Anarchism An Overview D. Allen Dalton ECON 325 – Radical Economics Boise State University Fall 2014 What is Anarchism? • anarkhia – contrary to authority, without a ruler • arkhia – authority, ruler • Anarchy or anarchism? • Dictionary definitions – presuming the result • Response to gulf of power and riches What is Anarchism? “the name given to a principle or theory of life under which society is conceived without government – harmony in such a society being obtained, not by submission to law, or by obedience to any authority, but by free agreements, concluded between the various groups, territorial and professional, freely constituted for the sake of production and consumption, as also for the satisfaction of the infinite variety of needs and aspirations of a civilised being.” - Kropotkin, “Anarchism,” Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1905. The Great Anarchists • William Godwin (1756-1836) – Enquiry Concerning Political Justice (1793) • Pierre-Joseph Proudhon (1809-1865) – What Is Property? An Inquiry into the Principle of Right and Government (1840) – General Idea of the Revolution in the Nineteenth Century (1851) The Great Anarchists • Mikhail Bakunin (1814-1876) – Statism and Anarchy (1873) – God and the State (1882) • Pyotr Kropotkin (1842-1921) – The Conquest of Bread (1892-4) – Mutual Aid: A Factor of Evolution (1890-6) – Fields, Factories and Workshops (1912) Varieties of Anarchism • Anarchist-communism • Anarcho-syndicalism • Individualist anarchism – Mutualist anarchism – Anarcho-capitalism • Pacifist anarchism – Christian anarchism “…the ideal of a selforganizing society based on voluntary cooperation rather than coercion is irrepressible.” - Ward, Anarchism: A Very Short Introduction, p. 10 Anarchist Moments • Antecedents – – – – – – – – Medieval Iceland English Revolution 1640s– Levellers American Revolution French Revolution (Enragés) Revolutions of 1848 Paris Commune of 1870 Russian Revolution (Makhnovites) Anarcho-syndicalism Spanish Civil War 1930s State and Society • Distinction between state and society • Franz Oppenheimer, The State (1908) – Distinction between the political and economic means “I propose in the following discussion to call one's own labor and the equivalent exchange of one's own labor for the labor of others, the ‘economic means’ for the satisfaction of needs, while the unrequited appropriation of the labor of others will be called the ‘political means.’ “ -Oppenheimer, The State, p. 13 State and Society “The State, completely in its genesis, essentially and almost completely during the first stages of its existence, is a social institution, forced by a victorious group of men on a defeated group, with the sole purpose of regulating the dominion of the victorious group over the vanquished, and securing itself against revolt from within and attacks from abroad. Teleologically, this dominion had no other purpose than the economic exploitation of the vanquished by the victors.” - Oppenheimer, The State, p. 8 State and Society • • • Antecedents of welfare state in friendly societies, mutual aid organizations, fraternal brotherhoods Alternative to the “managerial state” – rise to prominence of professional technocrats Ward’s Four Principles of Anarchist Organization 1. 2. 3. 4. Voluntary Functional Temporary Small Nationalism and Religion • Sources of division and conflict that increase the strength of the State in human relations • Anarchist response – Engagement or Abstention? – Liberalism, socialism, communism all products of the Age of Reason – National socialism (fascism) – reaction • The special case of Christian Anarchism Anarchy and Prison Reform • Nineteenth and early Twentieth century anarchists were first-hand acquaintances with the Prison system – Political, anti-war and “free love” activities – Kropotkin • In Russian and French Prisons (1887) • “prisons are the universities of crime” – Alexander Berkman • Prison Memoirs of an Anarchist (1912) • Decriminalization Anarchy and Workplace • Authority in the workplace – Many anarchist pioneers linked to early trade and industrial unionism – Confédération Générale du Travial (CGT) – France – Confederación Nacional del Trabajo (CNT) – Spain – Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) – US • Small-scale economy – Kropotkin’s Fields, Factories andWorkshops – Economies of scale in industry – Small businessmen Anarchy and Education • Central to the anarchist program has been educational reform – Godwin’s attempt to open a school (1783) – Paul Goodman, Compulsory Miseducation (1964) – Murray Rothbard, Education: Free and Compulsory (1972) • Against the nationalist system of socialism and liberalism – Godwin: “The true object of education, like that of every other moral process, is the generation of happiness.” The Enquirer (1797) Individualist Anarchism • Edmund Burke, A Vindication of Natural Society (1756) • Max Stirner, The Ego and His Own (1845) • Henry David Thoreau, “Resistance to Civil Government,” (1849) • American Individualist Anarchism – Tension with socialist/collectivist immigrant tradition – Josiah Warren, Lysander Spooner, Stephen Pearl Andrews, Benjamin Tucker Individualist Anarchism “I heartily accept the motto, — "That government is best which governs least"; and I should like to see it acted up to more rapidly and systematically. Carried out, it finally amounts to this, which also I believe, — "That government is best which governs not at all"; and when men are prepared for it, that will be the kind of government which they will have. Government is at best but an expedient; but most governments are usually, and all governments are sometimes, inexpedient. “ - Thoreau, “Resistance to Civil Government” Anarcho-capitalism? • Gustav de Molinari, “The Production of Security, “ (1849) – First argument for the private production of defense and police services – French laissez-faire tradition – Disciple of Bastiat and Say – Pointedly refused the appellation of “anarchist” – Dispute with Proudhon over the nature of interest Anarcho-capitalism? • Modern Anarcho-capitalism • Murray Rothbard – Power and Market (1970) – For A New Liberty (1973) – The Ethics of Liberty (1982) • David Friedman – The Machinery of Freedom (1973) • Long running dispute about whether Anarchocapitalism is anarchist! – The problem of language and intent Anarchy and Modern Society • “Small” liberations of the 20th/21st century – – – – – – – – Fashion Women’s movement “Free unions” Sexual Revolution Ending of Corporal Punishment “Free schools” Gay and Lesbian movement Internet • WTO and IMF protests Federalism and Anarchy • How can self-organizing communities extend to multi-regional issues? • Federated communities – Local interests and commonalities are a barrier to tyranny – Proudhon, Bakunin, and Kropotkin – Individuals, communes, provinces, “nations” – Importance of the right of secession – of provinces, communes, and of individuals – “Voluntary Outlawry” Federalism and Anarchy “Solicit men’s views in the mass, and they will return stupid, fickle and violent answers; solicit their views as members of definite groups with real solidarity and a distinctive character, and their answers will be responsible and wise. Expose them to the political ‘language’ of mass democracy, which represents ‘the people’ as unitary and undivided, and minorities as traitors, and they will give birth to tyranny; expose them to the political language of federalism, in which the people figures as a diversified aggregate of real associations, and they will resist tyranny to the end.” - Proudhon, The Principle of Federation Green Anarchism? • Anarchists have always been distrustful of large-scale organizations • In modern capitalism, anarchists see the artificial support by government of “bigness” as contributing to ecological problems • Small self-organizing communities as a solution – E.F. Schumacher, Small is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered (1973) – Murray Bookchin, Post-Scarcity Anarchism (1974) Future of Anarchism • Approach to political and economic organization that continues to draw adherents dissatisfied with hierarchy • “Life-style” anarchism – Wave of the future or a dead-end? – Paul Goodman on autonomy (Ward, p. 68) – Peter Harper (Ward, p. 96) • Education and politics • Is a federation of anarchists possible?