Is an anarchist society really impossible to achieve?

Submitted by dele_ted in Anarchism (edited )

Most anarchists i talk to agree that anarchism is an impossible utopia. The best we can do is influence the capitalist society as much as we can, and live our own lives in an anarchist manner.

The more i think about it, the more wrong this seems. An anarchist society would only contain anarchist citizens, and wouldn't necessarily need to be a whole country. The whole idea of borders needs to be redefined a bit.

Why would it be so impossible for anarchists to get together, seize a good bit of land, turn it into a self-sustaining anarchist society and protect it from the state? I might be dreaming naive dreams, but i see examples of this everywhere, a good one being Christiania, a free-town in Copenhagen, where i live, which was seized by squatters in the 80's and successfully defended without guns in almost all cases from thousands of militarized police attacks. The only issue that Christiania has is that it is too small to be self-sustaining. Capitalist concepts such as currency is a necessary part of the lives of citizens in Christiania, because they work outside of the free-town, and buy most of their goods from the outside.

I must be missing something here, an enlightened explanation of the pessimism of anarchists would be very much appreciated.


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kore wrote (edited )

I think it's more of a caution against thinking there's ever a real endpoint. I like to think of anarchy as a means not an end. Doesn't mean we can't approach a "pure" anarchist society but the point is that we can't ever stop trying even if we think we've gotten there.


dele_ted OP wrote

As someone recently explained on here, i think it was ziq, anarchism is a process. Those who fought for freedom in the first place will continue to abolish a concentration of power and keep things balanced. Thought that was a nice way to put it.

That doesn't mean an anarchist society isn't possible, though, and shouldn't discourage people from attempting to organize one. Everything starts somewhere.


ziq wrote (edited )

A small (individualist) anarchist community? Completely possible. They already exist all over the world.

An anarchist (communist) society / country? Very unlikely. The US and its allies would bomb it into oblivion for threatening the capitalist system. That's if they even let it establish itself in the first place. Any country that rejects money and debt gets destroyed by US imperialism.


dele_ted OP wrote (edited )

I think that depends very much on where in the world this society would spawn. If anarchists organized and took over enough land to create a somewhat self-sustaining, although tiny, society within one of the peaceful western countries, such as Denmark, Sweden, Finland or Iceland (where there's plenty of empty land perfectly fit for this), US and its allies wouldn't dare to come near it. They would be bombing allied soil, and would be in shit up to their necks if they threw as much as one bomb. I doubt that these smaller countries such as Denmark and Iceland would care enough about a small anarchist organization to deploy military forces. They would certainly use militarized police, but, as evidenced by the free-towns around the world, police can be repelled.

e: a typo


SpiderGrinder wrote

Can't say that the police in Iceland is that militarized, but they would probably be used against a self-sustaining anarchist society, no matter how small, when that would hit the news and become a mainstream discussion (and it would be controversial as anything else in the country, there was f.e. a minor shitstorm when some individual wanted to live alone in the woods close to Reykjavík some years ago: (the article is in Icelandic FYI)).

Anyway, I don't really think that Iceland has that much more empty land as other countries, because most of Iceland is covered in uninhabitable mountains, also known as óbyggðirnar (no-mans-land/where none can live).

Also don't really know how you would self-sustain food-wise other than raising some animals and live of them, but vegetables and other stuff like that is pretty hard to sustain, especially with the cruel climate that often takes place outside the capital, mostly in winter...I don't really understand why people still live on that giant volcano, but the discussion about moving to another country seems to be regular around most ages, as far as I know.

But enough about that, it would still be interesting to see an alternative society like that and how well it would work out in the long run.


ziq wrote (edited )

See the first paragraph of my comment. You're talking about setting up a commune within a state (individualism), not an attempt to declare a stateless and moneyless society (communism).

Look at what happened in Catalonia when they voted to secede from the Spanish state. And they weren't even radicals. If they had declared anarcho-communism, Spain would have massacred them.


elyersio wrote

What happened in Catalonia?


juliebean wrote (edited )

back in october, they declared independence , and Spain was not having it. cops were attacking folks at polling places before the vote was even finished


dele_ted OP wrote

That's disturbing. Those pigs look more like military than police. Why the hell are they beating, kicking and arresting peaceful citizens? They have a right to vote and protest, as far as i know.

Do you know if any cops got in trouble after this? Nothing in that video looks right.


juliebean wrote

i am sorry to be the one to break this to you, but that is what cops do. it is basically their entire reason for existing. i seriously doubt that anyone got in trouble.


elyersio wrote

Did somebody say my name?


dele_ted OP wrote

What, an anarchist from Copenhagen. That's a rare sight! I'll take this opportunity while i can: do you know where (if anywhere) danish anarchists organize? Is there any movement worth helping out?


captaindread1 wrote (edited )

Global conditions are changing, and are not comparable to any one in the past; then past experiences can't be extrapolated. Do you want to know if an anarchist society is possible? Just work hard for that goal, collect the result and analyze them.


ziq wrote

If you work hard for the 'goal' of anarcho-communism then you'll be sorely disappointed by your constant failure and won't stay an anarchist very long.


buzz wrote (edited )

consider reading into 'democratic confederalism', which through the role of self-defence forces has enabled the people of rojava in syria to gain autonomy *(t&c apply).