Friday, December 18, 2009

Horizons of the anarchist


Anarchism, as a system based on cooperation, addresses the weaknesses in both liberal and conservative philosophies.

Like conservatives, anarchists think we should be taking personal responsibility for ourselves, our families, and our communities. But where conservatives want to put up a wall, beyond which their responsibilities don’t go, anarchists have always understood that resolving our problems requires taking responsibility on a worldwide scale.

Like liberals, anarchists are concerned with the vast majority of people who struggle to have even the basic necessities of life. But anarchists don’t want to install themselves in positions of power where they can met out drips and drabs of whatever liberals have been willing to give up. Anarchists want to work side by side with people, questioning the hierarchies and privileges that cause those inequities. We are not creating dependency, we are recognizing interdependency.

Looked at in this way, anarchism is nothing less than the ability to extend oneself in fellowship to others, regardless of their "political" views. It celebrates what is liberating about every perspective, and condemns everything that is not.


cb said...

I'd also say that while both conservatives and anarchists accept that people are responsible for their actions independently of justifications, i.e. but I had a bad childhood. The difference is conservatives judge right actions as those benefiting existing authority rather than humanity in general.

John O said...

I'm an extremely qualified fan of anarchism. To the point I think, "no way." In terms of being able to achieve it. Too late.

Meaning, it would only work if everyone was like us, people reading this blog. There just aren't enough of us. To the extent that can be changed is what matters.

Which if you stretch a little means we should circle right back around to anarchy.

But we could never do it. You would have to "define" anarchism, in all the institutionalized structure that exists, and way too many people would say in that context, "Watchoo talkin' 'bout?"

History will move as it does. You can bend the curve, but you'd have to make extraordinary sacrifices to do it; like, in several cases historically, getting assassinated.

Just sayin'.

JRB said...

Anarchism is the willingness to ask whether we should be taking orders from others for no apparent reason. Can we achieve that? I suppose we have to ask ourselves this every day.