Anarchism & Violence

Anarchism and Violence

Musings on Anarchism and Violence:

Some musings on anarchism and violence – I’ve seen this all too often, both from social media users in general, politicians on either side and the press. Whenever public protests ignite into extreme violence the term “anarchy” and to “anarchists” are loosely thrown around.

Those who are referred to as anarchists are protesters – they burn tires and loot shops. This false narrative perpetuates the claim that anarchists seek lawlessness and anarchy is about chaos and pointless ultra-violence.
I thought I’d address this seemingly, unconscious malapropism. Hopefully this can shed some light on the etymology of anarchism and violence, we all can understand each other a bit better linguistically going forward. The equation of chaos and violence with anarchism is about as productive as the equation of circles with squares. It is a crude and bizarre misrepresentation.

So, what is exactly is anarchy?

Simply put, It is a radical and revolutionary political philosophy and economy. There are many definitions that exist for anarchy, but most pundits would agree to the definition expressed and formulated by Peter Kropotkin. According to Kropotkin, anarchism: “is a name given to a principle or theory of life and conduct under which society is conceived without government – harmony in such a society being obtained, not by the submission to law, or by obedience to any authority, but by free agreements concluded between the various groups, territorial and professional, freely constituted for the sake of production and consumption, as also for the satisfaction of the infinite variety of needs and aspirations of a civilised being.”

A free society, for free people by free people. Where we can work together as a society for the betterment of all who live in that (global) society. The word ‘anarchy’ stems from the Greek word “anarkhia”, which means “without rulers” or “without authority”. It is the absence of domination, hierarchy and power over others.

If we further investigate these values, it is clear that anarchism rejects both a capitalist economy and a nation state that is governed by means of a representative democracy. It is a utopian project that aspires to combine the best parts of liberalism with the best parts of communism. I truly hope this clarifies the matter, I might write more on this in the future, who knows.

Anarchism and Violence

What now?

So, what does this mean for the current state of things, as it stands? Hopefully it can help us all to speak clearly about the issues and what they are specifically. As well as addressing the right things in the right way.
What is happening right now in South Africa is not the work of anarchists and it is not anarchy. It is pure senseless outrage and the escalation of greed perpetuated by a system of injustice, lack of education, and misinformation and that no longer functions as it is required or needed. This “democratic” political system of our country has failed due to mismanagement, corruption, greed and a sense of vengeful spirit – from the bottom up and from the top down. Through and through the wood has rot.