What is Anarchism?
At it’s simplest Anarchism is the belief that human beings are at their best when freed from the constraints of hierarchy and authority. Anarchists believe that Authority when it is encountered must be questioned to see if it is valid, oft times it is not.
The state is the most obvious form of authority as it demands our constant obedience and spreads its influence into our everyday lives. From telling us in what manner it is acceptable to live our lives to how and what our kids learn in their education the state is all pervasive.
The authority of the state is enforced through various means from the subtle – the threat of homelessness and hunger if we do not work or pay rent and taxes, to the non too subtle use of the police to attack picket lines and harass and arrest those who it deems a threat.
Anarchists are not against all forms of authority, sometimes it is necessary and valid, the surgeons authority in the operating room for example.
However the majority of manifestations of authority are invalid. Why should an individual wield authority over another merely because their family are descended from violent thugs in the middle ages as is the case of the royal family, or because their family could afford to send them to a private school or because someone put a tick in a box every four years that deferred power to someone unfit to wield that power who has neither the right nor wisdom to do so.
What do Anarchists want?
Anarchists want many, many things. We want, after all, to completely reinvent the world. We want workplaces to be controlled by those that work in them and communities to be controlled by those who live in them. We wish to see an end to all borders and for the free movement of people across the world. We want an end to the class system and for communities and workplaces to cooperate in a federative system. We want an end to racism, sexism, homophobia, nationalism and all other forms of discrimination.
What would an Anarchist world look like?
If workplaces were run for the benefit of the workers and local community then we would see far less polluting industry.
There would be less work to be done if the only things that were produced were things that were needed, for survival and for fun.
There would still be the unpleasant jobs that needed doing, such as collecting the rubbish, but these could be rotated so that everyone did there share of the crappy work and so no-one would have to do much of it.
I believe that science would progress at a faster rate as research is diverted away from having to prove a profitable use it would be able to seek knowledge for the sake of itself. As it should do already.
I believe that there would be no war. Wars are traditionally fought so that one group of the ruling class can acquire resources from another group of the ruling class. In a world built from the foundations of solidarity and mutual aid resources would belong to all and be used for the benefit of all. No competition for resources means no war.
I believe that an Anarchist world would become an atheist one as education is freely available to all and rationality would replace superstition and dogma. No religion would mean yet another reason for bloodshed and conflict would disappear.
So all in all an Anarchist world would be healthy, happy, green and peaceful.
This is only my opinion on what an Anarchist world would look like, there are as many different ideas as there are people. Six billion possible worlds yet we are stuck with one that causes untold suffering and starvation for the majority of the worlds population, destroys the environment, pits us against one another in a struggle for survival and allows the wealthiest, parasitical part of the population to reap the benefits of others labour.
We must be mad.