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Introductory Anarchist Leaflet

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Introductory anarchist leaflet, produced by the Wildcat Anarchist Group (Wellington)

Text version:

Traditionally, New Zealanders have looked to the government to ensure people get "a fair go". As faith in the government has declined, anarchism has grown. Anarchists believe neither business nor government can provide properly for people, and call for everyone to work cooperatively in their communities and workplaces to do things for themselves.

Under anarchism, society would be organised by democratic communities which join together to work on projects of mutual benefit. It’s often pointed out that people naturally use anarchist methods without naming them as such, when they voluntarily help out neighbours and friends and come together to share each others tools and resources.

Capitalism insists that a free market, in which people buy the goods and services they choose, is an efficient way to run society, but few people would choose to charge a friend for advice or the loan of a lawnmower. Many women share childcare responsibilities with their friends and people often come together in groups to do voluntary work. Without this "everyday anarchism" life would be pretty miserable.

Anarchists don’t think people are saints – we just believe that people are basically cooperative and able to get along. Give a group of people a task and leave them to it and they usually manage to work cooperatively and efficiently. How often have you thought "This would be a lot easier if the boss would just stop telling us what to do..."? This is the essence of anarchism.

Anarchists say both capitalism and state socialism crush the individual and reward a small elite. We see the world being increasingly run for the benefit of business, with most people finding life more and more of a struggle and less free.

While the rich get richer, things once taken for granted, such as people owning their own houses, are getting out of the reach of the majority. If you are young, and not one of a tiny elite, your life as an adult either starts with a badly-paid job with little hope of advancement or a student loan. If the latter, once you pay it off you may earn enough to start paying off a mortgage. Once that’s taken care of your kids can sell the house to pay for the costs of keeping you in a rest home. If you’re not lucky there’s not much on offer but a life spent desperately trying to pay the rent and bills.

At the same time as our expectations fall, government bureaucracy increasingly infringes on peoples’ lives making people feel smothered, overworked and bored. This frustration leads to angry and destructive behaviour which provides an excuse for even more rules and regulations.

We see our lives being increasingly pushed to be competitive, violent and stressful, and for many, pointless and deeply unsatisfying. There seems to be no alternative to a life mostly spent trying to make ends meet, in front of a PlayStation or TV, or resorting to alcohol or anti-depressants, broken only by brief holidays. For the better off, travel and immersion in other cultures provides the colour and excitement that’s lacking in their own lives.

We think people deserve better. Of course, getting rid of capitalism and the state and instituting a cooperative society is going to take a bit of work, but do you really have anything more important to do?

The philosophy of anarchism is in many ways similar to the "green" movement, and many anarchists are involved with environmental campaigns and projects. We see the values and methods of capitalism as at odds with any sustainable way of life. Our opposition to authority and domination also leads us to become involved in feminist, anti-military and anti-colonial movements, unions and to oppose racism and abuse. Anarchists are also often involved in mutual aid projects such as community gardens, collective workshops, art and music groups and rural communes.

We also see similarities to anarchism in many indigenous societies. While on the surface they may often appear hierarchical, there is often a subtle system of checks and balances that ensure leaders must carefully represent peoples’ needs or quickly lose their authority.

Anarchists are often portrayed as violent – usually by governments which themselves maintain huge armies and stockpiles of weapons. Those who use violence at protests are often dubbed ‘anarchists’ by the media, whether they are or not, and our peaceful activities rarely hit the headlines. However, most anarchists accept that violence, while a form of authority, is permissible in self-defence. Some, such as War and Peace author and Christian anarchist Leo Tolstoy, have been pacifists – believing that violence has dangerous consequences even when used in defence. Anarchists often point to the brutalising effect of even justifiable violence on both perpetrators and victims.

Anarchism offers hope, but to actually create a better world we need to get out and push. This means getting active with friends, neighbours and workmates to share and build and decide for ourselves what we want. And it means telling those who like to give orders to shove off – if we want something better, we’ve got to make it ourselves, because no politician, business-person or any other variety of boss is going to do it for us.

We all live on a planet full of the most amazing diversity of people and places, foods and forests. Human beings have flown to the moon, built buildings that reach the clouds and invented rotary milking sheds. At the moment, all this ingenuity, courage, labour and resources are being directed by a tiny minority to serve their own interests. Anarchism invites us to consider what could be achieved if we put all this into making everyone’s lives richer, happier and more sustainable. Instead of trying to dominate the planet, and each other, anarchism says we can work together to learn better ways to live.

introductory_anarchist_leaflet.pdf

Comments

Re: Introductory Anarchist Leaflet

If any anarchist groups want a PDF of this with their own group's contact details included, send them to wellywildcats@gmail.com

Re: Introductory Anarchist Leaflet

"We also see similarities to anarchism in many indigenous societies. While on the surface they may often appear hierarchical, there is often a subtle system of checks and balances that ensure leaders must carefully represent peoples’ needs or quickly lose their authority"

Thats just not right when the kupapa Maori elite lord it over all the Maori on the bottom of the heap

Re: Introductory Anarchist Leaflet

The systems of trustboards and runanga were modelled off of the Maori Affairs model and has circumvented the traditional system of checks and balances within most iwi areas.

The very structure of some iwi is now based on what is the mordern corporation with share holders, CEOs, board of directors etc.

The major difference being that most of the members of the iwi are not active participants in the planning and restructuring of the iwi model or even the day to day runnings, but are bystanders watching corporate elites with timi bit of knowledge and knowhow of modern corporations, finance and investment, playing with the blood money payed as hush money by the Government, now used by corporate iwi elites to forge a new class of Maori elite rich fat cats.

Tino Rangatiratanga is rapidly being swapped for the illusion of power that masses of putea gives, and all the empty souless development projects that will add huge financial asset bases to the books of these iwi corporations.

These iwi corp leaders are frauds, they stand as imposter rangatira, brown people in suits who are using the mana of the iwi (and the power that exists when people are bandied together as an iwi is with their autonomy that comes from such unities) to build their own empires at the behest of future generations of Maori that will have to learn about their culture in a museum and reruns of Waka Huia on tv.

Those future generations that will learn about the ocean as it was, the seabed and foreshores as they were, the forests that used to be, the rivers as they used to be, the lakes as they used to be, the mana that their tribes used to have, everything in past tense.

And when all the putea is gone, and the assets have been sold off by creditors to pay the bills, the fishing trawlers hocked off for a song because the fish stocks were fucked years before the crown craftly handed Maori the quotas in a swap for our mana moana, when the land turns to dust from years of over fertilisation that took palce long before it was returned to Maori in a treaty settlement, when the foreshores that used to team with fish, shell fish and other marine life are covered in mussel spat from the over use of mussel farms smothering every bit of life from the seabed...

...and when the last Maori dies that could fluently converse in te reo Maori, and all that we know now is gone or exists as replicas or computerised, or preserved like a mokomokai in some museum, I hope that all of us that lived through this period of time, wherever we may be at that time, be it rarohenga or beyond, I hope we hang our heads in shame, for it is in this generation, our generation, that the final hammer and nails have been handed to us, to this generation, to nail into the coffin of the people currently called Maori and we are either nailing them in hard, or standing by watching without interfering.

This bullshit being passed off as iwi settlements and iwi investment and this new unprecendented rise in cooption of Maori representation into Parliament, needs to be stopped now and those perpetrators need to be held to account. The masses of Maori uninvolved in these doings still hold the mana and do have the ability to put pay to the short sighted deluded actions of a few elitests and wannabe dogooders who are convinced that this is the right way forward for Maori.

Kia mau tonu ra ki to kawau maro

Karawhiua!

na
Te Iwitoa

Re: Re: Introductory Anarchist Leaflet

Thanks for your comment, it was really nice to read and very articulate in the right kind of way.

Cheers
Jared D

Re: Re: Re: Introductory Anarchist Leaflet

'articulate in the right kind of way' wot d u mean?

Re: Introductory Anarchist Leaflet

So Jared agrees or disagrees? Does jared have a clue about what Te iwitoa is talking about?

And I am also confused about "very articulate in the right kind of way."

Can you help please?

Re: Introductory Anarchist Leaflet

I guess what I meant by being articulate 'in the right kind of way' (not that there is a right or wrong way), was that it was subjective, thoughtful and well structured, without being to academic, or without being too crazed!

Hope that clears up those who needed the clarification.

Cheers
Jared D

Re: Introductory Anarchist Leaflet

"We also see similarities to anarchism in many indigenous societies...

"Thats just not right when the kupapa Maori elite lord it over all the Maori on the bottom of the heap "

We wouldn't see 'Maori capitalism' or 'Maori corporates' as examples of indigenous soscieties.

Cheers

Sam

Re: Re: Introductory Anarchist Leaflet

Ke te pai Sam
thanks for that clarification

Re: Introductory Anarchist Leaflet

I wonder who distributed it, where, and what was the feedback