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Friday, November 5, 2010

Anarchism and Polyamory (2010) zine

Dysophia 1 - April 2010
Anarchism is more than dry political theory. It is a set of principles by which we aspire to live. It is not just about challenging the status quo, but provides tenets through which we can solve problems and (re‐)define our relationships with the world around us. We shall not go into what we mean by anarchism in depth as that was covered in the first issue of dysophia. However, the basic concepts of anarchism used here are:
1. That all shall be free and equal.
2. That we extend mutual aid and solidarity (how far this should be extended is an open question…)
In this issue we look at polyfidelity and polyamory; that is, having multiple partners and lovers – something that bubbles constantly under the surface of mainstream society and within anarchist movements. Often where it does burst out into the open it is seen through the lens of traditional moral criticisms based on notions of patriarchy, ownership and attitudes to sex based more on religious morality and economic dominance than anything else.
Just as anarchism puts the power relations of economics under the microscope we should do the same for the relationships we have with our partners and lovers – often they are reflections of a society dominated by patriarchy and economic power which creates social norms that meets it own needs, not our own as individuals. Polyamory should not wait for the anarchist utopia – it is something we can practice here and now.
Too often people are dismissed or criticised for being open with their love and sex without considering whether it is society and traditional attitudes which are at fault. At the other end of the spectrum, ‘free love’ is used and abused in the name of anarchism.
Thus, this pamphlet makes the links between anarchism and open relationships while also discussing how much of what currently passes as polyamory among anarchists fails to address the problems of being polyamorous within modern society, something that is often overlooked in existing literature.
Whether you are new to this subject, or already involved in open relationships there should be something for you in the following pages. If the writings here encourage you to explore the practicalities of open relationships, we hope you take away some of the lessons learned, but we strongly suggest you read some of theother resources as well, including the practical guide “With Open Hands” (see Resources at end).
If you want to contribute an article to future print runs or have strong disagreements with the politics of polyamory as they have been set out here then please let us know. In the meantime, take care and enjoy yourselves.
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