Anti-authoritarianism

Anti-authoritarianism is opposition to authoritarianism, which is defined as "a form of social organisation characterised by submission to authority",[1] "favoring complete obedience or subjection to authority as opposed to individual freedom"[2] and to authoritarian government.[3] Anti-authoritarians usually believe in full equality before the law and strong civil liberties. Sometimes the term is used interchangeably with anarchism, an ideology which entails opposing authority or hierarchical organization in the conduct of human relations, including the state system.[4][5][6][7][8][9][10]

Views and practice

Freethought is a philosophical viewpoint that holds opinions should be formed on the basis of logic, reason and empiricism, rather than authority, tradition, or other dogmas.[11][12][13] The cognitive application of freethought is known as "freethinking" and practitioners of freethought are known as "freethinkers".[11][14]

Argument from authority (Latin: argumentum ab auctoritate) is a common form of argument which leads to a logical fallacy when misused. In informal reasoning, the appeal to authority is a form of argument attempting to establish a statistical syllogism.[15] The appeal to authority relies on an argument of the form:

A is an authority on a particular topic
A says something about that topic
A is probably correct

Fallacious examples of using the appeal include any appeal to authority used in the context of logical reasoning and appealing to the position of an authority or authorities to dismiss evidence as while authorities can be correct in judgments related to their area of expertise more often than laypersons, they can still come to the wrong judgments through error, bias, dishonesty, or falling prey to groupthink. Thus, the appeal to authority is not a generally reliable argument for establishing facts. Influential anarchist Mikhail Bakunin thought the following: "Does it follow that I reject all authority? Far from me such a thought. In the matter of boots, I refer to the authority of the bootmaker; concerning houses, canals, or railroads, I consult that of the architect or the engineer. For such or such special knowledge I apply to such or such a savant. But I allow neither the bootmaker nor the architect nor savant to impose his authority upon me. I listen to them freely and with all the respect merited by their intelligence, their character, their knowledge, reserving always my incontestable right of criticism and censure. I do not content myself with consulting a single authority in any special branch; I consult several; I compare their opinions, and choose that which seems to me the soundest. But I recognise no infallible authority, even in special questions; consequently, whatever respect I may have for the honesty and the sincerity of such or such individual, I have no absolute faith in any person".[16] He saw that "there is no fixed and constant authority, but a continual exchange of mutual, temporary, and, above all, voluntary authority and subbordination. This same reason forbids me, then, to recognise a fixed, constant and universal authority, because there is no universal man, no man capable of grasping in all that wealth of detail, without which the application of science to life is impossible, all the sciences, all the branches of social life".[16]

After World War II, there was a strong sense of anti-authoritarianism based on anti-fascism in Europe. This was attributed to the active resistance from occupation and to fears arising from the development of superpowers.[17] Anti-authoritarianism has also been associated with countercultural and bohemian movements. In the 1950s, the Beat Generation were politically radical and to some degree their anti-authoritarian attitudes were taken up by activists in the 1960s.[18] The hippie and larger counterculture movements of the 1960s carried out a way of life and activism which was ideally carried through anti-authoritarian and non-violent means. It was observed as such: "The way of the hippie is antithetical to all repressive hierarchical power structures since they are adverse to the hippie goals of peace, love and freedom... Hippies don't impose their beliefs on others. Instead, hippies seek to change the world through reason and by living what they believe".[19] In the 1970s, anti-authoritarianism became associated with the punk subculture.[20]

See also

References

  1. ^ Roget’s II: The New Thesaurus (1995). "authoritarianism". Houghton Mifflin Company. Archived from the original on 24 June 2008. Retrieved 2008-06-25.
  2. ^ "anti-authoritarian" at dictionary.com
  3. ^ "antiauthoritarian" at The Free Dictionary
  4. ^ "Anarchists do reject the state, as we will see. But to claim that this central aspect of anarchism is definitive is to sell anarchism short."Anarchism and Authority: A Philosophical Introduction to Classical Anarchism by Paul McLaughlin. AshGate. 2007. pg. 28
  5. ^ "IAF principles". International of Anarchist Federations. Archived from the original on 5 January 2012. The IAF - IFA fights for : the abolition of all forms of authority whether economical, political, social, religious, cultural or sexual.
  6. ^ "Authority is defined in terms of the right to exercise social control (as explored in the "sociology of power") and the correlative duty to obey (as explored in the "philosophy of practical reason"). Anarchism is distinguished, philosophically, by its scepticism towards such moral relations-by its questioning of the claims made for such normative power- and, practically, by its challenge to those "authoritative" powers which cannot justify their claims and which are therefore deemed illegitimate or without moral foundation."Anarchism and Authority: A Philosophical Introduction to Classical Anarchism by Paul McLaughlin. AshGate. 2007. pg. 1
  7. ^ "Anarchism, then, really stands for the liberation of the human mind from the dominion of religion; the liberation of the human body from the dominion of property; liberation from the shackles and restraint of government. Anarchism stands for a social order based on the free grouping of individuals for the purpose of producing real social wealth; an order that will guarantee to every human being free access to the earth and full enjoyment of the necessities of life, according to individual desires, tastes, and inclinations." Emma Goldman. "What it Really Stands for Anarchy" in Anarchism and Other Essays.
  8. ^ Ward, Colin (1966). "Anarchism as a Theory of Organization". Archived from the original on 25 March 2010. Retrieved 1 March 2010.
  9. ^ Anarchist historian George Woodcock report of Mikhail Bakunin's anti-authoritarianism and shows opposition to both state and non-state forms of authority as follows: "All anarchists deny authority; many of them fight against it." (pg. 9) ... Bakunin did not convert the League's central committee to his full program, but he did persuade them to accept a remarkably radical recommendation to the Berne Congress of September 1868, demanding economic equality and implicitly attacking authority in both Church and State."
  10. ^ Brown, L. Susan (2002). "Anarchism as a Political Philosophy of Existential Individualism: Implications for Feminism". The Politics of Individualism: Liberalism, Liberal Feminism and Anarchism. Black Rose Books Ltd. Publishing. p. 106.
  11. ^ a b "Freethinker - Definition and More from the Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary". Merriam-webster.com. 2012-08-31. Retrieved 2014-01-12.
  12. ^ "Free thought | Define Free thought at Dictionary.com". Dictionary.reference.com. Retrieved 2014-01-12.
  13. ^ "Glossary: freethought". International Humanist and Ethical Union. Archived from the original on January 17, 2013.
  14. ^ "Nontracts - FFRF Publications". Archive.is. Archived from the original on 2012-08-04. Retrieved 2014-01-12.
  15. ^ Salmon, M. H. (2006). Introduction to Critical Reasoning. Mason, OH: Thomson Wadsworth. pp. 118–9.
  16. ^ a b Bakunin, Mikhail (1871). "What is Authority?" – via Marxists.org.
  17. ^ Cox, David (2005). Sign Wars: The Culture Jammers Strike Back!. LedaTape Organisation. p. 108. ISBN 978-0-9807701-5-5. Retrieved 22 October 2011.
  18. ^ Matterson, Stephen. "Mid-1950s-1960s Beat Generation". The American Novel. PBS. Archived from the original on 7 July 2007.
  19. ^ Stone, Skip (1999). "The Way of the Hippy". Hippies from A to Z.
  20. ^ McLaughlin, Paul (2007). Anarchism and Authority. Aldershot: Ashgate. p. 10. ISBN 0-7546-6196-2.
Agorism

Agorism is a libertarian social philosophy that advocates creating a society in which all relations between people are voluntary exchanges by means of counter-economics, thus engaging with aspects of peaceful revolution. It was first proposed by libertarian philosopher Samuel Edward Konkin III (1947–2004) at two conferences, "CounterCon I" in October 1974 and "CounterCon II" in May 1975.

Anarchism in Iceland

Anarchism is a small minority political movement in Iceland, defined by its relationship with other progressive social movements, and its involvement in primarily ideological work.

Anarchism in Turkey

Anarchism in Turkey only began to emerge in 1986 with publication of the magazine Kara.

Anarchism in Vietnam

Anarchism as a political movement in Vietnam started in the early twentieth century. Its most recognizable proponent was Phan Boi Chau.

Anarchist Federation (Britain and Ireland)

The Anarchist Federation (AF, AFed) is a federation of anarcho-communists in Great Britain and Ireland. It is not a political party, but a direct action, agitational and propaganda organisation.

Anarchist law

Anarchist law is a hypothetical body of norms regarding behavior and decision-making that might be operative in an anarchist community. The term is used in a series of ongoing debates within the various branches of anarchist theory regarding if and how norms of individual and/or collective behavior, decision-making and actions should be created and enforced.

Anti-statism

Anti-statism is opposition to state intervention into personal, social and economic affairs. Anti-statism means opposition to the state and any artificial form of government and it differs from traditional anarchism which means the opposition not only to the state, but to any form of rulership.

Authoritarianism

Authoritarianism is a form of government characterized by strong central power and limited political freedoms. Individual freedoms are subordinate to the state and there is no constitutional accountability under an authoritarian regime. Juan Linz's influential 1964 description of authoritarianism characterized authoritarian political systems by four qualities:

Limited political pluralism, that is such regimes place constraints on political institutions and groups like legislatures, political parties and interest groups;

A basis for legitimacy based on emotion, especially the identification of the regime as a necessary evil to combat "easily recognizable societal problems" such as underdevelopment or insurgency;

Minimal social mobilization most often caused by constraints on the public such as suppression of political opponents and anti-regime activity;

Informally defined executive power with often vague and shifting powers.

Classless society

Classless society refers to a society in which no one is born into a social class. Such distinctions of wealth, income, education, culture, or social network might arise and would only be determined by individual experience and achievement in such a society.

Codere defines social class as a segment of the community, the members of which show a common social position in a hierarchical ranking. Codere suggest that a true class-organized society is one in which the hierarchy of prestige and status is divisible into groups each with its own social, economic, attitudinal and cultural characteristics and each having differential degrees of power in community decision. However class organised societies rarely follow this structure, suggesting that a classless society might be better.

Since determination of life outcome by birth class has proved historically difficult to avoid, advocates, such as anarchists, communists, etc. of a classless society propose various means to achieve and maintain it and attach varying degrees of importance to it as an end in their overall programs/philosophy.

Especifismo

Especifismo (Portuguese: [eʃpesiˈfiʒmu], "specifism") is one of the two main forms of anarchist activism championed by FARJ (Federação Anarquista do Rio de Janeiro) and other South American anarchist organizations, the other being social insertion. Especifismo emerged as a result of anarchist experiences in South America over the last half of the 20th century starting with the Federación Anarquista Uruguaya (FAU), which was founded in 1956 by anarchists who saw the need for an organization which was specifically anarchist.

From Bakunin to Lacan

From Bakunin to Lacan: Anti-Authoritarianism and the Dislocation of Power is a book on political philosophy by Saul Newman, published in 2001. It investigates the essential characteristics of anarchist theory, which holds that government and hierarchy are undesirable forms of social organisation. Newman seeks to move beyond the limitations these characteristics imposed on classical anarchism by using concepts from post-structuralist thought.

By applying post-structuralist theory to anarchism, Newman presents an account of post-anarchism. His post-anarchism is more substantive than that of earlier thinkers, and has influenced later approaches to the philosophy. Released in a climate of an anarchist movement hostile to postmodern philosophy, From Bakunin to Lacan was criticised for its poor understanding of and engagement with contemporary anarchism.

Gustav Landauer

Gustav Landauer (7 April 1870 – 2 May 1919) was one of the leading theorists on anarchism in Germany at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century. He was an advocate of social anarchism and an avowed pacifist. In 1919, during the German Revolution, he was briefly Commissioner of Enlightenment and Public Instruction of the short-lived Bavarian Soviet Republic. He was killed when this Republic was overthrown.

Landauer is also known for his study of metaphysics and religion, and his translations of William Shakespeare's works into German.

Left Turn

Left Turn was a bimonthly activist news magazine that focused on international social justice movements. Based in New York City and produced by an all volunteer editorial collective, the magazine promoted anti-imperialism and anti-authoritarianism.Left Turn had its roots in the anti-capitalist wing of the Global Justice Movement and was founded in the wake of the anti-WTO protests in Seattle in 1999 by a small group of socialists.The magazine's tagline, "Notes from the Global Intifada", was inspired by the then ongoing Palestinian intifada. The magazine supported grassroots activists with the Palestine Solidarity Movement. The magazine ceased print publication after the August 2011 issue, but continues to operate a website..

List of films dealing with anarchism

This article is for films both fictional and non-fictional which focus on anarchism, anarchist movements and/or anarchist characters as a theme.

Pat Mills

Pat Eamon Mills (born 1949) is a British comics writer and editor who, along with John Wagner, revitalised British boys comics in the 1970s, and has remained a leading light in British comics ever since. He has been called "the godfather of British comics".His comics are notable for their violence and anti-authoritarianism. He is best known for creating 2000 AD and playing a major part in the development of Judge Dredd.

Platformism

Platformism is a form of anarchist organization that seeks unity upon its participants, having as a defining characteristic the idea that each platformist organization should include only members that are fully aligned with the group ideas, rejecting people with any level of conflicting ideas. It stresses the need for tightly organized anarchist organizations that are able to influence working class and peasant movements. "Platformist" groups reject the model of Leninist vanguardism, they instead aim to "make anarchist ideas the leading ideas within the class struggle". According to platformists, the four main principles by which an anarchist organisation should operate, are ideological unity, tactical unity, collective responsibility and federalism.

Princess Diana's Revenge

Princess Diana's Revenge is a novel written by the English writer Michael de Larrabeiti and self-published in 2006, under the imprint "Tallis House", which is the name used by de Larrabeiti for publishing his own works. In the context of de Larrabeiti's other works, it is perhaps closest in tone to his thrillers The Bunce and The Hollywood Takes, dealing with conspiracy theories and partly featuring the documentary film business in which de Larrabeiti's earlier novels were set. Despite de Larrabeiti being an established author of thirty years' standing, Princess Diana's Revenge was turned down by his literary agents, Curtis Brown. The novel was then turned down by over thirty publishers in the United Kingdom. In response to this de Larrabeiti decided to self-publish under his own imprint, "Tallis House". He is one of the first established authors to self-publish, along with the Canadian writer Jim Munroe.

The book tells the story of Joe Rapps, a director and cameraman who slips into the surreal world of Milton Magna, an Oxfordshire village which is based on the real village of Great Milton where de Larrabeiti lived for over thirty years. Rapps is drawn into various conspiracy theories revolving around the Friends of Diana, a cult which has grown up around the memory of Diana, Princess of Wales, and is determined to avenge her death in a car crash in Paris on 31 August 1997. Although the book is not as explicitly anti-authoritarian as de Larrabeiti's most famous work, The Borrible Trilogy, its satire of members of the royal family ensure that the book is run-through with the anti-authoritarianism that is present in all of de Larrabeiti's work.

Stateless society

A stateless society is a society that is not governed by a state, or, especially in common American English, has no government. In stateless societies, there is little concentration of authority; most positions of authority that do exist are very limited in power and are generally not permanently held positions; and social bodies that resolve disputes through predefined rules tend to be small. Stateless societies are highly variable in economic organization and cultural practices.While stateless societies were the norm in human prehistory, few stateless societies exist today; almost the entire global population resides within the jurisdiction of a sovereign state. In some regions nominal state authorities may be very weak and wield little or no actual power. Over the course of history most stateless peoples have been integrated into the state-based societies around them.Some political philosophies, particularly anarchism, consider the state an unwelcome institution and stateless societies the ideal.

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