Questions and Answers

What is this Site about?

transform-social is about the possibilities of transforming into more social, more solidary, more free, and less coercive - that is more anarchist - societies.

"We are convinced that freedom without socialism is privilege and injustice; and that socialism without freedom is slavery and brutality." Michail Bakunin

What is Anarchy?

Anarchy is order without domination. This means that people don't do what the state or a boss tells them, but act according to their needs. This freedom is only possible if people act in solidarity with their fellow human beings and also respect their freedom. When resources such as housing or food are limited or necessary tasks have to be done, the people who are affected agree on a solution and act according to this agreement.

Order? Isn't that the state or at least something static?

The above definition of anarchy contains the word "order". Isn't order something the state does or at least something static? Order doesn't necessarily have to be negative. Order can be pragmatic, e.g. to quickly find something in your fridge.

"Anarchy is order without domination" also means that anarchy isn't chaos and anarchists don't have to live in small self-sustaining villages.

Dominion-free order can use responsibilities and plans based on a collection of mutual agreements. This framework of agreements provides predictability and security for the future, while still allowing for changes. In this way, an order can emerge even beyond the local space of self-sufficiency, which is neither coercive nor arbitrary. And it can dynamically adapt to changing needs.

How would Anarchist Societies be organized?

There is no set plan for organizing anarchist societies. What is important is that solidarity and freedom of all people remain in balance. Perhaps many different forms of anarchist societies will coexist. All that is written on these pages are ideas to stimulate further thought - nothing fixed. Anarchist societies are organized from the bottom up. This means that many issues can be decided at the local level - in the houses or apartment blocks where people live. Decisions are made by consensus (always, often, or whenever possible, depending on the variant). Issues that affect larger geographic areas, such as power grids, the operation of hospitals or factories, or the distribution of resources among regions with different conditions for agriculture, are decided by the people who are affected by the decision. To do this, delegates with a clear mandate from the affected regions discuss the issue. If they do not adhere to their mandate, they are replaced.

More information on the organization can be found in the Anarchist Economics FAQ.

That sounds complicated. Can it really work?

There have always been anarchist-inspired societies, for example in 1917-1922 in the Ukraine and 1936-1939 in Spain. In addition, there are countless anarchist-organized projects ranging from labor collectives to political groups to house projects. Anarchy is not complicated, although it may sound unfamiliar. In practice, there are a few challenges. These pages deal with some of them.

Why do we need a Transformation?

The current forms of society, whether democracy or dictatorship, are often characterized by capitalism. Regardless of whether there are elections or not, important decisions concerning social issues, trade, or the environment are made by politicians or economic functionaries (who often act on behalf of corporations or lobbying associations) without taking into account the opinion of their constituents.

This has led to environmental destruction, exploitation of resources, surveillance by secret services, bloated administrative apparatuses, extreme social injustice, and existential fear. All this generates armed conflicts again and again. Capitalism has not always been the dominant form of society, and it need not remain so. The damage that capitalism has done is already immense, and the injustices are hardly bearable.

That is why, in my opinion, it is necessary to prepare for the transformation into more solidary and free societies.

Why not a Revolution?

I am skeptical that a revolution, in the sense of a sudden overthrow, could work. (And I'm not suggesting waiting for reforms through the state either.) Sudden overthrows are often based on small groups trying to use military means to gain power. States today are armed, both in terms of surveillance and weapons, to a degree that this hardly seems realistic to me. Also, to avoid creating new power structures, a huge majority of the people should be familiar with and agree to a rough idea of emancipatory societies based on the values of freedom and solidarity. (Many anarchists agree that the methods used to get closer to anarchist societies should be compatible with anarchist ideas.) I think a sudden overthrow executed by a minority will either collapse in itself or lead to an authoritarian society.

A movement of a huge majority of people with some consensus on freedom and solidarity has a better chance of creating emancipatory transformation. I'm also calling the steps needed to get to this mass movement a transformation.

Ok, how can Transformation work?

For this transformation to happen, it can be helpful to build some resources: learn and develop some skills, create networks, build and support projects and organizations that prefigure anarchist societies. These pages try to be some inspiration for all of this.

Just as there is not one fixed blueprint of an anarchist society, there is not one fixed way to get there. Nevertheless, it is important to exchange ideas about possible ways of transformation into anarchist societies. Because capitalism is not a solution in the long run.

Who is writing these Texts?

Most of the texts on this site are written by a single person (white, cis woman, queer), in collaboration or discussion with others.

Contact, Comments, and Feedback

You are welcome to send any feedback to contact email address