Image hosted by

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Primer Tract

Everything you ever wanted to know about anarchism but were afraid to ask is a fairly short primer. Not a bad introduction to anarchism, despite the grand title--there's a lot I want to know, more than is in Everything you ever wanted to know about anarchism but were afraid to ask. I guess I'm bringing this up because I'm going to attend a seminar at the university tomorrow, and I've been backsliding on the thesis. Going to have to get motivated again.

Anyway, from the tract in question:

"It is no accident that the sinister image of the mad anarchist is so accepted. The State, the press and all the assorted authoritarian types, use every means at their disposal to present anarchy as an unthinkable state of carnage and chaos. We can expect little else from power-mongers who would have no power to monger if we had our way. They have to believe that authority and obedience are essential in order to justify their own crimes to themselves. The TV, press and films all preach obedience, and when anarchy is mentioned at all, it is presented as mindless destruction.

"The alleged necessity of authority is so firmly planted in the average mind that anarchy, which means simply 'no government' is almost unthinkable to most people. The same people, on the other hand, will admit that rules, regulations, taxes, officiousness and abuse of power (to name but a few) are irritating to say the least. These things are usually thought to be worth suffering in silence because the alternative - no power, no authority, everybody doing what they pleased - would be horrible. It would be anarchy.

"Yet there are a limitless range of possible societies without the State. Not all of them would be unpleasant to live in. Quite the contrary! Any kind of anarchist society would at least be spared the horrible distortions the State produces. The 'negative' side of anarchism - abolition of the State - has to be balanced against what replaces it - a society of freedom and free co-operation."

Btw, the seminar is titled, Should International Aid Agencies aim for Global Justice?


  • For a comment on anarchy, see

    By Blogger Rich, At 5:23 am  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home