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what is anarchism

0 votes
I'm new and don't know much about it. just please explain it. i like what i have seen. :)
asked May 29 by anonymous

2 Answers

0 votes
Ok, i'll try.

Anarchism is a field of thought around challenging and rejecting coercive institutions, classically and most obviously, the church, the state, and capitalism. Anarchists are for anarchy, which is defined in wildly divergent ways by different threads of anarchist thought.

some (they could be labelled practical anarchists, or social ones) think that a desirable anarchy would be an organized society with many of the things we have now, notably technology and the things that go with it (mass society, cities, etc). other anarchists (philosophical or anti-social) think that those things are connected to coercive institutions and a sustainable anarchy would require doing away with those things as well as the state.

There are many flavors, i've only mentioned two. feel free to ask more, and perhaps reading things on this site will enable more specific questions too.
answered Jun 4 by dot (52,050 points)
+1 vote

let me preface this by saying that i do not speak for anyone other than myself, so i cannot speak to what anarchy, or being an anarchist, means to anyone else.

my anarchistic perspective starts fairly close to dot's initial description: institutions of domination, coercion and control (including the three pillars of civilization and mass society that dot points out) are primary obstacle to me living anarchically.

i have some core principles that i think of as a sort of baseline for my own anarchic thought and action. those include (in no particular order):

- autonomy. don't tell me how to live, and i won't tell you. governance is in opposition to autonomy.

- free association/disassociation. i am free to relate with who i want, when i want, how i want. i am also free to end any relationship or interaction whenever i want. (if i care about the other/s in that situation, it hopefully won't be unilateral).

- mutual aid. this implies some level of active support for those i have affinity with; a kind of undefined and unmeasured reciprocity in my relationships. always by choice and without strings attached. it does not imply some ledger for accounting, or some fixed or predetermined way of specifying value or exchange. capitalism, communism, and any other form of institutional economics are in opposition to mutual aid as a way of navigating relations and activities in a world with limited life-sustaining resources.

- question everything. this really just refers to critical thinking, a rapidly disappearing skill. all the tools of politics and public relations are in opposition to critical thinking.

- direct action. to the extent possible in this world, i act directly to meet my own needs and desires, with others that i know and trust when necessary or desired. i do not petition some authority to do so. i do not vote for someone else to make decisions that impact my life. when i have a problem with someone, i deal with them directly.

i also want to mention that my principles are mere guidelines of a sort. they form a basis from which my thoughts and feelings can inform my behavior. they are not rules, and they are likely to evolve over time. the context of any situation will overlay those principles to help me decide how to move forward.

answered Jun 5 by funkyanarchy (12,220 points)