We want to introduce you to the principles, ideals and vision of social anarchism under a decentralized socialist society where voluntary relationships, cooperation and mutual aid replace domination, competition and coercion.
Social Anarchists advocate for society in which the working class community members collectively own the means of production and the distribution of goods and services for the benefit of everyone according to each individual's own self-defined needs.
While our website provides information on all types of anarchism, we concentrate on social anarchism as it best represents all of the basic principles of anarchism and has the largest following.
Capitalism is an economic system that, inherently, benefits a select few while everyone else struggles to make ends meet or survive. Capitalism rewards capital … not effort (work).
Capitalism not only survives, but thrives on the exploitation of human labor and talent, and the limited natural resources of Earth.
Anarchism has been defined many ways by many different sources. The word “anarchism” is taken from the word “anarchy” which is drawn from dual sources in the Greek language. It is made up of the Greek words αν (meaning: absence of [and pronounced “an”] and αρχη (meaning: authority or government [and pronounced “arkhe”]). Today, dictionary definitions still define anarchism as the absence of government.
Social anarchists ultimately oppose the socialist theory of Karl Marx (including Lenin and Trotsky) because following and applying the principles of Marxism always leads to centralized authority and power. Whether that is under centralized state socialism/communism or centralized state capitalism, the end result is that a select few always end up having authority and power over the many. In essence, replacing capitalism with Marxist socialism/communism is simply exchanging one exploitative, oppressive master for another.
Anarchists are anti-authoritarians because they believe that no human being should dominate another. Anarchists, in L. Susan Brown’s words, “believe in the inherent dignity and worth of the human individual.” Domination is inherently degrading and demeaning, since it submerges the will and judgement of the dominated to the will and judgement of the dominators, thus destroying the dignity and self-respect that comes only from personal autonomy. Moreover, domination makes possible and generally leads to exploitation, which is the root of inequality, poverty, and social breakdown.
The gist of the anarchistic idea is this, that there are qualities present in man, which permit the possibilities of social life, organization, and co-operative work without the application of force. Such qualities are solidarity, common action, and love of justice. To-day they are either crippled or made ineffective through the influence of compulsion....
Economics, rightly, is subject to much scorn. As Malatesta memorably put it: “The priest keeps you docile and subjected, telling you everything is God’s will; the economist says it’s the law of nature.” Thus “no one is responsible for poverty, so there’s no point rebelling against it.” Proudhon, rightly, argued that “political economy… is merely the economics of the propertied, the application of which to society inevitably and organically engenders misery.” People suffering austerity across the world would concur with him: “The enemies of society are Economists.”
"The capitalist who does no useful work has the economic power to take from a thousand or ten thousand workingmen all they produce, over and above what is required to keep them in working and producing order, and he becomes a millionaire, perhaps a multi-millionaire. He lives in a palace in which there is music and singing and dancing and the luxuries of all climes. He sails the high seas in his private yacht. He is the reputed “captain of industry” who privately owns a social utility, has great economic power, and commands the political power of the nation to protect his economic interests. He is the gentleman who furnishes the “political boss” and his swarm of mercenaries with the funds with which the politics of the nation are corrupted and debauched. He is the economic master and the political ruler and you workingmen are almost as completely at his mercy as if you were his property under the law."
-- Eugene Debs
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