Semi Autonomous Places

A list of places where anarchy is especially prevalent. List compiled by user /u/anarchist_critic.

  1. CHIAPAS (Zapatista-contolled zones).

Pros: nearly 25-year autonomous zone, foreign capital excluded, many areas outside control of Mexican state, self-sufficient.

Cons: very specific kind of Maoist-inflected indigenous anarchism, too many lifestyle regulations, don't seem to accept visitors or migrants to the rural areas.

  1. SOMALIA.

Pros: large areas are virtually stateless, subsistence economy, non-state traditional (xeer) law.

Cons: civil war, US drone strikes, Islamists and other gangs active, very poor, shit gender politics. Possibly more ancap than anarchist.

  1. MADAGASCAR.

Pros: according to David Graeber, rural areas are de facto autonomous zones, outside state control.

Cons: poor, and not overtly anarchist.

  1. EL ALTO, BOLIVIA.

Pros: 700,000 strong self-governing city, squatted but tolerated, run by ayllus (participatory neighbourhood councils), informal and subsistence economy.

Cons: poor, social conservatism can be a problem, lynchings of criminals are also a problem.

  1. NAGALAND, MANIPUR, TRIPURA, etc.

Pros: strongly autonomous society, strong social movements, constant protests and shutdowns, weak state presence, subsistence/informal/handicrafts economy.

Cons: Indian state is an occupying power - weak but brutal; these areas are hard to visit or settle in due to Indian laws; constant intergroup conflict. Conservative and low in GSRM and women's rights.

  1. WEST PAPUA.

Pros: anarchic hunter-gatherer and horticulturalist ways of life still prevalent; tribal culture fiercely defended; hostility to the state; social movements and armed opposition.

Cons: brutal Indonesian occupying army, many of the local cultures are patriarchal and violent, it's difficult to visit let alone move there due to Indonesian laws.

  1. BHUTAN.

Pros: traditional society with little influence of capitalism, excludes major chains such as McDonald's, uses "gross domestic happiness" instead of GDP, high standard of living, beautiful terrain, great for off-grid.

Cons: unelected monarchy, lots of restrictions on foreigners (including Nepalese minority), assimilationist ideology, police checkpoints etc.

  1. LADAKH.

Pros: subsistence economy, nonviolent Buddhist culture, gender equality, de facto village-level self-government, ideal for backpacking etc.

Cons: part of Kashmir and hence under Indian emergency rule.

  1. THE AMAZON.

Pros: largely unregulated, local peoples are anarchic hunter-gatherers, wilderness area.

Cons: requires high-end survival skills, locals unlikely to take well to visitors, the area is severely at risk from deforestation and climate change. Foot-long spiders, spiny fish which swim up your pee, aggressive giant guinea-pigs and other delightful flora and fauna.

  1. AMERICAN WILDERNESS.

America is relatively sparsely populated and there are vast areas of wilderness where hardly anyone sets foot - forests, desert, mountains. Thousands live in off-grid communities in the US, some fugitives have vanished for a decade or more, and there were maroon and triracial isolate communities throughout US history.

Pros: higher chances of finding somewhere with no existing human presence than most of the world, some untouched wilderness areas still left.

Cons: only an option with a lot of survival skills, US wilderness constantly destroyed by capital, also American police etc.

  1. TRI-BORDER AREA (Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay).

Pros: largely lawless, ability to evade laws through multiple jurisdictions.

Cons: more capitalist than anarchist, lots of gang activity.

  1. MONGOLIA.

Pros: large subsistence sector, sparsely populated, low regulation, may not have extradition treaties.

Cons: post-communist state, creeping neoliberalism.

  1. INTENTIONAL COMMUNITIES

See at /w/Intentional_Communities

  1. BARCELONA, Catalonia.

Pros: large vibrant anarchist scene, regular riots, lots of squats. Catalan nationalism means relationship between population and state is strained. Spain is a good place for off-grid and suchlike, both legally and environmentally.

Cons: brutal police and Spanish state with extremely repressive laws.

  1. GREECE.

Pros: large vibrant anarchist scene (though downturn lately), regular riots, squats, armed groups; left-leaning government; limited state penetration of everyday life compared to other rich countries; universities are off-limits to police (this was restored recently).

Cons: brutal police, context becoming more repressive, austerity policies, fascism is on the rise.

  1. SIBERIA.

Pros: the government is giving away free farmland; very sparsely populated; becoming more fertile due to global warming; very easy to disappear and live off-grid.

Cons: Putin; post-Soviet pollution; it's very cold.

  1. LE ZAD, France.

Pros: explicitly anarchist, occupied, part self-sufficient, just scored a major victory over the government.

Cons: at risk of eviction; France has become much more repressive since the state of emergency.

  1. ICELAND.

Pros: Green, pirate and independent activists do well in elections, are currently in government; small country, sparsely populated; Scandinavian-style welfare state; lots of wilderness; doesn't have most of the repressive crap which is common in Europe.

Cons: conservatives periodically in power; no jobs; development projects eating into the environment; whaling.

  1. ZOMIA.

James Scott's name for a large area of upland Southeast Asia in Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar, and southwest China.

Pros: still largely lawless, anarchic culture, informal and subsistence economies, porous borders; great for backpacker trails.

Cons: mostly ruled by repressive states which have increased their power recently; lots of gang activity.

  1. MICRONATIONS.

People, often ancaps, periodically try to set up new nations, such as Sealand, which was an occupied oil rig. There's talk of a new floating nation being launched on old oil tankers, and another being created in space.

Pros: possibly outside government jurisdiction.

Cons: often remote and isolated; usually suppressed by states; usually organised on state-like model (but with extensive civil rights).

  1. ROJAVA

Pros: Large number of anarchists. Very decentralized for a state. Most regions autonomous. State is a Libertarian Socialist one.

Cons: Literally always being bombed. Fighting actual ISIS and other fascists. Locals are either negative to neutral on Queer issues, and likely conservative in other ways.

  1. KIBBUTZIM

Pros: Autonomous, often left alone by the state. Usually communal in nature.

Cons: Literally helping a settler state settle. Often very religious in nature. The state sometimes doesn't leave them alone.