But I don’t have a “just plain anarchism” blog and I wanted to put it somewhere, so I’m putting it here. It seemed like the most appropriate spot. Perhaps rolequeer practice, insofar as it is anarchism applied to interpersonal power dynamics, is also a kind of Whack-a-Mole.
. . .
There seems to be a common confusion among people who argue “anarchism will never work” — because they can’t see how anarchism could functionally replace democracy, feudalism, military dictatorship, or whatever as a governmental system.
But the whole point is that anarchy is NOT a governmental system and therefore, obviously, could not replace any of those things. The point of anarchy is not to be a “better” government. We’re never going to “establish” anarchy and then we’re done, hooray. The point of anarchy is to prevent ANY government from coming to power — by continuing to be a vigilant and active force that resists the establishment of hierarchical authorities.
Anarchy is not a kind of government. Anarchy is not on the campaign trail looking for your vote. Anarchy doesn’t care if you think it’s working or not. Anarchy is not something that can ever be “established” because anarchism is inherently anti-establishment.
Yes, there are always going to be people trying to set up governments. Perhaps it is in the “human nature” (of at least some humans) to try to seize and hold onto institutional power. The job of anarchists is not to categorically prevent that from ever happening; the job of anarchists is to keep knocking them down when they do. Maybe if there are enough of us knocking them down fast enough, authoritarians will eventually get tired and give up and go farm alfalfa or something. Meanwhile, conscientiously protecting each other from power-hungry authoritarians creates more space for everyone else to work collaboratively on non-hierarchical solutions to our shared problems.
Call that a “transitional state” if you want. The ideal is simply that, as society gets better and better at doing anarchism, we will “transition” out of new authoritarian regimes faster and more easily, and maybe one day so fast that we’ll barely even notice the authoritarians were there.
But the point is that anarchism is not some pie-in-the-sky hypothetical future ideal. Anarchy is here and now. The struggle against tyranny is here and now, today. We don’t hope to replace the tyranny of tyrants with the tyranny of anarchists. We simply hope to keep knocking down tyranny whenever and wherever it pops up. Like we’ve been doing for a long time. Like we’ll keep doing for a long time. As long as we have to.
TL;DR: Anarchy is basically Whack-a-Mole.