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(en) A review of the Anarchist FAQ

From Workers Solidarity Movement <wsm@newmail.net>
Date Fri, 8 Dec 2000 17:40:12 -0500 (EST)

      A - I N F O S  N E W S  S E R V I C E

          What is Anarchism!
    A review of the Anarchist FAQ
       Workers Solidarity No61

It's good to know that more than porn and
adverts for jobs exist on the internet. Coming
fresh off the presses -"What is Anarchism - the
anarchist FAQ" is the first pamphlet in a series
that will attempt to answer all the questions
that you wanted to know about anarchism but
never got a chance to ask. This pamphlet is
section A of the FAQ, the other sections are as
yet only available on the internet.

FAQ is netspeak for Frequently Asked Questions.
This pamphlet grew from a group of anarchists
co-operating on the web to come up with
arguments to refute the claim being made by free
market capitalists to the anarchist name! It is
a testimony to the co-operative spirit of a
handful of activists that something this useful
and well produced came about when it would have
been much easier to just engage in fruitless
argument. In 1995 it was decided to turn the FAQ
into a general introduction to anarchism.

The FAQ has a great habit of expressing complex
ideas in a relatively simple manner and it
succeeds in bringing back to mind many useful
quotes that capture the idea that they are
expressing. Clifford Harper put the idea of
anarchism eloquently when he wrote "Like all
great ideas, anarchism is pretty simple when you
get down to it - human beings are at their best
when they are living free of authority."

The second section is one of my favourites as it
covers the very essence of anarchism. Why we
oppose authority, hierarchies, why we place such
a high emphasis on personal freedom, equality
and organisation against this society. It also
states quite clearly the kind of society that we
are fighting for and it has very little to do
with the current chains of capitalism. But we
are seeking to develop a society where mankind
can be truly free. As Bakunin said he was a
"fanatic lover of freedom, considering it as the
unique environment within which the
intelligence, dignity and happiness of mankind
can develop and increase."

Section 3 deals with the various types of
anarchism that exist but appears to ignore the
Platform. Perhaps this is an omission that will
be addressed in future editions. Sections 4 and
5 just give you a flavour of some of the
important thinkers and events that have shaped
the anarchist tradition.

The FAQ is a great example of what co-operative
work on the internet can achieve. It is a
foundation stone for laying down the idea of
anarchism as the viable alternative that we
should work towards achieving. It's our escape
route from the rotten system that we survive in

Dermot Sreenan

You can also read all the sections of the FAQ on
the web at www.anarchistfaq.org

This article is from the print version of the Irish
Anarchist paper 'Workers Solidarity'. We also provide
a PDF file of the latest edition for you to print out
and distribute locally.

Get this and see more articles on the web at

>From Irelands's Workers Solidarity Movement

Read the International Anarchist Platform
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