Attack, mighty catbees!

I stumbled across a discussion here entitled “If libertarian communism (basically synonymous with anarchism) was an animal, what animal would it be?”

I noted an interesting tension. One of the answers – which apparently was associated with the anarchists of the Spanish Civil War, though I haven’t been able to substantiate that – is ‘ants’ or ‘bees’, i.e. eusocial insects.

But another of the answers is the wildcat, as symbolised here, associated with the notion of the ‘wildcat strike’, and with the IWW.

Now cats are not completely asocial. But by an large, they don’t form very long-term groups (apart from lions, and the weirdness we unleash on domestic cats). And that, as I understand it, is part of the point: they are independent and devoid of servility.

I smiled at this: that the same idea could be symbolised both by the most unremittingly social of animals, and by the most conspicuously independent. The converse of this ambiguity is of course that both symbols could be associated with the other side: ants and bees can symbolise fascist totalitarianism, and cats can symbolise rugged capitalist individualism.

So I have two points, really. One is to note the complexity of libettarian communism, as an attempt to make sociality and individuality work together, and the other is to ask readers for further suggestions of animal symbols for different political ideologies. Are badgers more like social democrats or democratic socialists?

One Response to “Attack, mighty catbees!”


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