"I am a fanatic lover of liberty, considering it as the unique condition under which intelligence,
dignity and human happiness can develop and grow; not the purely formal liberty conceded, measured out
and regulated by the State, an eternal lie which in reality represents nothing more than the privilege
of some founded on the slavery of the rest; not the individualistic, egoistic, shabby, and fictitious
liberty extolled by the School of J.-J. Rousseau and other schools of bourgeois liberalism, which considers
the would-be rights of all men, represented by the State which limits the rights of each---an idea that leads
inevitably to the reduction of the rights of each to zero. No, I mean the only kind of liberty that is worthy
of the name, liberty that consists in the full development of all the material, intellectual and moral powers
that are latent in each person; liberty that recognizes no restrictions other than those determined by the
laws of our own individual nature, which cannot properly be regarded as restrictions since these laws are not
imposed by any outside legislator beside or above us, but are immanent and inherent, forming the very basis of
our material, intellectual and moral being---they do not limit us but are the real and immediate conditions of
our freedom."

-Michael Bakunin

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Anarchism Without Hyphens (Karl Hess)

There is only one kind of anarchist. Not two. Just one. An anarchist, the only kind,as defined by the long tradition and literature of the position itself, is a person onopposition to authority imposed through the hierarchical power of the state. Theonly expansion of this that seems to me reasonable is to say that an anarchist standsin opposition to any imposed authority. An anarchist is a voluntarist.Now, beyond that, anarchists also are people and, as such, contain the billion facetedvarieties of human reference. Some are anarchists who march, voluntarily,to the Cross of Christ. Some are anarchists who flock, voluntarily, to the communesof beloved, inspirational father figures. Some are anarchists who seek to establishthe syndics of voluntary industrial production. Some are anarchists who voluntaryseek to establish the rural production of the kibbutzim. Some are anarchists who,voluntarily, seek to disestablish everything including their own association withother people; the hermits. Some are anarchists who will deal, voluntarily, only ingold, will never co-operate, and swirl their capes. Some are anarchists who, voluntarily,worship the sun and its energy, build domes, eat only vegetables, and play thedulcimer. Some are anarchists who worship the power of algorithms, play strangegames, and infiltrate strange temples. Some are anarchists who see only the stars.Some are anarchists who see only the mud. They spring from a single seed, no matter the flowering of their ideas. The seed is liberty. And that is all it is. It is not a socialist seed. It is not a capitalist seed. It isnot a mystical seed. It is not a determinist seed. It is simply a statement. We can befree. After that it’s all choice and chance. Anarchism, liberty, does not tell you a thing about how free people will behave or what arrangements they will make. It simply says that people have the capacityto make the arrangements. Anarchism is not normative. It does not say how to be free. It says only thatfreedom, liberty, can exist. Recently, in a libertarian journal, I read the statement that libertarianism is anideological movement. It may well be. In a concept of freedom it, they, you, or we,anyone, has the liberty to engage in ideology or anything else that does not coerceothers, denying their liberty. But anarchism is not an ideological movement. It is anideological statement. It says that all people have a capacity for liberty. It says thatall anarchists want liberty. And then it is silent. After the pause of that silence, anarchiststhen mount the stages of their own communities and history and proclaimtheir, not anarchism’s, ideologies—they say how they, how they as anarchists, willmake arrangements, describe events, celebrate life, work. Anarchism is the hammer-idea, smashing the chains. Liberty is what results and, in liberty, everything else is up to people and their ideologies. It is not up to THE ideology. Anarchism says, in effect, there is no such upper case, dominating ideology.It says that people who live in liberty make their own histories and their owndeals with and within it. A person who describes a world in which everyone must or should behave in asingle way, marching to a single way, marching to a single drummer, is simply notan anarchist. A person who says that they prefer this way, even wishing that allwould prefer that way, but who then says that all must decide, may certainly be ananarchist. Probably is. Liberty is liberty. Anarchism is anarchism. Neither is Swiss cheese or anythingelse. They are not property. They are not copyrighted. They are old, available ideas,part of human culture. They may be hyphenated but they are not in fact hyphenated. They exist on their own. People add hyphens, and supplemental ideologies. I am an anarchist. I need to know that, and you should know it. After that, I am a writer and a welder who lives in a certain place, by certain lights, and with certain people. And that you may know also. But there is no hyphen after the anarchist.Liberty, finally, is not a box into which people are to be forced. Liberty is a spacein which people may live. It does not tell you how they will live. It says, eternally,only that we can.The dandelion, Spring 1980 by Karl Hess

Why Our Flag Is Black (Howard Ehrlich)

Why is our flag black? Black is a shade of negation. The black flag is the negation of all flags. It is a negation of nationhood which puts the human race against itself and denies the unity of all humankind. Black is a mood of anger and outrage at all the hideous crimes against humanity perpetrated in the name of allegiance to one state or another. It is anger and outrage at the insult to human intelligence implied in the pretenses, hypocrisies, and cheap chicaneries of governments.

Black is also a color of mourning; the black flag which cancels out the nation also mourns its victims the countless millions murdered in wars, external and internal, to the greater glory and stability of some bloody state. It mourns for those whose labor is robbed (taxed) to pay for the slaughter and oppression of other human beings. It mourns not only the death of the body but the crippling of the spirit under authoritarian and hierarchic systems; it mourns the millions of brain cells blacked out with never a chance to light up the world. It is a color of inconsolable grief.

But black is also beautiful. It is a color of determination, of resolve, of strength, a color by which all others are clarified and defined. Black is the mysterious surrounding of germination, of fertility, the breeding ground of new life which always evolves, renews, refreshes, and reproduces itself in darkness. The seed hidden in the earth, the strange journey of the sperm, the secret growth of the embryo in the womb all these the blackness surrounds and protects.

So black is negation, is anger, is outrage, is mourning, is beauty, is hope, is the fostering and sheltering of new forms of human life and relationship on and with this earth. The black flag means all these things. We are proud to carry it, sorry we have to, and look forward to the day when such a symbol will no longer be necessary.

Howard Ehrlich, Reinventing Anarchy
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Anarchy Now!

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My angle is the angle of defending liberty against tyranny, taking the power back for the people, not the elite, standing up and dissenting, asking questions and sharing the truth that is revealed, ending the slavery known as the Federal Reserve System, exposing the lies being fed to the people by their bought and paid for "Government" and the bought and paid for corporate media. How much more clear does it need to be? Quit taking our liberties away under the pretext of "safety", end the bullshit "war on terror", stop using false flag attacks to get us in to illegal wars, stop locking people up for minor drug offenses, stop removing our rights as humans under the pretext of "protecting us", end the atrocity that is government, stop answering our protests with an iron fist shoved down our throats, remove control of the global economy from the off shore banking community that has it completely wrapped around it's dirty little finger, awaken the unthinking majority that just assumes that what they are being fed is the truth of the matter, ANARCHY NOW FOR LIBERTY'S SAKE!