Anarchism and violence

related topics
{theory, work, human}
{black, white, people}
{war, force, army}
{government, party, election}
{god, call, give}
{son, year, death}

Anarchism and violence have become closely connected in popular thought, in part because of a concept of "propaganda of the deed". Propaganda of the deed, or attentát, was espoused by a number of leading anarchists in the late nineteenth century, and was associated with a number of incidents of violence. Anarchist thought, however, is quite diverse on the question of violence. Some anarchists have opposed coercion, while others have supported it, particularly in the form of violent revolution on the path to anarchy or utopia.[1] Anarchism includes a school of thought which rejects all violence (anarcho-pacifism). Many anarchists regard the state to be at the definitional center of structural violence: directly or indirectly preventing people from meeting their basic needs, calling for violence as self-defense.[2] Perhaps the first anarchist periodical was named The Peaceful Revolutionist, a strain of anarchism has followed Tolstoy's pacifism, and anarchists have often identified violence as a tool of oppression, particularly state oppression.

Contents

Propaganda of the deed

Late in the 19th century, anarchist labor unions began to use the tactic of general strike. This was often met with violence and some of the strikes even resulted in massacres.

In this climate, some anarchists began to advocate and practice terrorism or assassination, which they referred to as propaganda of the deed. United States President William McKinley, among others, was assassinated by Leon Czolgosz, a man who identified as an anarchist and claimed he had been influenced by the writings of Emma Goldman, among others. Czolgosz' actions were widely condemned by other anarchists, but the media widely characterized Czolgosz as a typical anarchist, and Goldman spoke sympathetically of him although she herself was criticized for doing so.

Public perception

Depictions in the press and popular fiction helped create a lasting public impression that anarchists are violent terrorists. This perception was enhanced by events such as the Haymarket Riot, where anarchists were blamed for throwing a bomb at police who came to break up a public meeting in Chicago. The writer J. R. R. Tolkien, in a letter to his son, briefly described anarchy as "philosophically understood, meaning abolition of control not whiskered men with bombs."[3]

Full article ▸

related documents
Libertarian National Socialist Green Party
Lumpenproletariat
Orwellian
Ascribed characteristics
Fixing Broken Windows
The Ego and Its Own
Cultural bias
Popular psychology
Millenarianism
Class conflict
Silva Method
Jared Diamond
Gemara
Augusto Boal
Magic realism
Franz Xaver von Baader
Cognitive linguistics
Deductive reasoning
Pop art
Economic rationalism
Pyrrho
Pimsleur language learning system
Ethnomusicology
Cargo cult science
Structure
Bounded rationality
Discovery (observation)
Bourgeoisie
Herbert Dingle
Samuel Bailey