Back to Homepage
Resolution unanimously decided upon by the 1st Anarchist Biennial, i.e. the first combined IFA & FICEDL Congress in Oslo 1990
1. Authoritarians notoriously mix up anarchy, anarchist and anarchism with authoritarian tendencies: Chaos, disorder, mob rule*, lawlessness, the law of the jungle, criminality, riots, theft, corruption, drugs, mafia, terrorism, autocratic rule, the right to the strongest, antisocial tyrannical behavior, etc. i.e. different types of superiors and subordinates.
2. The word anarchy origins from Greek. The prefix "an" means "negation of" as in anaerobe versus aerobe and "arch" means "superior, i.e. in contrast to subordinates", as in archbishop, archangel, archduke, arch villain, etc. Thus anarchy, anarchism, anarchist, a.s.o., mean coordination on equal footing, without superiors and subordinates, i.e. horizontal organization and co-operation without coercion. This is the opposite of the above mentioned authoritarian tendencies, i.e. different types of superiors and subordinates.
3. The above mentioned mixtures of anarchist and authoritarian tendencies are principal contradictions similar to the Newspeak slogan "peace is war" in Orwell's "1984", and have correspondent repressive functions. Anarchists won't have any of that! For obvious reasons significant mixtures of anarchist and authoritarian tendencies should be denounced, i.e. as a general anarchist opinion, now and in the future. These actions may be taken on individual, municipal or international level, dependent on the situation.
*) The Greek rooted word for mob rule is ochlarchy. Ochlarchy broadly defined may also be used as a common word for all the authoritarian evils mentioned in part 1. above, i.e. in general lack of security and law and order in a society as a public sector service. This is ochlarchy, the opposite of anarchy, i.e. based on libertarian law and order and security as public sector services, according to the anarchist (IFA) principle of social justice. The ones doing ochlarchy broadly defined are called ochlarchists, i.e. the opposite of anarchists.Sufficient public service of policing is important. Man is not like ants who cooperate socially, naturally and voluntarely without coercion/repression automatically by themselves. Thus, doing away with the existing rule or tendencies of authority may easily result in ochlarchy, mob rule, and not anarchy, if not a firm horizontal social organization, ideally or practically is established with a sufficient police corps to create security and libertarian law and order and to do away with tendencies towards ochlarchy. See http://www.anarchy.no/a_e_p_m.html and search for the keywords "law" and "corps". Furthermore it must be mentioned that variation in the degree of "flatness" of organizations/federations of different purposes and aims may be optimal, say, a police or defence corps organization/federation may have a somewhat less degree of flatness than a study circle. And the police corps shall of course be well educated in libertarian human rights and policing and be democratically regulated and controlled, and bully types, corrupt and other "brown", ochlarchical elements should be expelled mainly during the education prosess and thus stopped from participating in the police corps. Regarding law and order a combination of private security firms and a horizontally organized public sector with anarchist courts on local, regional and confederal level, it is the best solution. Some law and order services are collective or semicollective and they will most efficiently be handled by a horizontally organized public sector. Competing court services sold for means of payment will be significantly corrupt and not making equality before the law. It will be "law and order" for the relatively rich, they will have it their way, and no real law and order for the relatively poor. The definition of theft is when you get something for nothing (and it is not a gift). Free goods and services, say air, are gifts from nature.
Anarchist laws, according to the principles of social justice and the negation of juridical laws, should be decided by the people, direct democratic or by delegates, and compatible with anarchist principles in general, human rights included, rooted back to natural law . Juridical laws mainly mean decided by authorities, lawyers, the mob, etc., i.e. authoritarian laws. As an example, most of the laws in Norway are non-authoritarian, there are however also some authoritarian laws, because the degree of anarchy is only ca 53-54%, i.e. significant anarchist, but not ideal. Thus, the law and court system of anarchy is quite similar to other democratic law and court systems, only less authoritarian, and more reflecting human rights (interpreted in an anarchist, non-authoritarian way). The International Anarchist Tribunals of I.F.A./A.I. are a special branch of anarchist law and court systems, see http://www.anarchy.no/iat.html .
The general idea is that anarchist laws should be decided from the bottom, the people, and upwards, not from the top downwards. That is law without State in the anarchist meaning. The people decide their own laws when the laws are decided. Thus it is selfmanagement. Of course the minorities rights must be respected in case of anarchist direct democracy, according to anarchist principles. Preferably decisions shold be made by general consent. In case where this is not possible the majority will decide, but they must compensate the minority in different ways to secure their rights. Economic compensation may sometimes be used. In anyway the majority will only be able to offer the minority a free contract, not a slave contract. Thus majority dictatorship will be avoided, as well as minority dictatorship, in an anarchist direct democracy.
Financing the public sector - social subscription vs taxes: We are here first discussing the anarchist ideal. If the people, say in a commune, decide with general consent a social subscription to finance a horizontally organized public sector, then it is 100% voluntarely. Thus there is no taxation involved. General consent is that a lot are for, and no one is against. In an anarchy of a high degree all the members of the society are anarchists and they have developed a consensus culture based on negotiations and a will to come to an agreement. In the case where there is no general consent, the majority may decide a social subscription for their part only to finance the public sector. The minority must then as far as possible be denied the public goods and services. In case where this is not possible, the question of "free riders" appear. In some cases "free riding" may bee seen as theft (theft= you get something for nothing, and it is not a gift), in other cases as a gift. Thus there may be different solutions to the "free rider" problem. In less ideal anarchism there may be degrees of social subscription vs taxes. The anarchists are in these cases for as little as possible coercion.
The AI and IAT have never expressed that an anarchist society of high degree of anarchy, should be organized in one way, or one homogenous system. The general idea is that the people really concerned of a case should be the ones that decide, in a horizontal way, alone in individual matters, two toghether in bilateral matters, three toghether in trilateral matters, etc., local matters decided locally, regional matters regionally, and general cases for a whole society (say a country) decided by all members of society together (preferably with general consent, based on a consensus-culture, with negotiations etc.). Thus individually, locally and regionally, there may be several different systems within the framework of horizontal organizations, but for the general cases for a whole society, there may be only one system at a time, as far as the AI and IAT can see today. This general organization may of course change over time, because horizontal organization always may be improved, different working hypothesis may be put in place and rejected if it doesn't work. etc. But there must be ways to decide in general matters in an orderly anarchist way, or else it will be chaotic and ochlarchy. This could be investigated more. There may be several ways to make general decisions, that is reasonable horizontal. These several competing systems may be investigated in advance, so there is a large menu to choose from in an anarchist society of high degree, close to the anarchist ideal at the top of the economical-political map.
Briefly defined anarchy and anarchism are coordination on equal footing, without superiors and subordinates, i.e. horizontal organization and co-operation without coercion. This means practically or ideally, i.e. ordinary vs perfect horizontal organization respectively. Anarchy and anarchism mean "system and management without ruler(s), i.e. co-operation without repression, tyranny and slavery". In short an-arch-y = [(an = without - arch = ruler(s)) - y = system (included optimal order and law) and management, as, say, in monarch-y]. Anarchy and anarchism are efficient and fair system and management without top heavy societal pyramid economical and/or political/administrative - in income and/or rank, i.e. significant horizontal organization. Thus, anarchy and anarchism mean real democracy, economical and political/administrative, in private and public sector.
Ochlarchists, i.e. people and organizations/groups infiltrating the anarchistmovement and posing as anarchists and doing ochlarchy (mob rule broadly defined), will get a BROWN CARD from the International Anarchist Tribunal, meaning they are expelled from the anarchist movement. Thus, receiving a BROWN CARD in this case means expulsion from the anarchist movement. Other ochlarchists may also get the BROWN CARD, but they are of course not expelled from the anarchist movement because they did not pose as anarchists anyway. Especially, persons who harass or otherwise behave in an ochlarkish way towards anarchists will most likely get a Brown Card.
For more information about anarchists vs ochlarchists, see http://www.anarchy.no/ija136.html and http://www.anarchy.no/ija133.html
For more information about anarchy vs chaos, search for anarchy vs chaos at http://www.anarchy.no/andebatt.html . See also the APT-files at the International Anarchist Tribunal's website.