Anarchist FAQ

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This topic contains 1 reply, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Spooner Bookman 2 months, 2 weeks ago.

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  • #647


    The most popular anarchist FAQ is an ultra-biased one put out by some anarcho-socialists at Infoshop. These are the sectarian imbeciles who write anarcho-capitalism as “anarcho”-capitalism. I’m wondering if I should rewrite that FAQ with corrections, or to promote Brian Caplan’s Anarchist Theory FAQ as the best general anarchism FAQ. What do you think? Caplan’s FAQ begins:

    1. What is anarchism? What beliefs do anarchists share?

    Anarchism is defined by The American Heritage College Dictionary as “The theory or doctrine that all forms of government are unnecessary, oppressive, and undesirable and should be abolished.” Anarchism is a negative; it holds that one thing, namely government, is bad and should be abolished. Aside from this defining tenet, it would be difficult to list any belief that all anarchists hold. Just as atheists might support or oppose any viewpoint consistent with the non-existence of God, anarchists might and indeed do hold the entire range of viewpoints consistent with the non-existence of the state.

    As might be expected, different groups of anarchists are constantly trying to define anarchists with different views out of existence, just as many Christians say that their sect is the only “true” Christianity and many socialists say that their socialism is the only “true” socialism. This FAQ takes what seems to me to be the impartial view that such tactics are pointless and merely prevent the debate of substantive issues. (N.B. The preceding definition has been criticized a number of times. To view my appendix on Defining Anarchism, click here.)

    • This topic was modified 3 months ago by  Hogeye.
  • #697

    Spooner Bookman

    I say do both if ya can!

    When I first ran into that “info”-shop FAQ, I thought it was satire… But the more I talked to socialists, the more I realized they were getting their view of AnCap almost exclusively from that FAQ — often verbatim. I’d argue that anyone genuinely seeking to understand a topic wouldn’t turn (solely) to enemies of the topic for understanding — seems dishonest.

    I haven’t read through Caplan’s FAQ, but will check it out — thanks for sharing! I love your FAQ because it is so clear and concise — makes it perfect for sharing with someone new to the idea.

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