What is Anarchism? #1

ASF-Perth. Version 2021-02-20.

Anarchy, Not Chaos

Anarchy, contrary to what is often thought, is not where everyone simply does what they want and gets along. It is a directly democratic form of society based upon the abolition of private property, complete equality of opportunity for all, and it based around self-organised and locally-run communities. In order to achieve this, anarchism advocates for the abolition of capitalism and the state.


Anarchists propose a far more direct, and, simply more democratic
version than the supposed 'democracy' we have today.

When it comes to politics in this day and age, the vast majority of
people in our society are never given the opportunity to decide. The
best we are given are representatives that we must trust to follow
election promises. Even then, the bureaucracy which the capitalist
state possesses frequently stalls any progress to be made; like we saw
with the Australian government being pushed, kicking and screaming, to finally allow same sex marriage.

Communities should be able to directly decide on legislation, policies
and implementation procedures. This would ensure a larger portion of
the interests of all people, rather than just the elite, are accounted
for. This does not mean that professional opinion cannot be consulted,
but that the masses of people in our society do not have to rely on
bureaucrats to represent them.

On issues which require organisation at a larger scale, voluntary
confederations of communities would be the best plan of action. Communities would send delegates, which would be able to be recalled and replaced at any time, to represent them and work with
other communities to achieve a shared goal. These delegates would only represent their community and also be directly held accountable by their community; this is an effective method of helping to ensure no bureaucratic class develops.

Private Property

How did a king own a whole nation? How did a slave master own people? How does an owner of a business, who may never step foot within it, own a shop? The answer is that society was organised to allow individuals to hold such power.

Anarchists engage in practices which end all exploitative property
relations. Ending all exploitative property would entail the end of
private property. Private property does not include your personal
belongings (the house you live in, your clothing, etcetera). Rather,
it means to have property be owned and managed by those who use and occupy it.

This would entail the end of houses being rented out, factories not
being managed democratically; and, instead, the means of subsistence,
and the means of production would be owned and managed by those living and working there.

The Community

We are aiming to build a society made up of confederated communities, each of which democratically decides how to run and organise their own community. This would mean each community would be free to organise how they see fit.

This would be optimal as who else knows a community's needs more than the community itself? Confederation is when multiple communities voluntarily come together and work with one another to advance both of their situations. This would be different to the State as with the abolition of capital and hierarchy this confederation would not only have the people's interests first and foremost but also be directly controlled by it.

Capitalism and the State

Capitalism and the state are by their very nature
intertwined. Capitalism is the economic system based upon wage slavery and private property. The state, as it is understood by anarchists, is any hierarchy which dominates the mass of people.

We work for the abolition of capitalism. It is a necessarily
oppressive and coercive system based upon the exploitation of the
workers, and is driven, primarily, by the motive to accumulate
economic profit. Capitalism has no interest in meeting and servicing
people's needs. A society organised around fulfilling people's needs,
and not what is simply profitable would not only be better than the
current system but is also attainable in our lifetime if we organise.

Many communists and socialists advocate, and some practice, for the
replacement of a capitalist state with a 'socialist state'; a state
where the economy is organised around people's needs and not
profits. We however find this 'solution' to the crisis of capitalism
to be nothing but ludicrous. To replace capitalists with bureaucrats
would be nothing but catastrophic (as seen with the USSR) as these
bureaucrats develop into a new ruling elite with interests in
preserving the state which works against the interests of the majority
of people.

Both capitalism and the state need to be abolished to ensure the
freedom of all.

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