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Welcome to Anarchy101 Q&A, where you can ask questions and receive answers about anarchism, from anarchists.

When, if ever, will we win?

+1 vote
If not, what then?

Based on this question from our friend Anarchiststeve:

"Incidentally, are post-leftists only anti-civ, anti-technology, anti-science, anti-work, anti-socialist (and all the rest of it) just in case we actually succeed in dismantling capitalism and the state?  My guess is that you people would hate to have to stop blowing things up and so choose to hate everything, meaning you'll never to have to stop."
asked Jul 30, 2014 by ingrate (23,770 points)

1 Answer

+3 votes
There is no end, there are victories but there is no 'winning'.  

The 'end of history' is a foolish idea whether it's articulated by Francis Fukyama or by an anarchist.  Even if capitalism and the state were destroyed in my lifetime,  it wouldn't be enough,  they aren't the only masters that try to dominate me.  Anarchy is not something that can be achieved on the sixth day, after which we can all rest on the seventh.  There's never going to be a point where we can say 'it is done'.

The crux of it is this - while I think I'd be more free in an 'anarchist society',  I don't think that complete liberation can be achieved socially, and I don't think it can be achieved permanently.  I lean towards the idea that freedom only exists when we're actively 'being free' - when we are doing things that transgress external domination or have no dialog with external domination at all.  Ultimately my freedom will always conflict with someone else's,  and vice versa, so my struggle to liberate myself can have no end.  Imagine a whack-a-mole machine - every time you whack a mole a new one shows up, which demands a response.  

The game doesn't end when someone wins, it ends when your time runs out.


Edited for clarity/formatting/emphasis etc.

Oh and I better just mention that 'still being able to bomb shit after the revolution' isn't very high on my list of priorities.
answered Jul 30, 2014 by Yosemite (6,340 points)
edited Jul 30, 2014 by Yosemite
Take history for an example.  When I was at school we did WWII in history and part of that was being given a photocopied sheet with some clippings of articles (diaries, newspapers, etc.).  We had to answer a given set of questions, each of which required reading the info to find the answer.  That doesn't teach children how to learn, it teaches them how to find information from documents that have been handed down from authority figures.  It actually tests little more than reading comprehension.

The proper way to teach history is to teach the students how to find historical documents and artifacts, how to find alternate points of view (and to always do so, where any exist), how to spot biases and propaganda, and so on.

The current education system is designed to produce obedient wage slaves who will wave their little flags on demand.  In an anarchist society the education system would be aimed at producing intelligent, independent individuals.
Thanks for responding to at least the part about education. Although I am wary of institutions like educational systems (for some of the reasons Anok touches on), I am also happy you clarified. I initially read your first comment on it differently. Reading your later comments, I take away that you are thinking of it as a place to help develop tools for critical thinking, which makes a lot more sense to me.

Even if I don't agree, I think it is helpful to get multiple anarchist perspectives on all these things here, so it isn't just one corner of the milieu, so I appreciate the good faith response.
"The proper way to teach history ... "

ok, i may be reading into that comment, but...

so there is only one "proper" way to teach history. and it is, not surprisingly, YOUR way.

that seems to be the predominant perspective on virtually everything ("this is the one right way to..."). it is the line espoused by religion, science, government, academia, etc.  and it is absolutely opposed to my desires for anarchy. which always take into consideration *context*.
"Civilization may need to use materials and energy but that is a long way from saying it needs to live beyond its means, you are thinking of capitalism."

No tarot cards or crystal ball, just 6000 years of civilizations growing, invading, plundering, and destroying everything in their paths to prove my point. Capitalism is relatively new to that scene.
Well said flip.
you just missed the terminal point:  grow, plunder, destroy,... Die.
Hmm, wonder where we are?
...