12. January 2024 - 19:00
Share it on:

Introducing Anarchism: Stateless Socialism | Friday, 12. January 2024


What is Anarchism? What is the ideology's purpose, vision, practice and goals? What are its stereotypes, realities and traditions? Are you required to wear black clothing and throw molotov cocktails? Are pink pants and butter-nut business suits just as possible? Can you punk-strut with lollipops?

Of the many political philosophies that exist, no ideology has suffered from as much discrimination and outsider-status as anarchism does. The confusion between "anarchy" and "anarchism" continues to exist, even more so now that Occupy Wall Street has surfaced in the public imagination. Long dormant since the 1890s--with a fleeting appearance in the 1960s--anarchism has resurfaced with OWS, and much of the misbegotten assumptions of its meaning remains doggedly smeared mainstream media scorn.

Take it from an infamous anarchist to define the term: as Mikhail Bakunin passionately asserts: “I am truly free only when all human beings, men and women, are equally free. The freedom of other humans, far from negating or limiting my freedom, is, on the contrary, its necessary premise and confirmation.”

So goes the secret history of anarchism, which has been crushed under the weight of history's simplification machine. Bakunin, a one-time comrade and later arch-nemesis of Karl Marx, remains a towering figure to many later anarchist thinkers. The advocate and activist prophetically warned that Karl Marx's "Dictatorship of the Proletariat" would still end up as a dictatorship, and for his dissent, Bakunin and other anarchist were barred from the Socialist International in 1872. The civil war between these two socialist factions remains a uniquely tragic mystery outside closed ears of consumer citizens. And so now, after the revolutions in Egypt, Tunisia, Europe and Canada, and the peace-tents of Occupy Wall Street, it's finally time to de-closet the term and celebrate its utopian impulse.

Unbeknownst to many loosely or active members within the Occupy Movement, much of what has already happened since September in Zuccotti Park is anarchist to the core. On seeing the top-down structure of its first initial protest meeting, David Graeber--the anthropologist and anarchist--quickly broke off and formed a horizontal GA, which later became the very basis for each and every GA across the country. The Occupy Wall Street is the world's first truly leaderless movement that works from consensus via general assemblies, where mutual aid and decentralized decision-making are active ingredients, and where direct action takes the place of waiting silently for the voting booth.

Giovanni Ruiz and Matthew Snyder will be hosting this themed GA event. Matthew hopes to discuss the history of anarchism and its most modern economic vision for a better world (Participatory Economics), while Giovanni hopes to broach ideas on Athenian democracy and the impact of progressing technologies on politics, advanced automation, digital networking, artificial intelligence.

Above all else, if you have questions, or would like to share in your experiences with anarchist thought, please feel free to join us for a night of solidarity and friendship. Let's end hierarchies together.