Subject: Anarchism - The Politics of Chaos 18.08.17 16:35
Anarchism - The Politics of Chaos
The core values of anarchy are the rejection of any higher or hierarchical authority, including the state, patriarchy, the Church or ethics and a belief that an individual consensus of cooperation, voluntarism and respect should form the basis of society. In this regard, anarchism closely resembles cultural Marxism,yet differing slightly in offering alternatives to the current social order as an end result.
The philosophy remains based around the truism that power and authority corrupts and that a belief of individual conduct is a personal matter, yet unlike other ideologies, anarchism does not have a rigid structure (which by definition would involve a hierarchy) and so at its core it also assumes its tenets as being whatever one chooses to believe they should be. Because of this inability to define and unite, anarchism shares the same belief system as others on the far-left political spectrum, relying more on belief than reality and also why it shares the same failures, yet not through lack of trying.
The whole idea behind the anarchist philosophy, just as any on the left political spectrum, presumes that a certain social class has all the necessary skills to govern a nation and unlike societies, which in reality take centuries to form, assume the muddled belief that if only everyone can come together in agreement, that can be achieved overnight. The lesson not learned, as with all so-called popular 'people’s revolutions', is that behind it all someone pulls the strings. The continual end result is always that of failure, followed by excuses and ending in reassurances that the idea itself is sound, the belief of which condemns the believers to continually repeat the previous mistakes.
Take away the theory of what should be and there are many instances of modern day anarchism, defined as the absence of state authority and the rule of law. The aftermath of hurricane Katrina in New Orleans 2005, where after three days of a breakdown in authority, the inevitable looting, rapes and murders began. Or in Europe, the current profusion of no-go areas arising and the crime wave that inevitably results where political correctness under the rule of elders or cultural minorities, replaces the rule of law.
The Chaos Behind the French Revolution
The ideology of anarchism has a background dating back to the late 18th century French revolution.  Revolution in this era was inevitable as the last remnants of absolute monarchies and feudalism neared an end, although the French revolution had more to do with taxation and the feudal system under King Louis XVI than any revolutionary zeal on the part of the French. The revolution quickly turned into what is now commonly referred to as the 'reign of terror', (which is where the modern day term 'terrorism' originates from), led by Robespierre and introducing the 'cult of the supreme being'. As is always the case, the revolution failed.
The second attempt at revolution introduced the anarchists Bakunin, Michel and Proudhon, now immortalised for their role in the Paris commune, lasting a brief two months in 1871. The same slaughter, albeit in smaller amounts given the time period involved.
The Politics of the Russian Revolution
The next attempt to usher in a stateless egalitarian society with anarchists at the forefront, was the 1917 Bolshevik revolution, initially founded on the previous concept of the Paris commune. The anarchist communists (the word communist derives from the term commune), drawing their inspiration from Bukharin, Bakunin and Kropotkin and again attempting to create a classless, stateless and property less society. Just like Robespierre in the French revolution, Lenin and later Stalin made sure it didn’t succeed in Russia either. Again, it is difficult not to sympathise with a grass roots struggle, just as in France, in an age of absolute monarchy rule and absolute poverty. The difference between the anarchists and Bolsheviks, was who controlled; the collective, or the state? The eventual result proved Bakunin’s earlier prediction that the dictatorship of the proletariat would eventually lead to a dictatorship over the proletariat.
Anarchism and the Spanish Civil War
The final attempt to implement anarchism at a national level occurred in the Spanish civil war; often cited as a legend within anarchist mythology, containing a various grouping of anarchists, liberals, socialists and Communists. As Eric Blair aka George Orwell, who served with the Trotskyist P.O.U.M division later remarked in 'Homage to Catalonia' when speaking of Barcelona and after the initial attempt at creating a utopia euphoria had worn off:
"A change had come over the town […] the normal division of society into rich and poor, upper class and lower class, was reasserting itself." Note Orwell’s use of the term 'normal'.
When the nationalist forces entered Barcelona in January 1939 the crowds probably felt a sense of relief that the class based utopian nightmare of slaughter was over. Moreover, Orwell, a confirmed socialist, later retracted his youthful radicalism when the reality of Stalinism dawned, with such classics as 'Animal Farm'.
The anarchists partial success, primarily in Catalonia, lasted only two to three years and involved control by workers’ committees, unions, plus various militias. The novelty of being governed by mob rule, committees and representatives soon wore off and the experiment had already collapsed of its own accord before Franco took Catalonia in the final month of 1938. When the anarchists weren’t fighting against the forces of Franco’s nationalists, they were busily fighting the communists and amongst themselves and were all but purged by the communists by 1937.
What the Spanish attempt at anarchism finally proved is that an ideology founded on producing a mass consensus of belief always fails and that when the list of atrocities during that period are counted, the anarchists are shown to be just as capable of what is now commonly referred to as the 'Spanish Red Terror' as anyone else. Now proclaimed as a model of anarchist success, its failure and the loss of half a million lives trying to produce the impossible tells a different story.
No Gods No Masters
That is not to say anarchism faded out entirely and remains alive and well in some parts of the western world, but at a micro level of small 'hippy' like communities, reminiscent of the American 60s, whose ideas could never function above that level. This is often cited as proof that anarchism works.
The flaws of ideologies remain judged by results, not beliefs and just as communism provided heaps of corpses as proof and Christianity the inquisitions, witch hunts and crusades, so too the anarchists believed that they could create a stateless and classless society and failed miserably. Anarchism is only one of the many ideologies arising from the late 18th to the mid 20th century in response to a changing world, which saw the end of European absolute monarchies, serfdom and ideas of how society ought to proceed.
Enter the new anarchist clones in fancy black dress, obligatory face masks and new age backpacks. Modern day anarchism generally draws its adherents from a variety of social misfits and alienated youths, a rebellion against authority and a chance to loot within the safety of numbers.
Modern day anarchy in the west
Anarchy in Greece  Anarchy in America  Anarchy in the UK