BASE727: Yes you are right they need good role models, a Social-Anarchist like myself would be a great role model for the young people.
Shaun: No, I don't think it's a good idea for an anarchist to be a role model for kids. What are you going to tell them, that it's cool to break laws and treat people like crap?
Flint: I'm afraid you either don't know or are misrepresenting the anarchist position. Quite simply, anarchists don't think it is cool to break laws, but are quite willing to defy unjust laws through civil disobedience. Likewise, anarchists don't want to treat people like crap at all. The anarchist position is not one of total chaos, extreme indivuadlism, and nihlisitc destruction; rather it is the belief that people can live better free than they can while being oppressed. They are opposed to hierarchy in all its forms, be it sexism, racism, statism, capitalism, fascism, pick your own repugnant for of control. Now, there are different strains of though in what an ideal anarchistic society would be... some prefer individualism, others like co-operitive syndicates that trade between themselves, still others might prefer complete collectivizaiton in a commune. The important point (and how it differs from all other systems) is that participation is completely voluntary. Association is free. This is quite different from both the vanguardist communist position, and that of the "free"-market capitalist. Both ulimately threaten violence if you refuse to comply. Anarchists also generally seek to bring about their society in the same way they would like to see society, that is through voluntary acceptance. Noone can put a gun to your head and force you to be free. This is not to imply the just sit around waiting for utopia, rarther they are (as I mentioned) quite involved in civil-disobedience ranging from the simple distribution of literature (which a couple anarchists from the UK did to create the longest running trial in in that country's history and embaressed McDonald's for decades), "pirate" radio stations, Saving the Environment, creating modern schools to organizing revolutionary unions. Anarchists help bring the 8-hour day to the US workforce. They fought valianty against Franco and the Fascists in Spain, while carrying out a voluntary collectivization process and increasing production and efficency.
Such distinguished academics as Noam Chomsky, renowned linguist and media critics, and Murray Bookchin, social ecologist. There was even a Russian prince who rejected hierarchy. Speaking of Russians, Tolstoy could also becounted among those who sought to abolish the state.
If you'd like some further reading, I highly suggest you read
An Anarchist FAQ.
For further discussion, email me... or post to the Capitalism and the Alternatives board.
And, even if you disagree with anarchists, I think you'll have to agree that without them... we wouldn't enjoy so many of the freedoms we have.