Why do many anarchist assume that all oppression is rooted in workplace relationships and the most important type of action is that which centres around defining people according to their role in the workplace? (working/ruling class)
IMO all forms of oppression and hierarchy are interlinked and depend on each other. We should work in favour of mutual co-operation and against racism, patriarchy, gender roles (which I see as encompassing the fight against patriarchy anyway), inequalities in the workplace (class if you wanna use archaic terms), animal abuse, enviromental destruction and anywhere formal or informal hierarchies exist to exert authority and oppress.
Basically what I'm saying is that I disagree with the way that many traditional anarcho-communists want to relate every issue to class and insist that class is the most important issue and the root of all of these other problems. In some ways its much too simplistic an analysis and in other ways it uncessarily complicates things. Its patronising because it says to the woman suffering sexism "yeah fight against that but keep in mind the fight against the ruling class is more important because your problem wouldn't exist without this bigger problem" - as if before big factories and farms etc. there was no sexism, no abuse of animal or any of these other forms of oppression. Either that or its saying, for example, "yeah fight homophobia by all means but you gotta relate it to class struggle for it to be really worth anything.
If you think all oppression stems from class issues then you probably believe that all other forms of oppression are kinda either a subconscious or concious plot of the ruling class... and... well I just don't think thats a good analysis at all. Its like me saying "oh yeah Im into animal rights and its ok for you to do all that class struggle stuff but you have to remember animal rights is the main issue because all of this authoritarianism started with the domestication of animals"... or the same argument could be made for various other forms of oppression.
Why single out workplace dynamics (class) as the central issue?? Why not just accept that you have to fight oppression on all fronts? Why would, for example, a society without any bosses but still with strict gender roles and/or animal abuse be any more acceptable than a society retaining hierarchy in the workplace but without animal abuse and gender roles (inc patriarchy)?? ALL forms of hierarchy and oppression must be eliminated.
IMO we are not simply fighting against a fucked up economic system where hierarchy in the workplace and corrupt governments results in power and authority in the power of the few (the ruling class). The struggle is much wider and deeper than that. It is the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual fight of two deep and opposing attitudes evident in humanity. It is an urge to co-operate and respect life against the urge to control, to use life as a means to an end and to take pleasure from exploitation. Anarchy and hierarchy have always existed in varying ratios.
Basically what I'm saying is...
Anarchism: for me its about way more than economics. It's more of a practically applied philosophy. An attitude to life. Working together to increase freedom for everyone by valuing individual freedom rather than seeking individual power by putting people down.
I know I'll probably get flamed for this and... to be honest... bring it on.
I haven't properly written down what I think about this for ages and maybe some people were confused or misunderstood me. Predictably many of you will think the above rant to be a load of crap. Hopefully it will make some people think. But whatever. I've stood up (in a weird impersonal cyberspace way) and said what I think and I'm proud of it.