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This excerpt is taken from the beginning of Scheme and Plot (Volume two, Issue one); which is out now and available for free to anyone. Although some of the content is written by me, some of the sentences have been taken from other sources. For a complete list of sources see the back inside cover of the zine form.
Let's go beyond stale, academic anarchist theory. What the fuck does all this mean? Well, believe it or not, anarchy manifests itself in all kinds of things. There is definitely more to it than armed insurgency or social revolution. Anarchism is much more personal than it is political. In a sense Anarchism is anti-political because it is the recognition that this isn't a program but a struggle for the individual and social re-appropriation of the totality of life.
The simplest way I can think to explain it is: to have big dreams and to continually reach for them in a way that is both direct and uncompromising. Anarchism is refusing to live a mediated life, and refusing to succumb to the control of systemic oppression. Never believe the myth of representation or delegate your life to someone else. When the decisions about how to live and struggle are separated from the execution of those decisions regardless of how democratic and participatory this separated decision-making process may be, we have ceased to be a significant force in any way distinguishable from the rest of the political sphere of the world.
Stop thinking of anarchism as just another "world order," just another social system. From where we all stand, in this very dominated, very controlled world, it is impossible to imagine living without any authorities, without laws or governments. No wonder anarchism isn't usually taken seriously as a large-scale political or social program: no one can imagine what it would really be like, let alone how to achieve it. Not even anarchists ourselves.
Instead, think of anarchism as an individual orientation to yourself and others, as a personal approach to life. That isn't impossible to imagine. Conceived in these terms, what would anarchism be? It would be a decision to think for yourself rather than following blindly. It would be a rejection of hierarchy, a refusal to accept the "god given" authority of any nation, law, or other force as being more significant than your own authority over yourself. It would be an instinctive distrust of those who claim to have some sort of rank or status above the others around them, and an unwillingness to claim such status over others for yourself. Most of all, it would be a refusal to place responsibility for yourself in the hands of others; it would be the demand that each of us be able to choose our own destiny.
According to this definition, there are a great deal more anarchist than it seemed, though most wouldn't refer to themselves as such. For most people, when they think about it, want to have the right to live their own lives, to think and act as they see fit. Most people trust themselves to figure out what they should do more than they trust any authority to dictate it to them. Almost everyone is frustrated when they find themselves pushing against faceless, impersonal power.
You don't want to be at the mercy of governments, bureaucracies, police, or other outside forces, do you? Surely you don't want to let them dictate your entire life. Don't you do what you want, what you believe in, at least whenever you can get away with it? In our everyday lives, we all are anarchists. Whenever we make decisions for ourselves, whenever we take responsibility for our own actions rather than deferring to some higher power, we are putting anarchism into practice.
This is the realization of anarchist dreams, of the dreams of every individual still capable of dreaming and desiring independently to be the autonomous creators of their own existence. The search for revolution has become vague or else aggressively simplified. Yes we do have positive ideas and wonderful dreams, even if we don't often speak of them or make them the basis of what we do. Instead we tend to cluster around negatives: anti-war, anti-sprawl, anti-consumerism, etc and this is what causes many people to become disenchanted with this idea of Anarchy and freedom.
Those who assume [sometimes unconsciously] that it is impossible to achieve their dreams and their life's desires, therefore thinking it is futile to fight for themselves, usually end up fighting for an ideal or cause instead. They may appear to engage in self-directed activity, but in reality they have accepted alienation from their desires as a way of life. Whenever we put a cause or ideology ahead of our own genuine desires, our heartstinct, we become nothing more than reactionaries regardless of how "revolutionary" our actions may appear.