What's Your Anarchy?

We at the Nor'Easter recognize that there are as many definitions of anarchy as there are anarchists. With this in mind, respecting a diversity of opinion, we would like to introduce the series "What's Your Anarchy?" in which anarchists can describe what anarchy means to them, why they became anarchists, or what their view of an anarchist future may be.

A quick bite of ANARCHISM

By Luke Romano

Fear and freedom can not comply with one another. If you are looking to understand anarchism, that is a great place to start. Anarchism is the one theory that does not rely on fear or threats, in any way, to uphold its ideas. Any form of statism - any kind of government - must, by definition, rely on threats and violence, and therefore, fear. Anarchists recognize that a person who is afraid is not free.

Anarchists, with the goal of a society completely free from institutional fear, reject government in all of its forms. And by logical extension, anarchists reject authority in all of its forms. Anarchists view freedom as a natural reality, not something graciously "granted" to us by government. Freedom is 100 percent free, contrary to the popular slogan, and the only power that government has is to limit such natural freedom.

As social beings, anarchists see that once human beings are accustomed to taking responsibility for their own actions, a society based on mutual aid, trust, and cooperation is a very real possibility. A society with no authority. No bosses. Why?

It is the natural aim of authority to enlarge itself. Governments are constantly making more laws, creating more intricate ways to control their populations. Whether it be a CEO, a police officer, a boss at work, a president, a parent, a teacher, or any other figure of authority - anarchists recognize that abuse of power is natural and necessary to maintain any form of authority. This is because these social relationships, these relationships based on an authoritarian social model, all share the common link of the division between the bosses and those being bossed. This relationship is not voluntary. This relationship is forced. Anarchists oppose force as a means to uphold anything. Therefore, authority must be abolished. But what to replace it with? There is nothing in society to replace authoritarianism with that doesn't already exist. Cooperation - we all cooperate as a necessary form of survival, do we not? Mutual aid - it is always beneficial to exchange services and aid in any way and to somehow receive it back. With no power whatsoever, society can exist in a completely de-centralized fashion. No nations, no governments, no borders - just independent, self-sustainable communities networking with one another as a means of survival. This is the only way that freedom can exist - when it's not "given" to us by authority - when it exists in its natural state. Do you want to work on your own terms? Are you tired of being bossed around? Do you hate being stricken with fear every time a cop car passes you on the street? Do you see the advantage to working with your neighbors rather than competing with them? Do you love a sense of equality in your social and personal relationships? Do you see freedom for what it really is? If so, then anarchism is a wonderful idea for you to explore and apply to your everyday life. Enough with the corrupting power and insatiable greed they've instilled in us! It's time to work towards an anti-authoritarian world.

Luke Romano publishes Cracks in the Concrete - a small anarchist journal based in Southern New Jersey. Learn more here.