May 1, 2009
The local (Chicago) group I am involved with, Four Star Anarchist Organization, recently celebrated its one-year anniversary by publishing its guiding Statement of Principles. This is meant to be a short and accessible overview of our politics and goals, without going into detail on strategy or specific ideological points (we’ll address those, as they arise, in other published statements). It’s rather difficult to collectively write political statements –especially short ones — that aren’t laden with jargon or anarchist in-group terminology, but I think we did a decent job. We also made an effort to talk more about what we want, rather than just throwing out a laundry list of things we opposed. Feedback is, of course, appreciated.
Here is the statement in full:
The Four Star Anarchist Organization believes all people must have control over the basic conditions of their lives. Core values of cooperation, equality, and direct democracy guide our struggle toward a free society that transforms our relationships with our neighborhoods, workplaces, culture, the world in which we live, and each other.
- In our families, women, children, and all members must have equality and freedom from violence. We must be free to develop healthy, supportive relationships of our choosing as opposed to living conditions and arrangements resulting from economic, religious, cultural, or government coercion.
- In our neighborhoods, community and economic development must be freely decided by all. All people are entitled to quality housing, safe communities, healthcare, education, and other necessities of life.
- In our workplaces, we must have direct democratic control over the conditions of our labor and effort. Bosses must be replaced by the cooperative decisions and actions of those who work in homes, stores, offices, hospitals, schools, factories, and all other workplaces. This work must be based on fulfilling real needs rather than creating profits for the wealthy.
- In our communities, people must be free to develop and maintain culture–art, music, sport, and food–that reflects the best part of daily life in our society. Justice, respect, and passion can only thrive in a world where our popular culture is both social and cooperative.
- In our world as a whole, we must engage scientific principles and appropriate technologies to ensure a thriving and sustainable planet for all. Most people are experts on their own needs and we are able to solve even the biggest problems when we work together.
Four Star is committed to struggling against the lethal combination of oppression and domination that characterizes life in our society: capitalism, white supremacy, patriarchy, environmental devastation, and the state. Our vision is to help develop affinity and empower people by providing direct support to groups, communities, and individuals who are identifying solutions in their lives. To make this happen, we involve ourselves with social movements and promote anarchism, direct democracy, and militant direct action.