Thinking Ahead: What Will ARV/ATS Be in the Future?

Here are some potential projects I would like to see ARV/ATS develop in the years and decades ahead:

1) An independent radio network which would feature a variety of programs aimed at targeted demographics. Some might be in the right-wing populist Alex Jones mode, some might be oriented towards anti-New World Order Christians, others might be geared towards the dissident left, while still others might have a black nationalist flavor. The different programs would focus on issues relevant to the targeted demographics, but with the common themes of opposition to the empire, community autonomy, class struggle rooted in the vanguard classes, critiquing totalitarian humanism, and the pan-secessionist outlook.

2) A network of dissident student organizations to be organized on campuses (like Youth for Western Civilization is doing). The most likely purpose of the student groups would be to challenge the domination of the academic world by totalitarian humanism, demonstrate critiques of this from both the left and right, and bridge the gap between the varying opponents of totalitarian liberalism, e.g. dissident leftists, alternative rightists, black nationalists, libertarians, etc.

3) The development of independent self-sufficient communities like the Twin Oaks community mentioned in a previous post, and the networking of our communities with similar communities.

4) The development of alternative social service projects by ATS affiliates and allied groups (like BANA, NATA-NY, and and AI/AN-ATS have been doing).

5) The creation of a speaker’s bureau so that our representatives and allied others will be available to speak to other groups, with an emphasis on student groups.

6) The creation of single-issue activist organizations affiliated with ATS for the purpose of bringing issues related to the pan-secessionist struggle under the umbrella of ourselves and our allies. These groups would then work within and seek leadership positions in other, larger groups that focus on the same issues. For instance, I want “our people” to someday work their way into leadership positions within both the American Civil Liberties Union and the National Rifle Association, and work to turn both of these away from their left-liberal and reactionary conservative orientations, respectively.

7) Conducting mayoral campaigns in dozens of American cities simultaneously that are oriented towards local issues and local culture, but share the common thread of the radical decentralist/pan-secessionist idea, and modeled on what Norman Mailer did in NYC in 1969. The purpose of such an effort would not so much be to take electoral politics seriously as much as a publicity stunt that was large-scale, well-coordinated, and geared to generate media attention.

Categories: Strategy

21 replies »

  1. For #1) Can we just begin hosting radio programs on our local public radio stations? Also, is ARV a group that we can claim membership as long as we follow the 25 point program?

    Also, can I recommend an addition to #3? Entrepreneurs/Community organizers interested in setting up LETS, digital fabrication utilities, and urban agriculture projects in their respective communities. (Like many of the ideas brought forward in Kevin Carson’s Homebrew Industrial Revolution)

  2. “Can we just begin hosting radio programs on our local public radio stations?”

    Of course. Please do, if the opportunity is available.

    “Also, is ARV a group that we can claim membership as long as we follow the 25 point program?”

    Yes! Anyone who affirms the ideas behind ARV is considered an ally or associate. There’s no formal membership in terms of dues, membership cards, officers, etc. Those things just make everything more complicated that it needs to be.

    “Also, can I recommend an addition to #3? Entrepreneurs/Community organizers interested in setting up LETS, digital fabrication utilities, and urban agriculture projects in their respective communities. (Like many of the ideas brought forward in Kevin Carson’s Homebrew Industrial Revolution)”

    Yes! That’s part of what I had in mind.

  3. This is all spot on. We’ve had recent discussions around Chomsky’s response to “should we abolish the state. His response was “and replace it with what?” Well, these are the sorts of projects to get up and running. I remember a few years back what an “organizer” does. I’m finally figuring that out.

  4. 3/ I really think that this idea of setting up “intentional communities” from scratch is making hard work for ourselves. It would be far easier to establish a small town as a centre of secessionist activity which would then attract like minded people. (since we have identified that there is already a process of organic self sorting going on along these lines). This allows incremental progress to be made, it allows us to hide behind a lot of potential collateral damage making it difficult for the establishment to target the project and it offers us the opportunity to capture a lot of infrastructure at a fraction of the price and effort of building it from nothing.

    I like the radio station idea, might be an idea to build a library of Keith’s shows and use that as a core to build more around.

  5. I think we could do either/or regarding intentional communities. They would likely be a lifetime project that would require the dedication of multiple people. The resilient community movement is a good one to follow and we already have examples of intentional communities in place. We should just align/ally ourselves with these movements and try to inspire some of our core demographics to start their own projects. For example, for a few years some young members of my tribe have been trying to find the land and funds to build a new era tribal house to both live in and be the center of a rebirth of our culture. Other tribes in B.C. and Washington already have similar projects built. This stuff is already under way, it’s just a matter of capturing their attention, bringing them to our cause, offering some philosophical and political framework, and connecting them with other movements.

    A radio station would be awesome. The airwaves are highly regulated though, and getting a license to operate a station is pretty darn expensive, which is why you see pirate radio popping up in some areas. I’d envision such a radio station targeting specific core demographics. So an ARV station in Detroit would play hip-hop, Detroit techno/electro with programming around urban African American issues. A station in America’s heartland would of course be very different. Syndicated programming could spread through the network of stations.

  6. Low Power FM Radio station licenses are free for 10-100 watt broadcasters (broadcast radius of 1-10 miles) so long as you are:

    “A non-profit organization, association or entity with an educational purpose, like a community group, public service or public health organization, disability service provider or faith-based organization”

    I don’t know what the costs are to buy the equipment or how you would fund the day to operation. Fund raising?

  7. A conventional localised broadcast radio station is useless at this phase of the process. Pump Up The Volume might have been a great film but we are highly unlikely to instigate a rebellion with a mix of alternative rock, radical political analysis and a 11 watt broadcast rig. The kind of people actually capable of effecting any sort of change do not listen to pirate radio stations.

    We need a cadre of actavists motivated to go out into their communities and mobalise the local elites against the state and in favour of those communties. The creation of that kind of cadre is best done over the internet, narrowcast rather than broadcast, a sniper rifle, not a machine gun.

  8. “The kind of people actually capable of effecting any sort of change do not listen to pirate radio stations.”

    Do they listen to XM radio?

    Voice of Reason?

  9. Well, the story of the FCC’s clamp down over low power radio broadcasting is just another example in a long line of examples of expansion of state power.

    If we are talking about reaching out to the urban underclass then radio could certainly be an effective medium. Even the local pop station in Portland that regurgitates what Clear Channel sends them has an after hours hip hop show produced by a local DJ. I was listening to it the other night and he was giving shout outs to all the regional jails and prisons, as a lot of his listeners start listening to his show from their cells, and continue to listen upon their release. Now that guy has the potential to reach a lot of people at the street level. Why wouldn’t we want to do something like that?

    Now I’m not going to drop everything I’m doing and go apply for broadcasting license or start a pirate radio station. My audience is scattered anyway. But as we attract more followers with diverse skill sets we should certainly applaud and encourage these sort of projects.

  10. On the question of intentional communities, of course I support such efforts along with similar things like free staters, seasteaders, etc. The early anarchists would set up intentional colonies along those lines as well.

    But I’m skeptical of these as a primary strategy. They’re fine as a secondary project that particular individuals or groups are committed too. But I’ve always felt that the first purpose of anarchism should be to build an actual political movement that can challenge the state. Our core idea of dissolving the central government and more or less allowing every political interest group to carve out an enclave for itself seems to be the most workable form of anarchism which is why I’ve devoted so much effort to the concept.

    Yet I think even this won’t work unless we can build a vast constituency for such an effort that numerically approximates something close to the majority of the population. That means that recruiting and pitching our perspective to as many different political groups as possible and developing propaganda that will appeal to different populations should be our primary task along with establishing a presence for ourselves in as many other movements as we can.

  11. “Do they listen to XM radio?

    Voice of Reason?”

    I think not. It is my belief, after some involvement with radical politics at a street level, that people motivated by radical political views are not ordinarily capable of achieving anything other than symbolic resistance. I cite the almost total failure of radicalism in the west over the last seven or so decades as my evidence.

    In order to get involved in radical politics it is necessary to accept that there is little chance of success, the people who will accept this are not by their nature people who expect to get results. A culture of failure then emerges and those least demoralised, or bothered, by constant defeat become the leadership by virtue of the fact they hang around. One reason why radicals of all shades persist in using strategies, ideologies and tactics which are proven to be utterly ineffective.

    However, I suggest, than in every community there are people who make a different choice, people who are not necessarily believers in the establishment position, people who, in my experience, are utterly uninterested in ideology or political philosophy and yet get involved in the political life of their communities. These people have definite practical objectives, such as a particular program they want to see enacted, or simply believe they can be better administrators. These people are not interested in failing to achieve their objectives and develop strategies to make it possible for them to succeed, they join establishment factions and ride on their popularity.

    I suggest that these are the people who could initiate meaningful change. In order to do this we need a profound cultural change in our attitudes. We are steeped in a traditional radical culture and we assume that we should operate in the default radical fashion. I suggest that we need to create a culture aimed at ruthlessly and aggressively at getting results. We should be attempting to persuade existing local elites to implement policies which lead towards a situation where secession, informal or formal, is a real possibility. Policies like credit unions, community share programs, community schools, direct democratic systems, local currencies, civic awareness campaigns etc. We should not be trying to persuade them to become ardently committed to ideological positions.

    If we can achieve any measure of success at this, or at least seriously make the attempt, we will inevitably attract the best radicals anyway. Simultaneously we will weaken the strength of the opposition by seducing its local membership. At some point it may become necessary to run up the Jolly Roger and engage the enemy head on, but until that becomes unavoidable diplomacy should be used.

    The principle target of activists should then not be radicals from other traditions or disaffected groups who have no experience of campaigning and local government but whichever elements of the elite they can bring onside. To do that you get involved with their organisations, you don’t start a pirate radio station.

  12. I understand the strategic reasons for wanting to influence local elites etc. and the FSP model seems to be the best way to do this as far as I’m concerned. On the other hand I think creating an intensely pro-statist cadre of infiltrators to infect mainstream politics and society with unabashedly destructive policies and memes would be more effective at ending the state than trying to fight against it. “That which is falling should also be pushed” Whose ideas are more influential to the general public at large? Van Jones or Noam Chomsky? Ron Paul or Mitt Romney? Kirkpatrick Sale or Barbara Boxer? Jesse Jackson or Eldridge Cleaver? The statists always win and the more statists there are the faster the ship sinks.

    A radical could organize and continue developing a decentralized self-sufficient community for their family, friends or other like minded people while simultaneously campaigning for Romney, working their way up the ladder at Walmart, running for a local political position on the most widely acceptable platform, organizing pro-police parades, and other disingenuous pro-state activities. They could also fight to dam up rivers, promote oil pipelines, lecture on the number of jobs that would be created by mining projects and organize pro-logging demonstrations. (I am saying this as a radical environmentalist.) Perhaps it would even be possible to obtain very high up corporate or political positions and to engage (when the time is right) in behavior that severely damages the reputation of the organizations while causing an uproar among newspaper readers all across the country.

    My personal interest lies in ending the state, not saving the entire general public from their support of it. I think there is a better chance of the US empire destroying itself with it’s continued march towards progress than there is of it being destroyed by the masses in a unified revolt. Maybe it’s a bit different for the UK but I doubt by much.

  13. Like your thinking RR2012. However, devious as I might be, I should doubt strongly I could do a better job of driving the state into a brick wall than those behind the steering wheel already are. Maybe they had the idea first?

    On careful reflection of what I have observed from my encounters with the state at local level my estimation is that is weak in terms of quality and numbers of its supporters. I don’t think it would take much to mobilise a campaign against it with the objective of seriously pushing it back in many areas. Sure this might not be as much fun as storming the Hotel de Ville with a black flag at the head of a mob but there is some considerable satisfaction to be gained from incremental but meaningful advance.

    The problem is not the strength of the state and its support; it’s the pathetic state and capability of radicals. Just this weekend I was “defriended” on fb by a local right wing activist for suggesting that a reply to his capitalised rant “I AM NOT THE EXTREME RIGHT. I AM NOT A NAZI etc” might have been somewhat undermined by his one message of support being signed off “14/88”.

  14. O.S. Concidential I’ve just read Anton Wilson “Illuminatus! Trilogy”. I don’t think I’ve read a book more packed with interesting concepts. Maybe “political Discordianism” is as good or better way of describing the ethos of this strand of radicalism as “pan seccessionism”.

  15. All of these are good ideas. Some of them are more realistic in the long term, some are more immediately realizable depending on where you are and what demographic you are working in. We are lacking boots on the ground at the moment, so recruitment might be the most valuable use of some of our members’ time.

    One thing I’d like to see is an alternative, anarchist, health and safety “certification” for street food vendors. There’s tamale ladies who walk up and down the streets in my neighborhood selling some very delicious tamales. A lot of people avoid them due to concerns about health standards in private, unregulated kitchens. Why not a private “certification” process for residential kitchens from among the street vendors themselves? Why not a small fee (smaller than that of the state) that could provide legal defense for those who are busted by the state? The end game to these sort of activities would be a alternative economic and political infrastructure with the muscle to keep the state off of people’s backs.

    Who is going to take on a project like this? Committed political insurgents. We are either lacking these sort of folks or they are preparing their affairs in secret and silence right now.

  16. So I know that may sound outlandish and ridiculous to some people. 2 years ago it would have sounded that way to me, and I’ve been an anarchist for quite a bit longer than that. But here’s what I’m saying…..

    If you work with secessionists, then in addition to bringing in recruits we should be encouraging them to lay the ground work for an alternative political infrastructure.

    If you work with a tribe or clan, like I am, then you should be trying to get a clan or tribe sponsored preschool, daycare or other social service in place that is currently lacking.

    If you work with Occupiers then you should moving them toward building alternative economic networks instead of protesting.

    So far all of these sorts of movements are good at building alternative media outlets online. But the meat of what we are trying to do here ought to be building real world alternative networks and bending them toward one another.

    Here’s a crazy idea that might actually work in cities where services are being cut. Place a bounty on Craigslist for the filling of a pothole on your block. Mark its location on a google map and declare that ARV will pay $XX to the first person who patches the hole. Go door to door raising money to get your street fixed.

  17. Vince.
    I love your idea on Craig’s list tendering however it is my absolute rule never to ask anyone for so much as a cent. You can persuade people to support the most outlandish political views but to get them to invest a penny in it is all but impossible in my experience.

    To give what I’m arguing some practical context. My strategy would ideally go something like this. I’d like to put together a manifesto giving a detailed specific plan on how to enact a program of economic relocalisation. This plan would be divided into stages starting with low cost or self financing schemes such as local business directories (combined with a publicity campaign aimed at encouraging use of local business over global chains), a program encouraging participation in the local market etc.

    The second stage would see more ambitious schemes once the initial concept had been established in the local population’s minds. This second phase would be largely based around “community share ownership” in which economic enterprises are established using capital raised by selling the local community shares in that enterprise (they then have a compelling reason to use businesses they have a financial stake in allowing these enterprises to outcompete none-local rivals). Additionally existing local business would be encouraged to form co-operatives aimed at developing enterprises capable of providing services at the same level as the global chains. (I’m thinking particularly of getting the owners of local farm shops, of which there are dozens, to invest in a town centre outlet capable of competing with Walmart).

    The third stage would be focused on the establishment of a local currency, not just the usual “gift card” variety but one which would be accepted for the payment of local taxes allowing it to seriously rival Sterling.

    There are several other projects which would be “bolted on” to this basic plan to form a comprehensive manifesto.

    Which is all very worthwhile however, obviously, economic relocalisation is meaningless without political relocalisation (if they are indeed different things at all) and in any case in order to implement that program a political campaign would be required. So the manifesto would also include a program of political relocalisation based around the establishment of street level direct democracies. This is nowhere near as difficult as it sounds and I have devised a simple scheme which allows the existing local governmental system to be converted from a representative democracy to a direct democracy simply by the representatives making a contract with the electorate which allows the electorate to convert the rep into a delegate if they want, when they need to.

    The tactical plan would be to build a political movement based around support for the manifesto with the aim of taking control of local government (which really isn’t that difficult). This would allow the resources of that local government to be used to enact the manifesto and disable its ability to oppose it. This organisation would, once in control of local government, use any available legal means (of which there are a couple) to increase the power of local government by transferring powers from central government.

    Ideally this organisation would seek to recruit people from the existing local elite who know how the system works and already have support within the community. Ideally in short order this organisation would be able to realign local politics so it became a simple contest between supports and opponents of the manifesto. I envision that the “localists” would be able to draw on a rich vein of civic pride by co-opting the symbols of local identity and appealing to the town’s Medieval traditions of self governance which would give them a powerful, perhaps unstoppable, emotional appeal.

    There is a lot more to be said about this strategy obviously but in its basic form that’s pretty much the outline.

    Problem is that the manifesto around which the strategy is based must be of extremely high quality and properly researched (for example all the measures I mentioned are already being used by various local authorities in this country and demonstrating that would inspire confidence I should think). Plus the business of “selling it” would be, I should imagine, stressful to say the least.

    Which is why I’d like to see the formation of on-line support networks capable of conducting such projects and of providing net based support (a website for the project, intelligence gathering, social network activism, planning and just general encouragement). By doing so those networks would develop a degree of expertise in such projects and be able to develop their theories and ideas based on real world events and be able to disseminate what they had learned.

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