Monday 19 July 2010

What if...

Years ago I published a manifesto in which I tried to elaborate what would have happened, had "we", the anarchists, "won" in Spain, somewhere in the late 'thirties. The manifesto was taken over by a zine and that was more or less it - I never read any other thoughts about this matter.

One good reason why this would have been impossible - apart from the fact that it turned out to be impossible because it did not happen - would be that "anarchism in one state" is a logical impossibility. That is one of the reasons why anarchism looks like a long term project: as long as there is still one state the whole of humanity is not free.
(It need not be: the miracle - something we can watch and wonder about, the original meaning of "miracle" - might happen - without optimism no anarchism. Or no Christianity, for that matter).

But "we" had won in Spain.
First "we" had to do away with the fascists. Obviously. The liberals should be silenced too.
Then the social democrats, the bolsheviks and the trotskyists had to be dealt with.
Of course the Roman Catholics still standing behind the episcopate and the Vatican could not be spared.
Then unfortunately "we" would have to deal with all these dissident anarchists who did not like the way all the enemies were treated.

Can you imagine an anarchist police state, a concentration camp at the size of a country which had not even done away with its African colonies too? Not immediately granting independence to these colonies was the main mistake of the Spanish republic - which is hardly ever mentioned since imperialism and racism are so very much taken for granted as normal.

The defeat in the Civil War spared "us" from the horrible reality of anarchism in one country.
But again, it could not have gone any other way.
The relative blessing of defeat.

Anarchism is a set of ideas about ordering human society in the broadest sense of the word. It is not one set of ideas. Peter Maurin has an idea about the solution of the Social Question different from Peter Kropotkin's, not to mention John Zerzan or Murray Bookchin.
Apart form being about order it is very much an idea about justice. Alex Christoyannopoulos makes this very clear in Christian anarchism.
Simply put: "Do unto others as you would have others do unto you" goes for anarchists in general, whether religious (Christian) or not. It cannot be any other way, because if you do not adhere to the Golden Rule you cease to be an anarchist.
Thinking about the consequences of an "anarchist victory" forces to think of it as a victory for humanity, not for "anarchy", "anarchism" and certainly not for "anarchists". Christian or not, it makes no difference.