Anarchism A definition • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Political authority in all its forms and especially in the form of the state is both evil and unnecessary. Anarchists look to a stateless society through abolition of law and government. The state is evil because as repository of sovereign ,compulsory and coercive authority it is an offence against principles freedom and equality. Core value of anarchism is unrestricted personal autonomy.. State is unnecessary because order and social harmony can arise naturally and spontaneously requiring no direction from above. It is utopian and has highly optimistic assumptions regarding human behaviour but draws on two different ideological traditions- liberalism and socialism hence rival individualist and collective forms of anarchism. First classic statement anarchist principles William Godwin Enquiry Concerning Political Justice (1793). C19 anarchism significant component growing socialist movement.. Late C19 anarchists sought support amongst landless peasants Russia and southern Europe but more successfully through anarcho-syndicalism industrial working classes. Syndicalism is a form of revolutionary trades unionism based on class war and emphasises use direct action and general strike.. Syndicalism popular France, Italy and Spain and a genuine mass movement early C20 CGT union France and CNT Spain and anarcho syndicalism movements spread to South America. However, undermined both South America and Europe by repressive authoritarianism and by influence and success of Bolsheviks in Russia. The one ideology which has never achieved power at a national level hence anarchists look to historical societies that reflect their principles such as cities Ancient Greece, Medieval Europe traditional peasant communes Russian Mir or egalitarian nature many traditional societies. Anarchism undermine by fact its goal of overthrow state and dismantle all forms political authority considered unrealistic. Anarchists reject as corrupting conventional means exercise political influence- forming political parties standing for elections- depriving themselves in this way advantages political organisation and strategic planning placing faith in mass spontaneity Anti statism • Sebastien Faure in Encyclopedie anarchiste defined anarchism as ‘the negation of the principle of Authority’ • • • • Why do anarchists oppose authority? An offence against principles of freedom and equality. Anarchism unique as it endorses principles absolute freedom and political equality. Authority is based on political inequality as it gives the alleged right of one person to dominate another and in the process corrupts and damages both authority and those under it. Since humans are free and autonomous creatures, being subject to authority diminishes the subject and suppresses their essential nature and forces them to succumb to debilitating dependency. To be in authority gives rise to a ‘psychology of power’ based on a pattern ‘dominance and submission’. The US anarchist Paul Goodman (1911-1972) described such society many are ruthless and most live in fear . Anarchism defined by rejection of state power. Anarchists reject liberal notion that political authority arises from voluntary agreement . The state is a coercive body enforcing obedience to its laws on fear punishment. Emma Goldman (1869-1940) government symbolised by the club, the gun, the handcuff or the prison. The state is exploitative in that it robs individuals of property via taxation. The state in alliance with wealthy and privileged serves to oppress poor and weak. The state is destructive, Randolph Bourne (1886-1918) war is the health of the state individuals required to ght in wars invariably about territorial expansion, plunder, national glory. Anarchist view of state also triggered by concern of corrupting influence political authority and economic inequality- Circumstances in which they live. Power in any shape or form will corrupt absolutely • • • • • • • Natural order • • • • Anarchists believe the state unnecessary William Godwin (1756-1836) in Enquiry Concerning political Justice (1773) argued that via education and social conditioning humans capable genuinely disinterested benevolence. As rational beings, humans inclined by education and enlightenment to live in accordance with truth and universal moral laws. In his view, it is corrupting influence of government and unnatural laws rather than original sin that creates injustice, greed and aggression- government is the cause and not the solution. At heart of anarchism is utopianism- social order arises naturally and requires no machinery of law and order. Collectivist anarchists stress human capacity for sociable cooperative behaviour whilst individualist anarchists highlight importance of enlightened reason. Proudhon, Bakunin and Kropotkin accept that a capacity for corruption lurks within each individual. Human nature is plastic. Opponents of anarchism have argued that however socially enlightened institutions may be, if selfish or negative impulses are basic to human nature the prospect of natural order is utopian dream. Anti clericalism • Historically, anarchists expressed as much bitterness towrds the church as the state- prospered therefore in countries with strong religious traditions such as Spain, France and Italy. • Idea of God represents the notion of a supreme being who commands absolute obedience. For Proudhon and Bakunin only with rejection of Christianity could human beings be free and independent. Also earthly rulers often look to religion to legitimise power. • Religion seeks to impose set moral principles on individual robbing the individual of moral autonomy. • However, anarchists do not reject religious impulse entirely- holding essentially spiritual conception human nature a utopian belief in virtual unlimited possibilities human self development. Early anarchists sometimes influenced by millenarianism a sudden and complete emancipation from misery and oppression. Economic freedom • • • • • • Aim of anarchism is not just overthrow of state but social/economic transformation. Bakunin (1814-1876) political power and wealth are inseparable. Capitalism was understood in terms of class- ruling class exploits and oppresses however Bakunin defined it more broadly- anyone who exercised wealth, privilege and power so included Kings, police and judges etc… According to Bakunin society was divided into an exploited class which exploited others, a ruling elite at the top and the vast majority who were exploited. All anarchists opposed managed capitalism of post 1945 as propping up a system class exploitation. Individualist anarchists suggest state intervention distort competitive market creating public and private monopolies. Both individualist and collectivist anarchists oppose state socialism of Soviet model as a contradiction as the state replaces capitalism as the means of exploitation. Anarchists of all kinds preference for an economy where free individuals manage affairs without state regulation but this does not preclude very different economic models under anarchism. Collectivist (social) anarchism • • • • • Philosophical roots of this lie in socialism. At heart humans are sociable, gregarious and cooperative- when people are linked together by recognition of common humanity they do not require regulation by government.. Bakunin Social solidarity is the first human law; freedom is the second law. Government only makes social solidarity impossible by replacing freedom with oppression. Like Marxism, anarchism rejection of capitalism as system class exploitation and structural injustice. Also believe in revolution as means to bring about political change, a preference for collective ownership, a communist society would be anarchic, humans have no need for political authority. Anarchism differs from socialism on dismissal parliamentary socialism as a contradiction in terms. It is impossible to humanise capitalism and any expansion of role of the state will entrench oppression. Anarchists reject proletarian dictatorship as another form of evil and oppression. The state cannot be allowed to wither away, it must be abolished. Mutualism • A system of fair and equitable exchange in which individuals/ groups bargain with one another, trading goods and services without profit/exploitation. • Pierre-Joseph Proudhon (1809-65) in What is Property? (1840) rejected traditional property rights and communism ( not opposed to all forms private property admired independence and initiative small holding peasants, craftsmen and artisans- admired the watchmakers of Switzerland who managed their affairs on basis mutual cooperation), arguing for mutualism a cooperative productive system geared towrds need not profit and organised in self governing communities. Also Property is theft. • Mutualism would produce social interaction in a system which was voluntary, mutually beneficial and harmonious requiring no government intervention Anarcho-syndicalism • • • • • • Anarcho syndicalism was the only way anarchism developed into a mass movement C19 and C20. Syndicalism is a form of revolutionary trades unionism from French syndicat. First emerge in France CGT pre 1924 and spread to Italy, S. America, USA and Spain Workers and peasants oppressed and industrialists, landlords, politicians, judges, police as exploiters. Workers would from syndicats which would act in same way as trades’ unions but were revolutionary. Georges Sorel (1847-1922) in Reflections on Violence (1908) a revolution would come via general strike revolution of empty hands. For Sorel the general strike was a myth a symbol of working class power. Two features inspired anarchists about syndicalism- reject conventional politics as corrupting and pointless, working class power exerted through direct actionultimately the general strike. Secondly, the syndicates a model for democratic, grass roots decentralised society of the future. Anarcho syndicalism had genuine mass support e.g. pre SCW but failed to develop a clear political theory of revolution relying on spontaneous uprising of the masses. It was also criticised for over concentrate on short term trade union goals. Anarcho-Communism • • • • • In most radical form a belief in social solidarity leads to full communism (common ownership of wealth). All forms of private property is theft as it represents exploitation of the workers who produce the wealth, and encourages selfishness and promotes conflict. Anarcho-Communism is highly optimistic about human capacity for cooperation or ‘mutual aid Peter Kropotkin (1842-1921)- drawing on theory of evolution he saw mutual aid as principal means of human and animal development i.e. challenges Darwin. Arguing against social Darwinist theory of Herbert Spencer (1820-1903) who saw humans as naturally competitive and aggressive, successful species must have a propensity for mutual aid. Mutual aid flourished in Ancient Greece and city states Medieval Europe but was subverted by capitalism. Proudhon argued that communism could only be brought about by authoritarian state anarchists like Kropotkin argue that true communism requires the abolition of the state, a collection of self sufficient communes. For anarcho communist the communal organisation of social and economic life has three key advantages; communes are based on principle sharing and collective endeavour, strengthen bonds compassion/solidarity, keep greed and selfishness at bay, Secondly, decisions are made via process participatory or direct democracy which guarantees high level popular participation and political equality. Third they are small scale communities allowing humans to manage affairs via face to face interaction. Centralisation always asscoaited with depersoanlised bureaucratic social process. Individualistic anarchism • Philosophical basis of individualist anarchism lies in liberal idea of the sovereign individual but pushes it to logical extreme- i.e. individual sovereignty- absolute and unlimited sovereignty. • Any constraint on the individual is evil, the individual cannot be sovereign in a society ruled by law and government. • Unlike anarchists liberals believe that individual liberty cannot be guaranteed in stateless society. However anarchists believe that individuals can conduct themselves peacefully, harmoniously and prosperously without government individuals are rational and moral creatures. • Unlike liberals who believe that government can be tamed by development of representative institutions, constitutions which limit government power, checks and balances, regular elections which anarchists see all this as façade as all laws infringe liberty and all states an offence against individual liberty. Egoism • Max Stirner (1806-56) in The Ego and His Own (1845). • Egoism can mean all individuals are self seeking- this was accepted by Hobbes and Locke and because it can generate conflict amongst individuals can justify existence of state • Or • In Stirner view individual self is at centre of moral universe who can act as he chooses without consideration for law, social conventions, religious/moral principles. It points towrds nihilism or a belief in nothing. It also points to atheism and extreme form of individualist anarchism Libertarianism • • The belief that the individual should enjoy widest possible realm of freedom. David Thoreau (1817-62) adapted Tho. Jefferson motto that government is best which governs least to that government is best which governs not at all. The individual has to be faithful only to his conscience and do what he believes right irrespective of social demands or laws and can lead to a justification for civil disobedience. Benjamin Tucker (1854-1939) believed that autonomous individuals could live and work together without danger of conflict or disorder. Godwin argued that human rationality meant that disagreement could be resolved by reasoned discussion. Extreme individualists such as Tucker op cit and Josiah Warren argued some sort of mechanism through which independent actions of free individuals could be harmonised. Tucker and Warren said this could be done via system market exchange. Warren said whilst individuals a sovereign right to property they produce by logic are forced to work with others to gain advantages of division of labour- ‘labour for labour’ exchange and creation ‘time stores’ through which one person’s labour exchanged for promise for labour in kind. Tucker said genuine anarchism is consistent anarchism referring to C19 free market principles Cobden/Bright Anarcho-capitalism • • • • • Murray Rothbard (1926-95) and Ayn Rand (1905-82) and David Friedman pushing free market principles to the limit have developed a form of anarcho capitalism, government should be abolished and replaced by unregulated market competition. Property should be owned by private individuals who may choose to enter into contracts in pursuit of self interest. The market beyond control of any individual or group regulates all social interaction. Free market liberals argue that some services –maintenance domestic order, protection against external attack, enforcement contracts are ‘public goods’ cannot be supplied via market competition but by the state. Rothbard however recognised that individuals will seek protection from one another and can be delivered competitively by privately owned protection associations or private courts. Profit making protection agencies better service than present police because competition provides consumers with choice forcing agencies to be cheap, efficient and responsive to consumer needs. Private courts would develop a reputation for fairness to attract custom from individuals to resolve conflict. Unlike the state, contracts made with private agencies would be entirely voluntary regulated only by impersonal market forces. In the USA several states use private prisons, in UK private prisons and use of private protection agencies. Schemes such as Neighbourhood Watch transfer responsibility for public order from police to neighbourhood. Anarchism • • • • • • • • • • • Individualist Ultra-liberalism Extreme Individualism Sovereign individual Civil disobedience Atomism Egoism Contractual obligation Market mechanism Private property Anarcho-capitalism • • • • • • • • • • • Collectivist Ultra-socialism Extreme collectivism Common humanity Social revolution Class politics Cooperation/mutualism Social duty Communal organization Common ownership Anarcho-communism Roads to anarchy • Traditionally turned away from active politics concentrating on writing or experiments in communal living. • As state regarded as evil anarchists reject attempts to win power. • Anarchists also reject political parties as bureaucratic and hierarchic… Revolutionary violence • • • • C19 anarchist leaders try to induce oppressed masses to revolt. Bakunin led The Alliance for Social democracy took part in risings France, Italy. Others such as Malatesta in Italy, Populists (Russia) and Zapata in Mexico worked for peasant revolution- however filed as the uprisings having faith in spontaneous uprising lack organisation- instead turn towrds syndicalist and more disciplined communist movement. Late 1890s and 1970s peak in terrorist violence (clandestine violence). Terrorism designed to induce climate of fear for political ends. Typical anarchist terrorist lone or small group- People’s Will in Russia. 1970s Baader-Meinhof West Germany, Italian Red Brigades, Japanese Red Army, Angry Brigade in UK. Why? Violence is a form of revenge or retribution originating in oppression by state against oppressed masses, therefore a form of revolutionary justice. Also aims to demoralise ruling classes and a way of stimulate masses to revolt. It has failed because anarchist violence is counterproductive provoking public horror and outrage and failed to persuade ruling class to relinquish power. Violence challenge the state on the territory on which its superiority is clearly overwhelming. In 1890s and 1970s only encouraged state to expand and strengthen repressive machinery generally with public backing. Direct Action • • • • • Political action taken outside the constitutional and legal framework- can be passive resistance or terrorism. Anarcho syndicalists refusing to take part in conventional representative politics, pressure their employers by boycott products, industrial sabotage, strike action. Modern anti globalisation movement strategy mass popular protest and direct political engagement. For anarchist such action has two advantages Firstly uncontaminated by processes of government and machinery of state therefore opposition can be expressed openly and honestly rather than be diverted in constitutional direction or managed by professional politicians. Secondly, it can be organised on basis decentralisation and participatory decision making. This is sometimes seen as ‘new politics’ turning away from more conventional politics of established parties/pressure groups, representative institutions towrds innovative/theatrical forms protest examples new social movements. However it may damage public reputation by opening it to charge of extremism, and while attract media attention may restrict political influence because leads to group being defined as outsider. Non-violence • Most anarchists see violence as tactically misguided. Godwin and Proudhon condemn it in principle… • Non violence reflects a respect for human beings as moral and autonomous creatures. Optimistic view of human nature therefore dictates other people are treated with compassion and respect. • To refrain from force especially when subjected to intimidation and provocation demonstrates strength and moral purity of one’s convictions. However, anarchists who attracted to principles pacifism and non-violence shy away from mass political activism, preferring to build model communities which reflect principles cooperation and mutual respect. They hope that anarchist ideas will be spread not by political campaigns and demonstrations but via contrast between peace and contentment in such communities and the quiet desperation (Thoreau) that typifies life in conventional society. The 21st Century • • • • • • Anarchism has challenged and thereby fertilised other political creeds. Anarchists have highlighted coercive and destructive nature of political power thereby countering statist tendencies within other ideologies e.g. liberalism, socialism ,conservatism. Anarchism a growing influence on modern political thought- left and right exhibited libertarian tendencies which bear imprint anarchist thought. New left encompassed wide range movements 1960s/70s e.g. student activism, anti colonialism, feminism, environmentalism. Unifying theme new left was goal of ‘liberation’ to mean personal fulfilment, endorsing an activist style of politics based on popular protest and direct action. New right also emphasise importance individual freedom but via market competition. Anarchocapitalists sought to highlight what they see as evils state intervention. Anarchists have addressed issues such as pollution, environmental destruction, consumerism ( personal happiness equated with material possessions) urban development, gender, global inequality. Many of these concerns expressed via modern social movements such as anticapitalist or anti-globalisation. T argue that anarchism is over because no longer a mass movement is to forget that as world becomes more complex and fragmented mass politics is over. By association with values such as individualism, participation, decentralisation and equality anarchism may be better equipped than other political creeds to respond to challenges post modernity.