By Peter H. Salus
The logo at the head of this site has always reminded me of the black/red anarchist flags. The past few months have convinced me that Bakunin, Kropotkin and Emma Goldman were right.
“If there is a State, there must be domination of one class by another and, as a result, slavery; the State without slavery is unthinkable—and this is why we are the enemies of the State,” wrote Bakunin in 1873.
The domination of the 1% [0.1% ?] in the US; the last 70 years of the Peoples Republic of China; the domination of the oligarchy-military in Russia; the oppressive activities of the neo-Francoist right in Spain; and the theological dictatorship in Turkey suffice as examples.
One need not adduce Venezuela nor sub-Saharan Africa nor mention the Rohingya, the millions of immigrants to Europe, or the plight of Puerto Rico.
Most of this is the direct result of the state run amok. Political anarchists focus their critique on state power, viewing centralized, monopolistic coercive power as illegitimate. Anarchists thus criticize “the state”.
Fifty years ago, I was one of a group who tried to raise [raze?] the Pentagon. In some news photos I can be seen behind and to the left of Allan Ginsburg. In Manhattan, the Village Independent Democrats had some success. In Toronto, the Stop the Spadina movement did halt freeway construction.
Emma Goldman wrote: “Anarchism stands for the liberation of the human mind from the dominion of religion and liberation of the human body from the coercion of property; liberation from the shackles and restraint of government. It stands for a social order based on the free grouping of individuals…”
She also wrote: “If voting changed anything, they’d make it illegal.”
This is true. But the cretin in the White House exemplifies something else Emma wrote: “The most violent element in society is ignorance. ”
Is it time to start ripping up cobblestones?