(psst! here, put on some Chopin
while you read. It'll help you relax. Bring it up in a new tab or
Anarchism is a semi-utopic political and social
perspective against domination and oppression and for the social and
economic equality of all. As
an anarchist and a radical, I align against the following: capitalist
economics and wage slavery, the state (let not "the state" become
confused with social organization in general - I am only against
politically alienating representation and hierarchical "leader"
structures so far removed from their constituencies as to be completely
out of touch with their actual interests) standing armies, prisons,
patriarchy, gender binary, and of course, the constant alienation and
subjugation of the creative impulse within contemporary world society.
Anarchism does not mean chaos, but rather horizontality.
Nevertheless, because i do not believe in dominating hierarchical
structures, and consider that each geographic environmental and
political situation is distinct, I think it imperative that communities
organize locally and specifically to meet the needs of their particular
situations. Because of this analysis, I am uninterested in offering a
total fix-all solution, but prefer case-by-case situational responses
in general accordance with anti-authoritarian principles.
I hope that this web page can act as a kind of Crash Course in
Anarchist Texts and Contexts, Historical Summaries, Theoretical Tracts
and Processes, Quotations, Other Media [mp3s, books on tape, youtube
videos, film, digital anarchist libraries, news sources], and
references, to kindle an understanding of and interest in an anarchist
perspective. Please engage with in in whatever way you are most
comfortable - plow through, jump around, write back, speak forward, do
as you wish.*
Noam Chomsky's Introduction to Anarchism:
a pretty basic seven minute summary. There's another,
extended version here.
la Utopia is
a primary documentary film about the collectives in the Spanish Civil
Politics and Anti-Politics
is a great lecture by Saul
Newman; very current.
This Means War
is a sound introduction to Derrick Jensen's analysis of Civilization
and a decent starting place of jumping point for Primitivist critiques.
a hugely influential Anarcho-Pacifist band from 80s Britain; check out
their other songs; it's difficult to choose just one, and their oeuvre
covers an enormous ideological breadth. Be sure to read the lyrics.
Also, here is an
interesting retrospective documentary interviewing some of the founders
called "There Is No
Authority But Yourself".
was a Seattle band who were active leading up to the WTO protests and
whose members evolved to work in some important activist marching bands
around the world.
Create a response or conversation critiquing, complicating, or
otherwise opening discourse around the text; juxtaposition and
comparison of arguments across authors is especially encouraged, and
work in non-written, non-verbal, non-narrative media is also accepted.
Outline the Genesis and Development of Anarchism in Punk Rock
Communities. Be sure to map in Nihilism, Street-Cred, And Radical
Explore the Concept of the Anarchist Traveler and its place withing a
wider loose-net International community of Anarchists. Consider
Bookchin's Lifestyle/Social Anarchist Analysis and its critiques as
well as Communities of Radical activism that surround Anarchist
affiliates (e.g. the E.L.F. etc)
Create a map of the "Secreting" of Anarchism as a Hidden History: What
developments occurred and were necessary to deny the Anarchist position
in wide-spread cultural discourse? How might they be evaded,
counteracted, and turned against themselves?
Consider the differentiations between anarchism and Marxist Communism,
Socialism, and other typically Left groups, explaining the historical
divisions, and how the differing critiques have played out.
Reconcile Primitivism with other discourses within a doctrinally
anarchist politic: What elements of a primitivist analysis are salient
and useful to the wider anarchist community - which are ultimately
essentialist and alienating?
Art And Anarchism: track the connections between radical anarchist
politics and art throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. How
have the two played and counterspun one another? What have been
particular artists' compromises in subjugating or elevating their art
towards dissemination or radical political perspectives?
Synthesize an anarchist platform of your own. What are the essentials,
where must emphasis be lain? (e.g. Anti-Capitalism, Global Solidarity,
understand that in the interests of brevity and accessibility, I am not
doing near justice to any of these ideas, which are immensely more
complex that these reductive paraphrases.)
\\GLOSSARY OF DENOMINATION//
[There are Many Strains and Stripes]
Anarcho-Syndicalism: - Focuses on Union and Labor Organizing
as the ignition point of class warfare and utopian social projection. Anarcho-Communism:
- Views anarchism as the ultimate end of a social communist struggle Anarcho-Primitivism:
- Considers civilization (ranging in scale from language, farming and
complex technology) as an intrinsic ill, automatically loaded with the
problems of oppressive capitalism. Anarcha-Feminism:
- Bases anarchist critique on patriarchy and gender oppression as the
root of the wrong. Anarchism-without-Adjectives:
(sometimes also Platformism) - Aims to establish a united front for all
Black-and-Green = Ecology Associated. Black-and-Red = More Socially
\\GLOSSARY OF PERSONS// (wikipedia
them if you care to) Nestor Makhno
- Ukranian Anarchist Guerrilla Leader. Credited with inventing
Platformism. Emma Goldman
- Russian-American Anarchist Rhetorician and Thinker. Editor of Mother
Earth Journal. Joseph Proudhon
- French Anarchist Intellectual. Coined "Le Propiete C'est Le Vol"
["Property is Theft"] Mikhail Bakunin
- Russian Contemporary of Marx. Wrote God and The State. Ideological
Front of Anarchist in the Second International. Buenaventura Durruti
- Military hero and icon in the Spanish Civil War. Peter Kropotkin
- Russian-American Scientist and Anarchist intellectual. Coined Mutual
Aid and developed concepts of anarchism in the so-called natural world. Noam Chomsky
- Famous US linguist and syndicalist.
Other Anarchos and potentially associated people of note: Ursula LeGuin, Henry David
Thoreau, Leo Tolstoy, William Goodwin, Josiah Warren, Max Stirner,
Alexander Berkman, John Zerzan, Edward Abbey, Hakim Bey, Murray
Bookchin, William Blake, Jesus Christ, Sacco and Vanzetti, Gilles
Deleuze & Feliz Guattari, Mother Jones...
\\GLOSSARY OF TERMS & SLOGANS// Perpetual Revolution:
against the stasis of a conceptual revolutionary plateau, the
revolution must be ongoing, constantly creative, and everyday. Direct Action:
rather than attempting to navigate a treacherous politic to approach
on-the-ground results three of four steps down the line, going for the
jugular, attempting the immediate approach of goals through action)
e.g. destroying a meat factory farm or occupying a hospital to provide
health care rather than lobbying governments etc. Mutual Aid:
sometimes linked to the idea of a Gift Economy, this is the
establishment of symbiotic economies not necessarily based on
reciprocation. Property is Theft: that
all property is mired in a complex web of oppressive class relations
and extortionism. Step Up Step Back: means
taking responsibility, but not taking over to dominate a situation or
group dynamic Solidarity Not Charity: allyship
against the missionary impulse and destructive, colonial benefactoring;
asking what is needed rather than imposing condescending "help" onto
the so-called "needy" Anti-Authoritarianism: a
doctrine of resistance and denial of domination and absolute one-sided
power. Infoshop: A
generally anarchist reading room, library, bookstore and often social
center where ideas are propagated and radical intellectual discussions
fostered. Squat: An
(generally derelict, out-of-use) building occupied often both
residential and communal, whose inhabitants claim a right to the space
based on its utility and previous disuse. Non-Hierarchy:
relationships based outside of pyramidal power structures, often using
consensus or other grass-roots decision making forms.
Class War: demands an honest frontal approach to the
fundamental contradictions between the interests of different social
classes. Hidden History: the
concept that a history has been deliberately obscured and erased from
the collective memory, presumably in an attempt to quell the potential
struggles it might inspire or spark. \\GLOSSARY
The Spanish Revolution: during the Spanish
civil war of 1936-1939, approximately a million Spaniards took part in
a massive social uprising, collectivizing factories and farmland,
raising militias, pursuing women's liberation, and occasionally
outlawing money in their communities, but were eventually overrun and
defeated by Hitler and Mussolini-supported Franco. Medieval Iceland: from
the 8th to the 11th centuries CE, Iceland was organized by nearly
consensus based council groups.
1999 WTO "Riots": sometimes seen as an
instance of the Temporary Autonomous Zone, the protests against the
World Trade Organization in Seattle marked a beginning for many of the
radical struggles over the following years. May '68:
radical students and protectors created enormous social upheavals
focused in France but felt across the world, List
of Anarchist Communities: this is
actually a very salient and interesting article
Other Resources and Indices: The
Anarchist FAQ is an extremely
comprehensive and detailed tome that delves into almost every nook. The
*please email any and all suggestions and/or critique of this page to
kalan dot sherrard at gmail dot com. i would love to hear from you and
find ways to make this page better.