Anarchism now comes with a negative stigma attached to it due to the misinformed opinions people have about it that were given to them by someone else who had also been misinformed. Anarchism is unfortunately often thought of as violent and chaotic, disorderly and dark, when in reality it stands for the opposite. As Alexander Berkman put it in “The ABC of Anarchism” from Life of an Anarchist, “No my friend, it is capitalism and government which stand for disorder and violence. Anarchism is the very reverse of it; it means order without government and peace without violence” (Berkman, 278). Anarchy is a political movement without a political party. Anarchy is the revolutionary idea that people should be free to govern themselves, and that there is no need for rules or regulations because people are capable of governing and taking responsibility for themselves. Under Anarchy, all government and private property would be abolished, and mutual aid would become an important social role. The state only serves to perpetuate itself, and without the boundaries there are today socially and literally, people would be able to come together as true neighbors and friends, and help each other live when needed.
People would be truly free to do what they wanted, and life would be simpler and more enjoyable. There would be no money, no laws, and no prisons. No police to be worried about hassling you, no arbitrary pieces of paper which meant the difference between being able to eat that day and having a place to live and your family going hungry out on the streets. No tag offices, birth certificates, social security cards, or passports to get, and absolutely no taxes to pay on literally everything you use to survive from the food you eat to the toilet paper you use to flush down the toilet. Everyone could practice whatever religion or lack there of in whatever ways they wanted as long as it didn’t hurt anyone else, and people could eat or take in whatever products they wanted in whatever ways they wanted, again, as long as it didn’t hurt anyone else.
Better than even all of that, the environment would not be taken advantage of everyday by big business and our government, and people would not be tortured, bombed, and taken from their homes and families in the name of Democracy of Capitalism. Yes, life would be a little bit more difficult in other ways like not having strawberries or cheeseburgers available to you at all times of the year, day, and night, but the social and worldly benefits would far outweigh the loss of any common comforts that the few lucky first world people get to enjoy.
Problems would be sorted out on the local level, and groups or committees would be formed when necessary, but not held any longer than needed. So called “crimes” would only be true crimes if they harmed another person, and punishment would be carried out in public embarrassment, reconciliation, or even expulsion from the community in extreme cases. People could work in whatever way they were so inclined, and more efforts could go towards bettering society rather than maximizing profits and maintaining power over another human being in some way.
Anarchy is ideal yes, but why should we not be striving for the most ideal way to live our lives and spend our days? Why should we not try to live with the rest of the people on this planet as cohesively as possible? Anarchy is the idea, it’s more and more people’s goal, and it can be a reality if only enough people could be open enough to the idea to see that it truly is the most natural, reasonable way for us as capable, rational, and responsible human beings to be the happiest, healthiest, and most at ease peoples that we can be.
To learn more about Anarchy, visit The Anarchist Library, or read Anarchy Works, which is a great introductory and informative piece about Anarchism.
Berkman, Alexander. 2004. Life of an Anarchist.