An Anarchist Response to Ebola | Part Two: Envisioning an Anarchist Alternative

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by Carwil Bjork-James with Chuck Munson
November 29, 2015

Anarchists are part of the global conversation on what’s broken in the world, but when things really fall apart—like with the current Ebola outbreak—is the state the only answer? How might a stateless society respond to a challenge like this one? This article provides an anarchist response to these questions, while highlighting issues that require those of us with anarchist politics to carefully think through our position.

Key points:

  • Just as with the AIDS epidemic, grassroots movements can and should pressure state and corporate institutions to save lives today, while staying critical and building independent alternatives.
  • A future stateless society can and must maintain systems to support human health. These systems are generally more complex than other systems anarchists have maintained during moments of revolt, but doing so is feasible.
  • Too many anarchists offer critique and deconstruction under the banner of anarchism, but don’t speak as anarchists when they put forward large-scale alternatives. This has contributed to the idea that anarchist solutions are only local, low-tech, and limited.
  • On the other hand, health care systems, scientific research, and community systems of care reflect anarchist traditions of mutual aid, free association, and care for all people regardless of status or class.
  • Global recognition that #BlackLivesMatter means fighting back not just when Black lives are senselessly taken, but when insufficient value and material care are put forward to sustain them.

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