Perspectives
Start writing a post

I had the pleasure of interviewing the always wonderful Salar Rajabnik for part I of our basic anarchist series. The goal of this series is to lay groundwork and provide resources for curious thinkers. While popular notions encourage us to believe anarchism is synonymous for chaos and destruction, our goal is to dismantle these misconceptions and provide readers with a spark to help conceptualize and analyze theories and practices not widely accepted on the mainstream spectrum of political philosophies.

What are the major ideological similarities (and differences, if any) between left-libertarianism and anarchism? Socialist libertarianism and anarcho-communism/social anarchism? Are these just interchangeable labels for the same over-aching goals and priorities? If not, what are the basic differences?

Salar: Some within the leftist realm feel as though all of these terms refer to different ideologies, others feel that they basically all describe the same viewpoint. In a way I feel that both of these scenarios are true simultaneously since the differences some point out between these ideologies are minute in the grand scheme of political consciousness and are specific reforms or tweaks within an over-arching worldview that advocates stateless societies based on social justice and advocation. Taking the in-depth writings of certain figures from these movements and cross-analyzing them will reveal differences in views, but it will also reveal a common understanding which rejects state power, elitism and predatory capitalistic practices.

Most people today have false ideas and assumptions of what anarchism is. With the understanding that anarchism has a wide underbelly of complexity and a multitude of conceptions, is there a way to simplify the goals? Developed notions and commonalities amongst anarchist thinkers include a movement toward highly structured and organized society but on the basis of “free and voluntary participation” - with this in mind, could we simply describe anarchism as radical democracy or is this an unwise suggestion?

Salar: Simplification is necessary so anyone who is unfamiliar or generally uninterested in anarchism or political analysis can understand such concepts. Because anarchist thought seems so abstract to the average person and is so completely at odds with the indoctrinated worldview of the masses, some generality is necessary to explain these ideas. Utilizing the method of referring to anarchism as a sort of direct and representative democracy seems to be one of the more effective methods to help those who carry serious misconceptions better understand the subject. For example, all people can generally grasp the concept that our current system is not remotely representative and that a more direct form of representation is far more just.

Who are some notable contemporary anarchist activists and thinkers?

Salar: Noam Chomsky, Murray Bookchin, Abdullah Öcalan, Howard Zinn, Pete Seeger, Lemmy, and countless lesser known figures who work within social justice movements the world over.

What are some major contemporary anarchist movements happening around the globe? And here in North America?

Salar: Globally, the Rojava project/autonomous region in Kurdistan which is battling ISIS and building a free society is one of the best examples. The Zomia region (Asian highlands lying between China and India) is ungoverned by traditional means as well. Another example would be the Rebel Zapatista Autonomous Municipalities, which are territories in the Mexican state of Chiapas controlled by the Zapatista rebel groups there. Additionally, countless protest and social justice movements in & out of the United States contain anarchists. Despite media suppression, most major protests in the US in the past decade (of which there have been many) are full of anarchists.


A huge thanks to Salar who's been my informal mentor in this realm as of late. It's been a pleasure. With that, we both agree that some of the more important works we've come across can be found at libcom.org. I'd also like to encourage you to check out one of my personal favorites, zcomm.org. With the current state of our world and the doomsday atmosphere and political trash heaps that are continually impeding on our desire to survive and thrive freely, we must think outside the confines of the repulsive systems that have been thrust upon us. For me, it's always been a matter of simply existing and following my own moral compass, yet I'm always somehow seen as a deviant or a rebel. Even as a kid I was shamed for refusing to obey someone I didn't agree with, regardless of their so-called authoritative position. It is exactly the sort of judgment by someone calling me a "defiant brat" that stems from a culture conditioned to believe we're meant for subservience and obedience and nothing more. I'm not about that life. Are you? I don't need another human's immorality policing my perfectly decent life choices in the name of God or Law.

Stay tuned for part II of the series.


Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Featured

Haunted Houses For Halloween In New Jersey

The Top Scariest Haunted Houses In New Jersey

2575

Residing in New Jersey enables you to participate in various activities, and everyone has a favorite. In New Jersey, Halloween is also celebrated in a spooky way. There are many scariest haunted houses in NJ to celebrate Halloween. If you want to confront your greatest fears, Halloween Scariest haunted houses are ideal.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

Leaving My Backpack In The Library

Views about society and the stranger sitting right across from me

45823
https://unsplash.com/photos/O0T1SIgHAfM

As a college student, my backpack is an extension of myself in many ways. It contains my notes, pens, and computer vital for my success in college. It contains the snacks and water bottle I need to survive long days on campus. It also contains the "in-case" items that help put my mind at rest if I forgot something from home: extra hair ties, masks, and that backup-backup snack. With so much in my backpack important to me and my life on campus, it is no wonder that I can get apprehensive about it when it is not with me or in my line of sight. And that makes me wonder.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

5 Cool Gadgets To Make Your Car Smart

Don't let this stop you from making your car smart. You can change the one you have using smart gadgets that transform your car into a smart car.

105505

Cars are no longer just a mode of transport, where you only worry about the engine and how beautiful its interior is. These days, everyone wants to make their cars smarter, those with advanced technology systems. It makes sense for several reasons. It can make your vehicle more efficient and safer when you need to drive.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

The Inevitable Truth of Loss

You're going to be okay.

127031

As we humans face loss and grief on a daily basis, it's challenging to see the good in all the change. Here's a better perspective on how we can deal with this inevitable feeling and why it could help us grow.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

'Venom: Let There Be Carnage' Film Review

Tom Hardy and Woody Harrelson lead a tigher, more fun sequel to 2018's 'Venom'

104326
Photo Credit: Sony Pictures Entertainment – YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-FmWuCgJmxo

When Sony announced that Venom would be getting a stand-alone movie, outside of the Tom Holland MCU Spider-Man films, and intended to start its own separate shared universe of films, the reactions were generally not that kind. Even if Tom Hardy was going to take on the role, why would you take Venom, so intrinsically connected to Spider-Man's comic book roots, and remove all of that for cheap action spectacle?

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments