Other Terms for Anarchism

Submitted by A_Lane in Anarchism

I sort of think that libertarian Socialism, libertarian Communism, Autonomism, and, Communization all just simply refer to the political philosophy that is known as Anarchism. As Anarchism is the historical philosophy, it seems like people should just use the term, "Anarchism", to refer to said political philosophy. While I wouldn't go so far as to accuse Autonomists and Communization theorists of whitewashing Anarchist history, I do think that the usage of other terms does the school of thought a bit of a disservice. Anarchism can effectively be summarized as libertarian Socialism. I don't see a reason to use another term.

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ziq wrote

You're really not talking about anarchism though, you're talking about communism. Anarchism is specifically the struggle against authority - all authority. Not just the capitalist mode of production.

Anarchism can effectively be summarized as libertarian Socialism. I don't see a reason to use another term.

Because I'm an anarchist, not a libertarian socialist? I don't even think socialism has any real value in the midst of the Holocene extinction. Socialism is a way to organize industry. Industry is inherently exploitative and destructive to everything it touches. Anarchy and industrial workerist society are at odds.

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A_Lane OP wrote

I tend to see Anarchism as historically being a political philosophy that is inextriably tied to the Left. I don't really like the Left, but, I do think that that is the case.

What do you mean by the Holocene extinction? Do you think that human beings are going to die off as a result of ecological catastrophe in our present era? I do think that the ecological situation is drastic, but, I don't know that I would say that I think that the global population will be annihilated in my lifetime.

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ziq wrote

I tend to see Anarchism as historically being a political philosophy that is inextriably tied to the Left. I don't really like the Left, but, I do think that that is the case.

Because "the left" says so? Anarchy is simply the struggle against authority. If people want to attach ideology and mythology to it, they can, but that doesn't give them ownership over the struggle against authority which has been fought since before Homo sapiens even existed.

The left is an invention of liberalism, it has no real value as an anarchist concept since it's just another function of the state apparatus.

What do you mean by the Holocene extinction?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holocene_extinction

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A_Lane OP wrote

I fail to see how the history of the terms, Right and Left, necessarily involves their utilization as an instrument of the State. The French Revolution was a Liberal revolution, and, one that was frought with various forms of totalitarianism, but, the terms just generally denote some form of political inclination or another. I guess I'm not sure that there is a beyond the Left and Right.

Given the ramifications of ecological catastrophe, what form of society do you see being created in the wake of what I assume to be the abolition of the State?

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ziq wrote (edited )

The terms left and right only exist to keep the people living under statism thinking they have choice. That the state can be molded to suit their economic and social ideals. In reality, the state couldn't care less whether you identity as left or right. It's all just misdirect to get you to play the game by the state's rules. Rules that ensure you can never gain any traction if your goal is to dismantle the state.

the terms just generally denote some form of political inclination

Yes. A political inclination positioned firmly within the state apparatus. The illusion of choice.

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A_Lane OP wrote

I guess I don't think that we have the same understanding of the French Revolution. That those sides were taken was a historical event. I'm fairly critical of the French Revolution as I believe that they had, in part, discovered what became contemporary dictatorship, but, I do see it as a historical event which effected the circumstances of our global situation today. You seem to advocating for a total epistemological break from historical processes which I find to be quite interesting.

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ziq wrote

I don't give a shit about the french revolution. I'm talking about the contemporary left / right paradigm, not its origination.

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A_Lane OP wrote

It is limited, but, it can be used to describe things. I think that the political compass is fine. It doesn't encapsulate everything, but, to explain to someone else what my political position is by stating that it's a -9, -9 or -10, -10 does make sense to them. I see right-wing Libertarianism as being, wittingly or not, somewhat crypto-Fascist and argue in favor only allying oneself in the left-wing Libertarian sphere for that reason.

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kore wrote (edited )

EDIT: Okay so this was kind of a stupid post in retrospect. I guess what I was trying to get at is that all terms, including "Anarchism" and "Authority" and "Democracy" are dependent on the contexts they are used in. What "Anarchism" meant in 1850 is different than what it means now. words have a history and all that jazz. I get that expertise isn't a hierarchical power structure.

Bakunin, What is Authority?:

"Does it follow that I reject all authority? Far from me such a thought. In the matter of boots, I refer to the authority of the bootmaker; concerning houses, canals, or railroads, I consult that of the architect or the engineer...I receive and I give — such is human life. Each directs and is directed in his turn. Therefore there is no fixed and constant authority, but a continual exchange of mutual, temporary, and, above all, voluntary authority and subordination."

Engels "On Authority" is also pretty good, pretty chill passage here, even though Engels didn't really get it totally:

"But the anti-authoritarians demand that the political state be abolished at one stroke, even before the social conditions that gave birth to it have been destroyed. They demand that the first act of the social revolution shall be the abolition of authority. Have these gentlemen ever seen a revolution? A revolution is certainly the most authoritarian thing there is; it is the act whereby one part of the population imposes its will upon the other part by means of rifles, bayonets and cannon — authoritarian means, if such there be at all;...Would the Paris Commune have lasted a single day if it had not made use of this authority of the armed people against the bourgeois? Should we not, on the contrary, reproach it for not having used it freely enough?"

Food for thought, anyway. EDIT: upon thinking a little more Engels was kind of a dumbass in this essay, but I think I was just trying to point out that there is some sort of "authority" in self-determination.

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Splinglebot wrote

expertise isn't authority, just because bakunin got his terms mixed 150 years ago doesn't mean we have to start justifying authority

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kore wrote (edited )

I'm more just playing around with terms. I find it impossible to make a catch-all definition of authority, as any other word. I just thought it was an interesting point, after all. Is there a difference between authority and authoritarianism? Just like I've seen critiques of anarchy vs anarchism

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Pop wrote

Anarchism can effectively be summarized as libertarian Socialism.

I dunno, I don't think anarchism has to have anything to do with socialism

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A_Lane OP wrote

I think that Proudhon was the first person to use the term. It doesn't seem to be too much of a stretch of the imagination to refer to Proudhon as a libertarian Socialist. Are you an Individualist Anarchist?

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Pop wrote

It seems like you're saying that the first person who uses a word is the one who defines the word?

Are you an Individualist Anarchist?

No, I think the individualist/collectivist dichotomy is nonsense and that both strands are weak

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A_Lane OP wrote

Kropotkin wrote the entry for Anarchism in the 1910 Encyclopedia Britannica. I wouldn't say that a term is necessarily defined by its historical usage, but, I do think that Anarchism has one.

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ziq wrote

Why should a dead white rich European man be granted authority over the definition of anarchy? Wouldn't it make more sense to untether anarchy from the grasp of Eurocentrism? To decolonize it and refute its forced attachment to industrial colonialist European civilization?

the anarchists, in common with all socialists, of whom they constitute the left wing, maintain that the now prevailing system of private ownership in land, and our capitalist production for the sake of profits, represent a monopoly which runs against both the principles of justice and the dictates of utility. They are the main obstacle which prevents the successes of modern technics from being brought into the service of all, so as to produce general well-being. The anarchists consider the wage-system and capitalist production altogether as an obstacle to progress. But they point out also that the state was, and continues to be, the chief instrument for permitting the few to monopolize the land, and the capitalists to appropriate for themselves a quite disproportionate share of the yearly accumulated surplus of production.

Notice how centered he is on European civilization? Why should the rest of the world be expected to see anarchy through this dead prince's eyes?

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A_Lane OP wrote

Peter Kropotkin was nearly the only aristocrat in all of history to properly employ his position. Why not a consummate end to the titled order?

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ziq wrote

I don't know what you're asking.

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A_Lane OP wrote

If you don't seek an eventual equitable redistribution of resources, given the chance to create a utopian society, how would you ensure that it is equitable?

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ziq wrote

I feel like we're reading from different scripts or something because I have no idea what you're asking me.

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A_Lane OP wrote

What social configuration do you think should be brought about? Ideally you would abolish social configurations altogether, but, how is that to happen?

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ziq wrote

What social configuration do you think should be brought about?

I reject the notion of 'social configuration' and the idea that I have the power to bring it about.

Ideally you would abolish social configurations altogether, but, how is that to happen?

It's not.

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ziq wrote

Proudhon is dead. Anarchy preceded his ideas and anarchy exceeded his ideas.

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A_Lane OP wrote

Oh, I agree. I just meant to point out that the term does have a historical usage that is tied to the school of thought that is known as Socialism.

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Pop wrote

depends what you mean by 'tied'

I said it doesn't have to have anything to do with socialism, not that there's no history of socialist anarchism

there is a lot of content to socialism, and we don't need to frame ourselves in its terms

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A_Lane OP wrote

That's a fair point of contention. While I don't necessarily disagree, I do think that, in order for Anarchist ideals to be reified, that there will eventually need to be an equitable redistribution resources. You can summarize Socialism as an attempt to bring about the equitable redistribution of resources. In so far that that is the case, I do, more or less, define Anarchism as being libertarian Socialism.

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ziq wrote

You're kind of making an appeal to authority argument though which makes little sense in an anarchist context. History be damned, anarchy isn't owned by the European left.

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A_Lane OP wrote

I have done no such things. I don't even really like the European Left. Are you suggesting that an appeal to history is an appeal to an authority? I could agree. By no means am I trying to levy Anarchism with Marxist discourse. I do, however, think that the philosophy has some of its beginings in The International Workingmen's Association. I don't even really like Bakunin. I have inclinations towards Kropotkin, and, so I do tend to see Anarchism as being a somewhat exclusively left-wing school of thought, but, I have no intentions of making an appeal the lingering remnants of Soviet oligarchy. I just simply think that libertarian Socialism just simply is what Anarchism is.

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ziq wrote

I do, however, think that the philosophy has some of its beginings in The International Workingmen's Association

Anarchy existed long before European scholars decided to yearn for it. All they did was advocate for a return to it.

Are you suggesting that an appeal to history is an appeal to an authority?

It is when you view history with such Eurocentricism. Anarchist cultures have been around for millennia. Anarchy wasn't invented by 19th and 20th century European men. European society doesn't have ownership over the struggle for anarchy. The International Workingmen's Association was far removed from anarchy's beginnings.

Anarchy isn't something that was invented with the advent of industrial civilization - it was something that industrial civilization stripped from us.

so I do tend to see Anarchism as being a somewhat exclusively left-wing school of thought

Well you don't even think anarchism should be called anarchism because you think 'libertarian socialism' is more descriptive, so it's not surprising that you'd reject anarchist currents that don't revolve around industrial workerism.

I just simply think that libertarian Socialism just simply is what Anarchism is.

Not to me or any anarchist I care about.

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A_Lane OP wrote

I think that we're talking at cross paths. I do think that an Anarchist project will eventually necessarily involve the equitable redistribution of resources, but, I am not a hard-line Anarcho-Syndicalist, a Workerist, or, a devotee of the European Left.

While there is a democratic project that was partially lost to Colonialism, I don't necessarily think that Anarchism is something like the lost wisdom of the ancients. The philosophy is as old as it is new as it is an attempt to create a utopian society.

I kind of like your historical break, actually. What, other than some form of equitable redistribution of resources, do you suggest should happen in an ideal Anarchist society?

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ziq wrote (edited )

I don't necessarily think that Anarchism is something like the lost wisdom of the ancients

There's nothing lost about it, it's just the default. We're all born into this world in anarchy. Then almost immediately; especially if we live in civilization, authority is stamped on us, shoved down our throat and into our ears, tied around our neck and then for the rest of our lives we're conditioned to obey that authority.

ideal Anarchist society

There is no ideal anarchist society. No end point where we all announce we've achieved utopia and retire. Anyone claiming anarchy can be achieved rather than it being a permanent struggle against authority either doesn't understand anarchy or is trying to manipulate you into being ruled.

The moment someone declares they've achieved "ideal anarchist society", you need to kill them.

Check my profile for a link to my anarchistlibrary stuff or look through w/anarchy101 if you want to understand my perspective better.

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A_Lane OP wrote

I agree that the utopia that Anarchists seek to create can never be fully reified.

I'm not sure that I'm quite as critical of civilization as you are, but, I am critical of it. I guess I see human nature as being technically good, but, effectively neutral. I don't know that I would agree that people are natural born Anarchists.

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ziq wrote (edited )

We're born in anarchy because we haven't been indoctrinated into authority yet. Authority constructs are placed on us all through our lives, both physically and mentally.

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Tequila_Wolf wrote

If I'm really trying to be as specific as I can with as little language, I just say anti-authoritarian.

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kore wrote

The history of these terms is pretty fascinating to me. I think a substantial reason that North American anarchists prefer the term "anarchy" as opposed to "libertarian socialism" is that the word "libertarian" in United States politics now refers to something like "anarcho"-capitalist ideology, and so this might give people who don't know the history of the terms the wrong idea. Even though anarchists were the original libertarians.

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A_Lane OP wrote

The Wikipedia page for Libertarianism clears that up pretty well, I think. Same for the one on Radicalism. I actually think that in the States that "Anarchism" can be more muddled than "libertarian socialism". I often have to state that I'm a libertarian Socialist in order to clarify.

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A_Lane OP wrote

*socialist (It's more confusing to capitalize it even though I think that it's gramatically correct.)

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Uwusketamine445 wrote

Libertarian socialism is the one I prefer personally. But honestly I just say I’m an anarcho-communist and people usually either know what it is, or don’t care. But libsoc sounds better to non-political people than anarchist.

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A_Lane OP wrote

People can define their political philosophy however they please. My point, however, is that you ought to just call that school of thought Anarchism as that is, and, here, this is apparently a point of contention, just simply what it is.

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tpedes wrote

I think that anarcho-communism can be described as libertarian socialism: libertarian as opposed to authoritarian, and socialist to signify collectivism rather than individualism. That's not the only kind of anarchism, however, even though it is where my thinking pretty consistently falls on any of the political compass tests. For a while, I thought that "libertarian socialist" was an under-the-radar kind of term, but given that "libertarian" in the U.S. has become hopelessly enmeshed with Ayn Fucking Rand, it's pretty poisonous.

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A_Lane OP wrote

I feel like Libertarianism ought not to be let swept by Anarcho-Capitalism. I suppose it is the case that libertarian socialism can be somewhat alienating. There is, after all, always Max Stirner, and, so, I may have, perhaps, be motivated by an attempt at a political manuever by attempting to define "Anarchism" as such.

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tpedes wrote

I'm not sure that I'm following what you're saying. If your saying that you want to use "libertarian socialism" or "anarcho-communism" so as not to have your collectivist political ideas associated with more individualistic ones, I can see doing that. However, that's a distinction that probably lost outside of very fringe spaces like, well, ones where people know who Max Stirner was. Everywhere else, I'm just satisfied if people don't think anarchist = incoherent terrorist. Once we hit that mark, then baby steps forward.

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A_Lane OP wrote

I'm not necessarily opposed to Individualism. I meant that by defining "Anarchism" as being libertarian Socialism, I had, perhaps, unjustly alienated adherents of the theory. I do tend to be inclined towards "collectivist" Anarchism, but, wouldn't refer to myself as a Collectivist. I guess I do agree with ziq that the distinction is false.

My original point was that philosophies like Communization and Autonomism just simply referred to Anarchism and that there wasn't really a reason to use another term.

I sort of agree with ziq's critique of my defining "Anarchism" as libertarian Socialism now, though. It is a bit alienating. I just want for Anarchism to refer to libertarian socialism when it doesn't necessarily.

I sort of comprise my own Leftist sect and so do appreciate the distinctions.

My theory about Anarchism is that it just simply is the far-Left. The Left, here, does denote the school of thought proceeding from the liberation from the monarchy. Anarchism would, then, seek some form of total liberation.

Why lock yourself into European history? Ziq does bring up a good point.

I'm not quite sure how I feel about my original statements now, I guess.

lol, btw.

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TOPE wrote

Voluntaryism

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A_Lane OP wrote

I've heard Tiqqun be accused of being voluntaryist before. I'm not really sure what the charge was. I don't really think that voluntaryism is all that disagreeable from what I know of it from Wikipedia. Has anyone ever read John Zube?

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