Do you have Anarchistic Ideas?
Anarchism has its roots in historical revolutions and writings dating back to ancient Greece. Just as with many movements, it has evolved with the times and yet remained timeless and essential. I am new to understanding these theories that at times can be complex but yet be so simple and grassroots. I can identify with the need for freedom, to exist without imposing powers and the belief in humanity that it is good and that society can organize itself. In an effort to illustrate some core beliefs, ask yourself:
Am I an anarchist?
- While driving do you slow down when seeing children near the edge of the road? Do you slow down because you may get a hefty ticket from the police and in trouble with the law or do you use caution because you wouldn’t want anyone to get hurt or worse. Or do you drive carefully not to hit a frog, squirrel, or turtle on the road? If you avoid hurting people or animals unnecessarily than you may be an anarchist.
- When it’s election time, no matter whether it be municipal, provincial or federal, do you find yourself feeling like you’re forced to vote for the lesser of evils or questioning whether to vote at all? Do you have minimal trust of those in power? If so, then you may be an anarchist.
- Have you ever volunteered your time for a cause that rewards you with contentment and no financial gain? Have you helped a friend move, built a fence, or held the door open for a person struggling? If you have, then you may be an anarchist.
- Do you place your unyielding trust in large corporations? Do you trust in Canada Post, Bell Canada, Hydro One or Microsoft? Do you believe that your letter will always get there, that you will never be overbilled and your computer will never fail because “How could Bill Gates let that happen to you?” If you said yes to any of the above – you are probably not an anarchist!
So what does Anarchism mean then? Anarchism perhaps could be best described as one of the most misunderstood political philosophies. What it is not is society descending into chaos, violence and mayhem. Alexander Berkman, a leading writer and anarchist movement in the early 20th century, wrote, “I must tell you, first of all, what anarchism is not. It is not bombs, disorder, or chaos. It is not robbery or murder. It is not a war of each against all. It is not a return to barbarianism or to the wild state of man. Anarchism is the very opposite of all that.”
What Anarchism was and remains is a fundamental belief in humanity and freedom to make choices, and that the world can function without capitalism, governments, religions and domination. Berkman wrote, “Anarchism means you should be free; that no one should enslave you, boss you, rob you, or impose upon you. It means you should be free to do the things you want to do; and that you should not be compelled to do what you do not want to do.”