A person who supports freedom and mutual aid against authoritarianism, with a special emphasis against the authoritarianism that is possible through the unequal accumulation of private property, and through the legitimized monopoly of violence by the State. Other kinds of authoritarianism have been denaturalized and tackled by anarchism. Originally, the anarchist movement stressed the fight against the authority of God over men, as well as the way nationalism hindered solidarity among different peoples. Nowadays, many anarchists focus on abolishing authoritarian practices based on racism, patriarchy, or speciesism. In all cases, the anarchist movement has made great effort in favor of autonomous social mobilization and towards the extension of culture, ethics, and knowledge as ways to reach simultaneous individual and social freedom.
Anarchism, as an inclusive term, encompasses all kinds of associations and networks of non-commodified, non-oppressive collaboration that happen without the need of the State. Most of these networks are already a part of our social life–countless organizations of local and international solidarity, co-ops, social canteens, online networks of knowledge, time banks, scientific and cultural associations, indigenous communities, spontaneous groups of protest, free schools, reading or outdoor clubs, groups in favor of alternative sexualities, free municipalities, ecovillages, among others, function under anarchist logics such as direct democracy, self-management or mutual aid. The anarchist movement tries to sustain and extend this anti-authoritarian way of functioning towards bigger unities. In the early 20th century, the main pillar of these networks was the anarchist union, whose most powerful example was the Iberian “Confederación Nacional del Trabajo” (CNT). This union reached pragmatic improvement in labor, consumption and education for the working classes through tough strikes and negotiations, with the further goal of extending these conquests towards a society without inequalities of political and economic power. The biggest anarchist system in the 21th century takes place under the name of “Democratic Confederalism” in the Kurdistan region.
Useful References Anarchy in Action. 2019, https://anarchyinaction.org/index.php?title=Main_Page. Kropotkin, Peter. “Anarchism.” Encyclopedia Britannica, 1910. From “Peter Kropotkin entry on ‘anarchism’ from the Encyclopaedia Britannica (eleventh ed.).” Internet Archive, https://archive.org/details/PeterKropotkinEntryOnanarchismFromTheEncyclopdiaBritannica. Marín, Dolors. Anarquismo: una introducción. Barcelona, Ariel, 2014. https://anarkobiblioteka3.files.wordpress.com/2016/08/anarquismo_una_introduccic3b3n_-_dolors_marc3adn.pdf. Marín, Dolors. Anarquistas: un siglo de movimiento libertario en España. Barcelona, Ariel, 2010. Öcalan, Abdullah. Confederalismo Democrático. International Initiative Edition, 2012. www.freeocalan.org/wp.../Ocalan-Democratic-Confederalism.pdf Taibo, Carlos. “Repensar la anarquía.” YouTube, Feb. 24, 2015, https://youtu.be/wT9vE3rbBDw. Vadillo, Julián. Historia de la CNT. Madrid, Catarata, 2019.Ward, Colin. Anarchy in Action. London, George Allen and Unwin, 1973.
By Jorge Guap