A question for filling up: what associations do the word “anarchy” invoke in you? If you have presented confusion, chaos, devastation, and crowds of drunken sailors with fury rushing about in search of profit – congratulations, you are a victim of the good old stereotype. Let’s try to debunk it and figure out what anarchy really is.
First of all, it makes sense to consider the term “anarchy” itself and determine its etymology. The word anarchy is of ancient Greek origin. It consists of the prefix “an”, which indicates the denial and the words “archos” in the meaning of “lord, boss, ruler.” That is, anarchy is a kind of lack of authority. By the way, from here you can trace the etymology of other terms containing the word “archos”. For example, a monarchy (monos + archos = one ruler) or a patriarch (pater + archos = father lord). Also interesting is the etymology of the word “arhos” itself, which comes from the word “arche” – “beginning, principle.” It is known that the term “arche” used Aristotle as a characteristic of the initial in his predecessors. For example, at Thales arche is water, at Heraclitus is fire, at Pythagoras is number and so on. I suppose, that from “arche” in the meaning of the beginning the word “archos” was formed as “beginning”, domination. However, I am not a linguist, and therefore I can be wrong. As for the term “anarchism”, it was introduced into the humanities by the French publicist, politician and philosopher Jean Joseph Proudhon in 1840.
So, anarchy is the idea of anarchy, anarchy. However, this is not spontaneous, chaotic anarchy, in which everyone is allowed everything, by the way, it is this stereotype of anarchy that discredits her idea. The bottom line is the lack of one person’s power over another or one group of people over other groups. At the same time, order is organized not from above, through the principles of submission and suppression, but from below through the principles of self-organization and mutually beneficial cooperation.
The consequences of the anarchist idea
Proceeding from the basic anarchist idea of the absence of power by some over others, a number of interesting consequences follow. The most fundamental of them is the self-organization of society, an alternative to the state. Indeed, the existing system of organization of society in the form of states is built on the principles of the dominance of political elites over all other members of society. All important issues that relate to the livelihoods of millions of people are resolved “upstairs” by a small handful of politicians and descend to perform down. Moreover, the form of socio-political structure does not play a special role, only the methods and degree of domination change. Under totalitarianism, for example, the state gains universal control over all aspects of life, while limiting freedom becomes obvious. In a democracy, restrictions on freedom do not manifest themselves so clearly, but as mentioned earlier, all decisions are made not by society, but by the authorities above it. The participation of an ordinary person in organizing the life of society and making decisions that affect this activity is leveled up to the only elementary function to choose one’s leader every four years. But does a slave free the right to choose a master?
Anarchy, on the other hand, offers an alternative option for creating federal communities from the bottom up, that is, all important decisions will be made by all participants in society. To solve more important and complex issues affecting the interests of large groups, it is proposed to use a delegation system using the principle of an imperative mandate. That is if the delegate for some reason does not cope with the assigned task or cannot, due to some reason or limitation, fulfill the functions assigned to him – he responds and another one is determined in his place. Moreover, the function of such a delegate is not to make decisions for the group, it only serves as an intermediary to express the interests of the group and to convey for this group the interests and proposals of other groups.
Also, the idea of a lack of power implies a number of anarchist principles.
Equality of all people.
This is one of the key principles, which implies that all people regardless of their social status, financial well-being and other factors are equal. It may seem that this principle also works in a democracy, but in practice this is not so. Just look at the attitude of ordinary people to their leaders. If the little god descends and allows the President to see firsthand, this event will be passed down from generation to generation as a great achievement of the family, and if he also shakes hands with you, this is generally comparable to divine grace.
An anarchist is a citizen of the world for whom equal are not only the citizens of the country in which he lives, but also all the people on the planet. You must admit that it’s absurd to treat one person only because he speaks the same language and lives a little closer to you than someone else.
Collaboration and mutual assistance. For a better and more effective satisfaction of your personal needs in various fields, as well as for solving problems that arise, it is more advisable to use cooperation and mutual assistance than the “head-subordinate” system.
Anarchy vs Anarchism
The concepts of anarchy and anarchism are often identified with each other, but still these are “two big differences”. Let’s try to figure out what is common in them and what is the difference. A common idea unites them, as already mentioned above, it consists in promoting ideas about the free self-realization of a person, the lack of power of some people over others and universal equality. But if anarchy is rather a way of life, thought and a certain philosophical system of values and worldviews, then the suffix “ism” added to the word turns it into a kind of movement, with inherent signs, properties and attributes. Thus, anarchism is rather a kind of external manifestation of anarchist ideas. It can be expressed in the promotion of anarchy as a system of values, participation in anarchist associations, congresses of anarchists, and so on. Punks running with black and red flags
Anarchy in modern society
Often anarchist ideas are reproached for utopianism. Say, it is impossible to organize a society without a state. Indeed, this is a rather controversial philosophical question. However, anarchy is not expressed in only one ultimate goal – the abolition of the state as a social institution. Let me remind you that anarchy is a way of life, a kind of worldview that is very successfully developing in modern society in the form of separate manifestations. For example, recently anarchist services such as couchsurfing, blablacar and many others have been developing tremendously. Their essence lies in joint cooperation for a more effective result. Thanks to such services, people have the opportunity to spend the night for free in almost any city in the world,
My attitude to anarchy
I almost completely share anarchist ideas and principles. They contribute to the development of personality, the disclosure of the potential inherent in a person, cultivate the ideals of justice, freedom and equality. However, unfortunately, the true utopianism of anarchy cannot be denied. In my opinion, building an anarchist society is possible only when the bulk of people get rid of slave psychology and can take responsibility for decision-making. For this, the society should consist of self-sufficient, intellectually developed people who can negotiate with each other and solve common problems through effective joint cooperation without an intermediary in the person of the state. However, the modern consumer society clearly does not contribute to the appearance of such people.