What is Christian Anarchism, and Is It Useful Today? by Rocket Kirchner

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by Rocket Kirchner
Writer, Dandelion Salad
Rocket Kirchner (blog)
Rocket Kirchner (youtube channel)
Originally published April 26, 2011
May 7, 2016

First off, Anarchism is not anarchy. It is simply people living together in Anarcho-syndicalist communities as in the examples of Spain and Mexico in the last century, with no need for governments. It is as old as man. However, since the late 18th century six very different intelligent schools of Anarchism have developed that are distinct and worthy of examination, including Christian Anarchism.

1. William Godwin is called the father of modern Anarchism. “Political justice and its influence on morals and happiness” is an Anarchist manifesto on the murderous and immorality of all governments. Godwin believed that small communities were the antidote to the problem.

2. Max Sterner was a Hegelian Philosopher. He took the existential view of Anarchism by proposing that the synthesis between the individual and the union of egoists would free people from all restraints.

3. Prouden said that “all property was theft”. He had a real big influence on Marx. He also came up with the idea and format for the Anarcho-syndicalist community theory today as we know it.

4. Bakunin was an amazing intellectual that just out and out said that only violent overthrow of governments was the answer because human animality, thought, and rebellion were the driving forces in history.

5. Kropotkin sought to explain that historically humans have always put “mutual aid” before individual survival, because collective survival took precedence in the human mind. He saw Anarchism as an inevitable organic process in history in which governments will eventually fade away.

6. Tolstoy was a Christian Anarchist that rejected all forms of tyranny, including personal desires. His second to last book he wrote was called The Kingdom of God is within you. For Tolstoy it was no governments, no churches, and no selfish desires. In his later years he lived as an ascetic and pacifist who had an enormous influence on Gandhi.

After spending over 20 years of studying these six approaches, I think that the first five come up lacking. Why? Because they all accept that human nature is basically good enough to correct itself on its own. Even Bakunin in all his piss and vinegar had that in common with the rest. This all begs the question: can even the best of these systems be effective enough to sustain its goals? IF so, then how, and if not then what do we think of the alternative of Tolstoyan Christian Anarchism that seeks to transform human nature? Since all of us worldwide as one human race are oppressed by corporate Empires, and the temptation to overthrow them via mob mentality, and we are given in to our own selfish desires, i think that Christian Anarchism just may be the way out of this 21st century mess. It worked for the early followers of Jesus as they resisted the Roman Empire.

Christian Anarchism is the alternative to the violent models of other forms of Anarchism. It strikes at the core of what causes conflicts in the outer world, which is namely conflicts we carry around in us in our inner world. And it has what the three missing ingredients that the other forms lack: love, hope, and freedom from the cruel dominion of the self which is the source of all tyranny. So, wrap it up … I’ll buy it … though it may cost me my life.

Suggested links:

Leo Tolstoy – Christian Anarchist

Bonhoeffer on Idealism and Community

Margaret Pfeil on Dorothy Day’s anarchism



Chris Hedges: The Legacy of Father Daniel Berrigan

Dorothy Day: Our Problems Stem From Our Acceptance of This Filthy, Rotten System by Richard Sahn

Christianity and Anarchism

Chomsky on Anarchy and Anarcho-Syndicalism + Transcript + Chomsky: Current Economic System Is ‘Pure Savagery’

Noam Chomsky: What is Anarchism? + Q&A


10 thoughts on “What is Christian Anarchism, and Is It Useful Today? by Rocket Kirchner

  1. Pingback: Dorothy Day: Our Problems Stem From Our Acceptance of This Filthy, Rotten System by Richard Sahn – Dandelion Salad

  2. Pingback: From Cover to Cover The Bible is Anti-Empire by Rocket Kirchner | Dandelion Salad

  3. “There are passages in Proudon’s works that read as if he is praying to God… as distinguished from Marx’s sometimes antiseptic atheism.”

    • Yes , But in the early Marx you have a strong attraction toward the gospel of Christ because Marx viewed the New Testament as a rebellion against alienation , the same as what Marx saw in 19 Century Europe .

      Except in the later Marx he adopts Dialectical Materialism after reading Fueuerbach’s critique of Christianity . It has been downhill ever since for Marx and the Anarchists of his day rebelled to such a heavy hand of Communistic Tyranny and got kicked out of the International .

      • Interesting post Rocket. Cogent and clear.

        I’ve been thinking about holocracy, an intriguing term that seems to resonate with these ideas, first coined evidently by Arthur Koestler in his (1967) The Ghost in the Machine.

        I think we might usefully suggest ‘indigenous holocracy’ as an adequate concept that even Tolstoy might approve of, denoting spirit, instinct, community and nature, in one empathetic trope.

        It seems to me these principles are grounded and embedded in the inarguable truth, that freedom is the beautiful flower of a religious understanding, whose root is universal being.

        The idea that humans must huddle and suffer in bondage to the dark lords of society, forever indebted to their metered capital, is wholly restrictive; both corrupt and corrupting.

        It disallows us ~ actually, forbids ~ our spiritual birth-right; to apprehend the cosmic presence of our sacred Star-Sun as both the paradigmatic essence of inter-planetary being and the abundant source of near limitless life energy ~ totally free to all, irrespective of gender or heredity.

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