Sunday, March 20, 2016
When using the word “anarchism,” I don’t mean it as a blueprint for some utopia. I mean it as an ideal, or a standard of human relations that can guide us in trying to make a better world. This standard is simply that *voluntary* human relations are the opposite of power relations, and that communities are best organized by voluntary relations. That is, relations among equals, and not between rulers and subjects.
The word ‘anarchy’ itself comes from the Greek word “anarkhos”, from an- ‘without’ + arkhos ‘ rulers.’ To the extent that a community replaces power relations with voluntary ones, it moves closer to the ideal.
If human nature is violent and destructive, then anarchism is a fantasy at best, and violence and chaos at worst. But if human nature is ingenious and cooperative, then anarchy is the *ONLY* way that humanity can thrive, and the way we *DID* thrive for a quarter of a million years. In fact, if we define ‘liberty’ as the absence of domination, then we see that ‘liberty’ is just another word for anarchism.
How would an anarchist world work? Don’t ask me. *THAT* is for the individuals of the world to decide. The idea that some people can tell others how to live is the opposite of anarchism.
For 6,000 years, more and more of the world’s population has lived under domination. Even under this burden, communities *everywhere* have adapted brilliantly, and made as fit a way of life as possible for themselves. If this adaptive brilliance were freed from domination, people would create ways of living that work better than anything we’ve seen for ages! ‘Anarchism’ simply means that they should be free to do so.
If all of this seems impossible, we must ask: “Why?” No one has ever tried to abolish domination, so this judgement cannot be based on historical experience. In fact, the *feeling* that domination is inevitable comes from domestication. Any animal trainer knows that the animal must understand who is in charge and that there’s *no* alternative. We’ve lived under human domestication for hundreds of generations now, so naturally we’re brought up knowing who is in charge and that there’s no alternative. But that is *PRECISELY* domestication: to accept our *captivity* and learn to live under the yoke!
The first and most important step is to believe that we *CAN* be free, and that we have *EVERY* right to throw off the yoke! The feeling that we are powerless, or that our nature is something other than ingenious and cooperative is domination’s most powerful tool against us!
- Chris Chew/FB