A Definition of Anarchy
Anarchism is the doctrine which proposes that society shall be reorganized on the basis of small, self-governing communities in which the land, produce, and machinery of production will be owned in common, and the power of the political state abolished in order that the fullest measure of individual liberty and equality may prevail.
The philosophy of anarchism represents the most literal form of individualism, as well as collectivism. It is the most extreme opposite of what is termed fascism. It conceives of man as naturally good and just, rational in his outlook, cooperative in his relationships with others.
To the anarchist, institutionalism and central authority are parasites feeding on human freedom. The inherent satisfaction of men in their work has been debased by the wage system. Modern society is built on a basis of force and coercion. Anarchists regard the criminal in society as one who is not inherently bad but is rather expressing the symptoms of social maladjustment in a socially decayed culture.
The anarchist believes that punishment is not a remedy, but it is society that needs change, and with that, the criminal will automatically follow suit, provided the right guidance is given.
The absence of government does not, according to the anarchist, mean the absence of order. On the contrary, the state of disorder existing in society everywhere is claimed to be the consequence of the legal force imposed upon the population by the state.
When this rule of coercion is abolished, the natural co-operativeness of men will take the place of organized repression and manipulative competitiveness. Government over men will give way to the impersonal administration of things. The very notion of competition, under the anarchist model of society, would be relegated to sport, leisure time and used ONLY FOR FUN.
Anarchists preach a moral and spiritual transformation of the individual as the first step to social change. Since coercive government and private-property ownership result in social disruption and moral decay, this school of thought advocates a voluntary renunciation of these institutions.
Passive disobedience and a return to the spirit of the teachings of Jesus (who many consider to be the prototype of anarchism) are variously proposed.
Source: Handbook of Political ISMS by Wasserman, 1941
Thanks to MassRevolt.
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