The anarchist conception of an individual is simple, it says: “human beings are too complex and forever incalculable”. It can never put a person within a prescribed box of analysis or “science” from which all the grand theories and schools of thought spring.
There are only two truisms anarchists hold. From the classical liberals and romantics we have learned of the innate human urge and instincts for freedom, collective action and creating beautiful and radiant things. From the realists we have learned of the human potential for cruelty and domination. This later urge being the result of and reproduced by actions of alienating institutions which want to dull the other aspirations of human beings through its mechanical beat for the intrests of the few.
The urge for love and liberty and the possibility of domination are always in conflict. And anarchism being an ideology of change in the service of liberty and freedom, we put the actions of the realist’s institutions on tribunal of the moral principles of classical liberalism – the principle of freedom from all hierarchical and coercive institutions.
An anarchist enquiry into the social questions can only be the study of these two human possibilities. Through such an enquiry we hope to better understand our lives under the dead weight of all the institutions past and present. The full understanding of an individual has, and as Hume said, will ever shall remain outside the scope of human knowledge.
This kind of enquiry will rightly, never form any grand theory but through this social imagination can end the spell of hopeless and inaction.