portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article commentary global

political theory

Anarchism 101

One author's introduction to the philosophy of anarchism.
Anarchism 101
Anarchism 101
See attached PDF document.
Garbage 30.Aug.2005 01:06

Might as well mainline battery acid

So, SD, you would declare that such prolific anarchists as Ericco Malatesta, Peter Kropotkin, Alexander Berkman, and Emma Goldman are not anarchists? Isn't this simply an immature reply to some anarchist claims that primitivism is oppressive and thusly not anarchist? What we need is not more division amongst anarchists, this is absolute garbage, I recommend reading it, and then quickly burning it.

He isn't a primitivist. 30.Aug.2005 06:47

Ignorance is not bliss.

Devoy is a rational anarchist, not a primitivist, so I don't think he's trying to defend primitivism.

this is bullshit 30.Aug.2005 08:38

don't waste your time

"There are only two movements that fully qualify to be anarchist in the purest sense. These two movements are known by the terms "Primitivist" and "Rational Anarchist."

Neither of these "movements" could be much more than 50 years old, if indeed the various people promoting their ideas as "rational anarchism" have anything in common with each other at all. The densest concentration of examples seems to place "Rational Anarchism" as a subsect of the Ayn Rand cult.

Thus, says SD, every single person who ever conceived an idea and called it "anarchism" before about 1940 was a charlatan and a fraud, and the term Proudhon adopted 200 years ago, the name of a movement that had its greatest impacts in the workers' struggles of the late 19th century and in the 20th-century revolution in Spain, has really been waiting all this time for the Randies and Zerzanians to inform us what it REALLY means and take the word off our hands, 'cause, like, look! somebody looked up two words in Greek.

It's NOT bullshit 01.Sep.2005 12:19

Objective Reader

I wonder if some of the commenters above actually read the essay.

Well Actually 01.Sep.2005 13:47

Having Read It

The author either fails to understand, or misrepresents, both communist anarchism and "anarcho"-capitalism. The author assumes that all individuals in a communist society must belong to an organization, or workers council. Which of course is not true, however if one can survive on their own without the need of others, and without the exploitation of others they would be in no way compelled to join an organization. The author raises the issue of a sole-proprietor, and claims this is an acceptable concept in anarchism, because it is non-exploitative, however in such a situation hoarding may come up, whihc the author seems to believe is incompatable with anarchism, so essentially sole-proprietorship is ok in the authors version of anarchism, so long as the individuals gain does not exlpoit others or create hierarchical relationships. This is anarcho-communism, not, as the author suggests, a variant of "anarcho"-capitalism, a system in which hoarding is totally acceptable and infact encouraged. The author never explains how anarcho-communism creates heirarchies accept in a misunderstood fashion. As well the author fails to present any situation where anarcho-capitalism can be properly consider non-hierarchical, and thusly anarchistic.

Also it would seem that the thesis of this essay is that in anarchism it is necessary to have a clear definition of being. Anarchist ideals should be carried out naturally to whatever it is decided is an apropriate entity to be included, however anarchism does not need to include a theory of being. That can safely be left to the philosophers.

In this vein the author seems to present primitivism as focusing on what is "alive" and thusly a bieng. However primitivism is more concerned with the oppression that arises from civilization. So according to the author, as they stated that anarcho-femisism, which is concerned with the oppresion rising from patriarchy, is creating a hierarchy of gender, so too should, by the authors own formula, primitivism be considered creating a hierarchy of the primitive over the civilized. All of this of course is absurd, these forms of anarchism attempt to address the same thing, the primary origin of oppression, they differ only in their conclusions of that origin.

Having read nothing about rational anarchism prior to this, I would, purely from reading this, assess it as not an anarchist theory, but a philosophy of existence. The inclusion of primitivism seems to be an attempt to harness the primitivists tendancy to disagree with other forms of anarchism, and create an alliance between the primitivists and this obscure theory of existance, in order to lend credibility to "rational" anarchism.

I would advise people, especially primitivists, to read this essay, but with extreme scrutiny.

burn this 02.Sep.2005 14:43

khaos

"I recommend reading it, and then quickly burning it."

great that's the spirit, burn opinions that you disagree with or devalue! i am not here to defend the author's work, but i sure as h3ll don't want to live in an anarchist utopia where people's political works are burned. too much like fascism for my taste.