Global Resistance and Rising Anarchism – The New Politics of the 21st Century

Saturday, December 7, 2013
By Paul Martin

Devon Douglas-Bowers
Activist Post.com
Saturday, December 7, 2013

A number of occurrences have taken place over the past 13 years since the rise of the new millennium; we have seen and are seeing the rise of popular movements all over the world and a resistance to the forces of imperialism, capitalism, and subjugation, from the most recent Arab Spring to the world’s largest coordinated anti-war protest in history with the global protests against the Iraq War[1], to the rise of the Occupy Movement and the rise of indigenous resistance as can be seen in the Idle No More campaign of Canada’s First Nations population. What we seeing around the world is a global resistance that, in some cases, has anarchist undercurrents. We are witnessing the new politics of the 21st century.

While many movements such as the Occupy Movement and the Arab Spring had anarchists and anarchist influences within them, anarchism as a political philosophy is quite misunderstood and some time should be taken to understand it.

Anarchism is defined by the American Heritage Dictionary as “The theory that all forms of government are oppressive and should be abolished.”[2] While it does advocate the abolition of the state, anarchism also includes “a heightened and radical critique and questioning of power and authority: if a source of authority cannot legitimize its existence, it should not exist,”[3] this has led to anarchism being critiqued by a number of individuals, and an increase in anarchist thought to the point today where there are a large number of anarchist ideas being championed, from anarcho-feminism to queer anarchism to black anarchism.

In the United States, anarchism has had a rather interesting history with regards to not only Occupy, but also the 19th century labor movement as well. Anti-statism isn’t anything new in the US as there have been a large number of crusaders who “was condemned [the government] as an oppressive tyranny” when slavery wasn’t abolished in the newly founded country. This abhorrence of slavery and hypocrisy caused “Men like William Lloyd Garrison and Wendell Phillips renounced their allegiance to it, John Brown openly declared war upon it, and thousands of others regarded it as unfit to command their respect and loyalty.”[4] The anti-statism only increased in the 19th century with the inclusion of anarchists in the labor movement.

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