|Even at the anarchist fair, capitalism happened.|
What's the reality? We may never know, since true anarchism has rarely, if ever, been tried.
Anarchism, in its idealized - if often unsettling - form is on display now in La Aldea, a cafe and cultural center on Calle 17, in La Candelaria, where the Second Anarchist Fair of Books and Fanzines is going on now.
Anarchism involves lots of pamphlets, both because that's how anarchists have traditionally spread their message, and because anarchism has so few concrete real-world examples to display.
In La Aldea the tables display pamphlets about abolishing work, sneaking into TransMilenio, the justice of robbery and technology as a system of domination. The System, then, in the form of everything that is organized, is a threat.
I didn't make the attempt, but I suspect that if I'd tried stealing those same pamphlets, the anarchists would have objected. And, as for technology, the minimally organized internet has become a tremendous platform and advocacy tool for anarchists and other anti-establishment organizations.
It seems to me that anarchism, a bit like its cousin communism, is a wonderful idea until it collides with selfish, violent and lazy human nature. Anarchism, which envisions a world without laws, capitalism or government, in which people cooperate spontaeneously and unselfishly, has rarely been tried - and perhaps there's a reason for that.
|How to sneak into TransMilenio.|
And what about sneaking into TransMilenio without paying as a step toward overthrowing the Establishment? I guess it's too much to ask how the transit system will be paid for if passengers don't - except by that evil government which the anarchists mean to abolish.
Whatever its true nature, anarchism has become closely and probably justifiably linked to violence and the figure of a youth hurling a lighted hand grenade has come to symbolize the movement. It was an anarchist, after all, who murdered an archduke and triggered World War I, and anarchists are blamed for the violence and pillaging committed during recent protests in Bogotá.
|Scenes from the Spanish Civil War, where anarchists and |
communists battled fascists and each other.
|An anti-authoritarian short story contest.|
By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours