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Forum Post: Become an ANARCHIST...and be proud of it!

Posted 2 years ago on Aug. 30, 2012, 4:50 p.m. EST by struggleforfreedom80 (6584)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

Anarchism, or Libertarian Socialism if you will, is just a logical and reasonable way to organize society. It is the ideas of Libertarian Socialism that we must base the new and sustainable society (which must be established at some point in the future) on.

Let’s look at some of the core principles of Anarchism/Libertarian Socialism:

  • Building democracy from below.

That means a society where people have a right to a democratic say in the things they’re a part of and affected by, and that this democratic say is proportional to how much one is affected and part of things. And since the workplace and the community in which we live in is what we’re most involved in, and spend most of our time and energy, it logically follows that democracy should be organized from below thru democratically run workplaces and communities, cooperating in networks with other communities.

  • Focusing on both collective, as well as individual rights.

Meaning that individuals should be free to do what they want as long as they don’t harm others, but at the same time, when people organize and do things together, focus on the collective deciding things together based on consensus and democratic process.

  • Seeking to dismantle all illegitimate hierarchies and tyrannical systems.

That means opposing, not just state tyranny, but also private tyranny – capitalism and the concentration of private power and domination.

Anarchism doesn’t mean ”chaos” or ”lawlessness” or other such nonsense; that’s just propaganda. The word Anarchism actually means ”without rulers” and is about creating a highly organized society in which individuals have a right to participate in their community and workplace. It’s about dismantling the hierarchical structures which allow some individuals to control and dominate others, and replacing them with an egalitarian, solidaric society where all individuals are in control of their own lives.

This is just common sense if you think about it. There shouldn’t be anything controversial about these ideas. What’s controversial is the existing unsustainable society where the financial elite and the corporations have a huge control over our lives. The policies of the right and center-right who want to keep it this way; the policies of ultra right-wingers like Ron Paul and Paul Ryan who want to give corporations even more power, that’s what’s controversial.

So, the reasonable thing to do is working to create a free, just, solidaric and sustainable participatory democracy where the people are in control.


Anarchism/Libertarian Socialism:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rxYth0ktPsY&feature=plcp

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vu8J_UKKa-c

Workers’ self management – a crucial factor in building a libertarian socialist society:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3jRy5ZIYZok&feature=plcp

44 Comments

44 Comments


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[-] 3 points by trashyharry (3115) from Waterville, NY 2 years ago

Anarchism-or Libertarian Socialism is government by committee.I became a supporter of Anarchism after reading the writings of N.I.Bukharin.I am an American Anarchist.The emphasis of Anarchism is on empowering people politically at the local level,and on spreading political power as widely as possible:"Concentrated political power is the most dangerous thing on earth...the more power a regime has,the more likely people will be killed.This is a major reason for promoting freedom."-R.J.Rummel****174 million people were murdered by governments worldwide in the period between 1900-1997.Americans think they are Special and Different and that the 1% has some sort of particular bias in favor of Americans,and that It Can't Happen Here.That is not true at all,and in fact it has happened here,is happening here and is bound to get worse absent a non-violent takeover of the government by the American People.

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

"The emphasis of Anarchism is on empowering people politically at the local level,and on spreading political power as widely as possible"

Well put :)

[-] 1 points by ogoj11 (263) 2 years ago

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OU6T7DPRss0

Hey trashy, awfully earnest this evening. I wonder if you've ever seen this, one of my favorite movies. One of the characters in it is named Dirty Harry. That's what made me think of you, but then I also thought you'd like the movie. Believe me, it's good, unusual in a number of ways. English that requires subtitles. A revolutionary ending. A musical that pretends to be a documentary. The originality has no end.

[-] 2 points by SparkyJP (1646) from Westminster, MD 2 years ago

"So, the reasonable thing to do is working to create a free, just, solidaric and sustainable participatory democracy where the people are in control."

Perhaps something like this?:

http://osixs.org/Rev2_menu_commonsense.aspx

[-] 1 points by NorthbayUprising (2) 2 years ago

This is well written, and matches how we been explaining "Anarchism" to our friends and listeners on the FM radio show. We seek to liberate the community, we seek to empower workers, students, oppressed people. We want democracy, not a dictatorial state or monopolized cartel. We are the People, and we have Power!

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

Thanks for those kind words.

Keep up the good work!

[-] 1 points by NorthbayUprising (2) 2 years ago

[http://northbayuprising.blogspot.com/2012/08/communitarianism.html]

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

Glad you liked it, and thanks for sharing it on :)

[-] 1 points by BrianMid (132) 2 years ago

It's not going to happen anytime soon. What percentage of the population are actually anarchists? No point in working for something that's centuries away.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

There are many examples thruout history where changes have come rather quickly though, but yeah, it's going to take some time to establish a really large scale libertarian socialist society.

We do however know that our current non-sustainable capitalist/state-capitalist system eventually must be dismantled relatively soon. We need a system to replace it with and I think that Libertarian Socialism, at least in long term perspective, is what should take it's place.

[-] 1 points by BrianMid (132) 2 years ago

Telling me what you believe about capitalism and its sustainability doesn't answer my question. Pure capitalism isn't really practiced in too many places anyhow, but that doesn't matter it will go on as long as there is support for it. True some changes may come quickly but we rarely hear much about movements that simply fade away from lack of support or stagnate. What kind of support do you think you have now?

There is voting it into existence or getting it through revolution. You don't have the support to do either at this time. Which way do you see anarchism eventually rising up, through the system constitutionally or through revolution?

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

I've written a little bit about how we could achieve a libertarian socialist society here:

http://struggleforfreedom.blogg.no/1321101669_the_transition_phase_.html

[-] 0 points by BrianMid (132) 2 years ago

I take it from your lack of response to my main question that support is closer to zero then 1% when measured against the nation's population of over 300 million.

I read your stages, they seem overly optimistic, but I don't think it really matters. I see some problems with your stages. I'm doubtful an anarchistic society would be accepted and if it were I doubt it could function.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

"I take it from your lack of response to my main question that support is closer to zero then 1% when measured against the nation's population of over 300 million."

I believe I did answer you. I am aware that many don't agree with me, but attitudes can change, and like I've said, it's going to take some time.

"I read your stages, they seem overly optimistic, but I don't think it really matters. I see some problems with your stages. I'm doubtful an anarchistic society would be accepted and if it were I doubt it could function."

I think most people who are introduced to the ideas of Libertarian Socialism will find them pretty reasonable. LS can function just fine, and it's the only reasonable organization of society in a long term perspective.

[-] 1 points by BrianMid (132) 2 years ago

You sent a reply, but didn't answer my original question. What is your level of actual level of support? What is the reality here, it seems as though very few want libertarian socialism. You're free to advocate for it but if it's democracy you want, you'll have to accept the will of the majority that they don't want anarchy.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

I told you, I know that many don't support LS, what else do you want from me? The support is low, yes. Attitudes and opinions among people are however not static, they have changed, and can change in the future. Anarchism can only become reality when the people want it.

[-] 1 points by BrianMid (132) 2 years ago

I wanted a simple direct answer the first time I asked. It took you three responses to come out with "I am aware that many don't agree with me". Even that isn't much of an answer. It's apparent people don't want it at this time and are not likely to want it in numbers to do any good for several lifetimes if ever.

There is no point in giving any effort to an anarchistic movement. I'd be more likely to see some changes made in society working through a progressive third political party then I'd ever be likely to see through libertarian socialism.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

You're splitting hairs. I said in the first response that yes, it's going to take some time to establish a really large scale libertarian socialist society. You know that I know that support right now is low. Again, what more do you want me to say?

I don't know about you, but I don't think we can put aside the fight for freedom and justice just because support is low. LS is the only reasonable system that should, in long term perspective, replace the unsustainable one we have now.

[-] 1 points by BrianMid (132) 2 years ago

I don't see it as possible, with virtually no support it seems to be a waste of time. The western nations may suffer economic collapse, but it seems unlikely to me that any form of anarchy would rise up out of the chaos that results. I'm not even sure the basic elements of capitalism are truly unsustainable.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

Virtually no support means it's extremely important to keep on enlightening and convincing.

There were times in America where most people saw it as very unlikely that slavery would be dismantled. There were times in Russia where most people saw it as very unlikely that the Soviet tyranny would be dismantled. Structures in society and opinions among its population are not static.

Capitalism is unsustainable; the hunt for profits causes exploitation of people, accumulation of wealth and power, and the destruction of the environmnet.

[-] 1 points by BrianMid (132) 2 years ago

Maybe, it also may mean it's time to find something that could improve the human condition that has a chance of working. The idea of anarchy has been around for a couple of centuries if anything support has shrunk as a percentage of population.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

Participatory democracy and a more co-operative based economy are perfectly feasible ideas:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3jRy5ZIYZok&feature=plcp

[-] 1 points by BrianMid (132) 2 years ago

Your video shows that some people believe in this approach. It doesn't show me much about long term success.

[-] 1 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 2 years ago

I'm tired of listening to the virtues of anarchy. What is stopping you and the thousands of others from forming an anarchist community somewhere? Build it, refine it, and then tell us how great it really is.

Don't wait for a suitable country to topple. Chomsky and other authors should put their money where their mouth is and build one now.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

Anarchist communes and co-ops etc are great, and I hope they'll grow in number. However, as you know the economy is all-encompassing; the whole state-capitalist system must be dealt with, and eventually dismantled, at some point as well.

[-] 0 points by Lucky1 (-125) from Wray, CO 2 years ago

Become an anarchist and consign yourself to insignificant, smug, ain't we so wonderful people!

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[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

"I don't think employee owned companies operate this way - and if that is true, then such utopian dreaming is counter productive because you cannot market OWS to mainstream America on this basis."

Could you elaborate a little more on what you meant by this?

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[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

"I do not believe any company of any size - or more than just a handful of employees - can operate on the basis of a horizontal structure."

This is not true, and there are many examples that prove you're wrong. Also check out this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3jRy5ZIYZok&feature=plcp

"Companies, even employee owned companies, are in business to make money."

Not all of them, and it doesn't have to be that way. It's not a law of nature.

"There must be a delegation of authority."

If there was workplace democracy, everyone would have an equal say at their workplace. Conflicts and problems should be dealt with thru discussion, consensus and democratic process.

The ideas of Libertarian Socialism are perfectly feasible ideas, and we should work to establish them in the long term.

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[-] 0 points by bensdad (8977) 2 years ago

Are there any examples in the world where this actually has worked for at least 10,000,000 people for at least 10 years?
And specifically, how was this actually achieved?

[-] 1 points by ogoj11 (263) 2 years ago

Hi bensdad, Please don't interpret my comment as a pro-anarchist comment. My objection to your brief post is to the word 'worked.' Too often I hear similar comments like 'Socialism is wonderful, but doesn't work.'

These remarks forget that 'worked' in this context is a metaphor. Societies are not machines or tools, but complex relations of forces and interests. People who want a system that 'works' seem to be expecting to install a new machine that operates smoothly so that the ordinary life of consumption can resume. My sister, for instance, asks me about Occupy, "What would it take for you to get back to normal?'

Bottom line: We can never install a system that works, then sit back, and forget about politics, just letting things run themselves. We will always need activism.

PS. I love the anarchist kids I've met at Occupy, the most beautiful people in the movement. But I think anarchism, the ideology, is just a trendy fad at best. At worst, it cuts us off from our history, the anti-war movement, the Civil Rights struggles, etc.

[-] 1 points by bensdad (8977) 2 years ago

I am not a fan of ANY labels
I am a fan of REALISTIC GOALS
here's mine:
http://corporationsarenotpeople.webuda.com

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

The Spanish Revolution was one of the greatest achievements by anarchists so far.

Here's a documentary:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jPl_Y3Qdb7Y

"Occupy your Workplace" also has a bit on anarchist spain starting at 07:53: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3jRy5ZIYZok&feature=plcp

Unfortunately the achievements in Spain were eventually crushed by opponents.

But just like the people in the past who had yet to see large scale parlamentary democracy, but who still fought to try to make it happen, and eventually succeeded, we have to keep on trying to acheive a real free and just society, even though it's not large scale at this point.

Anarchist Spain, like all other acheivements in the past and in the future was and is done thru organization.

[-] 1 points by bensdad (8977) 2 years ago

how do you reconcile the strong anarchist movement in OWS
with the strong anti-organizational philosophy in OWS


I've been here since October, and I would testify the horizontal approach has failed OWS. If you disagree, how can you explain the 80% loss of people?

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

Anti-organizational philosophy in OWS? 80% loss of people?

Where do you get this from?

[-] 1 points by bensdad (8977) 2 years ago

my eyes
I have been attending NYC WGs since October Many WGs have disappeared
Others have shrunk by 50%-80%
Not to mention the disappearing GAs


my eyes


how many WG are you in and
what has been the participation
in the last 10 months?

[-] 0 points by MsStacy (1035) 2 years ago

A lot of anarchists point to the Catalonia region of Spain in the 1930's. The unions were already organized and armed, which no doubt helped convince the population in general not to object too much. When the government collapsed the armed anarchist simply took over. I believe it didn't last long enough to really know if it could have worked, but then I'm not an anarchist. The fascists under Franco crushed the anarchists. I see some characteristics of anarchy in Amish communities, but they have religion to bind them together.

[-] 0 points by leezy (1) 2 years ago

Ummm... Anarchism is the complete lack of ANY governmental structure... Someone's been reading too much Chomsky.

[-] 0 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

Yeah, I've been reading some Chomsky - and other people as well. Chomsky is in my view one of the greatest thinkers around, his works ought to be read by more people.

[-] -3 points by Lucky1 (-125) from Wray, CO 2 years ago

Yep. And Chomsky is so full of shit he squeaks. He only talks that garbage because it gets him laid and he knows it'll never happen.

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[-] 2 points by shadz66 (19985) 2 years ago

Caveat : (x) HAT !!!

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[-] 0 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

How about the next time you post a comment you present some reasonable counter arguments instead of ridicule and namecalling?