by Carolanne Wright
believes if we want to see change in the world, we need
to be the change.
As a nutritionist, natural
foods chef and wellness coach, Carolanne has encouraged
others to embrace a healthy lifestyle of organic living,
gratefulness and joyful orientation for over 13 years.
Through her website Thrive-Living.net she
looks forward to connecting with other like-minded
people from around the world who share a similar vision.
Follow Carolanne on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
"But isn't the anarchist
a fabulous character?
Those who control public
associate him with terrorism
he is a dark figure, an
who in political mythology
is something of a specter."
When I think of anarchy, the wildly popular film
V for Vendetta
comes to mind.
Released over a decade ago, the "dystopian political
thriller" has, to this day, a far reaching impact. The infamous Guy
Fawkes mask worn by the hero is still a symbol of freedom against
tyranny, and has since been taken up by individuals rebelling
against the status quo - from the
Occupy Movement to the
Having recently watched
the film again after many years, I do admit
to having chills when the masses don their masks in courageous
defiance of the neo-Fascist State, which has pushed its agenda too
far and, consequently, is teetering on the brink of destruction.
rebel in me shares an affinity with that specific scene, as well as
the overall message of the film.
However, where one person sees liberation, another is equally
horrified at such lawlessness. For a majority of us, anarchy is
nothing more than senseless violence meant to destabilize the land,
its people and economy.
Granted, anarchists don't exactly have the
most glowing track record, think,
masked thugs who smashed windows,
sprayed graffiti and damaged patrol cars during the relatively
peaceful Seattle WTO protests in 1999,
the chaotic protests
the World Bank and International Monetary Fund,
which ultimately lead to violent clashes with police
the idea behind anarchy has been misunderstood - like many
ideologies throughout history which have been hijacked and
Maybe the time has come to revisit anarchy - and
recognize that it might just be what we need to solve many of the
issues we are faced with today.
Non-Violent Anarchy - Is It Possible?
"As anarchists, we seek to bring about a society in which coercive
hierarchies, such as government and capitalism … no longer exist.
be exceptionally clear, anarchists do not desire chaos, we desire
freedom and equality."
anonymous member of
Portland Anarchist Road
Could figures like Gandhi be considered anarchists in the purest
sense of the word?
To know, we need to explore what anarchy truly
In a nutshell, anarchy is about dissolving hierarchy in our social
structures, where we create a world that does not distinguish
between rulers and the ruled - basically, it advocates self-rule.
An anarchic vision of society
is nonviolent, self-managed and non-hierarchical, and anarchist
thinkers hold dear to the ideal of democracy -
rule by the people.
Anarchists do not want to seize power, they
want to dissolve it. It's a social revolution, not a political one:
crime and punishment
come under question with anarchy.
principles of Non-aggression, individual sovereign rights, and
voluntary exchange are the methods most sane people, friends or
those in the market place, use to interact with each other on a
Why should these principles be inapplicable when a
few sociopaths don expensive suits, surround themselves with
elaborate ceremonies, and call themselves government?"
Mohandas Gandhi is
considered a philosophical anarchist because he opposed the State
"[the greatest good of all] can be realized only in
the classless, stateless democracy."
But it wasn't the Western-style
democracy he valued, where the "majority binds a minority" with
centralized power that feeds violence.
Instead he advocated
decentralization and self-rule.
"In such a state (of affairs),
everyone is his own rulers. He rules himself in such a manner that
he is never a hindrance to his neighbor".
The key here is
that the individual takes responsibility for his own
self-rule, which requires energy and effort to reform oneself - to
recognize the connection between an individual and society.
he used for this is swaraj, "self-rule" or "autonomy."
individuals take steps toward self-rule in their own lives, it
spreads across the community and, eventually, to entire nations.
"Independence begins at the bottom… It follows, therefore, that
every village has to be self-sustained and capable of managing
its own affairs… It will be trained and prepared to perish in
the attempt to defend itself against any onslaught from without…
This does not exclude dependence on and willing help from
neighbors or from the world. It will be a free and voluntary
play of mutual forces…
In this structure composed of innumerable villages, there will
be every-widening, never ascending circles. Life will not be a
pyramid with the apex sustained by the bottom. But it will be an
oceanic circle whose center will be the individual.
Therefore, the outermost circumference will not wield power to
crush the inner circle but will give strength to all within and
derive its own strength from it."
Peaceful anarchy is
not only possible, we're seeing inspiring examples of it today.
Non-violent methods of confronting "the system" - from
peaceful parenting to
Austrian Economics and
Bitcoin - fall within the realm of
Moreover, Danilo of
Peaceful Anarchism points out that,
"anarchy is the epitome of
love, kindness, charity, empathy, and compassion",
...due to the
voluntary nature of these states, where it's impossible to coerce
another into authentically embodying them.
anarchy doesn't just reside in the realm of ideas, people are
exercising practical action as well.
Take a group of anonymous
anarchists in Portland, Oregon who have started a crusade against
the growing number of potholes in the city.
"The roads in
Portland were getting worse and worse, and like everyone else,
we were just waiting for someone else to fix it," a member with
the Portland Anarchist Road Care, or
PARC, told The Huffington Post
in an email.
"We sort of
reflected on the situation, and asked ourselves the questions
made famous by John Lewis:
'If not us,
then who? If not now, then when?'
Two days later
we were patching holes."
For this anarchist
group, they believe it's,
community and creating networks of solidarity and mutual aid,"
about claiming communal ownership over our spaces, be they
public, work, educational, or otherwise. Our work directly puts
that ideology into practice.
They are our roads, we use them
every day, and we will fix them together."