A common description of anarchism is that it has as its aim the abolition of the state. Now, while this is certainly correct -- it would indeed be hard to find an anarchist who is positively enamored of any government apparatus, be it located in Chicago, Washington, Moscow, or Baghdad -- it is not (to my mind) the best way of describing the anarchist goal.
Rather, anarchism should be understood as aiming at the abolition of all forms of domination. That is, anarchism is resolutely opposed to any relations between humans in which one decides for another, without the other's consent, how that other is to live and coerces that other into living that way. So anarchism is opposed not only to government, to the police and military and legislature and judiciary. It is also opposed to capitalism, in which a few possessing the means of production compel the rest, on pain of starvation, to produce for the profit of those few in return for a wage; and to racism of any form; and to any sort of oppression on the basis of one's sexuality. In place of all this, which is inherently reprehensible (and if you want a justification of this claim, try living in an explicit state of being dominated and see what you think of it!), anarchists seek to bring about a situation in which everybody determines for oneself as much as possible, as free and cooperative as can be devised, how one is to live one's life.
Ron Carrier, "Anarchism and Power"
Wednesday, September 08, 2004
Food for thought: (it certainly makes me think)