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Why Anarchism, why not Anarchy

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It seems reading much of this Forum that Anarchism is a misnomer as it seems it is more like, everyone has their own definition and it is all down to individuality. Is it time to drop Anarchism as that word would suggest a solid foundation, a close knit group of people sharing the same beliefs and ideals.

What I've gathered from this Forum is a derogatory view of Anarchism. So much infighting, indeed a replica of "The Capitalist Establishment"; i.e. a superiority complex among many who profess to answer under the guise of Anarchist.

asked Nov 6 by curious bystander (330 points)
i desire to live anarchically....and i put as much of my energy as i can into doing so....

i don't have a derogatory view of anarchism....i enjoy most of the stuff i read here and other sites where people consider themselves anarchists....these "conversations" and questions and answers often stimulate my desire for anarchy, they get me to think more deeply about my life, and give me ideas for ways i can experiment and push my own boundaries that hierarchical thinking has caused....i also don't feel so alone in my criticism of money, education, laws, etc.....which helps me to relax a little more....and gain some strength when coming up against authoritarian thinking and actions.

CB:

I actually agree with you on this point. I much prefer the word 'anarchy' to 'anarchism' because, to me, the latter term suggests a rigid ideological doctrine whereas the former suggests the condition of living without authority. I will sometimes use the word 'anarchism' in an uncritical way just because that is, in some sense, the theoretical horizon within which I'm operating, and it requires less words than saying something like "a body of thought which seeks to create anarchy" every time I want to speak of "anarchist ideas" or "anarchist thought." But, yeah, it's anarchy that I want, not 'anarchism.'

I'm reminded of Bob Black when he said that

"[A]narchy is too important to be left to the anarchists."

i would argue that there's infighting in all groups. most groups just hide it more than anarchists do. if you think hiding it is better, then...

"i would argue that there's infighting in all groups. most groups just hide it more than anarchists do. if you think hiding it is better, then..."

Not so dude, I'm for openness. I just don't get why people who profess to be against hierarchy appear to be wanting to stomp on others so much, to mentally fuck others. Is it a fundamental problem with human nature? If it is, is the Capitalist System a natural expression, maybe the only way to live?

The real thing is, why can't we unfuck ourselves? Maybe we've never thought it possible!

Maybe what you consider to be people trying to "mentally fuck" you is just them wanting to have discussions that you're not interested in having. And that's perfectly fine, don't get me wrong. If intense theoretical discussions aren't your thing, then no one's going to force you into having them. Just realize that there are people out there who do want to have those conversations and that engaging with you on a purely introductory level may not be a priority for some of them. This doesn't mean that their priorities are any 'better' than yours, but it also doesn't mean that they're just over-intellectualizing and need to stop making things needlessly complicated. 

"Maybe what you consider to be people trying to "mentally fuck" you is just them wanting to have discussions that you're not interested in having."

I'm not talking about me, "others". Maybe you are English? I stayed there almost four years, everyone kept saying "you" and I'm like "me, dude?" and they're like "no, everybody, you dumb fuck!"

"If intense theoretical discussions aren't your thing, then no one's going to force you into having them. Just realize that there are people out there who do want to have those conversations and that engaging with you on a purely introductory level may not be a priority for some of them."

It's not about me. If I want to join in a discussion I will. If people reply to me I will reply to them, not a problem.

"This doesn't mean that their priorities are any 'better' than yours, but it also doesn't mean that they're just over-intellectualizing and need to stop making things needlessly complicated."

Dude, you seem to have a hang up about intellectualism and anti-intellectualism, chill bud, chill wink.

"Maybe you are English?"

Well, that is the language I speak, if that's what you mean. If, however, you're referring to my country of residence, I'll give you a hint: it's immediately to the north of the United States and some of the people who live here have an unhealthy obsession with hockey and maple syrup. On the upside, mass shootings are a comparatively rare occurrence up here and obnoxious expressions of patriotic flag-waving are generally kept to a minimum. cheeky

"... maybe the only way to live?"

i detect (and i could be completely wrong) an underlying assumption there that i think is one of the most difficult assumptions for thinking individuals to break free from. that is, the assumption that there is some single, correct way for people - essentially all people - to live. that there is some system of human life, thought and interaction, that everyone can (and should?) fit into. for me, that is a foundational issue when i have discussions with others. sure, most would agree (on the surface, and within the context of such a discussion) that that is an absurd idea. yet, it pervades virtually all political/anti-political/left/right/anarchist discussion (and usually action) that i have been privy to in my almost 6 decades on this here planet. i often short-cut that idea as "mass society", but that falls far short, and can be too easily misinterpreted, i think.

intense theoretical discussions are often way too abstract for me to fallow. I've read stuff like "The society of the spectacle" because i thought it was challenging and if i was slow enough about reading it then i could wrap my head around much of it...unfortunately the intense theoretical discussions describes most of what the anarchist scene is, along with name-calling and other crap like that.

Ideally, anarchism (the practice of promoting anarchy), would mean a whole lot more than books and arguments, but in this strange society we live in the words take on a much greater than the reality we sit in.

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