Anarchy Against Utopia!
Most dismissals of anarchy or anarchist ideas come through the belief that for an anarchy to work, perfection is requirement. In other words, people dismiss anarchy because they believe anarchy means “utopia”.
If anything, anarchy is anti-utopia. It is utopia’s antithesis. Right now we are living out Plato’s dream of the perfect society, outlined in the Republic. It’s not a perfect society that we are living in, but we are always striving for perfection, whether as individuals or as a society. There are always new technologies being created in order to perfect us as human beings: cosmetic surgeries, life-extending drugs, genetic therapy, etc. And there is always an attempt to recreate or fix this pillar called democracy — an ideology of a perfect society which is run by majority rule. Once every four years in the US, we try to make our republic a little better by choosing someone to rule it. If we are dismissing any utopia, let it be the United States which is nothing more than a living (and failing) experiment in perfection.
Perfection also means that there is an image of perfect. The struggle to be perfect is nothing more than the struggle for a monoculture of replicated human beings. In perfection, there is no room for the individuality and diversity of wants, needs, desires, and dreams. It seems that the world is nearer and nearer to its goal to being perfect as the world grows monotonous, culturally and ecologically.
Anarchy doesn’t have any platform or vision for society. There is no ideal to strive for; no image of what is perfect. As anarchists, we recognize nothing is perfect, not even nature. And it is the imperfections that we embrace, because it is the opposite of striving for an external ideal. Imperfection means diversity and beauty. We realize that whatever type of life we lead, we will not be perfect; and that no matter what type of community we make, it will not be perfect. Whether in a perfect or imperfect society, problems will arise — both large and small. In a perfect society, these problems are all addressed with the same ideal; however, in an imperfect society they can be dealt with as they really are: each problem is different, needing an different solution.
If one is striving for perfection, then one is moving further and further away from being a genuine and authentic human being — an imperfect animal for an imperfect world.
We don’t want a perfect world — we want a genuine and free world — one which has been realized time and time again by human beings who have accepted the fact that perfection does not exist. We want a world where we are free to experience and embrace our imperfections, our true selves.
Anarchy means freedom, and it is only in an imperfect world that we can be free from the ideal or perfection!