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Explaining Anarchism

Explaining Anarchism

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Published by thomwanton
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Published by: thomwanton on Feb 22, 2012
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"Now a federated, decentralized system of free associations, incorporating economic as well asother social institutions, would be what I refer to as anarcho-syndicalism; and it seems to me thatthis is the appropriate form of social organization for an advanced technological society in whichhuman beings do
have to be forced into the position of tools, of cogs in the machine. There isno longer any social necessity for human beings to be treated as mechanical elements in the productive process; that can be overcome and we must overcome it to be a society of freedomand free association, in which the creative urge that I consider intrinsic to human nature will infact be able to realize itself in whatever way it will." -
Noam ChomskyAnarcho-syndicalism 
The belief that the state and private capital should be abolished in favor of a societydemocratically run by workers through horizontal rather than vertical power structures. Isopposed to social hierarchies of all kinds, envisioning a society free of coercion where values of community and equality will replace competition.
 Labor movement
 Anarcho-syndicalism stresses the importance of labor movements and their protections of workers rights. The state is seen as an institution that protects the private property of the wealthyrather than the rights and wellbeing of workers. Rather than a society run by the wealthy,anarcho-syndicalist envision a society run by democratic workers councils and labor unions. TheIndustrial Workers of the World (IWW) are an example of a revolutionary labor organization.
While socialism proposes that the state rather than private owners should control the means of  production, anarcho-syndicalism proposes that both are institutions of oppression and serve theinterests of the powerful. Anarcho-syndicalism is also known as libertarian socialism andanarcho-communism. Some consider that actual socialism is synonymous with anarchism.
Direct Action 
Anarchist prefer direct action to traditional channels of social change such as electing arepresentative. Rather than hoping an elected member of a political office will bring aboutneeded change, direction actions aim to directly engage a corrupt institution. Direction actioncan be non-violent; an examples includes sit-ins during the civil rights movement and workersstrikes. 
Anarchists of all types see centralized authority as an enemy of human rights and autonomy.Power is seen as a corrupting force and authoritarian power structures are seen as the reason for most human suffering. It is believed that centralized authority is not necessary to keep order and
that human beings are capable of behaving and working together without being coerced intodoing so. 
System where the means of productions are in the hands of a minority, owned and operated for  profit. Characterized by large segments of the population being wage slaves. Gives incentive for the accumulation of power, welcoming and exaggerating forms of oppression.
Wage Slavery 
Anarcho-syndicalist view the wage system as a form of enslavement that must be abolished.Workers are dependent on their wage in order to survive, being made dependent on an institutionthat denies them rights and autonomy. Anarchist thinkers see wage slavery as the result of capitalism and state power. Labor unions are a way for workers to unite and fight wage slaverythrough direct action. 
Paris Commune
An example of anarchism successfully implemented in history.
International Workers Association 
An international federation of anarcho-syndicalist labor movements. Formed in 1922 with its presence most strongly established in South America and Europe. The largest anarchist group tohave existed in history, the International Workers Association believe in revolutionary unionismas a form of direct action to replace capitalism and centralized authority.
Anarchist misconceptions
- Anarchist are violent.This misconceptions ignores the fact that anarchism is ultimately an anti-violent philosophy thatis opposed to militarism of all kinds. The State is the ultimate proponent of violence, relying onit to maintain coercive power relations. While some anarchist believe in violence as a tactic tooverthrow the state, many anarchist maintain the stance of only using non-violent direct action or limiting violence to property destruction or defensive measures.- Anarchist believe in chaos.Anarchist believe in the opposite of chaos. Rather, they believe in organization and communityestablished on a voluntary and non-coercive basis. Capitalism and war are chaos, reflecting theworst aspects of human nature.- Socialism will lead to a totalitarian government like Soviet Union.

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