Conceiving Anarchy

Discussing anarchy in words almost defeats the purpose. However, words are a dominant form of communication, almost a necessary evil. Many terms involved in anarchist discussions are actually quite vague, which is at once both an advantage and a disadvantage. Vagueness benefits by allowing the person on the receiving end of an idea more freedom in the conceptual process, which can lead to a more personal understanding, or possibly internalization, of the idea. Vagueness can also prevent the idea’s transmission as it was intended by the sender, but even that is not always a bad thing. (The difference between good and bad, or whether there even is a difference, is another discussion.)

Anarchy, as is everything, is relative to its perception, which is bound to be at least slightly different in each and every person who is trying to understand it (or without trying, as the case may be). For me, the beauty of anarchy is that it allows for, or opens up space for, all the different perspectives; indeed its very existence depends on this allowance.

One very basic idea within anarchy is the absence of government and all hierarchies. One reason for this is that there is considerably less room for everyone’s perspectives within any given power structure, leading to all sorts of negative impacts on those whose perspectives are ignored. Even most people who believe humans cannot function without government will presumably agree that the government could do things a little better or more efficiently and for everyone’s benefit. Anarchy suggest that we the people can do anything the government does – and better!

Imagine that all things exist within a kaleidoscope: every situation, every object, every person, every idea. As with a kaleidoscope, a different image or perspective is seen from every angle. These angles can be for us many different things: geographical location, political persuasion, religious beliefs, mental and emotional states of being, just to name a few. But every perception is completely valid even if it is different from the others – indeed, that’s the point. Typically, we perceive what is relative to us first of all: our experiences, our memories, our thoughts, our interactions with other people, etc. So, when it comes to the transmission of new ideas (or old ones, as the case as may be), the way people perceive, anarchy for example, it is not only inevitable that they will have their own personal perception, but is beneficial as well.

Anarchy is based on the idea that everyone can control their own destiny in their own way with their own ideas. This is only possible if everyone has a clear understanding of how anarchist ideas and ideals can benefit their personal lives and the conditions of their immediate reality. Later, hopefully, people also will understand that anarchy is about caring for each other too.