“Freedom without socialism is privilege and injustice. Socialism without freedom is slavery and brutality.”
– Mikhail Bakunin, 1867
Freedom and Equality
Fundamentally, anarchism is the struggle for freedom and equality. Freedom from the rulers and corporations who dominate our lives and are destroying our earth. Freedom for workers, women, Aborigines and all oppressed people in all parts of the world. Anarchists believe that this sort of freedom can only be achieved together with equality and a fair distribution of resources.
Anarchists assert that a truly free and equal society can only be achieved through revolution: meaning a complete transformation of society. This transformation cannot be ‘given’ to the people by politicians or bureaucrats. It must be built and enacted from below.
Individual & Collective
Anarchists believe in the inherent dignity and humanity of the individual. But this dignity canonly be fully realised in a co-operative, egalitarian society. This is why we are in favour of working together collectively and being organised. Anarchism is not individualism or chaos.
Anarchists oppose the violence which is an integral part of capitalism and the State (this violence comes in many forms: war, work, patriarchy etc). We also oppose the use of violence by militants against civilian populations (whichis much less widespread). We believe that means shape ends – in other words, the way we struggle will shape the outcome of that struggle. This is why we also do not support the strategy of taking State power, whether by parliamentary stooges, religious zealouts or by authoritarian Leninists.
However, anarchists do believe in direct action – action taken by everyday people to cause immediate problems for bosses & politicians. This might include striking, sabotage of mining equipment, or damaging property. Anarchists support the right of people to fight back against the system.
What might an anarchist society be like?
- In an anarchist society, the world’s resources would be held in common and shared with all the diverse life on Earth.
- People would manage their own lives, communities and workplaces, and everyone would have a say in decision-making through decentralised forms of organisation.
- Relationships in all areas of life would be based on mutual respect, regardless of gender, race, age, sexual orientation, disability, culture etc.
- Work would be changed to be meaningful and creative. Unpopular or difficult jobs would be shared.
- Education would be integrated into daily life to produce free people who can think for themselves.
- Goods and services would be produced ecologically for human needs, and provided by way of mutual exchange.
Here are some good websites with more anarchist ideas. You could also check out our links page.
You could also download this intro as a leaflet, or if you'd like us to send you a paper version (or 100 to give to your friends!), just email us or drop in. (Photos in the leaflet of Palmar Grasp and Corpus thanks to ZK Photo. Other images come from the Jura poster archive.)