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what anarchism is not
Does the Anarchist Cookbook really have anything to do with anarchism? Is there such a thing as anarcho-capitalism? Fortunately for anarchists, there is no central committee or theory coordinator to decide what the correct anarchist line is on any given topic. Anarchism is very much defined and given form by its supporters. But there comes a time when the concept must be defended against those who would lie about it, misrepresent it, profit from it, or just plain not understand it. That is the purpose of this page. The anarchist movement is a big tent with a great many sideshows, but there are just some folks who are not circus performers.
- 1 National Anarchists and Third Positionists
- 2 Destructive "anarchism"
- 3 Fake Anarchists
- 4 Anarchy and Social Attitudes
- 5 Cracking or black hat "hacking"
- 6 Commerical Sites
- 7 Big "L" Libertarians
- 8 Anarcho-capitalism
- 9 External links
National Anarchists and Third Positionists
Be aware that there are efforts underway to fuse nationalist, white supremacist, and neo-nazi ideology with anarchism. The ideology specifically preys on anarchists from the mainstream anarchist movement in order to convert them to their way of thinking. It has been suggested by many that the ideology is used as a gateway to introduce individuals to ultra-nationalist and racist positions. They pay lip-service to anti-capitalist or anti-communist sentiment, depending on their audience, and while arguing, specifically attempt to trap the opposing anarchist into using the left/right designation in the hopes of throwing it in their face to further their, 'third position.' There has been a concentrated effort amongst National Anarchists to target "anarcho-capitalists" and to a lesser extent other anarchists from the wider anarchist movement, although this has had limited success. While anarchists are fundamentally against fascism, nationalism, racism, and white supremacy, we can't control those who associate anarchism with these ideologies. Well known National Anarchist websites are:
- The title 'Folk and Faith' implies that this site is right-theocratic. That suspicion is confirmed in the text of the main page, which states: "We are defenders of our noble European ancestry and of the orthodox Christian faith" and "our Holy Cause" and "We aim to build a homogenous society where our peoples' cultural identity, our sacred Christian faith (as it was originally taught, not the Judeo'ized antithesis taught today), and the future of our children will grow unmolested" and "Only after we ... start looking to Our Creator ... can we then build a world far greater" and "worship Our Creator". It is also an anti-jew site, as evidenced by the phases "Judeo whores" and the aforementioned "the Judeo'ized antithesis taught today". The site's forum uses an icon depicting the celtic cross, which is the symbol most commonly used by Stormfront.
While many schools of anarchist thought promote the destruction of oppressive institutions, many people and organizations take part in violent and destructive activities without political or ethical motives. Unfortunately for the movement, many of these people claim to be anarchists. Anarchism is more about creating alternative instutions, communities, and lifestyles rather than blindly destroying those already in place; however, violence can serve a purpose in the anarchist movement.
The Anarchist Cookbook
The Anarchist Cookbook is an example of this kind of anger-motivated destruction. Here are some links to articles about what the anarchist community has to say about the Cookbook:
- An FAQ on the cookbook written by an America Online user
- Spunk Press' page on the Anarchist Cookbook
- Chuck's thoughts on the original cookbook
Those who believe violent destruction and anarchy are synonymous
Links to sites that promote this kind of "anarchy":
- Anarchist CookBook
- Anarchy N' Explosives
- ANARCHY 'N' EXPLOSIVES - VOLUME 2
- Anarchy Web-Guide
- SeekR's Anarchy Book
There are some who occasionally commit outright fraud while using the label, 'anarchist'. Even though they may appear to be legitimate initially, these individuals or organisations fail to meet anarchist criteria upon closer inspection. Below is a reference of fake anarchist sites/organisations and evidence against them.
The Anarchist International (AI), who attempt to change history with much of the material found in their website. Apparently the goal of members operating under the names in the warnings seems to be to disrupt actual discussion on internet forums, by inciting hostile encounters.
Anarchy and Social Attitudes
Often anarchy is misappropriated as merely a label by various individuals, who are usually fairly young, believing that they are somehow cool for being an anarchist. They believe it lends them an aura of coolness, stemming from the danger or radical connotations the term carries.
See also: Anarchism is Not Cool
Cracking or black hat "hacking"
Breaking into computers, collecting private information, and destroying data are actions that some people claim to do in the name of anarchism and hacking. These actions do not necessarily represent the ideals of those of us in the anarchist movement or hackers and generally do more harm than good. There is, however, a small minority of crackers that use their knowledge of computer security to break into computers and carry out actions against corporations and governments that engage in objectionable practices. These people are refered to as "grey hat hackers." "True" hackers or "white hat" hackers are people who play cleverly, usually (but not always) with computers, according to Richard Stallman . However, most "hackers" (who are refered to as "black hat hackers") do not have ethical or political motives. Some of these black hat hackers claim to be anarchists, while they usually are not.
- Anarchy Entertainment - Anarchy Entertainment is a company that designs games and trade off their hip "anarchist" image.
- Anarchy-Online.com - While Anarchy-Online is not as bad as fake anarchy websites, it is still misleading. Anarchy-Online is a website for an MMORPG and not Anarchists.
Big "L" Libertarians
The word "libertarian" denotes two definitions, which are often separated by the geographical regions of North America and Europe. In Europe the term libertarian (little "l") usually means one who is of an anarchist persuasion, whereas in North America the term generally refers to a member of the Libertarian party or minarchists (Big "L" libertarians). Though this movement values positive freedom, they advocate the minarchist idea of "the smallest possible government" as the ideal state, claiming their view is far more realistic. Capitalist Libertarians have little or no critique of the capitalism as a part of the state. Most anarchists (including anarcho-capitalists and free-market anarchists) dismiss this notion on the grounds that the smallest possible state means no state, effectively making Big "L" libertarians 'cowardly' anarchists. Though being advocates of liberty and freedom, Big "L" libertarians are not anarchists; they do not support the complete elimination of government.
Anarcho-capitalism is a proposed theory by Murray Rothbard (some anarcho-capitalists consider Gustave de Molinari to be the first proponent of anarcho-capitalism) that runs contrary to traditional anarchist theories. Anarcho-capitalism is often regarded to be apart from the anarchist movement. The anarchist criticism mainly applies to advocacy of capitalism, as anarchists have been opposed to capitalism as another form of hierarchical power, often supported by government. Anarcho-capitalists often respond to these statements by asserting that they are not for "State Capitalism", as we see today, but rather a free market.
- Fake Anarchists and Libertarians - The Infoshop.org page that inspired this page
- Anarcho-Hucksters - A page similar to this one