Anarchy & Politics
The qualifying distinction between socialists and anarchists is not the question of the state (both want the disappearance of the monopolistic state) but the question of how to achieve it:
- by political struggle and conquering the state and extinguish it, or
- by building realities (social, economic, cultural, etc.) that make the state obsolete, irrelevant and, finally, inexistent.
The anarchists are against the idea that the objective of the struggle for freedom is “la conquête du pouvoir politique par la classe ouvrière” (“the capturing of political power by the working class”). On the contrary, for them the goal is the full emancipation of the working class and of the all exploited people through the direct implementation of a different society with different social and economic relationships between individuals.
“The emancipation of the workers by the workers themselves – outside every directive power, even in the case this power has been elected or consented by the workers.”
Circulaire de Sonvilier, 1871
Actually politics has become, for many people, the new opium, replacing religion.
Through politics and political discourses individuals are led to believe
that their freedom and emancipation depends either on a change of political
elites or on the fact that the workers become, at least for a short period
(before the disappearance of the state), the new political elite.
The historical experience of the Russian Revolution (and of every single political election) should, long time ago, have put this illusion (and deception) to final rest.
Within the anarchist movement the risk is that some anarchists, by rejecting
every free (individual) economic activity and free exchanges, qualifying
it as economic exploitation, perpetuate the illusion-deception that politics
and political decisions are the way to organize and manage society. This
is evident, for instance, in the opposition to free commerce and to free
In so doing some anarchists, stressing the primacy of politics with respects to other activities (practical, cultural, etc.), can become the new pillars of statism. As a matter of fact, in the past Italian fascism, with its populist rhetoric, attracted some anarchists or pseudo-anarchists.
The abandonment and refusal of politics is then a necessary and indispensable condition for carrying out a truly revolutionary transformation that has to do with the abolition of every monopolistic domineering power and its replacement by voluntary communities and free individual choices.