reply to post by DariusHames
Anarchy is not anarchism. Anarchy is a lack of hierarchical systems of authority. Anarchism is a political system that offers an alternative to
hierarchical authority by replacing it with voluntary associations of workers.
Anarchism is not simply no government. Anarchism offers an alternative. Anarchy is just a lack of, it offers no alternative.
To fully understand what anarchism is you have to understand it's history...
The original anarchists, e.g. Mikhail Bakunin, were socialists. They believed the economy, the means of production, should be collectively owned by
the workers themselves, rather than a government (e.g. USSR, China etc), or private entities as in capitalism. Bakunin and Marx were both members of
the International Workers Association and were heated rivals. Marx thought Bakunin was economically ignorant, while Bakunin accused Marx of being an
authoritarian. Marx eventually had Bakunin expelled, as Marxism became more popular than anarchism as a way to change from capitalism to
Socialism in the 1800's was split between those who wanted a political path to socialism, Marxism, and those who wanted direct action and instant
change. The later started using the term anarchism to differentiate their socialism from Marxist socialism. Much like Marx called his socialism
'communism' to differentiate from the old utopian socialists such as Robert Owen, and because middle class liberals had started appropriating the term
to mean something it didn't (liberalism is not socialism). Anarchists also were the first to use the term Libertarian, calling themselves Libertarian
Socialists as the term anarchism became demonised by the press. Libertarian, liberty from authority (to replace the authoritarian state), socialism
workers ownership of the means of production (to replace authoritarian capitalism)
"We are convinced that liberty without socialism is privilege, injustice; and that socialism without liberty is slavery and brutality."
Mikhail Bakunin "Federalism, Socialism, Anti-Theologism", presented by Bakunin as a Reasoned Proposal to the Central Committee of the League
for Peace and Freedom, at the League's first congress held in Geneva (September 1867).
Anarchism is not about having no order, control, or even laws. It just puts that power into the hands of us all, instead of the privileged wealthy
few at the top of the capitalist pyramid.
A good example of anarchism in action is the Spanish revolution 1936.
Anarchists in the Spanish Civil War
FOR WORKERS around the world, the Spanish Civil War was a beacon of hope against the tide of reaction then sweeping Europe. As the promise of
workers’ revolution was being dashed by the rise of fascism in Germany and the rise of Stalinism in the Soviet Union, the workers of Spain led a
heroic fight against the 1936 uprising of General Francisco Franco. In the process, they led not only a struggle against fascism, but also a
workers’ rebellion that gave the world an inspiring glimpse of what workers’ power could look like....
The Spanish Revolution (1936)
The role of anarchism in the Spanish Revolution or Spanish Civil War of 1936 is too often absent from histories of this struggle against fascism.
Alongside the war millions of workers collectivised the land and took over industry to pursue their vision of a new society. This page tells their
story and the story of those who fought alongside them....
There was both a civil war, and a revolution going on at the same time. The anarchist took advantage of the civil war, and lack of government, to
re-organise their society. Spain's 'communist party' ended up betraying the anarchists. Never trust a political party that calls itself "communist"
or "socialist". Neither terms should be associated with political authority because it simply attracts those who want power, not liberty for all.
Socialism/communism are economic systems and require no government, or state authority...
"We are convinced that liberty without socialism is privilege, injustice; and that socialism without liberty is slavery and brutality." Bakunin.
BTW anarcho-capitalism is not a form of anarchism because capitalism is hierarchical in its nature, it creates economic authority over others. Those
who own property and hire wage labour are a form of hierarchical authority.
So in conclusion Anarchism is a system whereby the workers own the means of production, and society is organised by voluntary local associations who
make decision based on community needs through direct democracy (and no, direct democracy is not mob rule).
edit on 11/9/2012 by ANOK because: (no reason given)