Activist guide to anarchy
Calling all chicks with flags! Let’s pay a brief visit to Anarchist London and paddle in the pond of modern anarchy. An anarcho activist’s very beginner guide.
For those of you grrrls disheartened, and generally unsettled by current world affairs, consider that there’s a troop of radicals and free thinkers behind you, who have frankly have had enough of governmental catastrophes and lies. Anarchist groups are growing in numbers, and these groups mean business!
Its been known (just from being on the active protest circuit for 7 years) that protests are growing in numbers, growing in pace and passion. So you want to understand more about anarchism?
How to define anarchy?
Anarchism is a political philosophy which considers the state undesirable, unnecessary, and harmful, and instead promotes a stateless society, or anarchy. Anarchists seek to diminish or even abolish authority. Thanks, Wikipedia!
To an anarchist, the practicalities of living in a society with no rule are no less strange to grasp than those of living in one which is fully governed.
If you look at most current social systems, its a strange thought to grasp that a small group of unrelated people (or just one despotic person) make important decisions that affect each of us directly without full understanding or, it seems, consideration for our individual circumstances.
It’s all about perception, and anarchism doesn’t have to be crazy. London is, after all the most surveyed city in the whole world (that’s one hell of a scary statistic) and it’s got anarchism bubbling up and growing roots all over the place. Even people who never thought they could harbour anarchistic beliefs watched or read the graphic novel original of V for Vendetta and found themselves sympathising with V’s intelligence, passion, goals and actions.
Anarchy & Activism: Myths and Facts
Let’s explore some pre-conceptions about anarchism.
MYTH We smash things up for fun.
FACT We sometimes smash things up if we feel its necessary, by a last means. And that’s things. Not people. Big difference.
Anarchism Reading List
There is a growing popularity in this ideal, and some great thinkers out there to help you learn more about the basic foundations of anarchism. Check out these books:
What is property? By Pierre-Joseph Proudhon. For a guy who lived in the 1800s his revolutionary writings changed the way many look at property and the accumulation of it.
Chomsky on Anarchism By Noam Chomsky. Talks about some of the basic fundamentals. Regardless of your social stance it’s always interesting to read at least one thing by Chomsky in your life.
An Anarchist FAQ: v.1 – By Iain McKay. Covers every single aspect of anarchism including the history of the flag, backing up each statement with historical evidence.
London Anarchism Centres
So, understanding more is the easy part. If you haven’t got time for such long haul reads (or you’ve read all those and want more) there are a number of anarchy centres in and around London and the UK to help you with all the information you could possibly need.
The LARC Social Centre Network (see below) is filled with a list of wonderful occupied social spaces who will be happy to take you in. Contained within most of these spaces are libraries so you can educate yourself further on the ideals of anarchism. They also show underground film screenings, discussions, green workshops and meetings.
What is this? Why, ’tis the anarchist flag!