International Journal of Anarchism

ifa-Solidaritet - folkebladet - © ISSN 0800-0220 no 1 (36) editor H. Fagerhus

Bulletin of the Anarchist International


Anarchy vs ochlarchy: The word "ochlarchy" is rooted back to the ancient greek historian and philosopher Polybius (born Megapolis, Arcadia, about 205 B.C., died about 125 B.C.) referring to "ochlarchy" as mob rule. The anarchists "reinvented" the word in 1996, without knowing about its historical greek origin. From greek ochlos = people, crowd and archos = ruler(s) and archein = to rule in the meaning ruling over someone or a group, Nordic hersker(e) and herske.

Furthermore ochlarchy (mob rule broadly defined) is not the same as ochlocracy, which can mean two things 1. mob rule and 2. a form of government in which the multitude or common people are governing. Ochlarchy means just mob rule broadly defined.

Here mob also means to mob, i.e. 1. to crowd around and attack, 2. to crowd around and jostle, annoy etc, as in curiosity or anger 3. bullying broadly defined. The meaning 3. is a.o.t. rooted in the Norwegian language (oklarki = pøbelherrevelde bredt definert). Thus ochlarchy can be done by one person bullying another, not only by a crowd. A mobbing person is called a mobber, and the victim mob victim.

Ochlarchy, mob rule broadly defined, can take different forms, authoritarian tendencies such as: Chaos, disorder, mob rule (narrowly defined), lawlessness, the law of the jungle, criminality, riots, theft, corruption, drugs, mafia, terrorism, autocratic rule, the right to the strongest, antisocial tyrannic behavior, etc. i.e. different types of superiors and subordinates.

Thus, all these forms of authoritarian tendencies are different forms of mob rule broadly defined, i.e. ochlarchy. And thus, the mob rule may take different forms, not all of them happening at the same time, but all these authoritarian tendencies are what we by a common word name ochlarchy, i.e. per definition. Workplace ochlarchy and ochlarchy in the schools are important problems reducing productivity and creating mental illness. Anarchy and anarchism are defined below. Ochlarchy must not be mixed up with anarchy/anarchism. This is explained in the Oslo Convention, with updated footnotes, see below. A typical example of ochlarchy is the law of Jante in practice, see below. Another is using ruling techniques, see below. The difference between ochlarchs/ochlarchists and anarchists is per definition dependent on what a person does, not what he/she says he/she is, or flags.

Anarchists vs ochlarchists: We have seen enough of criminals, police provokers, mislead kids and others doing ochlarchy (mob rule) broadly defined, i.e. ochlarchists/ochlarchs, infiltrating the anarchist movement, during the history, making trouble of various kinds for the anarchist movement and thus real progress in society. A firm stand against these ochlarchist infiltrators to the anarchist movement, being it police provokers, criminals and/or mislead kids or others, is a necessity for obvious reasons. The anarchist movement should of course not get mixed up with ochlarchists/ochlarchs as we really have nothing to do with this sort of doings and persons.

This means among other things expulsion of the ochlarchist infiltrators from the anarchist movement, via the independent and autonomous International Anarchist Tribunal giving expelling Brown Cards in relevant cases, and followed up by expulsion of ochlarchists from anarchist arrangement as, say, congresses, demonstrations and actions, a.o.t. via internet, press releases and newsletters and websites.


Anarchy and anarchism mean "system and management without ruler(s), i.e. co-operation without repression, tyranny and slavery". The words anarchy and anarchism are a bit problematic. Sorry to say,  anglophone languages are very much twisted in an Orwellian "1984" "newspeak" way, to fool the people via the education to worship authority, compared to Nordic language, say,

A. Rules, rule = regler, regel  (relatively fixed ways to settle things in an orderly way, i.e. regulations and regulatory means); but also

B. Rules, rule = hersking, hersker, herske (to be an arch/ruler, act as an arch, bestiality).

Thus in English/American the words 'archein (Greek) = herske (Nordic)' is translated to B. "rule" = to be an arch etc., but "rule" also is used as A. 'regel' = "rule" (i.e. rule(s) in the meaning of relatively fixed way(s) to settle things, disputes and conflicts in an orderly way, i.e. regulations and regulatory means = regel/regler). And thus, due to using one word to mean two very different things, i.e. A. and B, the anglophones are forced in an authoritarian way to think very much false and wrong about realities, with respect to anarchy, freedom and authority, that the Scandinavian people are not to the same extent. See the point! Anglophones are very much fooled by the authorities in this way, thus you probably cannot easily think free, but like a slave via psychological ruling, to think authority = ruler is necessary to keep order. In Norwegian a situation "an (without) arch(y)" "uten hersker" may very well considered to be with 'regler' because "hersker" = rules, and "regler" = rules,  are quite different words. This is very difficult to understand with an anglophone basis.

C. Furthermore the Greek word "an" is not meaning "without" in general, but just as "an" in anaerobe and similar words, i.e. "an" means without what is mentioned in the suffix, but keeping what is essential in the matter, i.e. management in the meaning of coordination related to anarchy. Thus the whole thing gets often mixed up in the anglophone sphere, the language falsely forcing people to think that rule and rulers are necessary to settle things in an orderly way. 

D. To fix this linguistical/language problem in a simple way, we mainly use the word "rules" in the meaning of one or more rules, i.e. regulations and regulatory means, case A, and the words "rule" and "ruling" in case B, unless something else is mentioned. Thus, we define anarchy in the following way:

E. The word anarchism origins from the word anarchy . The word "anarchy" origins from Greek. The original meaning, that everybody should stick to, is the following: The prefix "an" means " negation of" , as in anaerobe vs aerobe, anandrous vs -androus, anhydride vs hydride , etc; i.e . "an" means without what is mentioned in the suffix, but keeping what is essential in the matter. The suffix "archy" means "rule (not rules or law) , ruler, rulers, superior in contrast to subordinates, etc. ", from Greek "archein" , "to rule, to be first" ; and "archos" , "ruler" i.e. in a coercive , repressive, etc. manner, slavery and tyranny included. As mentioned "an" means without what is mentioned in the suffix, but keeping what is essential in the matter, i.e. in this case management in the meaning of coordination, but without ruling and rulers. The 'ruling' is not essential, but an evil alienation, i.e. bestiality. Bestiality is especially the hall-mark of systems with more than 666 per thousand (ca 67%) authoritarian degree, see Economical-Political Map . [The term “ca” is an abbreviation for the latin circa , which means about or approximately.] Thus " Anarchy" doesn't mean " without coordination, management , administration , etc." . Anarchy is management, coordination and administration etc. without ruling and thus without rulers. NB! Remember D. Anarchy and anarchism also of course have and use regulations and regulatory means when necessary and optimal, i.e. significant selfregulation. That anarchy, means an-arch-y, i.e. management and coordination without ruler(s), not just "without rule", a vague term that superficially may be interpreted and manipulated in a lot of inconsistent ways, i.e. non-authoritarian as well as authoritarian, must never be forgotten. "An" means "without" as in an-aerobe, etc, "arch" means "superior" or "boss" broadly defined, and "y" in this connection stands for system, management, coordination, as in monarch-y, oligarch-y, etc. The "an" is connected to "arch", not "y". Thus (an-arch)-y means without arch, but not without system, management, coordination, it means (an-arch)-system, management, coordination. In short an-arch-y = (an = without arch = boss) y = management.

And thus anarchy means coordination, without rule from the bureaucracy broadly defined, the economical and/or political/administrative superiors in private and public sectors (in contrast to the people), down towards the bottom, i.e. in a coercive, repressive manner. b) and t hus,"anarchy" is higher forms of economical and political/adminstrative democracy ; 1. ideally , i.e. 100% anarchy ; mean ing 100% coordination on equal footing, without superiors and subordinates, horizontal organization, and co-operation without coercion, or 2. practically , significant i.e. more than 50% degree of anarchy, i.e. more horizontally than vertically organized, i.e. more influence on the societal management  from the "bottom upwards", than from the bureaucracy ,  from "the top downwards to the bottom ".

REAL DEMOCRACY IS ANARCHY & ANARCHISM! ANARCHY & ANARCHISM ARE REAL DEMOCRACY! REAL DEMOCRACY IS ALWAYS INCLUDING GREEN!  ANARCHY.NO IS ALL ABOUT DEMOCRACY - INCLUDING THE DEMOCRACY PROJECT! Democracy, the libertarian, anarchy & anarchism and degrees of this, is a question of influence on decisions. All other things are only relevant as far as they affects the influence on the societal decisions. To be more precise: anarchy & anarchism, the libertarian and democracy is a question of influence on the societal decisions by the People = the Bottom of the societal pyramid, the decisions usually and mainly taken by the Top of the societal pyramid, i.e. the Bureaucracy (authorities) broadly defined in private and public sector. NB! The degree of democracy = influence on the societal decisions by the People = the Bottom of the social pyramid, mainly taken by the Bureaucracy, the Top of the social pyramid, measured relatively as a percent degree between 0 % and 100 %, that is a precise measure on how much the People govern = democracy, i.e. the degree of it.

Democracy, and more or less of it, is central to societal politics broadly defined, both economical and political/administrative, and in reality Real Democracy, NB! i.e. always including Green, and Full Democracy as an ultimate aim, is the one and only policy in the interest of the People, i.e. People's Politics. Real Democracy has a degree of democracy equal to 50 % or more, and Full Democracy has 100 % degree of democracy. The degree of democracy = the libertarian degree = the anarchist degree - within anarchy & anarchism = real democracy, i.e. 100% - the authoritarian degree, see - click on the System theory and economic-political map. The Democracy Project is a research project about all topics of democracy and adjacent themes, also praxeology - human action research - including the The Green Global Spring (GGS). For more information about The Democracy Project, click on IIFOR. Join The Green Global Spring Revolution (GGS) for Real i.e. including Green Democracy - Saving The Planet from Manmade Global Warming via Bottom - Up Climate-Actions - Click here!

The bureaucracy organized as a ruling management , i.e. significant downwards to the people and the grassroots - and not just an insignificant tendency in this direction, is also called authority or authorities, the State as a social concept or in a societal perspective - as well as government. Thus anarchy is a way of organizing society where there is management and coordination without ruling and rulers, tyranny and slavery, i.e. the tendencies towards State, authority, authorities, government, bureaucracy and similar are insignificant or zero. The opposite of anarchy is different types of archies, i.e. ruling and rulers, authority, authorities, State in a societal perspective, government - economical and/or political/administrative. Archies may be mainly monarchy, oligarchy, polyarchy, ochlarchy (mob rule) and/or plutarchy.

F. Anarchism is political systems and organizations coordinated as  anarchy in the above meaning and manner, but also the political tendency advocating anarchy understood this way, and the scientifical knowledge about anarchy and the ways to reduce non-anarchist tendencies. Briefly defined State in a broad societal meaning is systems with significantly large rank and/or income differences and inefficient, i.e. significantly vertically organized. Anarchies are systems with significantly small rank and income differences, plus efficiency, i.e. significantly horizontally organized.

G. More about what anarchy and anarchism and State/authority/government/archy mean

1. Anarchy and anarchism mean as mentioned "system and management without ruler(s), i.e. co-operation without repression, tyranny and slavery".

Briefly defined anarchy and anarchism are coordination on equal footing, without superiors and subordinates, i.e. horizontal organization and co-operation without coercion. This means practically or ideally, i.e. ordinary vs perfect horizontal organization respectively. Thus, anarchy and anarchism mean real democracy, economical and political/administrative, in private and public sector. Thus, anarchy means coordination without government, in the meaning of different forms of vertically organized, i.e. chaotic included, economic and/or political-administrative relations among people, (and thus not without public sector). Coercion is defined in the following way: Coerce, from Latin coercere , to surround, from co = together and arcere = to confine. 1. to confine, restrain by force, to keep from acting by force, to repress. 2. to constrain, to compel, to effect by force, to enforce. Anarchist systems have ideally no coercion, practically, as little as possible coercion, taking into account the anarchist principles in general, human rights interpreted in a libertarian way included.

Anarchies are systems with significantly small rank and income differences, plus efficiency, i.e. significantly horizontally organized.

2. Briefly defined State/authority/government in a broad societal meaning is systems with significantly large rank and/or income differences and/or inefficient, i.e. significantly vertically organized.

(This is opposed to Max Weber's definition. The crucial point is horizontal vs vertical organization, not whether there are one or several law and order agencies in a local area.)

3. We are for anarchy and anarchism as defined in 1, and against State/authority/government as defined in 2.

A bit simplified: Society is private sector plus public sector, both significantly horizontally organized in anarchy.

4. Real democracy means one vote per head, participatory, plus anarchist basic rights that secure that the majority cannot decide that the minority must slave for them one way or the other, or worse. Thus the case that the majority "two wolves" decide that the minority "lamb" should be dinner, or similar is avoided. The anarchist rights can be brought for the anarchist law and order system, in case of disputes.

In some cases, say, at which side on the road we should drive, right or left, simple majority > 50% is ok. In other cases general consent - a lot for, and no-one against, is necessary. In some cases 2/3 or 3/4 majority is ok.

5. As for private sector, based on markets, there is one dollar (or labor notes credit) one vote, and it is real democratic, anarchist, only if the income-distribution is significantly horizontally organized (and the economy is efficient). If the income-distribution is significally hierarchical it is economical plutarchy, not anarchy/ism

6. As for public sector, it will be organized according to 4.

The Oslo Convention and the media


Resolution unanimously decided upon by the first combined IFA & FICEDL Congress in Oslo 1990

1. Authoritarians notoriously mix up anarchy, anarchist and anarchism with authoritarian tendencies : Chaos, disorder, mob rule*, lawlessness, the law of the jungle, criminality, riots, theft, corruption, drugs, mafia, terrorism, autocratic rule, the right to the strongest, antisocial tyrannic behavior, etc. i.e. different types of superiors and subordinates.

2. The word anarchy origins from greek. The prefix "an" means "negation of" as in anaerobe versus aerobe and "arch" means "superior, i.e. in contrast to subordinates", as in archbishop, archangel, archduke, arch villain, etc. Thus anarchy, anarchism, anarchist, a.s.o., mean coordination on equal footing, without superiors and subordinates , i.e. horizontal organization and co-operation without coercion. This is the opposite of the above mentioned authoritarian tendencies, i.e. different types of superiors and subordinates.

3. The above mentioned mixtures of anarchist and authoritarian tendencies are principal contradictions similar to the Newspeak slogan "peace is war" in Orwell's "1984", and have correspondent repressive functions. Anarchists won't have any of that! For obvious reasons significant mixtures of anarchist and authoritarian tendencies should be denounced , i.e. as a general anarchist opinion, now and in the future. These actions may be taken on individual, municipal or international level, dependent on the situation.

The media may act a) as a free press or b) as The 4th power of the state, i.e. generally give a negative and wrong description of anarchy and anarchism, mixing up authoritarian and anarchist ideas and roles. "The Bureaucracy" as a class concept is all superiors, i.e. criminal or not, in private and public sectors. "The People" are "The Total Population" minus "The Bureaucracy". The part of the people generally following and supporting The Bureaucracy, that is the ramifications of The Bureaucracy. We think a good reporter cannot be a part of The Bureaucracy or its ramifications. Reporters, spokesmen and others, breaking the Oslo convention severely, or several times, will receive the BROWN CARD** as a symbol of free criticism. Authoritarian journalism and similar must be criticized in a relevant way!

*) The Greek rooted word for mob rule is ochlarchy. Ochlarchy broadly defined may also be used as a common word for all the authoritarian evils mentioned in part 1. above, i.e. in general lack of security and law and order in a society as a public sector service. This is ochlarchy, the opposite of anarchy, i.e. based on libertarian law and order and security as public sector services, according to the anarchist (IFA) principle of social justice. The ones doing ochlarchy broadly defined are called ochlarchists, i.e. the opposite of anarchists.Sufficient public service of policing is important. Man is not like ants who cooperate socially, naturally and voluntarely without coercion/repression automatically by themselves. Thus, doing away with the existing rule or tendencies of authority may easily result in ochlarchy, mob rule, and not anarchy, if not a firm horizontal social organization, ideally or practically is established with a sufficient police corps to create security and libertarian law and order and to do away with tendencies towards ochlarchy. See System Theory and search for the keywords "law" and "corps". Furthermore it must be mentioned that variation in the degree of "flatness" of organizations/federations of different purposes and aims may be optimal, say, a police or defence corps organization/federation may have a somewhat less degree of flatness than a study circle. And the police corps shall of course be well educated in libertarian human rights and policing and be democratically regulated and controlled, and bully types, corrupt and other "brown", ochlarchical elements should be expelled mainly during the education prosess and thus stopped from participating in the police corps. Regarding law and order a combination of private security firms and a horizontally organized public sector with anarchist courts on local, regional and confederal level, it is the best solution. Some law and order services are collective or semicollective and they will most efficiently be handled by a horizontally organized public sector. Competing court services sold for means of payment will be significantly corrupt and not making equality before the law. It will be "law and order" for the relatively rich, they will have it their way, and no real law and order for the relatively poor. The definition of theft is when you get something for nothing (and it is not a gift). Free goods and services, say air, are gifts from nature.

Anarchist laws, according to the principles of social justice and the negation of juridical laws, should be decided by the people, direct democratic or by delegates, and compatible with anarchist principles in general, human rights included, rooted back to natural law . Juridical laws mainly mean decided by authorities, lawyers, the mob, etc., i.e. authoritarian laws. As an example, most of the laws in Norway are non-authoritarian, there are however also some authoritarian laws, because the degree of anarchy is only ca 53-54%, i.e. significant anarchist, but not ideal. Thus, the law and court system of anarchy is quite similar to other democratic law and court systems, only less authoritarian, and more reflecting human rights (interpreted in an anarchist, non-authoritarian way). The International Anarchist Tribunals of I.F.A./A.I. are a special branch of anarchist law and court systems, see IAT.

The general idea is that anarchist laws should be decided from the bottom, the people, and upwards, not from the top downwards. That is law without State in the anarchist meaning. The people decide their own laws when the laws are decided. Thus it is selfmanagement. Of course the minorities rights must be respected in case of anarchist direct democracy, according to anarchist principles. Preferably decisions shold be made by general consent. In case where this is not possible the majority will decide, but they must compensate the minority in different ways to secure their rights. Economic compensation may sometimes be used. In anyway the majority will only be able to offer the minority a free contract, not a slave contract. Thus majority dictatorship will be avoided, as well as minority dictatorship, in an anarchist direct democracy.

Financing the public sector - social subscription vs taxes: We are here first discussing the anarchist ideal. If the people, say in a commune, decide with general consent a social subscription to finance a horizontally organized public sector, then it is 100% voluntarely. Thus there is no taxation involved. General consent is that a lot are for, and no one is against. In the case where there is no general consent, the majority may decide a social subscription for their part only to finance the public sector. The minority must then as far as possible be denied the public goods and services. In case where this is not possible, the question of "free riders" appear. In some cases "free riding" may bee seen as theft (theft= you get something for nothing, and it is not a gift), in other cases as a gift. Thus there may be different solutions to the "free rider" problem. In less ideal anarchism there may be degress of social subscription vs taxes. The anarchists are in these cases for as little as possible coercion.

The AI and IAT have never expressed that an anarchist society of high degree of anarchy, should be organized in one way, or one homogenous system. The general idea is that the people really concerned of a case should be the ones that decide, in a horizontal way, alone in individual matters, two toghether in bilateral matters, three toghether in trilateral matters, etc., local matters decided locally, regional matters regionally, and general cases for a whole society (say a country) decided by all members of society together (preferably with general concent). Thus individually, locally and regionally, there may be several different systems within the framework of horizontal organizations, but for the general cases for a whole society, there may be only one system at a time, as far as the AI and IAT can see today. This general organization may of course change over time, because horizontal organization always may be improved, different working hypothesis may be put in place and rejected if it doesn't work. etc. But there must be ways to decide in general matters in an orderly anarchist way, or else it will be chaotic and ochlarchy. This could be investigated more. There may be several ways to make general decisions, that is reasonable horizontal. These several competing systems may be investigated in advance, so there is a large menu to choose from in an anarchist society of high degree, close to the anarchist ideal at the top of the economical-political map.

Briefly defined anarchy and anarchism are coordination on equal footing, without superiors and subordinates, i.e. horizontal organization and co-operation without coercion. This means practically or ideally, i.e. ordinary vs perfect horizontal organization respectively. Anarchy and anarchism mean "system and management without ruler(s), i.e. co-operation without repression, tyranny and slavery". In short an-arch-y = [(an = without - arch = ruler(s)) - y = system (included optimal order and law) and management, as, say, in monarch-y]. Anarchy and anarchism are efficient and fair system and management without top heavy societal pyramid economical and/or political/administrative - in income and/or rank, i.e. significant horizontal organization. Thus, anarchy and anarchism mean real democracy, economical and political/administrative, in private and public sector.

**) Ochlarchists, i.e. people and organizations/groups infiltrating the anarchistmovement and posing as anarchists and doing ochlarchy (mob rule broadly defined), getting the BROWN CARD, are expelled from the anarchist movement. Thus, receiving the BROWN CARD in this case means expulsion from the anarchist movement. Other ochlarchists may also get the BROWN CARD, but they are of course not expelled from the anarchist movement because they did not pose as anarchists anyway.

A comment on the Oslo Convention

Ochlarchy is typically a) ultra-authoritarian and extremist, i.e. with more than 67% authoritarian degree, but b) may also sometimes be just authoritarian, i.e. with more than 50% authoritarian degree but not ultra-authoritarian. An insignificant ochlarchical tendency may even be with equal to or less than 50% authoritarian degree, but this is rare, and we don't call this ochlarchy, i.e. ochlarchy, real ochlarchy, is significant ochlarchy. In case a) and b) IAT-APT a.o.t. issues expulsing Brown Cards to oclarchists falsely posing as anarchists, according to the Oslo Convention. For an insignificant ochlarchical tendency IAT-APT may hand out a Brown Card warning. In general, i.e. unless special cases, ochlarchy, mob rule broadly defined, is very authoritarian. Even relatively marginal ochlarchy is usually very authoritarian.

The "etc." in point 1. of the Oslo Convention covers a.o.t. arson attacks, vandalism, hooliganism and criminal occupation. Most of the ochlarchy of point 1. in the Oslo Convention, say, terrorism, arson attacks, vandalism, hooliganism, criminal occupation, mafia, theft in the form of robbery or shop lifting, or merely, purely mobbing in general, means extremism and qualifies directly to case a). Also very severe or many times mixing up anarchy with ochlarchy or anarchist(s) with ochlarchist(s) in Orwellian "1984" type Big Brother Newspeak, means a totalitarian act, i.e. ultra-authoritarian extremism, case a). "Big Brother light", moderate - not severe - use of invectives in stead of matter of fact criticism, spreading of more moderate lies and smearstories, mild - not severe - use of ruling techniques or the Law of Jante or very light mobbing, typically qualifies to case b), i.e. clearly authoritarian - but not ultra-authoritarian.

Thus, practically certain ochlarchy and anarchy are opposites and ochlarchists and anarchists are opposites, and ochlarchy is clearly authoritarian. And thus, anti-capitalist ochlarchists, are practically certain authoritarian socialists, i.e. marxists on the economic-political map, and not anarchists. The IAT-APT may annul an expulsion of a former ochlarchist, say, if he/she has paid fully for his/hers damage, paid fines or had his/hers time in jail, and really has improved and stopped being an ochlarchist, and turned into a real anarchist.


Law of Jante

The application of the "Law of Jante" to gain social control is an example of an oclarchical tendency. The "Law of Jante" is the following:

1.You shall not believe that you are somebody.

3. You shall not believe that you are any wiser than us.

4.You shall not imagine that you are any better than us.

5. You shall not believe that you know anything more than us.

6. You shall not believe that you are more than us.

7. You shall not believe that you are good at anything.

8. You shall not laugh at us.

9. You shall not believe that anyone cares about you!

10. You shall not believe that you can teach us anything!

Aksel SANDEMOSE 1899—1965 (famous Danish writer)

Those Janters who transgress this unwritten "law" are regarded with suspicion and some hostility, as it goes against communal desire in the town, which is to preserve social stability and uniformity.

Later Sandemose adds an 11th rule, formulated as a question:

11. Don't you think we know something about you?

This is the threat of punishment - that other Janters will know something about those who transgress, which can be used to punish them. Emphasis can be either on know or on you , or both.

The ochlarchy of the "Law of Jante" is an authoritarian tendency that people must work against in an anarchist structure as well as in other structures. It is necessary to keep tendencies of the "Law of Jante" out of the system to see to that an anarchist system is really libertarian and not mob rule by the indifferent and mediocre. 

Ochlarchy, mobbing, will often take the form of the mobber using psychological ruling techniques, not physical violence.

Ruling techniques

Most of the ruling techniques were gathered and defined by a female Norwegian professor who was tired of not being respected by her male colleagues. Their origins are however much older. The ruling techniques are various nasty tricks, used to get the upper hand in a discussion. In society, it is usual for men to use them against women, but most of us have probably used them sometimes, often without thinking of it. Anarchists are against the use of ruling techniques.

1. Invisible making

If you're not being listened to, or even ignored, you're being put to invisible making. Sometimes during meetings, people get tired and start small talking with their neighbour or do other things because they're not concentrated. This is a form of invisible making, even if the invisible maker did not think of it as such. A better way to demonstrate your un-concentration is to put up your hand and ask for a pause in which to stretch your legs, take some fresh air and clear your head. A nastier way of invisible making is to ignore someone saying something that you don't like or cannot argue against. It is a common way for men to deal with women and older people to deal with younger. They just pretend that they did not hear the cutting argument, and so, the person with lower status gets disencouraged and do not repeat it. Another similar ruling technique is to try to make something quite large, say an organization, to look quite small, say - by to lie about their size in membership, for then to denounce their meaning and actions as insignificant.

2. Humiliation

Humiliation means that in a discussion, you consciously try to make someone look ridiculous, stupid or like a fool. For example, by giving meaning looks, dropping bad jokes or nasty comments. I.e.: "...but little one..." "...when I was your age, I also thought like that, but now I know better..."

3. Withdrawal of information

This trick means that decisions are being made unofficially. Keeping information secret can often happen without conscious thought, for example if you make decisions about what you're going to do in your club together with your closest friends and forget to inform everybody about it.

4. Double punishment

If you doubly punish somebody, you've set your mind to that it doesn't matter what that person do, it is wrong anyway. You are damned if you do, and damned if you don't. For example if you're an engaged environmental activist, the double punisher thinks it is wrong of you to always nag about the environment, and when you drive more car just to show him, the double punisher thinks it's wrong of you not to be the engaged environmentalist.

5. Guiltification

The goal of this technique is to make someone feel guilty and ashamed for whatever reason. It can happen by arguments like “if we do this, the heavens will fall down on our heads and our organisation die”. Another way can be to tell the person that “if you did this and this bad then and then, we cannot count on you to do this better now.” Yet another way can be to accuse someone for using ruling techniques .

6. Claiming false authority

This one can appear in very many places, and almost everybody uses it sometime. When you use it, you refer to experiences that have nothing to do with the question. For example “I've been a member of Nature and Youth for five years, and been goalkeeper in our clubs yearly game of football, so of course I know which way to take out of the forest!”

7. Ochlarchist speech. Anarchists are for free speech, libertarian speech, and against ochlarchy and ochlarchist speech, including, a) using invectives, defamation, libel, lies, demagogy, rhetorical ploy, the Law of Jante and using other ruling techniques, 1.-6., and/or b) Orwellian "1984" Big Brother newspeak, see Preamble of the International Anarchist Tribunal - the Anarchist Press Tribunal - and the IAT-APT resolutions and Brown Cards!

How to counter ruling techniques?

What to do if a ruling technique is being used upon you or somebody else? If it's a rude attack during a meeting, it may be best to make everybody aware of it at once. If it's not clearly used or supposedly an unconscious mistake, you can wait until the meeting's finished or take a pause. Explain for that person that you think he/she said something bad. Hopefully, you can sort it out and settle any disagreements and/or possible misunderstandings. Often you say bad things without thinking of it, and then it's better to hear critic at once instead of having somebody that's silently irritated at you for a long time. (Sources: Club Global Wiki and AIIS).

Resolution from the:
The International Anarchist Congress
The 9th Anarchist Biennial 25-26.11.2006 (Updated November 2010)
International Congress-Seminar on Anarchism

"Anarchists against ochlarchy (mob rule) and ochlarchist infiltration", IJA 1 (33) is also a part of the resolution.

More news and information about the Anarchy of Norway, The International Anarchist Tribunal, etc. at the Anarchist International Information Service:


Information about the International Anarchist Tribunal IAT is found at:


Information about the Norwegian Anarchist Council (NACO) is found at:


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.

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