This book takes examples from around the world, picking through history and anthropology, showing that people have, in different ways and at different times, demonstrated mutual aid, self-organization, autonomy, horizontal decision making, and so forth--the principles that anarchy is founded on--regardless of whether they called themselves anarchists or not. Too well documented to be strictly mythology, and too generalized to be strictly anthropology, this is an inspiring answer to the people who say that anarchists are utopian: a point-by-point introduction to how anarchy can and has actually worked.
Table of Contents
Anarchy would never work
What exactly is anarchism?
A note on inspiration
The tricky topic of representation
1. Human Nature
Aren't people naturally selfish?
Aren't people naturally competitive?
Haven't humans always been patriarchal?
Aren't people naturally warlike?
Aren't domination and authority natural?
A broader sense of self
How will decisions be made?
How will decisions be enforced?
Who will settle disputes?
Meeting in the streets
Without wages, what is the incentive to work?
Don't people need bosses to be experts?
Who will take out the trash?
Who will take care of the elderly and disabled?
How will people get healthcare?
What about education?
What about technology?
How will exchange work?
What about people who still want a consumerist lifestyle?
What about building and organizing large, spread-out infrastructure?
How will cities work?
What about drought, famine, or other catastrophes?
Meeting our needs without keeping count
What's to stop someone from destroying the environment?
What about global environmental problems, like climate change?
The only way to save the planet
Who will protect us without police
What about gangs and bullies?
What's to stop someone from killing people?
What about rape, domestic violence, and other forms of social harm?
Beyond individual justice
How could people organized horizontally possibly overcome the state?
How do we know revolutionaries won't become new authorities?
How will communities decide to organize themselves at first?
How will reparations for past oppressions be worked out?
How will a common, anti-authoritarian, ecological ethos come about?
A revolution that is many revolutions
7. Neighboring Societies
Could an anarchist society defend itself from an authoritarian neighbor?
What will we do about societies that remain very patriarchal, or racist?
What will prevent constant warfare and feuding?
Networks not borders
8. The Future
Won't the state just reemerge over time?
What about other problems we can't foresee?
Making anarchy work
It Works When We Make It Work