?

Log in

No account? Create an account

Definitions of Anarchism - The Life and Thoughts of Zach

Sep. 20th, 2004

12:36 pm - Definitions of Anarchism

Previous Entry Share Next Entry

cassiopia is reading a lot of Starhawk (Anarchist Pagan) stuff lately and she came across a pretty good definition of Anarchist:

"Anarchist" means someone who contests all forms of hierarchy, coercion, and control rooted in domination. Some anarchists reject the state entirely, others make some accommodation with it. Anarchism envisions a world of greater freedom, where people are governed not through fear and force but through direct democracy and voluntary agreements. -Starhawk "Webs of Power"
I met Starhawk in Miami at the FTAA Protest. She did some of the most amazing work after the day of brutality to help generally calm and heal the psyches of the activists at the convergence space. I ran into her in NYC at the RNC Protest as she was being released from jail.

Of course then there's the Utah Phillips quote of the Ammon Hennacy definition:
An Anarchist is someone who doesn't need a cop to tell him what to do.

Comments:

[User Picture]
From:khudirambose
Date:September 20th, 2004 05:42 pm (UTC)
(Link)
All good definitions.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:ryanfirewitch
Date:September 20th, 2004 07:28 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Obligatory plug:

Starhawk is having a book signing in Chicago on October 22.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:boannan
Date:September 21st, 2004 12:48 am (UTC)
(Link)
so here's the problem I have with the Utah Phillips quote (and with anarchy in general - I guess that's not too surprising given the field I'm involved in ;) -- wouldn't you have to make sure that _every_ person knew how to behave without being told by a cop? Because a few bad apples, a few creepy people, could really do a lot of damage under an anarchist system. The thing that I like about the law (at least in theory) is that you have a floor for acceptable behavior -- I know it doesn't seem that way these days, given the cutbacks in welfare benefits and health insurance and all that, but the foundational idea that I like the most in law is that it's designed to protect the weak from the strong and cruel. (FTAA and RNC police involvement are pretty killer counter-examples to this idea, I know). How would you do that in an anarchist system, short of making sure every single person ostracizes and shuns the assholes? (sort of like the General Strike?)

I don't know. Maybe optimists are anarchists and pessimists are socialists. or libertarians. ;)
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:zarfmouse
Date:September 21st, 2004 03:18 am (UTC)
(Link)
See this post.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:zarfmouse
Date:September 21st, 2004 03:32 am (UTC)
(Link)
Anyway if Nathan S. can be a socialist stock trader...you could be an anarchist lawyer if you wanted to be.

I really don't think there's anything wrong with holding one set of philosophical, utopian values and performing some contradictory actions in order to make your way through life. We are, unfortunately, surrounded by a world of heirarchy and force. We can't just close our eyes to that. To survive in that world sometimes we have to participate in the game, to have our own little stash of power, our own little place in the heirarchy.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)