For anarchy, not anarchism

  • Posted on: 17 August 2018
  • By: thecollective

via ediciones ineditos

Why for anarchy and not for anarchism? This may seem like a small point to split hairs over but it is a point which is important to us. It is important because we are interested in a vital anarchist (anti-state communist) milieu. For us anarchism points to the notion that there could be a special set of practices (forms) which can be found out to be complentary for a free life for all. We feel this is foolish and assumes human life could ever take on a singular form. Life should take on the form necessary for its free reproduction, unlike its current state which only serves those who rule/control us.

Classical anarchism (i.e. European anarchism) was in many ways a pursuit of the best practices for/of anarchy: whether the mutualism of Proudhon, the collectivism of Bakunin, the individualism of the Bonnot gang or the communism of Kropotkin. As we want to distance ourselves from Eurocentric anarchy, we feel that there should be some leeway when it comes to all this; though it should be a tempered leeway. For us the emphasis should be on content over form. Let us explain.

The communization current often writes about this. For them it is not a question of radical democracy, equitable distribution, popular power, council-decision making, local self-management…but whether the set of relations are communist or not. Communism becomes the basis for judgment. Why? Because communism constitutes set of relations which are free, without measure, (and consequently) without exchange and without needless hierarchy. And this is something which most anarchists also aspire to. We want to wander away from anarchism because we feel it is more about defining how we should live than allowing us to live as we see fit, from time to time.

For instance, if some of us were to enter into a life or death battle then a consensus-based decision makes sense. We are all entering a situation where I lives may likely end. We should be able to decide our participation over own life or death. Now, if we are deciding whose house will hold the seasonal party do we really need a consensus? Do we even really need to come to a vote? Do we need democracy among friends? Do we put to a vote who will make the enchiladas or who will serve their homebrew? Probably not because this is not how daily life is generally decided. We rely on other factors to decide and other links of kinship/comradeship/friendship. This demonstrates the limitation of the fetishization of democracy (or consensus).

Also many speak of anarchism as though there is only one.i Recently one of us attended a free school gathering where a Classical Left-Anarchist presented their anarchism as the anarchism. Fortunately the attendees generally revolted against this conception, this insidious authority. We despise authority as much as we despise work and having to pay the rent. Instead of propping up our anarchism we prefer to gauge our forms against what is communist and what is not. We are anarchists that agree with the communization current when they say that the revolution is communization: or rather

“communisation will be the moment when [revolutionary] struggle will make possible, as a means for its continuation, the immediate production of communism. By communism we mean a collective organisation that has got rid of all the mediations which, at present, serve society by linking individuals among them : money, the state, value, classes, etc….Communism will thus be the moment when individuals will link together directly, without their inter-individual relations being superimposed by categories to which everyone owes obedience.”ii

This is briefly to state that the institution of communism and anarchy is not a pre-revolutionary possibility but a possibility that arises out of revolutionary struggle. This is why we prefer to speak of communism instead of anarchism. Communism becomes a revolutionary verb, whereas anarchism becomes a pre-revolutionary dead weight (noun) that some try to impose on the present (or future). This is why we say we are for anarchy (a condition) and for communism (a verb).

iThough truly, anarchism has never been pro-capitalist. Anarcho-capitalism is but an online abberration.

iide Mattis, Léon. “What Is Communisation.” Libcom, 16 Nov. 2011,



I’ve been a fan of the distinction between anarchy (a condition) and anarchism (a political philosophy with an attendant ideology) for decades. This short rant introduces an innovative linguist nuance — some might refer to it with a different term! — of turning an ideology into a verb. And not just any ideology, but one with even more despicable baggage than anarchism! As if they weren’t enough self-referential smugness, the assertion that “anarcho-capitalism” [sic] exists only online is false; despite agreeing with the “unedited” authors about the absurdity of a pro-capitalist form of anarchism, this delusional ideology has existed for decades. Further, many critics have made the case that Proudhon’s mutualism retains far too many aspects of a non-industrial market economy (currency and banks for example) to be considered authentically and consistently anti-capitalist, and the contemporary collectivist and syndicalist critics of the so-called Bonnot Gang pointed out that illegalism did nothing to disrupt the mechanisms of capitalism. The authors might want to consult one or two editors next time.

That last paragraph is quite the logical leap.

once upon a time…

"Now one would think that anarchists, of all people, would be hostile to the inherently totalistic and collectivizing nature of leftist ideologies— like communism and socialism—yet to this day, a large number of so-called anarchists continue to express sympathy with communist goals, communist epistemology, and Marxist class analysis—and allow their brains to be bamboozled and mislead by euphemisms like “anti-state communist”, “autonomist Marxist”, or the current-favorite of the urban hipster: “communization”. Anarchists who drool over this bullshit are worshiping at the altar of a stagnant pool and remain tethered to a political tradition of authoritarianism and mass graves—regardless of the updated terminology (the thin rhetoric of “communization” has reached new summits of tedium…"

Sorry commies but you're not getting away with that. If anarchism-the elective of anarchy-is problematic then communism-the elective of community-is even worse. I like that you want dereifying immediacy but that is done through other things NOT COMMUNISM.

The niche end drive of anarchy is individuation not communism. It is through uninhibited desires and free open association and affinity that you get anarchy not through so called communization. People like Hakim Bey and the post-leftists have already addressed this in a better manner(see immediatism). My own suggestion is the subject/subjectivity of the anarch as opposed to the anarchist, the anarch's relationship to anarchy is through every day modes of anarchy as well as not ELECTING to anarchy via anarchism and being an anarchist.

Anarchy the condition, anarchic individualism affinity and individuation as the verb. The anarch as the archetypal embodiment of both.

"anarcho-communism" is as much of an oxymoron as "anarcho-Capitalist" anarchy and communism are in conflict

anarchy is the negation of Rulers (and rules) from people, economic and social systems, morals/ethics, society, civilisation, domestication, domination etc

anarchy is not a political, economic or moral system

"anarchy is the negation of Rulers (and rules)"
only the first, not the second. "rules" in an anti-authoritarian context are general agreements based on shared principles, standards, and perspectives, in other words affinity. this is the basis of what's called culture. or if you prefer simpler concepts, you can think of life as a series of games; games are hard to play and not much fun if the participants don't agree on the rules. grow up and read a book.

There are plenty of games which don't require rules, and books which have nothing to do with them!

Which games have no rules?

What do rulers create... Rules

"Community" created laws/rules "anarchistically" created "Rules" etc...however you want to say it, "Rules" are put in place to control people, to "rule" over people

""rules" in an anti-authoritarian context are general agreements based on shared principles, standards, and perspectives,"

an anarchist calling an agreement a "rule" is absurd. agreement and rule are hugely different things, with completely different implications for an anti-authoritarian. drop the word "rule" for the same reason so many post-left @s drop the word "communist". to an anti-ideologue, those words (rule, communist) carry far too much baggage to try to "reclaim" for anarchy; they are an impediment to clear communication.

what i wrote: general agreements based on shared principles, standards, and perspectives, in other words affinity.
learn to read. agreements aren't put in place to control anyone. grow up.

affinity with what though? are we talking just about you? and your "comrades"?

general agreements agreed on by who? the community?

"affinity with what though?"
anyone who chooses to be in community, from 2 to 2000, temporary or permanent or anything in between.

And if you don't wish to participate in the community, or you don't agree with what the "community" has voted as a rule... "shared agreement" what happens? punishment? banishment?

isn't that what rules are now, "laws" "Rules" enforced by people...just because you say the "community" votes on it doesn't make it anarchistic..

anarchy is the negation of "Rules" that seek to rule them...

"isn't that what rules are now"
nope. secession has always been part of anarchist principles of organization. disagreement necessitates reworking of the agreement or exerting pressure to conform (cf, LeGuin's "The Dispossessed" for a dystopian look at how conformity might operate in an anarchist culture, but also check out anarchist anthropologist Harold Barclay's "People Without Government" and also pressure is face to face (horizontal), while law is depersonalized, professionalized, and bureaucratic (hierarchical).
and who said anything about voting? that's a liberal non sequitur.

Toooo many books methinks, the armchair theorist. Law is negated by face to face confrontation in the street, forest or fighting arena without your Marquis of Queensberry interpretation. I will negate your law with my left-right-left combination!

Books are stupid. My books are stupid. Don't read them. Read Le Way instead. Thank you.

-- Bob Black (pig ffffucker and inventor of the light bulb)

That's not what anarchy is at all. The minimum definition of anarchy is a condition of living without a state. A more fuller definition is a condition of living without rulers (literally from the ancient Greek word 'anarchia'), by which was originally meant no military rulers. You can have rules without a ruler, but you can't have a ruler without rules.

An even fuller definition of anarchy is a condition of living without a state or rulers or any form of coercive political authority or hierarchy. An example of this would be egalitarian hunter gatherer bands. Even hunter gatherer bands had rules. The rules were not enforced by rulers, but by everyone, or at least anyone who wished to enforce them.

Every known social species has rules, or norms of behavior.

Same anon. My comment was directed in response to anon17:21

If we are going by strict definitions

"a. Governing power or its possession or use; authority.
b. The duration of such power."

"1. To exercise control, dominion, or direction over; govern:

a. To have a powerful influence over; dominate: "

so, your "anarchy" in its negation of "authority" would then welcome rules of authority imposed by other people to "govern them"

Relying on the definitions created by authoritarians wedded to institutionalized hierarchies is probably not the best way to make an anarchist argument

So you don't count that definition, what is your definition of "Rules" and how are they anarchistic

11:23. Your argument is invalid. It's the people themselves who create norms of behavior (rules). In anarchist societies, there is no 'authority' (i.e. a separate subgroup of people) who create them or enforce them. If you think there exists a society without any rules, please feel free to name one.

That is my point though, "people" creating "rules" and "norms" are creating authority over other people, unless they are just 'personal' rules, norms etc

and if they are just 'personal' they are not "rules" and my point stands, anarchy is the negation of 'rules' because it is the negation of authority/rulers etc

the second someone/group/community (whatever you want to call it) starts to create 'rules' or 'norms' that they expect other people to follow, they start creating an authority which is in obvious conflict with 'anarchy'

01:53. Oh for fuck sake. A group of people are stranded on a deserted island. They create a rule that any food you hunt or gather you share with others. They all created that rule when they got stranded on the island because it was a better survival strategy. There is no authority involved, they all agreed. Occasionally someone tries to hoard food, so they scold that person.

Sharing food, or don't rape, or don't set my house on fire...are all rules. Some rules may not be formal, and only tacit, yet still expected norms of behavior. What is it about this fact you don't understand?

You actually sound like a right wing authoritarian explaining the impossibility of anarchy. Since by your definition of anarchy, would be impossible to achieve. No society in the history of human evolution would ever have been anarchistic, because every known society has had rules. Again, if you think a society with no rules has ever existed, please name one now..

how does your "community" decide upon their affinity then? who gets to decide...

you said "affinity with whoever chooses to be in the community" how is the community establish? where does the community begin and end? and how do the "shared agreements" get passed?

once again, anarchy is against the idea of "rules", things people decide should or shouldn't be allowed, thus, enforcing their "rule" over someone.

"how does your "community" decide upon their affinity then? who gets to decide..."
it's called discussion. look it up.

"how is the community establish? [sic] where does the community begin and end? and how do the "shared agreements" get passed?"
a community is established by those involved and interested in creating one, just like any organization (formal or informal). it begins where there is agreement about principles and standards; it ends when those agreements no longer serve it, just like any organization (formal or informal). shared agreements don't "get passed"; you're thinking about laws again. apples and oranges.

"anarchy is against the idea of "rules""
nope. anarchy requires more (inter)personal responsibility, not less; that requires conversations and agreements. look it up.
i'm trying to take your comments and questions in good faith, but i'm starting to think you're not really interested in asking well thought-out questions (or if you're interested, you're not doing it very well). despite what many detractors insist, people in favor of anarchy (often called anarchists) aren't just a bunch of solitary contrarians. at least the ones who inhabit a world outside their parents' basements and behind computers...

No, I am just wondering how you explain "Rules" as something anarchistic, or something that is not "authoring" or "ruling" over a person who doesn't agree with that rule, you said a "community agrees as an affinity" but what about the people that don't, do those "rules" or "shared agreements" not apply to them? in that case, they are not rules, and thus, anarchy is against rules

"in that case, they are not rules, and thus, anarchy is against rules"
nope. i don't understand why you're insisting that agreements are the same as rules, or why you seem to be implying that rules require rulers or authorities to "pass" them and/or enforce them. i recognize that discussions about future possibilities that look substantially different from how relationships are currently created and maintained will necessarily be vague, but you seem to be willfully misreading what i've written. either you're being contrarianism for the sake of being contrary or you're just insisting on your own terminology. either way, it's becoming tiresome. i'll let you get the last word in if you like; i'm no longer amused.

"why you seem to be implying that rules require rulers or authorities to "pass" them and/or enforce them."

different anon here. i would agree that "rules" are not anywhere near the same thing as "agreements". but "rules" do imply "rulers" (of some sort), or else the term is completely useless. if a rule cannot be enforced, what makes it a rule? no, then it would be more of a guideline or request than a rule. if it can be enforced, then the enforcement is done by rulers (or their henchmen). a rule is much more like a law than it is like a guideline.

05:31. I make a rule for myself. Never argue with idiots on anews. If I remember to enforce that on myself, then I cease to be an anarch?

Rules don't imply a ruler (except semantically). If all, or most, people living in a group both create and agree to the rule, then there is no authority. If a parent forbids their child to swim in an alligator infested river, are they being authoritarian? Or are they looking out for the best interests of their child? If you say they are being authoritarian, then how could anarchist parents raise their children otherwise? How could an anarchist society function, let alone even get started?

By your definition of rules and authority, you've set an impossible bar for creating any kind of anarchy.

Boles boles boles WHY oh why do you maintain this stubborn contradictory opinion in the face of overwhelming opposition and logic, why oh why oh whyyyyyy?

If Boles, or any other anarchist accepted “overwhelming opposition” we would immediately cease being anarchists since anarchism has always been (and probably always will be) the perspective of a fringe minority. Take your plea for conformity somewhere else. Also, I see no logic in these circular arguments. It is dispute about words and all I see are lines in the sand based on terminology rather than logic. But the appeal to authority is strong in most of them, just like in yours. Let poor Boles sink or swim on his own, he doesn’t need your irony or false concern.

Dump the word communism. There are better ways to describe our goals that don't have the dead weight of 100 years of authoritarian dictatorships.

Yeah no. I'm against civilization, for anarchy, for myself, and absolutely against communism. Don't come near me with this shit.

That's the whole point, the only true anarch experience has been by small bands of atheist individualists who had no mythology or code of moral and ethical duty, and there never was ever, even in hunter/gatherer societies, any anarchic involuntary disorderly process or spontaneity. Only the unique know this themselves, that the condition is almost esoteric in its unavailability and scarcity.

I'm very sympathetic to the ant-rules ethos as rules are in continuum with rulers. Obviously the latter is the no go area but the former should also be critically looked at. For me rules are like commensalist germs, there's a marginal agnostic place for them.

I'm reminded that line in Pirates Of The Caribbean from the pirates in the movie 'guidelines not rules'.

Please stop by HR. They have a check for you.

Thanks again for all that you've done to keep this project alive.

-- Bob Black (pig ffffucker and inventor of the electric toothbrush)

To be an anarchist is now synonymous with being an anti-state communist? This is a pretty fucking weak ( i.e., thoughtless and ill-concieved) position for A-News to be taking

maybe you're confused. it does not seem to me that 'a news' is taking this position, more that they are merely posting things of interest to 'anarchists and the anarcho curious', right? as in, what happens here all the time?

For the record, for a while I've known this famous Anews member from Mtl, who's email handle is, bluntly, "communist".

Dunno if that's the case for him, but yeah, communists have been preying on "anarchism" for quite a while. To a point it appears to have become their rebranding of what is just a liberal communism, that's fully okay with consumerism and labor... it's anti-State for as long as DSA's not on the electoral college.

Yes that doesn't make a lotta sense, or maybe it does... a lot. But in a way that ain't to the best interests of black anarchists. Left unity is one huge trap, or shall I say "honeypot"?

Is it time to stop it, or can we? I don't know. But I'm sure that the matters of ideology -or political alignment- should be made clear when hanging out with someone, as commies are not to be trusted, like at all, when it comes to making things happen. Course, they may be sexually appealing. Course they may get ya in their social safety nets for a while, but their politics are a deception, and I heard that even from mainstream. Stay away from them; they are toxic people. Sure, they'll be crowding up in some march and presumably "fighting fascism"... but they'll be fine with Red fascism, liberalism, workerism, and all the other isms that translate -under a thing carpet- to reinforcing one or another aspect of the social order.

I'm also wary of commie cops, as they are a thing... and there's also the counterinsurgency programs aimed at keeping dissent small, weak, and not harmful in a way that truly hurts the system, or the big money... but I won't be further digressing for now.

So to say, the forces of conservatism are no longer just "right-wing". That was the '60s.

less communism. no gods, no masters, no leftists.

keep anarchy solid black.

Ooooh yessireeee, no cultural histories or traditions and the myths and fictions which perpetuate them!! Nor structure or institutional organization and the hierarchies which ride on their false prestige!
Only the spontaneous clan and the creative nothingness of its odyssey in time.

this 100%

except in stead of

"less communism. no gods, no masters, no leftists.

keep anarchy solid black."

should be

"NO communism. no gods, no masters, no leftists.

keep anarchy solid black.""

One of the reasons plenty of normal folks (i.e., those not already committed to a rigid political philosophy) can’t take anarchists seriously is this absurd juvenile insistence that rules, authority, norms, standards, agreements, etc. are all the same or exist on a continuum of hierarchy and oppression. For those people who use roads for transportation and walking, isn’t it amazing that the only thing that keeps drivers from plowing into each other head-on is often a strip of paint in the middle of the road? That’s an amazing amount of trust that we give to complete strangers! But just think about this for a minute: before there were laws that regulated road safety there were mostly informal agreements made among and between people who operated vehicles using roads. People who were interested in avoiding collisions determined how to indicate if they were turning, if they wanted to pass, and which side of the road was best for each direction of travel. These “rules of the road” were in operation for years before local, municipal, county and state authorities got involved and codified them into laws while adding a bunch of silly ones to enforce. The only penalty for non-compliance before they were turned into laws was the risk to one's own personal safety and that of other drivers, so adhereing to them was the most intelligent path to a safe arrival at one’s destination. No oppression, no exploitation, no law, not even any morality. Generally accepted and agreed-upon norms and standards, nothing more. Don’t call them “rules” is that word gets your panties in a twist, but at the very least acknowledge that good ideas can be agreed upon without too much hassle if the goals are clear. This is so basic to any serious understanding and promotion of anarchy...

So what do all the normal folk do when a psychopath starts driving recklessly on the roads endangering their lives ?

They " Agree " to form a " non-violent " posse to round him up and temporarily, without making any actual rules, tie him up because he is thrashing around saying " IM GONNA KILL THE WHOLE LOTTA YA MWUHAHAHAHAAA " ( the normal folk are all weak timid x-tian types trembling and flapping their hands
saying ' ooooh what are we going to do nooooow ooooohoo ' hah )
So the guy who has somehow become the informal " leader" by the way he has given the most ideas in the most forceful and positive way says " Well, we could keep him locked up in my basement and if the people around here want to pay me, I'll look after him unril he calms down and becomes abiding like all of us. "
So bossy guy becomes informal " sheriff ' of the region and ends up being killed by the psychopath when he digs himself out of the basement one night and goes on a driving rampage running over people and bringing anarchy to the community.
So in the end, if the " normal folk " had just minded their own business, accepted there were crazy selfish drivers on the road, maybe yelled at them, but hadn't expected that all people have to be normal, and some will drive all over the wrong side of the road and not give way, and there was no actual universal normal behavior, but chaos in the universe, and that if the normal folk felt endangered, well maybe THEY SHOULD NOT DRIVE THEIR TIMID ASSES AROUND IN A CAR !!

Finally some realism from 12:54, how things really work when people get together and start labelling and categorizing " normality " .

I'd rather swim out and take my chances in shark-infested waters than stay on an island with " normal " folk, it would just be too intolerable to my disposition putting up with their petty agreements on every little thing.

" Well, we could keep him locked up in my basement and if the people around here want to pay me, I'll look after him unril he calms down and becomes abiding like all of us. "
cuz that's exactly how the state started... smh

Yes sheriff boles, the State you started with agreements between " normal " people.

Despite what anon 12:54 says... people could do something like what happened one evening at Occupy Oakland when a guy was yelling at and threatening various women. The liberals tried to talk him down, some folks surrounded him to keep him from having access to the women he was threatening, but one intrepid dude just walked up and clobbered him on the head with a 2x4. Not the most elegant or egalitarian conflict resolution technique, but it was 100% effective. He never bothered anyone at Occupy again. And no cops were invited or involved. If you have a problem with the way things went in that instance, you should probably re-examine your attraction to anarchism.

Hey Sheriff boles, have you got the anarch commitment to take on a crazy guy single-handed without having rules and mediating with all the normal people just standing around doing nothing?

14:47 That is so childish. Is that you LeWay damnit!

Shootout at the Pomo Corral ? ;)

The normal person was the one who stopped the guy. The pacifists and leftists were the ones standing around doing nothing. Also, I’m not Boles.

Normal people these days are idpol mostly, the guy who stopped the crazy guy was a nihilist most likely, one who had no regard for protocol, custom or diplomacy.

I feel somewhere between profoundly disgusted or disturbed when going at the supermarket... having everywhere I look piles of commodities staked and ordered, and employees being reduced to being robots.

The culmination of this sordid experience is having this young lady working at the counter, looking at me with apparent happiness or joy, while everybody knows that's just a bad role she's being paid to play, under heavy pressure and stress, 8 hours a day.

Then all I feel like in such situation is doing the obvious. Taking the exit door without paying, carrying whatever I wanted, and gtfo on my bike. Which is what I obviously do often.

I'm fairly certain that a communist would see no problem with the situation in this supermarket, and wouldn't see a reason why stealing stuff. The only problem here, to them, is the capitalist management. Just a switch to a collective management would shift the whole world to a better place, according to them. This is what communists are, today. I don't care about what they were 100 years ago, or even back in Italy in the '70s. This is not where YOU ARE NOW.

Communizers are always up for some intellectual masturbation.

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