“We anarchists do not want to emancipate the people; we want the people to emancipate themselves.”
Anarchism is a political philosophy and social movement that seeks to abolish oppressive systems. Anarchists advocate a self-managed, classless, stateless society where everyone takes collective responsibility for the health and prosperity of their community.
While opposition to the State is crucial to anarchist thought, anarchism cannot be defined as mere anti-statism alone, anarchists oppose all forms of hierarchy and oppression, including (but not limited to): Capitalism, racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism and in some cases speciesism.
Anarchists aim to create a new society based on mutual aid, co-operation, free association and equality where the community has control of their own affairs (i.e. direct democracy). They believe that only the people themselves have the knowledge and right to decide on matters that effect their own lives, and as such call for a federation of self-sustainable, decentralized communities organised on a non-hierarchical basis.
The State serves the interests of the ruling classes and capitalism. It upholds the values of oppression and has often shown that it is willing to defend them with force if necessary. Anarchists believe that in order to eradicate all forms of domination it is essential to do away with the State. As the State also protects the interests of human supremacy and animal exploitation it is also necessary to smash it to achieve total liberation.
There is a school of thought within anarchism, known as Vegan Anarchism (or Veganarchism) which combines the beliefs of animal liberation and Earth liberation with anarchism to create a combined praxis. Vegan Anarchists believe the state to be unnecessary and harmful to animals (human and non-animals) and seek to abolish it in order to achieve total liberation.
- What Is Anarchism? by Alexander Berkman
- The Anarchist FAQ by Ian McKay
- Animal Liberation and Social Revolution by Brian A. Dominick