Tag Archives: politics

Freedom: What is Anarchism?

By Anonymous | October 10, 2002 | Leave a comment

The word ‘anarchy’ (Greek an-archos,rule by none) is often used to mean social chaos,unconstitutional government , or domination by rival marauding gangs. We know of no-one who advocates ‘anarchy’ in any of these senses. Anarchists certainly do not.

Anarchists advocate anarchy in the sense of nobody being boss over anybody else.

Anarchism stems from the conviction that the purpose of society is to increase individual opportunities. For a totally isolated individual, the choice would be ,either to do what is necessary to stay alive, or to die. In a healthy sociey,each individual makes use of the others, and freedom of choice is increased all round.

All voluntary co-operation is healthy, in the sense of fulfilling the purpose of society. Organisation is healthy,so long as people are doing what they want, and not being forced by the organisation to do something they do not wish to do. Leadership is healthy,so long as it is leadership in the sense of innovation which others freely copy, and not ‘leadership” as a euphemism for being the boss.

Socially unhealthy institutions are those which go against the purpose of society, by forcing some people to act against their will. Anarchists oppose every kind of coercive institution, including states, armies, slavery the wages, system, prisons, gangsters, nuclear bombs, money, patriarchy, matriarchy, theocracy and revolutionary governments.

Of course, nobody expects a change from a world full of governments to a world without government overnight. There must be a transition period , and that transition period is now. We need not worry yet about the problems facing a coercion-free society. It is obvious that the society we live in is more coercive than necessary,so let us make it a little less coercive than it would otherwise have been.

There are those who purport to have the same aims as anarchists,who ask to be put in power to speed up the transition They are frauds. You cannnot get rid of coercion by means of coercion. Anarchism is opposed to bosses and goverments of every kind.