We humans know what anarchism is, the body of thought and writing about social relations based on mutual aid and noncoercive relationships. However, few expand this definiiotn to include all living beings, not just humans.
Any discussion of historical anarchism and socialism is interesting in itself, giving us some perspective on how we got here today. However, things are different today than in 1936 during the Spanish Civil War, government bureaucrats and politicians have learned much in the interim about how to mold public opinion, manufacture consent and manipulate election outcomes. The corporate oligarchy has strengthened and expanded it stranglehold on the public franchise.
The fact still remains that anarchism and socialism have no intrinsic environmental advantages over capitalism, totalitarianism and corporate oligarchy. The state capitalism of the late Soviet Union was far more destructive to wild lands than Chicago School free market capitalism exported by the United States, as badly as that turned out. It is not capitalism or socialism that is the problem, it is industrialism.
industrialism – an economic system built on large industries rather than on agriculture or craftsmanship
“Industrialism, whether of the capitalist or socialist coloration, is the basic tyrant of the modern age.” Ed Abbey
“Our modern industrial economy takes a mountain covered with trees, lakes, running streams and transforms it into a mountain of junk, garbage, slime pits, and debris.” Ed Abbey
Case in point: Here in Santa Cruz, on the Left Coast, the good coast, our City Fathers (and Mothers) have decided we don’t have enough water to last through periods of drought. Their proposed solution is to build a $120+ million desalination plant, that requires 4 to 5 million dollars annual maintenance costs, and enormous energy consumption, whether it’s used or not. They refuse to listen to the argument that we have outgrown our water supply, and therefore, an equally applicable solution is to stop growing, increase conservation and make do with what we have. Rather than deciding to step back from the edge of the precipice, turn around and walk forward, they’ve decided to pretend they can walk on air beyond the abyss.
Our task then is to prevent, by whatever means necessary, further degradation of the Earth’s natural systems, and find a way to organize human societies such that we do not consume more resources than are naturally replenished, that we do not produce more wastes than can naturally be dispersed, and that allows us to exist within naturally occurring cycles of resource availability.
“To The States, or any one of them, or any city of The States, Resist much, obey little;
Once unquestioning obedience, once fully enslaved;
Once fully enslaved, no nation, state, city, of this earth, ever afterward resumes its liberty.” Walt Whitman
“If America could be, once again, a nation of self-reliant farmers, craftsmen, hunters, ranchers, and artists, then the rich would have little power to dominate others. Neither to serve nor to rule: That was the American dream.” Ed Abbey
“Be of good cheer, the military-industrial state will soon collapse. Meanwhile, we must do all in our power to oppose, resist, and subvert its desperate aggrandizements. As a matter of course. As a matter of honor.” Ed Abbey