Delan Azabani

Anarchism 101 by Anarchopac

What is Anarchy?

• not a concrete or utopian prescription of a better society
• first: broad ideas about what society ought to look like
  • freedom to live as we please except to oppress others
  • equal voice in the decisions that affect us
  • collective ownership of food, wealth, and means of production
• second: tools to bootstrap a precursor “anarchist society”
  • councils of temporary, instantly recallable delegates
    • delegates don’t decide on behalf of those they represent
    • councils form communes; communes form federations
  • none of these tools are permanent or immutable, and a successful
    anarchist society will develop new tools that not only had we
    never considered, but that we couldn’t conceive of until then

What Do Anarchists Think About Violence?

• violence is a tool to dismantle oppressive power structures
  • it is not the only tool; passive resistance is another example
  • it is a necessary evil, because those with power have/will never
    relinquish that power without it (or fear of it)
  • surgeon analogy: cut where we must, but avoid needless suffering

• Malatesta rejects three positions on violence
  • violence limited to defence against what we suffer individually:
    this limits us to petty matters, or attacking only the instruments
    of oppression like police and military
  • strict pacifism: this is ineffective and can even be selfish in
    the refusal to help a suffering comrade
  • violence glorified as its own end: this creates the very suffering
    that we seek to eliminate

What is a Social Revolution?

• abolition of capitalist state and its oppressive power structures
• creation of a new society that better embodies anarchist ideals
• this will take not days, but months, years, and even generations
• people earlier in the revolution
  • will need to fight, expropriate, destroy, and otherwise struggle
    to dismantle the power structures that oppress them
  • will generally not experience society that they wish to create
  • should try to do this selflessly to pave the way for offspring
• people later in the revolution
  • will need to find new ways to collaborate and organise society to
    continue to meet our changing concrete needs
  • rely on the foundations of anarchist society laid by forebears
  • where successful, will see happiness and more fulfilling lives

Evolution vs Revolution

• anarchist societies exist in periods of evolution and revolution
  • not defined by duration, but rather the nature of change
  • not isolated from one another, but rather symbiotic

Do Anarchists Ignore Political Struggle?

• social revolution can’t succeed locally
  • not even the wealthiest nation can be truly self-sufficient
  • anarchist society surrounded by capitalists and other states would
    face everything from sanctions to interference to violence
  • this adversity is insurmountable in the long run
  • social revolution must grow concurrently across the world, or at
    least in a large collection of nations or states
• we don’t ignore politics, but we do reject certain kinds of them:
  those that entrench or create new oppressive power structures
  • Bakunin and Malatesta saw politics as such structures that can be
    destroyed by careful use of politics, much like copyleft tries to
    destroy copyright by wielding copyright itself
  • Kropotkin didn’t see politics as limited in that way, but rather
    something that will take on a different form after the state

What Do Anarchists Think About Animal Liberation?

• many anarchists are also vegan, vegetarian, or at least advocate for
  improvement to the way we treat animals
  • Kropotkin said that we will eventually extend our solidarity from
    the whole human race to include our fellow animals
• Reclus argued that as meat-eaters, our domestication and farming
  techniques corrupts animals into suffering, docile flesh on legs
• Reclus drew parallels between what we do to animals and what we do
  to each other, and the thinking that underlies each; for example
  • between the horrors of war and carnivorous slaughter
  • between racist violence and things we tell ourselves about
    animals e.g. it’s wrong to kill cats but ok to kill pigs
  • between the exploitation of animals and soldiers for hunting
• Reclus argued that progress involves applying the same principles
  of solidarity to animals, first by seeing them as fellow workers
  rather than food, then as companions rather than servants