for ethical behaviour, that pleases me - I'm in agreement with most of them, and would encourage others to see how we're all elevated through internalizing them. But making them rules
, suggesting they are intrinsic, to me not only defeats the supposed purpose and reveals the hypocrisy in the concept, but doesn't actually confront the real problem. The real problem is the desire to control others and to exploit others for your own gain; the anarchist only has this problem if they're also a sociopath, hence the chaotic anarchist whose archetype seems to have taken over people's perception of anarchists in general, but the group-thinker, to whom cooperative groups are not merely a wise choice or an emotional desire but instead an instinctual psychological need, always seems to struggle with the problem. Which is not to say they haven't tried to balance that need with a sense of individual liberty, because obviously people on the whole have.