No political philosophy I ever heard of loves the human race as much as anarchism. Every other way of looking at the world says that people have to be controlled, and ordered around, and governed. Only the anarchists trust human beings enough to let them work it out for themselves.
Gregory David Roberts – “Shantaram” p.509
ausmisterfrank - about me:
Born in the fifties and educated in the clearly not United Kingdom and Ulster - we heard news even as kids and I loved short wave on a beautiful old wooden-cased valve radio in our bedroom. (Learned what propaganda sounded like pretty quickly and listened to Radio Tirana as satire.) Precocious readers both, me and my little brother in school uniforms from about 4 years of age living with mum and dad in a semi-detached front and back garden house with a sports field behind it. Dad had an allotment too. School- Boys Grammar, quite good- when I wanted to be. A teenager with a Che poster on my bedroom wall - painted it my self in art class. A year in-between, with me working and being on the dole before uni. - BA. Literature, Essex - a very small 2200 student early-60s campus grouping of six fifteen storey tower-blocks for us and a central block with piazzas for them. Met lots of nice people in the park! and lived and took part in post-68 rearguard actions of rebellion and resistance. Student life and student politics a decade after Paris, wishing we'd been there. Hearing almost daily the shooting exercises of the second biggest garrison of british soldiers in England just across the river from our student accommodation in the towers. Knowing that the troops would be shooting for real in Northern Ireland.
I have been influenced by the Beatles, Pink Floyd “Soft Machine” and “Gong”, the counter-culture of the early- and mid-1970s,and also by the writings of Peter Kropotkin and of Colin Ward (Anarchy in Action), Gerrard Winstanley and the Diggers, the anarchist collectives in the Spanish revolution, New Musical Express, Undercurrents magazine, and by the late Stephen Housego, B.A., M.A..
I am a member of the Niederkaufungen commune in Germany, one of the Kommuja network of communities, where I have now lived since the end of the 1990s.
What I do
For the first eight years I worked on our organic dairy farm. For the last few months of 2007 and the start of 2008 I worked part-time in our farm dairy, making cheese, and part-time in our commune kitchen, cooking for the over 70 people who live here.
From mid-March 2008 until mid-May, I toured Italy (where I lived in the 1980s) with my austrian partner, Martina, working on organic farms in Liguria and on the Isle of Elba at Teams 4 Nature (WWOOFing), and visiting the intentional community of Bagnaia near Siena, Tuscany. (See Bagnaia - Core Principles). On returning to the commune here, I concentrated on orchard care, apple harvesting and making juice. In the winter season, 2008 -2009, I was involved in orchard landscaping (hedging etc), fruit-tree planting and further orchard work. In 2008, Martina helped at the start of the new community at Augendobl in Austria, After a further early summer visit to Teams 4 Nature on Elba with Martina, I spent Summer 2009 partly in the orchards, partly in the dairy and partly in the kitchen, and she spent the summer here in Niederkaufungen in the commune.
I am a member of the Obstmanufaktur collective here, and now work fully in the various activities connected with orchards, fruit and juice.
Martina remains based in Vienna and continues to be actively involved in the Austrian community movement - see: Austrotopia.
At present, (Summer 2011) I am on sabatical in Austria, where I am involved in the Viennese community movement, especially with a group of people discussing the foundation of farm collectives/communes here. See: Hof Kollektive page - German
I am editor of our entries in the directories here at ic.org and GEN Europe, as well as author of "Somewhere over the rainbow....1986 - 2006. Twenty years of commune life, Kommune Niederkaufungen." I am also an occasional contributor to CALL. Over the years I have been a contributor to a variety of other periodicals, mostly in Great Britain, Italy and Germany. In addition, I write poetry and lyrics, and for several years sang and played drums in our commune band, "Menschliches Versagen" (Human Error).
Up to now, I have posted articles about historical communities in Germany, especially where little or no english language material is available, as well as on other communal themes, such as anarchist communities, which I think I have the experience and competence to write about. I would be very happy if other users could improve and add to the "stub" texts that I have posted. I will be adding new articles in the coming months.
As well as occasionally improving the format of my articles so that they are closer to the usual Wikipedia format, in June 2009 I started to post articles at the CounterCulture Wiki.
For the last 25 years I have been a member of various anarcho-syndicalist organisations, mostly sections of the International Workers' Association. At present I am a member of the ASN - Allgemeines Syndikat Nordhessen (anarcho-syndicalist "General Union of North-Hessen"). I am also a member of "Freies Radio Kassel", Kassel's free radio station, where, with other anarchists, we have broadcast the programme "LILI", (Libertarian Information, Local Initiatives) for the last ten years.
What I believe
“HERE AND NOW IS FLOATING ANARCHY.” (Planet Gong 1977)
“In all is a spirit everlasting, none can end what does not die; it with us joins, through youth to age to other flesh: this any one can spy. “ (Baghavad Gita.)
“Have your fun whilst you’re alive, You won’t get nothing when you die, Have a good time all the time, Because you won’t get nothing when you die.” (Chumbawamba 1993.)
This is what I believe and includes some of what I believe anarchism is. Here and now. My beliefs are always changing, because life is always changing, unstable, evolving. (Beliefs are subjective ideas based on experiences and our reaction to those experiences. So they change depending on what happens to us, or how we consciously choose what happens – we can be self-programming beings if we want.) Some quotes are from other people. Some ideas are worth repeating. I think that you and I are living in interesting times. Here and now.
I am a product of the Enlightenment. “Cogito ergo sum”. (Rene Descartes.) “I think, therefore I am.” Or “I doubt and question, therefore I am.”
I believe that it is natural and necessary to ask ourselves questions about who we are and about who we think we are. The way each one of us behaves and the ways in which we may wish to behave depend a lot on the answers which we get to these questions. I believe that by questioning myself (as well as questioning the social, political and economic systems in which I live) I will arrive at a wider and more detailed self-awareness. However, this self-awareness is not, and will not be, static or fixed, but changing and (hopefully) flexible. I believe that this awareness will be an awareness of my strengths, weaknesses and limits (real and imagined). I hope that it gives me the possibility to work within my limits, overcoming some of them, and to overcome my hang-ups. I believe that self-awareness is different from an arrogant self-confidence based on the belief that I am always right.
I am not always right. But I am still always asking questions, and the answers which I get lead me to make certain moral and ethical judgements.
“The most important fact about the sexes, men and women, is the common humanity we share, not the differences that distinguish us. “ Ann J. Lane.
I am a rational, thinking person, male, believing that in all important ways, male and female are equal.
“Every man and woman is a star.” I believe that within each person, male and female, there are sparks of something greater. We all share the light of reason and the breath of life. We are all equal in this. No one person is “better” or “higher”. No one person is more spiritual or less spiritual, more evolved or less evolved. No one person is more deserving or more important than another. We are all different, but we all have equal needs; for clean air, clean water, nutritious food, shelter and love. Equal, here, does not mean exactly the same. Individuals need different quantities of food, drink and love. However, each individual man and woman needs these things: in that we are all equal.
This equality of needs and the equal satisfaction of these needs should be the basis of social, political and economic life.
One of the main ideas of anarchism is “mutual aid”, helping each other; cooperation instead of competition, sharing with one another instead of trading. I believe that a society based on cooperation is preferable to a society based on competition. I believe that a society based on sharing is preferable to one based on buying and selling.
Anarchy literally means “without government”. It does not mean without organisation or coordination. I believe that organisation should be “horizontal” not hierarchical. I want to live and work in collectives of equals. I want these collectives to be part of networks of collectives. (The idea of GEN – the Global Ecovillage Network, is one example of how this could be).
As I believe that we are all “equal”: I believe that to discriminate because of differences such as sex/gender, skin-colour, age or ability is wrong.
I believe that each person should act and behave in a non-sexist, non-racist and reasonably tolerant way towards other people. I also believe that I have to behave this way before I can expect others to do so. (But I also believe that the “reasonable tolerance” should have limits).
I believe that I have the right (perhaps also the duty) to resist sexism, racism, militarism, ecological destruction and other forms of oppression and exploitation when and where possible, especially where and when they directly effect me. This is a right to self-defence against systems and ideologies which are trying to use me, a right to self-defence against people who are trying to put me down. And I believe that each one of us has the right to help our friends and comrades.
Which brings me back to mutual aid. Large parts of society are already based on voluntary cooperation and sharing. Anarchy is not an idealistic Utopia (which means “nowhere” – the opposite of here/now!). Anarchy already exists along side hierarchy, patriarchy and capitalism. Lifeboats on the coasts, volunteer fire-brigades, first aid helpers on demonstrations, WWOOFing, lots of clubs, associations, political groups; they all have elements of anarchism in them. And in many poor parts of the world people would not be able to survive without cooperation and sharing. The governments in the majority of countries exploit and oppress, want profits not happy, healthy citizens, pay soldiers and police more than teachers and nurses. People survive because they help one another, because cooperation and sharing are “natural”. That is anarchy. Here and now.
External Links - Organisations:
Kommune Niederkaufungen My commune's german language homepage with one English text about the commune.
Network of German Political Communes Kommuja german language homepage with one English text about the core principles of the network.
German Anarcho-syndicalist homepage German language homepage of ASN and educat.
International Workers Association homepage IWA homepage in English and Spanish.
Freies Radio Kassel Kassel's Free Radio station homepage (German)
Co-op Ritorno alla Terra Cooperative "Return to the Earth" homepage (Italian).
Teams 4 Nature association - Elba (Italian + German)
HaNoar HaOved VeHaLomed Socialist Youth Movement with urban communes and kibbutzim.
Mettanokit - The Circle Way Mettanokit is a non-profit learning center and service organization working for a more human society based on the old values of cooperation and equality and the closeness and caring found in our elder tribal societies.
External Links - Resources:
"Strange women lying on their backs in ponds handing out swords.......that's no basis for a system of government."
Dennis in "Monty Python and the Holy Grail".(See Revolting Peasants link below.)
- Anarcha.org (Source of some images).
- Anarchopedia Over 4,000 articles about anarchy.
- @narchy @rchives Biographies and Texts.
- libcom. org News, reports, and lots of articles about libertarian history and politics.
- Infoshop org - Online resource of news, opinion and information. Infos in English, Spanish, Portugese, Italian, German and French.
- Major Attempts at Utopias in History (Trivia Library.com) Some of the more famous historical communities. A couple more "Utopian" articles can be found at the main Trivia Library home page, and, of course, lots and lots of Trivia.
- CounterCulture Wiki With information about the wider background to the community movement.
- Freegan Info Strategies for Sustainable Living Beyond Capitalism.
- Anarchosyndicalism.net International english language anarchosyndicalist website, with Directory of Organisations and large collection of images.
External Links - Music:
Cocos Lovers A folk music collective from Deal, Kent (UK).
Gabriella Kapfer (Songbird) Gabriella weaves meditative sounds with cello, gongs, hand-crafted singing bowls and voice. (UK)
Ian Harris A composer and video film maker. (UK)
Ariella Uliano An Italiam singer and musician who has lived for many years in Britain.(UK)
Gong Still going strong, Daevid Allen, Gilli Smyth, and their band of floating anarchists..........
Lava 303 From Frankfurt. The Goddess rules!
Strom und Wasser Great political music.
External Links - Photography
kajaphotography.com Tanja Lindner in Berlin
Renzo Frontoni - NUJ Freelance Renzo Frontoni in London
- Design your own Utopia A pamphlet by Chaz Bufe with Libby Hubbard, See Sharp Press.
- List of anarchist communities in Wikipedia Rather more information than the @narchopedia article.
- Utopian socialism in French Wikipedia More detailed than the English Wikipedia article, with information about libertarian socialist communities. An english language article which appears to be based on the french Wikipedia article can be found at , however, it reads like a text which has been put through "Babelfish" and then typed backwards by an absinthe drinker!!!!
- Collectives in Spain by Gaston Leval Published by Freedom Press in 1945, this is an an abridged version of the first part of "Social Reconstruction in Spain", Leval's pamphlet from 1938.
- Italian Partisan Republics (Italian) Just as anti-fascists and anarchists in Spain organised autonomous structures after Franco's coup, so the italian anti-fascist movement organised autonomous republics in 1944.
- AIC "Kuzbass" The Siberian Autonomous Industrial Colony (AIC) "Kuzbass" was an international colony of workers (many IWW members) in Siberia between 1922 and 1926.
- Science with a Human Face The "Undercurrents" magazine manifesto.
- News from Nowhere by William Morris The complete text of this great Utopian Romance.
- Revolting Peasants (Monty Python) at infoshop.org The anarcho-syndicalist commune in the Holy Grail film showing the violence inherent in the system !
Middle East Information - Links list
A sort of explanation and disclaimer:
Like many other people in intentional communities, I have been horrified by both the annihilationist anti-semitism expressed in the Hamas Charter and by a number of Islamic leaders and countries, and by the scale of violence perpetrated on the Palestinians of Gaza by the Israeli Defence Forces and the apartheid situation in the occupied West Bank. I have also been disappointed by much of the reporting about the Middle East in the liberal, left and main-stream media, and by the “black and white” thinking behind it where one side is good, the other bad. I don’t believe it is that simple. Therefore, I have put together this list of groups which are, in different ways, attempting to promote human and civil rights in the area, which promote forms of non-violent resistance, and which are trying to promote understanding and reconcilliation between the peoples of the region. I am not directly involved with any of the groups, but have met members of one or two of them. The opinions and views expressed on the websites are not necessarily my views of the situation. Please use this list as a resource to find out more. Comments can be made on the discussion page.
Libertarian, Non-Violent and Feminist Organisations:
Anarchists Against The Wall 
International Solidarity Movement 
Holy Land Trust 
Black Laundry 
Coalition of women for a Just Peace 
Women in Black 
New Profile 
Bat Shalom 
Machsom Watch 
Yesh Gvul (Conscientious Objectors) 
Gush Shalom 
International Middle East Media Center 
The Palestine News Network 
WAFA - Palestine News Agency 
Ma'an News 
Indymedia – Israel 
Alternative Information Centre 
Jerusalem Media & Communications Center 
Civil Rights – Sites with Links Lists:
B’Tselem - Israeli I.C. Human Rights Occupied Territories 
Hamoked - Centre for the Defence of the Individual 
Gisha – Legal centre for Freedom of Movement 
International Communities Desk 
Kibbutz Lotan 
Yad Yaari – Kibbutz Arzi Documentation Centre 
Arab – Jewish Peace and Education Projects:
Neve Shalom – Wahat Al-Salam (Peace Oasis) 
N.S. – W.A.S. Peace School 
Givat Haviva Institute ( inc. Center for Peace) 
G.H.I. – “Face to Face” Program 
Hand in Hand – Bilingual Arab – Jewish Schools 
Bustan – Sustainable Community Action for Land & People 
Palestinian NGO Network 
Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (Jerusalem)