by Sven Triloqvist
Sat May 5th, 2007 at 04:16:00 PM EST
Purely for your entertainment, I have assembled a few snippets from the annals of anarchism.
"Anarchism, in its most general meaning, is the belief that all forms of rulership (and thus also involuntary servitude) are undesirable and should be abolished."
A form of government or constitution in which public and private consciousness, formed through the development of science and law, is alone sufficient to maintain order and guarantee all liberties. In it, as a consequence, the institutions of the police, preventive and repressive methods, officialdom, taxation, etc., are reduced to a minimum. In it, more especially, the forms of monarchy and intensive centralization disappear, to be replaced by federal institutions and a pattern of life based on the commune.
Pierre-Joseph Prouhdon (1809 - 1865) Spontaneous Order anarchist
The value of labor is a figurative expression, an anticipation of effect from cause.
"Mutualist economics is characterised by a dedication to free association, a democratically run mutualist bank, and voluntary contract/federation."
It is not the product of his or her labor that the worker has a right to, but to the satisfaction of his or her needs, whatever may be their nature.
Joseph Déjacque (1821 - 1864) Anarchist Communism
We do not want to rob any one of his coat, but we wish to give to the workers all those things the lack of which makes them fall an easy prey to the exploiter, and we will do our utmost that none shall lack aught, that not a single man shall be forced to sell the strength of his right arm to obtain a bare subsistence for himself and his babes. This is what we mean when we talk of Expropriation...
Peter Kropotkin (1842 - 1921) Anarchist Communism
Anarchism is no patent solution for all human problems, no Utopia of a perfect social order, as it has so often been called, since on principle it rejects all absolute schemes and concepts. It does not believe in any absolute truth, or in definite final goals for human development, but in an unlimited perfectibility of social arrangements and human living conditions, which are always straining after higher forms of expression, and to which for this reason one can assign no definite terminus nor set any fixed goal.
Rudolf Rocker (1873 - 1958) Anarcho-Syndicalism
Political rights do not exist because they have been legally set down on a piece of paper, but only when they have become the ingrown habit of a people, and when any attempt to impair them will meet with the violent resistance of the populace
"Rudolf Rocker said that the different types of anarchism presented "only different methods of economy, the practical possibilities of which have yet to be tested, and that the first objective is to secure the personal and social freedom of men no matter upon which economics basis this is to be accomplished."
Anarchism means no government but it does not mean no laws and no coercion. This may seem paradoxical, but the paradox vanishes when the Anarchist definition of government is kept in view. Anarchists oppose government, not because they disbelieve in punishment of crime and resistance to aggression, but because they disbelieve in compulsory protection. Protection and taxation without consent is itself invasion; hence Anarchism favors a system of voluntary taxation and protection.
Benjamin Tucker (1854 - 1939) US Anarchism
"Benjamin Tucker, who was one of the most prominent individualist anarchists, opposed what he called four "monopolies": the money monopoly (state control over currency, credit, and banks); the land monopoly of land-titles that remained in effect if individuals were not using their land; patents, which prohibit competition; tariffs, which restrict competition in favor of established firms. There was also agreement among the early American individualists on the permissibility of employment ("wage labour"). Tucker believed that if the state stopped protecting these "monopolies" from competition that "it will make no difference whether men work for themselves, or are employed, or employ others. In any case they can get nothing but that wages for their labor which free competition determines."
Capitalism is the fullest expression of anarchism, and anarchism is the fullest expression of capitalism.
Murray Rothbard (1926 - 1995)
"Anarcho-capitalists such as Rothbard being economics-inclined, believe that different prices of goods and services in a market, whether completely free or not, are ultimately the result of goods and services having different marginal utilities rather than the fact they contain differing amounts of labor - and that there is nothing unjust about this."
Socialism and Communism both demand a degree of joint effort and administration which would beget more regulation than is wholly consistent with ideal Anarchism; Individualism and Mutualism, resting upon property, involve a development of the private policeman not at all compatible with my notion of freedom."
Voltairine de Cleyre (1866 - 1912) Anarchism without Adjectives
The First International
"Mikhail Bakunin (1814 - 1876) joined in 1868, allying with the anti-authoritarian socialist sections of the International, who advocated the revolutionary overthrow of the state and the collectivization of property. At first, the collectivists worked with the Marxists to push the First International in a more revolutionary socialist direction. Subsequently, the International became polarized into two camps, with Marx and Bakunin as their respective figureheads.
Bakunin characterised Marx's ideas as authoritarian and predicted that, if a Marxist party came to power, its leaders would simply take the place of the ruling class they had fought against."
The Russian Revolution
"Anarchists participated alongside the Bolsheviks in both February and October revolutions, many anarchists initially supporting the Bolshevik coup. However, the Bolsheviks soon turned against the anarchists and other left-wing opposition, a conflict that culminated in the 1921 Kronstadt rebellion. Anarchists in central Russia were either imprisoned or driven underground or joined the victorious Bolsheviks. In the Ukraine, anarchists fought in the civil war against Whites and then the Bolsheviks as part of the Makhnovshchina peasant army led by Nestor Makhno."
Anarchism in Spain
"In response to the army rebellion, an anarchist-inspired movement of peasants and workers, supported by armed militias, took control of Barcelona and of large areas of rural Spain where they collectivized the land. But even before the eventual fascist victory in 1939, the anarchists were losing ground in a bitter struggle with the Stalinists."
"Some anarchists do not see the destruction of property as a violent act. Anarchists see war, however, as an activity in which the state seeks to gain and consolidate power, both domestically and in foreign lands, and subscribe to Randolph Bourne's view that "war is the health of the state.""
"Most non-individualist anarchists follow Proudhon in opposing ownership of workplaces by capitalists and aim to replace wage labour with workers' associations. These anarchists agree with Kropotkin's comment that "the origin of the anarchist inception of society" lies in "the criticism . . . of the hierarchical organisations and the authoritarian conceptions of society" rather than in simple opposition to the state or government. They argue that wage labour is hierarchical and authoritarian in nature and, consequently, capitalism cannot be anarchist. Such anarchists would agree with scholar Jeremy Jennings when he argues that it is "hard not to conclude that these ideas [i.e. anarcho-capitalism] -- with roots deep in classical liberalism -- are described as anarchist only on the basis of a misunderstanding of what anarchism is."' In Demanding the Impossible: A History of Anarchism, Peter Marshall argues that "few anarchists would accept the 'anarcho-capitalists' into the anarchist camp since they do not share a concern for economic equality and social justice. . . Anarcho-capitalists, even if they do reject the State, might therefore best be called right-wing libertarians rather than anarchists." However, anarcho-capitalism is often considered to be a form of anarchism by scholars."
"All anarchists oppose the use of coercion related to international trade, as carried out through institutions such as the World Bank, World Trade Organization, G8 and World Economic Forum. Some anarchists see such coercion as neoliberal globalization.
Other market anarchists and anarcho-capitalists see the worldwide expansion of the division of labor through trade as a boon, and oppose the regulation and cartelization imposed by the World Bank, WTO, etc. Many also object to fiat money issued by central banks and resulting debasement of money and confiscation of wealth."
I hate Communism because it is the negation of liberty and because for me humanity is unthinkable without liberty. I am not a Communist, because Communism concentrates and swallows up in itself for the benefit of the State all the forces of society, because it inevitably leads to the concentration of property in the hands of the State.
Free market, libertarian communist, syndicalism, and other kinds of collectivist anarchists must learn to coexist in peace and mutual respect today, in our fight against the corporate state, and tomorrow, in the panarchy that is likely to succeed it.
"Anarcho-capitalists see pollution of air, water, and earth as the direct result of inadequate property definition or protection. The tragedy of the commons is an example of the former, and nationalization an example of the latter. Since a property owner will naturally tend to improve and maintain the value of his property for its retail value if nothing else, a greater number of owners (or lack of ownership as in "the commons," or pseudo ownership as in state property) is said to reduce accountibility for that property. Libertarians in general claim that the state tends to support polluting industries for short-term political gain (i.e. job creation)."
"Anarchist communists see class society as being at the root cause of pollution. They argue that a small class of owners or controllers will have the wealth to avoid the worst repercussions of pollution while a very much larger class of workers without such wealth have no say in the running of the workplace. Thus under capitalism and other class societies those who control workplaces are also those with the least interest in minimising pollution - indeed as most anti-pollution measures add to costs that class will have an interest in minimising such measures. Under capitalism pollution is often a product of externalising costs - that is a transfer of a pollutant from the property of the owner to a public river transfers the cost from the capitalist to society at large. The anarchist communist solution is to ensure that all those working and living within the ecosystem of a plant have control over all its outputs, including pollutants."
"Christian anarchists believe that there is no higher authority than God, and oppose earthly authority such as government and established churches. They believe that Jesus' teachings and the practice of the early church were clearly anarchistic. Some of them feel that the teachings of the Nazarenes and other early groups of followers were corrupted by contemporary religious views - most notably when Paul of Tarsus reintroduced Phariseeic Judaism via dialectical legalism, and when Constantine declared "Christianity" to be the official religion of Rome."
Leo Tolstoy is considered to be the most famous Christian anarchist.
"Buddhist anarchism originated in the Chinese Anarchist movement of the 1920s. Taixu, one of the leading thinkers and writers of this school, was deeply influenced by the work of Christian anarchists like Tolstoy and by the ancient Chinese well-field system. A much more recent incarnation of this school of thought was popularized by Jack Kerouac in his book The Dharma Bums."
Aaah so that's what I am - A Buddhist Anarchist ;-)
"David Graeber and Andrej Grubacic offer an alternative use of the term (anarchism with a small `a'), applying it to groups and movements organising according to or acting in a manner consistent with anarchist principles of decentralisation, voluntary association, mutual aid, the network model, and crucially...."
...the rejection of any idea that the end justifies the means, let alone that the business of a revolutionary is to seize state power and then begin imposing one's vision at the point of a gun.
Some prominent self-styled anarchists:
- Henri Cartier-Bresson
- Naom Chomsky
- Germaine Greer
- Robert Anton Wilson
- John Milius
"Recent technological developments have made the transmission of anarchist ideas accessible to a wider public. Many people use the Internet to form on-line communities. Intellectual property has been undermined to some extent and a gift-culture supported by sharing music files, collaborative software development, and free software (also called open-source software) has arisen. These cyber-communities include those that support GNU, Linux, Indymedia, and Wikis. Others use technology to remain anonymous, communicate securely using public key cryptography, and maintain financial privacy through digital currency."
All highly selective cut&pasting, of course....