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Considering Anarchism

The following Points of Unity come from the Noreaster, the “official quarterly of the Northeast Anarchist Network”. They’re a kind of definition of what it means to be an anarchist, at least for this particular group:

1. A very clear rejection of capitalism, imperialism and authoritarianism.
2. A rejection of all forms and systems of domination. Embracing the full dignity of all.
3. An attitude of active resistance toward all state, corporate and other oppressive institutions.
4. A call to direct action, support for emancipatory social movements, advocating for the liberation of all, as well as the construction of local alternatives.
5. An organizational philosophy based on decentralization and autonomy. This network is specifically inclusive of all Anarchist struggles and supports all of them as long as they adhere to these Points of Unity, even though not everyone in the Network might consider a particular struggle a priority. Anarchists must show solidarity with each other’s struggles as a principle of revolutionary necessity. In order to embody these values, we see the need for an Anarchist social revolution.

How do these points compare with your own political/activist philosophy?

5 comments to Considering Anarchism

  • Jacob

    Doesnt this line go against the first point? “Anarchists must show solidarity with each other’s struggles as a principle of revolutionary necessity”

    The first point states “A very clear rejection of capitalism, imperialism and authoritarianism”.

    I would think telling people they must do something to be part of a group means that they are showing that they are the authority of the group telling people what to do. I wonder whos in charge of this group… Whos the authority that keeps it all in line…

  • Well, Jacob, there’s nothing in these points of unity that says “Anarchists must be consistent”.

    • Jacob

      True, but usually at least the mission statement and the main points are in line with each other. Most organizations take more then one paragraph before they start to crumble…

  • Solidarity is more like mutual respect and sympathy, a far cry from authoritarianism or institutional oppression. I can get over the the cognitive dissonance caused by hearing a call for anarchists to unite. The important thing is to have the principles and goals in the open for people to freely associate with or not.

    They’re a bit broad for my taste in rejecting all institutions (except the anarchist network) as oppressive and supporting all forms of struggle.
    I like my anarchism moderated with more emphasis on voluntary association with smaller, more open, local institutions and rejection of violence against people. They sort of tried to shoehorn that back in with the vague “local alternatives” phrasing. I think it’s worth mentioning rejecting the religious institutions if you’re going for a pure anarchy as well as state and corporate institutions.

    They should have rejected socialism with capitalism in point 1. In today’s political climate it seems like any rejection of capitalism is taken as an implied endorsement of socialism; they probably lose many potential libertarian converts right there.

    So the points of unity are a fair enough statement of an anarchist philosophy, but I don’t think it’s likely to draw many people to their cause.

  • Sounds pretty good to me! Granted, it’s not written in the most florid, exciting language, but it’s nice and concise. For a more in-depth look at anarchism, as well as responses to typical “but everyone would go around killing each other!” objections, check out An Anarchist FAQ:

    http://www.infoshop.org/faq

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