The Dialectics of Liberation: Anarchism, Existentialism, and Decentralism.
The History of Anarchism Part 2 - Anarchy: Revolution Against The State - Anarcho-Federalism
"Our Freedom is proportional to other's people freedom" - charlie777pt
The French Revolution was a violent disruption caused by a total inequality and the concentration of power of kings, to give it to the People, but it was later stolen by the bourgeoisie and was never recovered.
The explosive diffusion of the written and printed word disseminated new Ideas about the possible freedom of each individual in relation to the authority of an arbitrary Power of some, and broke the dominance of Royalty and the flourishing of the Anarchist Ideals.
Anarchism is a social, economic, and political movement, from many different schools of thought, to organize an Anarchist society, and is the only real antidote for social development stagnation.
Anarchy organization and activism with collective wisdom can build a free society, that fights for the ideals of autonomy, direct democracy, personal freedom, sometimes with direct action, protest, and long-term Anarchist projects against vertical capitalism, the State, and Authority, for the sake of Humanity Freedom.
Autonomous self-organization of individuals and group's collaboration, are the pillars for a free existence in a society based on each person's struggle to achieve a fulfilled existence.
"Those who are capable of tyranny are capable of perjury to sustain it." - Lysander Spooner
1- Proudhon "The Anarchist"
Proudhon sees a society without government, for what he called Anarchy as an opposition to Communisms and Socialisms like Louis Blanc and some other collectivists.
Talking about Proudhon's ideas in such a short pamphlet has the risk of simplifying or amputate the complex thoughts of a true anarchist.
I'll stick more to his words than mine and I will be using Marcel Prélot as a thread of thought.
"Although I'am a friend of the order I am anarchist" - Pierre-Joseph Proudhon
Proudhon saw a bigger picture about changing society beyond the simple replacement of the State Government because he didn't want any form of centralized control.
I'm gonna clear his points of view in his own words that changed my political views when I was 16 years old, away from any kind of verticalism or collectivism because I saw that socialism and communism had robbed the anarchist ideas to find new centralized ways of control, that enhanced the problem of human "will for power"(Nietzsche), that without scrutiny leads to people's damage and social stagnation.
Sorry for the long quote but Proudhon had hard, long and impacting words about the coercive verticalization (hierarchization) of society in the construction of our life based in free will and eaqul rights,
“To be GOVERNED is to be watched, inspected, spied upon, directed, law-driven, numbered, regulated, enrolled, indoctrinated, preached at, controlled, checked, estimated, valued, censured, commanded, by creatures who have neither the right nor the wisdom nor the virtue to do so.
To be GOVERNED is to be at every operation, at every transaction noted, registered, counted, taxed, stamped, measured, numbered, assessed, licensed, authorized, admonished, prevented, forbidden, reformed, corrected, punished. It is, under pretext of public utility, and in the name of the general interest, to be placed under contribution, drilled, fleeced, exploited, monopolized, extorted from, squeezed, hoaxed, robbed; then, at the slightest resistance, the first word of complaint, to be repressed, fined, vilified, harassed, hunted down, abused, clubbed, disarmed, bound, choked, imprisoned, judged, condemned, shot, deported, sacrificed, sold, betrayed; and to crown all, mocked, ridiculed, derided, outraged, dishonored. That is government; that is its justice; that is its morality." - Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, What Is Property?
2 - Eliminate the State
It's difficult to understand that social order, power, and authority of the governments come from the nucleus principles of family authority.
The State builds "an artificial system varying according to centuries and climates as natural and necessary to mankind".
This was the main idea he wanted to deconstruct in people's minds, that these systems can be corrected because it is an impossibility.
Let's look to the way he saw democracy, that he vehemently opposed.
"The error or skill of our ancestors was to regard the sovereign people as the image of man." "There are among us Democrats who claim that government has good aspects, socialists who support this ignominy in the name of liberty, equality, and fraternity;" - Pierre-Joseph Proudhon
3 - Economy Primacy and Federalism
Proudhon staying away from the liberals, shows that the economic order is not a physical machinery constraint, but instead is a revelation of human spontaneity of free people bound by mutualist contracts -( "Smart Contracts" :) - as the main social order regulation.
Economic mutualism contracts would replace the State as a procedure of formal assurance and bilateral trust, with a systems of mutual guarantees, transposing mutualism to the federalism at the political level.
He aslso believed that Autonomous Communes would be "in essence, as a man, as the family and as all individuality and all intelligent collectivity, moral and free, a sovereign being."
A Federation has autonomous associates, by decentralized organs based in the division of labor, but could have administrators, having ministers and even making laws, with the expenses debilitated in the bank, making authority back to the roots of the family.
Proudhon stated that 'Property is theft' as the "right to use and abuse", although he didn't want to take it violently from the owners, but by getting capital with small interests(1% or less) in national banks, selling commodities at cost-value, paid to the producers in hours of contributing work, what he called Mutualism.
Services and commodities exchanges would have equivalent values, based in time for production, meaning people would buy the goods like houses and never pay rents, and we had apply this principle to all kinds of cooperative production like factories, mining, railways and so on.
As we only exist through other people, making us Social Beings, that could live in small sovereign territorial groups(that today can ageographic) and establish communities globally in the Anarchic Reign of the Internet, at the productive level based in the free exchange of services.
4 - Decomposition of The State
Anarchist federalism leads to decomposition of Government and the State by autonomous self-administrated groups of associated free individuals.
As Proudhon makes reference "The State does not have to intervene, It does not appear anywhere"
The XIX century brings the emergence of a growing centralization of the State, and socialism didn't agree with Proudhon's Vision of a federative anarchy and the refusal to make elections.
“When politics and domestic life have become one and the same, when economic problems have been solved in such a way that individual and collective interests are identical - all restrictions have disappeared - it is evident that we will be in a state of complete freedom or anarchy." - Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, What is Property?
5 - Proudhon's Utopy, Prophecy, and Legacy
Proudhon's prophecy threatening Humanity to suffer a "purgatory of a thousand years" as a punishment for the denial of Anarchy in what seemed to have come true.
For him, action and contact with real life gives birth to new truths and ideas. Like I always say action precedes thougth
"When deeds speak, words are nothing". Pierre-Joseph Proudhon
Proudhon envisaged that this transformation would make the State obsolete, making the citizen's relationship on free consensus of the regulations, based only in the bookkeeping, but it could have some kind of arbitration, to solve economic problems.
William Thompson and in his followers in England had transformed mutualism into communism like John Gray with his writings A Lecture on Human Happiness, 1825 and The Social System, 1831) and J. F. Bray with his works on "Labour's Wrongs and Labour's Remedy" from 1839.
Proudhon's ideas had big echo in the US with practical social experiments of his theories, while in France it had almost no influence that was dominated at the time by Christian socialism of Lamennais, the Fourierists, and the socialism of Louis Blanc and Saint-Simon sect, but in Germany he influenced left-wing Hegelians like Moses Hess in 1843, and Karl Grün in 1845, that were propagating anarchism and individualist anarchy of Max Stirner (Kaspar Schmidt).
In America like we mentioned in the last post, Josiah Warren was the first American Anarchist militating in Joseph Owen's 'New Harmony', saw mutualism as eliminating individuality, motivation, and responsibility, and he saw an obstacle to personal freedom generated by the problem of authority and subservience to the community controlling production.
This was not theoric mambo-jumbo, because, in 1827, he created this situation in practice with the "equity stores" lasting until 1865, mentioned by people as "time store" where the coin was the hours of work of any product exchanged.
“Yes: all men believe and repeat that equality of conditions is identical with equality of rights; that property and robbery are synonymous terms; that every social advantage accorded, or rather usurped, in the name of superior talent or service, is iniquity and extortion. All men in their hearts, I say, bear witness to these truths; they need only to be made to understand it.” - Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, What Is Property?
The Anarchism of Proudhonian mutualist shcools grew a lot, but some jumped to communist-anarchism, and even
Christian-anarchism brought up by Leo Tolstoy, and Literary-Anarchism of some modern writers.
Proudhon, loved the idea of mutual banking like Josiah Warren in the United States, with schools of followers like Stephen Pearl Andrews, William Grene, and the promising Lysander Spooner that started a fantastic book in 1850, Natural Law, that he never finished.
The next post is about Libertarian Anarchism where Proudhon ideas will be called again as opposing its counterparts to be compared with socialist and libertarian anarchism, to finish in the next post with anarcho-syndicalism.
The Dialectics of Liberation: Anarchism, Existentialism and Decentralism.
I - Anarchism
- What is Anarchism?
- The History of Anarchism
Next posts on the Series:
I - Anarchism (cont.)
- The History of Anarchism
- Anarchy: Revolution Against The State
- Part 2 - Anarcho Federalism - this post
- Part 3 - Libertarian Anarchism
- Part 4 - Anarcho-Syndicalism
- Anarchy: Revolution Against The State
- Anarchy Today
II - Existentialism
- What is Existentialism ?
- The "Existentialims"
- Humanism and Existentialism
- Existentialism and Anarchism
III - Decentralism
- What is Decentralism?
- The Philosophy of decentralism
- Blockchain and Decentralization
- Anarchism, Existentialism ,and Decentralism
IV - Dialectic for Self-Liberation
- The Dialectics of Liberation Congress
- Psychoanalysis and Existentialism
- The Anti-psychiatry movement