Anarchy is a society being freely constituted without authorities or a governing body. It may also refer to a society or group of people that entirely rejects a set hierarchy. Anarchy was first used in English in 1539, meaning "an absence of government".
Anarchists are a strange breed, and like most idealists know what that are against rather than what they are for. They also wish to enjoy the benefits of an industrial society, while loftily disdaining their part in it. In the nineteenth century anarchists looked back to a non-existent golden age of peasantry and created the myth of the noble savage. That was the ‘intellectual’ side of their argument.
Conflict was and is a hall mark of these petulant spoilt middle-class anarchists.
‘Contemporary insurrectionary anarchism is an extremist tendency within the anarchist movement. It emphasizes the practice of revolutionary insurrection through illegal and violent “direct action.” In Italy, the insurrectionary anarchist movement has combined different radical causes and interests, including anti-authoritarianism, anti-capitalism, anti-imperialism, anti-militarism, anti-clericalism, the struggle against the judicial and prison system, radical environmentalism and Sardinian separatism.’
I once had to explain to a serving cabinet minister who I was on good terms with that I was not his ‘friendly neighbourhood anarchist’, but a libertarian was a Minarchist who wanted less government, far far less centralisation of political power certainly the absence of a corrupt elite that acted like a medieval aristocracy living off the sweat of others.
A true anarchist collective would be dead within months from cholera if they were unable to accept an authority on how to dispose of human sewage in a modern urban town or city.
The nearest I came to an anarchist collective was on Iona camping as a teenager in the seventies, a small tented ‘community’ arrived and hoisted the red and black flag over the rag tag band of student ‘intellectuals’ and failed teachers and were within days were screaming at each other over a tin of missing peaches which lead to to fist fight and half the group catching the next ferry back to Mull.
This ‘Rik’ episode was clearly an early part of my political education.
During my subsequent student years, I studied in depth the Spanish Civil War and Anarcho-Syndicalism.
The Federación Anarquista Ibérica (FAI) was created as a purely anarchist association, with the intention of keeping the CNT focused on the principles of anarchism.
Anarchists played a central role in the fight against Francisco Franco during the Spanish Civil War. At the same time, a far-reaching social revolution spread throughout Spain, where land and factories were collectivized and controlled by the workers. All remaining social reforms ended in 1939 with the victory of Franco, who had thousands of anarchists executed.
In my view, and others, the anarchists undermined the Republican fight against Franco’s insurgents with their interminable wrangling and insistence on ideological purity and repeated atrocities against the clergy which collapsed support for the Republic. This Libertarian Party is Minarchist in outlook.
A night-watchman state, minarchy, or minarchism, whose proponents are known as minarchists, is a model of a state that is limited and minimal, whose functions depend on libertarian theory. Right-libertarians support it only as an enforcer of the non-aggression principle by providing citizens with the military, the police, and courts, thereby protecting them from aggression, theft, breach of contract, fraud, and enforcing property laws.
The term was coined by Ferdinand Lassalle and derived from the watchman system used by various European cities starting in the Medieval period. The voluntary militia functioned as a city guard for internal policing and against external aggression.
The colours of light blue and gold are the party colours and are based on the concept of minarchy.
A night-watchman state has also been popularized by Robert Nozick in Anarchy, State, and Utopia (1974). The United Kingdom in the 19th century has been described by historian Charles Townshend as a standard-bearer for this form of government.
Confused anarchists have been attracted to this Party without any understanding of what we stand for. They usually leave of their own accord founding their own associations and parties which are very short lived.
The fight against the ever-increasing authoritarianism of Whitehall simply cannot afford this constant conflict and distraction, otherwise Britain will fall like Spain to a Francoist authoritarianism.
Andrew Withers FRSA