Introduction to National-Anarchism
Classic Anarchism has often been defined as Anti-Authoritarian Socialism. In much the same way one could briefly describe National-Anarchism as Anti-Authoritarian Nationalism. It is a widespread idea that Nationalism is synonymous to Fascism because the nationalist identifies with the huge, governmental structure of the State. Nationalism, however, needn’t be focused on the State. Many years before the nineteenth-century ideas of large-scale “nation-state”, groups such as the Dutch Sea Beggars heralded another form of Nationalism: A Nationalism in which the Nationalist identifies not with the State but with his people, ethnic group or local community.
There have even been (and indeed there still are) people who reject the State and the underlying idea of power as the basic principle of society that such an institution implies, and instead pursue the outermost individual freedom but at the same time take pride in and cherish their ethnic background.
It is these people who can be designated National-Anarchists and their ideology as National-Anarchism.
National-Anarchism is thus connected to modern day Nationalism in much the same way as contemporary Anarchism is connected to Socialism. Anarchists like Bakunin and Kropotkin had the same agenda as the rest of the Socialist labour movement: to change radically the economic distribution within society and thus create an economically egalitarian society. Their means of reaching these goals, however, was different. In much the same manner National-Anarchists aim to create a society build upon traditional Nationalistic principles of Ethnic sovereignty, solidarity and self-sufficiency. But the National-Anarchist way of achieving this kind of society is different from that of the typical modern Nationalist.
National-Anarchist is, like the classic Anarchists, against authoritarianism and sees personal freedom as the most important principle in the world - thus rejecting the State and authoritarian organisations as a means of reaching a Nationalist society. National-Anarchism is therefore in opposition to the ideas currently dominating the nationalist scenes and which aim to seize State-power and push through the Nationalist ideals through force.
National-Anarchists realise that true Nationalist sentiment* must flow from the masses to the elite and not the other way around.
The National-Anarchist thus aims to create a kind of popular Nationalism in which the culture of his/her Nation is kept alive through a living, vibrant interest in the public for the culture of the Nation rather than through artificial State-support: A popular Nationalism in which people freely decide to indulge in their own culture.
National-Anarchism is, of course, not just an ideology that focuses on internal politics. To the ideology belongs also an idea of how to handle international relations and solve international problems. Going in-depth with this would make this text too long but basically National-Anarchists aim for an international system built on traditional Nationalist principles of sovereignty for all people and Anarchist ideas of a world of small, self-governing and self-sufficient political units.
Some might say that that such a combination cannot work as Anarchism and Nationalism cannot work together**. Upon further reflection I am confident, however, that most people will see that several things in fact relate Nationalism and Anarchism to one another. First and foremost both deologies are freedom-based. While Nationalism concerns itself with the freedom of thenational group, Anarchism concerns itself with the freedom of the individual.
According to the National-Anarchist idea these two forms of freedom - national and individual - can be combined: even more so they are each other’s preconditions! No group can be truly free if the individuals of that group are not free, because no individual who has a true, emotional attachment to a group feels free unless the group as a whole is free. Therefore any struggle for the freedom of a group - be it National, Religious, labour or otherwise - must at the same time be a struggle against general oppression for the freedom of the individual: from the liberation of the group should immediately stem the emerging of a decentralised society with local and individual self-determination. Therefore Anarchism and Nationalism complement each other excellently!
*Nationalistic sentiment here meaning the pride in and interest for one’s background - not national-chauvinist hatred or contempt for others!
**If, indeed, you can talk about a combination as the Anti-Authoritarian Nationalism we are referring to here as National-Anarchism is in fact much older than both Anarchism and the ‘nineteenth century-type’ pro-State ideology which is today associated with the term Nationalism.