There is a lot of confusion and negative association surrounding anarchism which is caused by a lack of understanding, so in this short piece I am going to outline what anarchism stands for and what it means to me personally.
A short explanation of anarchism
The word anarchy derives from the Greek word anarchos which literally translates as ‘one with out rulers’. Put simply it is the belief that no one person has the right to rule over another as we are all human when all is said and done. It does not mean chaos, destruction and violence as many people would have you believe. There are many different types of anarchists and many different schools of thought on the subject, no single ideology defines the belief. There are anarcho-communists, anarcho-syndicalist’s, environmental anarchists and individualists to name just a few (I will not detail the specific beliefs associated with all of these here as it would make for a very long read). However all anarchists agree on certain core principles, such as the belief that society should be stateless and without rulers and that all people should have the basic freedoms to do what they so choose with their lives, to pursue their own interests and desires, rather than being controlled and oppressed by the ruling classes through their economic systems and social structures. Anarchists often say that we are all effectively slaves as we are all forced to do jobs for money in order to survive. As money is nothing more than a human invention and a means to control the mass population we are all victims of what is called wage slavery, hence many anarchists call for the abolition of money in favour of voluntary systems of work and collectivisation of the production industries so that all products of humanity belong to all people. Anarchists believe that the current global system of capitalism puts the wishes of the few above the needs of the many, that there are more than enough resources on this Earth for all on it to live well and that capitalism puts profits before people and the environment. Anarchism is simply best described as a highly libertarian form of socialism.
My personal anarchism
Anarchism to me means no more wage slavery, the ability to pursue my own interests, to grow and learn as a person and contribute to society in a way that makes me happy instead of working just to survive whilst making profits for someone else. It means not being controlled, watched and oppressed by the state under threat of imprisonment. It means a decent standard of living for all in society instead of an extravagant one for the privileged few. It means no more destruction of the planet, no more pillaging of its valuable natural resources in the name of profit. It means an end to the current inequalities of society, no more racism, no more sexism, a society where we are all equal as just the humans that we are. It means a return to what humanity is meant to be. After all, in the early days of humanity before money and government were even a concept we as a species lived together in communities voluntarily and shared all resources and tasks equally. No single person or group is intended to have control over another, that is not the natural way. Anarchism to me means putting faith in humanity. It means believing that we are by our very nature good, that we do not need to be controlled by others in order to survive. It means destroying the corrupt and unequal society around us and starting again. It means building a better, fairer world. It means hope. In one word anarchism to me means freedom.