HBO’s new docuseries explores Anarchapulco, a not-so-utopian den of ‘free market’ capitalists. Anarchists say their goals couldn’t be more different.
By Ella Fassler, July 26, 2022
Politicians and media pundits often use the term “anarchists” to conjure images of lawless hooligans causing mindless destruction, warning of a dystopian world that might exist without the rule of law.
In reality, anarchists have been involved in some of the most significant political projects of the last two centuries, whether it’s striking workers winning the eight-hour work day or communities coming together to participate in mutual aid projects. But HBO’s new six-part docuseries, “The Anarchists,” features self-described anarchists of a whole different variety: self-interested capitalists and crypto bros.
Anarchists carrying the torch of the long-standing political tradition are cringing at the series’ portrayal of anarchism as being compatible with capitalism. The series is ultimately a character-driven drama about murder and interpersonal conflicts, not a political documentary focused on ideology. But uncritically using the term anarchist to describe capitalists mystifies actual anarchist politics for the average viewer, they say.