At its heart, anarchism is a philosophy. It is about asserting that installing rulers and initiating violence are wholly immoral. Anarchism is a synonym for absolute liberty. The philosophy is a conclusion one arrives at through deductive reasoning — through understanding slavery is unacceptable in any form and government is just another form of it. No man deserves to be enslaved. Slavery must be condemned at every corner: this is the overarching theme within virtually all anarchist traditions.
However, anarchism is not only an idea one arrives at through reasoning from the armchair. It is also about psychology and relationships. Anarchism is thoroughly behavioral. In this sense, it is more than a philosophy. Anarchism is a method of communication and connection. It is the suggestion that by fully communicating with others, anarchists naturally inspire more freedom in the world.
But what exactly is communicative anarchy?
The Propaganda Game
Before getting into the communicative aspect of anarchism, an issue must be addressed. Some people will assert that anarchists are nasty people, prone to all manner of violence. Governments peddle the bromide that anarchists are villainous madmen with a penchant for hurling Molotov cocktails and smashing windows. To them, the anarchist is a dark figure that couldn’t care less about anyone, and whose existence hinges on sowing destruction.
It is true some anarchists may take this position, but they would ultimately be contradicting themselves. If they seek to enact violence against anyone, they are positioning themselves as a de facto ruler. In reality, the anarchist is naturally against hurling Molotov cocktails, and instead practices communication methods for undermining governments and rulers. The story about the anarchist as psychopath, hellbent on inciting disorder, is a lie governments wield to paint anarchists as misguided savages.
The reality is anarchists are loving contrarians who wish to institute more peace and unfetter the world. Conversely, politicians are the true maniacal mad men. They seek power above all else, and will harm people to gain it. This makes their plight a game of propaganda. Therefore, if anarchists fail to communicate effectively, they lose the propaganda game and become pigeonholed as antisocial, misanthropic barbarians.To win the propaganda game, anarchists must let their truth prevail. They must lead by example, practicing effective communication and teaching love. They must bury the propaganda game in order to dethrone the ruling class and spur the paradigm shift.
Communicative Freedom and Friendship Circles
The communication method of anarchism suggests anarchists are always communicating with their fellow humans to help them understand freedom. This “communicative anarchism” means the anarchist ultimately builds relationships within the community to create anarchist enclaves.
For clarity, communication means the anarchist talks about the importance of freedom with his fellow men and openly listens to their concerns. The anarchist pays attention to all aspects of communication, including body language, tonality, and micro expressions, and does not immediately argue philosophy. It’s through this open communication and hopeful attitude the anarchist wins over new people.
The anarchist does not promote a new paradigm by only arguing or using different forms of activism. In the communicative approach, being present and open is one of the best way to create new anarchists and delegitimize the State. This, however, is not to say that debating and promoting the philosophy is irrelevant. Providing people with the logical reasons why anarchism functions is extremely important, it’s just vital the anarchist understands the meaning and importance of communication. The anarchist must also know when to take what approach. Without this knowledge, the anarchist is likely to push more people away from anarchism rather than invigorate them for freedom.
The Left anarchists already created a term for what this kind of approach creates. It builds friendship circles. It creates communities of people who share a common goal for freedom, and whose foundation rests on the philosophy of respect and open communication.
Anarchist as Cultural Therapist and the Tragedy of Bureaucracy
As a result of this open communication, the anarchist becomes a kind of cultural therapist or healer. The anarchist keeps the insecurities and fragility of the other person in mind, and uses empathy to connect with them. At its core, the communicative method is about empathizing with the other person and paying attention to details.
Part of the reason Statism and government has emerged, is because of a lack of empathy and communication in society. Government is a cold, detached, and bureaucratic entity that is concerned with violent expediency. It is not concerned with the emotional output of the individual, and the politicians therein do not concern themselves with connecting on an individual level. Instead, government workers make decisions based on incoherent scribblings called “laws,” and then people are expected to follow those laws like unconscious drones. This is the naturally saps all emotion and vitality from society. It’s the tragedy of bureaucracy.
When anarchists fully embrace the communicative approach, their social healing function will bloom and flower. It will unfold in a beautiful crescendo that inspires whole communities to awaken to anarchism. It will help maintain the anarchist’s antifragile nature, and enliven every individual with the spirit for more freedom. This is how anarchists will destroy the propaganda game. They will create anarchism and freedom through communicating effectively and teaching effective communication. They will rid the world of cold bureaucracies, and embolden freethinkers to create thriving communities.