One of the go-to critiques of anarchism is essentially that “if there isn’t hierarchy and the constant fear of having no shelter or food, then no one will do any work”. So let’s talk about it: can we work without a boss breathing down our necks?

We already do! While the threat of homelessness is probably needed to get someone working 70 hours a week doing something they hate to make billionaires more profit, people do actually want to help each other. Doing labour to care for your community is something people have been doing since long before shareholders ever existed. Even while exhausted from labouring for shit bosses, many people are still so compelled to care for others that they help their older neighbours by taking the bins out, go litter picking, have friends crash for extended periods, cook for each other, and provide emotional support. With covid-19, as governments failed, we saw communities come together in mutual aid. Setting up local networks to check up on each other and make sure urgent needs got met and distribute supplies.

How can we apply these principles of voluntary contribution more, especially within activism? See a job, do the job. Make anarchy reality by not waiting on someone else to do what you see needs doing. People talking to cops at demos? You print some bust cards with advice on why we shouldn’t talk to cops and links to further resources to help people navigate interactions with filth. Community fridges, copwatch groups, and so many other campaigns have all started with someone simply deciding that they weren’t gonna wait for someone else to address the issue but get started themselves. Write to prisoners, check in on your mates, take down ads and cover fascist graffiti. Anarchy is found in action.

It takes a lot of hoarding of resources and propaganda to make people think we don’t want to care for each other when we really do. Fight like all we have is each other, because it’s true.

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