V for Vendetta - What Is Anarchism? | Renegade Cut



people should not be afraid of their governments government should be afraid of their people V for Vendetta is a graphic novel written by Alan Moore with art by David Lloyd it depicts a near future England that has become a fascist police state one individual stands up to the government known only as V the limited comic series contains Alan Moore's personal politics most notably anarchism the film version which did not involve more presented a similar fascist government but removed nearly all mentions of anarchism say for a few oblique references and some of its aspects and features under different names this was perhaps an effort not to disenfranchise its target audience who in 2006 were more keen to rebel against the waning George W Bush administration then adopt anarchism s their political philosophy anarchism is seen as an extremist worldview but much of that is based on misconceptions about what anarchism actually is in the graphic novel viva marks on this misunderstanding telling Evy that anarchism is not about chaos anarchism does not mean without laws it means without rulers anarchism is generally not about planting bombs and throwing bricks through windows VIII engages in violence but this is the direct result of living under a fascist government and Vees understandable desire to overthrow it in practice anarchism assembly a system of voluntary cooperation with a limited or non-existent hierarchy chaos is actually the opposite of what anarchism hopes to achieve anarchism states a social hierarchy a system that ranks people in various degrees of authority does not justify itself the Norse fire party of V for Vendetta contains a social hierarchy a leader pictured here in big brother vision his immediate underlings meaning the heads of various departments lesser government officials under them like fingerman V for Vendetta is lethal police force and everyone else people without authority unless justification for a social hierarchy can be plainly given the it is illegitimate and should be dismantled this is what anarchists believe anarchists like V believe that the burden of proof to justify this authority lies with the government and since the government cannot justify its hierarchy and all the problems that come with it said government must be removed and be replaced with something more egalitarian anarchism or Anarchy or anarchists are often words used pejoratively and as synonyms for chaos or lawlessness even I have used it erroneously as shorthand but philosophically and politically that is simply not true anarchism does not reject all Authority only coercive Authority 19th century anarchist and philosopher Emma Goldman once wrote anarchism is the great liberator of man from the Phantom's that have held him captive it is the arbiter and pacifier of the two forces for individual and social harmony to accomplish that unity anarchism is declared war on the pernicious influences which have so far prevented the harmonious blending of individual and social instincts the individual and society so what does V believe well as a self-described anarchist v undoubtedly opposes both capitalism and the state V for Vendetta was originally written during the days of Margaret Thatcher under the tenants of Thatcherism capitalism was seen as synonymous with freedom which is a kind of doublespeak in reality capitalism grants incredible power and freedom among the few and grants lesser resources and therefore lesser freedom to everyone else the leader of the Norse fire party Adam Susan in the comic and Adam sutler in the film retains some of these properties from Thatcher in the film capitalism in the form of a pharmaceutical company helps uh sure in fascism some would call this an abuse of capitalism but anarchists would say that this is the standard usage and intended outcome of capitalism consolidation of power and authority capitalism is guided by private ownership of the means of production and artists like V would oppose this because workers are subject to the will of their employers and because those struggling to make ends meet do not have a perfect safety net in the comic evey is forced to become a sex worker in the film she works at a television station and believes that her boss is trying to seduce her the twist is that she is mistaken her boss is a homosexual but this is something workers generally face exploitation by a capitalist hierarchy sidenote anarcho-capitalism is a misuse of the term anarchism and it has virtually nothing to do with anarchism and is actually a diametrically opposed right-wing ideology it's a co-opting of left-wing terminology capitalism and the state are intertwined they feed each other keeping each other in power in the film we see this as a rich television host who is also a puppet of the Norse fire party for anarchists the state is a powerful institution that monopolizes the use of violence and marks out territory for which it can exercise and maintain said violence this might seem hyperbolic at a glance but think about it the state is allowed to perform violence the police can arrest us and shoot us we are obviously not allowed to arrest the state or shoot the state meaning the police the military is allowed to invade the borders of other states and kill people who are under the rule of that state we are not so the statement op Eliza's violence by claiming exclusive ownership of it in V for Vendetta the fingerman use violence against Evie later they use violence against her boss – anarchists state violence is unacceptable and we see an example of the peoples breaking point here as they finally exercise violence against a fingerman who has killed someone one could argue that the state only uses legal violence but that is the point the state decides what they may do they create the rules for themselves and when they break the rules the power of the same state defends themselves from prosecution more often than while the voters in V for Vendetta might believe that electing a new leader with less abhorrent politics is the only answer v concludes that the state itself is unnecessary and may be causing more harm than good this is generally what anarchists believe not all anarchists believe that the state must be destroyed by violence though anarchists are typically not well V anarchic are pacifism is a brand of anarchism for example anarchists in principle generally oppose other powerful systems and other negative aspects of society that are sometimes indoctrinated by the state and contain hierarchies such as racism homophobia and transphobia in V for Vendetta homosexuality is outlawed Eevee's employer a homosexual must remain closeted racism and Islamophobia are also referenced in the film anarchism believes in an egalitarian society and because of this racism homophobia sexism and other forms of discrimination are rejected v sings about this in this vicious cabaret a song from the graphic novel that is unfortunately absent from the film adaptation remember anarchists believe that hierarchies do not justify themselves which means social hierarchies that create discrimination are rejected under anarchism so what does V want what do anarchists want well in contrast to what popular culture and dictionary illiteracy contends anarchists do not want chaos an anarchist is not someone who spray paints an a on the side of a building because they think that makes them cool anarchists want there to be laws but they want those laws to be created by consensus an anarchist society is horizontal not vertical meaning it would aim to diminish or outright dismantle social and economic hierarchies anarchism is not a lawless post-apocalyptic Mad Max world anarchism is more like revolutionary Spain in the 1930s before the fascists took over or the many anarchist communities and cities across the world in the present day when V believes his work is done and prepares for his Viking funeral the England that he leaves behind is not meant to be one of disorder it is simply meant to be one of a new order anarchism is not something that happens overnight like at the end of the film it's more of an incremental process also anarchism does not mean never participating in our current government like voting because not participating in the government in one way or another would leave it open to greater control by unsavory dangerous entities anarchists vote and participate and try to make the world better in fact 20th century anarchist writer Edward Abbey once said anarchism is democracy taken seriously I hope this has been helpful in defining anarchism and dispelling some myths about what it is and what it is not since anarchist decisions are made communally there is no one version of what a society built upon anarchism looks like in V for Vendetta we only know what England will not be following the uprising it will not be fascism anymore more than anything fascism runs contrary to everything the fictional V and real world anarchists believe in England under Norse fire meets nearly all the criteria for fascism as outlined by dr. Lawrence Britt powerful and continuing nationalism disdain for the recognition of human rights identification of enemies or scapegoats as a unifying cause rampant sexism controlled mass media obsession with national security obsession with crime and punishment and more people who live under an oppressive regime sometimes do not realize it is happening until it is happening directly to themselves and even then some people are to borrow a phrase comfortable in their chains the citizenry of V for Vendetta according to V himself believe in what Norse fire did to take power because of the offer of safety security is often the rallying cry of fascism us-and-them these actions are questionable Alan Moore originally wanted his readers to wonder whether or not V was justified in what he did after all he committed violence this is a question that has re-entered popular consciousness with the rise of people with fascist worldviews attempting to gain power and shift the Overton Window how can we peacefully coexist with monstrous people who are not trying to coexist with us but rather eliminate us obviously there is a great deal of middle ground between fascism and anarchism but presented with the horrors of the far-right extreme of the fascist state can a moderate position truly be enough to destroy it historically speaking that has not been true how many criteria of fascism is necessary to be achieved before people are justified in taking greater action one half most at the point of most after power has been consolidated it may be too late hi everyone if you like what I do please click on the orange patreon link below that's how this show happens it's also how you can request an episode there are also a lot of other perks for being a patron so check it out the information is on my patreon page please remember to Like share and subscribe I'll see you next week




Comments
  1. There is a myth that fascism was extinguished with a single bullet in a bunker in Berlin in 1945, but fascism is alive and well and rules over the world entire. The US is its standard bearer and primary practitioner rallying its clients to subjugate all and killing any who dare defy its dictates. There is very little velvet glove left, and the iron fist is stained with the blood of millions.

  2. I've often considered Anarchism not as a system for people to live under but a form of transition between one system to another.

  3. The political bias of this movie is astounding…I commend it for criticizing the sexual abuse within the Catholic Church but then of course, it refuses to criticise "that other religion". Very typical of the hypocritical left.

  4. Huh. That sounds more like my ideas about how Democracy should work than what I thought Anarchy was.
    Short version; in the currant system, we vote for politicians and politicians vote for laws, and on very rare ocasions, we vote for laws, but that’s only when we change the constitition like keeping/removing the Queen or adopting conscriotion. I think politicians should be allowed to SUGEST new laws but WE should vote for or against ALL laws, not just constitutional changes. I freely admit it’s not perfect, and won’t work in a country with too much religion, but better than Democracy as we know it.

  5. I have always LOVED this film, I first say it when I was thirteen years old and knew little about politics, but I have realized years later that it actually changed my life in how I saw structures of power

  6. It influenced a lot of egalitarian revolutionary thoughts, but it sadly inspired many far-right wing ideological movements as well. People who wear V masks and talk about fighting tyranny can fall under the Alex Jones AnCap hyper-tea party group quite often. I'm not sure whose fault that is, the filmmakers adaptation or the far-right searcing for justification or even Alan Moore himself, but I tend to think it was just the pieces falling together at the right time. History is weird like that.

  7. I think one of the reasons for the conflation with Anarchism and chaos is in part due to the bad tactics of the insurrectionary factions prevalent in the American labour movement, their plans were to destroy private property and workplaces to agitate the workforce, trouble is that only works if people already know what you stand for.

  8. Thank you very much for this video. One of those things I never knew I needed to hear until I heard it.

  9. Lovely analysis/definition of anarchism – (despite VfV being a pretty dire film, I think) – thank you.

  10. An enjoyable essay which reminded me of several of my university discussions. In history direct democracy has been tried, a version of which sometimes happened under the banner of anarchism in revolutionary 30s Spain. But the hierarchy within government, bureaucracy, private property & capitalism does not whither away. Why? I came to realize that the political theory, the iron law of oligarchy, explained why I saw hierarchies form even among well meaning radical college activists.

  11. Interesting. Of course, what has only been briefly mentioned is that anarchism sounds good on paper, but does not work in reality, especially not in a globalized world. Why? Simple: Humans are different. Therefore you will always have hierarchies, no matter how hard you try to dismantle them. There will always be people which are more intelligent, more charismatic or just stronger, who are going to impose their will on others. Anarchism just replaces formal hierarchy with informal hierarchy and in the end the rule of law is replaced by rule of the powerful. So yeah, anarchism is an interesting concept to philosophize about, nothing more.

  12. 10:16 This line reminds me of how people lost their minds when President Trump was elected. Black Americans were telling people for years how bad this country was and that it was extremely possible that he would defeat Hilary yet everyone ignored the warnings. The second President Trump was elected and made it clear that other groups would be targeted, then everyone had something to say. Everyone wanted to hold hands and fight the power.

  13. Amazing video! I learned so much. I had not much education on the subject of anarchism, but now I feel I finally understand it. I don't know if I'll consider myself an anarchist because I honestly feel humans have a way to ruin things, but I at least understand and appreciate people who do believe this way and respect their opinions.

  14. Personally I'm glad V is more of a Classical/Enlightenment Liberal revolutionary in the movie .. Anarchism ( particularly Anarco-Communism ) is overly simplistic Utopian Idealism in theory and downright dangerous and destructive in practice.

  15. Excellent stuff Leon, I was raised in a very right wing household that more or less treated fascism as being the norm and the 'proper way of things.' As such, I have often found your material both here and in Word Funk very challenging for the world view I've been raised with. You've really helped shine a light on the problems in the system I was raised to think of as 'normal.' UwU

  16. Glad to see someone that understands the concept of anarchist movement as oppose to the many who believe in the misconception

  17. Through the comic V does leave Britian in chaos in his wake. He destroy's probably the last remaining human society (since comic Britian is the survivor of nuclear Armageddon struggling with nuclear winter), and leaves it to rebuild itself or die.
    Which makes the conflic even less clear cut black and white movie version.

  18. this sounds like an ideology I can get behind. Thank you, Leon, for your educational material. I learned a lot today

  19. I was disappointed by the adaptation, there was a lot of wasted potential. A hot topic action movie was easier to green light. Children of Men handled certain aspects of this scenario better, or at least with more nuance.

    Thanks for this, your videos are one of the highlights of YouTube. I need to watch all of Tarkovsky's films before going though your analysis.

  20. As someone with Anarchist leanings, I have to thank you for doing some good research (as usual!) and presenting the ideas in an interesting way. It's a shame the film left out so much of those ideas as it loses some of it's moral depth and become more of a good vs evil story. Ehh Hollywood shrugs

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