An Anarchist FAQ — Section E [en]

Section E: What do anarchists think causes ecological problems?

This section of the FAQ expands upon section D.4 ("What is the relationship between capitalism and the ecological crisis?") in which we indicated that since capitalism is based upon the principle of "grow or die," a "green" capitalism is impossible. By its very nature capitalism must expand, creating new markets, increasing production and consumption, and so invading more ecosystems, using more resources, and upsetting the interrelations and delicate balances that exist with ecosystems. We have decided to include a separate section on this to stress how important green issues are to anarchism and what a central place ecology has in modern anarchism.

Anarchists have been at the forefront of ecological thinking and the green movement for decades. This is unsurprisingly, as many key concepts of anarchism are also key concepts in ecological thought. In addition, the ecological implications of many anarchist ideas (such as decentralisation, integration of industry and agriculture, and so forth) has meant that anarchists have quickly recognised the importance of ecological movements and ideas.


An Anarchist FAQ — Section F [en]

Section F: Is "anarcho"-capitalism a type of anarchism?

Anyone who has followed political discussion on the net has probably come across people calling themselves "libertarians" but arguing from a right-wing, pro-capitalist perspective. For most people outside of North America, this is weird as the term "libertarian" is almost always used in conjunction with "socialist" or "communist" (particularly in Europe and, it should be stressed, historically in America). In the US, though, the Right has partially succeeded in appropriating the term "libertarian" for itself. Even stranger is that a few of these right-wingers have started calling themselves "anarchists" in what must be one of the finest examples of an oxymoron in the English language: "Anarcho-capitalist"!!!

Arguing with fools is seldom rewarded, but to let their foolishness to go unchallenged risks allowing them to deceive those who are new to anarchism. This is what this section of the FAQ is for, to show why the claims of these "anarchist" capitalists are false. Anarchism has always been anti-capitalist and any "anarchism" that claims otherwise cannot be part of the anarchist tradition. It is important to stress that anarchist opposition to the so-called capitalist "anarchists" do not reflect some kind of debate within anarchism, as many of these types like to pretend, but a debate between anarchism and its old enemy, capitalism. In many ways this debate mirrors the one between Peter Kropotkin and Herbert Spencer (an English capitalist minimal statist) at the turn the 19th century and, as such, it is hardly new.


An Anarchist FAQ — Section G [en]

Section G: Is individualist anarchism capitalistic?

The short answer is, no, it is not. While a diverse tendency, the individualist anarchists were opposed to the exploitation of labour, all forms of non-labour income (such as profits, interest and rent) as well as capitalist property rights (particularly in land). While aiming for a free market system, they considered laissez-faire capitalism to be based on various kinds of state enforced class monopoly which ensured that labour was subjected to rule, domination and exploitation by capital. As such it is deeply anti-capitalist and many individualist anarchists, including its leading figure Benjamin Tucker, explicitly called themselves socialists (indeed, Tucker often referred to his theory as "Anarchistic-Socialism").

So, in this section of our anarchist FAQ we indicate why the individualist anarchists cannot be classified as "ancestors" of the bogus libertarians of the "anarcho"-capitalist school. Rather, they must be classified as libertarian socialists due to their opposition to exploitation, critique of capitalist property rights and concern for equality, albeit being on the liberal wing of anarchist thought. Moreover, while all wanted to have an economy in which all incomes were based on labour, many also opposed wage labour, i.e. the situation where one person sells their labour to another rather than the product of that labour (a position which, we argue, their ideas logically imply). So while some of their ideas do overlap with those of the "anarcho"-capitalist school they are not capitalistic, no more than the overlap between their ideas and anarcho-communism makes them communistic.


An Anarchist FAQ — Section H [en]

Section H: Why do anarchists oppose state socialism?

The socialist movement has been continually divided, with various different tendencies and movements. The main tendencies of socialism are state socialism (Social Democracy, Leninism, Maoism and so on) and libertarian socialism (anarchism mostly, but also libertarian Marxists and others). The conflict and disagreement between anarchists and Marxists is legendary. As Benjamin Tucker noted:

"it is a curious fact that the two extremes of the [socialist movement] . . . though united . . . by the common claim that labour should be put in possession of its own, are more diametrically opposed to each other in their fundamental principles of social action and their methods of reaching the ends aimed at than either is to their common enemy, existing society. They are based on two principles the history of whose conflict is almost equivalent to the history of the world since man came into it . . .

"The two principles referred to are AUTHORITY and LIBERTY, and the names of the two schools of Socialistic thought which fully and unreservedly represent one or the other are, respectively, State Socialism and Anarchism. Whoso knows what these two schools want and how they propose to get it understands the Socialistic movement. For, just as it has been said that there is no half-way house between Rome and Reason, so it may be said that there is no half-way house between State Socialism and Anarchism." [The Individualist Anarchists, pp. 78-9]


An Anarchist FAQ — Section I [en]

Section I: What would an anarchist society look like?

So far this FAQ has been largely critical, focusing on hierarchy, capitalism, the state and so on, and the problems to which they have led, as well as refuting some bogus "solutions" that have been offered by authoritarians of both the right and the left. It is now time to examine the constructive side of anarchism – the libertarian-socialist society that anarchists envision. This is important because anarchism is essentially a constructive theory, in stark contradiction to the picture usually painted of anarchism as chaos or mindless destruction.

In this section of the FAQ we will give an outline of what an anarchist society might look like. Such a society has basic features – such as being non-hierarchical, decentralised and, above all else, spontaneous like life itself. To quote Glenn Albrecht, anarchists "lay great stress on the free unfolding of a spontaneous order without the use of external force or authority." ["Ethics, Anarchy and Sustainable Development", pp. 95-117, Anarchist Studies, vol. 2, no. 2, p. 110] This type of development implies that anarchist society would be organised from the simple to the complex, from the individual upwards to the community, the bio-region and, ultimately, the planet. The resulting society, which would be the outcome of nature freely unfolding toward greater diversity and complexity, is ethically preferable to any other sort of order simply because it allows for the highest degree of organic solidarity and freedom. Kropotkin described this vision of a truly free society as follows:


An Anarchist FAQ — Section J [en]

Section J: What do anarchists do?

This section discusses what anarchists get up to. There is little point thinking about the world unless you also want to change it for the better. And by trying to change it, you change yourself and others, making radical change more of a possibility. Therefore anarchists give their whole-hearted support to attempts by ordinary people to improve their lives by their own actions. We urge "emancipation through practical action" recognising that the "collective experience" gained in "the collective struggle of the workers against the bosses" will transform how they see the world and the world itself. [Bakunin, The Basic Bakunin, p. 103] Ultimately, "[t]he true man does not lie in the future, an object of longing, but lies, existent and real, in the present. [Stirner, The Ego and Its Own, p. 327]

Anarchism is more than just a critique of statism and capitalism or a vision of a freer, better way of life. It is first and foremost a movement, the movement of working class people attempting to change the world. Therefore the kind of activity we discuss in this section of the FAQ forms the bridge between capitalism and anarchy. By self-activity and direct action, people can change both themselves and their surroundings. They develop within themselves the mental, ethical and spiritual qualities which can make an anarchist society a viable option. As Noam Chomsky argues:


Errico Malatesta
Anarchia [hun]


Az anarchia szó görög eredetű, s szó szerint annyit jelent: uralom nélkül, vagyis egy olyan állapotot jelöl, melyben az emberek intézményesített hatalom, állam nélkül élnek.

Az anarchia szót azelőtt általában a rendetlenség és zűrzavar értelmében használták. A helyzet akkor változott, amikor egy egész tudományos iskola kezdte az anarchiát lehetségesnek és üdvösnek tartani, s egy olyan párt tűzte céljául, mely korunk társadalmi küzdelmeinek egyik legjelentősebb szereplőjévé vált. A tájékozatlanok számára a szó még ma is káoszt jelent, és az anarchizmus politikai ellenfelei is igyekeznek jelentését eltorzítani.

Nem kívánunk filológiai vitákba bocsátkozni, annál is inkább, mivel a kérdés történelmi és nem filológiai jellegű. Az általánosan elfogadott értelmezés a szó valódi, etimológiai jelentéséhez igazodik: mindazonáltal már ez a jelentés is másodlagos és ahhoz az előítélethez kapcsolódik, mely szerint a kormányzat a társadalmi élet elengedhetetlen eleme, tehát a kormányzat nélküli társadalom a káosz állapotába süllyedne, felőrölné az emberek féktelen önzése és vak indulatai.


Anarchisme [en]


Il faut entendre par « Anarchisme », le mouvement social qui se propose de poursuivre la réalisation de l'idéal anarchiste. Ce mouvement embrasse toute l'action libertaire. Vivante, cette action s'inspire des événements et circonstances de temps et de milieu ; souple, elle met à profit toutes les possibilités qui se dégagent au jour le jour de la vie sociale ; vigilante, elle surveille et utilise, avec adresse et méthode, les courants multiples qui traversent et pénètrent l'opinion, l'impulsent ou la dirigent. Elle a pour but d'acheminer les individus et la Société vers l'Anarchie par les voies les plus sûres et les moins lentes, grâce à des moyens de combat et des formes de lutte toujours en accord avec les principes et l'objectif libertaires.

« L'Anarchie » c'est ce que nous entrevoyons ; « l'Anarchisme », c'est ce que nous vivons et réalisons pied à pied ; c'est la lutte incessante des militants libertaires contre toutes les institutions qu'ils veulent abattre ; c'est, sous les formes les plus variées, la bataille sans trêve ni repos que les compagnons et les milieux anarchistes mènent contre les préjugés, la routine, la tradition, les enseignements, les erreurs et le fait autoritaire qu'ils ambitionnent de supprimer ; c'est, pour tout dire, l'ensemble des efforts qui ont pour but de préparer et hâter l'éclosion de la période révolutionnaire proprement dite et d'assurer au mouvement anarchiste, dès la Révolution, la plus puissante vitalité et les meilleures conditions de développement.


Anarcofeminismo y Louise Michel [es]

Louise Michel fue probablemente la portavoz más conocida y popular del socialismo y del anarcosocialismo durante los años 80 y 90 del siglo XIX, hasta su muerte en 1905. A través de su actividad como oradora en inglés y francés llegó literalmente a cientos de miles de personas, iniciándolas en el socialismo. A su entierro acudió una inmensa cantidad de parisinos pobres y fue el segundo funeral más multitudinario en la historia de Francia hasta la fecha, superado solamente por el de Victor Hugo. Todavía hoy —ya que su visión del mundo a menudo parece demasiado melodramática para la mente moderna, y porque los historiadores socialistas con frecuencia se dejan impresionar más por estudios extensos sobre nimiedades teóricas que por las verdaderas relaciones con la población oprimida—, es prácticamente desconocida.

Como muchas de sus homólogas y contemporáneas, Louise Michel parecía más una monja devota que una «mujer emancipada», como se dice actualmente. Pauline Roland (una comunerade 1848), Nathalie Lemel (combatiente con Michel en la Comuna de 1871) y Louise Michel, se identificaron seriamente con su causa y rechazaron diferenciar su vida pública de su vida privada. No era atípico, para tales revolucionarias de apariencia monjil, la entrega a la gente, la extrema degradación física, el ascetismo y moralismo sexual y unas vidas tranquilas y modestas —a menudo como «solteronas»—. Las vidas de estas mujeres estuvieron marcadas no sólo por el altruismo, sino también por la creencia de trascender una existencia «realista» hasta el nivel de convertirse en un símbolo. Así, también mostraban un marcado desdén por el ejercicio del poder en el sentido político ordinario y exhibían una considerable propensión hacia las visiones que transportaran a un plano etéreo/inspirador, por el cual se obtenía una comprensión del significado puro de la revolución. En muchos casos, su ideal consciente por la emulación estaba basado en Juana de Arco, Jesucristo, o —como en el caso de Louise Michel— en las antiguas vírgenes guerreras y las druidas gaélicas que ayudaron a derrocar a los invasores romanos de las Galias con sus primitivos talentos físicos y su sabiduría sobrenatural.


Errico Malatesta
Anarkiya at Pamahalaan [id]

Ang anarkiya ay isang salita na nagmula sa wikang Griyego. Ang ibig sabihin ng salitang ito ay “walang pamahalaan.”

Ang salitang anarkiya ay ginamit sa paglalarawan nang pagkawala ng organisasyon at pagkakagulo. Ito pa rin ang ginagamit na salita hanggang ngayon sa paglalarawan sa pagkakagulo ng mga tao na nais ibahin ang katotohanan.

Ang paniniwala na ang anarkiya ay isang kundisyon kung saan ang paligid ay magulo ay nagmula sa paniniwala na kinakailangan ang isang pamahalaan upang maayos ang takbo ng buhay ng mga mamamayan. Kasama din dito ang paniniwala na kung walang pamahalaan ay magiging magulo, maghahari ang iba at, gaganti ang mga naaagrabyado o naloko at ilalagay ng mga ito ang batas sa kanilang mga kamay.

Lahat na bagay na nabubuhay sa ibabaw ng mundo gaya ng tao ay bumabagay sa kondisyon: ng kanilang paligid upang mabuhay. Ito ang kanilang ginagawa na nama na nila sa kanilang mga ninuno. Kayat dahil sa ipinanganak na walang laya dahil alipin ang pinagmulan, ang tao, nang siya ay magsimulang mag-isip ay inakala na niya kinakailangan silang maging alipin upang mabuhay. Para sa kaniya, ang kalayaan ay parang imposible. Sa ganitong paraan, ang isang manggagawa na sa loob ng maraming siglo ay umaasa sa kaniyang amo para sa kaniyang trabahong ikinabubuhay ay nasanay na ang buhay niya ay pinatatakbo ng mga tao mayroong kapital at lupa. Ang manggagawa ay naniniwala na utang na loob niya sa kaniyang mga amo.