About

Anatman (n.) from Sanskrit: an(without) atman(unchanging soul, self, essential nature).

Anarchy (n.) from Greek: an(without)-arkhia(rulers).

This project is here to organize my thoughts related to anarchism, Buddhism and figuring out what a “Buddhist anarchism” might be, might have been or might become. In other words, I want to help answer Hakugen Ichikawa’s assertion that, “If Buddhism is to possess social thought, it will have to take the form of B-A-C, Buddhist-Anarchist-Communism”.

This means putting together a positive vision of Buddhist anarchist ideology and praxis which can be enacted in the world, Buddhist sangha, and our personal lives, alongside broader struggles for the expansion and protection of freedom everywhere. I’m not interested in taking a religious-sectarian position, such as Zen, Theravada, Pure Land, “Secular/mindfulness” etc, but in finding useful bits of history and philosophy which can lend support to this project. From an anarchist perspective I work from the assumptions of organized revolutionary anarchist communism, and attempt to incorporate compatible ideas from other radical social movement traditions whenever possible. I am, of course, inspired by anarchists like Leo Tolstoy, Martin Buber and Dorothy Day who synthesized their anarchist and religious beliefs. Part of this work is to find comparable figures in Buddhism, translate and explain their ideas, and complete them where it is necessary.

I’m writing from the perspective of a European-American (aka receiving the privileges of whiteness, patriarchy and settler-colonialism) practicing/studying Buddhism and anarchism since 2012. I didn’t grow up in a Buddhist culture or household, so my perspective on things is likely to differ from someone who has. I’m not an academic, a teacher, a philosopher or anything official like that. I mostly engage with theory from an activist perspective, looking for concepts which might my actions more effective. For now I just want to put my ideas out here so that others can adapt or critique them and bring us all closer to some kind of liberation in the process.

Sometimes I post things on twitter @wingulls1312