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To What Extent Is Anarchism Seen as a “Utopian Creed”?

  • Date Submitted: 05/30/2013 10:41 AM
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Anarchism is often described as a utopian ideology in itself, as it aims to create a “perfect society”.   From the outset it is clear that many aspects and factors of the ideology are unrealistic, such as the core values of unrestricted freedom and absolute equality. These two values are diametrically opposed in the sense that in order to absolute equality, individual freedom must be limited and vice versa – this leads to the canceling out of one value in order to fully have the other, leading to a zero sum gain.
An ultra positive and ultra rational view of human nature is also another example of unashamed utopianism. Anarchists believe that authority is not needed as humans have a natural goodness to them, and Anarchism can be seen as “the negation of order” (Sebastien Faure). However it is clear that in reality Conservatisms selfish and irrational view on human nature is more accurate. This can be seen with Anarchism in practice itself – in 20th century Spain in particular. Between 1920 and 1935, Spain saw an example of expropriative anarchism when anarchist infinity groups engaged in illegal activities such as fraud and robberies, which sometimes resulted in violence, calling these acts “expropriations on the bourgeoisie”. This example is one of many that show the fault in the thinking of anarchists regarding their view on human nature as it is clear that the anarcho-individualist view that social harmony can arise naturally is not true, and complete freedom itself can not exist along side social order and harmony.
However anarchists believe that, once freed from constraints, the natural morality and rationality of human nature will reassert itself. Anarcho-syndicalists promote physical violence on political enemies through propaganda by deed for a widespread revolution, and may excuse such violence, expressing that “the ends justifies the means”. Nihilism also holds the belief that violence in order to achieve a revolution can be justified. Defined by Jacobi...

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