Water Charges Protesters are Living 'Anarchy Fantasy' Says Irish Catholic Editor


On Newstalk's Pat Kenny show Michael Kelly, editor of the Irish Catholic, said: 'There are some people who are kind of living ... anarchy fantasy through a lot of this, these ... kind of ... Irish Water protesters. There's no question of that'.

Mr. Kelly is surprisingly correct. The principles of anarchism are to be seen everywhere you turn in the struggle against the water charges.

People coming together in solidarity, building community spirit through the initiative of individuals, practising real democracy to organise against the injustice of the powerful, so that we may free ourselves from the burden of toil and arbitrary authority and live contentedly - this is the anarchy fantasy.

'Anarchy is freedom in solidarity' said Errico Malatesta. It is the vindication of the Right to Well Being for everyone. A world where we co-operate of our own volition rather than compete out of necessity, where no one is discriminated against for their gender, sexual orientation, race, ability, religious belief, or age. Where you can be yourself and not have to worry about conforming to some ridiculous stereotype designed by advertisers, fashion industrialists, and movie producers.

The anarchy fantasy is a vision of humanity's boundless untapped potential. It is the recognition that the state and capitalism bring out the worst in us, but that they are replaceable and we can harness our intelligence to abolish scarcity for the good of all, to strike down the Tyranny of Want. It is a society where we do not see one another as objects to exploit, but comrades for a brief journey on Spaceship Earth.

Anarchism is the absolute repudiation that anyone deserves to step on the head of anyone else, and the common-sense understanding that power debases even the best of us and should be de-centralised as much as practicable.

This is all very different to the power-mad, scarcity-ridden, violent, selfish, societies we live in today. In truth, this society is the fantasy. The most utopian idea is not that humans can be altruistic and co-operative, but that massive concentrations of power will lead to anything but suffering. This system was built for those at the top, and we can't mend a system that was made for them.

As we hurtle headlong into the greatest ecological disaster in human history, is there actually anything realistic about this society at all? Every election is a joke and barely anyone believes politicians will keep their promises. We were promised a 3-4 hour working day a hundred years ago by Keynes the arch-liberal, but we work as long as ever, and the welfare state that is supposed to correct for the barbarity of capitalism is crumbling into dust.

Libertarian socialism is the alternative. The defenders of the status quo are the fantasists. In particular, he irony of the editor of the Irish Catholic accusing anyone of indulging a fantasy is off the charts.