Social anarchism

political ideology
(Redirected from Socialist anarchism)

Social anarchism, also known as left-wing anarchism or socialist anarchism, is the branch of anarchism that sees individual freedom as interrelated with mutual aid. Social anarchist thought emphasizes community and social equality as complementary to autonomy and personal freedom.

In order to be truly anarchist one has to be social. ~ Giovanni Baldelli


  • Chiefly responsible for the bad name of anarchism are the supporters of political power, but anarchists too have contributed by being vague and perfunctory concerning the social side of their doctrine and by frequently espousing the cause of rebellion without insisting on its social illumination. Antisocial impulses and practices may only too easily find in anarchism a pseudo-rational justification. For these reasons the adjective "social" is a useful addition to the word "anarchism"—in order to be truly anarchist one has to be social.
  • It is fashionable to present hate and contempt for humanity as the exasperation and despair of compassion, but in that case rebellion should be against existence itself. When a man who is horrified by the basic evil of the world and his own existence, and who sees no God to rebel against, takes revenge on his fellow beings, he is a coward and a hypocrite. Perhaps the ugly, sordid, and horrifying things of which there is no end have always been produced by hypocritical and cowardly rebellion against existence, but that is not the rebellion of the social anarchist.
  • He who needs something to rebel against is less of a social anarchist than he who seeks to create something against which there is no need to rebel. There may be no end to the ugly, sordid, and horrifying things against which an honest man cannot help but revolt, but there are also things that are beautiful, joyful, and pure. If it were wrong to attend to the latter while the former still thrive, then a hopeless perpetual struggle would become the only meaning of life.
  • Anarchists are opposed to government, the state and Capitalism. Therefore, simply speaking, Anarchism is a no-government form of Socialism. In common with all Socialists, the Anarchists hold that the private ownership of land, capital and machinery has had its time; that it is condemned to disappear, and that all requisites for production must and will, become the common property of society, and be managed in common by the producers of wealth.
  • As socialists, anarchists were particularly concerned with capitalism, which during the Industrial Revolution was causing suffering on a hitherto-unimaginable scale. Anarchists primarily pinned their hopes for transforming social relations on workers, utilizing economic categories ranging from class struggle to an end to private property. All those on the revolutionary Left agreed that capitalism couldn't be reformed; it must instead be abolished. But unlike other socialists, anarchists felt that the state was just as complicit in enslaving humanity, and so one couldn't employ statecraft—even in a transitional manner—to move from capitalism to socialism. A classless yet still statist society, anarchists argued, would still constitute a world marked for most by domination.
  • To my mind, the struggle for liberty is too great and the few steps we have gained have been won at too great a sacrifice, for the great mass of the people of this 20th century to consent to turn over to any political party the management of our social and industrial affairs. For all who are at all familiar with history know that men will abuse power when they possess it, for these and other reasons, I, after careful study, and not through sentiment, turned from a sincere, earnest, political Socialist to the non-political phase of Socialism, Anarchism, because in its philosophy I believe I can find the proper conditions for the fullest development of the individual units in society, which can never be the case under government restrictions.

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