Re: “Anarchism is never the answer”

In response to Anarchism is never the answer, published January, 15, 2009.

I strongly disagree with the commentary Will Dumont expressed on the topic of anarchism in Issue 16 of The Uniter (Anarchism is never the answer, Jan. 15 edition). It seems to me that Mr. Dumont’s research into this topic is limited to listening to a Sex Pistols album and not too much else. The idea that anarchists are wild-eyed bomb throwers prone to thoughtless violence is often propagated in the media and is a sad slander against what is, in reality, a beautiful and courageous idea rooted in principles of equality, freedom, community and mutual aid.

A quick look at history shows us that a focal point of anarchist organizing has been the work of building of a new world from the shell of the old – not as Mr. Dumont claims, “…smashing it with a sledgehammer and not bothering to install anything to replace that deceased system…” How does Mr. Dumont explain the mass organizations of workers into the anarchosyndicalist unions of CNT and FAI in Spain during the first decades of the 20th century? There are countless other examples, I’ll leave to readers to search them out. It is clear that the story of this movement is one of communities combining efforts and pooling resources in order to place control of people’s lives precisely where it belongs – in the hands of the people.

The flaw in Mr. Dumont’s analysis is that, contrary to his belief, in the aftermath of a revolutionary upheaval life will go on. People aren’t stupid and they don’t need a government or a cop or a boss to tell them what to do to get their individual and collective needs met – indeed, humanity would be in dire straights if they did, judging by the horrendous messes and tendency towards thoughtless violence that those three authoritative bodies have proven themselves to be prone to.

Until all are free,
Garth Hardy
Winnipeg Anarchist Black Cross
Industrial Workers of the World - Winnipeg General Membership Branch

– Garth Hardy

Published in Volume 63, Number 17 of The Uniter (January 22, 2009)