Become an anarchist today!

A minimalist poster explaining what anarchism is, in fairly simple language and suitable for modification.

Submitted by Antonio de cleyre on October 3, 2012

The philosophy motivating this poster was the idea that just because the marketing firms of this world assume the proletariat has a five second attention span doesn't mean we have to. If we honestly, clearly and engagingly explain our ideas without frills, we can persaude people of our perspective. This poster and similar works has been used by the author (artist?) to reasonably good effect elsewhere.

The text of the document.

Become an Anarchist today!

Our world is in crisis. Carbon has reached 390 parts per million in the atmosphere; continued accumulation of Greenhouse gases will devastate civilization and ecologies alike. Millions starve while unimaginable quantities of food rot in warehouses. Government expenditure designed to control dissidence (wiretapping, electronic monitoring and the like) has been expanding continuously for decades. Sydney faces a “housing crisis” yet there are more empty houses in Sydney than there are homeless people.

Anarchism proposes that all of these problems have their root in one source, social domination. Social domination is varied; it can range from a skewed relation between two individuals, to vast structures of hierarchy and control. Anarchism tends to identify two key structures of domination, the state and capitalism. Unlike most political thinkers, anarchists do not see the state and capitalism as opposite or opposed principles; they see them as interlinked and mutually supportive forms of domination. The word, anarchism literally means the absence of rulers, because anarchists believe there should be no special privileged group of people who control society- all should share equally in managing society.

Capitalism is a system whereby a small minority of people own those goods necessary to make things (“The means of production”). This minority makes its profits not by working these machines but by employing others to do so. This tends to enormously centralise economic power in the hands of a few. While the capitalist may perform some administrative labour, the profits they receive usually far outstrip such contributions. The capitalist then is able to enjoy enormous wealth and power merely by owning certain things. Consider for example a landlord who owns fifteen houses, they do not work, but others provide them with what they need in exchange for being permitted a place to live.

The state enables capitalism. If it weren’t for its vast police forces, militaries, courts, intelligence agencies, and other apparatus, people like the landlord discussed earlier would never get away for reserving so much for themselves, and then requiring others to pay for access to it. Thus, the domination imposed by capitalism is made possible by the domination imposed by the state.

Anarchism opposes these interlinked pillars of social domination, and others as well. Patriarchy, Queerphobia, racism and many other forms of oppression are seen by anarchists as working in tandem to replicate a society based on power. Anarchists fight for a different society, a society based around genuine economic and political democracy, where no one rules or dominates anyone else, but decisions are made through a system all participate in.


Antonio de cleyre

11 years 9 months ago

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Submitted by Antonio de cleyre on October 3, 2012

If anyone makes use of this in their neighbourhood, workplace, campus, etc I'd love to know about it.


9 years 10 months ago

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Submitted by Reddebrek on August 26, 2014

I pretty good if basic intro, I added the text to the page and a PDF version for ease of reproduction.