An excerpt from a recent entry on the always interesting Ladypoverty blog:
“There are a few things you should know about before we get started. The path ahead of us will not be easy, so I’m going to use a couple different maps. I’ve adapted these maps as they relate to my own experiences. Let me briefly say something about them here.
“The first map that I want to bring up in this context is a map called anarchism. Anarchism is the idea that all authority is wrong unless it can prove that it isn’t wrong. Authority is when somebody tells you what to do. In other words, nobody should ever tell you what to do unless they can justify it — to you. If they can’t do this, anarchists will challenge the claim until they do.
“The second map I’m going to use is a map called Marxism. To me, Marxism is concerned with how people make the things they need in order to survive. For many of us today, this happens within a context which Marx called the capitalist mode of production; or, the capitalist way of producing what we need to survive. Marx was particularly focused on this way of producing things; and he looked at it in a way that fits nicely with anarchism: the capitalist way of making things often “tells us what to do” in ways that other approaches might not. Marxism fits into the broader project of anarchism because it focuses on a particular form of authority.
“The third general map that I want to talk about is feminism. Feminism also fits into anarchism’s broad goals insofar as it challenges anything that tries to tell women what to do. Sometimes it’s men that try to tell women what to do; at other times institutions; still yet, it can be other women. Feminism challenges any form of authority which tries to tell women what to do.
“What we see coming out of these maps is the general principle laid out by anarchism, which is expressed within specific relationships. If someone tries to tell you what to do because you are gay or because of the color of your skin or any other reason, to challenge this would constitute a specific struggle while at the same time satisfy anarchism’s general rule. When human beings try to tell animals or the environment “what to do,” that fits in as well, if a little differently. The important point is that we all have to draw maps which come out of our own experiences and interests; anarchism encourages us to learn from each other as we do.”