Make your own free website on Tripod.com








AZZJONI POZITTIVA
Newsletter













Home

Decide on what? | Our Purpose | QUOTES | Contact Us | Calendar of Events | Newsletter | Pics and related articles





This page will have a copy of our latest organization newsletter. We will update the page each month.
















anarchy_md_wht.gif

FREE WORD what's anarchy ?

information to those who don't know what anarchy really means


The word "anarchy" is from the Greek, prefix an (or a), meaning "not," "the want of," "the absence of," or "the lack of", plus archos, meaning "a ruler," "director", "chief," "person in charge," or "authority." Or, as Peter Kropotkin put it, Anarchy comes from the Greek words meaning "contrary to authority." [Kropotkin's Revolutionary Pamphlets, p. 284]

While the Greek words anarchos and anarchia are often taken to mean "having no government" or "being without a government," as can be seen, the strict, original meaning of anarchism was not simply "no government." "An-archy" means "without a ruler," or more generally, "without authority," and it is in this sense that anarchists have continually used the word. For example, we find Kropotkin arguing that anarchism "attacks not only capital, but also the main sources of the power of capitalism: law, authority, and the State." [Op. Cit., p. 150] For anarchists, anarchy means "not necessarily absence of order, as is generally supposed, but an absence of rule." [Benjamin Tucker, Instead of a Book, p. 13] Hence David Weick's excellent summary:


"Anarchism can be understood as the generic social and political idea that expresses negation of all power, sovereignty, domination, and hierarchical division, and a will to their dissolution. . . Anarchism is therefore more than anti-statism . . . [even if] government (the state) . . . is, appropriately, the central focus of anarchist critique." [Reinventing Anarchy, p. 139]

For this reason, rather than being purely anti-government or anti-state, anarchism is primarily a movement against hierarchy. Why? Because hierarchy is the organisational structure that embodies authority. Since the state is the "highest" form of hierarchy, anarchists are, by definition, anti-state; but this is not a sufficient definition of anarchism. This means that real anarchists are opposed to all forms of hierarchical organisation, not only the state. In the words of Brian Morris:

"The term anarchy comes from the Greek, and essentially means 'no ruler.' Anarchists are people who reject all forms of government or coercive authority, all forms of hierarchy and domination. They are therefore opposed to what the Mexican anarchist Flores Magon called the 'sombre trinity' -- state, capital and the church. Anarchists are thus opposed to both capitalism and to the state, as well as to all forms of religious authority. But anarchists also seek to establish or bring about by varying means, a condition of anarchy, that is, a decentralised society without coercive institutions, a society organised through a federation of voluntary associations." ["Anthropology and Anarchism," Anarchy: A Journal of Desire Armed, no. 45, p. 38]

Reference to "hierarchy" in this context is a fairly recent development -- the "classical" anarchists such as Proudhon, Bakunin and Kropotkin did use the word, but rarely (they usually preferred "authority," which was used as short-hand for "authoritarian"). However, it's clear from their writings that theirs was a philosophy against hierarchy, against any inequality of power or privileges between individuals. Bakunin spoke of this when attacked "official" authority but defended "natural influence," and also when he said:

"Do you want to make it impossible for anyone to oppress his fellow-man? Then make sure that no one shall possess power." [The Political Philosophy of Bakunin, p. 271]

As Jeff Draughn notes, "while it has always been a latent part of the 'revolutionary project,' only recently has this broader concept of anti-hierarchy arisen for more specific scrutiny. Nonetheless, the root of this is plainly visible in the Greek roots of the word 'anarchy.'" [Between Anarchism and Libertarianism: Defining a New Movement]
We stress that this opposition to hierarchy is, for anarchists, not limited to just the state or government. It includes all authoritarian economic and social relationships as well as political ones, particularly those associated with capitalist property and wage labour. This can be seen from Proudhon's argument that "Capital . . . in the political field is analogous to government . . . The economic idea of capitalism . . . [and] the politics of government or of authority . . . [are] identical . . . [and] linked in various ways. . . What capital does to labour . . . the State [does] to liberty . . ." [quoted by Max Nettlau, A Short History of Anarchism, pp. 43-44] Thus we find Emma Goldman opposing capitalism as it involved people selling their labour and so ensuring that "the worker's inclination and judgement are subordinated to the will of a master." [Red Emma Speaks, p. 36] Forty years earlier Bakunin made the same point when he argued that under the current system "the worker sells his person and his liberty for a given time" to the capitalist in exchange for a wage [Op. Cit., p. 187].

Thus "anarchy" means more than just "no government," it means opposition to all forms of authoritarian organisation and hierarchy. In Kropotkin's words, "the origin of the anarchist inception of society . . . [lies in] the criticism . . . of the hierarchical organisations and the authoritarian conceptions of society; and . . . the analysis of the tendencies that are seen in the progressive movements of mankind." [Kropotkin's Revolutionary Pamphlets, p. 158] Thus any attempt to assert that anarchy is purely anti-state is a misrepresentation of the word and the way it has been used by the anarchist movement. As Brian Morris argues, "when one examines the writings of classical anarchists. . . as well as the character of anarchist movements. . . it is clearly evident that it has never had this limited vision [of just being against the state]. It has always challenged all forms of authority and exploitation, and has been equally critical of capitalism and religion as it has been of the state." [Op. Cit., p. 40]

And, just to state the obvious, anarchy does not mean chaos nor do anarchists seek to create chaos or disorder. Instead, we wish to create a society based upon individual freedom and voluntary co-operation. In other words, order from the bottom up, not disorder imposed from the top down by authorities.

Why are anarchists against authority and hierarchy?
First, it is necessary to indicate what kind of authority anarchism challenges. As Erich Fromm points out in To Have or To Be, "authority" is "a broad term with two entirely different meanings: it can be either 'rational' or 'irrational' authority. Rational authority is based on competence, and it helps the person who leans on it to grow. Irrational authority is based on power and serves to exploit the person subjected to it." [pp. 44-45] The same point was made by Bakunin 100 years earlier (see God and the State, for example) when he indicated the difference between authority and influence.

This crucial point is expressed in the difference between having authority and being an authority. Being an authority just means that a given person is generally recognised as competent for a given task, based on his or her individual skills and knowledge. Put differently, it is socially acknowledged expertise. In contrast, having authority is a social relationship based on status and power derived from a hierarchical position, not on individual ability. Obviously this does not mean that competence is not an element for obtaining a hierarchical position; it just means that the real or alleged initial competence is transferred to the title or position of the authority and so becomes independent of individuals, i.e. institutionalised.

This difference is important because the way people behave is more a product of the institutions in which we are raised than of any inherent nature. In other words, social relationships shape the individuals involved. This means that the various groups individuals create have traits, behaviours and outcomes that cannot be understood by reducing them to the individuals within them. That is, groups consist not only of individuals, but also relationships between individuals and these relationships will effect those subject to them. For example, obviously "the exercise of power by some disempowers others" and so through a "combination of physical intimidation, economic domination and dependency, and psychological limitations, social institutions and practices affect the way everyone sees the world and her or his place in it." [Martha A. Ackelsberg, Free Women of Spain, p. 20]

Authoritarian social relationships means dividing society into (the few) order givers and (the many) order takers, impoverishing the individuals involved (mentally, emotionally and physically) and society as a whole. Human relationships, in all parts of life, are stamped by authority, not liberty. And as freedom can only be created by freedom, authoritarian social relationships (and the obedience they require) do not and cannot educate a person in freedom - only participation (self-management) in all areas of life can do that.

Of course, it will be pointed out that in any collective undertaking there is a need for co-operation and co-ordination and this need to "subordinate" the individual to group activities is a form of authority. Yes, but there are two different ways of co-ordinating individual activity within groups - either by authoritarian means or by libertarian means. Proudhon, in relation to workplaces, makes the difference clear:


"either the workman. . . will be simply the employee of the proprietor-capitalist-promoter; or he will participate. . . [and] have a voice in the council, in a word he will become an associate.
"In the first case the workman is subordinated, exploited: his permanent condition is one of obedience. . . In the second case he resumes his dignity as a man and citizen. . . he forms part of the producing organisation, of which he was before but the slave; as, in the town, he forms part of the sovereign power, of which he was before but the subject . . . we need not hesitate, for we have no choice. . . it is necessary to form an ASSOCIATION among workers . . . because without that, they would remain related as subordinates and superiors, and there would ensue two . . . castes of masters and wage-workers, which is repugnant to a free and democratic society." [Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, General Idea of the Revolution, pp. 215-216]

In other words, associations can be based upon a form of rational authority, based upon natural influence and so reflect freedom, the ability of individuals to think, act and feel and manage their own time and activity. Otherwise, we include elements of slavery into our relationships with others, elements that poison the whole and shape us in negative ways (see section B.1.1). Only the reorganisation of society in a libertarian way (and, we may add, the mental transformation such a change requires and would create) will allow the individual to "achieve more or less complete blossoming, whilst continuing to develop" and banish "that spirit of submission that has been artificially thrust upon him [or her]" [Nestor Makhno, The Struggle Against the State and Other Essays, p. 62]

So, anarchists "ask nothing better than to see [others]. . . exercise over us a natural and legitimate influence, freely accepted, and never imposed . . . We accept all natural authorities and all influences of fact, but none of right. . . " [The Political Philosophy of Bakunin, p. 255] Anarchist support for free association within directly democratic groups is based upon such organisational forms increasing influence and reducing irrational authority in our lives. Members of such organisations can create and present their own ideas and suggestions, critically evaluate the proposals and suggestions from their fellows, accept those that they agree with or become convinced by and have the option of leaving the association if they are unhappy with its direction. Hence the influence of individuals and their free interaction determine the nature of the decisions reached, and no one has the right to impose their ideas on another. As Bakunin argued, in such organisations "no function remains fixed and it will not remain permanently and irrevocably attached to one person. Hierarchical order and promotion do not exist. . . In such a system, power, properly speaking, no longer exists. Power is diffused to the collectivity and becomes the true expression of the liberty of everyone." [Bakunin on Anarchism, p. 415]

Therefore, anarchists are opposed to irrational (e.g., illegitimate) authority, in other words, hierarchy -- hierarchy being the institutionalisation of authority within a society. Hierarchical social institutions include the state (see section B.2), private property (see section B.3) and, therefore, capitalism (see section B.4). Due to their hierarchical nature, anarchists oppose these institutions with passion. However, hierarchy exists beyond these institutions. For example, hierarchical social relationships include sexism, racism and homophobia (see section B.1.4), and anarchists oppose, and fight, them all.

As noted earlier (A.2.8), anarchists consider all hierarchies to be not only harmful but unnecessary, and think that there are alternative, more egalitarian ways to organise social life. In fact, they argue that hierarchical authority creates the conditions it is presumably designed to combat, and thus tends to be self-perpetuating. Thus, bureaucracies ostensibly set up to fight poverty wind up perpetuating it, because without poverty, the high-salaried top administrators would be out of work. The same applies to agencies intended to eliminate drug abuse, fight crime, etc. In other words, the power and privileges deriving from top hierarchical positions constitute a strong incentive for those who hold them not to solve the problems they are supposed to solve. (For further discussion see Marilyn French, Beyond Power: On Women, Men, and Morals, Summit Books, 1985.)


What do Anarchists stand for?

Why is solidarity important to anarchists?
Solidarity, or mutual aid, is a key idea of anarchism. It is the link between the individual and society, the means by which individuals can work together to meet their common interests in an environment that supports and nurtures both liberty and equality. For anarchists, mutual aid is a fundamental feature of human life, a source of both strength and happiness and a fundamental requirement for a fully human existence.

Erich Fromm, noted psychologist and socialist humanist, points out that the "human desire to experience union with others is rooted in the specific conditions of existence that characterise the human species and is one of the strongest motivations of human behaviour." [To Be or To Have, p.107]

Therefore anarchists consider the desire to form "unions" (to use Max Stirner's term) with other people to be a natural need. These unions, or associations, must be based on equality and individuality in order to be fully satisfying to those who join them -- i.e. they must be organised in an anarchist manner, i.e. voluntary, decentralised, and non-hierarchical.

Solidarity -- co-operation between individuals -- is necessary for life and is far from a denial of liberty. "What wonderful results this unique force of man's individuality has achieved when strengthened by Co-operation with other individualities," Emma Goldman observes. "Co-operation -- as opposed to internecine strife and struggle -- has worked for the survival and evolution of the species. . . . [O]nly mutual aid and voluntary Cupertino. . . can create the basis for a free individual and associational life." [Red Emma Speaks, p. 95]

Solidarity means associating together as equals in order to satisfy our common interests and needs. Forms of association not based on solidarity (i.e. those based on inequality) will crush the individuality of those subjected to them. As Ret Marut points out, liberty needs solidarity, the recognition of common interests:


"The most noble, pure and true love of mankind is the love of oneself. I want to be free! I hope to be happy! I want to appreciate all the beauties of the world. But my freedom is secured only when all other people around me are free. I can only be happy when all other people around me are happy. I can only be joyful when all the people I see and meet look at the world with joy-filled eyes. And only then can I eat my fill with pure enjoyment when I have the secure knowledge that other people, too, can eat their fill as I do. And for that reason it is a question of my own contentment, only of my own self, when I rebel against every danger which threatens my freedom and my happiness. . ." [Ret Marut (a.k.a. B. Traven), The BrickBurner magazine quoted by Karl S. Guthke, B. Traven: The life behind the legends, pp. 133-4]
To practice solidarity means that we recognise, as in the slogan of Industrial Workers of the World, that "an injury to one is an injury to all." Solidarity, therefore, is the means to protect individuality and liberty and so is an expression of self-interest. As Alfie Kohn points out:


"when we think about co-operation. . . we tend to associate the concept with fuzzy-minded idealism. . . This may result from confusing co-operation with altruism. . . Structural co-operation defies the usual egoism/altruism dichotomy. It sets things up so that by helping you I am helping myself at the same time. Even if my motive initially may have been selfish, our fates now are linked. We sink or swim together. Co-operation is a shrewd and highly successful strategy - a pragmatic choice that gets things done at work and at school even more effectively than competition does. . . There is also good evidence that co-operation is more conductive to psychological health and to liking one another." [No Contest: The Case Against Competition, p. 7]
And, within a hierarchical society, solidarity is important not only because of the satisfaction it gives us, but also because it is necessary to resist those in power. By standing together, we can increase our strength and get what we want. Eventually, by organising into groups, we can start to manage our own collective affairs together and so replace the boss once and for all. "Unions will. . . multiply the individual's means and secure his assailed property." [Max Stirner, The Ego and Its Own, p. 258] By acting in solidarity, we can also replace the current system with one more to our liking. There is power in "union."

Solidarity is thus the means by which we can obtain and ensure our own freedom. We agree to work together so that we will not have to work for another. By agreeing to share with each other we increase our options so that we may enjoy more, not less. Mutual aid is in my self-interest -- that is, I see that it is to my advantage to reach agreements with others based on mutual respect and social equality; for if I dominate someone, this means that the conditions exist which allow domination, and so in all probability I too will be dominated in turn.

As Max Stirner saw, solidarity is the means by which we ensure that our liberty is strengthened and defended from those in power who want to rule us: "Do you yourself count for nothing then?", he asks. "Are you bound to let anyone do anything he wants to you? Defend yourself and no one will touch you. If millions of people are behind you, supporting you, then you are a formidable force and you will win without difficulty." [quoted in Luigi Galleani's The End of Anarchism?, p. 79 - different translation in The Ego and Its Own, p. 197]

Solidarity, therefore, is important to anarchists because it is the means by which liberty can be created and defended against power. Solidarity is strength and a product of our nature as social beings. However, solidarity should not be confused with "herdism," which implies passively following a leader. In order to be effective, solidarity must be created by free people, co-operating together as equals. The "big WE" is not solidarity, although the desire for "herdism" is a product of our need for solidarity and union. It is a "solidarity" corrupted by hierarchical society, in which people are conditioned to blindly obey leaders.

What sort of society do anarchists want?
Anarchists desire a decentralised society, based on free association. We consider this form of society the best one for maximising the values we have outlined above -- liberty, equality and solidarity. Only by a rational decentralisation of power, both structurally and territorially, can individual liberty be fostered and encouraged. The delegation of power into the hands of a minority is an obvious denial of individual liberty and dignity. Rather than taking the management of their own affairs away from people and putting it in the hands of others, anarchists favour organisations which minimise authority, keeping power at the base, in the hands of those who are affected by any decisions reached.

Free association is the cornerstone of an anarchist society. Individuals must be free to join together as they see fit, for this is the basis of freedom and human dignity. However, any such free agreement must be based on decentralisation of power; otherwise it will be a sham (as in capitalism), as only equality provides the necessary social context for freedom to grow and development. Therefore anarchists support directly democratic collectives, based on "one person one vote" (for the rationale of direct democracy as the political counterpart of free agreement, see section A.2.11 - Why do most anarchists support direct democracy?).

We should point out here that an anarchist society does not imply some sort of idyllic state of harmony within which everyone agrees. Far from it! As Luigi Galleani points out, "[d]isagreements and friction will always exist. In fact they are an essential condition of unlimited progress. But once the bloody area of sheer animal competition - the struggle for food - has been eliminated, problems of disagreement could be solved without the slightest threat to the social order and individual liberty." [The End of Anarchism?, p. 28]

Therefore, an anarchist society will be based upon co-operative conflict as "[c]onflict, per se, is not harmful. . . disagreements exist [and should not be hidden] . . . What makes disagreement destructive is not the fact of conflict itself but the addition of competition." [Alfie Kohn, No Contest: The Case Against Competition, p. 156] Indeed, "a rigid demand for agreement means that people will effectively be prevented from contributing their wisdom to a group effort." [Ibid.] It is for this reason that most anarchists reject consensus decision making in large groups (see section A.2.12).

So, in an anarchist society associations would be run by mass assemblies of all involved, based upon extensive discussion, debate and co-operative conflict between equals, with purely administrative tasks being handled by elected committees. These committees would be made up of mandated, recallable and temporary delegates who carry out their tasks under the watchful eyes of the assembly which elected them. If the delegates act against their mandate or try to extend their influence or work beyond that already decided by the assembly (i.e. if they start to make policy decisions), they can be instantly recalled and their decisions abolished. In this way, the organisation remains in the hands of the union of individuals who created it.

This self-management by the members of a group at the base and the power of recall are essential tenets of any anarchist organisation. The key difference between a statist or hierarchical system and an anarchist community is who wields power. In a parliamentary system, for example, people give power to a group of representatives to make decisions for them for a fixed period of time. Whether they carry out their promises is irrelevant as people cannot recall them till the next election. Power lies at the top and those at the base are expected to obey. Similarly, in the capitalist workplace, power is held by an unelected minority of bosses and managers at the top and the workers are expected to obey.

In an anarchist society this relationship is reversed. No one individual or group (elected or unelected) holds power in an anarchist community. Instead decisions are made using direct democratic principles and, when required, the community can elect or appoint delegates to carry out these decisions. There is a clear distinction between policy making (which lies with everyone who is affected) and the co-ordination and administration of any adopted policy (which is the job for delegates).

These egalitarian communities, founded by free agreement, also freely associate together in confederations. Such a free confederation would be run from the bottom up, with decisions following from the elemental assemblies upwards. The confederations would be run in the same manner as the collectives. There would be regular local regional, "national" and international conferences in which all important issues and problems affecting the collectives involved would be discussed. In addition, the fundamental, guiding principles and ideas of society would be debated and policy decisions made, put into practice, reviewed, and co-ordinated.

Action committees would be formed, if required, to co-ordinate and administer the decisions of the assemblies and their congresses, under strict control from below as discussed above. Delegates to such bodies would have a limited tenure and, like the delegates to the congresses, have a fixed mandate -- they are not able to make decisions on behalf of the people they are delegates for. In addition, like the delegates to conferences and congresses, they would be subject to instant recall by the assemblies and congresses from which they emerged in the first place. In this way any committees required to co-ordinate join activities would be, to quote Malatesta's words, "always under the direct control of the population." [Life and Ideas, p. 175]

Most importantly, the basic community assemblies can overturn any decisions reached by the conferences and withdraw from any confederation. Any compromises that are made by a delegate during negotiations have to go back to a general assembly for ratification. Without that ratification any compromises that are made by a delegate are not binding on the community that has delegated a particular task to a particular individual or committee. In addition, they can call confederal conferences to discuss new developments and to inform action committees about changing wishes and to instruct them on what to do about any developments and ideas.

In other words, any delegates required within an anarchist organisation or society are not representatives (as they are in a democratic government). Kropotkin makes the difference clear:


"The question of true delegation versus representation can be better understood if one imagines a hundred or two hundred men [and women], who meet each day in their work and share common concerns . . . who have discussed every aspect of the question that concerns them and have reached a decision. They then choose someone and send him [or her] to reach an agreement with other delegates of the same kind. . . The delegate is not authorised to do more than explain to other delegates the considerations that have led his [or her] colleagues to their conclusion. Not being able to impose anything, he [or she] will seek an understanding and will return with a simple proposition which his mandatories can accept or refuse. This is what happens when true delegation comes into being." [Words of a Rebel, p. 132]
Unlike in a representative system, power is not delegated into the hands of the few. Rather, any delegate is simply a mouthpiece for the association that elected (or otherwise selected) them in the first place. All delegates and action committees would be mandated and subject to instant recall to ensure they express the wishes of the assemblies they came from rather than their own. In this way government is replaced by anarchy, a network of free associations and communities co-operating as equals based on a system of mandated delegates, instant recall, free agreement and free federation from the bottom up.

This network of anarchist communities would work on three levels. There would be "independent Communes for the territorial organisation, and of federations of Trade Unions [i.e. workplace associations] for the organisation of men [and women] in accordance with their different functions. . . [and] free combines and societies . . . for the satisfaction of all possible and imaginable needs, economic, sanitary, and educational; for mutual protection, for the propaganda of ideas, for arts, for amusement, and so on." [Peter Kropotkin, Evolution and Environment, p. 79] All would be based on self-management, free association, free federation and self-organisation from the bottom up.

By organising in this manner, hierarchy is abolished in all aspects of life, because the people at the base of the organisation are in control, not their delegates. Only this form of organisation can replace government (the initiative and empowerment of the few) with anarchy (the initiative and empowerment of all). This form of organisation would exist in all activities which required group work and the co-ordination of many people. It would be, as Bakunin said, the means "to integrate individuals into structures which they could understand and control." For individual initiatives, the individual involved would manage them.

As can be seen, anarchists wish to create a society based upon structures that ensure that no individual or group is able to wield power over others. Free agreement, confederation and the power of recall, fixed mandates and limited tenure are mechanisms by which power is removed from the hands of governments and placed in the hands of those directly affected by the decisions. For a fuller discussion on what an anarchist society would look like see section I.


A.2.10 What will abolishing hierarchy mean and achieve?
The creation of a new society based upon libertarian organisations will have an incalculable effect on everyday life. The empowerment of millions of people will transform society in ways we can only guess at now. However, many consider these forms of organisation as impractical and doomed to failure.

To those who say that such confederal, non-authoritarian organisations would produce confusion and disunity, anarchists maintain that the statist, centralised and hierarchical form of organisation produces indifference instead of involvement, heartlessness instead of solidarity, uniformity instead of unity, and privileged elites instead of equality. More importantly, such organisations destroy individual initiative and crush independent action and critical thinking. (For more on hierarchy, see section B.1- "Why are anarchists against authority and hierarchy?" - and related sections).

That libertarian organisation can work and is based upon (and promotes) liberty was demonstrated in the Spanish Anarchist movement. Fenner Brockway, Secretary of the British Independent Labour Party, when visiting Barcelona during the 1936 revolution, noted that "the great solidarity that existed among the Anarchists was due to each individual relying on his [sic] own strength and not depending upon leadership. . . . The organisations must, to be successful, be combined with free-thinking people; not a mass, but free individuals" [quoted by Rudolf Rocker, Anarcho-syndicalism, p. 58]

As sufficiently indicated already, hierarchical, centralised structures restrict freedom. As Proudhon noted: "the centralist system is all very well as regards size, simplicity and construction: it lacks but one thing -- the individual no longer belongs to himself in such a system, he cannot feel his worth, his life, and no account is taken of him at all." [quoted in Paths in Utopia, Martin Buber, p. 33]

The effects of hierarchy can be seen all around us. It does not work. Hierarchy and authority exist everywhere, in the workplace, at home, in the street. As Bob Black puts it, "If you spend most of your waking life taking orders or kissing ass, if you get habituated to hierarchy, you will become passive-aggressive, sado-masochistic, servile and stupefied, and you will carry that load into every aspect of the balance of your life." [The Libertarian as Conservative]

This means that the end of hierarchy will mean a massive transformation in everyday life. It will involve the creation of individual-centred organisations within which all can exercise, and so develop, their abilities to the fullest. By involving themselves and participating in the decisions that affect them, their workplace, their community and society, they can ensure the full development of their individual capacities.

Only self-determination and free agreement on every level of society can develop the responsibility, initiative, intellect and solidarity of individuals and society as a whole. Only anarchist organisation allows the vast talent which exists within humanity to be accessed and used, enriching society by the very process of enriching and developing the individual. Only by involving everyone in the process of thinking, planning, co-ordinating and implementing the decisions that affect them can freedom blossom and individuality be fully developed and protected. Anarchy will release the creativity and talent of the mass of people enslaved by hierarchy.

Anarchy will even be of benefit for those who are said to benefit from capitalism and its authority relations. Anarchists "maintain that both rulers and ruled are spoiled by authority; both exploiters and exploited are spoiled by exploitation." [Peter Kropotkin, Act for Yourselves, p. 83] This is because "[i]n any hierarchical relationship the dominator as well as the submissive pays his dues. The price paid for the 'glory of command' is indeed heavy. Every tyrant resents his duties. He is relegated to drag the dead weight of the dormant creative potential of the submissive all along the road of his hierarchical excursion." [For Ourselves, The Right to Be Greedy]
















We may make past editions of the newsletter available for download.