In an interview with The Vast Minority, writer Paul Cudenec calls for anarchists to unite in "total opposition" to the global capitalist system. He says he is trying to unearth the primal force behind the philosophy and argues that anarchism has the potential to become a new "religion" for the current age.
Q : Your book The Anarchist Revelation is very much focused around presenting an anarchist spirituality. Why ?
That’s the question I hopefully go some way to answering over the course of some 150 pages ! In short, there are two separate, and yet interwoven, strands. Firstly there is the individual question – how can an alienated individual such as an anarchist, who is sane enough to find the contemporary capitalist world insane, carry on living in that world ? Involvement in the anarchist struggle is part of the answer, but you also need something more than that, some greater perspective to fall back on in times of doubt or isolation.
I think anarchism, historically, has always offered a depth of vision that can sustain and propel an individual through adversity but, if we start to regard anarchism not as a life-philosophy but as a narrowly defined social movement, we will lose contact with that vital force.
Secondly, there’s the spiritual depth of the anarchist movement as a whole. To me, it stands opposed to the modern materialist mindset at a fundamental level. It’s not just that we reject all those assumptions about the legitimacy of authority, property or privilege, but we also reject the blinkered and one-dimensional thinking of the current age.
Anarchy is lateral thinking, creative thinking, poetic thinking in many ways, and in that it has a lot in common with something like Sufism, the esoteric strand of Islam. It’s not stuck on the one level - like Marxism is, for example. And I think we need to reconnect to that imaginative and fluid side of anarchist thought.
Q : But there’s a difference between the vitality or fluidity of a philosophy and this idea of “spirituality”. Why does that come in ? Why does it have to come in ?
Spirituality for me is all about using the parts of our mind