Today’s theme might seem a bit off-topic with the rest of the blog
What has anarchism got to do with sustainability, you might ask?
well.. wait and you may see that it has everything to do with it!
First of all I would like to spend a few words on how anarchism can be misconceptualised. I, for one, had a totally different idea of it. Until a few days ago when I went to a book presentation at the 'libreria Marco Polo' (lezioni di anarchia - find it here) .
Anarchism was taught to me as a movement filled with violence, rebellion, bombs.. Where that might have been some escalade of an anarchist movement (I don’t want to lighten up too much some real facts that have indeed happened and have been tragic) that should not be considered the whole picture of anarchism. Actually , maybe they were protests taken out of context because, really, the original anarchism ideals say nothing about violence. So, I would like for a moment to divide the duet anarchism = violence, and take anarchism alone, in its 'pure form' in consideration in my post..
After this long premise , we can start with how I believe the ‘anarchism’ ideals can fit in well within an ethical and sustainable context , and even show you a little bit how nature can be, in its ways, ‘anarchist’
For an in depth argumentation on anarchy and self-organisation I recommend this article
I would like if we could consider anarchism as a way for citizens to form alliances and self-organise to make positive changes. Anarchism as a form of cooperation, self-organisation rather than imposed organisation. So, I would like to forgo the idea that anarchism = chaos.
When citizens get together for a common cause, help each other (whether to overcome damages incurred during a natural disaster, or to overcome hunger…), they actually do something very natural. If you have ever watched a nature documentary you might know that cooperation is common in many animal societies and it’s, in a way, innate. Think of the vigilant meerkats taking turns looking out for predators, the lionesses upbringing little lions together and even mussels forming aggregations to stay safe (read more on cooperation in nature here ).
Now, imagine if we also worked a little bit more like an animal society . Think of all of the wonderful things that we could do if we got to work together, putting in whatever we can based on our competencies , without any obligation placed on us from the top but only fuelled by our interior passions and our willingness to do good (because fighting just for ourselves is not worth it and we have a lot more power if we fight together- especially as we are risking the future of our species, and not that far into the future...)
Inmy opinion, this anarchist mindset can bring us to cooperate also in the face of climate change. Why? How?
If you remember from my post after the climate camp , one of the way is to fight capitalism and reverse to a different society. This new self-organised society could be the solution. Another nice article here
In a way, this is already happening with citizens assemblies. Citizens getting together to discuss the future of the city, identifying the main needs for a better way of living. Citizens suing the governments for not doing enough (in Jakarta, for example, but also in the Netherlands and the idea is there in Italy) .
It might be the start of something.
But we will have to remember one of the important rules of anarchism intended this way, that is one I really like : one is only free when everyone else is free, that is if your freedom is stopping someone else’s freedom then you stop being free . And that is probably where these will only ever be utopia...
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