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(en) Anarchy - A Personal View -AF/ASF (Ireland)

From AFIASF <afi_asf@yahoo.com>
Date Mon, 21 Oct 2002 14:02:21 -0400 (EDT)

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

No man is good enough to be my master. This is the central tenet of anarchism.

We spend half our adult lives at work, or getting there in jammed trains or traffic lanes. There we spend, or are supposed to spend, every moment subject to the authority
of others. Following orders, and only ever seeing a fraction of the wealth we create.

Who makes the rules?

Who takes the decisions that shape our society? Who decided to prioritise the ecologically harmful car over public transport? Who decided to litter the Irish Sea with the
debris of the nuclear industry? Who decided that PAYE workers would pay a disproportionate amount of tax, while we have the lowest corporate tax in the whole of the E.U.?
Who decided that foodstuffs would be stockpiled or destroyed or farmers paid not to produce while millions face malnutrition and starvation? Who decided that house prices
and rents would spiral? 

These, and a hundred other things, show just how much say we have in our lives.

In one sense, the decisions are made by powerful minorities in the corporate boardrooms and big business lobby groups. In another sense by nobody at all but are formed by
market competition.

The Anarchist Alternative

Against this anarchists propose a participatory, direct democracy, the cardinal principle of which is that everyone who is affected by a decision has the right to
participate in the making of it. 

At it?s base, assemblies of everyone in a particular workplace or community making decisions collectively for that workplace or community, then in a federation with other
communities and workplaces through a system of mandated delegates. ?Mandated? meaning people given a specific task - that is to have the role of carrying out decisions made
by assemblies (not with the right to make major decisions as is the case with a representative). ?Delegate? meaning recallable at any time - that is to say in between
elections they can be re-placed should they fail to act in accordance with their mandate.

Furthermore. use of electronic referenda could make decision making far more democratic and efficient. We cannot set out a
 grand master plan, for as is obvious, such a
 society could only be created through mass
 participation, and only put into practice on a
 local level in whatever way the people doing so
 see fit. 

Ultimately, we cannot know what is possible, and
 what isn?t, until we can experiment and try out
 different forms and structures of a participatory
 democracy. For instance it may be the case that
 communities would have to break society up into
 more manageable units, as self-sufficient as is
 possible, for direct democracy to be feasible.
It may be possible that such a society would still
 have to incorporate some representation within a
 very wide mandate. 

What is certain to me is that we could have a way
 of life far more democratic than we do now. 

>From 'Wildcat' -a joint bulletin from the Anarchist Federation (Ireland) and Anarcho-Syndicalist Federation, now available in
 text and PDF format at the AF (Ireland) site: http://www.afireland.cjb.net 

To comment on this article, contact us at:

Contact the AF (Ireland) at: contact@afireland.cjb.net

Contact the ASF at: anarcho_syndicalist_federation@hotmail.com

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