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Questions to
the Anarchist

Covering the Basic and
Common Questions About Anarchism

By Punkerslut

Image from Spanish Civil War
Image: Spanish Civil War Poster,
Edited by Punkerslut

Start Date: August 12, 2009
Finish Date: August 12, 2009

"...the day when the disappearance of authority shall permit all men to organize freely according to their choice, when everyone shall be able to enjoy the product of his labor, and when those moral maladies called prejudices shall vanish, permitting human beings to live in harmony, having no other desire than to study the sciences and love their fellows."
          -- Auguste Vaillant, 1894
          From "Psychology of Political Violence," by Emma Goldman, 1911

1. How will we create anarchy?

     The General Strike. Going back two thousand years ago to ancient Rome, there was the Seccessio Plebis; the "secession of laborers," where the plebian class gained significant advantages from the patricians (i.e. Capitalists). To just this year, the French Carribbean General Strike. It won for the people significant social, cultural, political, and economic rights, as well as a referendum that brings the colonized people closer to autonomy. These are all progressive, cooperative social movements, that seek to have an impact on society without reverting to law. It was the spontaneous, Navy rebellion in India, inspired by Gandhi's message, that led to the independence of that country. It was the boycott and demonstration that brought the American, Civil Rights movement to its height; we are not in debt to the politicians who signed the Civil Rights bill, but to those who were bitten by dogs so that it could be a reality.

     These voluntary, cooperative movements have brought about greater economic, cultural, and social rights. They have reformed or stemmed the evils that stem out of authority and private ownership of property, but they have not completely removed them. Anarchism does not cease when rulers finally give in, nor does it ultimately give up when popular laws are passed; it seeks the abolishment of any type of relationship that creates social ills. Following in the path of what has worked, the best tactic is revolutionary syndicalism: anarchist-minded unions that organize a General Strike to topple Capitalism.

Image from WikiMedia Commons
Image: From WikiMedia Commons,
Edited by Punkerslut

"...only by the elimination of economic monopolies and by common ownership of the means of production does a condition of social justice become feasible, a condition in which society shall become a real community, and human labour shall no longer serve the ends of exploitation but assure the well being of everyone."
          --Rudolph Rocker, Early 1900's
          "Anarchism and Anarcho-Syndicalism"

2. What School of Anarchism is the Best Approach, and Why?

     Anarcho-Syndicalism. It is an ideal and a tactic: it wants a world organized from the bottom-up by the workers, and it organizes workers into the form necessary to replace Capitalism and the State. Anarcho-Communism, Anarcho-Collectivism, Anarcho-Socialism are just different methods for distributing the social product. While I prefer the school of "To Each According to Their Contribution," others prefer "To Each According to Their Need." Ultimately, it is up to the workers in their syndicates, and the confederations of syndicates, to make the decision for themselves.

     Anarcho-Primitivism believes that technology is evil, and we must get away from it, so it's not revolutionary, since all you need to do is walk away "to be free." Anarcho-Capitalism believes that it is the state that is evil, but does not see evil in property. If you disallow someone from working the land and feeding themselves, or if you throw someone in prison, you contribute significantly to their suffering and misery. One action is taken by the landlord, the other is taken by the state. Two methods, but they both are issued as orders, both are imposed violently, and they both reach the same conclusion. Economic authority is different than political authority, but it is a power just the same and produces just as much evil.

Image from Spanish Civil War
Image: Spanish Civil War Poster,
Edited by Punkerslut

"Organisation arises from the conciousness that, for a certain purpose, the co-operation of several forces is necessary. When this purpose is achieved the necessity for co-operation has ceased, and each force reassumes its previous independence, ready for other co-operation and combination if necessary. This...refers not only to the economical and industrial relations between man and man, but also to the sexual relations between man and woman, without which a harmonious social life is impossible."
          --Max Nettlau, 1895
          "An Anarchist Manifesto," issued by the London Anarchist Communist Alliance

3. Why makes you think that the system of anarchy will not be overrun with chaos and violent warlords?

     Those are probably the most fair and logical questions one can ask about anarchism. Let's take a practical example. Anarchist Catalonia, a region of roughly five to seven million inhabitants, fought off Italian, German, and Spanish Fascists for three years. During this period, they suffered an embargo from Britain, France, and the United States. The Fascists who were fighting them, however, depended heavily for the imports from these nations, as well as Hitler's and Mussolini's technical training. But they lasted for three years, before being crushed by their own government. The Socialist Party led a coup, desiring to negotiate with the Fascists, but instead, they just let the enemy enter without a fight at all.

     Compare this with France! Anarchists, embargoed and hunted the world over, survive for three years against Nazi invasion -- but Liberal France fell within a week! The French government had occupied Germany in the twenties, against international treaties. They controlled all their finances and government structure for about fifteen years. Yes, every last bit of regulation, law, control, and power was made by the French government. It was almost as if they had used all of the government of the world -- and still, there has yet to be a defeat parallel to that of France in World War 2.

     Anarchists survived under every possible disadvantage for three years, but a tremendously advantaged, French government couldn't last a week? From Shinmin, to Free Territory of Ukraine, to Paris Commune -- all of these Anarchist societies fell, but only under the most excruciating conditions. And in all of them, they were at war with armies of several nationalities.

"All is interdependent in a civilized society; it is impossible to reform any one thing without altering the whole. Therefore, on the day we strike at private property, under any one of its forms, territorial or industrial, we shall be obliged to attack them all. The very success of the Revolution will demand it."
          --Peter Kropotkin, 1892
          "The Conquest of Bread," Chapter 4, Part III


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