a brief philosophical introduction to anarchism

Jesse Cohn

Anarchism in History

Anarchism in History

Anarchism in Culture

Anarchism in U.S. Politics

What Isn‘t Anarchism?
“Before I tell you what Anarchism is, I want to tell you what it is not . . . “It is not bombs, disorder, or chaos. “It is not robbery and murder. “It is not a war of each against all. “It is not a return to barbarism or to the wild state of man. “Anarchism is the very opposite of all that.”

Alexander Berkman (1870-1936 )

What Is Anarchism?
an·ar·chism (ăn'ər-kĭz'əm) 1. a. Absence of government; a state of lawlessness due to the absence or inefficiency of the supreme power; political disorder. b. A theoretical social state in which there is no governing body

What Isn‘t Anarchism?

What Isn‘t Anarchism?

What Isn‘t Anarchism?

What Isn‘t Anarchism?

What Isn‘t Anarchism?

What Isn‘t Anarchism?

―propaganda by the deed‖
• Between 1876-1900, a wave of anarchist bombings and assassinations • Typically aimed at heads of state, judges, police, army, bosses • Individual, spontaneous actions instead of organized resistance • Extremely ineffective – merely outraged the public and strengthened the State • Sometimes instigated or even perpetrated by government agents

―propaganda by the deed‖

The Haymarket Bombing, Chicago, 1886

―propaganda by the deed‖

Execution of Chicago anarchists, November 11, 1887


• • •

• • • • •

1894: ―Villainous Laws‖ in France enable government crackdown on the press 1902: New York Criminal Anarchy statute makes advocacy of anarchism illegal 1907: Immigration Act prohibits anarchists from entering the U.S. 1917-1920: ―Criminal Syndicalist Laws‖ allow repression of anarcho-syndicalist unions; display of black flag illegal; anarchists deported from U.S. for opposition to war 1917-1921: Soviets jail and kill anarchists 1918: Anti-Anarchist Act gives government authority to deport anarchist ―aliens‖ living in U.S. 1968-1971: FBI targets anarchist groups for surveillance and harassment via COINTELPRO program 2001: FBI declares anarchist groups Reclaim The Streets and Earth Liberation Front ―domestic terrorists‖ 2004: FBI makes nationwide sweep, questioning anarchist groups

―Bombs . . . cannot, in fact, change social conditions.‖

Jean Grave (1854-1939)

―One only destroys, effectively and permanently, that which one replaces by something else.‖

Errico Malatesta (1853-1932)

―The state is a condition, a certain relationship among human beings, a mode of behavior between men; we ‗destroy‘ it by contracting other relationships, by behaving differently toward one another.‖

Gustav Landauer (1870-1919)

Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679)

―During the time men live without a common power to keep them all in awe, they are in that condition which is called war, and such a war as is of every man against every other man.‖ –Leviathan (1651)

Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) So support your local
monarchy!

―During the time men live without a common power to keep them all in awe, they are in that condition which is called war, and such a war as is of every man against every other man.‖ –Leviathan (1651)

―Every State . . . presupposes man to be essentially evil and wicked.‖

Mikhail Bakunin (1814-1876)

―Thus the State, like the Church, starts out with this fundamental supposition, that men are basically evil . . .‖

Albrecht Dürer, Cain Killing Abel (1511)

―. . . and that, if delivered up to their natural liberty, they would tear each other apart and offer the spectacle of the most terrifying anarchy, where the stronger would exploit and slaughter the weaker . . .‖

Victim of the ―riots‖ orchestrated by the government of Gujarat

―. . . quite the contrary of what goes on in our model states today, needless to say!‖

My Lai Massacre, 1968

What Is Anarchism?
an·ar·chism (ăn'ər-kĭz'əm) 1. a. Absence of government; a state of lawlessness due to the absence or inefficiency of the supreme power; political disorder. b. A theoretical social state in which there is no governing person or body of persons, but each individual has absolute liberty (without implication of disorder).

What Is Anarchism?
―ANARCHISM: – The philosophy of a new social order based on liberty unrestricted by man-made law; the theory that all forms of government rest on violence, and are therefore wrong and harmful, as well as unnecessary.‖
Emma Goldman (1869-1940)

What Is Anarchism?
In other words, anarchists oppose all forms of coercion, hierarchy, and oppression – not just ―government‖ per se.

Emma Goldman (1869-1940)

Anarchist critique of power
Errico Malatesta lists three means by which the powerful maintain power: 1. ―directly, by brute force‖ : i.e., via ―political power‖ 2. ―indirectly, by depriving [workers] of the means of subsistence and thus reducing them to helplessness‖: i.e., via ―economic privilege‖ 3. ―by acting on [our] emotional nature‖: i.e., via ―religious authority.‖

Anarchist critique of power
I call these sources of power ―the dark trinity‖ (la trinidad sombría):

Ricardo Flores Magon (1874-1922)

Anarchist critique of power
I call these sources of power ―the dark trinity‖ (la trinidad sombría):

the gun

Ricardo Flores Magon (1874-1922)

Anarchist critique of power
I call these sources of power ―the dark trinity‖ (la trinidad sombría):

the gun

the dollar

Ricardo Flores Magon (1874-1922)

Anarchist critique of power
I call these sources of power ―the dark trinity‖ (la trinidad sombría):

the gun

the dollar

the lie

Ricardo Flores Magon (1874-1922)

Anarchist critique of power
―Slavery may change its form or its name – its essence remains the same.‖

the gun

the dollar

the lie

Mikhail Bakunin

Anarchist critique of power
Even a ―democratic‖ State is still oppressive. In democracy, as I like to say, ―the people are beat with the people‘s stick.‖

Mikhail Bakunin

Representative Democracy vs. Anarchism

―If men were angels, no government would be necessary.‖

John Adams

Thomas Jefferson

James Madison

Representative Democracy vs. Anarchism
―The people are turbulent and changing; they seldom judge or determine right.‖

―If men were angels, no government would be necessary.‖

John Adams

Thomas Jefferson

James Madison

Representative Democracy vs. Anarchism
If all of us are corrupted by power, which of us is angelic enough to be trusted to govern?

John Adams

Thomas Jefferson

James Madison

Representative Democracy vs. Anarchism
Freedom is the only school that can prepare us to live in freedom. If all of us are corrupted by power, which of us is angelic enough to be trusted to govern?

John Adams

Thomas Jefferson

James Madison

Representative Democracy vs. Anarchism

―In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty is this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.‖

John Adams

Thomas Jefferson

James Madison

Representative Democracy vs. Anarchism
No government can be trusted to check itself.

John Adams

Thomas Jefferson

James Madison

Representative Democracy vs. Anarchism
No government can be trusted to check itself.

John Adams

Thomas Jefferson

James Madison

Representative Democracy vs. Anarchism
Separation of powers is a bureaucratic solution to a problem created by the centralization of power that government creates in the first place. No government can be trusted to check itself.

John Adams

Thomas Jefferson

James Madison

Representative Democracy vs. Anarchism
Separation of powers is a bureaucratic solution to a problem created by the centralization of power that government creates in the first place. Power must be decentralized, dispersed among the people themselves, to prevent its abuse. This is what a federation of free communities and associations will do. No government can be trusted to check itself.

John Adams

Thomas Jefferson

James Madison

Representative Democracy vs. Anarchism

―[The] Representative Assembly . . . should be in miniature, an exact portrait of the people at large. It should think, feel, reason, and act like them.‖

John Adams

Thomas Jefferson

James Madison

Representative Democracy vs. Anarchism
Representatives cease to represent anything but themselves the moment they are elected.

John Adams

Thomas Jefferson

James Madison

Representative Democracy vs. Anarchism
What need have I of a representative? Can‘t I express my wishes myself? Representatives cease to represent anything but themselves the moment they are elected.

John Adams

Thomas Jefferson

James Madison

Representative Democracy vs. Anarchism
―A democracy [is] the only pure republic, but impracticable beyond the limits of a town.‖

John Adams

Thomas Jefferson

James Madison

Representative Democracy vs. Anarchism
In a decentralized federation of communities, each unit can make agreements with others in the region, and regional assemblies can coordinate with one another.

John Adams

Thomas Jefferson

James Madison

Representative Democracy vs. Anarchism

―Different interests necessarily exist in different classes of citizens. If a majority be united by a common interest, the rights of the minority will be insecure.‖

John Adams

Thomas Jefferson

James Madison

Representative Democracy vs. Anarchism
Majority rule and minority rule are equally tyrannical. Neither has a right to impose its will on the other.

John Adams

Thomas Jefferson

James Madison

Representative Democracy vs. Anarchism
Majority rule and minority rule are equally tyrannical. Neither has a right to impose its will on the other. What you are really afraid of, however, is that your wealthy minority will be outvoted by the working class majority.

John Adams

Thomas Jefferson

James Madison

Representative Democracy vs. Anarchism

Thomas Jefferson

Representative Democracy vs. Anarchism
―I am convinced that those societies (as the Indians) which live without government, enjoy in their general mass an infinitely greater degree of happiness, than those who live under the European governments. Among the former, public opinion is in the place of law, and restrains morals as powerfully as laws ever did anywhere.‖

Thomas Jefferson

Representative Democracy vs. Anarchism
Yes.

Thomas Jefferson

Representative Democracy vs. Anarchism
That must be why you denied Indians the vote.

Thomas Jefferson

Anarchism as direct democracy
Representative democracy
• Popular consent only required periodically at election time • Elected representatives craft policy on behalf of constituents • Once elected, officials exercise authority over citizens • Little citizen initiative or participation necessary or possible

Direct democracy
• Direct participation instead of elections • People craft policy themselves in small assemblies • Assemblies send delegates to discuss policy in larger bodies • Delegates are given strict instructions – if these are violated, they may be recalled immediately

Anarchism as direct democracy
―Where all govern, no one is governed, and the State as such does not exist.‖

Mikhail Bakunin

Anarchism as direct democracy
―Where all govern, no one is governed, and the State as such does not exist.‖ But how to practice this self-government?
Mikhail Bakunin

Anarchism as direct democracy
Methods of decision-making
• Negotiation: formal or informal agreements between individuals • Sortition: random selection of ―policy jury‖ from community at large • Rotation of responsibilities • Simple majority with right of minority to disassociate • Supermajority: two thirds majority required • Consensus minus one • Pure consensus

Anarchism as direct democracy
Extension of democracy

Anarchism as direct democracy
Extension of democracy
• Democratic planning: direct involvement of those affected by decisions in decision-making

Anarchism as direct democracy
Extension of democracy
• Democratic planning: direct involvement of those affected by decisions in decision-making • Democratic education: teachers, students, and parents negotiate policies and curricula

Anarchism as direct democracy
Extension of democracy
• Democratic planning: direct involvement of those affected by decisions in decision-making • Democratic education: teachers, students, and parents negotiate policies and curricula • Military democracy: election and rotation of officer duties

Anarchism as direct democracy
Extension of democracy
• Democratic planning: direct involvement of those affected by decisions in decision-making • Democratic education: teachers, students, and parents negotiate policies and curricula • Military democracy: election and rotation of officer duties • Consumer democracy: consumers make collective decisions about needs and investments

Anarchism as direct democracy
Extension of democracy
• Democratic planning: direct involvement of those affected by decisions in decision-making • Democratic education: teachers, students, and parents negotiate policies and curricula • Military democracy: election and rotation of officer duties • Consumer democracy: consumers make collective decisions about needs and investments • Workplace democracy: producers collectively decide how to organize production

Anarchism as direct democracy
―No one knows better than the workers themselves the capacity of each one in a specific workplace. There, where everybody knows everybody, the practice of democracy is possible.‖

D.A. de Santillan (1897-1983)

Anarchism as direct democracy
Farm Cooperative Workers’ Council

Anarchism as direct democracy
Local Council of Production

Farm Cooperative Farm Cooperative

Workers’ Council

Workers’ Council

Anarchism as direct democracy
Regional Producers’ Federation

Local Council of Production

Local Council of Production

Local Council of Production

Local Council of Production

Farm Cooperative

Farm Cooperative

Workers’ Council

Workers’ Council

Farm Cooperative

Farm Cooperative

Workers’ Council

Workers’ Council

Farm Cooperative

Farm Cooperative

Workers’ Council

Workers’ Council

Farm Cooperative

Farm Cooperative

Workers’ Council

Workers’ Council

Anarchism as direct democracy

Transregional federation

Regional Producers’ Federation

Regional Producers’ Federation

Regional Producers’ Federation

Local Council of Production

Local Council of Production

Local Council of Production

Local Council of Production

Local Council of Production

Local Council of Production

Local Council of Production

Local Council of Production

Local Council of Production

Local Council of Production

Local Council of Production

Local Council of Production

Farm Cooperative Workers’ Council Farm Cooperative Workers’ Council Farm Cooperative Workers’ Council Farm Cooperative Workers’ Council Farm Cooperative Workers’ Council Farm Cooperative Workers’ Council Farm Cooperative Workers’ Council Farm Cooperative Workers’ Council Farm Cooperative Workers’ Council Farm Cooperative Workers’ Council Farm Cooperative Workers’ Council Farm Cooperative Workers’ Council Farm Cooperative Workers’ Council Farm Cooperative Workers’ Council Farm Cooperative Workers’ Council Farm Cooperative Workers’ Council Farm Cooperative Workers’ Council Farm Cooperative Workers’ Council Farm Cooperative Workers’ Council Farm Cooperative Workers’ Council Farm Cooperative Workers’ Council Farm Cooperative Workers’ Council Farm Cooperative Workers’ Council Farm Cooperative Workers’ Council

Anarchism as direct democracy
Global Federation

Transregional federation

Transregional federation

Transregional federation

Transregional federation

Regional Producers’ Federation

Regional Producers’ Federation

Regional Producers’ Federation

Regional Producers’ Federation

Regional Producers’ Federation

Regional Producers’ Federation

Regional Producers’ Federation

Regional Producers’ Federation

Regional Producers’ Federation

Regional Producers’ Federation

Regional Producers’ Federation

Regional Producers’ Federation

Local Council of Production

Local Council of Production

Local Council of Production

Local Council of Production

Local Council of Production

Local Council of Production

Local Council of Production

Local Council of Production

Local Council of Production

Local Council of Production

Local Council of Production

Local Council of Production

Local Council of Production

Local Council of Production

Local Council of Production

Local Council of Production

Local Council of Production

Local Council of Production

Local Council of Production

Local Council of Production

Local Council of Production

Local Council of Production

Local Council of Production

Local Council of Production

Local Council of Production

Local Council of Production

Local Council of Production

Local Council of Production

Local Council of Production

Local Council of Production

Local Council of Production

Local Council of Production

Local Council of Production

Local Council of Production

Local Council of Production

Local Council of Production

Local Council of Production

Local Council of Production

Local Council of Production

Local Council of Production

Local Council of Production

Local Council of Production

Local Council of Production

Local Council of Production

Local Council of Production

Local Council of Production

Local Council of Production

Local Council of Production

Anarchism as direct democracy
Neighborhood Assembly

Anarchism as direct democracy
Community assembly

Neighborhood Assembly

Neighborhood Assembly

Neighborhood Assembly

Anarchism as direct democracy
Regional federation

Community assembly

Community assembly

Community assembly

Community assembly

Neighborhood Assembly

Neighborhood Assembly

Neighborhood Assembly

Neighborhood Assembly

Neighborhood Assembly

Neighborhood Assembly

Neighborhood Assembly

Neighborhood Assembly

Neighborhood Assembly

Neighborhood Assembly

Neighborhood Assembly

Neighborhood Assembly

Anarchism as direct democracy
Transregional federation

Regional federation

Regional federation

Regional federation

Community assembly

Community assembly

Community assembly

Community assembly

Community assembly

Community assembly

Community assembly

Community assembly

Community assembly

Community assembly

Community assembly

Community assembly

Neighborhood Neighborhood Neighborhood Assembly Assembly Assembly

Neighborhood Neighborhood Neighborhood Assembly Assembly Assembly

Neighborhood Neighborhood Neighborhood Assembly Assembly Assembly

Neighborhood Neighborhood Neighborhood Assembly Assembly Assembly

Neighborhood Neighborhood Neighborhood Assembly Assembly Assembly

Neighborhood Neighborhood Neighborhood Assembly Assembly Assembly

Neighborhood Neighborhood Neighborhood Assembly Assembly Assembly

Neighborhood Neighborhood Neighborhood Assembly Assembly Assembly

Neighborhood Neighborhood Neighborhood Assembly Assembly Assembly

Neighborhood Neighborhood Neighborhood Assembly Assembly Assembly

Neighborhood Neighborhood Neighborhood Assembly Assembly Assembly

Neighborhood Neighborhood Neighborhood Assembly Assembly Assembly

Anarchism as direct democracy
World assembly

Transregional federation

Transregional federation

Transregional federation

Transregional federation

Transregional federation

Regional assembly

Regional assembly

Regional assembly

Regional assembly

Regional assembly

Regional assembly

Regional assembly

Regional assembly

Regional assembly

Regional assembly

Regional assembly

Regional assembly

Regional assembly

Regional assembly

Regional assembly

Community Community Community Community Community Community Community Community Community Community Community Community assembly assembly assemblyassembly assemblyassembly assemblyassembly assembly assembly assembly assembly
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A Cooperative Commonwealth

A Cooperative Commonwealth

A Cooperative Commonwealth
―The principle of organization must not issue from a center created in advance to capture the whole and impose itself upon it but, on the contrary, it must come from all sides to create nodes of coordination, natural centers to serve all these points.‖ –Voline

A Cooperative Commonwealth
―The principle of organization must not issue from a center created in advance to capture the whole and impose itself upon it but, on the contrary, it must come from all sides to create nodes of coordination, natural centers to serve all these points.‖ –Voline

―[Such a society,] like every organized living being . . . has its center everywhere and its circumference nowhere.‖ –Proudhon

Community assembly

Community assembly

―Do you need a road? . . .‖

Regional federation

Community assembly

Community assembly

―Do you need a road? Then the inhabitants of the neighboring communities will reach an agreement between themselves and will make one better than the Minister of Public Works.‖

Regional federation

Regional federation

―. . . Do you need a railway? . . .‖

Transregional federation

Regional federation

Regional federation

―. . . Do you need a railway? The
communities concerned in a whole region will make one better than the contractors who pile up millions building bad railways.‖

Crime and anarchism
―The fruitful source of crimes consists in this circumstance, one man's possessing in abundance that of which another man is destitute.‖
–William Godwin (1756-1836)

Crime and anarchism
• Crime is strongly linked to unemployment, lack of education, and poverty; eliminating these should sharply reduce the crime rate.

Crime and anarchism
• Crime is strongly linked to unemployment, lack of education, and poverty; eliminating these should sharply reduce the crime rate. ―Victimless crimes‖ – e.g., narcotics possession – are created by the State and would vanish with it.

Crime and anarchism
• Crime is strongly linked to unemployment, lack of education, and poverty; eliminating these should sharply reduce the crime rate. ―Victimless crimes‖ – e.g., narcotics possession – are created by the State and would vanish with it. Prisons function as ―universities of crime‖; abolishing prisons could actually reduce crime.

Crime and anarchism
• Crime is strongly linked to unemployment, lack of education, and poverty; eliminating these should sharply reduce the crime rate. ―Victimless crimes‖ – e.g., narcotics possession – are created by the State and would vanish with it. Prisons function as ―universities of crime‖; abolishing prisons could actually reduce crime. Crime is also a symptom of social alienation. A culture of solidarity can reduce motives for crime.

Crime and anarchism
Some possible responses to crime in an anarchist society
• Mediation and conflict resolution • Citizen patrols with rotating duties and community oversight • Ad-hoc courts convened by community assembly, with popularly elected judges and randomly selected jury of peers • Reparations and rehabilitation instead of incarceration • Asylums for the criminally insane • Expulsion from the community

Crime and anarchism
―There will be no solution to crime and antisocial behaviour without the resurrection of human community.‖
–Graham Purchase Anarchism and Ecology (1997)

1872: The International Workingmen‘s Association . . .

1872: The International Workingmen‘s Association . . .

SPLITS

1872: The International Workingmen‘s Association . . .

SPLITS
. . . over the conflict between Marx and Bakunin, leaders of the two largest factions.

Marxism vs. Anarchism

Marxism vs. Anarchism
Church and State are the servants of the Marketplace.

Marxism vs. Anarchism
Church and State are the servants of the Marketplace. Church, State, and Marketplace are merely different forms of enslavement.

Marxism vs. Anarchism
Church and State are the servants of the Marketplace. Church, State, and Marketplace are merely different forms of enslavement.

Don‘t forget race!

Marxism vs. Anarchism
Church and State are the servants of the Marketplace. Church, State, and Marketplace are merely different forms of enslavement. And gender, too!

Don‘t forget race!

Marxism vs. Anarchism
After the revolution, there must be a transitional government – a dictatorship of the proletariat.

Marxism vs. Anarchism
After the revolution, there must be a transitional government – a dictatorship of the proletariat. ―Dictatorship‖ of whom over whom??

Marxism vs. Anarchism
After the revolution, there must be a transitional government – a dictatorship of the proletariat. You want to create a Red bureaucracy!

―Dictatorship‖ of whom over whom??

Marxism vs. Anarchism
After the revolution, there must be a transitional government – a dictatorship of the proletariat. You want to create a Red bureaucracy! Revolutionary means must be consistent with revolutionary ends.

―Dictatorship‖ of whom over whom??

Marxism vs. Anarchism
Capitalism has to create the conditions for a successful revolution.

Marxism vs. Anarchism
Capitalism has to create the conditions for a successful revolution. We can make a revolution whenever enough of us want it!

Marxism vs. Anarchism
Capitalism has to create the conditions for a successful revolution. We can make a revolution whenever enough of us want it!

Hah! You think revolutions are made by ―will power.‖

Marxism vs. Anarchism
Capitalism has to create the conditions for a successful revolution. We can make a revolution whenever enough of us want it!

Hah! You think revolutions are made by ―will power.‖ No, by collective action.

Marxism vs. Anarchism

Marxism vs. Anarchism

Marxism vs. Anarchism

Marxism vs. Anarchism

Marxism vs. Anarchism
From a Marxist perspective . . . • the road to socialism is through capitalism. • the path to a free society is through the ―dictatorship of the proletariat.‖ From an anarchist perspective . . . • means must be consistent with ends. • rather than engaging in actions contrary to our values, we need to put our values into action.

In other words . . .

Direct Action
• Indirect action brings about something other than or even contrary to one‘s real goals.
• An indirect response to a problem means working through existing (bureaucratic) channels, getting someone else to deal with the problem. For instance: writing letters of complaint to the newspaper, signing petitions, demonstrating, or campaigning for a reform candidate.

Direct Action
• Direct action brings means and ends together.

• A direct response to a problem means intervening directly in the situation, without waiting for official permission or accepting the given rules. For example: blocking troop trains and bulldozers, creating alternative media channels – doing it yourself.

Direct Action

―Every person who ever in his life had a difference with anyone to settle, and went straight to the other persons involved to settle it . . . was a direct actionist.‖

Voltairine de Cleyre (1866-1912)

Direct Action

Direct democracy is a permanent form of direct action.
Murray Bookchin (1921-)

Direct Action
• We live highly ―indirect‖ lives: we spend all day doing things we don‘t want to in order to be allowed to do the things we want to do. We produce useless things for other people in exchange for money. ―Overproduction‖ throws workers out of work. Houses stand empty and food goes to waste while millions starve out in the open.

Direct Action
• Anarchists aspire to live more ―directly.‖ Production and consumption are united when we produce goods for our own use. Work becomes play when the activity of working is made enjoyable, so that it is its own reward, containing its end within itself. When we work for ourselves, we don‘t need bosses, surveillance, and discipline.

Schools of Anarchist Thought
Individualist Anarchism Social Anarchism

Schools of Anarchist Thought
Individualist Anarchism
•Only voluntary, limited, and temporary forms of organization

Social Anarchism

Schools of Anarchist Thought
Individualist Anarchism
•Only voluntary, limited, and temporary forms of organization •Free exchange without the State

Social Anarchism

Schools of Anarchist Thought
Individualist Anarchism
•Only voluntary, limited, and temporary forms of organization •Free exchange without the State •Emphasis on individual autonomy

Social Anarchism

Schools of Anarchist Thought
Individualist Anarchism
•Only voluntary, limited, and temporary forms of organization •Free exchange without the State •Emphasis on individual autonomy

Social Anarchism
•Organization crucial, but must be decentralized and non-authoritarian

Schools of Anarchist Thought
Individualist Anarchism
•Only voluntary, limited, and temporary forms of organization •Free exchange without the State •Emphasis on individual autonomy

Social Anarchism
•Organization crucial, but must be decentralized and non-authoritarian •Socialism without the State

Schools of Anarchist Thought
Individualist Anarchism
•Only voluntary, limited, and temporary forms of organization •Free exchange without the State •Emphasis on individual autonomy

Social Anarchism
•Organization crucial, but must be decentralized and non-authoritarian •Socialism without the State •Balance of autonomy and community

Individualism

Max STIRNER (1806-1856)

Max STIRNER (1806-1856)

Stirner vs. Hegel
All of history is really the progress of Ideas – the journey of a World Spirit (Weltgeist) toward self-discovery..

G.W.F. Hegel

Max Stirner

Stirner vs. Hegel
All of history is really the progress of Ideas – the journey of a World Spirit (Weltgeist) toward self-discovery..

Ideas progress through the dialectic: first, the idea appears positively, as a Thesis, which calls forth its opposite or Antithesis; then a Synthesis can emerge, combining the best of both. This, too, becomes a thesis, and the process repeats . . .

G.W.F. Hegel

Max Stirner

Stirner vs. Hegel

G.W.F. Hegel

Max Stirner

Stirner vs. Hegel

G.W.F. Hegel

Max Stirner

Stirner vs. Hegel

G.W.F. Hegel

Max Stirner

Stirner vs. Hegel

G.W.F. Hegel

Max Stirner

Stirner vs. Hegel

G.W.F. Hegel

Max Stirner

Stirner vs. Hegel

G.W.F. Hegel

Max Stirner

Stirner vs. Hegel
All of history is really the progress of Ideas – the journey of a World Spirit (Weltgeist) toward self-discovery..

Ideas progress through the dialectic: first, the idea appears positively, as a Thesis, which calls forth its opposite or Antithesis; then a Synthesis can emerge, combining the best of both. This, too, becomes a thesis, and the process repeats . . .
Until finally an allencompassing Idea is attained – the Absolute.

G.W.F. Hegel

Max Stirner

Stirner vs. Hegel

G.W.F. Hegel

Max Stirner

Stirner vs. Hegel

G.W.F. Hegel

Max Stirner

Stirner vs. Hegel

G.W.F. Hegel

Max Stirner

Stirner vs. Hegel

G.W.F. Hegel

Max Stirner

Stirner vs. Hegel

G.W.F. Hegel

Max Stirner

Stirner vs. Hegel

G.W.F. Hegel

Max Stirner

Stirner vs. Hegel

G.W.F. Hegel

Max Stirner

Stirner vs. Hegel
Truly, you are haunted by a ghost (Geist)! Your disembodied ―World Spirit‖ is imaginary – a mere abstraction.

G.W.F. Hegel

Max Stirner

Stirner vs. Hegel
Truly, you are haunted by a ghost (Geist)! Your disembodied ―World Spirit‖ is imaginary – a mere abstraction.

The only true subject is the concrete, bodily individual – the Einzige.

G.W.F. Hegel

Max Stirner

Stirner vs. Hegel
Truly, you are haunted by a ghost (Geist)! Your disembodied ―World Spirit‖ is imaginary – a mere abstraction.

The only true subject is the concrete, bodily individual – the Einzige. Nothing is ―Absolute.‖ Everything is what it is relative to my interests.

G.W.F. Hegel

Max Stirner

Stirner vs. Hegel
Truly, you are haunted by a ghost (Geist)! Your disembodied ―World Spirit‖ is imaginary – a mere abstraction.

The only true subject is the concrete, bodily individual – the Einzige. Nothing is ―Absolute.‖ Everything is what it is relative to my interests.

―Nothing is more to me than myself!‖
G.W.F. Hegel Max Stirner

Stirner‘s place in philosophy
EXISTENTIALISTS Stirner‘s negation of God and any source of values beyond the individual places him in the company of the existentialists . . .

Jean-Paul Sartre

Friedrich Nietzsche

Søren Kierkegaard

Albert Camus

Max Stirner

Stirner‘s place in philosophy
EXISTENTIALISTS Stirner‘s negation of God and any source of values beyond the individual places him in the company of the existentialists . . .

Jean-Paul Sartre

Friedrich Nietzsche

. . . But we also wonder if he isn‘t just a nihilist.

Søren Kierkegaard

Albert Camus

Max Stirner

Stirner‘s place in philosophy
―Stirner is the dialectician who reveals nihilism as the truth of the dialectic.‖

Gilles Deleuze (poststructuralist philosopher, 1925-1995)

Max Stirner

Stirner‘s place in philosophy
―Stirner is the dialectician who reveals nihilism as the truth of the dialectic.‖
. . . which makes him an important ancestor of poststructuralism.

Gilles Deleuze (poststructuralist philosopher, 1925-1995)

Max Stirner

Stirner‘s place in philosophy

Jean Baudrillard (postmodern theorist, 1929-)

Max Stirner

Stirner‘s place in philosophy
We share a similar critique of Marx‘s Hegelian notion of ―alienation.‖

Jean Baudrillard (postmodern theorist, 1929-)

Max Stirner

Stirner‘s place in philosophy
We share a similar critique of Marx‘s Hegelian notion of ―alienation.‖

Jean Baudrillard (postmodern theorist, 1929-)

―What an absurdity it is to pretend that men are 'other', to try to convince them that their deepest desire is to become 'themselves' again! Each man is totally there at each instant.‖

Max Stirner

Stirner‘s place in philosophy
We share a similar critique of Marx‘s Hegelian notion of ―alienation.‖

―The true man does not lie in the future, an object of longing, but lies, existent and real, in the present. Whatever and whoever I may be, joyous and suffering, a child or a graybeard, in confidence or doubt, in sleep or in waking, I am it, I am the true man.‖

Jean Baudrillard (postmodern theorist, 1929-)

―What an absurdity it is to pretend that men are 'other', to try to convince them that their deepest desire is to become 'themselves' again! Each man is totally there at each instant.‖

Max Stirner

Stirner vs. the social anarchists
―The true man does not lie in the future, an object of longing, but lies, existent and real, in the present. Whatever and whoever I may be, joyous and suffering, a child or a graybeard, in confidence or doubt, in sleep or in waking, I am it, I am the true man.‖

Mikhail Bakunin

Max Stirner

Stirner vs. the social anarchists
Demystifying ideas, stripping them of sacred authority, is healthy – but Stirner deifies the ultimate abstraction: the selfcontained ―ego.‖

―The true man does not lie in the future, an object of longing, but lies, existent and real, in the present. Whatever and whoever I may be, joyous and suffering, a child or a graybeard, in confidence or doubt, in sleep or in waking, I am it, I am the true man.‖

Mikhail Bakunin

Max Stirner

Stirner vs. the social anarchists
Demystifying ideas, stripping them of sacred authority, is healthy – but Stirner deifies the ultimate abstraction: the selfcontained ―ego.‖

―The true man does not lie in the future, an object of longing, but lies, existent and real, in the present. Whatever and whoever I may be, joyous and suffering, a child or a graybeard, in confidence or doubt, in sleep or in waking, I am it, I am the true man.‖

Anarchism is a philosophy of human development – of the potential contained within the actual. We only become free to develop fully in community. For Stirner, there is no potentiality, no becoming or development. Mikhail Bakunin

Max Stirner

Stirner vs. the social anarchists
And as for economics – Stirner‘s criticism leaves the competitive individualism of capitalism unscathed.

Mikhail Bakunin

Max Stirner

Stirner vs. the social anarchists
And as for economics – Stirner‘s criticism leaves the competitive individualism of capitalism unscathed.
―My intercourse with the world, what does it aim at? I want to have the enjoyment of it, therefore it must be my property, and therefore I want to win it. I do not want the liberty of men, nor their equality ; I want only my power over them, I want to make them my property, i. e. material for enjoyment.‖

Mikhail Bakunin

Max Stirner

Stirner vs. the social anarchists
And as for economics – Stirner‘s criticism leaves the competitive individualism of capitalism unscathed.
―My intercourse with the world, what does it aim at? I want to have the enjoyment of it, therefore it must be my property, and therefore I want to win it. I do not want the liberty of men, nor their equality ; I want only my power over them, I want to make them my property, i. e. material for enjoyment.―

Property is theft!

Mikhail Bakunin

P.-J. Proudhon

Max Stirner

Stirner vs. the social anarchists
In fact, the critique of ―property‖ and the creation of economic alternatives to capitalism will turn out to be central to anarchist theory.

Mikhail Bakunin

P.-J. Proudhon

Social Anarchism
• Mutualism • Anarcho-syndicalism • Anarcho-communism

Mutualism
Pierre-Joseph PROUDHON (1805-1865)
• Voluntary contracts between individuals • Producer-consumer cooperatives • Decentralized federations instead of centralized States • Exchange economy without rent, profit, or interest on loans

Proudhon vs. Hegel

G.W.F. Hegel

P.-J. Proudhon

Proudhon vs. Hegel
―In all things and everywhere, I proclaim Progress . . .‖

G.W.F. Hegel

P.-J. Proudhon

Proudhon vs. Hegel
―In all things and everywhere, I proclaim Progress . . .‖

Yes! Progress is the law of History!

G.W.F. Hegel

P.-J. Proudhon

Proudhon vs. Hegel
―In all things and everywhere, I proclaim Progress . . .‖

Yes! Progress is the law of History!

―. . . and no less resolutely, in all things and everywhere, I denounce the Absolute.‖

G.W.F. Hegel

P.-J. Proudhon

Proudhon vs. Hegel
Frickin‘ anarchists, always gotta be different . . . ―In all things and everywhere, I proclaim Progress . . .‖

Yes! Progress is the law of History!

―. . . and no less resolutely, in all things and everywhere, I denounce the Absolute.‖

G.W.F. Hegel

P.-J. Proudhon

Proudhon‘s place in philosophy
• Hegel‘s cherished notion of ―the Absolute‖ is anathema to Proudhon. He identifies it with ―absolutism,‖ or ―the search, in nature, society, religion, politics, morality, etc., for the eternal, the immutable, the perfect, the final, the unchangeable, the undivided‖ – in short, a defense of ―the status quo.‖ • For Hegel, everything that exists is the necessary result of a rational process. For Proudhon, everything that exists is capable of change and must be made ―rational.‖

Proudhon vs. Hegel
History is the work of the World Spirit thinking its way through the dialectic. In effect, History is the operation of Reason.

G.W.F. Hegel

P.-J. Proudhon

Proudhon vs. Hegel
History is the work of the World Spirit thinking its way through the dialectic. In effect, History is the operation of Reason. Or, as I like to say: ―What is real is rational, and what is rational is real.‖

G.W.F. Hegel

P.-J. Proudhon

Proudhon vs. Hegel
History is the work of the World Spirit thinking its way through the dialectic. In effect, History is the operation of Reason. Or, as I like to say: ―What is real is rational, and what is rational is real.‖ On the one hand, this is ridiculous. There is no World Spirit, only individual minds working in a material world.

G.W.F. Hegel

P.-J. Proudhon

Proudhon vs. Hegel
History is the work of the World Spirit thinking its way through the dialectic. In effect, History is the operation of Reason. Or, as I like to say: ―What is real is rational, and what is rational is real.‖ On the one hand, this is ridiculous. There is no World Spirit, only individual minds working in a material world. On the other hand, just as our combined labor – our ―collective force‖ – can accomplish more than the sum of our individual efforts, so society as a whole can be said to possess a ―collective reason.‖

G.W.F. Hegel

P.-J. Proudhon

Proudhon‘s place in philosophy
• Labor, for Proudhon, always involves the exercise of intelligence and creativity. The working class possesses, therefore, not only a ―collective force‖ but a ―collective reason.‖

Proudhon‘s place in philosophy
• In effect, while ―hitherto . . . philosophy, like wealth, has been reserved for certain classes,‖ as Proudhon remarks, ―to make every artisan a philosopher . . . it would be enough to teach him — what? his profession.‖

Proudhon vs. Hegel
Mere sensory experiences can only render limited knowledge of the material world. Higher knowledge must come from the contemplation of pure ideas.

G.W.F. Hegel

P.-J. Proudhon

Proudhon vs. Hegel
Mere sensory experiences can only render limited knowledge of the material world. Higher knowledge must come from the contemplation of pure ideas. You have things backwards! Ideas are merely a reflection of the material world.

G.W.F. Hegel

Karl Marx

P.-J. Proudhon

Proudhon vs. Hegel
Mere sensory experiences can only render limited knowledge of the material world. Higher knowledge must come from the contemplation of pure ideas. You have things backwards! Ideas are merely a reflection of the material world. I refuse the very distinction between ―ideas‖ and ―matter.‖ The two cannot be separated from one another.

G.W.F. Hegel

Karl Marx

P.-J. Proudhon

Proudhon vs. Hegel
Frickin‘ anarchists!

I refuse the very distinction between ―ideas‖ and ―matter.‖ The two cannot be separated from one another.

G.W.F. Hegel

Karl Marx

P.-J. Proudhon

Proudhon‘s place in philosophy
• Since ideality and materiality are two inseparable aspects of Being, there can be no firm distinction between ―manual labor‖ and ―mental labor.‖ All labor requires intelligence and creativity –if workers merely obeyed direct commands, work would grind to a halt. • If all labor is done with the mind as well as the body, then workers are potentially capable of self-management – and there is no reason for the existence of ―managers.‖

Anarcho-syndicalism
Mikhail BAKUNIN (1814-1876)
• Labor unions as means of revolution and framework for new society • Collective self-management in the workplace • Limited wage system retained

Bakunin vs. Hegel
Since history is the progress of ideas, philosophy is the science of history. In fact, the goal of history is to produce the philosopher who can render history‘s pattern clear.

G.W.F. Hegel

Karl Marx

Mikhail Bakunin

Bakunin vs. Hegel
Since history is the progress of ideas, philosophy is the science of history. In fact, the goal of history is to produce the philosopher who can render history‘s pattern clear.

Hegel, a professional thinker, imagines that history is a matter of progress in ideas. In fact, ideas follow material, economic progress. My science of history will be founded on the study of economics.

G.W.F. Hegel

Karl Marx

Mikhail Bakunin

Bakunin vs. Hegel
Since history is the progress of ideas, philosophy is the science of history. In fact, the goal of history is to produce the philosopher who can render history‘s pattern clear.

Hegel, a professional thinker, imagines that history is a matter of progress in ideas. In fact, ideas follow material, economic progress. My science of history will be founded on the study of economics.

There is no ―science of history,‖ and even if there were, the ―scientists‖ would have no right to dictate to the rest of us.

G.W.F. Hegel

Karl Marx

Mikhail Bakunin

Bakunin vs. Hegel
Frickin‘ anarchists!

There is no ―science of history,‖ and even if there were, the ―scientists‖ would have no right to dictate to the rest of us.

G.W.F. Hegel

Karl Marx

Mikhail Bakunin

Bakunin‘s place in philosophy
• Bakunin is profoundly suspicious of claims to knowledge, particularly when that knowledge is cited as a badge of authority. • Knowledge (ideas, categories, words, discourse) is inevitably ―an abstraction,‖ a generalization – ―and, for that very reason, in some sort a negation of real life.‖ Thus, Bakunin calls for ―the revolt of life against science.‖

Bakunin‘s place in philosophy
Bakunin and I attended the same lecture by the philosopher Friedrich Schelling at which he argued that Hegel‘s philosophy had to be replaced by a ―philosophy of existence‖ – the inspiration for my existentialist philosophy. Both of us distrust abstract systems of thought.

EXISTENTIALISM

Søren Kierkegaard

Mikhail Bakunin

Bakunin‘s place in philosophy
Bakunin and I attended the same lecture by the philosopher Friedrich Schelling at which he argued that Hegel‘s philosophy had to be replaced by a ―philosophy of existence‖ – the inspiration for my existentialist philosophy. Both of us distrust abstract systems of thought.

EXISTENTIALISM True. However, I am before all else an atheist and a socialist – not for me Kierkegaard‘s incessant whining, his preoccupation with ―dread,‖ ―despair,‖ and God, and his individualistic indifference to politics. Søren Kierkegaard

Mikhail Bakunin

Bakunin‘s place in philosophy
Bakunin‘s rejection of ―science‖ in favor of ―life‖ puts him close to my own postmodernist philosophy, which is all about being skeptical toward ―grand narratives‖ – big ideas like History, Progress, God, Reason, Nature, Truth, etc. Intellectuals use grand narratives to enhance their own authority and power at our expense. In fact, there is no objective knowledge, only stories we tell ourselves about the world we live in. POSTMODERNISM

Jean-François Lyotard

Mikhail Bakunin

Bakunin‘s place in philosophy
Bakunin‘s rejection of ―science‖ in favor of ―life‖ puts him close to my own postmodernist philosophy, which is all about being skeptical toward ―grand narratives‖ – big ideas like History, Progress, God, Reason, Nature, Truth, etc. Intellectuals use grand narratives to enhance their own authority and power at our expense. In fact, there is no objective knowledge, only stories we tell ourselves about the world we live in. POSTMODERNISM But I would make a bad postmodernist, too. I value the natural sciences for making it possible to understand the world without reference to God. Nor do I deny the possibility of objective knowledge. It‘s just that we should never grand absolute authority to anyone, not even to those who possess knowledge.

Jean-François Lyotard

Mikhail Bakunin

Anarcho-communism
Peter KROPOTKIN (1842-1921)
• No wage system or ownership of the means of production • Communist distributive ethic: from each according to ability, to each according to need

Kropotkin‘s place in philosophy
My place is not so much with the pure philosophers as it is with the scientists and ethicists.

Kropotkin‘s place in philosophy
―Of all the differences between man and the lower animals, the moral sense or conscience is by far the most important.‖ ―The moral feelings are not innate, but acquired.‖

Thomas Huxley

Charles Darwin

John Stuart Mill

Peter Kropotkin

Kropotkin‘s place in philosophy
―The practice of that which is ethically best – what we call goodness or virtue – involves a course of conduct which, in all respects, is opposed to that which leads to success in the cosmic struggle for existence.‖

Thomas Huxley

Charles Darwin

John Stuart Mill

Kropotkin‘s place in philosophy
―[In primitive societies,] the weakest and stupidest went to the wall, while the toughest and shrewdest, those who were best fitted to cope with their circumstances, but not the best in another way, survived. Life was a continuous free fight, and beyond the limited and temporary relations of the family, the Hobbesian war of each against all was the normal state of existence.‖

Thomas Huxley

Charles Darwin

John Stuart Mill

Kropotkin‘s place in philosophy
We must find a conception of morality which is thoroughly compatible with the findings of natural science, not requiring any supernatural authority to establish right and wrong. Fortunately, Darwin has shown us the way to one.

Thomas Huxley

Charles Darwin

John Stuart Mill

Kropotkin‘s place in philosophy
We must find a conception of morality which is thoroughly compatible with the findings of natural science, not requiring any supernatural authority to establish right and wrong. Fortunately, Darwin has shown us the way to one. Natural selection does not promote the survival of the fittest individuals, but that of the fittest species. This explains why, as we can see from the abundance of ―social‖ species on Earth, cooperation is as much the law of nature as competition.

Thomas Huxley

Charles Darwin

John Stuart Mill

Kropotkin‘s place in philosophy
Altruism is as much part of human nature as egoism is – our collective survival has required it. Our customs and institutions can encourage the development of one instinct or the other – that is all. Natural selection does not promote the survival of the fittest individuals, but that of the fittest species. This explains why, as we can see from the abundance of ―social‖ species on Earth, cooperation is as much the law of nature as competition.

Thomas Huxley

Charles Darwin

John Stuart Mill

Social Anarchist Economics

Anarchist economics is simply the art of arranging for needs to be met with the minimum of wasted effort. From each according to ability, to each according to need.

But who is to decide my abilities or my needs? I say my needs are 100; you say they are 90. I say my abilities are 90; you say they are 100.

It‘s all a matter of labor. If you are able to work and don‘t, you shouldn‘t share in the wealth produced by others‘ labor. To each according to his deeds!

A community does have the right to eject someone who refuses to help out. Still, it shouldn‘t come to that most of the time – and a wage system only creates new problems.

Such as?

A community does have the right to eject someone who refuses to help out. Still, it shouldn‘t come to that most of the time – and a wage system only creates new problems.

Such as?

Well, who is to decide how valuable the products of my labor are? Is brain work worth more or less than manual labor? What about childrearing?

A community does have the right to eject someone who refuses to help out. Still, it shouldn‘t come to that most of the time – and a wage system only creates new problems.

It is true that economic value is very difficult to formulate. That‘s why it should be a matter of negotiation – of contract.

There are two problems with reliance on a system of free contracts between individuals.

First of all, it will be necessary to coordinate and plan on a bigger scale than a couple of individuals making a deal..

First of all, it will be necessary to coordinate and plan on a bigger scale than a couple of individuals making a deal..

Second, the outcome of those contractual arrangements may be that someone ends up as exclusive owner of the means of production – which gives them the power to force others to work for them.

There are a few ways we can avoid these problems.

There are a few ways we can avoid these problems. For instance, we can establish equitable systems of trade – for instance, ―labor note‖ currencies which allow us to trade work-time for work-time.

There are a few ways we can avoid these problems. For instance, we can establish equitable systems of trade – for instance, ―labor note‖ currencies which allow us to trade work-time for work-time. We can also make contracts between groups of producers and consumers organized into cooperatives, which can in turn be networked.

Such a system is still too divisive – too much haggling. Anarchism requires a deeper sense of community. When people are assured that their needs will be met, they feel more secure and are capable of more generous behavior.

We should look to the example set by those primitive societies in which the primary form of property is still the gift – an institution which still survives among us in forms such as the barn-raising, the Red Cross, the quilting bee . . . and, of course, the family.

Anarchism as ethics
• Right and wrong are not just a matter of the good or bad results of one‘s action (so that it all depends on the circumstances) . . . • . . . nor is it just a matter of pure principle (so that right and wrong are always the same for everyone). • Both principles and circumstances – means and ends – must be taken into account.

Peter Kropotkin

Anarchism as ethics

CONSEQUENTIALIST

ANARCHIST

DEONTOLOGICAL

John Stuart Mill

Peter Kropotkin

Immanuel Kant

Anarchism as ethics
―Actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote happiness; wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happiness.‖

CONSEQUENTIALIST

ANARCHIST

DEONTOLOGICAL

John Stuart Mill

Peter Kropotkin

Immanuel Kant

Anarchism as ethics
―Act only according to that maxim by which you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law.‖

CONSEQUENTIALIST

ANARCHIST

DEONTOLOGICAL

John Stuart Mill

Peter Kropotkin

Immanuel Kant

Anarchism as ethics
―The morality which emerges from the observation of the whole animal kingdom may be summed up in the words: ‗Do to others what you would have them do to you in the same circumstances.‘‖ CONSEQUENTIALIST ANARCHIST DEONTOLOGICAL

John Stuart Mill

Peter Kropotkin

Immanuel Kant

Anarchism as ethics
• Moral materialism: no appeal to a separate world of spirit as source of meaning • Moral naturalism: morality rooted in the struggle for species survival • Moral historicism: moral truths are not eternal or unchanging, but evolve over time

Peter Kropotkin

Anarchism as ethics
―We need a critique of moral values, and we must first question the very value of these values. For that we need a knowledge of the conditions and circumstance out of which these values grew, under which they have developed and changed . . .‖

Peter Kropotkin

Friedrich Nietzsche

Anarchism as ethics
―The conception of good or evil varies according to the degree of intelligence or of knowledge acquired. There is nothing unchangeable about it . . .‖

Peter Kropotkin

Friedrich Nietzsche

Anarchism as ethics
―There are epochs in which the moral conception changes entirely . . . Let us welcome such epochs, for they are epochs of criticism. They are an infallible sign that thought is working in society. A higher morality has begun to be wrought out.‖

Peter Kropotkin

Friedrich Nietzsche

Anarchism as ethics
―Nihilism is the necessary consequence of the ideals entertained hitherto . . . [for] all the old ideals are hostile to life.‖

Peter Kropotkin

Friedrich Nietzsche

Anarchism as ethics
―The end of morals cannot be ‗transcendental,‘ as the idealists desire it to be: it must be real. We must find moral satisfaction in life and not in some form of extra-vital condition.‖

Peter Kropotkin

Friedrich Nietzsche

Anarchism as ethics
―What is good? – All that heightens the feeling of power, the will to power, power itself in man.‖

Peter Kropotkin

Friedrich Nietzsche

Anarchism as ethics
―Nature was represented by the Darwinists as an immense battlefield upon which one sees nothing but an incessant struggle for life and an extermination of the weak ones by the strongest . . . evil was the only lesson which man could get from Nature . . .‖

Peter Kropotkin

Friedrich Nietzsche

Anarchism as ethics
―But if a scientist maintains that ‗the only lesson which Nature gives to man is one of evil,‘ then he necessarily has to admit the existence of some other, extra-natural, or super-natural influence which inspires man with conceptions of ‗supreme good,‘ and guides human development towards a higher goal . . .‖

Peter Kropotkin

Friedrich Nietzsche

Anarchism as ethics
―In reality, however, things do not stand so badly as that . . . Mutual aid is the predominant fact of nature.‖

Peter Kropotkin

Friedrich Nietzsche

Anarchism as ethics
―Life manifests itself in growth, in multiplication, in spreading . . . . From this consciousness of the superabundance of vital force, which strives to manifest itself in action, results that which we usually call self-sacrifice. We feel that we possess more energy than is necessary for our daily life, and we give this energy to others.‖

Peter Kropotkin

Friedrich Nietzsche

Anarchism as ethics
―Be strong. Overflow with emotional and intellectual energy, and you will spread your intelligence, your love, your energy of action broadcast among others! This is what all moral teaching comes to.‖

Peter Kropotkin

Friedrich Nietzsche

Anarchism as ethics
―‗Equal to the equal, unequal to the unequal‘ – that would be the true slogan of justice; and also its corollary: ‗Never make equal what is unequal.‘‖

Peter Kropotkin

Friedrich Nietzsche

Anarchism as ethics
―Equality in mutual relations with the solidarity arising from it, this is the most powerful weapon of the animal world in the struggle for existence.‖

Peter Kropotkin

Friedrich Nietzsche

Anarchism as ethics
―‗The world is perfect‘ – thus says the instinct of the most spiritual . . . What is bad . . . Is born of weakness, of envy, of revenge. The anarchist and the Christian have the same origin.‖

Peter Kropotkin

Friedrich Nietzsche

Anarchism as ethics
―[You] did not understand anything about the economic workers' revolt. The great Nietzsche . . . remained a slave to bourgeois prejudice.‖

Peter Kropotkin

Friedrich Nietzsche

Anarchism and spirituality

Anarchism and spirituality
Long before Proudhon became the first to call himself ―an anarchist‖ in 1840, anarchist ideas and movements had emerged in religious forms.

Anarchism and spirituality
Long before Proudhon became the first to call himself ―an anarchist‖ in 1840, anarchist ideas and movements had emerged in religious forms.
• In ancient China, Taoism and Buddhism counseled avoidance of power and possession.

Anarchism and spirituality
Long before Proudhon became the first to call himself ―an anarchist‖ in 1840, anarchist ideas and movements had emerged in religious forms.
• In ancient China, Taoism and Buddhism counseled avoidance of power and possession. The Hebrew Scriptures centered on themes of emancipation from bondage to worldly power.

Anarchism and spirituality
Long before Proudhon became the first to call himself ―an anarchist‖ in 1840, anarchist ideas and movements had emerged in religious forms.
• In ancient China, Taoism and Buddhism counseled avoidance of power and possession. The Hebrew Scriptures centered on themes of emancipation from bondage to worldly power. In medieval Europe, heretical and mystical forms of Christianity denounced princes and Popes alike as usurpers.

Anarchism and spirituality
Long before Proudhon became the first to call himself ―an anarchist‖ in 1840, anarchist ideas and movements had emerged in religious forms.
• In ancient China, Taoism and Buddhism counseled avoidance of power and possession. The Hebrew Scriptures centered on themes of emancipation from bondage to worldly power. In medieval Europe, heretical and mystical forms of Christianity denounced princes and Popes alike as usurpers. Protestantism opened the way to a series of anarchic religious revolts, including those of the Diggers, Ranters, Lollards, and Anabaptists.

Anarchism and spirituality
CONFLICTS • Anarchists are strongly critical of organized religion as ally of the State • Anarchist materialism rules out appeal to otherworldly values • Anarchists reject appeals to divine authority CONVERGENCES • Strong precedents for anarchism in religious heresies • Anarchism is also idealist, but in an immanent sense – the living world is infused with values • Anarchists share a rejection of worldly authority

Anarchism and spirituality
A few who have combined opposition to State and Capital with religious belief: • • • • Mohandas K. Gandhi Martin Buber Leo Tolstoy Dorothy Day

Anarchism and spirituality

―I myself am an anarchist, but of another type.‖

Anarchism and spirituality

―I wish people would not be so afraid of words, such as the word anarchist.‖

Anarchism and spirituality

―All forms of rule have this in common: each wields more power than the given conditions require.‖

Anarchism and spirituality
A few who have ―All state obligations are combined opposition to againstState and Capital the the conscience of a Christian – the oath of with religion: allegiance, taxes, law proceedings, and military • Leo Tolstoy service. And the whole • Mohandas K. Gandhi power of the government • Martin Buber rests on these very obligations.‖ Day • Dorothy

Anarchism and spirituality
―[In] a state of enlightened anarchy . . . every one is his own ruler. He rules himself in such a manner that he is never a hindrance to his neighbour . . . therefore, there is no political power because there is no State.‖

Anarchism today
• Since the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, international anarchist movements have recovered some of the momentum lost to authoritarian communist and nationalist forces following the apparent success of Bolshevism and various national liberation struggles (e.g., Cuba, China, Kenya).

Anarchism today
• At the same time, the apparent triumph of global capitalism has put working-class movements everywhere on the defensive. Even the word ―libertarian‖ – once a synonym for anarchism – has become a term for laissez-faire capitalism.

Anarchism today
• Anarchist practices – direct action, organization via decentralized networks, consensus decision-making – have been widely adopted in the ―global justice‖ movement which has gained international attention since the Seattle WTO protests of 1999.

Anarchism today
• Anarchist practices – direct action, organization via decentralized networks, consensus decision-making – have been widely adopted in the ―global justice‖ movement which has gained international attention since the Seattle WTO protests of 1999. • Oddly enough, anarchists make great organizers.

Anarchism today
• Anarchist critiques of property and the State have also resurfaced, to some extent, in the Open Source Software and Cryptoanarchy movements.

Anarchism today
• Anarchist political and economic strategies – producer-consumer cooperatives, squatting, factory occupations, popular assemblies – have been adopted as survival tactics in the world‘s economic shock zones, from Mexico, Argentina and Brazil to Russia and South Africa.
Popular assembly, Argentina

Anarchism today
• Meanwhile, anarchism continues to evolve. In the absence of a strong labor union movement, a concern with ecology has taken center stage. Varieties of eco-anarchism range from Murray Bookchin‘s ―social ecology‖ to John Zerzan‘s anti-technological ―primitivism‖ and the ―monkeywrenching‖ tactics of Earth First.

Murray Bookchin

John Zerzan

How do you live as an anarchist in a hierarchical world?
• ―Resist much, obey little.‖ • Find ways to make work into play. • ―Don‘t mourn, organize‖ – form cooperatives, unions, and other horizontal associations. • Treat others with respect; demand respectful treatment. • Name and denounce oppression wherever you see it. • Be strong and daring and unashamed.

The End?
¡No cuente con él, muchachas!

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