No Cheers For Anarchism

Berman, Sheri
Publisher:  Dissent
Year Published:  2015
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX18597

A successful movement requires compromise, organization, and yes, even leadership, to actually get things done, none of which appeal to anarchists.



Although anarchism's skepticism of authority and hierarchy and its desire to create a better world are admirable, its stateless, apolitical vision of that world is dangerous, and its tactics, ineffective. Moreover, too often this vision has led anarchists to reject democracy, since the majority of citizens have proven consistently unsympathetic to it. And too often anarchism's tactics have served primarily to dissipate the left's energies and leave it vulnerable to attack by its better organized counterparts on the right.

While anarchists are correct to remind us that the left must dream, we must always remember that it must also do. A left that criticizes the existing order without offering realistic plans for changing it or broadly attractive alternatives to it is always going to be defeated by its opponents.

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