Anarchy literally means 'without rulers'. Anarchism I think of as a political philosophy meaning 'avoiding all unnecessary hierarchy'.
anarchism represents a theorisation of how society can be structured to enable liberty and solidarity, a society based on the principle of mutual aid, where the needs of all are met through cooperation and the sharing of resources.
Real political change comes from below and from many points, not from above and from a center. "The anarchist alternative is that of fragmentation, fission rather than fusion, diversity rather than unity, a mass of societies rather than a mass society."
It is also not a form of amoralism. By refusing to submit to an ideal of “the good,” anarchism does not reject morality.
Nonetheless, anarchism has always been centrally concerned with self-organisation, with how groups of people can collectively govern themselves and make decisions about how they want to exist as a community.
5 Elsewhere in the garden
Notes that link to this note (AKA backlinks).
I would describe myself as an anti-capitalist, sitting somewhere on the spectrum of revolutionary socialism. I read plenty about anarchism and Marxism, but not too sure yet where I'd place myself. Somewhere in between the horizontal and the vertical. Interested in but not very knowledgeable about autonomism of late.
In the opening essay, “The Communalist Project,” Bookchin situates Communalism vis-à-vis other left ideologies, arguing that the world has changed significantly from the times that birthed anarchism and Marxism; he contends that these older ideologies are no longer capable of addressing the new and highly generalized problems posed by the modern world, from global warming to postindustrialization.
Potentially a bit of a linkage between post-structuralism and anarchism and horizontalism (Revolutionary Left Radio: Post-Structuralism, Postmodernism, and… Metamodernism?)
- The importance of social media
- Anarchist Cybernetics
Memory/narrative. Given the importance of strategy and grand strategy in anarchist cybernetics, functionality in an alternative digital platform to support long-term planning, for example through facilitating a narrative- or memory-focused layer to communication and organising, would be essential. This would entail a shift away from the short-term stream-centred approach of mainstream social media, where users experience content as isolated posts with little relation to what has come before them or what will follow them.
- The Dispossessed
It was indeed a great book. Beautifully written. The story revolves around the life of Shevek, an inhabitant of the world of Anarres. The central premise is that Anarres is a world where anarchism is the predominant political system, founded by individuals who splintered away from the neighbouring world of Urras many years ago to start a different society. The life and travels of Shevek serve as the vessel for contrasting full-blown anarchism with full-blown capitalism, as he visits and explores the country of A-Io on Urras. A-Io is patriarchy and individualism dialled up to 11. The book provides many moments of point and counterpoint on the merits and dismerits of individualism and communalism when both go to their extremes.
That essay’s groundbreaking synthesis of anarchism, ecology, and decentralization was the first to equate the grow-or-die logic of capitalism with the ecological destruction of the planet and presented a profound new understanding of capitalism’s impact on the environment as well as social relations.
Sometimes the term is used interchangeably with anarchism, an ideology which entails opposing authority or hierarchical organization in the conduct of human relations, including the state system.
On the left, how do you go about organising. Very broadly speaking - horizontalism being a more distributed anarchist approach, verticalism being a more communist approach with a strong organising party.