Socialism
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"Caring about each other and building connections. That's how we change the world."

— Aster Houweling; artist, activist, and spearhead


The Anarcho-Altruist flag.

Anarcho-Altruism is a political philosophy and Anarchist school of thought that combines tenets of Pacifism and Altruism, centered around Grassroots community efforts within a structure of Participatory Democracy. Participants of this theory are referred to by "anarcho-altruists" or simply "truists," and more specifically practice what's known as Effective Altruism: using evidence and reasoning to determine the most effective ways to benefit others, believing power should be vested in local communities and common members rather than isolated, atomized authority figures.

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Principles[]

Pacifism[]

Anarcho-Altruism relates to Pacifism in that its advocates don't wish to fight and will foremost try to come to peaceful resolutions. It defers in that it doesn't request everyone yield to non-violence for a truly pacifist world. Truist theory posits that so long as humans are fallible, there will always be injustices that will come about, and so too, require forces to push them back.

Truists believe in co-existence; that society needs both its pacifists and fighters, and that they must cooperate to protect the "sheep who would be eaten by wolves" i.e, so the pacifists won't have to turn into fighters and have their freedom to be peaceful protected while they offer supplies and support to those on the "front-lines" such as Black Bloc protesters.

It reconverges with Pacifism on the principle that when a cause steeps into hate-filled, senseless bloodshed, then support is withdrawn. Truists aren't fans of war, as those aren't causes which promote the well-being of the people first, leading to the death of innocents with shallow, capitalist rationale behind them.


Altruism []

"I'm no good at fighting-- I'm not a fore-front sort of person. [...] But I think I'm good at building connections; or at least, seeing the potential for connections. [...] If you're like me and cannot fight, I have a place for you to stay, and you can bet your bippy I'll protect it with all I've got."

— Houweling, in discussion on Anarcho-Altruism

Truists concern themselves with coalition building, educating, sheltering, and enabling others to be their best, and neither believe that resources should be hoarded or that they can be "stolen" in the abstract sense. The Truist response to scarcity would simply be to produce more or acquire more so that no one is arbitrarily turned away, and everyone is covered and accommodated, as they don't find the alternative morally palatable.

Mutual aid is of importance in anarcho-altruism. Though, not in such a detached and transactional way of "you scratch my back, I scratch yours," but simply attempting to achieve the most harmony with groups around them for efficient and fruitful living that benefits all involved.

Distinguishable from feelings of loyalty which is predicated upon a social relationship or reputation while Truist interest lies in meaningful, voluntary action to enhance quality of life in the absence of any quid pro quo external rewards.


Radical Kindness []

"Were we incapable of empathy – of putting ourselves in the position of others and seeing that their suffering is like our own – then ethical reasoning would lead nowhere. If emotion without reason is blind, then reason without emotion is impotent."

  — Peter Singer, Writings on an Ethical Life

Despite the focus on acts of kindness, Truists reject behaviourist notions of viewing human interaction as merely a science with certain exchanges equating to certain outcomes, and is wary also of encroaching allocentric "in-group" thought that may lead to conformist or only socially acceptable forms of kindness being presented as a way of "reclaiming the power of kindness."

Anarcho-Altruism offsets Egoism and the narcissist presumption of moral purity, of the opinion it can dilute objectivity and lead to justifying one's every action as "good." It asks that we challenge and examine critically our biases such as racism, to afford everyone basic dignity as opposed to only doing what feels good or appears "safe" and intuitively appealing. This kindness expands to caring for animals and the environment.

Though, Anarcho-Altruism encourages cooperation it is not without limits. Truists remain vigilant to the Paradox of Tolerance put forth by Karl Popper in which a society's ability to be tolerant will eventually be seized or destroyed by those exploiting its acceptance if intolerant, vindictive, or otherwise unethical behaviors are tolerated, and does not seek cordiality with fascists or other groups espousing questionable motives.

Goals[]

Truists aim to strike balance between collectivist and individualist ideals to create a positive-normative culture of cooperation and accountability in which people would freely partake, involving community led efforts to identify problems and solutions to those problems where all skills and perspectives from the elderly, disabled, neurodiverse, or queer— are valued. Truists feel this is possible, as study has observed the effects of volunteerism (as a form of altruism) on happiness and health and have consistently found a strong connection between helpful attitudes and overall well-being.

Not to be conflated with Anarcho-Communism, wherein no hierarchy exists. An Anarcho-Altruist society is closer to being described as "socialist," and may still have community leaders and experts who might act as "authority" on their given subjects.

Beliefs[]

"It's kindness that says 'fuck you' to people who try to use that kindness for bad things. Kindness that won't let you walk all over us."

— Houweling, on what it means to be Anarcho-Altruist

Anarcho-Altruism is humble in practice. Being a "good" person in the archetypical clean and Christian sense is not a prerequisite. Truists are not above mischievous, or rule-breaking behaviours as a means to raise awareness or make a point so long as no one is excessively harmed. Spite is often a motivator. Anyone can be Truist simply if they're genuinely willing to be kind where it counts. 

Truists believe in separating people from their behaviours. If one does a bad thing, it doesn't make theirself wholly bad and vice versa; unless a pattern of said behaviour is established, and then it begets questioning what are the roots of the behaviour and if it can be helped without making hasty assumptions so that no one is either unfairly condemned or unduly worshipped.

Knowing when to have temperance and patience, alongside wit, generousity and honesty (being true to one's self), are core virtues.

Anarcho-Altruism is not favorable of "Tankies"— I.e Marxism, Leninism, Stalinism and find such idealogy antithetical to its ideals.

History[]

The word "altruism" originated from French philosopher, Auguste Comte as altruisme, an antonym of egoism. Derived of the Italian word altrui and Latin alteri, meaning "other people" or "somebody else".

In congruence with this, the French phrase "la liberté implique le respect de la dignité, des convictions et de la vie d'autrui," translated to "freedom equals respect for the dignity, convictions, and lives of other people," shortened to "de la vie d'autri" or "for the lives of others," was chosen as a mantra of sorts to convey Anarcho-Altruist values.

The term was coined by Houweling's partner, Lucas F. Wainsworth, an intersex activist as well as Anarcho-Syndicalist in joint discussion. It was then further detailed by Houweling who self-identifies as anarcho-altruist and has since taken considerable strides for its advocacy,.

Though Truist lines of thought have existed for quite some time, it has only just recently been given credence as a succinct philosophy with an encompassing label and flags being created early September of 2020.

Iconography[]

Due to the animal's mass numbers and docile but energetic nature in association with "grass" (grassroots), the rabbit-- also known as Cooperative Rabbit or "Cooper" was adopted as a symbol of the movement similar to Anarcho-Syndicalist's Sabo-Tabby. Wainsworth was inspired to create an alike mascot, being a Syndicalist himself.

As well as other rabbits, Disney's Thumper, and the subsequent morals of the film he appears, make the character a welcome icon for one example.

The flag's colours are black, and mint-green or teal to evoke the feeling of freshness and lightness one might feel from engaging in good-will. In general, green imagery is tied to harmony and communication.

Teal in colour-theory:

  • Emotional Healing
  • Self Awareness
  • Initiative
  • Creative Thinking
  • Trustworthiness
  • Protection

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