April 20, 2014 in Articles
Anarchism was the antonym of hierarchism in Ancient Greek, and this timeline will retrace (based on that definition) a brief timeline of anarchist history:
“My political opinions lean more and more to anarchy. The most improper job of any man, even saints, is bossing other men. There is only one bright spot and that is the growing habit of disgruntled men of dynamiting factories and power stations. I hope that, encouraged now as patriotism, may remain a habit.”
Letter to his son Christopher (in the RAF), Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, ed. Humphrey Carpenter.
The Vahoaka Ntaolo-Vazimba people (The Tsimihety) 1500 B.C to 350 B.C:
The Tsimihety are a Malagasy ethnic group located near the north-central coast of Madagascar. Their name means “those who do not cut their hair”. Austronesian people refers to those that live in Southeast Asia, Oceania and the African island of Madagascar, who are speakers of the Austronesian languages. They are thought to have originally come from the indigenous peoples of Taiwan. In 2005, the number of Tsimihety was at 1 200 000 people. The Tsimihety, rejected all governmental authority, organized their society along very egalitarian lines, and were able to continue their autonomy and culture for decades on end, up to today, not by confronting the government, but by retreating. We must also quickly mention the Polynesian sailors who lived without government and explored the entirety of the pacific evading all cultural and sociological mechanisms of hierarchist control. As well as the first humans on this planet who were the first true explorers of Earth, and whom without the anarchy of nature, we would not have evolved from.
Sam Mbah and I. E. Igariwey in African Anarchism: The History of a Movement make the claim that:
Diogenes of Sinope (404B.C to 323B.C):
Diogenes of Sinope was a controversial figure. His father minted coins for a living, and when Diogenes took to debasement of currency, he was banished from Sinope. After being exiled, he moved to Athens to debunk cultural conventions. He used his simple lifestyle and behaviour to criticise the social values and institutions of what he saw as a corrupt society. After being captured by pirates and sold into slavery, Diogenes eventually settled in Corinth. There he passed his philosophy of Cynicism to Crates, who taught it to Zeno of Citium, who fashioned it into the school of Stoicism, one of the most enduring schools of Greek philosophy. None of Diogenes’ many writings has survived, but details of his life come in the form of anecdotes (chreia), especially from Diogenes Laërtius, in his book Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers. All we have is a number of anecdotes concerning his life and sayings attributed to him in a number of scattered classical sources.
Buddha and Jesus of Nazareth (563B.C-483B.C and 7B.C to 30A.D):
We put these two together although Buddha lived before Jesus, because we thought this fitted in the same section. Both were monumental historical figures who have revolutionized the world in their own right. Both had their teachings completely transformed and mass produced by the very materialists/capitalists/imperialists their teachings were against. Just as Socrates had his teachings badly recited by a much too eager Plato. Jesus was most likely a poor outcasted atheist jew; the jews at the time of Jesus were very influenced by ancient greek intellectual movements such as the Cynics, so it is very likely that the romans and wealthy jews crucified one of the world’s most important and misrepresented anarchists. Jesus in real life, started the Sicarii movement which began killing wealthy and prominent Jewish citizens, who symbolized collaboration with the Jews alien Roman rulers, in the marketplaces of Jerusalem around 50 C.E. They operated in broad daylight and in public places, and assassinated their victims surreptitiously. History would repeat the same typical persecution against poor atheist jews many times with for instance Hitler following Roman Ideology, let many wealthy jews escape nazi germany; but if you were an atheist jew you ended up in a concentration camp, because atheist jews were even outcasts of the jewish communities. We understand this will be controversial, but historical documents prove these people actually existed, and were not deities, as hierarchists would have you idolize, but real humans who existed and tried to teach better values to brutal cultures based on genocide for hierarchist profit.
Robyn of Locksley (12th Century):
The oldest surviving ballad, Robin Hood and the Monk, supports the theory that Robin Hood was a partisan of the true king (Richard the Lionheart). The setting of the early ballads is usually attributed by scholars to either the 13th century or the 14th, although it is recognised they are not necessarily historically consistent.
We ascribed the anarchistic value of this person to the folklore he became during the radical Whiggery and Protestant religious dissent movements of the 17th century, which were anti-catholic, anti-imperialist, and anti- City of London especially. This you shall see introduces our next points on this timeline with Guy Fawkes, the City of London, the “Glorious Revolution”, the English Civil War and the industrialisation era of English anarchism, which was the seed of modern anarchism.
Anarchy in the France (17th Century-19th Century):
Anarchism was the antonym of hierarchism in Ancient Greek. The term “right wing” has been used to refer to a number of different hierarchist political positions through history. The political terms Right and Left were coined during the French Revolution (1789–99), and referred to where politicians sat in the French parliament; those who sat on the left were anarchists and those who sat to the right of the chair of the parliamentary president were broadly supportive of the institutions of the monarchist Ancien Régime .  The original Right in France was formed as a reaction against the anarchistic Left, and comprised those politicians supporting hierarchy, tradition, and clericalism. The use of the expression la droite (the right) became prominent in France after the restoration of the monarchy in 1815, when le droit was applied to describe the Ultra-royalists. In English-speaking countries it was not until the 20th century that people applied the terms “right” and “left” to their own politics, except in the form of hierarchist demagogy to divide and conquer all anarchist thought.
Anarchy in the U.K (17th Century-19th Century):
Guy Fawkes (13 April 1570 – 31 January 1606), also known as Guido Fawkes, the name he adopted while fighting for the Spanish in the Low Countries, was a member of a group of provincial English Catholics who planned the failed Gunpowder Plot of 1605 backed by the City of London and old Roman Imperialism. This led to the successful hierarchist/imperialist coup of the Glorious Revolution of 1688, created by the City of London to control and usurp the monarchy, and creating a puppet church under catholic rule.
Anarchism in the United Kingdom initially developed within the context of radical Whiggery and Protestant religious dissent. During the English Civil War and the industrialisation English anarchist thought developed in the context of revolutionary working class politics. Like much of the rest of Europe, Medieval England was ruled by a limited monarch in coalition with a parliament of wealthy aristocrats and landowners. Unlike continental Europe, the parliament of the rich maintained its rights and privileges. When the English monarchy sought to establish absolute monarchy, the English parliament rebelled. During this civil war, dissenting Protestants and rural workers began forming utopian communities, such as the Diggers, based on common ownership of the tools of production. These revolts can be distinguished from medieval revolts like Wat Tyler‘s on the basis that they occurred inside a commodified production system. (See Christopher Hill, Century of Revolution). As a result of this Civil War, the English aristocratic and capitalist ruling classes united behind Parliament. The Civil War, however, established many civil liberties.
Gerrard Winstanley, who published a pamphlet calling for communal ownership and social and economic organization in small agrarian communities in the 17th century, is considered another of the forerunners of modern anarchism. The first modern author to have published a treatise explicitly advocating the absence of government was William Godwin in An Enquiry Concerning Political Justice (1793); though he did not use the word anarchism, some today regard him as the “founder of philosophical anarchism”.
Liberals were often labeled “anarchists” by monarchists, even though they did not call for the abolition of hierarchy. Still, they did promote the idea of human equality, individual rights, and the responsibility of the people to judge their governments, which provided a groundwork for the development of anarchist thought.
Anarchism in Russia:
In 1870 Mikhail Bakunin led a failed uprising in Lyon on the principles later exemplified by the Paris Commune, calling for a general uprising in response to the collapse of the French government during the Franco-Prussian War, seeking to transform an imperialist conflict into social revolution. In his Letters to A Frenchman on the Present Crisis, he argued for a revolutionary alliance between the working class and the peasantry and set forth his formulation of what was later to become known as propaganda of the deed.
The 1872 Hague Congress was dominated by a struggle between Marx and his followers, who argued for the use of the state to bring about socialism, and the Bakunin/anarchist faction, which argued instead for the replacement of the state by federations of self-governing workplaces and communes. Bakunin could not attend the congress, as he could not reach the Netherlands. Bakunin’s faction present at the conference lost, and Bakunin was (in Marx’s view) expelled for supposedly maintaining a secret organisation within the international.
However, the anarchists insisted the congress was unrepresentative and exceeded its powers, and held a rival conference of the International at Saint-Imier in Switzerland in 1872. This repudiated the Hague meeting, including Bakunin’s supposed expulsion. The great majority of sections of the International affiliated to the St. Imier body, making Marx’s victory rather more illusory than pro-Marxist accounts suggest. The far larger Bakuninist international outlasted its small Marxist rival, which was isolated in New York; it also greatly facilitated the global spread of anarcho-socialism. In the International, as well as in his writings, Bakunin articulated the basic ideas of syndicalism and of anarchism, and developed the basic anarchist analysis and strategy. He had by this stage abandoned the anti-imperialist nationalism of his youth. From 1870 to 1876, Bakunin wrote some of his longer works, such asStatism and Anarchy and God and the State. Bakunin remained, however, a direct participant in struggles. In 1870, he was involved in an insurrection in Lyon, France, which foreshadowed the Paris Commune. The Paris Commune closely corresponded to many elements of Bakunin’s anarchist programm – self-management, mandates delegates, a militia system with elected officers, and decentralisation. Anarchists like Élisée Reclus, and those in the tradition of Pierre-Joseph Proudhon - who had greatly influenced Bakunin – were key figures in the Commune. Despite declining health, much a result of his years of imprisonment, Bakunin also sought to take part in an communal insurrection involving anarchists in Bologna, Italy, but was forced to return to Switzerland in disguise, where he settled in Lugano. He remained active in the worker’s and peasant’s movements of Europe and was also a major influence on movements in Egypt and Latin America.
TO LEARN MORE ABOUT MODERN ANARCHISM:
The A for Anarchy in a circle, usually in red and spray-painted on the background, is one of the most successful images among political symbols. It was created during the 20th century and is therefore a much more modern symbol than the classical black flag of anarchism. Its origin is not known, but there is evidence that the symbol was used by some anarchists during the Spanish Civil War and later by the Belgium organization AOA (Alliance Ouvriere Anarchiste). The AOA (Alliance ouvrière anarchiste), which edited L’Anarchie was later usurped by a CIA led libertarian movement that was far-right and backed imperialism/colonialism during the Algerian war.
- Pierre Joseph Proudhon (1809–1865), philosopher
- Joseph Déjacque (1821–1864)
- Anselme Bellegarrigue
- Louise Michel (1830–1905), school teacher and communarde
- Elisée Reclus (1830–1905), geographer
- Peter Kropotkin (1842–1921). He’s not French but he spent a long time in France.
- Georges Sorel (1847–1922)
- Nestor Makhno (1888-1934). He’s not French but he died in Paris. 500 persons were at his funeral at the Père Lachaise cemetery.
- Jean Grave (1854–1939)
- Sébastien Faure (1858–1942)
- Han Ryner (1861–1938)
- Zo d’Axa (1864–1930)
- Émile Armand (1872–1963)
- Albert Libertad (1875–1908)
- Jules Bonnot (1876–1912), illegalist
- Marius Jacob (1879–1954)
- Charles-Auguste Bontemps (1893–1981), writer and activist
- Daniel Guérin (1904–1988), anarcho-communist writer
- Jean Maitron (1910–1987), historian, specialized in the labour movement
- Maurice Joyeux (1910–1991), activist and organiser of French Anarchist Federation
- Jacques Ellul (1912–1994), philosopher, Law professor, Sociologist, Theologian, and Christian anarchist
- Albert Camus (1913–1960), writer and philosopher
- Léo Ferré (1916-1993), singer-songwriter and poet
- Georges Fontenis (1920)
- Alexander Grothendieck (1928-?)
- Michel Onfray (1959), pilosopher
- Li Shih-tseng
- Jing Meijiu
- Sun Yet-Sen
- Tai Xu
- Shūsui Kōtoku
- Ha Ki-Rak
- Park Yeol
- Sin Chaeho
- Astrojildo Pereira
- Octovia Brandão
- Bernardo Canelas
- Jose Elias da Silva
- José Oiticica
- Edgard Leuenroth