Exercise: What Would an Anarchist Program Look Like?

This is an interesting document.  I would agree with many of the statements made in this, and much of the overall analysis that is provided. The ostensible goals may even be admirable in many ways. But this “program” would ultimately end up the same way as all “world transformative” schemes, i.e. with bloodshed and tyranny. What this program amounts to is basically a standard Marxist revolution with an element of ethnic/tribal/racial warfare blended in. The historical verdict on such efforts has been rendered, and the evidence is overwhelming they produce horrible results.

Crimethinc’s “program” for a civil war is about as “anarchist” as Chairman Mao or Pol Pot. The end result of the proposed scenario would be Yugoslavia 1992 or Lebanon 1982. That may not be the intention but that is the results they would get. A successful anarchist revolution, or a successful revolution of any kind, cannot be about the kinds of retribution and recrimination described in this. It has to be merely about dispersing power with people and groups going their own way. “Year Zero” schemes of the type being proposed by Crimethinc are dangerous and need to be guarded against.

It is impossible to achieve many of these objectives without an authoritarian, centralized, Marxist-Leninist-like regime. Instead, an anarchist revolution needs to be more like Cheran, Mexico where communities simply disregard conventional political authority and manage their own affairs, whether independently or in voluntary federation with other communities.


Every campaign season, political parties publish platforms detailing their promises plank by plank. These platforms are not binding—politicians rarely fulfill their promises, and it’s often worse when they do—but they do offer an outline of the vision each party claims to represent. Anarchists take a different approach: rather than offering a prefabricated blueprint, we propose to work things out together, dynamically, according to the principles of self-determination, horizontality, mutual aid, and solidarity. Still, whenever people encounter anarchist ideas for the first time, there is a certain kind of person who always demands to see a clear template. In response, one of our contributors has put together an example of an anarchist program—a set of proposals that could be put into effect in the course of a revolution—as an imaginative exercise, to make it easier to picture what sort of practical changes anarchists might aim to implement.


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