By Christopher R Rice
There are so many different types of Anarchist, like anything else, I thought I'd try to clear up some confusion.
For the longest time I wouldn't use the word Anarchist to describe my political beliefs because corporate America has corrupted the language so bad it's like telling people that you are a rattle snake. And in America perception is reality and reality is suspect. Sometimes Anarchist are so indirect that we even have our own anthem but no one knows it's about (atheist) Anarchy! John Lennon's "Image" is a very simple, very perfect description of atheist anarchy - not all anarchist are atheist.
There are lots of forms of anarchy. And it is not necessary to be an anarchist to live in perfect anarchy. For example, the Amish have no government, no courts, no police, no stop signs, no jails, no prisons, no illiteracy, no homeless, no unemployment, which is a model of anarchist society.
That was suppose to be the end of this article. But before I hit the publish button, I did some research to see what other people have said. At the top of my search engine results is a piece from "the Wise Geek". For being so wise they sure are confused which leads them to believe that I am naïve. What a laugh. Below I will reprint his article, first let me answer his question. As to caring for the sick, the Amish have an arrangement with their local hospitals and the bills are paid. In a truly anarchist society though, the sick or disabled are not left to fend for themselves as they are in this society, in American society. People with mental issues aren't forced out onto the streets to fend for themselves like in America. In America the safety net is an illusion.
In another sense, anarchism may refer to the idea that people would better profit without a government of any kind. Anarchists believe that most people can govern themselves and would be happier doing so. Within this idea of self-government, as opposed to government by the state, fall many theories of how lack of a government could possibly work. There are questions of whether people, for instance, have the same currency, be asked to abide by the same laws, or have any types of organized assistance.
It would be hard to argue that all individuals are capable of doing this. For instance, in a society that is deliberately anarchist, there is the question or what would be done with a person who was severely incapacitated by mental retardation. The person might not be able to act in his or her own best self-interest or for the welfare of the society. If that person had no caretakers, it's unclear what provisions in an ungoverned society there would be for caring for such a person.
Common sense might indicate establishing institutions for such people or at least some form of aid, but it's not clear how the money be obtained for it. It’s certainly been the case that formerly government run programs to help such people, that are now run on the basis of charity often need more money than they can get through individual donations. There would be no assurance in an anarchistic society that people requiring extraordinary care would ever receive it.
These types of questions have led to many anarchism societies — the words themselves are almost oxymoronic given anarchism philosophies — each with different ways of suggesting how anarchy could successfully work. Some believe that individuals would use their common sense to help those less able to work in the world, and believe in maintaining some sense of rules and societal structure without a large government structure overseeing the process.
Others believe in total anarchy, supporting absolutely no agreed upon rules, with each person acting for his or her own self interest. All community acts would be voluntary, but such a society would still be based on the neighborly interests of helping others for the good of a whole community. This would include things like voluntary agreement to repair roads, or keep hospitals open. Most anarchistic philosophies stress that communities would have to be relatively small and tightly knit in order to work. There have been a few small communities that have maintained anarchism for several years without major difficulties. Chief among these was The Free Territory in the Ukraine, which thrived in the early 20th century without a government.
Another type of anarchy, which relates more clearly to the negative definition, occurs when a revolution leaves a country in a temporary lawless state. For instance, the Reign of Terror following the French Revolution was anarchistic and frightening. It was characterized by a basic lack of certain rights most democratic and republic countries take for granted. Violence could be committed at any turn, without much reason, and the resulting death toll was enormous. Other countries have gone through periods of chaos, and often, the people look for someone who will restore order. This often leads to dictatorship.
Anarchy is an unusual concept, and perhaps expresses the desire in its most ambitious form for true freedom. It is not necessarily negative, but it may be somewhat naive. It’s hard to imagine how it could work for a long period of time in the modern world, especially since so many people appear to want leadership, rules, and some sense of governmental support.
The Native Americans, before the Europeans arrived, even though they had 500 nations, their only laws were natural laws. They had no courts, no police, no jails, and no criminals, no rape, no murder, no crime, just like the Amish.
Of course some people like to dwell on the negative and will dig up some Amish sect that's in breeding and attempt to disparage all Amish by this one sect.
But let's really examine this for a second. When the settlers arrived in America there were basically two groups of peoples.
1.) The Natives and
2.) The Settlers
When the Natives didn't make good slaves we imported our own from Africa. The Deficiency Act, required slave owners to procure from England one white person for every 40 enslaved Africans, thereby hoping to expand their own estates and inhibit further English/Irish immigration. About the same time England decided to dump a lot of her criminals in the new colonies. So now you had four groups:
1.) The Natives,
2.) The Settlers, (Puritans)
3.) Criminals and
Slaves by law, weren't allowed to own guns or money. The Natives had neither and by law criminals aren't allowed to own guns and since no one will hire a criminal they have no money either. Which meant the settlers, the Puritans had all the guns and all money. Consequently they got to make all the rules and all the Laws. And they decided the poor should pay all the taxes and fight all the wars. Also, the Law shall only apply to the poor. So if you're a rich slave owner and want to rape your slaves wife, no problem. But if you're a slave and you rape your masters wife, you will hang. Now since it was the Puritans, the good Christians making all these laws it must be all fair and all on the up and up. But if anyone says otherwise they will be branded an anarchist or a communist or whatever word they can use to paint you as something other. Because in the world of good v. evil there's always an other. An evil that they can treat anyway they want. Whether that's slaves or terrorist or anarchist. If you aren't one of them then you must be one of the others, an evil one. As such torture is okay, even in the eyes of Jesus Christ. After all aren't GW Bush and Dick Cheney Christians?
Isn't the Christian right now supporting Donald Trump?
A man who openly says he has never asked Christ for forgiveness. And who openly calls for torturing women and children?
In an anarchist society people like the Amish and the Natives live in peace. If your neighbors barn burns down today, by tomorrow everyone in town has come to help him build a new one. No money required! No trades, no bartering, it's all free - that's the anarchy that I believe in. A society where every man / women works and contributes per their talents and abilities.
And everything is shared equally. There is no law and there is no crime. In my old age and wisdom I've come to realize that I don't give a damn what your perception is, I'm damn proud to be an Anarchist.
You can believe whatever you want to believe because it really doesn't affect me. I'm a real man. I'm the only one responsible for my actions so I'll live my life the way that I choose. What you think really doesn't matter.
If you think that was bad, at least the Wise Geek had the decency to admit his confusion in his opening line. Wait to you read the next one. According to their website, their sole source is the CIA World fact book. Now it makes sense, otherwise this is just too funny.
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Evolution of Anarchy
The word anarchy comes from the ancient Greek ἀναρχία (anarchia), which combines ἀ (a), "not, without" and ἀρχή (arkhi), "ruler, leader, authority." Thus, the term refers to a person or society "without rulers" or "without leaders."
Anarchy is the condition of a society, entity, group of people, or a single person that rejects hierarchy. It originally meant leaderlessness, but in 1840, Pierre-Joseph Proudhon adopted the term in his treatise What Is Property? to refer to a new political philosophy, anarchism, which advocates stateless societies based on voluntary associations.
“Before our white brothers came to civilize us we had no jails. Therefore we had no criminals. You can't have criminals without a jail. We had no locks or keys, and so we had no thieves. If a man was so poor that he had no horse, tipi or blanket, someone gave him these things. We were to uncivilized to set much value on personal belongings. We wanted to have things only in order to give them away. We had no money, and therefore a man's worth couldn't be measured by it. We had no written law, no attorneys or politicians, therefore we couldn't cheat. We really were in a bad way before the white men came, and I don't know how we managed to get along without these basic things which, we are told, are absolutly necessary to make a civilized society.”
― John Lame Deer, Lame Deer, Seeker of Visions
Anarchists have been involved in a wide variety of communities. While there are only a few instances of mass society "anarchies" that have come about from explicitly anarchist revolutions, there are also examples of intentional communities founded by anarchists.
Utopia, Ohio (1847)
Whiteway Colony (1898)
Life and Labor Commune (1921)
Freetown Christiania (September 26, 1971)
Free Territory (Ukraine, November 1918 – 1921)
Anarchist Catalonia (July 21, 1936 – May 1939)
Autonomous Shinmin Region (1929–1932
By George Orwell
"Anarchy" arises from ancient Greek "An," meaning without and "Archos" meaning leader.
In modern political philosophy anarchy, or anarchism (the ideology which aims to create anarchy) is traced back, often, to Proudhon, and in particular his work "What is property?" - the origin of the still used anarchist slogan "Property is theft!"
Contrary to belief that "anarchy" is synonymous with "Disorder," anarchists generally advocate non-hierarchical, horizontal organization, typically through directly democratic structures. As such, there is a degree of common ground between anarchists and libertarian Marxists. Many anarchists are highly supportive of the practice of the Zapatistas in Chiapas.
In 1936, anarchists in the Spanish provinces of Catalonia and Aragon collectivized industry and agriculture, and established a working example of anarchy.
"I had dropped more or less by chance into the only community of any size in Western Europe where political consciousness and disbelief in capitalism were more normal than their opposites. Up here in Aragon one was among tens of thousands of people, mainly though not entirely of working-class origin, all living at the same level and mingling on terms of equality. In theory it was perfect equality, and even in practice it was not far from it. There is a sense in which it would be true to say that one was experiencing a foretaste of Socialism, by which I mean that the prevailing mental atmosphere was that of Socialism. Many of the normal motives of civilized life--snobbishness, money-grubbing, fear of the boss, etc.--had simply ceased to exist. The ordinary class-division of society had disappeared to an extent that is almost unthinkable in the money-tainted air of England; there was no one there except the peasants and ourselves, and no one owned anyone else as his master." -George Orwell, on an anarchist community in Spain during the Revolution
What is Anarchy?
wiseGEEK clear answers for common questions
Anarchy is a confusing word to define, since it has several possible definitions. The word comes from the Greek word anarchia, which simply translates as without or lacking in authority. In the modern sense, it may be used negatively or positively, but most often, the word is used in a negative sense to imply a complete lack of order.
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Types of Governments: Anarchy
By Antonio Ramos
Anarchy is the type of government where there is no government at all. Every person is left to fight for themselves. People must continue to live through farming on their own land, find water, and build a home on there own. No one tells you what to do and there is no voting.
This type of government usually ends up in people fighting over food, water, land and other things. There is no police to keep the peace.
I guess I forgot to mention the Amish wars over food and land. Oh, that's right, that's because neither the Amish nor the Indians ever fought over either. I guess the facts don't support the CIA facts, which proves my original point. The English language is so corrupted that you can't tell the wolves from the prophets. And perception is reality, while reality remains suspect.
As far as water goes, it is very natural for humans to form communities to meet everyone's needs. Because the alternative is everyone transporting their own water, to satisfy their own needs, which is very unrealistic.
Another Example of our Corrupted Language
Anarchy: noun, a state of disorder due to absence or nonrecognition of authority:
"he must ensure public order in a country threatened with anarchy"
synonyms: lawlessness · nihilism · mobocracy · revolution
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I think the first thing that people do not realize is that societies like the Amish or the Natives before the Europeans arrived do not have the same illnesses as Western societies. For instance, did you know that the Amish do not suffer from Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes? Most Western diseases we give to ourselves. Cancer is man made, it is not natural. And so people who live in a natural environment do not and will not suffer Western diseases or have need for this vast medical empire or its enormous cost. In an Anarchist society everyone is respected and families take care of each other. There will be no institutions to dump your child at if he or she has a disability. But as soon as you remove Western medicine you remove the side effects that cause those birth defects. So it is not that I am being naïve, it is that the "Wise" are ignorant. And therefore not very wise at all. Or as Tao would say: 'the learned are not wise and the wise are not learned.'