In short, to say we are concerned with poverty is to say we are concerned with improving the quality of life of those amongst us whose lives are made more difficult, more deprived and more dangerous by a persistent lack of adequate material resources. Putting the matter this way is crucial, because it indicates a concern not just with the poor as statistics, but the poor as holistic human beings who need and deserve to be recognized as whole persons
The Mayor’s Anti-Poverty Commission Report
You too can stay up late reading the report, which is posted online here.
Anarchism covers lots of different things— If there’s one leading principle which unifies them, it’s a simple one. It’s based on the assumption that any structure of authority and domination has to justify itself- none of them are self-justifying. Whether they’re in individual relations, or international affairs, or the workplace, or whatever- they have a burden of proof to bear, and if they can’t bear that burden (which they usually can’t), they’re illegitimate and should be dismantled and replaced by alternative structures which are free and participatory and are not based on authoritarian systems.
Sometimes they can be justified, so it’s not that it’s always impossible. Like if I’m walking down the street with my 3-year old granddaughter and she races into traffic, and I grab her arm and pull her back that’s an authoritarian relationship. But if challenged, I don’t think it would be hard to give a justification for that relation of authority.
—Noam Chomsky (I like this quote)