As we go forward with anarchist solutions building alternatives outside of the system we must realize that our strength will come from our numbers. As we build in numbers we must be educating. Education is a vital key to reaching anarchy. The anarchist community in Spain grew in numbers by reaching the people through education. They did so through anarchist publications and free schools. There was a focus on the young, raising them in anarchist philosophy and free thinking as opposed to state ran schooling which tends to educate one to submit to the system and to embrace the state. It is important to look at Spains success in this and understand what contributed to obtaining anarchism for the period of time they did. Free Schools, education was the key to equipping and reaching the people.
We have a state controlled education system in the United States which sees the value of educating the masses. It educates and indoctrinates loyal citizens. Much information is not provided, and what is provided is bias to the rulers. Their misinformation helps to keep citizens under control of the rulers, slaves to the system. We must look at education for the masses, deschooling and introducing new libertarian ideas to the people. The lack of knowledge in how an anarchist society functions must be ended. Adding to this there are many other areas of education in which we can advance ourselves.
Publications that can reach outside of the internet can become a valuable tool. By looking at the demographics of the area we are in we can gear these publications towards those who are around us. We can focus on the issues that impact those individuals. We can write in the languages that the people are most comfortable with. In the city I live there are many languages commonly used. Driving down the street one see signs in Arabic and Spanish are widely used. Just as learning new skills and occupations will help us move forward, so will learning new languages. It will help break down communication barriers. It will create opportunity to reach more people.
There is a need to build community by meeting and educating. Not only should we educate the young, but we should also educate each other. We must be open to listening to each other. It is by hearing each other that we can more understand our needs as well as build our knowledge. Perhaps you could start a regular meeting focused on discussing solutions or philosophies. In this keep in mind to listen to needs and concerns of those that are present. We must hear what they need not tell them, we must hear what others desire and not disregard their voices or opinions when they clash with our own.
Religious institutions use a variety of means to grow congregations. Many can be used to grow our local communities.
Building relationships will be an important part of this. We must reach out not just in a one way manner by sending information out to others, but we must keep in mind that the people we reach out to are every bit as intelligent and valuable as they truly are. We must hear them, allow them to speak their mind, even oppositions. We must embrace and not reject others. They will all bring a valuable and unique point of view as well as many other valuable and unique strengths.
We have much to learn and teach. Learning will not only be in areas of critical thinking and anarchist theories, but also practical skills. There are many reasons we need to educate. We must learn to diversify our skills and learn new areas where we can progress. We must also help one another learn to see through the deceptions that we were educated with that maintain the current system. Critical thinking skills are important to learn. We must begin de-schooling. As anarchists there are many myths that must be dispelled about what we believe and what our goals are. We must work on learning theories of how to organize our society without rulers. This is something that is still truly in it’s infancy. We can pull from many of the classical anarchists’ writings as well as contemporary and from outside of anarchism.
Raising our children to reject force and violence as a way to structure society will be an important element to obtaining an anarchist society. Truth should out weigh the random unevaluated claims of law or defense as an accepted norm. We must also realize the importance of one another and the reality that we can all learn from one another. We should not shut out voices or ideas. We should hear one another. Allow for discussion and debate.
In this we should work on building relationships as a means to grow. Human beings are social animals. This is something we must acknowledge as we reach out and embrace more. We must be not only accepting of others but realize that our relationships with one another is a driving force in our cooperative efforts. At times the growth of our movement can benefit from our meeting without any clear goal outside of social interaction.
The goal of all of this is to build our communities through real interaction. We must move outside of classrooms, internet chat rooms and social media sites. We must take what we know to a real world situation. Perhaps you can start a monthly or weekly anarchist meet-up. As we build interdependence through production and cooperation and minimize our dependence on the current system we will grow in strength and lessen the impact of the state on our lives. Perhaps you can create literature to hand out on a busy street corner preaching liberation to the people. Perhaps you are shy and preaching does not suit you. You can always distribute literature in local businesses, community centers, libraries and any place in your neighborhood. Outreach with the concepts of liberation can and will take many forms.
Get in the public eye. Become visible. We can not afford to be obscure and hidden away any more.