Anarchy In U.S.A.
By Mickey Z.
Like so many words and concepts, “anarchism” seems to mean something different to everyone who spouts it. As my vegan/anarchist/yogi friend Jessica once said: "Sometimes people think that yoga and anarchism is about 'doing whatever you feel.' but actually, it's about taking great care of others, which takes a tremendous amount of discipline and courage.”
To which I add: Anarchism is not synonymous with violence. Capitalism is.
Capitalism (and most of its rivals) is a system based on the relentless exploitation of finite resources. Anarchism? Well, here's how Noam Chomsky puts it: "Anarchists try to identify power structures. They urge those exercising power to justify themselves. This justification does not succeed most of the time."
While the mainstream, the liberals, and the squeamish all take turns spouting uninformed slander about anarchists (and the now-mythical Black Bloc), the truth remains: It requires an incredible amount of optimism to be an anarchist.
Anarchists are the only ones with enough faith in humanity to believe we can co-exist with all species peacefully -- without coercive institutions and hierarchies.** How much more fuckin' optimistic can you be? It never ceases to amaze me when I'm labeled "negative" for documenting reality, when the path I'm suggesting couldn't be more positive.
This positivity, though, is based on action -- both individual and collective -- and perhaps therein lies the rub. Until the pervasive presence/threat of cultural violence is diminished and ultimately eradicated, we must never stop exposing it, factoring it into our words and actions, and finding ways to sabotage it.
** Sorry to say but Mickey Z hasn't heard of SOYMB and the World Socialist Movement yet! We definitely believe in living in peaceful co-existence without coercive institutions and hierarchies. But that's the shame about labels, they can be misunderstood and divisive; however, come the revolution no doubt there'll be a coming together on a grand scale with positive action for the benefit of all.