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what is the simplest way to share with non-anarchists what anarchism is all about?

+4 votes
What are the simplest examples of how anarchism in practice, past examples of anarchist revolts, how an anarchist community would exist?


edited for tags
asked Dec 26, 2011 by anonymous
edited Jul 25, 2014 by dot

3 Answers

+1 vote
Fiction, perhaps. For example, "The Dispossessed" by Ursula K. LeGuin is a great example of anarchist science fiction, and the story is very compelling.  A good documentary or docudrama would also be a great way to start.  "Reds" isn't my favorite movie about anarchists, but it's very lightweight and humorous at times.  YouTube also has some documentaries about Emma Goldman and another film about American anarchism.

Once you've gotten someone interested from an entertainment point of view, then you can get them thinking about the ideas themselves, without a heated political discussion.
answered Jan 4, 2012 by postleftanarchy (130 points)
+1 vote
Let them experience it themselves. If people only learn by reading texts, they'll only learn that the one thing anarchists have in common is that they all disagree with each other.

"What are the simplest examples of how anarchism in practice, past examples of anarchist revolts, how an anarchist community would exist?"

There aren't many that are simple. What does exist is a historical genealogy of how anarchists have contributed to particular societies. There are frequently explosions in society where nonconformists and iconoclasts have subscribed to various forms of anti-authoritarianism and lived communely. Of course, because history is dominated by those with power, the genealogy will include moments where these disruptions help propel society to what it is today.
answered Mar 16, 2012 by veranasi (190 points)
+2 votes
Your sub-questions assume two things: 1) That non-anarchists will care about anarchist history and the finer points of anarchist community organizing and 2) That any viable anarchist community can be explained coherently as a singular system.

I recommend you read the CrimethInc. essay "Your Politics are Boring as F*ck" (regardless of how you feel about the group itself):

http://www.crimethinc.com/texts/selected/asfuck.php

Most people's eyes glaze over when anyone of any political stripe begins to wax philosophic about how society should be structured and about "what's wrong with this country today." Instead, anarchy should be presented as a process of personal emancipation, a get out of jail free card; and yet, a card that isn't handed out but taken by force and conscious will.

If and when the majority of the people in any given area begin to take control of their own lives, to live as they want to live regardless of popular opinion, law, religious doctrine, or any other controlling influence; then we'll have our anarchist society. And it will develop naturally. No one can prophesy as to its particulars. We can guess and we can dream, but our primary mission should be to become our own personal masters. Anselme Bellegarrigue said it best: "...where no one obeys, no one commands."

Share with people the awesome power and joy that results from living your own life free from restriction, the beauty that may be cultivated from seeing life as an open field and not a zoo full of cages. Convince by seduction. Be a shining example of individual rebellion against the forces of conformity and manipulation. THAT will win hearts and minds, not some collective reading of Bakunin followed by a discussion of the CNT in some dust-covered infoshop.
answered Mar 18, 2012 by MrThisBody (1,650 points)
edited Mar 29, 2012 by MrThisBody
"...life as an open field and not a zoo full of cages."
Nice.

"...where no one obeys, no one commands."
That, i have to copy down somewhere.
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