This presentation has two goals: proposing that if placed on a chart of political ideology the Green Party would be closest to anarchism, and through a generalized analysis of anarchism demonstrating that those who identify as anarchist should be approached by the Green Party for coalitions or direct support. These two goals will be achieved by concentrating on such issues as the resistance to hierarchy, the distinction between liberty and autonomy, and the role of power in an anarchist or Green vision.
1. All forms of anarchism, despite particular differences, are a general opposition to hierarchy in political, cultural, and economic terms. This arises in the distinction between centralization and decentralization, transcendence and immanence, as well as vertical and horizontal systems.
Anarchism is always opposition to hierarchy, and this opposition means more than opposition to any particular or historical hierarchy. In fact, it is opposition to authority in general rather than just a particular state or government. This includes the hierarchy of all states, corporations, and social hierarchies that can be found in racism, sexism, and homophobia among others. Anarchism has manifested itself in the premodern, modern, and postmodern eras. Tribal societies in the premodern era, such as those studied by Pierre Clastres, established social structures to prevent the formation of hierarchy and subsequently the state. The modern era obviously saw the emergence of anarchism through the work of such figures as Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, Mikhail Bakunin, Peter Kropotkin, and Emma Goldman within an environment of rapid industrialization and the rise of capitalism. The postmodern era has seen the anti-globalization movement, also known as the global justice movement, reinvigorate anarchism alongside interesting collaborations of anarchist tactical organization with poststructuralist philosophy. Anarchism, rather than relying on theory, is a convergence of theory and practice through ethics. Practice has been more important in anarchism than a separate theoretical activity, concentrating on specific cases of oppression, alienation, and exploitation and how to resist them. Any work in theory requires a direct and immediate practical application in anarchism, and the resulting application is a new ethics. Ethics is distinct from morality in the sense that as morality is a universal and transcendent standard of good and evil that demands obedience, ethics is the continuous and immanent discovery of what is good or bad based on particular experience and experimentation. Theory divorced from practice can become an ideological morality. Since anarchism is also an immanent project, it expresses itself not as a morality but as an ethics to be lived in an everyday method. Anarchism is an ethical opposition to hierarchy that has always been practiced throughout history.
2. Anarchism brings into the foreground basic conflicts that have been continuous in human social history, and supplies an overall structural critique that is always coupled to direct action.
The social sphere can be said to contain the three main subsets of the political, the cultural, and the economic. Each subset has a major conflict within it that defines particular social movements or perspectives. The original political conflict is between centralization and decentralization, the original cultural conflict is between the past and the future, and the original economic conflict is between freedom and equality. These three conflicts can also be seen as the poles of three spectrums that in turn can be the three axes of a three dimensional graph where various social movements can be placed, a graph that is much more comprehensive and accurate than the simple spectrum of left and right that has been used for many years. Anarchism is on the side of decentralization in the political sphere, always supporting power from the bottom-up that is equally shared among participants. Anarchism is in favor of the future culturally most of the time, but is willing to retain some aspects of the past as long as those aspects do not reproduce hierarchy. In terms of the economic, anarchism recognizes that there must be a direct relationship between freedom and equality. In fact, justice can be simply defined as the balance between freedom and equality, anarchism understanding that both are needed in a reciprocity where equality in some areas allows freedom in other areas. The best example of this reciprocity is the necessity of material equality to act as a background for the expression of freedom in the unique traits of individuals.
3. Anarchism is separate from libertarianism through the proposition of a fuller sensibility of freedom that does not foreclose the relationship between individual desire and collective action.
A distinction must be made between liberty, autonomy, and authority and how they all relate to power. Libertarians support the idea of liberty as the only form of freedom, in this case liberty defined as power from government. In contrast, autonomy is power to act and has also been called positive liberty. Autonomy, meaning self-rule or self-determination, is where individuals have the ability to create the rules that order their lives. They have the freedom to control their own lives and direct how they can practice their freedom both individually or collectively. Liberty, since it only concentrates on power from domination, is also known as negative liberty and therefore does not recognize autonomy as positive liberty. Authority is power over and requires a surplus of power for some and a lack of power for others in a social setting to exist. Though distinct from each other liberty, autonomy, and authority all relate to each other. Erich Fromm, in his book “Escape From Freedom”, illustrates how liberty without autonomy can cause the reintroduction of authority. When one practices freedom as liberty, one resists a dominant power or authority. Without this authority, there can be a loss of order and security that can cause a type of existential angst. If one does not also practice positive liberty, or autonomy where new social structures are created in order to express freedom, then one would be prone to accept a new form of authority and undo one’s liberty. It can be concluded that a complete sense of freedom is one that has the two necessary steps of resistance and creation, or autonomy as a completion of liberty. This more full form of freedom can be practiced by individuals and collectives and is an ownership of the social setting through participation. Finally, autonomy can be described as a freedom through equality of power. Both autonomy and equality of power is best expressed through democracy as the best method for social organization.
4. An anarchist critique is a direct opposition to the state and the market. The state and the market are separate but primary forms of power through hierarchy within society. The anarchist critique is accompanied by an alternative social form.
One of the main things that anarchism seeks to achieve is the transition from the state and the market to community and the commons. The community and the commons, as described by Massimo De Angelis, are the alternative to the hierarchies found in a centralized state and a transcendent market. Though the state is more clearly a hierarchy, based on the exclusive right of the state to have a monopoly on the use of violence according to Max Weber, the market is also prone to developing hierarchies within it. As a system that is more decentralized than the state but that can become transcendent, superimposing its laws of value over reality, the market is the space for the business hierarchy of corporations. It offers an environment where corporations are able to grow because ultimately corporations are the only actors who are able to be free in a global market setting. The state regulates individuals through laws backed by violence, while the market regulates individuals through laws backed by the scarcity that comes about through the enclosure of the commons. In this case, the commons not only describes the commons of nature but the commons of ideas, where exclusive ownership is not necessary for universal use and replenishment. Other examples of the commons can be found wherever there is a kind of abundance that allows universal access, thereby implying an equality of access. For the state and the market, both types of regulation are external to direct social interaction, and the commons as the resource for this social interaction. This results in a hierarchy where control is exercised over individuals through a surplus of power that is directly connected to an artificial scarcity of a resource. Autonomy through the community and the commons is an internal control by participants and an equality of power among those participants. The community is the equal social relationships among people, while the commons is the material or immaterial resource for the community where there is an equal right to access it for all members of the community. When autonomy is made possible through community and the commons, it also means the community is the social use of the commons. In other words, a critique of both the state and the market does not mean chaos but a new form of social organization that actively guarantees equality of control and equality of access to the tools needed for the expression of individual and collective freedom.
5. Libertarianism is a limited critique of the state without a critique of the market, and therefore fails at offering alternatives to hierarchy.
Libertarians overemphasize a criticism of the state, at the expense of ignoring the transcendent regulatory nature of the market. This is related to the failure of freedom if resistance is not followed by creation. The resistance to the transcendent state must be followed by the creation of immanent social structures or else individuals will submit to the new authority figure of the market. If both are not critiqued, then the full exercise of freedom as autonomy is impaired. This of course is part of the fact that libertarianism limits itself to liberty instead of the more comprehensive sense of freedom in autonomy. This can be summed up concisely in the saying that the difference between libertarians and anarchists is that libertarians believe people will naturally compete to achieve goals in the absence of the state, while anarchists believe people will naturally cooperate to achieve goals in the absence of the state. For this cooperation to be possible, there must be an understanding of freedom as autonomy. Autonomy is inherently immanent structurally, in the sense of meaning that a structure is controlled, affected, and changed internally by parts or participants within it. On the other hand, transcendent is defined as the external control of a structure by an outside source such as a deity, nature, eternal law, or an absolute monarch. The full freedom of resistance and creation is always the resistance to transcendent structures and the creation of immanent structures. One significant element of libertarian thought which can be expanded through autonomy is the idea of self-ownership as the first instance of private property put to use to insure freedom. Self-ownership, the idea that one owns one’s body, is not entirely contrary to anarchism or the values of the Green Party. Especially on issues relating to the legalization of marijuana or reproductive rights, both anarchism and the Green Party can agree that the primary thing one must have control over is one’s body. Libertarians then conclude from this premise that owning specifically private property, like one owns one’s body, is the best bulwark to protect individual freedom. However, the appearance of self-ownership on its own can obscure the idea of autonomy if not fully analyzed. Self-ownership implies a divergence between the subjective mind and the objective body, in this case the mind being the owner and the body being the owned property. The mind and body split is never completely reconciled in the libertarian formulation of self-ownership. But if the subjective mind is seen as the source of desire and the objective body as the instrument of expression of that desire, then libertarian self-ownership is surpassed by a more articulated relationship between freedom and desire. It should be noted that desire is used in the sense propagated by Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, not as a lack or emptiness within humans that needs to be filled by outside things such as commodities but rather as an instinctual source of creative expression that moves outward and produces things in the world. Autonomy is the convergence of the subjective unconscious and objective reality through the process of expressing desire, and it conducts this expression through the participation in one’s own self-determination. Autonomy is therefore the transformation of self-ownership into self-determination. For this participation to be fully autonomous, the participation in public power must be through political decentralization as well as the participation in private power must be through economic decentralization. In both cases, democracy is the most effective method of political and economic decentralization of public and private power.
6. The opposition to representative democracy, and the electoral politics that occur within it, by anarchists must be analyzed not as a rejection of democracy but a rejection of political hierarchy.
There is a prevailing stereotype that anarchists oppose democracy, and that any potential coalition or partnership between anarchism and the Green Party is impossible due to the electoral politics of the Green Party. However, if one were to observe the practices and internal organization of anarchists one will find that they practice various forms of direct democracy. Their opposition to electoral politics lies with their critique of political representation as a type of structural reproduction of hierarchy. Representation, especially political representation, is an abstraction of choice. A representative is elected and it is very rare, if not absolutely impossible, for that representative to represent a unanimous will of all of the constituents. Because a district in question will be made up of diverse individuals, there will always be some part or subgroup that will be dissatisfied with the public decisions of the representative. Even in cases where the representative extensively polls the opinions of the constituents, the representative will have to abstract the will of the people. This means the formation of a generalized identity of the constituents that obscures the unique nature of each individual in the district. In the name of this generalized will, many decisions can be made that are completely to the contrary of the actual will of the constituents if summed up. Representation is also an alienation of participation. Rather than individuals having the ability to directly decide on issues that affect them, representatives make decisions for them and in many cases rely on their own judgement. When this occurs, the power to choose is separated from the various individuals and presented back to them as a kind of foreign object that has power over them but that they have no control over. This is the nature of the state rather than the nature of democracy in itself. Therefore, political representation is the alienation of power through abstraction. Representatives make decisions based on an artificial generalized identity of the will of the people while taking away the power to make decisions from those same people. The product of this kind of representation is the formation of a majority and a minority, both among voters and in the representative government. These two groupings can easily atrophy into static groups that result in the majority oppressing the minority, thus limiting freedom as autonomy and creating hierarchy. When representation makes use of the public in this manner, very little structural change can occur. At most, some superficial changes can be addressed, but the overall system of hierarchy in the state is reproduced over time with the false appearance of democracy. Anarchism rejects this alienation and abstraction in favor of a more direct democracy to express individual freedom and develop collective action. Democracy acts as a vanishing mediator between individuals and collectives. A vanishing mediator, as described by Fredric Jameson, is something that allows one thing to become another, and once this transition occurs the catalyst disappears. In this use of the term in regards to democracy, democracy allows humans to be both individuals and collectives simultaneously, moving back and forth when needed. The collective identity does not overpower individual wills nor does it demand uniformity, and the individuals are not subject to individual coercion nor relegated to complete isolation and unable to form collectives. Democracy, as a means rather than a goal, allows this transitioning. Democracy as a process also allows the experience of ownership through participation. Since there is an equality of power in democracy in order to let people practice autonomy, these participants are regarded as co-owners through the democratic process and the ability to decide on matters that affect them collectively. Democracy, as the specific condition of equality of power through autonomy, allows individual desire to be accurately expressed in collective action and defines the ownership of the results of that action as those who participated in the process. This is in contrast to previous political systems where participation was determined by a preexisting system of ownership, which of course meant a hierarchy and inequality of power in the society. Rather than static majorities and minorities that can easily form in representative political systems, a more direct democracy can establish the voice option and the refusal option. Simply put, the voice option is the ability to participate and control collective action, while the refusal option is the ability not to participate and therefore not control the collective action. Each one limits the other, where the voice option of some can not prevent the refusal option of others and the refusal option of some can not sabotage the voice option of others. In a direct democratic process, the voice option and the refusal option are a more fluid way to avoid the tyranny of either the numerical majority or minority. Finally, democracy as participation depends on the ownership of the commons as the resource that each individual participant has access to in order to assist the expression of their desire. Democracy making use of the commons, with its guarantee of universal access, supplies the material foundation for any collective action that a democracy may enact. The equality of access of the commons parallels the equality of power in a democracy. What distinguishes democracy from a republic form of government, and makes democracy an important process for both anarchists and Greens, is the principles of equality of power, ownership through participation, and the balance between individual freedom and collective action.
7. The importance of democracy lies in the vital distinction between constituent power and constituted power. This distinction is a correlation to the critique of the hierarchy in political representation.
In order to make sure that democracy is not limited within political representation, and can only enact superficial changes because of it, there must be an understanding of constituent power and constituted power. Antonio Negri, in his book “Insurgencies”, explains it clearly as constituent power being the ability to form political systems while constituted power is the authority that arises within those political systems. The formation of the modern state from democracy is this very movement from constituent power to constituted power. The creative power of free people forming a political system to address public problems can be superseded by the types of internal authority that are within political systems. In this transition, there is also the movement from the multitude to the people where the multitude can be described as an aggregate of diverse and unique individuals while the people are a more unified and uniform group identity that is formed within the state. The change in the state is also the change in identity, and this change in identity accommodates the alienation of power. What is vital to understand is that the relationship between constituent power and constituted power is not the same as social contract theory. Social contract theory, such as advocated by Locke, Rousseau, and Hobbes, proposes that a social system is formed by those who live in a state of nature for various reasons and various effects. In reality, the state of nature is an imaginary historical precedent where people interact with each other but do not form social systems. The only way a state of nature could ever exist is if isolated individuals interacted only with nature as a commons. The appearance of a social contract coming from an imaginary state of nature obscures the event that in reality disrupts preexisting political structures so that constituent power can create new forms. The event, as described by Alain Badiou, is the realization that a bounded structure is not the totality of reality but is in fact a subset of reality. This realization of an external reality in turn takes the structure apart and a space for new truths and structures is made possible. The social contract is a retroactive causality of transcendent structures, hiding the action of constituent power and denying the event for the sake of the authority of constituted power. By demonstrating that social contract theory is based on an imaginary foundation, one can see that constituent power always creates political forms in opposition to existing political structures. Constituent power always works in a political context, and the event acts as the space for the creation of immanent structures through constituent power. The problem lies once the political structure is created and becomes transcendent through its constituted power. The appearance of constituted power obscures the class formation of the political hierarchy. Constituted power subsumes its hierarchy under the universal identity of the people. The class formation is a basic divide between the multitude and the sovereign position of authority within the structure, regardless of whether the class formation is political, cultural, or economic. The hierarchy and its obscuring by the identity of the people denies the fact that constituent power and constituted power are in reality simultaneous phenomenon. Constituent power as the creative political act is always the surplus of constituted power, always more diverse, but once constituted power arises with its authority that is based on transcendence and hierarchy, then it is the subsumption of constituent power by constituted power. Democracy outside of political representation reintroduces constituent power as the constant disruption of constituted power, and is therefore revolutionary in the sense of being the process best suited to oppose hierarchy and its transcendent appearance.
8. The critique of power through hierarchy must exist side-by-side with the advocacy for power through desire.
The emphasis on democracy and constituent power illustrates that the starting point of an emancipatory and egalitarian political action is desire. Desire, as a human instinct that stimulates creative actions in the world, disproves the preconception that leftwing or revolutionary political organization should require an ascetic attitude of sacrifice to the cause. In fact, in order for authentic democracy to be effective, it must act as the tool for which people can express their unique desire in collective action. Desire therefore needs to be expressed as power in the sense of empowerment. Michel Foucault illustrated the distinction between power as ability and power as authority. Power, as the ability for human action, is multiple and diverse throughout the social sphere. It exists as an array of particular choices and acts, and in this way power can also be defined as the relationship between forces where one force can act on another force but each force has the equal potential to act. Power in this sense is many and unique and makes free action possible. Therefore, power is directly tied to the expression of desire by individuals and is equally shared when hierarchies are disrupted. In contrast, authority relies on the hierarchy of power. It functions when one part of the society has a surplus of power as the ability to act. In this case, authority is one and uniform and will in turn limit the power of those in the subservient position of the hierarchy. Authority mediates desire by transforming desire from an active creative act to a more passive consumption of things in the world. This passive consumption defines the terms of what those individuals can desire through precluded choices rather than a more open creation of novelty. Authority over others, through the surplus of power, allows those in control to sever the link between power and the expression of desire. Those who are subservient, and who have a lack of power in a hierarchy, are unable to express their desire and can only choose what was been predetermined for them. Therefore, authority is inequality of power through the reformation or reproduction of hierarchy.
9. Political action, as an expression of desire, must be willing to enact change that takes apart previous political, cultural, and economic structures without reproducing those previous structures.
In order for the expression of desire to be possible in any collective action, as the freedom that is truly autonomy, there must be resistance before the creation. Resistance and creation must always go together not only to avoid a sense of anxiety over a loss of order that can revert to a new hierarchy, but to make sure that the methods of resistance do not imitate the hierarchy that is originally opposed. Here it is important to examine two books that speak on this issue but in a parallel fashion. John Holloway’s “Change The World Without Taking Power” talks about the difference between power to and power over where he uses the Latin words “potentia” and “potesta” to describe them respectively. These two terms are the same thing as power and authority discussed previously, and in another context is the same thing as constituent power and constituted power when applied to political systems. Since power to is a free act, Holloway argues that real societal change that is just in the sense of balancing freedom and equality must never develop into situations where there is the power over of authority. That also means that constituted power must be avoided at all costs, or else the gains of constituent power is lost or corrupted. The implicit hierarchy of authority inherently ruins any act of freedom or liberating political action. The ultimate goal of such political action, in order to last, must be to create a new structure that purposely avoids hierarchy. “Gramsci Is Dead”, written by Richard J.F. Day, also speaks out against authority but in the context of the organization of social movements rather than political systems. Day uses the terms hegemony, describing the universal top-down approach to get things done in these movements, and affinity which is the more bottom-up approach where methods are formulated by consensus and decentralized decision-making. The negative aspect of hegemony is that it recreates authority within the organization of the social movement itself, thereby making it harder for that movement to really offer a structural alternative to the state. Affinity reaffirms the power to of constituent power even in the organized opposition to the obvious forms of authority. The lesson learned from both books is that the way the opposition is organized, even though through using strict internal discipline it may make it a powerful force to contend with, must not be such that it takes on an authoritarian nature or else it will reproduce this nature in its drive to take over power, a goal which is not necessary in its own right. In both respects, an absolute opposition to hierarchy, both in terms of means and ends as well as form and content, is vital in the interim between resistance and creation. One finds this is a common trait among both anarchists and Greens. The final result of an analysis of resistance and creation is that it is intrinsically tied to desire in order to be effective. The event of a resistance acts as a structural rupture, and this structural rupture is the space for the expression of desire. The expression of desire must manifest itself through collective action in order to be productive on the social setting, and this collective action produces immanent structures that are also the tools of desire.
10. If choice is intrinsic to a conception of freedom as well as political power, then it must be more than a precluded economic choice and be more of an original democratic choice.
Because both anarchists and Greens deal with political power inside and outside of structures at the same time in order to enact change, choice becomes a important factor. The nature of choice, however, is quite different depending where it occurs. Choice, as the first step toward action, can be part of a restrictive process or an emancipatory process. When choice is internal to structural formation, it acts as parts in various differential relationships. This is the mainstream definition of choice in economic terms, especially in the market. Here choice is always bounded by preconditions that limit the scope of the choices available. The preconditions, often supporting hierarchy, are never themselves questioned because there is no opportunity to choose otherwise. Within this narrow precluded economic choice, the options are in an environment of scarcity in constituted power. The constituted power is the transcendent rules and authority of the market backed by the state, and the fact that there is an artificial constructed scarcity serves as pretext for inequality since there is no guarantee that everyone can have equal access to the goods or services or resources in question. The fact that original conditions can not be altered, and that some will always go without, is normalized along with the strengthening of hierarchy. On the other hand, when choice is external to structures through structural rupture, a larger horizon of reality is opened up. Rather than passive consumption that relies on the dependence upon hierarchy and the acceptance of its inequality, choice becomes the first step in the creation of immanent structures that change original conditions. The immanent structures in question are tools to develop a new kind of choice within abundance and constituent power. With abundance there is no zero-sum situations where the benefit of one is the detriment of another, and with constituent power the truly important choices on how the political and economic structures are to be articulated are made by everyone who has a stake in the act of creation. Democracy once again becomes the best example of such an immanent structure to express desire that is itself a product of desire. The direct democratic process expands the range of choices that individuals and collectives can make, and gives them the ability to actively shape their own destiny rather than passively choose precluded choices with no hope for real freedom or structural change.
11. The basic method of anarchism, in all its manifestations, is the creation of horizontal systems as both a disruption and alternative to vertical systems through the practice of prefiguration.
Anarchism offers a third approach alongside reform and revolution called prefiguration. In general, socialists that engage in electing candidates find that they can enact change through reform internal to the political structure, while communists have traditionally engaged in revolution to enact a total change. There can be much debate about whether reform or revolution is a better approach, but prefiguration is specific to the anarchist perspective and orientation. Prefiguration can best be described by the old motto of the Industrial Workers Of The World as “creating the new world in the shell of the old”. Instead of incremental change or a proverbial clearing of the decks, with their various drawbacks, creating the new structures that would in turn replace the old regime in the present allows people to put into practice what they believe and not have to wait for the results of reform or the right moment for revolution. The new structures that are built in prefiguration are horizontal systems, and pose an alternative and challenge to the existing vertical systems. Horizontal systems allow participants to be equal in power, while vertical systems are just another term for hierarchies where there is a command and control process. The autonomy that is possible in horizontal systems allows collectives to organize without one faction having power over the other faction. Only individuals can exist in vertical systems since the hierarchy purposely isolates people from each other and prevents them from organizing into any cogent type of collective action. The movement from horizontal systems to vertical systems is the stratification of hierarchy and the alienation of participation. The movement from vertical systems to horizontal systems is the distribution of participation through the equality of power. The formation of vertical and horizontal systems in history has been a constant struggle between the status quo and the potential of an alternative. For participants in prefiguration, when they create horizontal systems, they begin with a passive experience of the content of reality and transition to the experience of knowledge of the forms of reality in order to understand how things work. The final step, and the achievement of autonomy, is going from the experience of forms to the control of those forms. When the alternative is able to be independent of the existing vertical systems, then a truly authentic resistance to these vertical systems can be accomplished. Of course this requires the second step of creation. Prefiguration is the overall method where the resistance of vertical systems and the creation of horizontal systems can be practiced. The most clear historical example of prefiguration in action is the phenomenon of the counterculture. Much can be said about countercultures in general, but if one were to look at the counterculture that began with the Beats, continued with the Hippies, and ended more or less with the Punks, one would find that countercultures are clearly much more prefiguration rather than revolution or reform. In each phase, this particular counterculture was both libertarian and communitarian, resisting the authority and standards of those in power while forming new social groupings. The structural quality of these new social groups was such that hierarchy was deliberately avoided, and this meant that autonomy was not only practiced but that these practices were inherently anarchist.
12. The ultimate goal of anarchism and other movements for decentralization is the development of mutuality within the entire social sphere, the eradication of hierarchy in all its forms.
A discussion of the characteristics of anarchism emphasize practices and methods, which are obviously important. But this leads to the question of what is the goal of anarchism. Autonomy, direct democracy, and the expression of desire make a multiplicity of goals possible. What all of these goals would have in common is mutuality, the ability of all members of the society to have access to the various aspects of that society. This idea of mutuality is directly connected to abundance or the lack of scarcity. In other words, access to what is needed for survival and a full life is not limited by preconditions that have been set by a hierarchy and its inequality of power. In any society, there is reciprocity which is the various exchanges of actions met by other actions to get things accomplished. David Graeber, in his book “Debt: The First 5,000 Years”, demonstrated that reciprocal relationships involve credit and debt of some sort. The main issue is how that debt has been made infinite, or unable to ever be paid in full, as a way to maintain hierarchy and a dependence of the subjugated on those in power. One case of debt used as a method of control is the situation of gold coins needed to pay taxes to the monarch, despite the fact that the monarch already owned the land from which the gold was mined. The role of these coins was to make sure that the subjects of the kingdom are in debt to the monarch through the tax system. Besides reciprocity leading to debt and hierarchy, reciprocity can also lead to mutuality and autonomy. A society can go from reciprocity to mutuality through the commons and its abundance, and that is why the commons must work together with democracy as tools for autonomy. A society can also go from reciprocity to finite debt through the market and its scarcity, but this can in turn lead from reciprocity to infinite debt through the state and its hierarchy. Any society, through their reciprocal relationships, stands at a proverbial fork in the road where one path leads to debt and the other path leads to mutuality. The choice must be a free choice for those in that society and how they organize themselves. For anarchism and its practice of autonomy, the future is not predetermined or centrally planned. But the future of anarchism must insure mutuality in all its manifestations.
13. Anarchism in its generalized state not only reflects the more specific Green Party values of decentralization, grassroots democracy, and community economics but points to an underground spirit of America that has been continually suppressed for the sake of hierarchy in the political, the cultural, and the economic.
An interesting anecdote can illustrate the possible overlap between anarchism and the Green Party. When the G8 summit was held at Pittsburgh in 2009, there were strong contingents of anarchists who protested there, as they always do. But because the G8 chose Pittsburgh rather than New York with its specific financial sector, there were cases where these protesters inadvertently demonstrated near locally-owned businesses. It was a surreal scene that put into the foreground the fact that in reality there would be nothing wrong with a convergence of anarchism and small businesses. Their perspectives are not mutually exclusive, and in practice it is the Green Party that has been the bridge between the two. The Green Party has consistently supported small locally-owned businesses in opposition to corporations, while at the same time advocating for more direct forms of democracy not only in the political sphere but in economics as well. It goes without saying that the Green Party joins various anarchist organizations in protests in support of the larger anti-globalization or global justice movement. They are natural allies in activist circles, but the stereotype that anarchists oppose democracy seems to block any partnerships in regards to electoral politics. As has been shown, the mutual support of direct democracy and its expansion in society is a key point, but there is also another opening for working together based on prefiguration. One excellent book on the history of cooperatives in America, “For All The People” by John Curl, reveals an interesting fact. In the early years of this nation, it was common for workers to form their own cooperatives when they went on strike, and thus compete against their former bosses until these bosses offered them something better. Not only is this a wonderful tactic in the methods of labor strikes, but it could be considered a form of prefiguration where a new economic model was created as a superior alternative to what was established and considered the norm. In a way, the campaigns and candidates of the Green Party offer a similar prefigurative role. The Green Party, rather than being an exact copy of the consolidated two-party system, offers a different type of political party both in terms of outward issues and policy and in inward organizational structure. It is the new model of a political future that people create and participate in when they “go on strike” from the Democrats and Republicans. The Green Party is a much better environment to practice autonomy and can offer the opportunity for reluctant anarchists to engage in a wider political project that is still committed to the general characteristics of anarchism. It is true that there are individual Greens who may identify as socialist, libertarian, or progressive. But in the general organizational framework, the Green Party is anarchist in the most general sense of autonomy, direct democracy, and opposition to hierarchy. When the Green Party could act as the connecting point between more traditional anarchists and small businesses, it is discovered that both sides operate on similar foundations where finite collectives are the direct experience of community. These finite collectives or communities are the basic unit of a decentralized direct democracy and a perfect environment for autonomy. What may divide anarchists and small businesses is the gap that seems to appear when the individual creation of natural rights through autonomy leads to its collective use through law that implies the need for a hierarchy or authority. The appearance of collective use through law becomes a transcendent source, and it is up to the Green Party to act as the catalyst and show how anarchist organizations and locally-owned businesses are both immanent structures that both enact self-determination. In conclusion, one will find a causal chain of the principles that have been described that can apply to both anarchism and the Green Party. The resistance to transcendent hierarchy leads to autonomy, that in turn requires the creation of immanent equality, that can be maintained through the tool of democracy, which would allow the expression of individual desire in collective action. This process is the most important approach for a better future and a new world, and it would be very significant if the Green Party acknowledges its anarchist nature so that potential coalitions, productive partnerships, and fruitful collaborations can be implemented with the siblings one will find in anarchism.