Black anarchism and anarchist pluralism

Posted on July 13, 2011


It has come to my attention, especially most recently through my conversations with a close group of friends (particularly I would like to mention Chelsea, Mike, and Cali Mike) that the nit-picky sub-classes of anarchism are destroying it as a philosophy.

So, I have decided to attempt to establish a universal view of anarchism to describe those of us who believe that none of these sub-theories are universally correct on their own, but they all have something to bring to the table. I’m going to call it black anarchism or anarchist pluralism.

I chose the word pluralism because it means:

…in the general sense, the acknowledgment of diversity. The concept is used, often in different ways, in a wide range of issues. In politics, pluralism is often considered by proponents of modern democracy to be in the interests of its citizens, and so political pluralism is one of its most important features. (Wikipedia: Pluralism (political philosophy))

I am going to swiftly start working on something of a manifesto for this philosophy. I understand this is a view that many many people already share of anarchism and I want to use those people to help me develop this thought, to allow them to make a mark of what it is they actually believe. I want people who think this way to have something to call it and a text to quote on the matter.

I have formerly gone under the label anarcho-communist thinking that it revolved around this same core concept, but I have been learning, the more communists that I talk to, that this is not the case. I have also learned that when I try to explain to people who are new to anarchism in general, that they are very much misled by this word – “communism” – based on their past experiences with the word. It is for this reason that I am changing my ways.

This is going to become a very serious short term project for me. If you are interested in my progress or helping in anyway, there will be opportunities for that. I will also be posting about it, obviously. I hope to script a serious manifesto about a pluralist philosophy because to me, it is the basis of pure anarchism.

Capitalism can’t work on its own because it revolves around the coercive subversion of some to others. There is no way this will ever be 100% voluntary as they suggest. Most everyone will want to be a boss. Not many people will willingly work for others regardless of how responsible, reasonable, or fair the employer is.

Similarly, communism cannot work (under the general understanding rather than the one that I previously had) because according to communist philosophies it also revolves somewhat around a “universal” society that doesn’t appear to be based in differences as I once thought. Some people see it as having a “peer pressure” element to it. It is also just not a universally realistic philosophy because it does not take cultural, geographical, or logistical factors into account. It will work very much for large scale production, factory like settings but it is not universal.

Anarcho primitivism and naturalism (though technically different) are also not realistic for universal philosophies. I see them as certainly reasonable but not very universally aware.

None of these major schools of thought, or any others that are not listed, take scale into account. No constitution can ever accurately account for the scale of humanity, rather, they always underestimate the size and the diversity of a people. No doctrine can ever universally say how people should live because of such differences, unless, in fact, that doctrine is BASED on this acknowledgement; unless that doctrine is pluralist.

I am going to attempt to draft such a doctrine. I want to accurately define my beliefs using my understanding of diversity and subjectivity in the world. But from this moment on, I no longer subjugate myself to the petty squabbles of the subdivisions of a philosophy that is based on universal understanding, peace, freedom and equality. From now on I am no longer classifying myself as an anarchist communist/syndicalist/socialist.

From now on, I am an anarchist pluralist. Black anarchism.


The thing that makes this different from “anarchism without adjectives” is the same reason that I reject communism or capitalism as universal theories.

The attitude of all of the anarchists without adjectives that I have read or met has been very, “You go play capitalism over there, and you go play communism over there, but when it comes to the state, lets just say we agree OK?” It’s very either passive about the diversity issue or ignores it entirely.

ALSO, a lot of the anarchists without adjectives I know basically just try to unite anarchists under the common goal of no government, which I have said a million times, it is not. It is the rejection of coercive authority.

I feel like ancaps do a good job of calling ancoms on where they may be acting coercive and vice versa. This is the kind of relationship I am talking about. One where we can come to mutual agreements on a large scale based on the input of conflicting ideologies. In the proper setting with the proper education I think this can be accomplished peacefully.

But, as always, voluntary consent is the prime issue.

Posted in: Anarchism