anarchism

Michael Yates mikey+ at SPAMpitt.edu
Sun Dec 5 17:49:57 MST 1999



In light of recent discussions of the anarchists in Seattle, the
following remarks of Hal Draper from his pamphlet, "The Two Souls of
Socialism," might be of interest:

"...Anarchism is not concerned with the creation of democratic control
from below, but only with the destruction of "authority" over the
individual, including the authority of the most extremely democratic
regulation of society that it is possible to imagine.  This has been
made clear by authoritative anarchist expositors time and time again;
for example, by George Woodcock: "even were democracy possible, the
anarchist would not support it...Anarchists do not advocate political
freedom.  What they advocate is freedom from politics..."  Anarchism is
on principle fiercely anti-democratic, since an ideally democratic
authority is still authority.  But since, rejecting democracy, it has no
other way of resolving the inevitable disagreements and differences
among the inhabitants of Theleme [reference to Rabelais], its unlimited
freedom for each uncontrolled individual is indistinguishable from
unlimited despotism by such an individual, both in theory and in
practice.  The great problem of our age is the achievement of democratic
control from below over the vast powers of modern social authority.
Anarchism, which is freest of all with verbiage about something from
below, rejects this goal.  It is the other side of the coin of
bureaucratic despotism, with all its values turned inside out, not the
cure or the alternative."

michael yates









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