How Does Fight Club Represent an Anti-Corporate Anarchist Text?

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Understanding Through Media
(Advertising and Media student)
“How does Fight Club represent an anti-corporate Anarchist text?”

Module Leader: Gareth Longstaff
Student: Oleksandra Gurko
St. number: 10022661
Date of Submission:
Deadline: 14th December 2010
Word Count: 1633

In the world, there are always two opposite powers taking part in it: the order and chaos or the state and anarchism. There is one interesting thing that one without the other simply cannot exist. This essay will focus on “Anarchism” as a term and its aspects, and also explain how anti-corporate anarchism text could be represented, using the novel “Fight Club” by Chuck Palahniuk (1996) as an example.

Anarchism is a political philosophy that is based on freedom and has the aim to destroy all types of coercion and exploitation of man by man, where a “man is everywhere still in chains” (Read,H.,1974: p.35). Basically, anarchism is an idea that society can and should be organized without coercion of the government. Anarchism proposes to replace the cooperation of an individual power that exists due to the suppression of man by man. It means that, according to anarchists, social relations and institutions must be based on personal interest, mutual consent, responsibility of each participant, and any forms of government should be eliminated.

The theory of anarchism itself revolves around seven basic principles, such as lack of power, freedom from coercion, freedom of association, mutual aid, diversity, equality and brotherhood. In the novel “Fight Club” by Chuck Palahniuk (1996) we could observe all of these aspects. The first “law” of anarchism is the lack of power, which means that in an anarchist society, one person or a group of people will not impose their opinion, desire and will to other people. Other words, anarchism is against totalitarian society in which all people will be under total control until it will lead to complete uniformity. The “Fight Club” as an ‘organization’ itself is based on a chaos, hence there is no control. The second principle is freedom from coercion that implies the rejection of coercive one group of people to another group or a person to participate in any kind of activity, whether it is the interest of the individual or even the whole society, against their will. As for an example in “Fight Club”, there is no force that dictates members of this club to fight; due to all of them are volunteers. Freedom of association, in turn, implies that in a society that organized on anarchist principles, everyone must be able to participate, on equal rights, in determination of future of this particular society, where people themselves would collectively decide social issues and individually their own personal problems. For example, “Fight Club” does not show any of the members who brings his personal problems and tries to solve it with the help of this ‘organization of fighters’, all of them have only one main aim – to destroy corporations and businesses and here they are achieving this goal as a group. Mutual aid or cooperation manifests when people work together, their activities are significantly more effective than when everyone works separately by themselves. In addition, collective interaction is a shorter way to achieve the desired result. The same thing we can observe in “Fight Club”, where all the members working together and their ‘success’ is fast and obvious. Diversity, as one of the principles of anarchism, gives opportunity to people to be different from each other in any way that leads to the issue that some individuals could become more complicated to control. Equality means that there is no hierarchy, equal opportunities for everyone to meet their needs. Finally, the last principle of anarchism is brotherhood where all people are equal and have equal rights. From my opinion, equality and brotherhood are two main “rules” that keeps “Fight Club” the way it is:...
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