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what is anarchy?

Posted on Aug 3rd, 2007 by anarchist friendstacy

seems to me there’s a lack of understanding what I’m talking about when I say that I’m an anarchist.  That’s only fair, my own definition of that word has changed greatly since I first heard it in a punk rock song and adopted it as my own philosophy in the early 1980’s.  I guess I do need to at least try to explain myself… 

I just want to point to my blog (my other blog where I’ve been longer) and say, “there you have it, read all that and then if you still don’t understand, ask me your questions.”  But I’ve never asked anyone to read my stuff before and I’m not about to start now.  Read it only if you really want to.  If there were anyone I could point to and say, “read that guy’s book.” it would be Wilhelm Reich (I’ll admit though, that I only came across his work after forming my own very similar philosophy).  Another good one would be Robert Fulghum, but it’s been many years since I read his book, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.   If there were any website I could give you that would explain what I’m talking about, it would be a parenting resource talking about Taking Children Seriously, or non-coercive parenting, or unschooling, or common-preference finding, or one of any number of different catchy names for a concept that I would simply translate as Respect.  I can’t really expect anyone to actually click the links or buy the books, either.  The really tricky bit is that no matter how I try to explain it, most people just don’t get it anyway.  I hate that blank look you get when people have no earthly idea what it is you are talking about.  Blogging helps because then I don’t have to see it, and I can pretend you all understand.  🙂

What I’m talking about is the Golden Rule.  It really is that simple.  Give every other person the same Respect you deserve to get from them.  But don’t do it because I said so.  Do it because you realize it’s the right thing to do.  Respect everyone’s right to autonomy, the ability to subjectively make their own decisions without some objective expert or authority telling them what to do.  Every one of us, no matter who we are, where we live, to whom we pray, and how much money we have, all of us has inside ourselves the ability to know right from wrong, to make decisions for ourselves.  I know I do.  I know you do.  I know that all those other people do too, even if some of them refuse to listen to its voice. 

The number one reason many people do not listen to that inner voice, that instinct to do what is right, is because they have never been given the opportunity to trust in themselves, they have not ever been given any respect and so they lose their own self-respect and no longer trust in their own ability to choose right from wrong.  Nobody needs to be constantly told what to do and what not to do, yet that is how our society works (well, it’s not really working so well, is it?). 

I’m here to say that Respect really does work!  When I respect my children’s ability to make their own decisions, to instinctively know right from wrong, they always choose what is right.  What is right for them might not always be what I want them to do, it certainly wasn’t my idea that my oldest child wear her hair in dreadlocks, for example, but really that’s my problem not theirs.  My children instinctively know that anything that hurts anyone else also hurts themselves.  Nobody had to teach them this, I only had to allow them the chance to find the answers within their own hearts.  This is what I mean by anarchy.  My children aren’t so different from any of the rest of you.  The biggest difference is I refuse to give them my answers.  Rather I believe my role as parent is to show them how to find their own answers.  The lack of rules and laws on a bigger scale doesn’t have to be so scary, not if you can trust your fellow humans to find their own truths within themselves.

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Tagged with: politics, anarchy, unschooling, respect, freedom

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Gentle Soul Keith said


This is good … and I agree.  If everyone lived by the Golden Rule life would be almost problem-free.

Would that we can strive for a world where everyone acted toward others as they would like to be treated. 

Excellent post, dear one.

Enlightened.thinker : Light-plerker Enlightened.thinker said


I was lucky to have both my kids learn by example, not demand. I have seen my friends children remanded to listen to their parents and then rebel ad resist. They end up hating their parents or being in trouble.

My son was unschooled/homeschooled and he thrived in the enviornment. Some kids don’t. He is an ultra liberal thinker and a recent college grad on his way to live in another country and become an anachist in his own right. He loves the Che Guevara model and Noam Chomsky and George Carlin are his favorite people. He is kind, loving…never had a drug or alcohol abuse issue treats all women with respect and honor and and refutes standard male behavoir, like speaking sexually about women, and all the testosterone inflicted judgments…not part of who he is.

I always asked my kids to think for themself and find their own answers…you are one smart person…and I hope you include them in decision making and do not hide truth from them due to fear…

All wonderful and brilliant tools,,

roots and wings…

helicopter parents who hover and preach do no good to their children…they teach them fear and disempower them with their parental overkill…

love it!



anarchist friendstacy said


I take it back what I said about the number one reason people aren’t respectful, why they don’t trust in themselves enough to make their own decisions.  I really think it’s all about FEAR (as I’ve said many many times before, that link takes you to just one of my previous blog entries on this particular subject).  Fear is what causes us to allow other people to make decisions for us.  When we no longer realize that we can and should make our own decisions, because of our own fears, we allow others to tell us what to do, even what to believe, and we lose self-respect, and without self-respect, we are unable to respect others.  It all keeps going round in circles…

I have never come across a child for whom unschooling doesn’t work, except those who had previously been indoctrinated into the control game, via public schools, authoritarian parents, or whatever, and already believe that there is no third way of doing things.  I have, however, met many many parents for whom unschooling doesn’t work because they can’t get beyond the notion of parental control, of raising obedient children.  I have met far more people who call it “unschooling” when what they are doing is neglect, plain and simple.

Yes, Aley, I do include my children in decision-making, we always work together to find a way in which everyone can get what we need and want.  Unlike most parents I know in real life, I do not place a higher level of importance on what I want than on what my children need.  I do not censor material from them either, but they do choose for themselves not to watch certain tv shows or movies or read books that would be upsetting to them.  What upsets them more than anything else is when people are disrespectful to others, when people fight, when people want to control the actions of other people, war, politics, all the same things I really don’t want them overly exposed to anyway (not at their very young ages at least).  They do have a higher tolerance for scary stuff than either I or my husband have, but it’s their decision to make and I have to respect that, too.

Enlightened.thinker : Light-plerker Enlightened.thinker said


bravo! You are living a life without fear and repression..I admire you and your decision and your kids will thank you later when they see how others grew up!


anarchist friendstacy said


well… I try anyway.  There are many things of which I am afraid.  Perhaps my fears are more exposed to scrutiny because of my desire for autonomy…???  I’m getting there, but I know I’m not quite there yet.

Gentle Soul Keith said


There is no such thing as fear, my friend …

anarchist friendstacy said


okay, Keith, you can’t just leave it at that!!!!  please elaborate…  purty pleeeeeeeze with a cherry on top?

Gentle Soul Keith said


What?  Someone actually wants to know what I think?  {{{GASP!}}}  I’m in shock!!!

Fear?  Fear is self-created.  There are, of course, instances when the emotion is beneficial, such as when an actual emergency is upon us and there’s a valid reason to be afraid.  The problem with unwarranted fear is it’s paralyzing … it generally stops one in their tracks.

Fear and anger are the two emotions that hinder most. If one works through the underlying basis for the majority of our common fears … rejection, shame, guilt, etc… . we create and perpetuate them.  There’s no real basis for why we’re afraid.

Releasing fear is much easier said than done for some, however.  Our fears can be so gripping and paralyzing professional counseling may be in order.  For most, merely realizing that we create this fear … and can just as easily un-create or release it … is all that’s needed.

Fear of death and fear of loss are two of the greatest.  Once we realize everything we see around us is only borrowed for a short time … and death is nothing more than transition … the two “biggies” are gone!!!  See?  There really, honestly, is nothing to fear!!!

anarchist friendstacy said


Keith, somewhere around here you asked me why I would use certain terminology, if it has such negative connotations for most people…  I don’t know where it was, so I’m replying here 😉

Suppose everyone thought Bear was a monster who comes in the night to eat naughty children.  This has been taught to us since childhood and has been ground firmly into the way we view the world.  Okay, then suppose some people started realizing that there are no naughty children, that children are only disobedient when we expect obedience from them?  And suppose some other people started realizing that Bear was just an animal, living out in the woods and had no intention of eating our babies and really just wanted us to leave him alone?  Should we then stop calling him Bear?  Why should we invent a new name, an euphemism????  I call it what it is.  And I realize this approach bothers some people, but perhaps that is part of my journey, to upset the status-quo, to make people think in a new way about the old things.  We don’t need to rename Bear, he’s still a bear regardless of what we think about him.

Gentle Soul Keith said


Then, my friend, your destiny is to upset just about everyone who understands the English language.

If you wanted to start a political party today, right now, would you choose to call it the “Nazi Party”?  Well, of course you’re free to do that, go right ahead.  It wouldn’t, however, be a very productive or fun party … because there would be only one member. 

I would suggest you chose your battles more wisely.  “Anarchism” has a really, really bad frame, just as bad as “Nazi”.  Once “that word” is mentioned … anything else you say doesn’t matter.  The listener or reader instantly turns it off and tunes out.  Your message never gets heard merely because you used … “that word” …

Your message is fine and I strongly urge you to keep espousing it.  You are just asking for confrontation, frustration and rejection if you insist on using such a negatively framed word.

anarchist friendstacy said


Expletive, expletive, expletive! 
And I thought you got it.  You don’t get it at all. 
I’m so sorry to have wasted your time with my blather, maybe your wife can explain it to you in words you approve of.

I DONT WANT TO START A POLITICAL PARTY!!!!  I am an ANARCHIST!  That means no government, no political parties, no freakin’ power-trip control games like most men in our world are so stuck on!!!!

My message is immediately tuned out and rejected, not because of my words, but because YOU, and other people just like you, are afraid to understand what I’m really saying.  It’s the unknown, you don’t understand it and it scares you.  admit it.  You are nice and comfy in your male-dominated control-or-be-controlled world where there is always a leader telling those poor idiots what they should do because they can’t be allowed to think for themselves or to make their own decisions.  I’ve had it with that world, and it’s high time it came to an end.  You can’t stop the change from happening, it’s already upon us.  You might try your durnedest to have your illusion of a change with Obama or Ron Paul or whoever else has the prettiest promises of freedom.  But as long as there are leaders and laws governing, controlling the people, NONE OF US ARE FREE!!

The world that is coming, it’s not like anything you’ve ever even imagined, not in your wildest dreams.  It could be Armageddon, but it doesn’t have to be.  The world really is ending, but that only means there’s a new beginning.  It won’t be familiar and safe, but you don’t have to be afraid of the change just because you don’t understand it and are unable to CONTROL it.  SURRENDER!  🙂  Aley is right, men have a much harder time with that idea.  Surrender won’t make you weak, it will empower you, it will make you stronger!  What if we change that word?  Instead of “surrender” what about “trust”???  Do you believe in your fellow humans enough to allow them the autonomy that we all desire and deserve to have?

anarchist friendstacy said


I do apologize for my hissy fit.  I do not apologize for what I said, only for how I said it.  Last night was very rough for me.  I know, that’s no excuse, but maybe you can accept it as an explanation? 

You cannot control the change that is coming, you can’t even possibly comprehend this change, it is so all-encompassing.  You have to ride the wave, else it will drown you sure as shit.  I’m going back to my pink blog, where I belong.  Anyone is more than welcome to come visit me there anytime, please leave any comments that you feel a need to say.  As I said before, I do learn much more from those who disagree with me….even if I won’t admit it at the time  😉

Gentle Soul Keith said


My dear friend,

There is no need for apology.  I honor you.  And I find this whole dialog we’re having, in two places here at Zaadz, fascinating.  How can two people who agree so completely allow themselves to get into a pissing contest over … a word.

As the old crumbles and falls away, a void will form that begs to be filled.  Life as we once knew it will be over.  We must build anew, a better world than the last one.  There will be great fear from the uninformed, those who will be taken by surprise when the dominoes begin falling one, after the other, after the other … till all systems and institutions have ceased to exist.

Those of us who are aware of the changes nye upon us, happening now, will become the only voices of calm, mere droplets in a sea of despair and anguish.  Yes, it could be Armageddon, and for some it will be.  But for others it will be freedom, release from a life of chains and bondage, precisely as you’ve said.

I fear none of this.  It is inevitable.  To build anew, the old must be torn down.  There is no unknown.  I see exactly where we’re headed.  And I know what my purpose is.

I refuse to argue over a word.  In peace and love, I embrace the angry anarchist.  If you will go back and check, you will see that I never, not one time, disagreed with your message.

May the Divine Feminine which honors and strengthens the individual’s rights and freedom ever guide you …

PeaceMaker TextMage said


Well, I’m kinda new here, but I guess I am an anarchist, as well.  In so far, as I do not believe in government as an answer, or even that it is needful when WE take care of OURselves and Others without being forced to do things by guys with guns and courts.

The reason that the poor little word “anarchist” has such a terrible connotation is because organized forces set out to demonize anarchists.  I’ve never met a bomb-tossing anarchist because the bomb-tossing thing takes too much organization.  Even the Unibomber had a manifesto.  I’ll bet he was a Republican.  The Golden Rule is not a manifesto.

Whenever I am troubled by anything, I look inside and find out why I am troubled because I know that every one of my troubles comes from some sort of projection – and fear is one of my strongest projections.  Marcus Aurelius said, “It only stings where we have wounds when others throw salt.”  I stick to tending MY own wounds.

I’m pretty sure that lookiing after myself is the anarchist way.  Hey, I could make that MY manifesto.  Naw, I’m just gonna go have tea.  Love to you ALL, RicHie


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