(My Personal Manifesto)
"I take my desire's for reality because I believe in the reality of my desires"
Words spoken by the students of the Paris Commune II in 1968, and I find them to be the best definition of my out look on the world, as well as that of anyone who calls themselves an Anarchist.
I consider myself an Anarchist, which sadly conjures up images violent acts and chaos when people are told this. Anarchy is filled with these misconceptions, these false ideas that have evolved along side it. Anarchy is termed as the 'absence of government', which, while in some aspects this does represent the goals of an Anarchist, it is also misleading. Anarchy is about order. Anarchy is about peace. Anarchy is about humanity. While we may advocate the destruction of the government, we aren't advocating the destruction of order. In essence, all Anarchy is, is Democracy. No Gods, No Masters. Equality through freedom.
Everyone rambles on about Democracy. We seem to do everything in the name of Democracy. We invade country's to strip them of their freedom's and culture. We force the less privileged to work to supply us with our symbols of status and luxury. This isn't Democracy. This is Fascism. Government is for slaves; Free men rule themselves. Democracy isn't government. Democracy is freedom. All Anarchy is is an extreme Democracy. Max Stirner said, "Every State is a tyranny, be it the tyranny of a single man or a group." It is a state that humanity will always remain in, but in Anarchy is it's alleviation. With true Democracy - True Anarchy- there is no one to tyrannize, as there is no one under another. As Proudhorn put it, "The very sovereignty of the people contains its own negation. If the entire people were truly sovereign there would no longer be either government of governed; the sovereign would be reduced to nothing; the State would have no raison d'etre, would be identical to society and disappear into industrial organization".
Anarchy though, isn't political. It must avoid political connotations if it wish's to remain. Proudhorn wrote to Marx, "Let us not become the leaders of a new religion, even were it to be the religion of logic and reason". Anarchism must not be a political movement. It must be a social phenomenon. It must be an act of the masses. To force it upon people is only a contradiction of what it stands for. "Liberty can and must defend itself only through liberty; to try to resist is on the specious pretext of defending it is a dangerous contradiction." (Bakunin).
Some people call Anarchism utopian. It isn't. Some people call Anarchy impossible. It isn't. Almost everyone says that it can't work. But it can. Anarchism not only has shown it can work in countless situations, but it has shown that it can work effectively, as with the Spanish Civil War. Not only were the Anarchists in Spain successful, but they were probably one of the most effective social revolutions of our time. They formed over 1,700 communes, almost 2 million adherents. Emma Goldman said of them, "The collectivization of land and industry shines out as the greatest achievement of any revolutionary period. Even if Franco were to win and Spanish anarchists were to be exterminated, the idea they have launched will live on". Sadly, Franco did triumph, although not without extensive help from his (Fascist) allies in Germany and Italy, but even so, their actions still stand as an amazing example of how Anarchy can be put into an effective use for a society's organization.
I think the best way to end this is about freedom. Freedom is the goal of Anarchism, but everyone has their own conception of what freedom is. The best expression of it I have found is by Bakunin. "Freedom is the absolute right of every human being to seek no other sanction for his actions but his own conscience, to determine these actions solely by his own will, and consequently to owe his first responsibility to himself alone". Anarchy can't give you freedom, but it provides for you to find it. Again as stated by Bakunin (in a paraphrase by Gurin), "The individual owes duties to society only in so far as he has freely consented to become part of it. Everyone is free to associate or not to associate, and, if he so desires, to go and live in the deserts or the forests among the wild beasts."
I don't ask anyone to agree with me. I don't ask anyone to believe in me. As the great ego of Max Stirner stated, "If it is right for me, it is right. It is possible that it is wrong for others: let them take care of themselves!" A bit harsh, but in a sense, it is the truth. "I take my desire's for reality because I believe in the reality of my desires". I believe in what I stand for. I stand for what I believe. You do not ask you to believe it. I do not ask you to stand with me. I do not ask you to join me. "I exist only because I nourish Self"
"You are a republican"
"Republican, yes; but that means nothing. Res publica is 'the State'. Kings, too, are republicans."
"Ah well! You are a democrat?"
"What! Perhaps you are a monarchist?"
"Then you are an aristocrat?"
"Not at all!"
"You want a mixed form of government?"
"Than what are you?"
What Is Property?, by Pierre Proudhorn. Property is Theft. This is the original work of what we consider Anarchism.
Homage to Catalonia, by George Orwell. A extensive look at Anarchism and the Spanish Civil war, as seen from Orwell's experience fighting with the Trotskyians.
Days of War, Nights of Love: CrimethInc for Beginner, by the CrimethInc Workers Collective. A wonderful book, covering a wide range of topics. Sometimes it can get a bit extreme or idiotic at points, but its definitions on Anarchy are great, as well as it's critique of Capitalism.
-Written by Hunter