6g. Anarchy is preferable
“We are in a race against time – against mass species extinction, increasing inequality, ecological collapse, etc. – and every day that we do not try to affect change at the structural level is a day lost.”
Anarchy is not the same as chaos. Here is the definition with which I am working:
“a theory holding all forms of governmental authority to be unnecessary and undesirable and advocating a society based on voluntary co-operation and free association of individuals and groups.”
What is needed is a new socio-economic model that is within the carrying capacity of Planet Earth. For this people need to accept that responsibility and freedom are intimately intertwined.
“People go on talking about freedom but they don’t want freedom exactly, they want irresponsibility. They ask for freedom, but deep down, unconsciously, they ask for irresponsibility; license. Freedom is maturity; license is very childish. Freedom is possible only when you are so integrated that you can take the responsibility of being free…A healthy person is always aware that whatever they are doing, they are responsible. The very idea of responsibility will give you a freedom, a dignity.” Osho
I will leave it to ‘The Anarchist Studies Network’ to explain below where an anarchist standpoint fits into the shift from a parliamentary, representative democracy to a directly participatory democracy.
Present government… “is looking to roll back the state. Anarchists want this too, but the government is looking to roll back the state and let business take up the slack, thereby bringing a fictitious ‘free market’ into every last recess of our lives. That’s where the disagreement lies. Anarchists advocate practical alternatives to both this neoliberal slash-and-burn policy and the old Labour state-socialism…
Anarchists do not believe that state socialism is the only alternative to the undemocratic inequalities produced by neoliberalism. Socialising property does not have to mean nationalising it – that would simply be substituting one set of bosses for another. What about genuine collective worker ownership of industry and services; what about universities democratically run by academics, students and support staff, instead of largely unaccountable and overpaid managers and technocrats?
More widely, couldn’t we radicalise the co-operative model and have all companies democratically owned and run by their managers and workers? Couldn’t we expand and federate worker co-ops, mutuals and collectives? The movement for fan-ownership of football clubs is a further indication that these kinds of alternatives work. The challenge is to think through their potential, and anarchism provides such a framework.
Because this fake democracy doesn’t work and the interests of anarchists could never be represented by a political party, direct action is the tactic of choice. And direct action is part of the process of creating direct democracy. It produces results by raising the profile of causes and often halting practices many object to.
As well as a tactic, direct action is also a means for self-empowerment. It is a component of the society we hope to create, where people take control of their lives into their own hands and confront the root causes of injustices directly, without representatives. This sometimes includes property damage, but anarchists take seriously the notions of liberty and equality: that people are capable of speaking and acting for themselves and become even more capable through practice rather than representation.
The threat to a liveable world comes not from anarchists or terrorists, but from governments and capitalism. Before the current crisis is used as a front to take us even deeper into a neoliberal nightmare, let’s reconsider alternatives.”
The Anarchist Studies Network is a specialist group of the UK Political Studies Association. This piece was collectively written but does not necessarily reflect a consensus view.
Parliament Must Die contains quotes from: A. Greenburg, M.D._Abraham Maslow_Albert Einstein _Alnoor Ladha_Andrew Gwynne _Anneke Lucas_Arthur Koestler _Arundhati Roy_Asgeir Jonsson _Barbara Max Paul Hubbard_Bertrand Russell _Bill Mollison _Buckminster Fuller_Calcida Jethá _Caroline Lucas_Charles the Great_Chief Arvol Looking Horse _Christopher Ryan_Copernicus_Daniel Christian Wahl_Daniel Pinchbeck_Darwin_David Edwards_David Holmgren _David Icke_Dieter Duhm_Donald Worster_Donnachadh McCarthy_Doreen Massey_Doris Lessing_Dr A Bartlett Giamatti _Dr Claire Wordley_Dr Jay Cullen_Dr Kathy Sykes _Dresden James_E C Lindeman_Eckhart Tolle_Edgar Cayce _Edward Snowden _Ethan C Roland _Ewen MacAskill_Galileo_Galtang and Ruge _George Monbiot_Gerald Heard _God in Genesis_Greta Thunberg_Gudrun Johnsen _Guido Dalla Casa _Gustave Le Bon_Guy Fawkes _Henry Cloud _Henryk Skolomowski_Isaac Cordal _J Eliot_Jack D Forbes_Jack Forbes_James Gordon M.D._James Lovelock _Jeremy Lent_Jeremy Rifkin_John Cleese _John Hammell_John Hilary_John Trudell_Jon Stone_Jonathan Bartley_Julian Assange_Karl Marx _Karlos Kukuburra_Ken Ward _Lee Williams _Leonard Higgins_Lierre Keith _Lord Strasburger_M Knowles_Maddy Harland _Marianne Williamson_Mark Boyle_Martin Kirk_Martin Winiecki_Masanobu Fukuoka _Matthieu Ricard_Mogens Herman Hansen _Nafeez Ahmed _Nanice Ellis_Neil Dawe_Nikola Tesla_Noam Chomsky_Olafur Hauksson _Osho_Paul Hawken_Paul Levy_Peter Joseph_Peter Macfadyen_Pope Francis_President Franklin Roosevelt _Rabindranath Tagore _Rene Descartes _Russell Brand_Safa Motesharrei _Seyyed Hossein Nasr_Sigmund Fraud_Silas Titus _Simon Mitchell_Sir David Attenborough_Sir Isaac Newton_Sir Joshua Stamp_Skip Sanders _Steve Kent _Sting_Terrence Mckenna_The Dalai Lama _Thomas Berry_Tom McKay_Tyler Durden_Walter Bradford Cannon_Wendell Berry_William Derham_Yaneer Bar-Yam