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(en) Freedom 6323 Nov 30 2002 - What anarchism means to me

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Tue, 10 Dec 2002 03:18:07 -0500 (EST)


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I first encountered anarchism as a teenager in the peace and
ecology movements, the anarcho-punk of Crass and the
Poison Girls, and through an appetite for reading which
extended to Colin Ward's Anarchy in Action, George
Orwell's Homage to Catalonia and George Woodcock's
history. In the two decades since, anarchism has continued
to serve me well as a flexible yet coherent explanatory
philosophy for making sense of the world around me. It is
equally an inspiration, way of life and state of being.
For me, anarchism represents the realisation of a flourishing
society as it would be if it attained its finest rational potential,
not an endpoint but the optimum conditions for the creative
unfolding of human knowledge and spiritual growth.
Anarchism stands, beyond other belief systems, for the
desire to accommodate respect for individual freedom with
concern for community, humanity at large and the living
environment. It values local distinctiveness and diversity
while aspiring to egalitarian human solidarity.
As such, it is the antithesis of a globalised society, being a
passionately internationalist rejection of the xenophobic
sectarianism of nationalism. Anarchists promote the idea
that wellbeing and quality of life - and therefore our ultimate
self-interest - reside in a social-revolutionary rejection of
presently dominant modes of production and hierarchical
relations.
Such ideas are consistent with Kropotkin's insight that
organisms are often most successful in evolutionary terms
when they cooperate. The political forms of anarchism are
self-management, the direct participatory democracy of
neighbourhood assemblies and mutual aid federations,
theorised by social ecologists such as Murray Bookchin and
represented by loose associations like the People's Global
Alliance.
We get there by synthesising and integrating into our lives:
direct action against the worst consequences of
authoritarianism and militarism, personal lifestyle changes,
challenging and shifting the cultural hegemony and
developing structures that could operate effectively in a
post-capitalist society.
S. Hunt


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