Thursday, November 6, 2008

Against domination

From Martha A. Ackelsberg's Free Women of Spain, a great book on feminism, anarchism, and the history of Mujeres Libres in the Spanish Revolution.

Domination in all its forms — whether exercised by governments, religious institutions, or through economic relations — is for anarchists the source of all social evil. While anarchism shares with socialist traditions a radical critique of economic domination and an insistence on the need for a fundamental economic restructuring of society on a more egalitarian basis, it goes beyond Marxist socialism in developing an independent critique of the state, hierarchy, and of authority relations in general. While socialist have traced the roots of all domination to the division of labour in the economy, anarchists have insisted that power has its own logic and will not be abolished through attention to economic relations alone.

Anarchism aims to abolish hierarchy and structured relations of domination and subordination in society. It also aims to create a society based on equality, mutuality, and reprocity in which each person is valued and respected as an individual. This social vision is combined with a theory of social change that insists on means must be consistent with ends, that people cannot be directed into a future society but must create it themselves, thereby recognising their own abilities and capacities. In both its vision of the ideal society and its theory on how that society must be achieved, anarchism has much to offer...

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