Hi there, I'm new to the forum but not new to anarchism. I consider myself a Social Democrat with distinct anachist sympathies, so I'm not coming at you all with any dislike or derision. I simply wanted to post the issue which shook my own faith in anarchism, and wanted to see if any of you would be better able to answer it than I was and maybe reconvert me.
There is a scientific theory called, 'Dunbar's Number' which refers to the biological capacity for humans to have genuine empathetic compassion and therefore 'human' morality towards another person. This builds off the fact that humans have two moral reasoning centres, one being passionate and emotional (I don't want my mother raped because I love my mother.) and the mathmatical, detached and logical moral reasoning (A million lives hold more value than ten lives, so I'll murder ten so that the million may live.)
Dunbar's number proposes that there is a literal maximum capacity for true concern built into the human brain, where we are physiologically incapable for truly caring about people outside of this particular sphere. It's fairly self evident, as although we consider the starvation in certain countries horrifying, it is only through a far-removed and temporary concern-- abstract morality (It's the reason why good humans still are able to ignore it). Conversely, if it were a friend or neighbour, we would do everything in our power to ensure they were protected and cared for-- emotional or natural morality.
It is exactly because of this limitation that large scale societies are consistently opressive, exploitative, and violent. The instant a population reaches around 50 000, a state forms and with all the ugliness associated with it. A man can not govern in the best interest if someone he is biologically incapable of genuinelly giving a shit about. It is the cause for the appeal of anarchism-- states and large scale societies are beyond human capacity for caring and therefore psychopathic.
The concern I have is that we have a population of seven billion which will continue to increase until it levels off around ten and ahalf billion.In all cultures in all points of history, a society of over 50 000 formed statehood as a protection against the excesses which cultivate one we reach a certain population.
I can appreciate anarchism on the small-scale. I find the idea of 5 000 living in self-determination and cooperation to be about as beautiful a goal as there is. However, what is the anarchist solution to ten billion humans? Surely we will need cities to house and provide for this many humans, and anywhere there is a city direct democracy and self governance will spiral out of control with too many conflicting interests and disregards. So how do we solve this problem?
Thank you for any answers you provide.
'...the burden of proof falls upon the claimant; and the more extraordinary a claim, the heavier is the burden of proof demanded. The true skeptic takes an agnostic position...'