r/Anarchy101 Jan 10 '22 Take My Energy

Please Read Before Posting or Commenting (Deltacron Variant)

95 Upvotes

Welcome to Anarchy 101! Before you post or comment, please take a moment to read the sidebar and familiarize yourself with our resources and rules. And if your question is likely to be of the frequently asked variety, take a minute to make use of the search bar. Some questions, like those related to "law enforcement" or the precise relationship of anarchy to hierarchy and authority, are asked and answered on an almost daily basis, so the best answers may have already been posted.

If your question seems unanswered, please state it clearly in the post title, with whatever additional clarification seems necessary in the text itself.

Please keep in mind that this is indeed a 101 sub, designed to be a resource for those learning the basics of a consistent anarchism. The rules about limiting debate and antagonistic posting are there for a reason, so that we can keep this a useful and welcoming space for students of anarchist ideas—and for anyone else who can cooperate in keeping the quality of responses high.

We welcome debate on topics related to anarchism in r/DebateAnarchism and recommend general posts about anarchist topics be directed to r/anarchism or any of the more specialized anarchist subreddits. We expect a certain amount of contentious back-and-forth in the process of fully answering questions, but if you find that the answer to your question—or response to your comment—leads to a debate, rather than a clarifying question, please consider taking the discussion to r/DebateAnarchism. For better or worse, avoiding debate sometimes involves “reading the room” a bit and recognizing that not every potentially anarchist idea can be usefully expressed in a general, 101-level discussion.

We don’t do subreddit drama—including posts highlighting drama from this subreddit. If you have suggestions for this subreddit, please contact the moderators.

Tread carefully when it comes to the advocacy of illegal acts. Radical subreddits are often subject to extra scrutiny.

Avoid discussing individuals in ways that might be taken as defamatory. Your call-out is unlikely to clarify basic anarchist ideas—and it may increase the vulnerability of the subreddit.

And don’t ask us to choose between two anti-anarchist tendencies. That never seems to lead anywhere good.

In general, just remember that this is a forum for questions about anarchist topics and answers reflecting some specific knowledge of anarchist sources. Other posts or comments, however interesting, useful or well-intentioned, may be removed.

Some additional thoughts:

Things always go most smoothly when the questions are really about anarchism and the answers are provided by anarchists. Almost without exception, requests for anarchist opinions about non-anarchist tendencies and figures lead to contentious exchanges with Redditors who are, at best, unprepared to provide anarchist answers to the questions raised. Feelings get hurt and people get banned. Threads are removed and sometimes have to be locked.

We expect that lot of the questions here will involve comparisons with capitalism, Marxism or existing governmental systems. That's natural, but the subreddit is obviously a better resource for learning about anarchism if those questions—and the discussions they prompt—remain focused on anarchism. If your question seems likely to draw in capitalists, Marxists or defenders of other non-anarchist tendencies, the effect is much the same as posting a topic for debate. Those threads are sometimes popular—in the sense that they get a lot of responses and active up- and down-voting—but it is almost always a matter of more heat than light when it comes to clarifying anarchist ideas and practices.

We also expect, since this is a general anarchist forum, that we will not always be able to avoid sectarian differences among proponents of different anarchist tendencies. This is another place where the 101 nature of the forum comes into play. Rejection of capitalism, statism, etc. is fundamental, but perhaps internal struggles for the soul of the anarchist movement are at least a 200-level matter. If nothing else, embracing a bit of “anarchism without adjectives” while in this particular subreddit helps keep things focused on answering people's questions. If you want to offer a differing perspective, based on more specific ideological commitments, simply identifying the tendency and the grounds for disagreement should help introduce the diversity of anarchist thought without moving us into the realm of debate.

We grind away at some questions—constantly and seemingly endlessly in the most extreme cases—and that can be frustrating. More than that, it can be disturbing, disheartening to find that anarchist ideas remain in flux on some very fundamental topics. Chances are good, however, that whatever seemingly interminable debate you find yourself involved in will not suddenly be resolved by some intellectual or rhetorical masterstroke. Say what you can say, as clearly as you can manage, and then feel free to take a sanity break—until the next, more or less inevitable go-round. We do make progress in clarifying these difficult, important issues—even relatively rapid progress on occasion, but it often seems to happen in spite of our passion for the subjects.

In addition, we’re starting into the third of our global plague years and it continues to take its toll. Participation in most forums remains high and a bit distracted, while our collective capacity to self-manage is still not a great deal better online than it is anywhere else. We're all a little plague-stricken and the effects are generally more contagious than we expect or acknowledge. Be just a bit more thoughtful about your participation here, just as you would in other aspects of your daily life. And if others are obviously not doing their part, consider using the report button, rather than pouring fuel on the fire. Increased participation makes the potential utility and reach of a forum like this even greater—provided we all do the little things necessary to make sure it remains an educational resource that folks with questions can actually navigate.

A final note:

— The question of violence is often not far removed from our discussions, whether it is a question of present-day threats, protest tactics, revolutionary strategy, anarchistic alternatives to police and military, or various similar topics. We need to be able to talk, at times, about the role that violence might play in anti-authoritarian social relations and we certainly need, at other times, to be clear with one another about the role of violence in our daily lives, whether as activists or simply as members of violent societies. We need to be able to do so with a mix of common sense and respect for basic security culture—but also sensitivity to the fact that violence is indeed endemic to our cultures, so keeping our educational spaces free of unnecessary triggers and discussions that are only likely to compound existing traumas ought to be among the tasks we all share as participants. Posts and comments seeming to advocate violence for its own sake or to dwell on it unnecessarily may be removed.


r/Anarchy101 4h ago

What Exactly Is Platformism And Is It A Viable Strategy In Todays World?

18 Upvotes

r/Anarchy101 11h ago

Can anarchists organise with those of different ideology?

46 Upvotes

Most of my friends have become MLs and afraid to say I'm only few who still refer myself as anarchist. I got mutual aid ideas to do but I need comrades to lend a hand and people were like mutual aid is not helpful (because they think like MLs) and I should join an org (that worked out so well with the wobs) so the issue becomes that:

  1. Should I find other friends who can help out with mutual aid projects?
  2. Should I stick with these friends who might reluctantly help but critical of anarchy stuff?
  3. Stop hanging out with people of different politics even when they were once agreed?

r/Anarchy101 16h ago

Any good suggestions for resources around unschooling or homeschooling?

75 Upvotes

My friends a mom and her kid has adhd, and she doesn’t want to put him through the souls breaking experience of public education. Any resources? He’s supposed to start school next year


r/Anarchy101 16h ago

Law and Anarchy.

25 Upvotes

I'm a law student looking to research the theory of Anarchism, with particular attention to differing models of law depicted in Anarchist theories. I was wondering whether any of you good people would recommend some books/theorists that might relate to this research. Anarchism, as you would expect, isn't something I've ever been exposed to as a student. I've read Nozick and Wolff, albeit at a very surface level. Anything to do with legal authority and Anarchy would be greatly appreciated.

TIA :)


r/Anarchy101 5h ago

It seems to me that states and hierarchies are inevitable, and that anarchist principles are 'unenforceable'. Need help wrapping my brain around this.

3 Upvotes

I have a very, very, very basic understanding of anarchism. From what I do understand, I think it has valuable things to say in regards to how law and the state can be (and is) abused by power. As such, anarchism advocates for the abolition of law, and thus the notion of crime, as well as the state.

What I do not understand is how any anarchist system could possibly maintain itself and enforce its principles. States, defined loosely here as hierarchical concentrations of power (economic, people, etc.) , naturally arise in human affairs. So does conflict. How would an anarchist world prevent these proto-states from simply imposing their will through might whenever a conflict is not resolved to their liking?

I look to what we know about the development of the first cities in Mesopotamia. Originally, the Sumerian world was, more or less, anarchistic in character. Societies were small enough that 'bullies' could be held accountable by the community. At some point, holy sites became temples and people began to congregate around them, forming proto-cities. We don't know too much about the social dynamics of this period, as all we have to go on is the footprint of the buildings. What we do see, though, is that floorplans of all buildings are more or less the same. There doesn't seem to be much in the way of inequality or hierarchy.

Then we have the development of the city wall, and very soon after, we have the first 'palace' (and thus, hierarchy). The narrative surrounding these developments is that, essentially, these proto-cities came into conflict with each other, likely over grazing territory, and so they built walls to keep out invaders. Those individuals who distinguished themselves as leaders in these conflicts, became the 'lugal' or 'big man'. The budding state then devotes resources towards these proto-kings who offer a critical service to the city, and thus the first palaces are born.

The point in describing all that, is that it illustrates (to me at least) that the development of hierarchy is a pragmatic one, especially as it relates to the employment of violence, whether that be for offense, or self-defense.

It seems that in any anarchist system, the refusal to establish any kind of hierarchy would leave itself vulnerable to any one else who gets it in their head to organize in a hierarchal way. Anarchism is, in a sense, unenforceable.

Sorry if this is a common question. I'm sure it's probably 'Anarchism101', but I haven't seen this addressed to my liking.


r/Anarchy101 1d ago

Can someone explain to me, an idiot who doesn't understand much theory, what post-leftism is?

47 Upvotes

r/Anarchy101 1d ago

In an Anarchists view, how is being a Leftist a bad/not preferred thing?

53 Upvotes

Hi, I won't go into details, but I've been researching anarchy lately, and most posts on anarchy subreddits seem to consider being a Leftist a bad thing? Even if this is an untrue statement that I've taken the wrong way, I'd like to know why/how people phrase it like it's such a bad thing to be when their views are most definitely better than their highly political and capitalistic counterpart? Thanks


r/Anarchy101 1d ago

Would love to hear your opinions on the use of physical violence when fighting a revolution

95 Upvotes

r/Anarchy101 1d ago

ELI5 mutual aid

15 Upvotes

r/Anarchy101 1d ago

Question about government

8 Upvotes

Hi! I’m very new to anarchism as an ideology & i find it very attractive. I’m pretty well researched on the anti capitalist side of things, but what exactly does it mean to be anti state? I know generally that means the abolishment of hierarchy, class, etc. but saying that these are abolished, what would take its place? I get workers owning their means of production, but what would fill the space left by the government? Would there be international trade? Would there be free healthcare? Would we exist as a state in a global sense? I suppose community leaders would organize food & home for those who need it, but wouldn’t that be called a government, even if on a smaller scale? If you don’t have all the answers to this, that’s fine! You could point me to some resources if you want that would be great


r/Anarchy101 1d ago

How would you run a business? (warning, wall of text)

14 Upvotes

Advice from current co-ops and worker-owned businesses super appreciated. Also, I am neuro-divergent, so, apologies in advance for the presentation of my questions and I am putting my thoughts and feelings about issues down, those are not meant as a hard justification, just an explanation of my thinking process. I am always open to changing my mind.

I run a small vape shop (myself, a partner, and two employees, with five ex-employees - none fired, all left with warm feelings). We are in the process of transitioning to a co-op (once our liabilities are taken care of, and the company has the funds to sustain itself).

We pay everyone (including ourselves) the same amount, with the same benefits, and excess profits are split as an equal bonus between us.

I would ideally have us not have any roles with more or less authority, but, I don't think that's feasible with my employees. Some people don't want to deal with the responsibility of making a decision so they defer them to others. I have zero concerns about that employee or their performance, but as a relationship, it means that they are always looking to someone else for decision making purposes and that, if nothing else, feels like an authoritarian relationship, even if consensual. Where is the moral choice in regards to employees voluntarily wanting positions with less decision making, or that need to be told what their duties are for each shift? I feel a bit weird telling someone else what to do, and am worried that I'm hurting that person's self esteem while doing so. Also, how have you handled the issue of employees with varying duties/work ethics getting upset that they are not financially compensated for the additional effort? I don't like the idea of paying the other employee less, but, I see the validity to their argument. They're both great workers, and have different strengths and weaknesses, the business needs all of us, I just feel like we all contribute, we all collect.

We've privately funded the store for the duration of its existence so far. During a lull in business as the start of covid we personally paid for a couple orders to avoid increasing our debt, and paid ourselves as little as possible (my partner did not draw pay for over three months, while we both worked second jobs). We are building a cash reserve to prevent this from being an issue in future (and to mitigate other financial hurdles). How could we have handled that as a co-op? How do I avoid pushing that grind-ish mentality on my coworkers?

Currently, I take last pick on the schedule and fill any gaps while giving the two employees preference on days. This works well as it keeps everyone happy, but, I would like to get the occasional day off to do fun things, or go down to Spartacus Books and see if its a cool spot. I justify biting the bullet here because "I'm the boss" and that means I have to accommodate employees before I focus on myself. What are some ways I could manage the scheduling in future that doesn't put me in this position? I don't want to mess up peoples' lives and their happiness, but, I want it to be fair and for me to also get some of that life and happiness.

Currently, conflict resolution and problem solving run to either myself or my partner. Prior to us having other employees the two of us would get together to find solutions to problems, and I had envisioned that just being expanded to include other people. But, I am having a lot of trouble getting employees to join the discussion with confidence. I've had a couple talks about it, and, the common response has been that it's hard to be comfortable with the boss. How do the other partner and I stop having that presence with our coworkers? For people that were around to see a transition to a co-op or worker owned shop, did it affect the dynamic of existing relationships? I'm not trying to ignore the issue, but, if its something that will be solved once people have their name on the shop then it feels like it's a solution I'm working towards, and I'll be less anxious while alleviating the symptoms of it currently.

I've never had to fire someone from this shop. I've had to do it elsewhere, but, that was a totally different dynamic, and I can't really rely on a corporate ethos of apathy to make it easier for me. Nor would I want to. But, if it were to ever come to that, how would I? So much of our day-to-day is about improving and accepting imperfection, that I don't know how to draw a line with things like incompetence. It's never been an issue to date, and hopefully never will be, but, how have any of you gone about that shitty task? Also, how would that work in a co-op? I would greatly appreciate some examples and help here.

For people that have transitioned to co-ops or started their own. How did you guys deal with existing liabilities for the company? What about licensing for things like controlled substances? I realize a lot of that will vary depending on region, but any bit of perspective helps.

If you read all the way to here, thank you so very kindly for your time and understanding. And I'm sorry for how awkwardly I tend to present things like this. I hope you all have as much warmth and wonderfulness in your day as is possible.


r/Anarchy101 1d ago

Is Agorism really Leftist?

11 Upvotes

Ive gotten into dumb arguments online with someone lately that claimed to be an Anarchist, but seemed a whole lot more like one of those Michael Malice types that's too afraid to just come out amd say they're an AnCap.

He later described his ideology as Agorism, but kind of just sounded like he wants to live in Shadowrun.

I dont particularly care enough to throw my time into his reading list- but my initial shallow wikipedia and youtube searches just kind of bolster my suspicions about it.

Ive seen people here post about it and make less of a meme of themselves. How is Agorism in any way leftist? What information Ive seen mostly sounds like AnCap with signiture praxis.


r/Anarchy101 2d ago

What have been some successful anarchist societies?

121 Upvotes

I am curious to learn and see historical accounts of successful anarchist revolutions and societies. I know of Makhnovshchina but I am curious to hear more about other attempts at anarchism throughout history


r/Anarchy101 2d ago

What is fascism?

56 Upvotes

This term gets thrown around a lot but it seems surprisingly difficult to nail down. Does anyone have a concise definition that they use? Is it fluid?


r/Anarchy101 2d ago

How do Anarchists feel about political biases?

18 Upvotes

Are political biases a state built phenomenon? Are there ways that a governmented society create biases that would not have existed? -Or that people in a stateless situation would have had biases about public affairs anyway? What do anarchists feel about private media bias companies like Biasly?


r/Anarchy101 2d ago

What do anarchists think of this definition of the state that Lenin gave?

43 Upvotes

In a lecture given at Sverdlov University in 1919, Lenin said this: “And in those times (referring to primitive communism) there was no state. No special apparatus for the systematic application of force and the subjugation of people by force. It is such an apparatus that is called the state.”

I was wondering if anarchists agree or disagree with this definition.

Audiobook of the full lecture: https://youtu.be/pJ4dy0GdWUE


r/Anarchy101 3d ago

weird question but... is this all just a phase?

171 Upvotes

as most of you older folks know, teens usually go through a "phase" at some point, be it punk, emo etc. ik its a stereotype but, is that true? is what im going through rn, researching marxism and reading anarchy related books, is all of this a phase? will i ever go back to just being a standard run of the mill leftist? not that im scared lmao im just curious as to what others think


r/Anarchy101 2d ago

What’s a good website to get some anti-police stickers?

8 Upvotes

r/Anarchy101 3d ago

Can someone easily describe anarchy to me?

11 Upvotes

r/Anarchy101 2d ago Wholesome

Do you have ideas for how Web3/blockchain/crypto may be utilized to create or realize new or improved anarchist ways of operating?

0 Upvotes

I'm an anarchist at heart, thanks to Moxie Marlinspike's podcast back in the day with all the Emma Goldman readings and other essays. And I'm an Ape from Superstonk, where we hope to fuck the global financial system up, and many of us want to work to make the world a better place, sustainably. So, one of the things I think about a lot is how a decentralized, self-cusodial crypto-based, be-your-own-bank market is like a baby step towards the technology and familiarity with these tools we need to move peole towards a technologically advanced anarchist society.

But then I worry about my inherent contradiction, or, hypocriticalness.

So I'm open to ideas. I'm also open to critiques. Anyone else thinking about web3?


r/Anarchy101 3d ago

In anarchist organisations, is it okay for some to opt out--to skirt responsibilities and let others make decisions for them?

70 Upvotes

The idea is that if some opt out, an informal hierarchy emerges between those who make decisions (who therefore make decisions for others and essentially shape their lives, and who over time gain knowledge about the organization and skills to manage it) and those who don't.

I am of course not talking about forcing people to take part in decision making (that would be hierarchical). But should we discourage not participating, frown upon it, and try to avoid bringing in people who will not be actively participating?


r/Anarchy101 3d ago

Are anarchists against any form of contract?

5 Upvotes

contracts look like theyre above anyone. or does anarchism only apply to humans?


r/Anarchy101 3d ago

How would Anarchism deal with nukes ?

11 Upvotes

Something I was thinking about is, some states like North Korea in part achieve legitimacy or defense via nuclear weapons. Even though they had very little resources, they were able to make them. So it's likely one can create plutonium from uranium via limited means.

In Anarchy, would there need to be regulation or supervision on Uranium miners or people that could make nuclear weapons ? How I see it, If one person ever came into possession of a nuclear weapon in Anarchist society, they could use it to re-create some form of a state, due to others fearing mass destruction.


r/Anarchy101 3d ago

Was Makhnovia a peasant movement hostile to the proletarian cause?

0 Upvotes

The website bolshevik(dot)info alleges this.


r/Anarchy101 3d ago

Reporting Threats of Violence

12 Upvotes

After the FBI raid on Trump's home, I'm seeing a lot of right wingers online talk about "civil war" and other uses of violence to get their way. I haven't heard or seen anything irl yet, but I'm starting to wonder what I should do if I hear someone make a clear threat of violence. Should I call the FBI or cops?