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(en) Freedom 6320 19th Oct. 2002 - What anarchism means to me

From FreedomCopy@aol.com
Date Tue, 29 Oct 2002 07:41:32 -0500 (EST)


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Anarchism is a basic set of ideas which challenge all forms
of authority, control and hierarchy. It's simple notions like
voluntary co-operation and mutual aid; people working and
acting together free from coercion and in recognition of our
individual and shared needs. Yet for all their simplicity,
these ideas - anarchist ideas - strike directly at the heart of
capitalism and government. To be able to co-operate
voluntarily, we have to be free of any imposed authority.
By necessity this means that all state institutions, built on
the threat of coercion and the power to punish, must be
dismantled and replaced with new associations created
directly by the people they will affect.
Capitalism has as its core the accumulation of individual
wealth and power. It uses hierarchy and the exploitation of
other people to achieve this. But the concept of mutual aid is
built on the belief that none of us can live freely as
individuals while those around remain shackled. If we are all
to live our lives how we choose, able to help and be helped,
then by necessity again capitalism must be swept away.
While anarchism, as I see it, offers real solutions to how we
can organise our communities after capitalism and states are
gone, it also offers a way of building new structures within
the shell of what we have now. Experiments in different
methods of distribution, different approaches to work or new
ways of providing care can help to challenge the imposed
and accepted ways of doing things.
They can help in bringing about the realisation that we don't
need the vertical top-down institutions we have, and that
people are able to organise things without laws and
governments. As Errico Malatesta put it, "we anarchists do
not want to emancipate the people; we want the people to
emancipate themselves".
Any breaking down of reliance on laws, governments, rulers
and prescribed ways of living our lives is a positive step
closer to liberation for us all.
Paul H.



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