Anarchism as a Philosophical Foundation

Anarchism is a school of thought that can be described as authentic, class-based libertarianism. Its foundation is the reasonable expectation that all structures of dominance, authority, and hierarchy must justify themselves; and, if they cannot, they must be dismantled.

This covers ALL coercive institutions – not only governments, the state, police, and military, but also things like patriarchy, racism, white supremacy, and most importantly, capitalism. Unlike modern forms of “libertarianism” in the US, which ignore racist structures and the historical formations behind them, and falsely view the labor-capital relationship inherent in capitalism as a “choice,” authentic Anarchism correctly views such elements as coercive and forced; and seeks to dismantle them in order to move forward with constructing a society based on free association, where all human beings have a healthy degree of control over their lives, families, and communities.

Contrary to consensus thought (propaganda), such as those rooted in “rugged individualism” and “American exceptionalism,” there is a collective and cooperative nature to true liberty. We simply cannot gain control over our lives until we learn to respect the lives of all others. This is the essence of community. And we cannot begin to do this until we deconstruct illegitimate hierarchies of wealth and power, which have been constructed through illegal and immoral means over the course of centuries. Recognizing these structures and realizing that they are NOT legitimate, and therefore do not deserve to exist, is the first step in this process.

Fundamentally, Anarchism is a working-class ideology. Occupy Wall Street was largely influenced by it. Workers’ co-ops are largely influenced by it. Any action that attempts to establish free association within society can learn much from it.

For a handful of members at the Hampton Institute, the rich tradition of Anarchist thought serves as an important influence. It provides a philosophical foundation – not a rigid blueprint – that allows for limitless potential in attempting to solve our problems, collectively, while trying to carve out a meaningful human experience for everyone. It may not provide all answers, or even most, but its foundation is worthy of building from, or at least considering. Its true value is found in its inclusion of historical formations as well as its role as a catalyst for new ideas and action – something we desperately need, moving forward.

The following list includes some of our interviews and essays that touch on this all-important school of thought:

– The New Politics of the 21st Century: Global Resistance and Rising Anarchism

– Supremacy: A Social Order of Division, Control, and Enslavement

– Hacking the System from Within: The Example of Radical Unschooling

– Restoring the Sacred Land: An Inquiry into the Origins and Implications of Land Ownership

– In a System of Coercion and Predetermined Choices, “Freedom” Is Just A Word

– Rethinking Anarchism: An Interview with ‘Agency’

– Anarchism and Political Non-engagement

– Zombie Apocalypse and the Politics of Artificial Scarcity

Learning From the Cleveland Model: Notes on the Next American Revolution

– An Anarchistic Understanding of the Social Order: Environmental Degradation, Indigenous Resistance, and a Place for the Sciences

– On Anarchism: An Interview with Andrew Gavin Marshall

Christarchism In Brief: Part One

Why Consensus Decision-making Won’t Work for Grassroots Unionism

– Talking Anarchism with ‘Anarchist Memes’

In solidarity.


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