Friday, June 20, 2008

Notes on Socialism and Anarchism

Socialism Has Never Been Tried

When It Is Tried It Must Be Established Globally

World Socialism Can Only Be Brought About Democratically
We begin with these three points because they are vital to any kind of an understanding of what we mean by socialism.

We reject the idea that socialism has been tried in countries sometimes referred to as socialist. Look below at our definition of socialism and ask yourself if this in any way describes the state capitalist, police states of modern China and Cuba or the old regimes in Russia and eastern Europe, or the past and present "social-democratic" governments in many countries.

We reject the idea of socialism in one country. National socialism equals non-socialism. The capitalist system is global and so must the system which will replace it.

We reject the idea that people can be led into socialism. Socialism will not be established by good leaders or battling armies, but by thinking men, women and children. There can be no socialism without socialists.

So what does Socialism mean then?

That's a straight question, so here's a straight answer.

Socialism means a global system of social organization based on:

Common Ownership: All the productive wealth of the world will belong to all the people of the world. No more transnational corporations or small businesses and therefore nobody will own the world. It will be possessed by all of its inhabitants.

Democratic Control By All: Who will run socialist society? We all will. There will be no more government and governed. People will make decisions freely in their communities, in regions and globally. With the existing means of information technology and mass communication this is all possible.

Production For Use: Instead of producing goods and services for sale and profit, the sole reason for production will be to satisfy needs and desires.

Free Access: A society in which everyone owns everything, decides everything and only produces anything because it is useful will be one in which all will have free access to what is produced. Money will cease to have any function. People will not work for wages or salaries, but to give what they can and take what they need.


There is probably more rubbish talked about anarchism than any other political idea. Actually, it has nothing to do with a belief in chaos, death and destruction. Anarchists do not normally carry bombs, nor do they ascribe any virtue to beating up old ladies.

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.

There is nothing complicated or threatening about anarchism, except the fearsome arguments it can get you into. Such as the one about the chaos there would be if everyone did just what they wanted. But we have chaos already don't we? Millions are out of work, whilst others do too much boring, repetitive labour. People starve at the same time as food is being dumped into the sea to keep prices up. Our air is choked by the fumes from cars that contain only one person. The list of crazy, chaotic things that happen is endless.

Even the good' things that the State does are actually harmful. The Health Service, for example, patches us up just like an industrial repair shop which in a sense it is. It serves to make us dependent on the State and, worst of all, it buys us off cheaply. It prevents us from creating the genuine, self-managed Health Service we need, geared to our needs not theirs.

Within anarchism there are many different but related ideas. There are complete systems of anarchist political theory going by names like federalism, mutualism, individualism, syndicalism, anarchist-communism, anarcha-feminism, situationism, and so on.

Traditionally, anarchists believe that the main problem with the world is that it is divided into masters and `wage slaves'. If we could get rid of the bosses and run industry ourselves, for the benefit of our own needs not theirs, it would clearly make a big improvement and would transform every area of life.

There are, however, some anarchists who believe the working class is so used to being enslaved that some other route to revolution will have to be found.

... there is a concern for the rights of the individual running through anarchism. There is no point in all our activities and theorising if it is not eventually going to make life better for individuals like you and me.

Unlike marxists and other fake socialists, we believe in at least trying to live out our principles in everyday life. If you believe in equality you should treat people as equals as far as you can. An anarchist would be less likely to forgive Marx's ill treatment of his servants and his wife than a marxist would!

The ways people treat each other add up to make society as a whole. In an insane society like this one, people treat each other badly.

Direct action can be used to change the conditions of houses, streets, schools, hospitals, and other amenities. Such reforms have, in themselves, little to contribute towards building an anarchist society, but making people aware of the potential of direct action is important. At best such actions foster feelings of community spirit and promote self organisation. They raise politic l consciousness. At worst they lead to feelings of hopelessness and complete disillusionment with the human race. These feelings may drag you to political suicide. Such `has-beens' are to be seen in many Labour Party gatherings.

What sort of actions are we talking about? Well if you're short of a house, then consider squatting. It by-passes the authorities in charge of housing and challenges property relations. It effectively demonstrates the disgrace of empty houses side by side with homelessness. Unfortunately, popular prejudice hinders squatting from obtaining the wider support necessary for real change.

The community life of the street can be improved by festivals, street theatre, and so on. Of course this sort of thing can have its drawbacks too, unless you're the sort of anarchist that's into Lady Di and her mates!

Anarchists have participated in and often dreamt up all sorts of self-help schemes. These include making better use of land, labour swapping schemes, consumer product sharing schemes. Again these encourage independence and demonstrate that alternative forms of economic exchange are viable. Beware paid community workers wishing to professionalise the idea and destroy its real benefits by making it part of the system.

For more detailed consideration of anarchist theory, we have provided a booklist for further reading. We have listed areas of activity and outlined the anarchist approach. We have made no attempt to indicate which types of activity are most likely to lead to a non-authoritarian future. From Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Anarchy
(But Were Afraid To Ask)

By: The Anarchist Media Group

Also check this out:

When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross. - Sinclair Lewis (1935)

If we choose, we can live in a world of comforting illusion. - Noam Chomsky

Propaganda is to a democracy what the bludgeon is to a totalitarian state. - Noam Chomsky

To be governed is to be watched over, inspected, spied on, directed, legislated over, regulated, docketed, indoctrinated, preached at, controlled, assessed, weighed, censored, ordered about, by men who have neither right, nor knowledge, nor virtue. - Pierre-Joseph Proudhon

The state calls its own violence law, but that of the individual, crime. - Max Stirner

You can't fight City Hall, but you can goddamn sure blow it up. - George Carlin

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