Anarchism - the true sound of liberty!

Dodał: Pawel Szeliga
Data dodania: 30 września 2005
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Since the very beginning of its existence anarchism has been a subject of confusion and not rarely violent actions of middle class. Born not in the heads of great philosophers but in hearts of simple working class during its endless strugle for its rights, anarchism is a social philosophy whose center idea is that human beings can live justly and in harmony without government. Anarchists believe that the State itself is evil and harmful. The capitalistic reality that we all are put into is very violent. Man is treated as an item which is a part of a market. Anarchism gives us, people real freedom - freedom of individual, who can work in a society without „help" of the State, which excercises its false authority on us.

Anarchists as those who believe that freedom of individual is the most precious thing, see that human relationships in all parts of life during capitalism are stamped not by liberty, but by authority. That means, that authoritetarian social relationships divide society into those (few) who give orders, and those (many) who have to obay. So anarchists „ask nothing, better than to see (others).. excercise over us a natural and legitimate influence, freely accepted and never imposed, we accept all authorities and influences by fact, none by right" (Bakunin 255).

Anarchists impose the irrational authority - hierarchy which is simply „institualization of authority within society", because it’s not only harmful but unnecessery (Anarchism FAQ B.1). As Erich Fromm points out, authority has two different meanings: rational (being an authority) and irrational (having an authority), where being an authority means that a given person is generally recognized as competent for a given task, based on his/her own skills and knowledge. In contrast having an authority is a social relationship based on a status and power from a hierarchical position, not based on individual ability (35).

Capitalism by its nature is a hierachical system. The main goal of workers in that system is not to exchange products of their labor, but the labor itself. In return for wages they sell themselves for a given period of time to the boss. The boss gives the orders, so he is on the top of the hierarchical lader, those who obay (workers) are on the bottom. Capitalist excercises a monopoly over what he „ownes" (where labor is treated as a product that you can buy). When excercising power over himself is a sort of freedom, but under capitalism its a source of coercive authority. Capitalists call upon the State when it acts in the interest of theirs and supports capitalistic authority and power (Anarchism FAQ B.4).

Anarchists opose private ownership of the means of production and the wage slavery. They believe, that labor has to be freely undertaken and the producer has to be in control of it. Marx (the humanist, not the stalinist one, as shown by media) wrote, that labor shouldn’t be only a mean of life, but also the highest want in life which is impossible when worker is driven by authority or need instead of inner impulse. Anarchists believe that no form of wage-labor can do away with the misery of itself, no matter how good and helpful the government would be (Chomsky 76).

Existence of hierarchical authority (owned by some) is undoubtly connected with dispowerment of those without it, or quoting Martha Ackelsberg: „Hierarchies make some people dependent on others, blame the dependent for their dependency, and then use that dependency as a justification for further excercising of authority" (19-20). This kind of relationship produces social inequality which causes different kinds of problems.

After George Caplan and his collegues measured inequality rate in the 50 states, he noticed that states with greater inequality in income distribution had higher unemployment rate, spent less on education, had lower rates of complition of high schools, and many other problems including that, that when the already hudge gap between rich and poor grows the health of people unravels (Anarchism FAQ B1.1). One of the fathers of anarchism, Proudhon, pointed out that the key to the evils of society is poverty. Capitalism is mainly about right of individual to posses, protect and sell property, where the man who is richer tends to get more on expense of the one who own little. Even the best intentioned State cannot find a solution for economic inequalities that uncontrolled business puts on workingman. (Forman 9).

Existance of unemployment ensures employes that they have structural advantage in the labor market, because there is always more candidates than jobs to fill. Employers are put into position that they always have to think twice before standing up for their rights. That means, that capitalis labor market favors employer, and places working people at the losing position, because of the threat of unemployment, what forces worker to take any job and submit to his boss demands and power, if he wants to keep his job. Higher unemployment means that it’s harder to find job, what makes it less likely for workers to stand up for their rights, pin union or strike. Than what would be the capitalists reason to fight unemployment? (Anarchism FAQ).

Capitalism cannot let us „take a breath", because it has to grow or die. Workers can never be relaxed or free of anxiety that they can lose their job, starve, or cannot feed their families. Moreover, capitalists themselves can’t relax because they have to ensure, that workers productivity rises faster than their wages because unpaid labor means profit. Every company has to exploit worker in order to get profit and not be left behind, or put out of business. The boss is not „left alone" nor the worker can „take breath" (Proudhon 36).

One of the aims of anarchism within capitalist society is to ensure that those in power, are not „left alne" to excercise their authority over those who are subjected to it. Solidarity, direct action in a workplace and community are means of interfering with the authority of the State, capitalists and property owners until time as they can destroy such authoritetarian social relationships once and for all (Anarchism FAQ).

Capitalism indeed came a long way from days of rober barron, labor unions have as much strenght as management counterparty, and present day anarchists are not pacified by that relationship. Unions may be better than nothing, but they surely are not as good as no unions, and no bosses at all (Forman 10).

Pierre Joseph Proudhon points out that workers have to form associations among them, where they will no longer be subordinates and superiors, and the case of master and wage-worker will no longer exist. this is the answer on a really common point against anarchism, that there have to be subordination of worker to group activity, but it can be fulfilled either by authoritetarian, or by libertarian means. The way based on rational authority, natural influence reflects freedom, and freedom can only be created by freedom. Irrational authoritetarian social relationships cannot educate person in freedom (Proudhon 13).

Workers during the working hours are not their own managers anymore, they don’t govern themselves by that period of time. In capitalism work is reduced to commodity, labor is treated just as any other „resource". By separating labor from other normal life activities, and subjecting it to market laws means as much as destroing normal form of human existence and replacing it with one based on contract and competition. Thats true, that work may not be considered as „fun" activity, but the fact is that every human being has got a need to perform one or another sort of creative activity. In capitalism labor becomes involuntary servitude so it is based on hierarchy and denial of liberty, which brings us to conclusion, that capitalism is not based on liberty (Anarchism FAQ).

Anarchist society, that means society that organizes itself without authority is actually always in exisence, buried under the weight of the State and bureaucracy. It is very imporntant to point out and highlight the examples of anarchism (at least one) as a system actually working on a large scale, because it is very often accused of „utopianism". During the most remarkable revolutions in history, anarchists always were spreading their ideas fruitfully. In France in the critical year of 1848 Paris’ industrial workers joined the national guardsmen creating a revolution which caused the French monarchy to collapse. Workers organized themselves in Paris Commune, declared their city free and set up a federation. Paris started organized from bottom up, creating a new society. Commune was clearly formulated negation of State, exonomically and politicaly influenced by anarchistic ideas. The only thing that stopped (just as in any other example of anarchism in action) communards was a blody pogrom by followers of monarchy (Forman 24-25).

In Spain in 1930s, the CNT, the anarcho-syndicalist union, was growing so fast, that one and a half million members were its part by 1936 (population of Spain at that time was 23 mln.). Elsewere in Europe capitalists, supported authoritetarian States in orded to crush unions (Anarchism FAQ A5.3).

Anarcho- Syndicalists claim that, economic order won’t be and can’t be created by statues and laws of government. The only way it can be created is, by solidaric collaboration of workers by taking control over management of factories by the producers themselves. Then all the separate groups, branches of industry become independent members of economic organism, carying production and distribution of products in the interest of community (Chomsky 12).

Anarchism is not only about future society, but about the struggle that is happening today, it’s a sort of process, not a condition, which is being created by our self-activity and self-liberation. The main idea and goal is not to create chaos and disorder (don’t we have it right now: dumping crops to the ocean to rise the prices, driving cars with only one person which polute as a whole family..?) but to create an anarchist („free form" and „free to") society where people will start act for themselves and for the good of the world. Will show that human nature is really „human" and good, there is no need for a State to tell us, what we can and what we have to do.
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