Anarchism in America

Anarchism in America

Ratings: 7.79/10 from 19 users.

Anarchism in AmericaA colorful and provocative survey of anarchism in America, the film attempts to dispel popular misconceptions and trace the historical development of the movement.

The film explores the movement both as a native American philosophy stemming from 19th century American traditions of individualism, and as a foreign ideology brought to America by immigrants.

The film features rare archival footage and interviews with significant personalities in anarchist history including Murray Boochkin and Karl Hess, and also live performance footage of the Dead Kennedys.

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18 Comments / User Reviews

  1. Starchild

    Some terrific archival footage here... I really wish I could have met Karl Hess. He truly had a lot of great insights. His point about people being "patriotic" but ending up defending the State, rather than the country, because the language doesn't distinguish between the two, is so relevant today.

    Sadly, anarchism remains probably almost as misunderstood now as it was back in 1980. Still, I think more and more people are waking up. Thanks to the Internet, people worldwide can increasingly bypass the establishment gatekeepers and access all these ideas.

    The Libertarian Party may still be effectively suppressed by the 2-party cartel and their collaborators in the media, but it is the third largest political party in the United States and isn't going away. More importantly, there are now dozens of libertarian parties in countries around the world from Russia to Costa Rica, and the freedom movement as a whole is probably a hundred times the size it was, while new technologies like blockchain offer new hope for liberation and people are (rightfully) more distrusting of government than ever.

  2. janice

    I would recommend the Zeitgeist documentry(moving forward) It does a really nice job of showing a very feasible alternate way of living without bullshit man made rules and economy solely driven by the few. Reality doesn't have to be this one, nor should it because it fucking sucks. We need to wake up in a very big way. Politics, government , police, school, working for money by buy shit is a psychotic imposition created by psychos. Its all a pre-fab joke. Non-violent disobedience by all is whats needed. and a swift reality check in the head.

  3. Nat Rico Suave Culwell

    I like that homesteading old lady. :) She gets it.

  4. Bobby Sweeney

    ANARCHISM stands for the liberation of the human mind from the dominion of religion, liberation of the human body from the dominion of property, liberation from the shackles and restraint of government, and stands for social order based on the free grouping of individuals.

  5. David Rodrigues

    this is not anarchism in a politic ideologic form im an anarchist by conviction and i always give the exemple of this type of people to say what anarchism isn't its not the guys that smach guitars,if you want to realy know whats anarchism study spanish history spanish revolutions etc they had a faction that ruled a bit of the country the anarchist dont need a paper to say that he is married to say were he was born etc etc dont recognaize the type of society based on politics etc etc etc

  6. madu_tv

    Well, like others, anarchism has both good and bad parts to it. Its good to have do it yourself attitude, but that will not address everything like - how will economy work? What about social balance? Will it really lead to improvement in standard of living of the society or will have bunch of people doing things their way (which is usually contradicting with one another).

    In my opinion anarchism cannot be a political idea. Its a art of living, when within 'limits', can make people more independent, opinionated and accommodating at the same time. Well, thats the ideal case, we are human beings, we don't understand 'ideal' and 'limits'.

    1. AntiState2

      You fail to understand the concept. A centralized monopoly on violence is not the solution to social problems. Ask yourself "How would I solve (insert problem)... Economies work best when left to freely operate, you do it every day.

    2. yasir zia

      "Economies work best when left to freely operate.."

      This has to be the most ignorant statement ever in light of wallstreet deregulaton from 1980s till 2000s leading to global financial crises of 2007-2010. The market left to itself leads to monopolies. Private large organisations are tyrannies.

    3. Jake

      This is incorrect. The financial crisis that you speak of occurred for several reasons, all related to government, but particularly risky investments of the big banks, due to artificial interest rates being set by a central bank - the Federal Reserve (which in fact is not federal at all, but rather a cabal of private banks, having a monopoly on the American money supply). These "too big to fail" banks knew that regardless of malinvestments, they would simply be bailed out by the FED.

      Monopolies are created by governments, who pass laws in favor of the highest bidder, thus eliminating any competing businesses. In a free market, there is an abundance of competition, thus a business must provide the highest quality product or service for the lowest possible price to stay relevant.

      I would suggest to you "Economics in One Lesson" by Henry Hazlitt or "Man, Economy and State" by Murray Rothbard.

  7. Captain

    The problem with leftist anarchy is it relies on force to create the system, and places people in a system as flexible as those that also participate. It is nothing but a series of democracies. This is a bit of an antithesis to the idea of non-governance. Rightist anarchy promotes individualism, doesn't advocate any specific economic structure, and can become anything, including sectors of leftist type colonies.

    1. redbloodblackflag


    2. Jonathan Wade

      there is no "rightist" anarchy.

    3. Anarchy Pony Anarchist FAQ section F.
      Right anarchy is a load of garbage.

    4. Anarchy Pony anarchist FAQ section F.
      Right libertarianism or anarcho-capitalism is a lot of bullshit that leads to massive privately held states owned by individuals or corporations.
      Furthermore there is no anthropological basis for the modern right wing pushed concept of individualism, and its pursuit will lead to nothing.

    5. Nat Rico Suave Culwell

      Well said.

  8. roland gopel

    i think this was quite a good documentary and an excellent starting point for anybody interested in the subject, although i would have liked to see and hear 2 points blatantly expressed.

    1. if one were to read the new testament of the bible one would find jesus advocating anarchy, and yet exactly the opposite is preached from the pulpit.

    2. from a purely logical perspective, if nobody OWNS me then nobody OWNS me such that i have to do as somebody else says purely for the sake of doing (or thinking, or speaking) as i'm told. no matter how many laws there are that say i MUST wear a bicycle helmet or a seatbelt such that i MUST protect my person to somebody else's dictates. to me it comes down to personal sovereinty.

    there will be a struggle between individualists and those advocating the pre-eminence of 'the state' for some time yet i think.

  9. Vlatko

    Maybe that's true shamel.

  10. shamel

    anarchy is not concerned with idiotic animal nihilism, violence, etc. read the words of noam chomsky to begin learning of this social model built on admirable components, the central concern of which is to defeat tyranny.