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How can we reach anarchy?

+3 votes
asked Oct 8, 2014 by anonymous
i'm going to answer again, for the sake of acknowledging what anarchists have tried to do, and are trying to do, even though my real answer is still the first one (below).

assuming that by "how can we reach anarchy" you're asking how can a majority (or significant minority) in a given place or perhaps in the world, live in a situation that is recognizable as anarchic by some sizable contingent of people who call themselves anarchists...  (keeping in mind that many anarchists don't agree on what that would be)
then...

anarchists have tried propaganda of the deed: which is to incite people through actions (mostly of violence) to act in their own interest (the idea being that once people see that the king can be killed, that the system is not bullet-proof, than we will shrug off our apathy and depression and take up arms for our own lives). that didn't work.
anarchists have tried organizing the workers (and still do, some of them) based on the marxist understanding that the workers are the basis of the functioning of the system, and that once they realize their own power, they can bring the ruling class to its knees (or just bypass it). that hasn't worked.
anarchists have used the turmoil after disasters to show people that we don't need states and bureaucracies to take care of us (a la common ground in louisiana after hurricane katrina). that hasn't worked.
anarchists have published newspapers and journals and books and done radio shows and written plays and drawn comic books to spread the ideas of anarchy (both with and without the label), and that hasn't worked.
anarchists have worked to develop separate infrastructures to take care of people (like local currencies, etc) and to remove the perceived dependency on the state. that hasn't worked.
and anarchists have removed themselves from society to develop themselves and their ideas apart from the eyes and influence of the state, perhaps as a way to prepare for a possible anarchic situation, and that didn't work.
there are probably other ideas. but i'm sad enough now.

edited for typos.
This conversation has already been had, but I would argue, yet again, that just because those attempts didn't result in the collapse of the state, doesn't mean that they didn't result in progress, or that they weren't successful in any way.
all this time to have the last word on all these threads and you still haven't answered the post left question.
Highly functional anarchist communities existed in the Ukraine and in Spain during civil wars and revolutions in those countries. In both instances they were betrayed by communists, who teamed up with capitalists and fascists in a cynical and calculated geopolitical chess match. Events are unpredictable, and not inevetable.

I think it was easy to unite and take direct action within the emotionally charged context of civil war. Violence is the most dramatic and uniting form of direct action. But in the context of our contradictory, democratic/capitalist/socialist states, violence just seems innapropriate and I think most people would say, in bad taste. I think its way more complicated for everyone nowadays -capitalist included- and maybe our civil war is a war of ideas. And we can epress our ideas through actions and experiments as well as by voicing our opinions with confidence.

I'm actually pretty opitimistic about the possibility that anarchy will get a fairer shake within mainstream disussions; anarchy is considered radical now. I think as long as a considerable portion of the middle class aren't at least unafraid of, if not for anarchy, then anarchist experiments over large land masses with numerous connected communities is impossible -just because the middle class is the largest class, and would be the most powerful class if we werent so baffled by the incomprehensibly comfortable position we find ourselves in.

The poor can't bring the change now, because the poor feel unjustified to take the dramatic step of simply taking over the factories; and other forms of direct action take some capital -because we live in a capitalist system where money gives you the right to own land and do other things that would need to be done.

2 Answers

+3 votes
no one knows.
answered Oct 8, 2014 by dot (50,460 points)
This is one answer I agree with Dot on. Every anarchist on earth could write a book on this question, and no two of those books would have the exact same solution. Realistically (and this statement may get me in trouble with the purists), large scale anarchy (anarchy on a nationwide basis) is probably an unattainable goal (primarily because the very idea of a nation runs counter to anarchist ideals), though that doesn't mean we should stop working toward the goal of anarchy on every scale. I would say that the best immediate way to further the anarchist cause would be to focus on anarchy at an individual and community level, though I can't give a blueprint for success concerning that approach either.
No one knows? Seriously?
How can us anarchists pretend to be considered serious if we don't even know how to achieve our goals?
"How can us anarchists pretend to be considered serious "

Oh, I don't know, the gov't seems to take anarchists serious enough to imprison them, raid their homes, infiltrate their groups.

But, if by 'serious' you mean those unacquainted with anarchy, you have to choose between rosy, unattainable and always deferred futures or persuade folks to joyously accept the uncertainty which is always already at hand. Most people prefer the pretty pictures, though.
Nobody knows how to achieve their goals.

The United States and EU leaders are trying to figure out how to stabilize the economy, but don't know how, and are making plenty of mistakes in the process.

The US military wants to eliminate ISIS, yet don't know how without taking out civilians and creating more blowback. Government officials are constantly split over how to handle the situation, but nobody is certain, and opinions change.

The communist left thinks it knows how to achieve its goals, but their methods are based on the commanding personalities of a few people, whose ideologies are based in the past.

Anarchists really aren't unique in this. The only reason it may seem so is that our 'total triumph' is far grander and more devastating than any of those above.
0 votes
One anarchist action at a time.
answered Oct 8, 2014 by bornagainanarchist (8,110 points)
Define action.

The Situationists attacked society much more than hundreds of militants combined, simply by reading, thinking, conversing, walking around their city, writing, and publishing.
I consider those things you mentioned to be actions.
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