International Journal of Anarchism
ifa-Solidaritet - folkebladet - © ISSN 0800-0220 - electronic issues ISSN 1890-9485 since 2009 - no 1 (47) editor H. Fagerhus
Bulletin of the Anarchist International
Support for the lesser evil of two or more alternatives?
This is the general case. In special cases the conclusion may be another.
Government/State/authority is a matter of degree, indicated with the authoritarian degree = 100% - the libertarian degree. Anarchies have less than 50% authoritarian degree, but there may still be insignificant government tendencies indicated by the authoritarian degree, except for the anarchist ideal with 0% authoritarian degree and 100% libertarian/anarchist degree. Also in non-anarchist countries, with more than 50% authoritarian degree, less than 50% libertarian degree, anarchists most likely prefer a system with higher libertarian degree compared to a system with less. Thus an alternative with less government, less authoritarian degree, is preferred to a system with higher authoritarian degree, more government, although it may be seen as support for the lesser evil of two or more alternatives.
This is why the Anarchist International supports, say, the Manifesto of the 16, giving anarchist support to the allies against Germany in the 1. World war. Germany was significant a more authoritarian state, more government, than the allies. If Germany had won, this more authoritarian, more government system, would be expanded to the allied countries.
This is also valid for elections. Only if all realistic alternatives are equally authoritarian in the election, a general election boycott, should be the choice. Against the most authoritarian parties, a boycott-campaign should be introduced. The anarchists should support the most libertarian alternative, and vote for this, regardless of if it may be seen as the lesser evil. It must be noted that all realistic options must be considered when the anarchists should give their support. The anarchist ideal is not among these options. We can inform about the anarchist ideal and protest against authoritarian rule, but the anarchist ideal is not among the realistic options in any country today.
In Egypt July 2013 the Anarchist International did not support Morsi or the military coup against him, because to ouster Morsi without a military coup via direct actions and early elections, seemed to be a realistic option, considered less authoritarian than the two more “evil” options, i.e. the rule of Morsy and the military coup.
In general anarchy of high degree, not to mention the anarchists ideal with 0 authoritarian degree, are not realistic options in any country, but the anarchists, as mentioned, should of course inform about this ideal. But anarchist actions should concentrate around making a less authoritarian system, not using too much time on the anarchist ideal. We live here and now, and the actions should support the lesser authoritarian alternatives, i.e. the most libertarian. Anarchist actions should not concentrate on the anarchist ideal which is unrealistic to achieve in any country today, but on reducing the authoritarian degree here and now.
The authoritarian degree is dependent on the degree of capitalism (economical plutarchy) = 100% - the degree of socialism, and the degree of statism = 100% - the degree of autonomy. IIFOR 13.07.2013.
Resolution, decided with general consent, by:
The International Anarchist Congress
The 13th Anarchist Biennial 28-30.11.2014
International Congress-Seminar on Anarchism
The AI/IFA network represents more than 50 000 anarchist world wide.
PS. 04.02.2019. To support the least authoritarian alternative i.e. the most libertarian, should not be dragged into the absurd, i.e. to support a lesser totalitarian regime compared to a more authoritarian totalitarian regime. Anarchists do in general never support totalitarian regimes, i.e. with more than 67 % authoritarian degree. As an example: Mussolini was less authoritarian than Hitler, but anarchists supported none of them. Furthermore there must be a significant difference in libertarian degree to support the lesser of two authoritarian evils. IIFOR.
The electronic issues of the International Journal of Anarchism are updated every time there are significant more informations about the different events and cases. But unless special cases, they are not redistributed by e-mail when they are updated. Also the IAT and other pages are updated almost every day. Thus, to be updated on the news and comments about anarchy, anarchist(s) and anarchism in different connections, it is necessary to visit the AIIS-web sites every day.
Articles to IJA may be written in any language, and should be provided with an English summary. If the article is short and written in English, the summary can be omitted.
Feel free to forward this issue of IJ@ to people or organizations you think may be interested in anarchy, anarchist(s) or anarchism, but include email@example.com when you are forwarding, and don't use blind copies, so possible double distribution may be avoided in the long run. It's a small world.