A Call For Left/Right Anarchist Unity 17

I believe that “left anarchists” (anarcho-communists, anarcho-syndicalists, green anarchists, etc.) and “right anarchists” (anarcho-capitalists, market anarchists, libertarian anarchists, etc.) have more than enough common ground for a real basis of unity that can be used not only for theoretical development and the growth of knowledge, but also for common strategies and projects against The System.

What is the common ground between the camps? Well, the most obvious example is – we’re all against the State, against ALL States. Other things that both sides generally are against – war, police, intellectual property, theft, extortion, the mafia, religion, racism, sexism, homophobia, conformity, mainstream society, militarism, obedience, coercive psychiatry, the institution of marriage, taxation, statists, rulers, would-be rulers, politicians, political parties, the electoral system, aristocracy, theocracy, determinism, blind faith, imperialism, mercantilism, Marxism, Fascism, political economy, world government, the military-industrial complex, the police state, prisons, and the Corporate State.

We also share common values – free association, non-aggression, individual liberty, secessionism, free speech, the right to bear arms, women’s right to abortion, decentralization, individual initiative, self-governance, autonomy, self-sovereignty, voluntary cooperation, voluntary association, rational thought, independent thought, and diversity.

This is a lot of common ground! So much so, that I think that one would be hard-pressed to find another group that “regular anarchists” have so much in common with! With this being the case, why not unify? Why not work together against our common enemies? The obstacles that we need to overcome are enormous, and we need all the help we can get. And right anarchists make a good ally in this struggle, because unlike the various kinds of Marxists and statist leftists, we all know that they are not after State power for themselves, but instead seek the complete abolition of it. There is no other group of people out there that you can trust in this respect. Need I remind you of past revolutions where anarchists worked together with the statist left? Each group holds negative prejudices, stereotypes, and gross misunderstandings about the other. Left anarchists tend to mistakenly believe that right anarchists want more of what we have now – imperialism, mercantilism and a Corporate State, instead of wanting no government whatsoever. The right anarchists tend to mistakenly see the left anarchists as being a new form of Leninist or as wanting a conformist tyranny-of-the-majority Borg. All this misinformation needs to be cleared up and overcome in order for any REAL mutual understanding to come about.

Another obstacle in the way of left/right anarchist unity is the tendency for knee-jerk reactions, stubbornness and uncritical hostility towards the other camp and to anyone who proposes unity with them. A calm, thoughtful, and open-minded approach to this is needed in both camps. If we enter this thinking that the other group is scum, will always be scum, and is just out there to screw us over, then chances are that we will be provoking the other group to such defensiveness that they will appear to us to be living up to our expectations. I’m not saying there aren’t substantial differences between the two groups – there certainly are. Every anarchist faction has its own different and unique characteristics – that’s what makes it its own faction. I don’t see how these differences are irreconcilable or insurmountable – worse comes to worse, in an anarchist society the right anarchists will have their little territories where they live and do their thing, and the left anarchists will have their little territories where they live and do their thing. As long as each side leaves the other alone and promises not to go invade the other side, things will be cool.

Let’s start learning from each other, gaining positive things from the other camp’s world-view and analysis. Let’s come up with common strategies that will present a real threat to The System. And most importantly, let’s follow through with this strategy and work together to bring this vile system down to it’s knees.

17 comments

  1. I agree, I’m pretty new to anarchism (less than a year) and I like ideas from both anarcho-capitalists and anarcho-syndicalists, the first which got me into the anarchism, the latter which pushed me towards thinking about the workers struggle in a way I never imagined. The main reason I believe I can look at both and learn and explore their sepparate benefits and consequences is because in either case, they will not use the state or any entity like it to impose its will on me. Would it not be better to be anarchist first and debate strains after the common enemy has been rid of? Neither left or right anarchism seems to have all the answers, both have risks of devolving into their statist pasts, and honestly I would venture to assert that focussing too much on strains of anarchism leads to easier justification for doing so. Anarchy first, and above all else, if that is forgotten then what’s the point?

  2. Being on the so called ‘right’, I have heard hostility from the so called ‘left’. I remember hearing the words Mises to pieces and property is theft when I was first reading Rothbard. I thought the left had no ideology and were to blame for our failure in general. However, as I grew and grow in confidence, I want to “rid myself of any inaction and lack of dynamicism” I want to put aside any rigid difference and seek to learn from the left. As I grow I see all their attacks as words to carefully listen to and perhaps pointers in areas into which to grow.
    For starters the new society that we are seeking will be very much similar to the one we have today. How so? It will be about property and property rights. It will be about democracy. However not the type of democracy libertarians hate, but about consensus. As self owners, that is; free people, we have the right to the fruits of our production. This is our nature as people so no non violent person can take it away. We must advocate it and teach this truth which is undeniable! Yes we own our effort!! Yet in principle it might be advantageous for us to share our labor and the fruits of our labor with our coworkers. Sharing our property can increase our freedom and our space. Freedom will increase when we have genuine consensus with our Dunbars number.
    These ideas are basic and simple. As a liberty people, we must always Strike the Root. Why? Our ideas are our strength and foundation upon which we must build.
    Once I start reading the so called ‘left wing’ literature and publications, like Monthly Review, I start to open myself up to a whole world that I had been missing.
    After I begin to rethink and summarize my criticisms of our current society and my vision for a new society I can plan action toward creating that society

    To me the central issue is the lack of community that big government creates. They are trying to brainwash us that an anarcho-sharing society is impossible because there are to many people. Big government is necessary to manage society. We see that small groups of people have always joined together to manage unowned areas i.e the commons. Perhaps we can devolve back to communities that bring us fulfillment . Instead of arguing and bickering we can make the change that we want to see by living it.

  3. I almost don’t even care about actual politics. I mean, if it’s not going to change my tax rates who gives a damn? There is a very low material reward to political activism if you’re not in a winning coalition of status-weeking college kids and their priestly leaders. I just don’t see it ever happening soon enough to matter to me, and if it does – well, it will most likely happen without me. History is overdetermined, individuals are far more likely to have minimal effect on social orders, and most people are stupid, boring losers who deserve everything that happens to them.

  4. I loathe the left and the right pretty much equally. Throwing on some theoretical agreement about a situation which will never happen in my lifetime (anarchism or pan-secessionism) does not make them more appealing. I guess I just can’t get into the herd-feeling enough to believe that being part of some inconsequential ‘movement’ is a reason to be ecumenical with moraltards and greenazis. I’m not going to work with people I loathe to accomplish something with no chance of success (at least for me, the sole relevant person).

    This anarchisty stuff has an appeal to me in the sense of ‘let’s tell everyone why they’re retarded’ and ‘hey, look at this cool sociology’, but as far as ‘movements’ and all this activist shit – I’d rather sleep or jerk off. A thousand times more productive, and I don’t need to hang out with lefty faggots to do it.

  5. Been saying this for awhile whenever I get into discussions with holier than thou anarchists or libertarians. I just don’t get attacking someone with whom you agree with on over 90% of the issues.

  6. I personally think this is the only true way to pose a legitimate threat to the state. At the time being, anarchists are very much so divided on petty differences, which I find to be mostly of an economic nature. However, what many anarchists seem to forget is that differences are beautiful things, given that force is not used between the differing positions. While I myself am an Anarcho-Capitalist, I see no issue in coexistence between the different anarchist ideologies in a free society. Because really, if I decide to live in a capitalist society, and seek to further commerce and happiness through a free market, what problem should I have with those who decide they would like to live in a communal society? And of course, a free society would allow the best way of life to show itself to be exactly that. Who knows, maybe in this free world, I may see more merit in communist thinking, and decide to leave a capitalist society in search of a commune. Once the force of the state is removed, ideas will then be able to reach their full potential, without destructive conflict with any other ideas.

  7. i think you are over exaggerating the areas of agreement between the two view points. but i agree with your main point. i dont think the communities are prepared for that though. how many of the ancaps are willing to read proudhon books and etc? they would rather equate ancoms with state-communists. no time to research anti-authoritarian collectivism.
    how many of the ancoms are willing to read in depth on austrian economics and ancap analysis of how the state affects markets? they would rather ascribe us with fascists, corporatists.
    the cartoonish misrepresentations of each others viewpoints is ubiquitous, and judging by facebook, non-violent communication and curiosity are both completely lacking.
    all these clowns running facebook pages need to stop baiting the animosity and try to expose the core of disagreement: theories of property rights and their implications…..

  8. How about joining with another “ace” group – atheists? I would love to see our structures dismantled so that we can organize ourselves organically and diversely which is what happens when organisms are left to their own devices. I’m not sure what kind of anarchist I am (I didn’t realize there were factions because anarchists believe in no over-ruling entities) however atheists are also a rapidly growing group.

  9. I back a bit of what Zack Andrew Plez up there had to say. Though I suppose I’m a bit more optimistic. There are a lot out there who’re interested in wholesale Anarchist solidarity. Some have taken to calling themselves abolitionists, some just dropped any adjectives (including ‘without-adjectives’) and ascribe to a common ‘Anarchist’ label, and a very precious few have indeed read opposing view points critically and absorbed what they had to say. It might not have changed their stance but they have some respect for the other ‘faction’.

    Perhaps I’m an idealist, but I do like to believe Anarchism, that is to say all Anarchist branches, have a future in this world together without the spectre of militaristic centralization wafting overhead.

  10. I’m an Anarcho-Transhumanist, if you don’t know what we are, we believe that technology is liberating, we support technological unemployment, full automation of jobs, and the abolition of money, as well as the freedom for people to use radical emerging technologies to free themselves of their biological limitations. It’s not just the state we are a slave to, but biology as well and it’s in our best interest to become free from both. personally I agree with this post though, though I should mention that the ONLY problem I personally have with other types of anarchism is, from my Futurist perspective, their irrational hold on the past and primitivism(not all, but from my experience, enough) instead of looking at the possibilities of the future. I associate with several different flavors of anarchy, I am hoping to do some anarchist sailing for awhile, and me and a few friends are working on building an Earthship Eco Village anarchist commune

  11. My experience is bad with both sides. I have been on both sides, so I know. The truth though their differences are not that great. I believe that each side can benefit by listening and learning from the other side. I am happy that I went on my journey which is not finished. How many ancaps read Kropotkin? Each day I feel more liberated as I explore the anarcho-communist position. Frankly I feel the whole split is silly. Both Kropotkin and Rothbard are libertarian through and through. I think it is vulgar that ancaps can not understand the communist positions. I often feel like I want to write a book on the subject. I agree we Anarchist-without-hyphens are always frustrated by this split. If I believe in your right to hold onto your property and live alone the ancom has a problem with me and says I am not an ancom, even though I am. I for one believe that markets will exist alongside with the hopefully larger gift economy in the form of freed markets. I also believes communes and ecovillages need to re-emerge as centers of mutual aid, resource control, sustainability, community, and production.
    Since I have started to be active in facebook I can throw up my hands at the contempt I receive for defending the ancom position. Everything you say is true. However, mature libertarians like John Bush would never act like these school children. Also I see that the Voluntaryist are more more open to Lib Com point of view. Also listen to Jeff Riggenbach Mutual Aid: The Anarchism of Peter Kropotkin http://mises.org/daily/5071/ a good audio for ancaps (even though I do not agree with a couple of Jeff’s comments).

  12. I think we need more apolitical anarchists. Those who believe that once you are free no one is going to tell you what your rights are.

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