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What is an Anarchist ?

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Feenix
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Mar 31 2010 16:08
What is an Anarchist ?

Hi all.
I have just come across your forum and I had a bit of a 'moment' earlier,when I thought ''Am I really an Anarchist ??'' I have some pretty strong views (or so others tell me.) and the older I get,the less tolerant I am of the 'status quo'. So,I was wondering if anyone can sum up for me exactly what is an 'Anarchist' ,please ?
What are your ideas and how far do you go,to get your ideas/ideologies across,particularly when you're in conflict with the 'PTB' ?? Your answers might help me to decide who and what I really am ! I don't know what I am just now !

radicalgraffiti
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Mar 31 2010 21:01

its a little bit hard to sum up anarchism in a few words, you could try reading these maybe?

http://libcom.org/thought/anarchist-communism-an-introduction

http://libcom.org/library/what-is-anarchism-alexander-berkman

http://www.anarchistfaq.org.uk/

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Feenix
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Mar 31 2010 21:11

Thank you for that Radical..... I shall have a look. smile

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Steven.
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Mar 31 2010 22:04

yes, I'd have a look at them.

What is "PTB"?

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PartyBucket
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Mar 31 2010 22:38

Powers That Be??

no1
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Apr 1 2010 00:24

Partido dos Trabalhadores do Brasil?

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Apr 1 2010 02:32

For me, an anarchist is someone who lives a 'do it yourself' lifestyle.

Anarchism is, in my opinion, an active philosophy. That means you must be doing something to embody it.

Reading a book about cycling doesn't make you a cyclist. Reading a forum about anarchy doesn't make you an anarchist.

Start a soup kitchen. Volunteer at a homeless shelter. Cut gov't off whenever possible. Live the idea.

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back2front
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Apr 1 2010 07:45

Anarchists are sectarian extremists with big bushy beards who know the answers to everything. They dress in black capes and masks, and bomb parliment and assassinate world leaders regularly. Are you one of THEM?

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back2front
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Apr 1 2010 07:49

Seriously, here is Kropotkin's definition from the Encyclopedia Britanica:

http://www.blackcrayon.com/library/britt1910.html

(Note the general predisposition towards beards - was this an early situationist satire of the 19th century military moustache as sported by Nietsczhe et al?)

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Joseph Kay
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Apr 1 2010 13:43

This new pamphlet by the Anarchist Federation covers it pretty well

gypsy
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Apr 1 2010 16:10

Very good pamphlet.

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Steven.
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Apr 1 2010 18:36
Sunnata wrote:
Anarchism is, in my opinion, an active philosophy. That means you must be doing something to embody it.

Reading a book about cycling doesn't make you a cyclist. Reading a forum about anarchy doesn't make you an anarchist.

this is incorrect. While most people who are anarchists will want to do something about it, it is simply a philosophical/political position. If you hold it then you are an anarchist. If an anarchist becomes paraplegic in accident it doesn't mean that they are not an anarchist anymore.

The cycling analogy is ridiculous a "cyclist" means somebody who cycles. An "anarchist" is someone who believes in a world based on co-operation. It ending in the same three letters doesn't mean it is the same thing.

Quote:

Start a soup kitchen. Volunteer at a homeless shelter.

this is charity, not anarchism. Religious cults and fascist governments have soup kitchens and homeless shelters, they are nothing to do with anarchism.

Quote:
Cut gov't off whenever possible. Live the idea.

this first sentence doesn't really make sense.

Anarchism is about trying to change the world - not trying to run away from it.
What sunnata is basically outlining here seems to be what most anarchists would describe as "lifestyle anarchism". The differences between this and revolutionary, social anarchism explained and analysed in depth in this text by Murray Bookchin:
http://libcom.org/library/social-anarchism--lifestyle-anarchism-murray-bookchin

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Apr 1 2010 20:07
Steven. wrote:
this is incorrect. While most people who are anarchists will want to do something about it, it is simply a philosophical/political position. If you hold it then you are an anarchist. If an anarchist becomes paraplegic in accident it doesn't mean that they are not an anarchist anymore.

I disagree - it's an active political, not a religious position. People that "believe" in anarchism might as well be christians. In a religion, it's acceptable to merely believe that Christ is your saviour. People who just "believe" in anarchism are worthless wastes of space, unless they have an excuse like being paraplegic.

Boris Badenov
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Apr 1 2010 20:30
888 wrote:
People who just "believe" in anarchism are worthless wastes of space, unless they have an excuse like being paraplegic.

I think that would be most people who call themselves anarchists, and it would be disingenuous and inaccurate to claim that "just believing" necessarily implies an unwillingness to act.
And what about the people who don't believe in it at all? Shower of bastards, amirite?

Tbf, I think "doing" anarchism can mean a range of things, a lot of which are no more useful to defending our interests as workers than the most detached contemplative kind of anarchist belief.
Personally I don't get to do a lot of things that might be considered anarchistic, but I do try to argue for an anarchist position (as I understand it) whenever I get the chance. Is that doing something? Should I be summit hopping and TOTALLY SMASHING TEH STATE instead?
In other words, is everyone who isn't involved in an anarchist propaganda group not an anarchist even though they are a worker with anarchist beliefs arguing for anarchism whenever possible (including struggle situations)? To me that sounds a lot like the old "false consciousness vs. the enlightened vanguard" canard.

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Apr 2 2010 00:29

Anarchism is an a priori political philosophy based on liberalism.

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Joseph Kay
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Apr 2 2010 00:34

au contraire: "anarchism is not a beautiful utopia, nor an abstract philosophical idea, it is a social movement of the labouring masses."

well it was, and may be again.

freemind
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Apr 2 2010 09:29

Anarchism is a political movement that seeks to instigate Libertarian Communism as a mode for organising society on the principles of mutual aid and solidarity.These 2 planks of communist belief ensure the basis of eradication of racism,sexism and all forms of hierarchical domination and power relationships.Anarchism seeks to instigate it's vision through the successful prosecution of the class war and the completion of the historical mission of the working class ie;Abolition of the State and Capitalism.Anarchists seek a world where class,creed,sex,age,gender and other distinctions are abolished and replaced by a society where there is a balance between individual freedom and collective responsibility,work becomes a collective duty to each other (creative and rewarding also)community and the workplace are functioning and vibrant bedrocks of a society where people are empowered to participate in every decision that affects their daily lives and potential is released from the stultifying social strictures that Capitalism enforces.Anarchists seek to advance humanity to it's ultimate state where a world free of militarism,religion,nationalism and other reactionary dogmas is free to realise it's potential and individuals make their own informed choices as far as those choices do not impinge and violate the freedom of another.I hope this helps but i have written this off the cuff so no doubt some comrades will correct me if i've made some errors.

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Apr 2 2010 17:37

I like this quote from Stanley Aranowitz when he gave a talk in Dublin on education a while back.

"People who call themselves radicals, anarchists, socialists, small 'c' communists, whatever they call temselves and do not have an organisational theory and an organisational practice are not anarchists, socialists, or whatever you call them - what they are is sympathisers."

I think we can and there probably is a need to differentiate between those actively organised and sympathisers or fellow travellers. smile

aberplym
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Jul 10 2010 19:06

For me, John Lennon, though perhaps seeking to misdirect people, nevertheless was inadvertently a finger pointing at the moon when he sang "... the movement you need is on your shoulders".
Anarchists accept personal responsibility for the world around them and do not shirk it off onto some collective "representative".

Samotnaf
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Jul 11 2010 05:29

An anarchist is someone attached to the self-defining label "anarchist". Labels are for clothes. You are not what you wear.

Read others, look at and sometimes contribute to and participate, in the struggles of others - and in doing so make them part of your own struggle, through the seive of a constantly reflecting independent critical spirit, through your own point of view, through a constant development of your ideas by experiment , practical initiative and consequential decisions.

madcat
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Jul 11 2010 19:04

"Anarchism, then, really stands for the liberation of the human mind from the dominion of religion; the liberation of the human body from the dominion of property; liberation from the shackles and restraint of government. Anarchism stands for a social order based on the free grouping of individuals for the purpose of producing real social wealth; an order that will guarantee to every human being free access to the earth and full enjoyment of the necessities of life, according to individual desires, tastes, and inclinations."

in my opinion an anarchist is someone who believes and acts in a way that supports their belief in the above>
I might also say that I have no problem with people who sympathize (yes american) and call themself an anarchist nor would i seek to label them in a derogatory way, speak down to them or judge their choice of how they live because not only do i consider them a step further morally than most people <in my opinion again., but they also enable a lot of actions and whatavyou through their various forms of support if they show it. Anyway I think it is believed by most people that you cant be something that you dont practise. I wouldn't be a builder if I never built anything for example. But people can call themselves what they choose as far as im concerned so long as it causes no harm to the integrity of what they claim to be. I wouldnt ever choose to label myself as anything, i don't think it does any good.

gameover
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Aug 2 2010 20:10

surely the fact that nobody can agree what an Anarchist and therefore what Anarchism is shows why it would never work?

X0mbee
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Aug 3 2010 19:17

I have found, with experience of meeting many anarchists from many walks, that anarchism is what you make it. There's a lot of disagreement on a lot of differant points (which as you delve deeper into your own beliefs, you may come to appreciate more), although they will all agree, to an extent, that it is wrong to be forced into an opinion.

The only real thing that you could say is a "stable" building block, (in my opinion at least) is the ideal of "Mutual Respect". The idea that everybody has their own beliefs and ideals, and it is not your job to tell them they are wrong.... unless they're a copper.

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Aug 3 2010 19:58
Quote:
The only real thing that you could say is a "stable" building block, (in my opinion at least) is the ideal of "Mutual Respect". The idea that everybody has their own beliefs and ideals, and it is not your job to tell them they are wrong.... unless they're a copper.

Liberal wishy-washy wank, i.e. utter bollocks.

X0mbee
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Aug 3 2010 21:24

what is?

do you not respect other opinions and ideas? or do you love the plod?

radicalgraffiti
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Aug 4 2010 00:02

why should anyone respect stupid/incorrect ideas and opinions?

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unsacred
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Sep 1 2010 09:57

To be an anarchist it is a necessity to take part in subversion but unless you understand anarchism this is not absolute, so to maintain your individuality you can avoid subverting yourself, which protects you from the others who are subverted, such as an agent provocateur. The subversion increases with respect to the reduction in the distance from the subject, in other words, it is a necessity to understand anarchism, not to be an anarchist. All anarchists are charcterised by their a priori quality. Anarchism is the ideal from which we approach freedom and justice in an equal society that is liberated from oppression, exploitation and authority to create the bonds of solidarity and harmonious strength to progress under our own initiative through spontaneous organisations based on free agreement, free contract, and the realisation of the well-being of all humanity. Walking we make the revolution, of things things are born.

raw
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Sep 13 2010 22:49
unsacred wrote:
To be an anarchist it is a necessity to take part in subversion but unless you understand anarchism this is not absolute, so to maintain your individuality you can avoid subverting yourself, which protects you from the others who are subverted, such as an agent provocateur. The subversion increases with respect to the reduction in the distance from the subject, in other words, it is a necessity to understand anarchism, not to be an anarchist. All anarchists are charcterised by their a priori quality. Anarchism is the ideal from which we approach freedom and justice in an equal society that is liberated from oppression, exploitation and authority to create the bonds of solidarity and harmonious strength to progress under our own initiative through spontaneous organisations based on free agreement, free contract, and the realisation of the well-being of all humanity. Walking we make the revolution, of things things are born.

This makes no sense what so ever, sorry.

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Sep 18 2010 20:52

It is a surprise that this has not made any sense. Since you have chosen to judge me I am going to protest. First of all, I want you to be aware of the social malaise produced by subversion. Foremost is an unrecognised working class, many of them immigrants, coming from the roots of the community, working illegality. The background hold hanging the power of the state, which is actively drawn close to this complex mileu through speculation. They recognise a conflict of interests. So they impose their sense of justice throughout the world.

Now, subversion is the job of anarchists. But it also worth considering that subversion places the authorities at a disadvantage because they have to become subverted to make the necessary concesion to our organisation.

What do you want?

radicalgraffiti
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Sep 18 2010 21:17
unsacred wrote:
It is a surprise that this has not made any sense. Since you have chosen to judge me I am going to protest. First of all, I want you to be aware of the social malaise produced by subversion. Foremost is an unrecognised working class, many of them immigrants, coming from the roots of the community, working illegality. The background hold hanging the power of the state, which is actively drawn close to this complex mileu through speculation. They recognise a conflict of interests. So they impose their sense of justice throughout the world.

Now, subversion is the job of anarchists. But it also worth considering that subversion places the authorities at a disadvantage because they have to become subverted to make the necessary concesion to our organisation.

i have no idea what you are trying to say

unsacred wrote:
What do you want?

everything

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Sep 19 2010 16:40
Quote:
subvert verb (subverted, subverting) 1 to undermine or overthrow (especially eg a government or other legally established body). 2 to corrupt someone; to undermine (a principle, etc). subverter noun.
ETYMOLOGY: 14c: from Latin subvertere to overturn, from sub away + vertere to turn.

subversion noun 1 an act or instance of overthrowing a rule, law, government, etc. 2 the act or practice of subverting (usually a government).