Anarchism 2.0: Suggestions For The Movement

I get skepticism of authority, and the desire to abolish hierarchical institutions. I see the point of free association, without ownership of production, in a stateless society. However, there are logic gaps that ignore reality, and keep the movement from being more viable. Let’s fix that.

Make Anarchism Appealing

The common perception of anarchy is Molotov cocktails in the streets is not appealing; it’s scary. Regardless of how well-meaning an idea is, people generally prefer safety and security over chaos.

Start by being for something, instead of violently against most of society. The best capitalism meme-killer is be a better meme. Peace Now! instead of, End War. It’s all about branding. Imagine – John Lennon, that’s attractive.

Revolution without underlining cultural change is pointless: Say you want a Revolution. Don’t get fooled again. Meet the new boss; same as the old boss.

Here are some revolutionary ideas that will make the world better for all life: one-child families to peacefully reduce population; only women vote; end renting; end unearned income. Don’t base a movement on complaints, base it on real solutions.

Deal With Reality

Society has two great, mostly ignored, problems. First, there are 8 billion people today. Second, we have no viable way to get to a sustainable 1 billion or less. We have to feed and clothe 8 billion. We can’t do that without enormous capital and giant organized agricultural and industrial centers.

The only way forward is a hybrid solution providing for today’s needs and turning cultural meme’s toward long-term viability. We have to deal with root problems, not symptoms. Climate change or deforestation are a symptoms of too many people. Anarchism has to mature to deal with servicing the current population and creating an ethic to reduce it.

An anarchists might say, “Population has nothing to do with the movement.” It has everything to do with a leaderless, free society. We can’t get to a small societal level to freely associate until we remove the pressure to provide for a population that is 10x larger than is viable. The Americas were once the Garden of Eden from sea to shining sea because total population was about 100 million, yes millions.

Create Working Models

A movement is not realistic unless we have repeatable working models to point at. Create self-sufficient communities. Create places for all ages to live and other to visit and see working self-governing communities. A community is more than a a four bedroom house in town. It needs to have its own economy, provide some of its own food, energy, education, healthcare — a complete cradle-to-grave solution.

A blended approach may be necessary, capital will have to come from somewhere to acquire land, buildings, equipment for anarchist projects. Because we live in a capitalist world, each leaderless anarchist community or business will have to be economically viable.

Start local, solve immediate public problems with leaderless food kitchens, day care, community gardens, co-op housing. Change perception to, Anarchy gets things done. Buying buildings and kitchens is going to take capital. Your’e faking it if it comes from wealthy donors. Solutions have to be self-sustaining in the current ecosystem, or they are just a pipe dream. Which means being able to earn money to interface with the outside world, and borrow money from banks, yes a bank.

Leadership Is Necessary Sometimes

Someone has to organize key communal activities. Radical consensus does not get things done in all cases because it involves inexperienced decision-makers. There are some key leadership decisions that are necessary for tribal survival. And those who know best are the elders of that specialty. In any group activity, experts develop over time. Interested new people are encouraged to quietly observe the decision making process.

Good decisions come from wisdom. Wisdom comes from making bad decisions.

At times, someone who knows best has to be in charge.

Since time immemorial, Indigenous peoples survived and thrived, because they allowed elder leaders make key decisions: When to move seasonal camp, when to harvest, or when to make a small raid on the neighboring tribe to let them know you had not gone soft, then make up with a powwow. Anarchists could learn from the Great Confederacy of the Iroquois: no chief executive, only women can vote, the entire nation has to grant its will to change boarders or go to war. The Iroquois Confederacy began as early as 1100 A.D., survives today, and was the size of a third of the continental United States.

Lastly, not all jobs are bad, baristas get to socialize at a coffee shop. But, not everyone can plan, and organize a new coffee shop. If you want to benefit society, how about a chain of anarchist worker co-op, coffee shops with affordable organic food?

Expand Values – All Life Is Sovereign

If a movement want’s to be idealistic, mature it by expanding its circle of empathy. Yes, wage slavery, and control through poor education is awful, but that’s just about humans. What about the wild lives and ecosystems that are sacrificed to to build a stick-framed workers co-op? What about the domestic animal lives farmed and slaughtered for the co-op meat or fish meal?

Any movement that only cares about civilized humans is immature. All social movements must be expanded to look at all life and the horrendous plant killing civilized humanity has wrought. No just workers are enslaved, but all life is. Enslaved by domestication and privatization of the wild. Society programs us simple as biorobots. We have to break free from our programming. Anarchism 2.0 ideology can help the masses wake up to the wider equal value for all life.

Chuck Burr is author of Culturequake: The Restoration Revolution. Revised 10th Anniversary, Fourth Edition. Please share.