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Forum Post: Demystifying Anarchism (well, a bit)

Posted 8 years ago on Feb. 1, 2012, 12:38 a.m. EST by sycamore (13)
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(A description From Wikipedia)

Anarchism is generally defined as the political philosophy which holds the state to be undesirable, unnecessary, and harmful, or alternatively as opposing authority and hierarchical organization in the conduct of human relations. Proponents of anarchism, known as "anarchists", advocate stateless societies based on non-hierarchical voluntary associations.

Collectivist anarchism (also known as anarcho-collectivism) is a revolutionary doctrine that advocates the abolition of both the state and private ownership of the means of production. It instead envisions the means of production being owned collectively and controlled and managed by the producers themselves. For the collectivization of the means of production, it was originally envisaged that workers will revolt and forcibly collectivize the means of production. Once collectivization takes place, money would be abolished to be replaced with labour notes and workers' salaries would be determined in democratic organizations based on job difficulty and the amount of time they contributed to production. These salaries would be used to purchase goods in a communal market.

1936 Spanish Revolution

Along with the fight against fascism was a profound anarchist revolution throughout Spain. Much of Spain's economy was put under worker control; in anarchist strongholds like Catalonia, the figure was as high as 75%, but lower in areas with heavy socialist influence. Factories were run through worker committees, agrarian areas became collectivized and run as libertarian communes. Even places like hotels, barber shops, and restaurants were collectivized and managed by their workers. George Orwell describes a scene in Aragon during this time period, in his book, Homage to Catalonia: ­"The Anarchists were still in virtual control of Catalonia and the revolution was still in full swing. To anyone who had been there since the beginning it probably seemed even in December or January that the revolutionary period was ending; but when one came straight from England the aspect of Barcelona was something startling and overwhelming. It was the first time that I had ever been in a town where the working class was in the saddle. Practically every building of any size had been seized by the workers and was draped with red flags ow with the red and black flag of the Anarchists; every wall was scrawled with the hammer and sickle and with the initials of the revolutionary parties; almost every church had been gutted and its images burnt. Churches here and there were being systematically demolished by gangs of workman. Every shop and cafe had an inscription saying that it had been collectivised; even the bootblacks had been collectivized and their boxes painted red and black. Waiters and shop-walkers looked you in the face and treated you as an equal. Servile and even ceremonial forms of speech had temporarily disappeared. Nobody said 'Sen~or' or 'Don' ort even 'Usted'; everyone called everyone else 'Comrade' or 'Thou', and said 'Salud!' instead of 'Buenos dias'. Tipping had been forbidden by law since the time of Primo de Rivera; almost my first experience was receiving a lecture from a hotel manager for trying to tip a lift-boy. There were no private motor-cars, they had all been commandeered, and the trams and taxis and much of the other transport were painted red and black. The revolutionary posters were everywhere, flaming from the walls in clean reds and blues that made the few remaining advertisements look like daubs of mud. Down the Ramblas, the wide central artery of the town where crowds of people streamed constantly to and fro, the loud-speakers were bellowing revolutionary songs all day and far into the night. And it was the aspect of the crowds that was the queerest thing of all. In outward appearance it was a town in which the wealthy classes had practically ceased to exist. Except for a small number of women and foreigners there were no 'well-dressed' people at all. Practically everyone wore rough working-class clothes, or blue overalls or some variant of militia uniform. All this was queer and moving. There was much in this that I did not understand, in some ways I did not not even like it, but I recognized it immediately as a state of affairs worth fighting for. Also, I believed that things were as they appeared, that this was really a workers' State and that the entire bourgeoisie had either fled, been killed or voluntarily come over to the workers' side; I did not realise that great numbers of well-to-do bourgeois were simply lying low and disguising themselves as proletarians for the time being. [...] I had dropped more or less by chance into the only community of any size in Western Europe where political consciousness and disbelief in capitalism were more normal than their opposites. Up here in Aragon one was among tens of thousands of people, mainly though not entirely of working-class origin, all living at the same level and mingling on terms of equality. In theory it was perfect equality, and even in practice it was not far from it. There is a sense in which it would be true to say that one was experiencing a foretaste of Socialism, by which I mean that the prevailing mental atmosphere was that of Socialism. Many of the normal motives of civilized life--snobbishness, money-grubbing, fear of the boss, etc.--had simply ceased to exist. The ordinary class-division of society had disappeared to an extent that is almost unthinkable in the money-tainted air of England; there was no one there except the peasants and ourselves, and no one owned anyone else as his master."



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[-] 1 points by sycamore (13) 8 years ago

Utopian yes, but in the words of Eduardo Galeano: Utopia is on the horizon. When I walk two steps towards it, it recedes two steps. When I run ten steps, it jumps back ten more. So what is the point of utopia? It is for this: it is for walking."

By the way simpleminded, your sarcasm is a bit null considering I opened this thread by stating my source. Their articles on political theory are generally very good. You ought to read them.


[-] 0 points by owsleader2038 (-10) 8 years ago

That's why I picked 'utopia', but that said you know about 'looking backward' by edward-bellamy, written 1890's during the worst riots of the union movement, back then jobs were horrible and uptopia was all the rage, and Bellamy wrote the most important book of the time, ...

Whenever people their lives in SHIT they must invent uptopia's and dream of a better future for their children, .... or why else pray tell live for what?

The war now fought against the CORP today is no different than was fought in 1890's.

Learn from your past, nothing new under the sun.

[-] 0 points by PoIemarchus (56) 8 years ago

Dictionary definitions are interesting, but what's more interesting is looking at what is happening in practice. In the case of Occupy, it's starting to look more like a dictatorship than anarchy. The leaders are all hiding behind a nice and comfortable curtain from which they pull the strings making their protesters dance to their whims like little wooden puppets and none of those protesters are voicing their concerns. Criticism is actually being discouraged. Those who criticize Occupy are trolls in queue for banning.

[-] 0 points by owsleader2038 (-10) 8 years ago


Anarchism - "Communal-ism in its PUREST Form" - Emma Goldman

It means to have a community of free people living together without a government, its a beautiful utopian ideal.

[-] 0 points by Simpleminded (28) 8 years ago

hey thanks for copy and pasting wikipedia