Anarchism is the theory and practice of building a society free from rulership, domination, and constraints on personal and intersubjcetive agency.
Bill Dwyer, Editor of the British journal Anarchy, commissioned the essay in 1971, but it was delayed.
Freed-market advocates should embrace “anti-capitalism” in order to encapsulate and highlight their full-blown commitment to freedom and their rejection of phony alternatives that use talk of freedom to conceal acquiescence in exclusion, subordination, and deprivation.
Chomsky's Augustinian Anarchism and Chomsky's Statism
An argument against 'libertarian' defenders of borders.
An introduction to the class theory of Sam Konkin
Violence may in fact be justified to save net lives in a pandemic. For example using force to stop likely carriers from irresponsibly entering dense populations makes sense, especially early on when containment is still plausible. Many people are not, by default, altruistic. And the mere abolition of nations and states would not be the victory of anarchism. A significant percentage of the population are selfish pricks, pickled in the zero-sum perspective of power. In a pandemic one asshole can kill thousands. Violence can clearly be justified to curtail such actions. But when and if such situations arise in a free society it is unlikely to look anything like the violence of the state.
This short text first appeared in the magazine “The Dandelion” in 1980. It stresses the position already highlighted by a theoretician of the anarchist movement, J. A. Maryson (see: Quelques idées fausses sur l'Anarchisme) that anarchy means freedom and voluntary self-organization and no one in the anarchist movement should be interested in prescribing which of the various “isms” (syndicalism, collectivism, agorism, egoism, communism, mutualism, etc.) every anarchist should follow.
Jo Labadie was a prominent labor organizer and mutualist whose vast collection of anarchist and socialist texts became the seed of the Labadie collection at the University of Michigan.
An old mutualist zine from many decades ago.
Also containing a rebuttal to Christopher Cantwell long before he became known internationally as the Crying Nazi.
Such an anarchism is an unraveling of the very fabric of power relations that bind almost every society on earth. And critically: there is no scale at which it does not apply. That big showy tangles of power must also be dissolved is but a trivial ramification, it is no more representative of the anarchist break than any other shift or twist in the fabric of power relations. Nor can our break be characterized by a brief or local loosening of the weave. The break anarchism signifies is not with the particularities of the west, or of civilization, it goes far far deeper than that.
But if both facets of our understanding of the present system (that corporate capitalism is exploitative; and that its exploitation depends solely on the state) were sincerely held by libertarians of left and right, it could serve as the basis for an alliance against state capitalism. The Left must be made to understand that their proper grievance is not against private property (properly understood), or markets (in the sense of free exchange between equal, unprivileged producers), but with the state. The Right must be made to understand the extent to which Wal-Mart, Microsoft, and GM are parasitic outgrowths of the state, and not products of “good old American know-how” or “elbow grease.” If both sides are sincerely motivated primarily by an oppostion to statist coercion, rather than a reflexive sympathy for big business or aversion to market exchange, the potential exists for coexistence on the basis of something like Voltairine de Cleyre’s “anarchism without adjectives.
If the goal is to maximize liberty and secure the welfare of all individuals, then building autonomy is the way to get there. If the goal is to subject people to the control of more local elites and limit their access to vital resources and connections, then secession can get there.
A guide to voluntary cooperation to meet everyone’s needs, without bosses or rulers, and without sacrificing individual liberties.
An introduction to crypto anarchy
A critical examination of David Graeber’s book 'Debt: The First 5000 Years'
Reports on state repression of anarchists in Russia.
Green Market Agorism... White Market Agorism... Entrepeneurs and the Lumpenproletariat: Comparing Agorism and Illegalism... Agorism vs Ethical Consumerism: What's Worth Your Money... Towards an Agorist-Syndicalist Alliance.
An examination of the grand jury system
FBI Harassment and Your Rights: A compilation of essays to help activists deal with government repression.
This essay on the foundations of the authority of the state marks a stage in the development of concern with problems of political authority and moral autonomy.
This classic pamphlet from the Boston Anarchist Drinking Brigade in the 90s combines a primer on the individualist tradition and an extensive bibliography.
Today’s neoreactionaries fetishize the notion of “exit” from a society, playing the “if things get bad enough you can always just leave” card, and many anarchists advocating strong and persistent collective bodies have the same flippancy to concerns about what to do if things start to go bad in their utopias. But not only is such “exit” all or nothing, it implicitly accepts the legitimacy of those collective entities, or at least certain “democratic processes” for appealing against capricious or oppressive collective edicts. But why should you have to leave? They’re the assholes. Similarly if there are just a few things going wrong in ways unfixable through the collective process, why should you have no choice besides tolerance or total cataclysmic revolution?
An introduction to Market Anarchism, a theory of exchange based on individual agency and interaction rather than socio-economic privilege.
Protect migrants and undocumented people from the U.S. gestapo of Border Patrol and ICE. When you run across those who wear rifles to enforce borders, treat them as terrorists and, if we have a future, it will look kindly on you.
While the border is, has been, and hopefully always will be an impossibility, a fiction imposed by state planners on a world much too resistant and messy to be divided in these ways, it is also a key site where the state struggles to impose a particular version of order. It is crucial that we work to undermine both these physical borders and the logics that underpin them.
The market and the assignment of property titles within it is a garden we grow. A tool. Just like consensus process or breaking out into working groups. Like any means of organization we should not fetishize it. It is an extraordinarily useful and necessary tool, but just like any procedure we might adopt it is not a god. And its precise happenstance structure is surely not foundational to our ethics.
It's one thing to 'organize,' it's another to form an organization. For over a decade, post-leftists have criticized the organization in unflinching terms. The response has been muted. Everyone knows organizations are problematic, but nowhere are the terms clear. In this essay, William Gillis breaks down the often unspoken utility of organizations, their inherent nature, as well as their dangers and limitations.
Proudhon's libertarian thought and the anarchist movement
'Framing Left Libertarianism: A First Pass', 'The Left in Left Libertarian', 'Socialism' for Left Liberty', 'Socialism Revisited','State Socialism and Anarchism: How Far They Agree and Wherein They Differ Regarding Health-Care Reform'
Benjamin R. Tucker was born in Massachusetts in 1854, educated in a Quaker school, and raised in the radical intellectual environment of the Boston area at the time. He found himself drawn into anarchism as a young man and became a journalist and editor. After working for just over a decade at the Boston Daily Globe, he founded the journal Liberty, which became one of the most prominent outlets for anarchism in the Gilded Age.
We anarchists are the real realists. We understand human nature well enough to know power will always be abused. The state, by its very nature, is executive committee of some minority ruling class - and anyone who thinks it can ever be trusted to be anything else is hopelessly naive.
Authors: Kevin Carson
True liberty tends to be hated by political parties, who clamor for protectionism and national borders. Hess argues that, instead of going into politics, freedom lovers should create market alternatives to government programs.
As surprising as it might seem, there’s a strong parallel between this free market vision of abundance and the Marxist vision of full communism... Much as capitalist production started out in tiny islands inside the larger feudal economy and later became the core of a new, dominant social formation, commons-based peer production is the core around which the post-capitalist economy will eventually crystallize.
Corporate Capitalism as a State-Guaranteed System of Privilege
We might say—with apologies to Shulamith Firestone—that the political economy of state capitalism is so deep as to be invisible. Or it may appear to be a superficial set of interventions, a problem that can be solved by a few legal reforms, perhaps the elimination of the occasional bailout or export subsidy, while preserving intact the basic recognizable patterns of the corporate economy. But there is something deeper, and more pervasive, at stake. A fully freed market means liberating essential command posts in the economy from State control, to be reclaimed for market and social entrepreneurship. The market that would emerge would look profoundly different from anything we have now.
To stop the economic crises and injustices that are to flow naturally from the new enclosure that is intellectual property, we must have due regard for what it truly is, rejecting the artifice of legitimacy that has been erected around it. It is, for lack of a better or more accurate term, a bogus property right, based not on any sound, philosophical standard, but on the need for capital to remain the middleman in every exchange. The notion that some people ought to own, for instance, software code that directs particular undertakings is as facially absurd as the idea that the men who discovered subatomic particles ought to own them.
How then are things connected and engendered? How are beings produced and how do they disappear? How is society and nature transformed? This is the sole object of science. The notion of Progress, carried into all spheres of consciousness and understanding, becoming the basis of practical and speculative reason, must renew the entire system of human knowledge, purge the mind of its last prejudices, replace the constitutions and catechisms in social relations, teach to man all that he can legitimately know, do, hope and fear: the value of his ideas, the definition of his rights, the rule of his actions, the purpose of his existence. The theory of Progress is the railway of liberty.
Born into poverty and plagued by it her entire life, educated by nuns in a convent school, chronically ill, the survivor of a nearly successful assassination attempt, and dead at a tragically early age, Voltairine de Cleyre doesn't seem a likely candidate to become what Paul Avrich called 'a greater literary talent than any other American anarchist.' But de Cleyre was undeniably one of the most important anarchist thinkers in the US or any other country. Greatly admired by her contemporaries for her brilliant writing and tireless schedule of public speaking, her ability to approach the most complex issues with a mixture of common sense, passion, and clarity makes her works as relevant today as they were a century ago.
From The General Idea Of Revolution.
An introduction to mutualism from the 1920s
Somebody gets the surplus wealth that labor produces and does not consume. Who is the Somebody?
Anarchism is not and has never been a proclamation that if we overthrow a given state — wherever the extent of that state is to be drawn — utopia will immediately result. Anarchism is not a claim about 'human nature' or a simplistic reflex of negation. Anarchism is daring to see beyond the suffocating language of power.