A tortured debate about the relationship between Islamic fundamentalists and anarchists in England. One side argues for what amounts to compulsory integrationism (anarcho-neoconnism?):
“Outside of the fantasies of the EDL and Muslims Against Crusades, shariah law is not about to be introduced in the UK. But there are politicians daft enough to cede power to shariah courts and Muslim Arbitration Tribunals at a local level (certainly for civil matters), and there are certainly Muslim organisations in our cities happy to soak up whatever power they can. If history has taught us anything, it should be that when power is ceded to religious currents, they rarely if ever give it back. Anarchist rejection of the law may not sit easily with campaigners such as Maryam Namazie and the One Law For All campaign, but we need to reflect on whether it is better to support such campaigns than see the consolidation of structures based on superstition, hierarchy and patriarchy.
Islamic organisations, backed by significant funding both from within the UK and abroad, are becoming a permanent presence in parts of the education and welfare systems. Having learned nothing from religiously divided education in Northern Ireland (where most children go to separate Protestant or Catholic schools from the age of five) the development of Muslim only schools is likely to not only do little for integration in our communities, but will even reverse it.”
The other side insists anarchists and Muslims should unite to defend the welfare state.
“Especially given the sidelining of political Islam and the escalation of class struggle in the North African/Middle Eastern revolts, we should be organising alongside Muslims and people of all religions in our communities and our workplaces against the savage public sector cuts. We can demonstrate the bankruptcy of the Islamists in opposing austerity here and in the Middle East and show that it is by uniting in our common class interest that we improve our lives and our conditions.”
It’s interesting how these “anarchist” do-gooders never bother to consider that perhaps the state should simply go away and people should freely associate (or not associate) in whatever way they choose. Let the Islamists do whatever they wish to themselves within the context of their own schools, institutions, and communities. And let others refuse to associate with them or exclude them from their own associations if they wish.
It seems to me that many so-called “anarchists” miss the whole point. One of the great things about anarchism is that it provides a means of handling irreconcilable cultural, religious, or political differences without bloodshed and extreme repression. Unfortunately, much of the modern “anarchist” movement is too intellectually bankrupt to have any understanding of this principle.
These guys very much need the guidance of ATS-UK:
Anarchists demanding a bigger state? I don’t think these people quite get it.
(ATS UK might do better if it had a contact e-mail and a recruitment drive Keith)
It’s not like the only alternatives are either becoming reactionary defenders of the welfare state or endorsing the austerity programs of neoliberalism. I mean, for Christ’s sake, the New Right and related tendencies are light years ahead of the Left in terms of developing alternative economic paradigms.
” A good example of this would be to present political economic systems which can act as an alternative to the old capitalist/socialist dichotomy. I am confident that economic systems commonly associated with the right, such as Distributism, Productionism, Social Credit and Localized Economics, will be quite welcome to the rest of the world, and not just in the US and Europe.”
Even some of the conventional right-libertarians offer a some helpful idea like the negative income tax or Hans Hoppe’s endorsement of syndicalizing publicly owned industries and services.
In the realm of ideas, our respective camps absolutely bury the Left. Our limitation is that we don’t nearly as large an audience as we don’t control the media or academia like they do.
“(ATS UK might do better if it had a contact e-mail and a recruitment drive Keith)”
Not a bad idea. ATS-UK? What saith thou?
A few years ago, Larry Gambone compiled this list of classical alternatives to both capitalism and statism: http://attackthesystem.com/the-myth-of-socialism-as-statism/
Much of this doesn’t even get into alternative economic philosophies found on the Right like distributism. Where the hell are the anarchists? Why aren’t they out there promoting these alternatives rather than pushing the left-liberal welfare statist line?
I think the present state of the anarchist movement constitutes something of a dark age, at least in the English speaking countries. The way I see the historical trajectory, anarchism began with Proudhon in the 1840s (with obvious prototypes existing before that, of course). By the end of the 19th century, we were the most feared revolutionary movement in the world (like the Islamists today). In the early 20 century we evolved into a mass labor movement that was wiped out by the combined forces of capitalism, communism, and fascism along with general historical trends like the managerial revolution.
A brief window opened with the emergence of anarchist influenced tendencies in the New Left that were almost immediately coopted by the growing forces of totalitarian humanism. Today, the bulk of the anarchist milieu in the West (outside of southern Europe) is comparable to what happened to nations like Cambodia or Afghanistan after their entire infrastructure and cultural foundations were destroyed and the cockroaches started crawling out of the sewer.
My hope is that when future histories of anarchism are written the present era will be depicted as a very dark time before rays of light began their emergence and things started to blossom, and that there were a few of us who recognized these problems even during the dark age and tried to set things right.
Any thoughts on this article about Distributism? http://mises.org/daily/1062
Let’s be fair Keith, the New Right isn’t “the right” which is still largely suffering its fascist hangover. Moreover for every De Benoist and Southgate (neither of which have managed to dump all their reactionary baggage anyway) there are twenty prominent neo-cons and hyper -capitalist Minarchists out there touting their version of the future of “the right”.
The New Right itself is by no means a settled matter with a lot of self identifying new rightists diverging massively from the sort of secessionist, relocalist and decentralist stuff we deal in(even liberal, since you can’t be more liberal than to say “do what you like as long as you afford everyone else the same right” as is the implication of this particular end of the New Right village).
Moreover out there on the left there are people in a very similar position to us, the “post left anarchists/Anarchism without adjectives” types struggling with the great dumb mass of cultural self identifying leftists. I particularly like CrimethInc who, as far as I can tell, appear to the left equivalent of ATS (and who are far more advanced in actual activism).
Surely the first step in the grand strategy of reuniting the old radical alliance of the Revolutionary Age (1775 – 1848) is to bring about at least a recognition that the cutting edges of the main radical factions have, by divergent paths, arrived at pretty much the same place?
We all like the Matrix, Occupy, LoTR and Bakunin after all, that’s one thing we got. (to paraphrase Deep Blue Something).
“Any thoughts on this article about Distributism?”
Tom Woods is certainly a capable defender of the orthodox Austrian position, but I don’t think it’s a question of either/or. For instance, I generally agree with the Ron Paulians on fiscal and monetary policy, while I also agree with Kevin Carson’s ideas on attacking statism by concentrating on the forms of intervention that create systems of artificial privilege. We can recognize the economically crippling effect of overregulation of the small business and housing sectors while at the same time advocating alternative economic models like the kinds discussed by Gambone in the link I posted earlier. Something along the lines of Carson’s “free market anti-capitalism” applied in a pragmatic way seems about right. A fusion of anti-big government and anti-plutocratic ideas would seem to be the most authentically anarchist position.
“Let’s be fair Keith, the New Right isn’t “the right” which is still largely suffering its fascist hangover.”
I certainly don’t think the New Right “alone and unaided” has created a sufficient alternative political paradigm. I think the main value of the New Right is the potential of aspects of NR philosophy to help forge a third way between the conventional right in all its forms on one hand and leftist-egalitarian-univeralism on the other.
“Moreover for every De Benoist and Southgate (neither of which have managed to dump all their reactionary baggage anyway) there are twenty prominent neo-cons and hyper -capitalist Minarchists out there touting their version of the future of “the right”.”
I see De Benoist as being a figure on the Right that is comparable to someone like Chomsky on the Left. Take what is most helpful while ignoring the weaker aspects of their thinking. I think the main contribution that Troy has made is to build a bridge between anarchism and the NR.
“The New Right itself is by no means a settled matter with a lot of self identifying new rightists diverging massively from the sort of secessionist, relocalist and decentralist stuff we deal in(even liberal, since you can’t be more liberal than to say “do what you like as long as you afford everyone else the same right” as is the implication of this particular end of the New Right village).”
Well, my goal is not to promoted “New Rightism” as an end unto itself as much as to incorporate its better aspects into our own paradigm.
“Moreover out there on the left there are people in a very similar position to us, the “post left anarchists/Anarchism without adjectives” types struggling with the great dumb mass of cultural self identifying leftists. I particularly like CrimethInc who, as far as I can tell, appear to the left equivalent of ATS (and who are far more advanced in actual activism).
Surely the first step in the grand strategy of reuniting the old radical alliance of the Revolutionary Age (1775 – 1848) is to bring about at least a recognition that the cutting edges of the main radical factions have, by divergent paths, arrived at pretty much the same place?”
What I envision for the future of Anarchism is the incorporation of all of these tendencies into a wider consensus that collectively forms a movement that is much larger and greater than any of these tendencies are at present.
There’s a vast array of thinkers out there that we can draw on, but whose thinking is also complete in many ways. There’s De Benoist, Chomsky, Szasz, Gottfried, Hoppe, all of whom have much of extreme value to say, but who are still in some ways attached to older movements that we need to evolve past. De Benoist may be too grounded in classical fascism, Chomsky in reactionary leftism, Szasz in classical liberalism, Gottfried in traditional conservatism, and Hoppe in vulgar libertarianism and reactionary Catholic traditionalism. But what we need to do is incorporate all of their better ideas into the new paradigm we are trying to create here.
It’s the same with the different anarchist sects: syndicalism, mutualism, anarcho-capitalism, “anarchism of the right,” national-anarchism, Kropotkinism, left-anarchism, anarcho-black nationalism, green anarchism, etc. All of these have something to offer the wider Anarchist project, but the various hyphenated forms of anarchism each have their particular focus that often ignores the bigger picture in favor of an overly strong focus on favorite economic systems, favorite social causes, preferred lifestyle interests, etc.
Look at it this way: Western civilization has evolved through several major paradigms that are easily identifiable: classical paganism, Christianity, the Enlightenment, modernity, postmodernity. So the question is what paradigm will dominate when the present postmodern paradigm fades, and considering the likely fact of the West losing its five hundred year dominance and the demographic changes likely to result from large scale immigration? What will a future Western civilization that has been eclipsed by Asia on the world stage and significantly altered internally in an ethnic, racial, and cultural sense by demographic change actually look like? I see these as the most important questions for the Anarchist project. If our goal is to create a civilization where Anarchism and related ideas collectively form the dominant political paradigm, how do we go about doing that given the prevailing trends and cultural, economic, demographic, geopolitical and other existing realities?
“I envision for the future of Anarchism is the incorporation of all of these tendencies into a wider consensus that collectively forms a movement that is much larger and greater than any of these tendencies are at present.”
Well absolutely, however though this appears to be a simple proposition there are two problems. One is that 99% of self identifying anarchists can’t handle the implications of the logic of their own beliefs. Thus anarchism itself is misrepresented by the vast majority of those who claim to espouse it.
Secondly these “other tendencies” must be persuaded of the moral correctness and utility of anarchism as a strategic and tactical model. This means they have to abandon their fantasies of benevolent dictatorship, and of elitist vanguard progressivism (common to all radical ideologies of the industrial period).
That is a big ask, and the only way it could possibly be achieved is if these ideas prove their validity in action. An Average Joe Freetown Christiania+.
Fighting a pure “war of ideas” in not a viable strategy since 95% at least of political literate people are inured against mere reason and argument.
I suggest that intellectual superiority must be manifested in superior organisation, directed collective action aimed at producing clear well thought out practical applications of secessionism which can be deployed by activists. Once those resources are in place we can reasonably hope to see that real world prototype somewhere. (Unless some faction of Occupy works it out for themselves first.)
“I suggest that intellectual superiority must be manifested in superior organisation, directed collective action aimed at producing clear well thought out practical applications of secessionism which can be deployed by activists.”
“One is that 99% of self identifying anarchists can’t handle the implications of the logic of their own beliefs. Thus anarchism itself is misrepresented by the vast majority of those who claim to espouse it.”
Ha! Tell me about it. It’s interesting that when I go to these right-wing events that I speak at every so often, the people there always seem very intrigued by my ideas: “So you’re an anarchist? What is an anarchist? I’ve never met an anarchist before! How would anarchy work?” They’re genuinely curious and friendly, not hostile or condescending. Often I get an “almost doest thou persuadest me” response, sometimes from people who are otherwise very conservative. Inevitably, I also get asked about the loser kids for whom “anarchism” is just about breaking windows and acting like an idiot. My defense is usually something along the lines of “well, every human group has its ubermenschen and untermenschen classes.”
I think one of the main things modern anarchists need is better leaders. There’s not exactly anyone in the contemporary scene that is comparable to Proudhon, Bakunin, Kropotkin, Durruti, Makhno, Malatesta, Goldman, Berkman, etc. If anarchist leaders of that caliber were to reemerge, perhaps they would be able to start pushing the anarchist milieu in a better direction. The best ideas right now seem to be coming from fringe figures even within anarchism like Hoppe, Southgate, etc. Bookchin wasn’t too bad for his time as he was friendly with right anti-statists, hated commies, and criticizing lifestyle anarchism as non-revolutionary. Carson’s helped us out a great deal on the economics questions, which for a long time was a major gap in anarchist thought.
“Secondly these “other tendencies” must be persuaded of the moral correctness and utility of anarchism as a strategic and tactical model. This means they have to abandon their fantasies of benevolent dictatorship, and of elitist vanguard progressivism (common to all radical ideologies of the industrial period).”
That realization may eventually be forced due to the increasing relevance and prominence of fourth generation warfare forces. I’m actually in the process of undertaking a detailed study of Hezbollah, which is the definitive fourth generation model in many ways, however different their outlook may be from ours.
“That is a big ask, and the only way it could possibly be achieved is if these ideas prove their validity in action. An Average Joe Freetown Christiania+.”
A proliferation of hundreds and then thousands of Christianias and Oranias or Twin Oaks or Lakotah Republics reflecting a wide array of ideological or cultural values would be my ideal in many ways, but I’m inclined towards the view that such efforts would be repressed by the state if our tactics were limited to the creation of such communities. That’s why I generally think such efforts need to be combined with the cultivation of political actions like the Mailer model or defensive efforts like the Hezbollah model, not too mention economic efforts like the Mondragon model.
My next major theoretical piece for ARV/ATS will likely be something with the working title “Towards a North American Anarchist Hezbollah.”
Hezbollah is the world’s primary fourth generation force. It has de facto replaced the Lebanese state, even if the state remains formally intact. It won two armed struggles against one of the world’s best military forces, the IDF. It has replaced the welfare state as a principal provider of services. It has an extremist ideology but is moderate, practical, and pragmatic in tactics (like us!). It has formed a durable alliance with numerous other political factions with much different ideological foundations. Also, the Lebanese confessional system is in some ways similar to a lot of the ideas of anarcho-pluralism or N-A. They are also a total anathema to the globalist forces.
Obviously, there is much to be learned from them.
Hezbollah has certainly been an influence on the ideas I promote among Native Americans. My mother’s tribe probably does the best at this. They have what I call their colonial government, their “tribal” government which was founded by the Spanish Empire as a puppet state. Then they have their clans, which remain the heart of the community. The clans view themselves as the bearers of traditional knowledge and the underlying fabric of the community, and see their role as being there to take over when the white man’s influence finally passes from our lands. The view here is that Empires come and go, but our tribe is here to stay.
The traditional leadership of a number of tribes have this outlook. I’ve been in the room when an old school clan leader has asked a state representative, “when you gonna leave?” The natives in the room realize that he’s asking when is the state going to leave and let us get back to our business.
My hope is that we can cultivate this as a shadow government throughout Indian Country. This ought to scare the shit out of the state. They have systematically taken measures to politically and economically marginalize our clans. It’s hard to co-opt a clan!
“Any thoughts on this article about Distributism?”
That’s just a partisan attack on anything that seems “leftish” or archaic or “non-scientific” in anyway, or in any way opposed to the whole Austrian package. It really makes no sense to me, most of the Austrians and the Distributists share the same ends, and even some of the same means. Mises.org has really gone down the shitter lately, it seems every other article is some new “iconoclastic” vulgar libertarian thing critiquing some popular new idea or movement that would normally be worthwhile for people like them to look at except it doesnt fit within the whole Austrian worldview.
I used to go on Mises.org some years ago and debate the Austro-fundamentalists there, and it was like going to a monastery to discuss theology with monks. Their movement is not going to be able to grow past a certain point, because it’s too rigid. They have a very fortified ideological framework that lacks the flexibility needed for achieving political relevance.
“My next major theoretical piece for ARV/ATS will likely be something with the working title “Towards a North American Anarchist Hezbollah.”
I’m laying out a region wide strategy for Pacific Northwest tribes and am trying to figure out how to link to an article that hasn’t been written yet 🙂
“A proliferation of hundreds and then thousands of Christianias and Oranias or Twin Oaks or Lakotah Republics reflecting a wide array of ideological or cultural values would be my ideal in many ways, but I’m inclined towards the view that such efforts would be repressed by the state if our tactics were limited to the creation of such communities. That’s why I generally think such efforts need to be combined with the cultivation of political actions like the Mailer model or defensive efforts like the Hezbollah model, not too mention economic efforts like the Mondragon model.”
I agree that the state, which can’t co-opt decentralist movements, is likely to rightly regard any practical attempts at implementing anarchist ideas as a serious threat and react accordingly. This is why is absolutely essential that decentralised none hierarchical structures which can resist suppression and infiltration are employed by radical groups. The effectiveness of these tactics has been demonstrated by groups like the EZLN who have done a brilliant job of incorporating them into their general ideology, as represented by the famous ski masks.
I believe that one of the advantages of attempting to implement prototype communities is exactly to allow us to outflank the elite at an ideological level. If the state is forced to deploy repression against a community clearly and unmistakably exhibiting the virtues of freedom and democracy claimed by the state as their own then they have got a serious problem. If the sole outcome of such an attempt was to simply arm radicals with a rock solid argument that the state was intrinsically hostile to meaningful democracy then it would be more than worth the effort on that basis.
I favour the Mailer tactical model, or variations on it, of taking control of vulnerable local representative democracy posts and “converting” them to direct democracy systems. One advantage of this is that as the same time the “parallel structure” is constructed an element of the existing system is knocked out to make space for it. It is then extremely difficult for the establishment to get a clear shot at the “parallel structures” since they are entangled with their own system. Works for cancer.
Other advantages include that it far easier to persuade average Joe that this is merely an adjustment to the system, not a revolution (which he likes). It fits in easily with his existing concept of how democratic systems should work. It also just looks a lot more achievable than setting up a completely sovereign local forum or parliament and instantly engaging in a total war with the state for control of that district. And in a really beautiful demonstration of twisted elegance the converted establishment system can use the higher levels of the state’s own system to shield it as it advances. It will take a while for the newly liberated citizens to develop political literacy, however under the strategy of subversion of establishment systems they can develop this as the revolution takes over each successive layer of “representative democracy” and as it expands to take full control of “representative democracy” institutions, like city hall and county and state government. Thus this strategy has an organic quality to its advance.
I think that if we could simply inject this strategy into the collective consciousness of radicals in the West then it would take on a life of its own. Maybe it might not implode the establishment overnight, but it must represent their absolute worst nightmare. Certainly I wouldn’t like the job of countering hundreds of different groups, each armoured plated against standard subversion techniques, hardwired for adaptation to local conditions and each waving the banner of their town. It would be like trying to combat a swarm of ants with a cannon.
The problem with the Hezbollah model is that is requires people to commit huge amounts of economic resources, which Western populations are loathed to do. It requires people to develop a different political culture to the one they have lived in their entire lives, total commitment to the cause. And operating a single broad front such an organisation is vulnerable to the propaganda machine of the establishment. Yeah it would be nice to see an anti-state Western Hezbollah working to supplant the state’s system. However I dare say the Cuban Army has a similar attitude to ballistic missile subs, it would be great if they had some, but they haven’t and aren’t likely to get any in the future, and ultimately they don’t actually need them to do the job.
“The problem with the Hezbollah model is that is requires people to commit huge amounts of economic resources, which Western populations are loathed to do. It requires people to develop a different political culture to the one they have lived in their entire lives, total commitment to the cause.”
I’m not so sure that’s the case. In Indian communities there’s a slightly higher than average number of people willing to dedicate themselves to the radical cause of decentralization and our version of N-A. The rest of the population will likely come along after this group proves that we can win and that we’ve built something better. I’m of the opinion that what makes the difference is A.) the right strategy and B.) not how many radicals you have, but how committed they are.
Then again, we have our clan system, which is still kicking around and not quite dead. So maybe we do have that important perspective of a different political culture that the rest of society doesn’t have.
^^^ I meant to say that there is *only* a slightly higher than average number of people willing to dedicate themselves to our radical cause.
Sure RJ. However we have to be realistic. Other than in the event of the spontaneous collapse of the state we aren’t going to get to widespread sovereign communities in one step. Christiania and Orania might be fine for highly politically motivated and literate people but they tell us little about how to bring about self determination for the average person.
The Mailer model allows for these ideas to be incrementally implemented in a process which educates the people (and at this stage that even applies to the relatively politically savvy) as it advances. It takes what are abstract ideas about democracy and political legitimacy and turns them into easily understood concrete issues. “Our community voted to legalise weed, our community has a superior democratic mandate, who the hell are these guys busting us then?”
As for the issue of the hostility of the world empire. One of the advantages of the Mailer model is that it weakens that global elite power structure as it advances by removing the allegiance of the communities which make up that empire from it. Moreover if it is going to come down to guerrilla war then you absolutely must have a politically educated and informed population to sustain the fight, the Mailer model is explicitly designed to do that. By the time the National Guard arrive to re-impose central rule on a community which had followed the path all the way to UDI that community might be in a position to put up a fight.
Another advantage is that because it sees a gradual transition there is no clear “trigger moment” at which the elite can agree on the need for intervention. You can hardly send in the Apaches if a town had simply democratised its local government and claimed its right to run its own garbage policy. Short of the town actually forming a militia and physically ejecting state power (in the form of the pigs) there is no moment when the elite can say “they’ve gone too far”.
“Thinking through conjectural implication beyond co-optation into the realm of full blown insurgency in the later stages of an American rebellion, the Hezbollah model is intended to function with the Mailer model.”
RJ, This is what I’m arguing. The Mailer model of subverting establishment representative “democratic” structures represents the first step. I believe that as these coopted direct democracy institutions come into conflict with central authority the effect will be to radicalise and politicise populations in favour of secessionist principles. They just won’t be content to have control of garbage policy, they WILL want to legalise weed or prostitution or something significant which will be beyond the power afford the coopted local government.
At this point you can expect to see ideologically motivated groups emerge within these communities which might be sufficiently motivated to undertake something like the Hezbollah model. Incidentally control of local government offers considerable resources (and crucially legitimacy and authority) to enact parallel structures of welfare provision and maybe even justice, law enforcement and education.
The Mailer model is eminently viable at this point, the Hezbollah model isn’t in a Western context.
“Hezbollah is a reality. The state is not going to say, “shit! they’ve created their own communities without hierarchical structures vulnerable to co-optation! They’ve weakened us. We surrender!” The U.S. empire has quite the background in obliterating well developed counter-forces, entire nations for that matter. Especially those who have weakened their influence, security, finance, and overall position of power. They have new drone technology capable of taking out entire neighborhoods within minutes, from an apartment, or a command tower. We’re starting to see this in Libya, Afghanistan, Yemen, Pakistan, etc. And for Americans, there will be more US Empire loyalists than rebel forces. I don’t think we’re going to have the number of communities on our side that one might like to think. Keep in mind, a serious rebel movement attempting to break up the union would be deemed anti-American by American authorities. American and most European media outlets will be calling us terrorists. Perhaps Russian and Middle Eastern outlets like Russia Today and Al Jazeera will rightfully call us “rebels””
Hezbollah is a reality; in Lebanon. A society which has been subject to intensive politicisation for about forty years and one where conventional state rule has manifestly failed. That is a very different environment to the ones in which we are operating. (Acknowledging a certain trend towards converge!).
As for the possibility of drone attack on our secessionist communities. In one sense that would probably represent a victory since the pollicising effect on the general population of domestic Hellfire policing would probably not be positive for the establishment. However in another sense it would probably represent a failure of strategy for secessionists since, as Tzu Sun observed “supreme excellence lies in winning without fighting”. We should if at all possible be developing strategies which have at least a chance of achieving victory without playing the establishment’s favourite game, massive organised violence.
This is why I think it would be far better to have hundreds of communities slowly advancing towards sovereignty under the Mailer model than one or two “intentional communities” which can be annihilated Waco style by one or other state agencies. It is conceivable that the Western establishments do simply go quietly into the night like the British or Soviet Empires (largely) did when it realised time was up. We could easily conceive a situation in which their declining political and economic power causes mass defections from the ranks of their core organisations leading to a neat collapse of the political infrastructure of state power. Surely that is what we should be aiming for rather than a Gottdamerung decade long battle we could easily lose?
(Talking of insurgencies the IRA and ETA’s campaigns are worth studying as examples of insurgencies in a Western context. Note both failed)
“Also Pearson you are located outside of the United States. Things may take shape and play out in other ways for you due to geographical differences”
OK I’ll admit to being more than a little shaky on the subject of American local government.
As I understand it you do have advantages over the British system in that your local government has a lot more power than ours, the British state is one of the most centralised on Earth. You also have a tradition of democratically elected local officials such as Mayors and Sheriffs which we don’t. Plus a popular conception of a historical tradition of secessionism which is completely unknown in the UK. The British state and its precursors have been hanging around here for a 1000 years.
On the other hand we do have a some advantages in that our local government institutions do have a considerable historical legitimacy, some being the descendents of town councils (which in the Medieval period often were pretty much self governing) not a lot younger than the state itself. Getting people to realise that is a important goal.
“Violence is the nature of the state, not a game. I think it’s naive to assume that a superstate will hand over its resources and geographic monopolies without a bloody war.”
That is, after all, how they got it in the first place! This is one reality that scares the shit out of all but the most hard core tribal sovereignty advocates. Most seem to think that we will win concessions in the court of public opinion. At the end of the day, we’re talking about reclaiming territory that the empire is currently pillaging for loot; billions of dollars worth of loot.
“We’re aiming to win another decade long secessionist American Revolutionary War. The first secessionist American Revolutionary War lasted eight years, and it was won.”
True, however back in 1775 the opposition didn’t have access to Hellfire Armed Drones. Indeed it would seem looking back at that period that there were factors which tilted the odds in favour of revolutionaries off all sorts everywhere, whether that was Haiti, Mexico, Greece or France. Perhaps one of these was the success of the “radicals” in the intellectual sphere over the preceding century.
I accept your point about the potential capacity of, to use the Marxist term, the Lumpenproletariat. However a study of history would clearly show us that no revolution comes from that section of society. It is the middle classes who are invariably the instigators and driving force of revolutionary change. You yourself in your excellent video “power to the neighbourhoods” described the classic mechanism of dissemination of a political paradigm from the intellectual elite level down through academics, students and activists to the mainstream. What I am suggesting is that the Mailer Model is the method by which secessionist ideas can make the jump from an abstract theoretical level to those radical elements of the middle classes.
I also agree that those none state forces are likely to come into conflict with each other in the future. I don’t see this as much of a problem thought, the destabilising effect of that is not likely to strengthen the state’s hand. Anymore than it did as the Roman Empire came apart. (as for Libya, I kinda like Gaddafi’s “third way” decentralist ideas. Pity he didn’t implement them and that he came face to face with the formidable rage of a belligerent Empire in its death throes). I think that the inherent strength of the decentralist model must ultimately overcome any centralised power. If you’re going to have something on your side I’d rather the laws of thermodynamics than the National Guard in the long run.
“I prefer the indestructible George Washington. An Indian Chief once referred to Washington as “the man who can never die in battle” with four bullets through his coat, and two horses shot out from under him, “firearms are the peoples’ liberty’s teeth” -George Washington”
Luck is always a useful attribute; however it is not one. I suggest, we can calculate on.
“Violence is the nature of the state, not a game. I think it’s naive to assume that a superstate will hand over its resources and geographic monopolies without a bloody war.”
Well let’s not be too pessimistic, as I noted above we have the precedents of the Soviet, Ottoman, Austro Hungarian and British Empires which collapsed relatively peacefully (compared to their usual capacity for massive violence). Empires tend to go out quickly and with a surprising lack of fuss, unless they are destroyed by another Empire like Nazi Germany or Carthage. Empire is a bad idea, their maintenance consumes a lot of energy of all sorts (including some sort of psychic or psychotic energy), once these energies are expended then Empires become extremely vulnerable. In some cases in the absence of internal or external threats they can linger on for centuries (Byzantium) but I suggest this is not the case with the Pax Americana.
The weakness of the American/Western elites in terms of their increasingly disaffected populations, their economic malaise and their intellectual bankruptcy will, in my opinion, bring them down sooner or later. I think that an armed challenge to them might actually have an invigorating effect so they survive longer. (the polarisation of people caused by armed conflict would probably both increase the support for the state from people who ain’t all that keen at the moment and allow states to carry out measures to strengthen themselves which are just not viable in peacetime (like sequestration of assets, nationalisation etc). I have a hunch that the guys in charge of China’s strategic outlook tend to agree with my assessment, hence their apparently inexplicable support for the American state’s finances. Much better to put a pillow over this bastard’s face whilst he is on the sickbed than shoot it out with the mad fucker at High Noon.
“That is, after all, how they got it in the first place!”.
Yeah Vince, but that was when they were young and strong! Now we’re talking about a wizened old senile bastard with a really bad attitude. Plus it might be worth billions of dollars, but what is a dollar worth?
“What I am suggesting is that the Mailer Model is the method by which secessionist ideas can make the jump from an abstract theoretical level”
I’m on board with that. And really that’s what we’re all trying to do here.
“I accept your point about the potential capacity of, to use the Marxist term, the Lumpenproletariat. However a study of history would clearly show us that no revolution comes from that section of society.”
Keep in mind that we are not dealing with the traditional proleteriat that comes to mind when we think of Marx and historical leftism. Considering that there is no existing peasantry in American society, the working class has become the middle class, unions have become instruments of the elites, the overall industrial proleteriatianism of the old left has become establishmentarian — the new revolutionary class would be the urban and rural underclass where systematically oppressed and critically endangered farmers become the peasants — the racialists, street gangs, hated patriots/conspiracy theorists, odd religious groups, cultural conservatives, militiamen-isolationists are now the “social scum”, along with the rebellious and disaffected youth and student followers as the suburban lumpenpro. From there, the intellectual counter-elites and political leaders emerge out of these social groupings who come to understand this new class struggle, revolutionary ideas begin with the elites of these groups, and spill over. (which is starting to happen with the rise of the New Right, the Alternative Right, the Alex Jones phenomenon, the Ron Paul Movement, the Libertarian Left, Attack the System USA, the Pirate Party, the Hacker Movements, the Wikileaks undergrads, the neo-secessionist movements, etc.) The American Revolutionary Vanguard would function within a decentralized internal framework to organize breakaway movements based on the Mailer Model behind an anarchist Hezbollah-like class Vanguard for resistance.
“the opposition didn’t have access to Hellfire Armed Drones”
We’ll have drones, too. I actually own two AR drones that I can control from my smart phone like a video game. I bought two for under $700 from amazon.com and jailbroke my phone for the display recorder hack which lets me record everything the drone sees from its bottom and front cameras. I can send a drone out through my window to circle my house and pick up everything not only around my house, but around my neighborhood as well. I can see cars coming from the Blvd before they hit the street to enter my neighborhood. It’s like big brother for revolutionaries hehe: http://www.amazon.com/Parrot-AR-Drone-Quadricopter-Controlled-Android/dp/B003ZVSHB0 – looks like the price went down a bit. I should add that they’re very difficult to fly at first.
With the emergence of the HackerSpace movement in the US (which did not exist in Libya, although the Libyan rebels had drones) there is no reason as to why American rebel forces would not be capable of arming typical DIY drones or online-available quadricopters with micro-bombs to combat large Predator and Reaper drones. DIY drone technology has become extremely popular in the US. And Hezbollah may have already found a way to electronically disable drones: http://thedailyattack.com/2011/11/19/hezbollah-may-have-found-a-way-of-electronically-disabling-drones/
“that was when they were young and strong! Now we’re talking about a wizened old senile bastard with a really bad attitude.”
The US government has conducted a number of martial law exercises with foreign troops focused exclusively on “terrorism prevention and protection” as opposed to incident response and recovery. The exercises have included Australian, Canadian, Mexican, Philippine, and UK troops. A ruler’s rule of thumb: never send the people’s troops into a people’s revolution. The Syrian regime is learning this the hard way (http://thedailyattack.com/2011/11/09/the-syrian-free-army-made-up-of-defected-soldiers-against-the-government/). It’s safe to say that we can expect Mexican and Filipino troops who probably don’t even speak English to come down on us.
“Keep in mind that we are not dealing with the traditional proleteriat that comes to mind when we think of Marx and historical leftism. Considering that there is no existing peasantry in American society, the working class has become the middle class, unions have become instruments of the elites, the overall industrial proleteriatianism of the old left has become establishmentarian — the new revolutionary class would be the urban and rural underclass where systematically oppressed and critically endangered farmers become the peasants — the racialists, street gangs, hated patriots/conspiracy theorists, odd religious groups, cultural conservatives, militiamen-isolationists are now the “social scum”, along with the rebellious and disaffected youth and student followers as the suburban lumpenpro. From there, the intellectual counter-elites and political leaders emerge out of these social groupings who come to understand this new class struggle, revolutionary ideas begin with the elites of these groups, and spill over. (which is starting to happen with the rise of the New Right, the Alternative Right, the Alex Jones phenomenon, the Ron Paul Movement, the Libertarian Left, Attack the System USA, the Pirate Party, the Hacker Movements, the Wikileaks undergrads, the neo-secessionist movements, etc.) The American Revolutionary Vanguard would function within a decentralized internal framework to organize breakaway movements based on the Mailer Model behind an anarchist Hezbollah-like class Vanguard for resistance.”
I acknowledge the process to which you refer by which increasing numbers of groups are being excluded from full membership of society and whose economic interests are being sacrificed in favour of the elite’s and the maintenance of the system itself. However merely excluding these groups from the elite’s definition of the acceptable or justified does not make them potentially effective revolutionary classes. None of the out-groups you describe has exhibited any capacity for effective organisation or mobilisation on any level, and most certainly not on the intellectual.
Indeed I would go as far as to say that several of them, cultural conservatives, militiaists, odd religious groups, patriots/conspiracy theorists, and particularly racialists effectively serve as bogymen herding “average Joe” into the establishment coral. “You don’t like us, here are the alternatives”.
Additionally many of those groups accept most if not all of the central tenants of elite ideology. Cultural conservatives and a lot of the more outlandish protestant sects are willing to die for “capitalism”. Hacker groups, disaffected youth and even elements of what is usually described as the right have signed up wholesale to the morality system of progressivism and its essential principles.
These groups do have considerable potential power, but it will take a middle class group with the intellectual and organisational skills required to organise and mobilise them.
Which is where you come in, secessionism/anarchism is the obvious strategy and has the intellectual firepower to allow that to happen. Additionally it offers a range of tactical advantages without which it would be impossible to align these disparate groups against the system.
My argument/suggestion is that secessionism/anarchism already has intellectual superiority, or at least that it’s practical and moral case is so overwhelming that it can’t fail to win a “war of ideas” should it ever get to fight one. What is needed at this point is successful application of these principles at a demonstration level in order to advertise its merits to that crucial class of middle class enablers.
Love the drone stuff RJ, might be a nice ad for ATS buzzing the next pig offensive on occupy. I see some Polish guys have already done something similar
“Well, I think they’ve made themselves clear. The unfathomable Security State of the US Empire demonstrates how far the ruling class will go to protect their empire. I don’t see any doubt here.”
Oh yeah, the elite will always plan for the “Scorched Earth” defence of their values and system. However empires are essentially economic entities, if they don’t have the potential for profit at least equal to the cost of their upkeep they are doomed. The guy in the palace always wonders what happened to the armies that won the empire when his throne room door is being kicked in.
The United States of America (and all Western states), as a commercial operation, given its current and likely future financial condition, would be worth zero on the open market.
At what point will the state go 4th generation on the American people to hold onto what territory they have left?
Some thoughts on the questions being discussed here:
I see the Mailer model as having multiple functions. One is to serve as a focal point around which radicals of different stripes, including those who otherwise disagree with each other in many ways, can organize themselves. For instance, different ethnic groups who desire sovereignty for their communities, or religious conservatives who wish to insulate themselves from “the world” or libertines who wish to set up a red light district. Second, it provides a workable model for managing large metropolitan areas of the kind where most of the US population lives minus the municipal bureaucracies that currently dominate urban life not to mention the centralized federal state itself. Third, it is a means of publicizing the concept of pan-secessionism. The proliferation of movements in US cities employing the Mailer model and advocating secession would be a principal organizational and propaganda vehicle. Fourth, as Pearson points out, it is a means of gaining real power and access to resources (e.g. Pearson’s example of the local sheriff tradition in US political culture—that’s a tradition that can be used for good or ill, with Joe Arpaio being an example of its negative use). Fifth, I agree with Pearson that to organize the lumpenproletariat it will be necessary to have an activist and organizational leadership drawn from the ranks of educated people who will be predominately middle class in origins, though declasse in their thinking and values, and the development and cultivation of the Mailer model would be a means of attracting and organizing such “defectors from the middle class” or whatever we want to call them. Sixth, regarding the question of intentional communites like Orania, Christiania, Kiryas Joel, et.al., I agree that if these got too flagrant they might be subject to Waco-like repression. I favor the cultivation of such communities and they might in some way serve as a base for dissident cultural groups who are either core constituents of pan-secessionists or who contribute significantly to the leadership or activist core, but such communities need to be strongly allied with and under the protection of the wider local community. Hence, the necessity of achieving local political preeminence using the Mailer model.
Regarding the broader question of pan-secessionist/anarchist action, I see the state/empire coming down in two possible ways. One would be the British/Soviet model that Pearson discusses. The other would be the model of 1776/1861 America where localities/regions formally declare independence that RJ suggests. The main danger from the former would be a resulting civil war from all sorts of factions with at least some of them trying to create a new central state (with the goal of either restoring the old system or creating a new imperial state of their own). The main danger with the latter scenario would be a repeat of the US Civil War between a central government and seceding regions. As to which situation is most desirable, probably the latter because it focuses the point of contention on the drive to dissolve the central state itself.
There are several reasons why I think the Hezbollah model (manifested as some kind of anarchist/secessionist militia confederation) will be indispensable. The first is theoretical. I generally regard the military and the police as the backbone of the state. For any existing state to go, it has to lose control over these. And to prevent the emergence of a new state, these have to be dissolved. In other words, the secessionist/anarchist militia confederation needs to replace the state’s military and law enforcement agencies as the territorial defenders of the “nation” like Hezbollah has done in Lebanon. Also, such an arrangement needs to be in place to prevent a potential coup against the anarchist/secessionist revolution. Such a coup could come from either system loyalists seeking to restore the old order (e.g. the Pinochet or Franco models) or from formerly out of power groups seeking a state of their own (the Bolshevik or Jacobin model). Also, a pre-arranged secessionist alliance and subsequent militia confederation is helpful towards the prevention of civil war between contending factions once the state disintegrates. Additionally, there needs to be some means of preventing an explosion of opportunistic crime, looting, and violence once the state disappears. Such a scenario could lead to popular discontent and insecurity that would drive “the masses” towards those promising to restore law and order through the creation of a new state.
Regarding “intellectually retarded outgroups,” this is a question I am frequently asked about by well-intentioned people. Some samples: “How can you be an elitist and promote such untermenschen elements?” or “Doesn’t the presence of such freak groups give your movement a bad image or drive away persons of quality?” or “Don’t these kinds of people turn off ‘normal’ people and doesn’t that undermine the potential mass appeal of your movement?”
The answer is that what we need to develop a multi-layered movement that functions like ripples in a pond. Our movement’s core ideas involve creating an alliance of anarchist “tribes” representing many different kinds of anarchists (with sectarians falling by the wayside) that then works to bond together a wider assortment of dissident “tribes” (hard core opponents of the system) into a broader alliance, and then appeals to all sorts of outgroups by recognizing their core issues, and subsequently appeals to “the masses” by addressing their growing economic anxieties. Pearson is right that it will take an established leadership group of generally educated people (from predominately middle class backgrounds) to effectively organize the lumpenproletariat and that this leadership needs to have a pre-existing resource and power base in order to do so. For instance, to recruit and organize urban street gangs it would be necessary to first have a pan-secessionist movement that is well-established enough in urban centers to connect with leaders of black nationalist and Afro-centric tendencies (or leaders of dissident tendencies among other ethnic groups that are heavily represented in urban gang culture) with these in turn being a bridge between the lumpen sectors and the pan-secessionists. Likewise, to appeal to rebellious youth over the drinking age issue or whatever, it would be necessary to have some public forum from which to do so, and a local pan-secessionist movement using the Mailer model would be such a forum. To reach the rank and file conspiracy theorists of the populist right, it is necessary for our tendency to first be large enough and credible enough to gain the recognition of respected right-wing populist leaders. This is what I have been trying to do in my relationship to Alt Right, ENR, NPI, etc. From what I have seen the NATA-NY group has been able to cultivate a relationship with the 9-11 Truthers, given the geographical issues involved. In short, the alternative anarchists represent a leadership group, with other dissident tendencies representing allies we are trying to organize into a pan-secessionist front, with freakazoid groups being core constituents and rank and file activists in some instances, the lumpenproletariat being a core class base, and the economically declining masses being our ultimate target.
“At what point will the state go 4th generation on the American people to hold onto what territory they have left?”
It’s likely that as the state dissolves groups formerly connected to the state will reinvent themselves as fourth generation forces (i.e. police departments, divisions of the military, alphabet soup agencies, etc)
Btw, such a scenario is probably the main reason why the Hezbollah model is indispensable.
I have finally come to embrace my status as an educated defector of the middle class.
“One of the reasons why I’ve drifted away from the left-libertarian/agorist milieu was because I began to question the idea of starving the state out of existence. The left-libertarians use the phrases “starving the state” and “weakening the state” interchangeably, ignoring the gap between debilitation and destruction. Carson, after an exhausting economic paper, would briefly mention how private armies would “be ready by then,” stuff like that. But how far would we starve the state? How far can we starve the state? What will the state look like “by then” Where would these “private armies” be? Who will have them? Shouldn’t we care to know? How will they be used? What will they look like? The LLs didn’t seem to take what will be the darkest hour of our struggle seriously.”
The problem with the agorists and LLs here is their economic determinism. The political order precedes the economic order. For instance, even if you accept the vulgar libertarian definition of “capitalism,” for “capitalism” to exist there has to first be, at minimum, a state that defines property rights and rules of contract. Or if there is no state, there has to be a pre-exising system of common law and some mechanism of enforcement and defense of the system against insurgents. For feudalism to exist, there has to be a state that issues titles of nobility and land privileges. For Marxism-Leninism to exist, there has to be a state that nationalizes all productive property.
We can still have systems of “private property” without the state, of course. But the proponents of any particular system would have to be able to meet existential challenges to their preferred system with armed resistance if necessary. The CNT-FAI would need to be prepared to defend anarcho-syndicalism, the PDAs would need to defend anarcho-capitalism, the anti-government militias would need to defend the common law courts and neo-allodial land titles and liens placed against government officials property, the primmies or Luddites would have to prevent the encroachment of Wal-Mart, etc.
In other words, while the agorists and LLs have some very good ideas on many things, they need to read Schmitt’s “The Concept of the Political.”
Recently we were having a discussion on the NATA-NY FB about what kind of economic system the participants would prefer in their own anarchist community or “tribe.” The answers included “Austrian free markets,” socialism, mutualism, “locally-based socialism,” and primitivism. I’m personally interested in non-statist “socialism” from the Left (the stuff Larry Gambone has written about) and anti-capitalist rightist tendencies like distributism. But for any of these to be achieved its proponents first need to gain the political preeminence necessary to implement it.
Recognition of this is why I’ve generally been a proponent of attacking the state, the empire, the MIC, and the police as the primary focus of anarchism, rather than economic and social questions as most anarchists seem to focus on.
“I believe “the top” of the revolutionary cycle is an atmosphere of déclassé intellectuals who were supposed to be middle class.”
Yes, that’s what I was trying to say.
“But I’m not sure that’s what Pearson was arguing: “a study of history would clearly show us that no revolution comes from that section of society. It is the middle classes who are invariably the instigators and driving force” He’s arguing that the working and lower classes are not the primary force of the revolution, that a study of history shows that these sectors have never been the driving force of revolution.”
I can see how a case can be made for that, but I think it’s question of how you identify the place of the middle classes in the process of revolution. I hold to a “trickle-down, trickle up” theory of revolution. As I have written elsewhere:
“The standard pattern in the history of the advancement of radical movements is that a new revolutionary outlook first captures the imagination of the intellectual elite, who become dissenters, and this new outlook then advances into the ranks of those who are most likely to opt for radicalism, or who have the least to lose by doing so. So, in turn, the intellectual dissidents are joined by student radicals and rebellious youth, bohemians and counterculturalists, members of the lumpenproletariat and the underclass, and marginalized or outcast social groups. Eventually, radical ideas begin working their way into the ranks of the conventional proletariat, and then into the middle class, and, finally, the establishment, with social reactionaries reluctantly being dragged along.(86) At this point, the revolution is complete.”
I think the key issue here is that the revolution really begins to take root when radical ideas begin to become established within the ranks of the middle class, but that does not mean that they originate from the middle class or that the middle class is the leading revolutionary class.
“And I think Bakunin proved to be prophetic given the successful revolutionary process that hit the Slavic republics, along with Spain, China, Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America. I believe the working and lower classes serve as the ultimate agitator, with the more deadly anti establishment leaders emerging from these particular sectors. In America, the working, lower, and peasant classes are the sectors that have, in the past, produced the most dangerous leaders of groups of people to systems: Nat Turner, Harriet Tubman, Huey P Newton, George Jackson, Malcolm X, etc – the real threat to the ruling class.”
“The trickle down effect does not necessarily trickle “down” in the order of the social classes. These revolutionary ideas appear to hit the working class long before they hit the middle class. I think the intellectual and philosophical counter-elite are simply the talented sons and daughters of the middle class who were essentially educated to serve within elitist institutions, but they are not leaders of the middle class by any stretch of the imagination. They merely have middle class backgrounds given from middle class parents, as Keith essentially mentions, and are more likely to be accompanied by blue collar intellectuals if anything. From there these dispossessed intellectuals root new ideas in other dissident thinkers, and this arrangement gives birth to the spread of ideas into student circles, followers, counterculturalists, and on to the lower and working classes essentially bypassing the less concerned middle class in the process.”
To a great degree, I think the different between Pearson’s outlook and yours might simply be a matter of terminology. Are declasse intellectuals with middle class origins really “middle class”? Or are they simply “declasse”?
For revolutionary ideas to take root in the middle class, one of two things (or both) has to happen. Either the middle needs to possess rising expectations and upward mobility, but with a feeling of political exclusion, or a formerly stable and prosperous middle class has to see itself as being in a state of decline. Of course, the middle class is not monolithic, so some sectors of the middle class can view themselves one way and some sectors the other way.
The left-wing side of U.S. “culture wars” represents a rising middle class of public sector employees and other relatively secure professions, often consisting of upwardly mobile members of former outgroups like women and minorities, who are in the process of full implementation of the anti-WASP cultural revolution of the 1960s and 1970s (which in its time followed the same revolutionary process we have discussed here: i.e. Marcuse passed his ideas down to New Left students and hippies, etc.) From the other end, groups from the Right like the teabaggers represent an older, more traditional middle class that is in a state of decline.
As to how this relates to anarchist/secessionist revolution, things could go in two different ways (or both simultaneously). The sinking middle class could eventually get so frustrated that they give up on the system altogether (they’re a long way from that now) and adopt a genuine radicalism (the Ron Paulistas might be a bridge there). Also, a new rising middle class could emerge of professions or demographic groups that were formerly part of the lower orders or were outgroups. Let’s say, for example, that drug user rights, prisoner rights, sex worker rights, or gang member rights organizations emerged that actually became politically influential in the same way that civil rights, women’s lib, gay rights, or consumer advocate groups became prominent in the 1960s and 70s, and that the social position of members or former members of these groups began to rise.
What happened to Jared, anyway?
“The trickle down effect does not necessarily trickle “down” in the order of the social classes. These revolutionary ideas appear to hit the working class long before they hit the middle class. I think the intellectual and philosophical counter-elite are simply the talented sons and daughters of the middle class who were essentially educated to serve within elitist institutions, but they are not leaders of the middle class by any stretch of the imagination. They merely have middle class backgrounds given from middle class parents, as Keith essentially mentions, and are more likely to be accompanied by blue collar intellectuals if anything. From there these dispossessed intellectuals root new ideas in other dissident thinkers, and this arrangement gives birth to the spread of ideas into student circles, followers, counterculturalists, and on to the lower and working classes essentially bypassing the less concerned middle class in the process.”
Good lord, are you ease dropping on discussions in my circles? We have at least one of each of the following: a declasse, a student radical, a dissident thinker from lumpen origins, and an artist/intellectual.
Some interesting points made. To clarify my position on the need for “middle class” leadership or at least organisation. Sure ultimately the revolution goes down when the average working people come onto the streets. But to make that happen you need that cadre to have put in place organisational systems, even if these are simple memes such as the leaderless systems of Occupy , and the intellectual arguments. If that is not present then it is child’s play for the old elite to out manoeuvre the revolution.
There was a very informative example of this in my town recently where a spontaneous facebook originated movement threatening a “mass protest” against immigration caused localised uproar (attracting the support of about 10% of the entire population of the town). However within a couple of days the local elite had casually defused the whole movement and shunted it off into a dead end. It really was painful to watch.
However I think I have identified a strand of existing authentic middle class activism which is highly susceptible to secessionist anarchism. This is the “localisation” or “relocalisation” movement. This essentially middle class movement is the product of a largely economic critique of globalisation. It calls for local ownership of economic infrastructure, the promotion of local goods and services and resistance to global corporations. This movement has obvious synergies with environmentalism as well as the whole “Peak Oil” thing (both of which are major driving forces of the relocalisation movement as a whole).
What’s interesting is that the relocalisation lobby has rapidly developed a host of practical activist tactics; community ownership through locally issued shares, local currencies, credit unions, farmers markets etc. (a lot of the infrastructure from the Victorian/early 20th century Self Help/Cooperative/mutual movement is still lying about giving this thing a huge head start).
It has even found considerable elite support in the UK, with the government recently passing a “localism act” which offers support for communities organising these kind of initiatives.
I think there is a massive opportunity here to extend the “relocalisation” agenda from pure economics to political relocalisation. Which is, of course, secessionism by another name. The same arguments apply; whatever Walmart has done to your local economy the Republicans or Democrats have done to your local politics. I’m sure you don’t need me to spell it out the case, it’s self evident.
Better yet, in the UK at least, there is a pre-existing middle class Independent (politician) movement which actually has a formidable capability at local level. And again the parallels are obvious. These people already understand the critique of the establishment’s political power and have already actually contested it on the streets.
I can see the possibility of linking these ideas and their supporters into a single movement. Furthermore I believe that if this can be done successfully in just one locality the precedent will unleash a tidal wave of people using the same techniques all over the West. Once that wave is in motion it is inevitable that elements of it will quickly start to push the concept further and its logical conclusion is fully autonomous, self determining, self governing communities. Sure the process will be patchy, but that’s an advantage for the reasons I stated earlier.
I think this thing is already out there, I think we just need to identify it and make it conscious of itself. If we can do that…….
“However I think I have identified a strand of existing authentic middle class activism which is highly susceptible to secessionist anarchism. This is the “localisation” or “relocalisation” movement. This essentially middle class movement is the product of a largely economic critique of globalisation. It calls for local ownership of economic infrastructure, the promotion of local goods and services and resistance to global corporations. This movement has obvious synergies with environmentalism as well as the whole “Peak Oil” thing (both of which are major driving forces of the relocalisation movement as a whole).”
Yeah there’s a similar existence in the US which consists primarily of middle class local producers, DIYers, the open business model movement, radical engineers, young open source hardware developers/the micromanufacturing movement, the older middle class entrepreneurial farmers and local self-sufficiency folks, the market gardeners, the suburban homesteaders, the solar power movement, multigenerational households and other middle class folks who actually have the resources to launch serious platforms for building and experimenting at the residential level. And the whole thing overlaps with middle class hackers (hackers as in the hackerspace movements, not Anonymous website crashers). There are a lot of self-organized networks for “community resilience” and things like that in the US, people working on projects that are way out of reach of the lower classes. So I understand where you’re coming from when you say you’ve noticed emerging order at the local level, small resilient networks/communities who appear to be already reconfiguring themselves as a response to the globalized economic turmoil but right now it’s more at the residential level than the community level.
Carson talked about how these particular people could turn revolutionary in an agorist kind of way but would require some long-reaching incentives which I don’t think are feasible, like the various networks linking up with the working class who might have access to machine shops, wood shops, garage shops, print shops, wood lots, etc. but the whole idea entails a lot of bartering and cross-development which in my opinion is not-likely to happen, he called it “the network cluster” and he talked about how a certain amount of “nodes” would cause a transition leading to a new mode of operation gutting the global economy in replace of resilient communities etc. Jeff Vail called it the “diagonal economy” which comes into this new phase via middle and working class production. Honestly I think it’s just wishful theory. New economies will certainly emerge during the collapse but are not likely to invoke any agorist revolution. I dont see this as a plausible promise (you probably don’t either) I believe we’re more likely to see the rise of the lone middle class villa similar to the rise of the Roman villa as it emerged in the late Empire and early Dark Ages but mainly in rural areas, and completely on their own. Any political alliance or influence is more likely to come from a Prestonian political program/secessionist federation (Liberty and Populism) before the Carsonite economic phenomenon. Both can work together as well but I think ATS offers the best program for this, in my opinion.
I should add that Carson is excellent in the economic realm and I’m not underscoring his overall contribution to anarchist theory.
“Any political alliance or influence is more likely to come from a Prestonian political program/secessionist federation (Liberty and Populism) before the Carsonite economic phenomenon. Both can work together as well but I think ATS offers the best program for this, in my opinion.”
As I said before, the political has to precede the economic. I consider the economic outlook of Carson and related others to more or less be the economic program of ARV/ATS. But as RJ points out, the ideas of the agorists/mutualists/cooperativists, etc. are rather shallow when it comes to strategic thinking. From what I can make of their ideas in this area, they basically advocate reforming the corporate economy to death with the development of counter-economic projects (like the state would ever let that happen).
Once thing I envision pan-secessionist, N-A, neo-tribalist, municipalist, or whatever movements doing is creating alternative economic enterprises and agitating against state imposed economic privilege as part of breaking down the corporatist economy simultaneously with the state. I’m on the same page with the agorists on this question, but the struggle against the state has to come first. The state is not going to allow alternative enterprises to simply undercut the corporate economy without a fight.
I think developing self-sufficient economies while still pushing the ideas of political decentralization, no matter how difficult the task, would make more sense than pushing the ideas of political decentralization without developing self-sufficient economies. We rely on the state right now and without solid alternative foundations to fall back on we would likely only keep falling.
Growing power out of Milwaukee produces 1 million pounds of food year round on 3 acres which would still operate in much the same manner if the state disappeared tomorrow. If a person has a yard or some amount of land it is probably possible to produce enough food for their family year round. The problem is that the knowledge and tools needed to do this will only be available pre-collapse, not during and probably not after.
Yes, but Keith said “the struggle against the state has to come first.” There is a big difference between political theory and practical action. Political theory doesn’t put food on the table. In order to convince people that pan-seccessionism is the way to go they’re going to want evidence showing that they aren’t going to be worse off than they are now…and that’s a hard sell. Most people want food, shelter, electricity, internet, healthcare etc. etc. and I think quite a few of them would rather live in the emerging techno-fascist police state than opt for a dencentralized society that only has those things in theory. Permaculturists, survivalists, anarcho-primitivists, preppers, off the griders etc. are probably not as worried about those issues but those types only make-up about .43701% of the population…if that.
I’m assuming that since most people will not give up what they have a decentralized society would almost have to operate using the same type of economy society does now to convince them to even think about it. Coal would still need to be mined for power, oil would still need to be pumped to fuel massive food shipments and aid in the creation of nearly everything that makes up modern day civilization etc. etc.
So for pan-seccessionism to catch on widely there needs to be applicable methods of replicating techno-industrial civilization. To put it bluntly, that’s probably never going to happen. What is likely to happen is some SHTF scenario where this country slips into chaos and violence. In the end I think the folks that possess the knowledge of practical survival techniques, self-defense and things of that nature will outlive those that possess the knowledge gained from political theory.
The ideas of pan-seccessionism/ATS are important and enlightening but considering the state of the U.S. and the mindset of the common people I think it’s more important to explore practical action for survival.
“Carson talked about how these particular people could turn revolutionary in an agorist kind of way but would require some long-reaching incentives which I don’t think are feasible, like the various networks linking up with the working class who might have access to machine shops, wood shops, garage shops, print shops, wood lots, etc. but the whole idea entails a lot of bartering and cross-development which in my opinion is not-likely to happen, he called it “the network cluster” and he talked about how a certain amount of “nodes” would cause a transition leading to a new mode of operation gutting the global economy in replace of resilient communities etc.”
Well sure if you mix these ideas in with an idealist economic outlook and take out any aspiration to political power, which is usually currently the case, the result looks a little shaky. However there are other models which are a little more robust. For example community shares. Take a local economic enterprise, bars or cafes are a good simple first step. You raise capital from the local community to buy or start one of these. Let’s say you issue 5,000 $1000 dollar shares (one share per elector max). That’s serious capital in a local context. Now you have a commercial enterprise in which a fair proportion of the local community have a vested monetary interest in succeeding which gives them a powerful incentive to choose that enterprise over the McGlobal franchise next door. Plus you get 5,000 salesmen.
Ideally this will be sufficient to hurt McGlobal’s margins enough to run them out of town. Now instead of the profits from this enterprise being “exported” to Wall Street they are recirculating in the local economy. So this is a nice political outcome for us political types. However for it to work we didn’t need to convince 5000 people to throw $1000 at the cause. We offered them a commercial opportunity which like all good commercial opportunities had the dice loaded in their favour. Which is a lot better than they are being offered by Citi “2%” Bank or Goldman “we’ve got an absolute shitload of paper which might blow us to pieces any second” Sacs
But you are right, as far as I’m concerned kicking KFC in the balls might be a worthwhile and fun project, but it isn’t a revolution.
So how about we add a little something to this proposition? We need to convince 5000 people to invest $1000, we need some credibility right? How about we get City Hall to organise it!? All we need do is get some of our people elected. By the way since community ownership is good, since we’re trying to rebuild our community, since we’re trying to get people involved in all aspects of community life how about we offer to institute somesort of simple direct democracy. Whose going to vote against that? By the way this is our flag, I stole it off the town flagpole, you think people will vote against Nowhereville’s own “old glory”. “Socialism you say? Well you know I’ve always been a bit of a socialist/libertarian/ nationalist/conservative/communist/theocratic democrat (delete as applicable) myself and I’m just sure that the people will vote for that shit just as soon as they get the chance”
The beauty of this sort of approach is you don’t need a vast ideologically motivated class of political warriors ready to hazard their reputations, wealth and blood for the cause in a protracted battle against the big guns of the state. You’re simply making reasonable practicable suggestions which stand every chance of materially and socially benefiting Joe Public.
Once people have taken on board the concept, once they start to see some benefit from it then as like as not they will be clamouring to take it further. “You know how we busted Sleazey Chain Bar? Well I’ve been thinking maybe we could do Walmart the same way”. “You know we voted to make City Hall support the Credit Union? Why can’t we make them legalise weed the same way? Federal Government you say?”
This isn’t simple passive Agorism, this is organising and mobilising people to directly attack all aspects of establishment power. Not just Walmart in the economic sphere with an arsenal of pious bullshit, but the local branded Republican/Democrat gimp in the political. This isn’t merely building an inefficient parallel economic structure driven on by idealism, its actively assaulting the foundations of system power using serious viable economic and political techniques.
“ Jeff Vail called it the “diagonal economy” which comes into this new phase via middle and working class production. Honestly I think it’s just wishful theory. New economies will certainly emerge during the collapse but are not likely to invoke any agorist revolution. I dont see this as a plausible promise (you probably don’t either) I believe we’re more likely to see the rise of the lone middle class villa similar to the rise of the Roman villa as it emerged in the late Empire and early Dark Ages but mainly in rural areas, and completely on their own. Any political alliance or influence is more likely to come from a Prestonian political program/secessionist federation (Liberty and Populism) before the Carsonite economic phenomenon. Both can work together as well but I think ATS offers the best program for this, in my opinion.”
Well I am utterly convinced this system is in terminal and rapid decline. However I think that if a proposition is going to work then it should work in any environment. To rely on the state to fall apart is to take an unacceptable risk given the consequences if, somehow, it doesn’t. I totally agree that secessionism offers the only practical morally justifiable interpretation of anarchism. And that furthermore that it offers the only model capable of aligning forces that undeniably do exist against the state. I’m just offering a view as to how that might be impressed upon those guys out there.
“Most people want food, shelter, electricity, internet, healthcare etc. etc. and I think quite a few of them would rather live in the emerging techno-fascist police state than opt for a dencentralized society that only has those things in theory.”
You make the assumption that the techno fascist police state can provide these things. I suggest that if it could it wouldn’t need to be a techno fascist police state, given the choice the system will buy loyalty and conformity rather than extract it by force, it’s cheaper for one thing.
There is no reason why decentralised autonomous communities wouldn’t be capable of producing everything which is currently produced within the system of global states. I wouldn’t imagine that the Republic of Silicon Valley would opt to produce oranges rather than the shit operating systems which made it fabulously wealthy. Community level economic specialisation tied in to extensive trade networks (certain commodities like spices, metals and luxury materials at a global level) was around before centralised states, why not after?
(having said that I personally believe the resource depletion, environmental degradation, over population and the general fucked state of the world means that no system can continue to provide late 20th century levels of consumption)
“You make the assumption that the techno fascist police state can provide these things.”
I’m only making that assumption based on the fact that the state provides those things now for the majority of people.
“(having said that I personally believe the resource depletion, environmental degradation, over population and the general fucked state of the world means that no system can continue to provide late 20th century levels of consumption)”
That’s pretty much the answer I would’ve given you. 😉 I don’t think people can face the fact that in order for the species to continue existing they’re going to have to consume less. Even if pan-seccessionism was the present reality all of those problems would still exist. What would happen if the Second Vermont Republicers fucked so much their population started to encroach on the territory of the Gay Black Communists? Things would get messy.
“Yes, but Keith said “the struggle against the state has to come first.” There is a big difference between political theory and practical action. Political theory doesn’t put food on the table. In order to convince people that pan-seccessionism is the way to go they’re going to want evidence showing that they aren’t going to be worse off than they are now…and that’s a hard sell.”
I agree that we can’t have a viable secessionist/anarchist movement without a corresponding viable economic program. I think it’s more a question of how to proceed. The problem with many of Carson’s fans is that they simply don’t have any plan of action for attacking the state itself. In fact, many of them are virulently opposed to pan-secessionism, particularly if that involves collaboration with groups or movements they deem “un-progressive.” A lot of the ideas I see coming from that camp seem more like alternative lifestyles than plans of revolution.
That said, pan-secessionism will not be successful unless we convince something approximating the majority of the public that we represent their genuine economic interests. In fact, that’s a big part of the strategic agenda I outlined in “Liberty and Populism” (the left-right-center “tripartite” approach). I think that given the way the US is going economically, in the future economic conflict will replace the “culture wars” as the main source of division in US society. It already is to a large degree. Our future credibility will depend in no small part on our ability to address popular economic concerns. I think a big part of it is simply cultivating pan-secessionism as an outlet for economic frustrations like the Teabaggers and Occupiers are at present. I mean, neither of those movements have a well-articulated plan for correcting the nation’s economic woes…to say the least. It seems to be more a matter of letting off steam.
Also, I don’t really adhere to any one size fits all approach to economic change. With pan-secessionism and and anarcho-pluralism, I think different kinds of communities will develop their own specialized approaches. I’m more interested in developing a general theoretical framework for rejecting both big government and big capital and leaving the details to local movements or specific “tribes” that emerge in the process. The ideas of the Carsonites, distributists, agorists, etc. are obviously helpful towards that end, however.
Some illustrations of what I’m talking about: I may have mentioned this in a previous post (can’t remember) but recently we were having a discussion on the NATA-NY forum about what kinds of economic preferences we might have for our own communities “after the revolution.” The answers included “Austrian free markets” (libertarianism), LETS, mutualism, primitivism, socialism, libertarian municipalism, etc.Transfer this to the US population at a large and we get the left-leaning occupiers on one hand and the rightward leaning teabaggers on the other. It has always seemed to me, for instance, that the economic program of secessionist movements in, say, rural farming communities might be much different from the approach taken in conservative suburbs or impoverished inner city ghettos. Also, not only geographical and socioeconomic but functional and occupational questions come into this. The interests of workers dislocated due to outsourcing might be much different than those of communities who have relied on public assistance for generations that suddenly see their benefits eliminated or drastically reduced. For instance, the development of Mondragon-model worker cooperatives might be appropriate for the former but claimants unions for the latter. The anti-tax rhetoric of the teabaggers might be appropriate when organizing among some communities and the anti-plutocratic rhetoric of the occupiers might be appropriate in other cases.
It’s conceivable for example that in industries with strong union traditions the syndicalist model might be workable. Those inclined towards a particularly communitarian ethos might emulate the Israeli kibbutzes. Associations of small entrepreneurs might instead push for free market reforms/policies. I know people in various resistance movements who support our work who want to model their communities on The Green Book. I’m fine with all that so long as local sovereignty and voluntary association are the general rule.
A big obstacle we will have to deal with involves bridging the gaps between radicals and “extremists” (like us) and so-called “normal people.” I think the way to do this is to focus on hot button economic issues that ordinary folks can relate to. For instance, I’ve been thinking lately of the future possibility of setting an ARV/ATS affiliated “Debt Resisters League” given that so many Americans are being strangled with debt in an economy that’s continually spiraling down and debt collectors are getting more ruthless in their tactics. That would be a real populist issue for us to take on.
“(having said that I personally believe the resource depletion, environmental degradation, over population and the general fucked state of the world means that no system can continue to provide late 20th century levels of consumption)”
I’m personally agnostic on the question of to what degree such factors will reduce present levels of consumption. I’m not sure that it significantly impacts our overall political agenda either way. Let’s say, for instance, that these factors bring about an economic or technological regression that puts us back to the level of development of, say, the late 19th or early 20th century. Wouldn’t that merely mean that we were right back where our classical anarchist predecessors were? And wouldn’t the same basic set of ideas still apply?
LOL, imagine a municipal secessionist movement advocating communities modeled on Fourier’s phalinsteries.
I think we may be getting a bit ahead of ourselves here.
The first thing we need to be focused on is building the leadership group for the secessionist/anarchist movement, which is the principal purpose of this blogsite. At this point, I’m not as interested in trying to appeal to the “masses” or figure out precisely the order in which we need to recruit every demographic or socioeconomic constituency group for pan-secessionism as much as I want to expand our own immediate circle of future leaders of the movement.
Imagine, for instance, if we had, say, a few thousand people of the caliber of RJ, Vince, Pearson, Miles, Eric, Jeremy, Peter, Michael P, Luke, MRDA, O.S. etc. Then we could radically expand our reach into all sorts of other projects or movements. For example, in addition to me speaking to paleocon groups about PC or Carl Schmitt, imagine if we also had someone speaking to black nationalist or civil libertarian groups about police brutality and the prison-industrial complex, and speaking to alternative religious sects about anti-cult repression (Dr. Szasz actually does this), or speaking to anti-drug war groups about our plans for ending prohibition and prisoner amnesty, or speaking to antiwar groups about our plans for ending the empire, or to Muslim groups about anti-Muslim repression under the terror war.
Also, we’ve got a very good sister site with TDA (if anything, it’s better than ATS, certainly on an aesthetic level). So imagine if we had still more sites oriented towards still more target constituent groups.
I also want to see the emergence of consistently active ATS local affiliates (these could overlap of course with allied groups like NATA-NY). The local groups could then establish a place for themselves in broader dissident currents at the local level. Maybe Occupy-type groups in some instances, maybe Tea Party-groups in others, maybe regional secessionist tendencies, maybe something else at other times.
These are just a few examples. But this is really where we are at present in terms of what our emphasis and focus should likely be.
“If you want to disrupt the present system you must take out the state. You have to decentralize power by transferring it to the local level, this enables the community to appropriate and advance the powers that are transferred to them. Then, you can empower the community but there has to be an actual process to free the community and to facilitate the wider participation of the community. The policy, structural arrangements, problems, implementation, modalities, etc. it all comes through participatory development planning, community development committees, etc. But there must be that departure from the past political program, along with some actual objective to increase the likelihood of growing and sustaining these initiatives. I’m interested in the full blown transfer of power from central government to the community. This can not be done without first separating from the state.”
“I’m interested in revolution.”
Well, I’m interested in listening to music. Is your interest in revolution pushing the country towards revolution anymore than my interest in listening to music is pushing the country towards revolution? Probably not. Are you actively working “to decentralize power by transferring it to the local level” ? What I’ve seen from your posts and most of the posts on this site is political theory, not political action. I’m going to assume that you like to read books and sit on the computer quite a bit but so do millions of other people. I agree that power needs to be transferred to the local level in order to take out the state but I think that majority of people are quite fine with casting their vote and leaving that power up to the officials. Out in the real world most people do not want to sacrifice their free time to political issues. What I’d like to see from you is a demonstration of your work in your community that is actually transferring power back to the people living there. I’m going to assume that you’re probably not doing this very effectively in your community because of the reasons I mentioned and because you’re mainly interested in political theory. (Keyboard Guerrilla? ;))
I did start the Occupy Appleton group. OA eventually turned into a small collective of left-centrists that attempted to work with the community, the police and city hall in a civil manner. The city government and the public did not support them camping in a park or anything of that nature. They thought they would catch their support by participating in the local political process but they didn’t actual know anything about the local issues and neither did most of the public. There was an op-ed piece published in the local newspaper that said the city of Appleton was already occupied….by people that had jobs to go to and families to take care of. The author said that even though many citizens may agree with some of the occupy issues it still didn’t change the fact that they had relatively comfortable lives to attend to. OA is now mostly limited to teach-ins at the library conducted by a liberal professor and sporadic GA’s in which only a few people attend. I was removed from the group early on by a Democratic Process which took place without my knowledge. Too radical they say.
“For people interested in survival, do they really need to go any further than a Christian radio broadcast advertisement? Some vitamins, an emergency crisis garden, a nuclear fall-out suit, and a bible. God is with you.”
I don’t listen to Christian radio. Do these advertisements give detailed explanations about permaculture, home building, hunting, cooking, self-defense, personal development and things of that nature? Do they treat each of those topics as sciences that need to be explored through trial & error and hands on experience? If so then they probably need to go no further than Christian Radio advertisements. Those interested in mainly political theory would rely on industry to provide them with what they need to survive in a pan-seccessionist world. Those interested in practical action would BE the industry and dangle apples on strings over the theorists’ heads.
“Yes but wouldn’t you agree that we rely much more on the state for political representation than economic?”
“I don’t think the state provides food, shelter, electricity, internet, and healthcare for the majority of Americans. Shelter and food in some instances (although I’m not up to beat with the latest welfare stats). What I do know is that there exists a vast scope of Americans who already manage their own economic affairs. None of us however are free to manage our own political affairs. There’s a reason for this.”
The state and the economy are so intricately intertwined that one cannot exist without the other. Small resource limited economies may work independent of the state. Very small local economies and self-reliant individuals may also function rather well without the state. I don’t believe that it’s feasible to lift the present economy up off the map, sweep the state out from underneath it, place it back down and see it function in the same way. The state and the economy are oil-based realities. Neither can function without it. The top 5 locations our oil comes from are Canada, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Venezuela and Nigeria. Who is to say that in a pan-seccessionist world we would still be able to acquire oil from these places? If I was from any of those countries I’d say fuck off if we came asking. The state in each of these locations including our location makes it possible through monetary incentives and force for this economy to be oil-based. We cannot have “food, shelter, electricity, internet, and healthcare” without oil. Even Somalia needs to rely on the EU and outside (state-based) humanitarian groups to help them with their energy policy.
If we can develop functioning alternative societies now through physical work and practical action we can then say to the public, “Here is what we made, it works. We can show you how to do this.” I think that will bring a lot more people to the cause. (Just be sure not to tell them about the oil thing, lol.)
“That said, pan-secessionism will not be successful unless we convince something approximating the majority of the public that we represent their genuine economic interests. In fact, that’s a big part of the strategic agenda I outlined in “Liberty and Populism” (the left-right-center “tripartite” approach). I think that given the way the US is going economically, in the future economic conflict will replace the “culture wars” as the main source of division in US society. It already is to a large degree. Our future credibility will depend in no small part on our ability to address popular economic concerns. I think a big part of it is simply cultivating pan-secessionism as an outlet for economic frustrations like the Teabaggers and Occupiers are at present. I mean, neither of those movements have a well-articulated plan for correcting the nation’s economic woes…to say the least. It seems to be more a matter of letting off steam.”
“A big obstacle we will have to deal with involves bridging the gaps between radicals and “extremists” (like us) and so-called “normal people.” I think the way to do this is to focus on hot button economic issues that ordinary folks can relate to. For instance, I’ve been thinking lately of the future possibility of setting an ARV/ATS affiliated “Debt Resisters League” given that so many Americans are being strangled with debt in an economy that’s continually spiraling down and debt collectors are getting more ruthless in their tactics. That would be a real populist issue for us to take on.”
I think an important thing to do to make pan-secessionism popular among the majority is to dissaccosiate it with this website. If a liberal democrat were to like the idea he would seek out more information and probably arrive here. After seeing the ideas about race and armed revolt there is a pretty good chance he would never read the site again. Even if it did manage to get somewhat popular to the point where news channels were asking to do interviews they would still pass you off as some kook like Glenn Beck did interviewing Thomas Naylor. They would say well we did some research and it seems you’re a National Anarchist. We went to this Rose Noire website and read an article by a gentleman named Welf Herfurth who says, “We want a nationalism which is in keeping with historic Western and European nationalism of the past and present – European fascism, post-war neo-fascism…” That would probably be the end of your television interviews right there…
Popularity of pan-secessionism is going to be hindered by the race issue. Any attempts at hiding it will be useless because it all comes back to your name. Then of course there’s people like Lyons which isn’t helping anything either. Reinventing pan-secessionism with a new website, an alias and toned down language would probably be the best way to convince the public.
I’ve tried talking with people about “Liberty and Populism” and for the most part it ends up turning into an argument about race and radicalism instead of pan-secessionism. Even if I try to talk about regular ol’ secession it ends up turning into an argument about health care and things of that nature.
In my opinion it would take quite a bit of cleaning up and self-censoring to get pan-secessionism up to the level of Tea Party/Occupy popularity. We all know that neither of those groups have done much to solve anything so once that popularity level is reached actually causing some sort of real change is another obstacle to overcome.
“Some illustrations of what I’m talking about: I may have mentioned this in a previous post (can’t remember) but recently we were having a discussion on the NATA-NY forum about what kinds of economic preferences we might have for our own communities “after the revolution.” The answers included “Austrian free markets” (libertarianism), LETS, mutualism, primitivism, socialism, libertarian municipalism, etc.Transfer this to the US population at a large and we get the left-leaning occupiers on one hand and the rightward leaning teabaggers on the other.”
They may all be different systems but the majority of them are still oil-based. I think it would be more logical and ultimately more beneficial for communities in oil producing regions to keep that energy for themselves instead of sharing it. Of course the oil corporations etc. are freely selling energy to whoever they want right now but I believe that would change if oil power was in the hands of the public.
I realize not all regions are like Appleton… I was only explaining what happened with Occupy Appleton. I asked you to provide some examples of where you’re transferring power to the local level and you provided an example about how you helped expand corporatism? Your other example, from what I’ve read will loosen some regulations but is by no means some sort of anti-statist/anarchist or revolutionary act and not quite a true act of seccession. (The language you use makes it out to be.)
I’m aware of your you tube channel…I’m also aware that it’s easier to reach a wider audience when you don’t put “this is a propaganda video” in your descriptions. I mentioned to Vince that I thought you guys should put together a documentary in the same vein as END:CIV. The best way to fund this is through crowdfunding some other more acceptable project through Kickstarter or another site and then using that money for the documentary.
“One thing you should keep in mind here, not only do people live in different areas but people have different skills, different desires, and different goals.”
I’m aware that you were using sarcasm the first time, my reply was sarcastic. I hope the above sentence was also some form of humor and not you attempting to talk down to me like I’m a 9 year old school girl.
“This just isn’t true. If the state were to collapse, there would be a massive economy.”
I meant economy as in the present economy. If the state were to simply collapse it would be devastating to most of the population. If the state were to slowly vanish over 100 or so years there would be a much better chance of real functional economies developing.
“I have a lengthy history of activism in the Las Vegas Valley and I happened to be very well connected with numerous political circles here. I don’t see any need to provide you with a background of my activism. Who are you supposed to be, again?”
I didn’t ask you to provide me with a background of your activism or your resume. I asked you to provide examples of you putting power into the hands of the community because you said that is what needs to be done. I wanted to see examples that you’re effectively using tactics that are different than everyday activist type techniques to bring down the state and corral the attention of the everyday working class hero.
“Then don’t act like one. You think you can attack my offline character under blind assumption, call me names like “keyboard guerrilla” and be treated with respect? Get a grip on yourself. This ain’t Appleton.”
“It’s typical of people who are down on a political argument to take things to lower places. “Forget political theory, you’ve done nothing effective offline” etc. You don’t know me. And all I’ve seen from you is a facebook page. Let’s see, maybe some people holding signs? Been there, done that, ten years ago. Most importantly, if you can’t see how we’re advancing the decentralization of power from the central state to local communities at a higher level, that’s too bad.”
LOL, that was nowhere near an attack on your offline character. I don’t judge a person’s character by how good they are at being a revolutionary. Nowhere did I say to forget political theory. I’ve already stated my beliefs regarding that. You can go back and reread them if you’d like. People holding signs? I think you were looking at the wrong Facebook page.
“Squeezing money out of corporations for farmers is not “expanding corporatism” – again, you’re more interested in striking at me than holding to any serious discussion.”
You can squeeze all of the money you want out of corporations for the farmers but the farmers are still producing food for the suppliers to sell to the corporations and therefore keeping them in operation.
“Did you skip over my third, fourth and fifth examples? the SynShop hackerspace, and electrical work in the informal economy.?”
I didn’t skip over them and I see nothing wrong with those things. Like I’ve said at least 11 times now, I’m interested in effective revolutionary state-ending tactics. Some of your examples sound Agorist-like which earlier you said was not a feasible way to go about revolution.
“Not good enough for Occupy Appleton’s superman-leader of a town 20x smaller than Las Vegas?”
You sound like a regular Che Guevera…
“Oh, the documentary idea is cool because you’ve already thought of it.”
“How does that happen? How does an international empire “slowly vanish” over a hundred years or so?”
Considering the examples you’ve provided that seems to be the direction you’re moving in.
“Crowd funding is not the best way to fund an anarchist documentary film LOL And IndieGoGo.would be the ideal platform, not Kickstarter. But I’m not interested in crowd funding this particular project for a number of reasons.”
Using crowdfunding to create something like a fake “Romney 2012” sticker project or fake “Obama 2012” sticker project with $1000 goals would be a somewhat easy way to generate revenue which can then be used to purchase firearms, food, anger management classes etc.
“I’ve used the term propaganda once, and not in the way that you’ve quoted me.”
This is an anarchist propaganda film tailored to the left. I remember what it said because I tweeted the shit out of and posted it in numerous places in the past. I also remember comments being shut off and the description being deleted which I assumed was because I had been posting it in Occupy circles.
“I’ll tell you what, Appleton, launch a youtube channel reaching a wider audience and maybe I’ll take some advice from you.”
Why would I do that? Can’t take a small critique from someone who liked the video? Go buy the book I helped research that’s probably still being sold nationwide at Barnes & Nobles and maybe I’ll think about providing you with more free advice. (I thought I would throw that in there since you seem to want to have a who has the biggest “radicalist cock-in-the-mainstream war.”)
“I think an important thing to do to make pan-secessionism popular among the majority is to dissaccosiate it with this website.”
This website is intended for the cultivation of a leadership group: an anarchist “vanguard” committed to building the concept of pan-secessionism and “liberty and populism” as strategies. As pan-secessionism grew, it would likely be necessary to create transitional websites for newcomers or intermediate level participants.
“If a liberal democrat were to like the idea he would seek out more information and probably arrive here. After seeing the ideas about race and armed revolt there is a pretty good chance he would never read the site again.”
I don’t know that liberal democrats are a primary constituency for ARV/ATS. Whenever I discuss our ideas with ordinary progressives, I simply lay out the liberty and populism strategy and the ideas in the 25 pt program. If they have more questions, I bring out the arguments advanced in my “Why the Radical Left Should Consider Secession” essay. If race is their big fixation, I discuss the issues involving white nationalism that are contained in the ATS statement of purpose. If that’s not good enough for them, then they’re probably not people we can deal with anyway.
“Even if it did manage to get somewhat popular to the point where news channels were asking to do interviews they would still pass you off as some kook like Glenn Beck did interviewing Thomas Naylor.”
Beck is a mouthpiece for the neocons and right-wing of the ruling class. He’s not going to give someone like me good press no matter what. Nor would I want him to. If he liked me, I’d be doing something wrong.
“They would say well we did some research and it seems you’re a National Anarchist. We went to this Rose Noire website and read an article by a gentleman named Welf Herfurth who says, “We want a nationalism which is in keeping with historic Western and European nationalism of the past and present – European fascism, post-war neo-fascism…” That would probably be the end of your television interviews right there…”
That’s not an accurate depiction of Welf’s current views. I’ve met with him privately and in person. He’s quite committed to anarchism these days. Besides, if someone gets too hung up on the N-A thing, then they’re probably not ARV/ATS material anyway. A few years ago I developed what I call the “national-anarchist litmus test” : http://attackthesystem.com/2009/04/24/the-national-anarchist-litmus-test/
“Popularity of pan-secessionism is going to be hindered by the race issue.”
No, I don’t agree with that. One of our advantages (for the long-term) is our willingness to talk frankly about race issues. These are real issues that cannot simply be swept under the rug. The question of self-determination for African-Americans, American Indians, Hawaiian and Alaskan natives, Puerto Ricans, etc are core components of the ARV/ATS ideology, as are the questions raised by the inevitable racial and ethnic demographic transformation of the USA and the virulent racism towards whites exhibited by sectors of the Left. These issues will become even more prominent in the future.
“Then of course there’s people like Lyons which isn’t helping anything either.”
No, I think Lyons is helping a great deal. These “watchdog” folks basically serve as our advertising division.
“I’ve tried talking with people about “Liberty and Populism” and for the most part it ends up turning into an argument about race and radicalism instead of pan-secessionism. Even if I try to talk about regular ol’ secession it ends up turning into an argument about health care and things of that nature.”
That just means that their level of development is such that they’re just not ready for our message. If they can’t get past that stuff, then we can’t use them.
“One of my primary long term goals for ATS is the creation of a full length anarchist documentary film bringing us to dominate the anarchist sector.”
I think that would be an eminently helpful project. Before we can really build pan-secessionism, we need for ARV/ATS to be the dominant force in anarchism. Period. At this point, I am much more interested in building up a stable and focused leadership group than in trying to reach the average Occupy Wall Street participant. Those kinds of projects come and go. I’ve seen all that before with the anti-globalization movement. I was first beginning to develop ARV/ATS at precisely during the time that the anti-globalization movement appeared and the “Battle of Seattle” transpired. Imagine if I had made simply becoming popular among the anti-globalizers the central focus of ATS? Where would we be now?
Once we become the dominant force in anarchism, it will be us that new generations of anarchists look to for guidance. Then we will be able to reshape the focus of the anarchist movement in a more ideologically and strategically sophisticated direction. The present day left-anarchists (at least in North America) are basically just the “Future Social Democrats of America.”
My other primary focus at this point is to establish a position for ARV/ATS in other movements outside the anarchist milieu and start building bridges.
“It never said “an anarchist propaganda film tailored to the left” — it said “a message to Occupy Wall Street tailored to the mainstream left” – I’m sure Lyons would have jumped all over the term “propaganda” but he didn’t because it never said propaganda. You’re thinking of A New Independence which said “An anarchist propaganda film synthesizing the best of classical anarchism with American traditions” – you have a difficult time reading into things.”
LOL, kind of weird that you don’t even know what you typed under your own video. Here is proof: http://i.imgur.com/b052J.jpg
“LOL wtf? the comments were not shut off because of you. You should really stop assuming things. You’re bringing me my traffic now? So much traffic that you’re indirectly dictating my Youtube editorial decisions? Do you have any idea how ridiculous you sound? I didn’t even know you existed. I didn’t even know Appleton existed lol Until maybe like a week ago?”
I said I assumed that they were shut off because of me. I assumed this because I was posting here at that time and Vince had mentioned me here more than once. You, Vince and Keith were actually posting about me which I believe was (correct me if I’m wrong) because I had been linking that video. This was in October if I remember correctly.
“And I gave you some.”
Well, you think you gave me some. As far as the “penny per pound” thing and workers in similar situations go I think it would be more effective to convince them to sack their bosses, pull their business from the corporations and focus on community grocery stores or restaurants as customers. A large food co-op probably wouldn’t hurt either. This is all political theory though and easier said than done.
“The Occupy Appleton “movement” consists of nothing more than maybe 20 protesters holding up “greed kills” signs, then going home at 11 PM. I haven’t even seen a camp-out, much less any of the things you claim I should be doing.”
I know what OA turned into. I didn’t start OA because I agreed with OWS. For the most part I don’t give a shit about the OWS message nor do I care about most leftist social issues or other topics in that realm. I don’t care about protesting, chanting in unison or making signs that cannot even be seen to be read by the passing public. And before you accuse me of making this up or whatever, I HAD mentioned these things to Vince months ago. OA was an experiment that I used to inject certain ideas while remaining mostly in the background…but the force is strong in the left and I could see that they were not going to reach across the aisle to their “enemies” on the right so therefore it became rather pointless. It was an experiment that didn’t work. The only benefit was meeting an anarcho-seccesionist woman that happened to be a member of the group. I myself do not even live in Appleton.
Nowhere did I say you “should” be doing anything. I believe you were the one saying what should be done and I asked if you were doing it my own special sort of assholish way.
“Here you talk about how ATS should be putting counter economic programs into place yada yada yada ridiculing my efforts, telling us what we should be doing and how to do it, but what exactly have you developed?”
I think it would make more sense to put counter economic programs into place, yes but these are only my suggestions and opinions. I have strong opinions and come off as rather crude….because I’m crude and I have strong opinions. I’m an asshole, I was raised by assholes, I worked for assholes and a lot of my friends are assholes but I’m the nicest asshole you never met.
I have experimented with gardening, composting and things of that nature. I grew up on a farm, worked in greenhouses before, was involved in the food industry for about the last 8 years and have been an off/on antique dealer since I was a teenager. I was in the same position as you are here, posting articles and what not at Disinfo.com before it was sold to a new owner. I also helped research the topic of chemical warfare against civilians for a book that they published.
As for now I’m planning to create a large crowdfunding project in order to acquire land for a permaculture business and educational area. If it doesn’t work I’ll acquire the land through other means. Other than that I’m in contact with a number of urban farmers and gardeners waiting to kick something off in Spring. I also have a relatively large piece of land where I will grow and experiment myself.
As far as me creating political action programs to convince people to start a pan-seccesionist/anti-statist revolution I already told you that it would be more or less be like trying to catch rainwater in a pasta strainer.
“This coming from a guy who knocks the rest of us, and masquerades as the founder of a full occupation with an arsenal of counter-economic programs capable of moving beyond the state.”
Does the revolutionary fire burn so bright within you that it causes poor reading comprehension or does that just come naturally?
“I think you became involved in your first actual street protest, and you rode in on your horse to ATS still high off it.”
I don’t care much about street protests myself, nice try though. That of course doesn’t mean I wouldn’t like to see millions in the streets disrupting business as usual. I’ve been reading this site since early on this summer because many of the ideas coincide with my own.
“Right. And your Appleton SMASH movement is going to overthrow the American Empire coordinating with it’s police and the mayor.”
LOL, you’re really caught up on that whole thing aren’t you? Like I’ve said before, that is what the group wanted to do. I had no interest in working with them on that nor do I think getting arrested for sleeping in a park is a worthwhile effort or worth paying a fine for.
“This would be like convincing the stormtroopers to go against Darth Vader to peacefully shut down the death star.”
Nah, it’d be like the penny-per-pound program, lol.
Anyway, there is a somewhat similar group to ATS operating worldwide as we speak. They are pushing a more strict universalist agenda as opposed to the more flexible ATS anti-statist/seccessionist universalist agenda. It originated with the author Derrick Jensen who is advocating violent revolution against civilization. He’s authored about 20-30 books, does regular magazine columns and has been doing lectures around the world for years. Recently his group activated Deep Green Resistance which is an aboveground cabal that conducts normal environmental activism against industrial society but also consists of an underground element that is more focused on the violent extremist side of things. I’ve researched some of these people and they are definitely armed with machine guns and what not. The funny thing is that DGR is doing speeches within the Occupy movement. They’ve been to DC and a number of members have spoken at occupations on the west coast. Franklin Lopez, the director responsible for END:CIV which is a documentary about Jensen’s message is also shooting footage and video at occupy events on the west coast. He is also directly connected to the original OWS live stream team. He has taken END:CIV on a worldwide tour and it is actually being shown on television stations like Free Speech TV. So here we have violent revolutionaries calling for the very end of civilization making a somewhat noticeable mark on the world. They have thousands of members on their forum… So I do believe it is possible to circulate the ATS message a lot more widely. The unifying premise for the rise of DGR is “industrial civilization is destroying the planet” and if ATS could come up with it’s own short premise along with more speeches, book publishing, documentaries, underground action etc. I think it could rise up to a similar level of popularity. Getting past that level would be the hard part.
Here’s a question I’d welcome feedback on from our readers/participants:
When the time comes that ARV/ATS is well established enough to begin organizing public events, what form should these events take? I’m not really in favor of organizing things like protest demonstrations. To the degree that we participate in these at all, we should simply establish a presence for ourselves in larger single-issue or multi-issue protests (although, honestly, as a veteran of the 1980s protest movement led by creepy commies and “liberation theology” morons I can’t say I have much personal interest in participating in those things at all).
I much prefer the “conference” format of the events I’ve participated in in recent years, e.g the Future of Freedom conference in 2007, Kirk Sale’s secessionist conferences, HLMC, NPI, etc. However, this may also be a matter of my own biases based on personal tastes rather than a clear assessment of strategic options. But at some point, I could envision an ARV/ATS conference called “Restoring the Polis: Towards a North American City-State System” or “The System Has Failed: Dissolving the 50-State Empire” or something like that. The participants and speakers could include adherents of separatist, subcultural, or anti-state movements from all over the spectrum. It would be multiracial, multi-religious, multi-ideological. We’d have to be larger and more credible than we are now to pull that off, and we’d also need sources of funding. Such an event might seem a bit too exotic for a lot of people. But I think it’s an interesting concept and a rather unique occurrence if we could pull it off.
I should probably add that the reason I bring up ideas like this conference concept in light of what’s being discussed on this thread is that I really think the whole model of “protest” is simply burnt out. I think that for generations to come it will be associated with “60s stuff” and the left has also turned protest into a kind of ritual and public spectacle that ends up attracting the most untermenschen people possible that soon degenerates into a farce even when its initial organizers are sincere and reasonable people. So in terms of creating public events as a political tactic, I think we need something other than the protest model.
A Conference sounds good! Once we’re strong enough of course. Do I have permission to throw down with Antifa if they show up?
“OK let’s go over this one more time. Projects like the penny per pound program are important if we want to empower the Northern farmworker for a future framework in the development of a Northern-rural/Southern-city Nevada cross secessionist alliance (which were explained in examples two and three). When attacking the present system, the most effective attacks are 1) against the state itself, and 2) against the circulation of capital. It should be understood that attacks against the circulation of capital instead of its production will play a key role in the coming insurrections, especially in post-industrial countries. The penny pound program is an attack on the circulation of capital whereby capital is lost to a group of fairly skilled farmers who are much more capable of developing counter-economic programs than the urban worker, or sign holder. One of the main things Pearson and I have discussed here is how members of the working class (i.e. the farmer) lack the financial flexibility to launch the counter-initiatives you’ve been harping on. We talked about how these kinds of projects are out of reach to the working and lower classes (see comment #58) The penny per pound program is a building block, and anyone serious about going up against the state might want to continue building these blocks if they plan on moving away from street protest and into the realm of direct conflict with the state.”
I don’t know what the farmers down there make per hour but the minimum wage in Nevada is $7.25 an hour with benefits and $8.25 without employee benefits. That’s a yearly income of around $15,000. Most of the corporations you’ve mentioned that receive the produce the farmers make and in turn participate in the penny per pound program pay the majority of their employees minimum wage. Since the farmers cannot make less than minimum wage, as far as I know, that means they are probably making above that and making more than many of the employees at the aforementioned corporations. If they’re also receiving various government handouts they’re making even MORE than the employees at the corporations. What the penny-for-pound program does, basically, is give the farmers raises. If the definition of “attacking the circulation of capital” is to distribute capital from the wealthy to the poor then by definition any pay raise and technically any HIRING could be considered as “attacking the circulation of capital”. In order for these raises and hirings to be considered TRUE “attacks” on the circulation of capital the employees must conserve what that receive and not give it back to the corporations in their day-to-day lives. IF they do conserve this money they must also be WILLING to launch counter-initiatives.
If the employees at the corporations making less than the farmers are also not conserving capital then the whole issue is even more pointless and p-t-p even more ineffective as a tool for revolution.
“This is not how the world works. We’re dealing with an age and place in which refused production can easily be offshored. The United States is an international empire with countless workplaces committed to the administration, transportation, and distribution of goods produced elsewhere. Consequently, attacking the circulation of capital would be much more effective than threatening to attack production–especially among the various small towns of Northern Nevada. Moreover, some of the largest historical worker strikes like the recent French general strike ended with workers on the fringe with no pay. But don’t misunderstand what i’m saying, the idea of withdrawing labor is effective in certain places at certain times to create successful chokepoints on the flow of capital but these kinds of efforts must be coordinated with converging efforts to have any impact on the industrial system. Trust me, you’re not just going to “convince the farmers to sack their bosses” and the system goes down. Just doesn’t work like that.”
I didn’t say that that was how the world works or that it would even be possible to do that nor did I say that the system would suddenly disappear but I did say that it would be more effective if acted upon. Sacking the bosses and taking over production simultaneously attacks the flow of capital because it immediately cuts off a number of corporate tentacles. Then, if the production is also aimed towards supplying local business, small communities, homeless shelters etc. AND only circulated within those localities along with the capital it generates it would plant seeds for a non-corporate local economy. But like I have said repeatedly, farmers and most other workers are not interested in endangering their families or themselves. They are not interested in developing widely coordinated and planned attacks that could cost them their lives. If they were interested they would already be doing that.
Places like Whole Foods are there to serve the upper middle-class and above. Fast food joints and the like are there to serve anyone willing to give them money but I assume most of that money comes from the middle class on downwards. Robert Stark and Dylan Hales (in the interview Keith posted) briefly discussed communities like Boulder who have voted to keep out most large corporate entities (even though I’m pretty sure they had a Whole Foods last time I checked) and others who have voted to keep Wal-Mart out. I think doing this would be a more effective way to attack the flow of capital than penny for pound and more practical than sacking the bosses. A video I saw a few weeks back addresses some of the reasons why a small community may want to remove a business like Whole Foods from their area: http://youtu.be/uCSG-2BldRI But again it really comes down to finding enough people that want to do something like that. I think this video sums up the political mindset of Americans and why those people are so hard to find: http://youtu.be/0qW3F48s1fQ LOL
“There is no quick fix or single political action to eradicate the central state and trasnfer power to the local community.”
And finally, after all of these posts you admit it. I never said there was a quick fix. I personally think that it could take 100 years before people start to see that on a wide scale….assuming no economic collapse, peak oil, climate change catastrophe or any other ominous prediction comes true.
“If you were interested in any of “my” activities we’d be talking about my role at SynShop in non-residential community development, seceding from regional planning boards, and my informal work in the small eco-solidarity chain. Two people with common probability interested in empowering their communities would be having a nice discussion.”
LOL, oh come on don’t give me any of this “interested in any of “my” activities” crap when I could be saying the exact same thing to you. I kind of doubt that either of us really care about each others local activities more than we care about stroking our own egos.
“You’ve left at least six comments mocking me on this example and not a single comment on my other examples.”
….I said “I didn’t skip over them and I see nothing wrong with those things.”
I should also mention that in Wisconsin, where the minimum wage is the same as in Nevada, that most local businesses in the food industry are paying their employees about the same or less than what the large corporate businesses are paying their employees. In some of the larger cities the local pay may be a bit higher compared to the smaller cities but the corporate pay is pretty much the same. I see that as an even greater reason for why these corporations need to be removed. If they are removed then in theory the local businesses should be able to pay their employees more and offer better benefits. You should keep in mind that I’ve been working in the food industry for most of my life, at local and corporate businesses, so I have some idea as to what people are being paid. In my opinion, if you really want me to be honest, I think a lot of the local businesses treat their employees like shit and if they were to receive the extra revenue from eradicating the corporate businesses the owners would probably hoard a lot of that money for themselves and the people would have another obstacle to overcome.
You do realize that so far you have never actually stated that the North/South Alliance is directly connected to the penny-per-pound program don’t you? (And you never mentioned that it actually ended until 93.) I’m treating these as two separate things, that’s why I’ve been saying that you can’t expect regular farm workers to use their extra pay to launch counter-initiatives. That’s why I said that there is no difference between a McDonald’s worker getting a paycheck and the farmer getting a PPP paycheck because neither are likely to conserve that money. If all of those thousands of farmers were in fact interested in secession and revolution then I have no criticism of that.
Try using less wordage and more precise language when you type a response. You live in a state of nearly 3 million people and you’re typing like 1.5 million are doing this and 1.5 million are doing that. I don’t think you’re giving me a very good perspective on the numbers of people involved in any of your examples. You started off 77 by mentioning Las Vegas and the next paragraph you’re talking about the PPP as if it’s either in Vegas or the city you’re from and over the course of the rest of your replies you’ve been rather ambiguous as to what the local issues are and what the state issues are. Even in 93 you’re talking about the farmers as being exclusively in the South instead of exclusively in Vegas or the city you live in…hell, maybe you live in that city. In 90 you say “Projects like the penny per pound program are important if we want to empower the Northern farmworker.” LOL, a part of me thinks you’re making these things up and the other part of me thinks that you just have a hard time being clear. You’ve also made it seem like you’ve actually seceded from TRPA up until 93 where you say that you couldn’t. (By the way, if I lived there the Linkola in me would’ve been fighting against you on this particular issue.)
“Never said there was a single action to overthrow the system.”
You did say that the state needs to be taken out first and then the community can be empowered. Your examples (confusingly) show that you’ve been doing the community empowerment first.
“Go back and reread. Slow down when reading. I really don’t think you understand the full process of what’s been discussed here.”
LOL….I think what we’ve been talking about is screwed beyond repair and reading in slow motion won’t fix that. Remember, I’m not from your area so things need to be said a bit more clearly so I can make sense of it. I’m a strong visual thinker so I prefer when writing is precise and to the point.
“That is not the “definition of attacking the circulation of capital.” That is the technical definition of socialism. The capital does not necessarily need to be transferred to anyone. The particular attack we are discussing is a form of socialized system disruption which offers a return on capital from the attack.”
It doesn’t matter if it’s the the technical definition of socialism. I was defining it based on your implication that PPP would provide the farmers extra money to launch counter-initiatives:
“The penny pound program is an attack on the circulation of capital whereby capital is lost to a group of fairly skilled farmers who are much more capable of developing counter-economic programs than the urban worker, or sign holder. One of the main things Pearson and I have discussed here is how members of the working class (i.e. the farmer) lack the financial flexibility to launch counter-initiatives. We talked about how these kinds of projects are out of reach to the working and lower classes. The penny per pound program is a building block, and anyone serious about going up against the state might want to continue building these blocks”
You also said this further up the page:
““Squeezing money out of corporations for farmers is not “expanding corporatism””
I think you’re trying to distance yourself from some of things you’ve been saying. That’s fine, I don’t care. This is slowly going nowhere.
“You should check into what we do at this website.”
I’ve read around half of the articles Keith has written and enjoy Vince’s work at AIAN-ATS quite a bit.
“You say “stroke each others egos” as if you measure up to me. Don’t insult my intelligence.”
You’re right, I shouldn’t have said that because to measure up to you I’d actually have to sink downwards.
“As for “local activities” – which activities were you referring to? Your “experimentation with gardening” Please, my girlfriend experiments with gardening, as most women do.”
I’m a multi-generational farmer. Fly up here and run things next Spring if it’s so easy. And please is right, no way you have a girlfriend.
This probably wouldn’t have dragged on for so long had you mentioned that the people in PPP were actually using the corporate funds to launch what I would consider counter-initiatives. I’ll ask you a few questions to clear things up and then I’m done with it.
Is PPP state wide, city wide or only in the south or only in the north? From what I understand this program through CIW is located in more than one state according to their website and is only put in place to increase wages. CIW is not related to anarchism or anything of that nature.
Are all of the farmers in PPP really using the funds to launch other programs? Or just some of them? Or are they yet to launch any programs? Are all of the farmers in PPP anarchists and secessionists or only some of them?
And I realize I misunderstood you.
“I’m only making that assumption based on the fact that the state provides those things now for the majority of people.”
Past performance is no guarantee of future results as they say on Wall Street. Until the 19th century Oysters were a popular convenience food sold for pennies on the streets of London. That is no longer the case because physical reality trumps all else. When oil goes the Oysters there is nothing that any force can do to make the lifestyle enabled by essentially free energy be an option, even the might of the US government is irrelevant.
“That’s pretty much the answer I would’ve given you. I don’t think people can face the fact that in order for the species to continue existing they’re going to have to consume less. Even if pan-seccessionism was the present reality all of those problems would still exist. What would happen if the Second Vermont Republicers fucked so much their population started to encroach on the territory of the Gay Black Communists? Things would get messy.”
Sure. However there are crucial differences. The system of highly intrusive national level states is, I would suggest, itself a product of industrialisation since only industrialisation could provide the resources for such organisations to exist. Before Industrialisation state’s might have claimed total power but their ability to enact it was limited at a day to day street level. Certainly things like compulsory universal education systems were utterly impossible, much less standardised centrally directed ones.
Centralised industrial governmental systems can not respond to changes which preclude their existence. This is why there has been effectively no response to climate change or resource depletion, in order for those challenges to be addressed the system would have dismantle itself. Whereas the Second Vermont Republic could reconfigure itself to be a viable enterprise in a post industrial environment and therefore is capable of addressing the issues. (capable not being the same thing as will)
As for the possibility of conflict between autonomous communities. Sure, that will happen. The only way in which communities stand any chance of maintaining their sovereignty is if they are prepared to defend not only their own but that of other people. However let’s not assume the alternative of enforced co-existence is any better. Under the current system tensions are suppressed not eliminated, indeed in the absence of the consequences of certain attitudes being manifested they can develop to levels not possible in organic systems. For example you can as a fundy Xian or militant queer engage in provocation of your antagonists protected by the state at a level which would without that protection result in a resolution of the issue. i.e. armed conflict. This means that these issues can become far more inflamed than they could ordinarily since most people wouldn’t push the issue that far if they seriously thought the result might be the ignition of their home.
This is not an abstract idea. In Yugoslavia the collapse of the central state removing the constraints which had suppressed and cultivated all sorts of hatreds led to a bewildering multi-sided intensely violent conflict which, had it not been for the re-imposition of centralised enforced co-existence by NATO, would have resulted in about 75% of the population being wiped out.
In short centralised states don’t resolve conflicts, they bank them where they accrue interest until the day comes when they break loose. Decentralised systems allow these conflicts to express themselves, demonstrate the consequences of them and by doing so allow people to put them into some sort of rational perspective. Such conflicts are an organic part of human interaction, and there are organic factors which work to balance them. Secessionism allows this process to work itself out, centralised state do not.
“I’m personally agnostic on the question of to what degree such factors will reduce present levels of consumption. I’m not sure that it significantly impacts our overall political agenda either way. Let’s say, for instance, that these factors bring about an economic or technological regression that puts us back to the level of development of, say, the late 19th or early 20th century. Wouldn’t that merely mean that we were right back where our classical anarchist predecessors were? And wouldn’t the same basic set of ideas still apply?”
It’s highly unlikely that we could simply revert to a 19th century coal fired society. In order to do that you would have to completely rebuild the entire country, recreating the type of high density cities and towns that the railway age generated. This would require the complete abandonment of the vast suburban landscape and everything invested in it. Plus an enormous amount of capital, resources and a considerable period of time to enact it. None of which are available to our societies.
Plus the likely environmental consequences would be unacceptable.
And of course to even contemplate that requires us to accept that such a project was politically viable. In reality there is no way that the populations would accept the prospect of being re-industrialised on the 19th century model. And even that requires us to imagine that our current populations are mentally and physically capable of enduring such conditions. Which they aren’t.
If, IF, the kind of economic stress predicted by peak oil theory or by generalised collapse of the economy of the West caused by a structural failure of economic systems (i.e the post industrial model of a tertiary/quaternary economy turns out not to be viable) manifested then the political stress generated would be more than sufficient to tear society apart.
The only precedent for this is the collapse of the USSR. After which huge areas were effectively abandoned by the state and resorted to subsistence farming among the ruins of industrial cities. However even that precedent is inadequate because a number of explosive factors present in the West were not present in the USSR. Firstly the soviet population was hardly used to consumer society and therefore didn’t miss it, they were inured to poverty. Secondly the environment was relatively politically stable, everyone hated the soviet state and the vast majority believed in a Western style economy and political system. Compare to the bitterly divided Western societies where there is no consensus on almost any political issue. Thirdly the soviet economic system was better placed to leave a legacy of workable arrangements; people weren’t thrown out of their homes because they weren’t owned by banks but by the state. A highly developed black market parallel economy was in place, Etc. Fourthly there was a outside force in the form of the West able to offer assistance to mitigate against total collapse. That would not be the case if the US suffers a sudden catastrophic economic failure.
We aren’t talking about the Industrial revolution in reverse, we are talking about a entirely novel environment requiring totally new political solutions. The 19th century anarchists were opposing a state rapidly gaining power and commanding exponentially increasing resources which had the support of the vast majority of the population thanks to populist nationalism. If, as George Bush put it, “this sucker went down” our situation would be entirely different.
“As I said before, the political has to precede the economic. I consider the economic outlook of Carson and related others to more or less be the economic program of ARV/ATS. But as RJ points out, the ideas of the agorists/mutualists/cooperativists, etc. are rather shallow when it comes to strategic thinking. From what I can make of their ideas in this area, they basically advocate reforming the corporate economy to death with the development of counter-economic projects (like the state would ever let that happen).
Once thing I envision pan-secessionist, N-A, neo-tribalist, municipalist, or whatever movements doing is creating alternative economic enterprises and agitating against state imposed economic privilege as part of breaking down the corporatist economy simultaneously with the state. I’m on the same page with the agorists on this question, but the struggle against the state has to come first. The state is not going to allow alternative enterprises to simply undercut the corporate economy without a fight.”
Let’s deal with a reality here. The vast majority of our populations are politically apathetic to the extent they actually reject anything which they identify as political out of hand. Certainly to go out into an Anglo Saxon culture and use a word in which “ism” is a component is to make it a cast iron certainty 90% of people are going to ignore you at best.
That is not to say that it is pointless to engage in an intellectual advocation of any position. Gaining the support of at least an element of that politically literate 10% is crucial. Without that support there is no way that anyone is ever going to attempt to implement any agenda.
The implication of this is that any revolutionary anti-establishment movement must accept that in the West they must adopt a Bolshevik strategy not that of a 20th century mass movement. This is to say that the strategy must be based on an elite group of ideologically sound activists whose mission and tactical model is not to create clones of themselves but to direct and co-ordinate communities against the state and towards their preferred arrangement.
In the case of secessionists this means that rather than standing on soapboxs in the town square advocating autonomy and self determination as ideals for that community they should be organising that community to resist centralised power. It is not necessary that those groups and individuals taking part in actions designed to advance the secessionist agenda support the ultimate objectives of secessionism, accept it as a morally justified position or even have any idea what it means.
In practical terms the easiest secessionist initiatives to organise are economic not political ones. Exactly things like community share projects, farmers markets and local currencies. Once these projects have been implemented and a faction which supports them has been created it going to be far easier to “sell them” the same concepts applied to a political context. And the fact that some measure of success has already been achieved is likely to greatly encourage potential supporters. This is critical when you consider that the essential proposition of secessionism is a daunting one for potential supporters. Plus resistance from groups in favour of centralised systems is likely to create an antagonism in the de facto secessionists which will drive them towards more direct opposition.
Basically we need a Jedi and Ewok approach, our job is to persuade the bears to fight the Empire with sticks and boulders employed with imagination and determination. Not to educated them in the finer points of the Force. (For another nerdy example of Bolshevik political strategy see the LoTR’s Gandalf the wizard’s rabble rousing tour of Middle Earth fomenting dissent against the baddies using a variety of techniques none of which was an appeal to philosophic values).
“This is to say that the strategy must be based on an elite group of ideologically sound activists whose mission and tactical model is not to create clones of themselves but to direct and co-ordinate communities against the state and towards their preferred arrangement.
In the case of secessionists this means that rather than standing on soapboxs in the town square advocating autonomy and self determination as ideals for that community they should be organising that community to resist centralised power. It is not necessary that those groups and individuals taking part in actions designed to advance the secessionist agenda support the ultimate objectives of secessionism, accept it as a morally justified position or even have any idea what it means. ”
Yes, I agree with all of that.
“In practical terms the easiest secessionist initiatives to organise are economic not political ones. Exactly things like community share projects, farmers markets and local currencies. Once these projects have been implemented and a faction which supports them has been created it going to be far easier to “sell them” the same concepts applied to a political context. And the fact that some measure of success has already been achieved is likely to greatly encourage potential supporters. This is critical when you consider that the essential proposition of secessionism is a daunting one for potential supporters. Plus resistance from groups in favour of centralised systems is likely to create an antagonism in the de facto secessionists which will drive them towards more direct opposition.”
I think we need a political struggle that makes the economic issues into a fundamental part of its tactical and theoretical framework. You and I are not that far apart here.
The whole “Liberty and Populism” strategy is about developing an anarchist leadership for a much larger populist movement that is organized on a local and regional basis, but is coordinated by local leaders who network with one another. The local movements would be orientated towards the economic needs and cultural interests of the local population. For instance, the anarcho-pluralist/pan-secessionist movement in large, “diverse” cities would likely take positions on many questions that were quite different from those of their colleagues or counterparts in rural areas, smaller towns, or more culturally homogenous regions.
As an illustration, I think the secessionist/anarchist movement might in some ways resembles the OWS movement among intellectuals, students and bohemians. It might resemble the teabaggers and Ron Paulistas among more conservative suburbanites or working class whites. Among rural Americans, it might more closely resemble the militia movement of the 1990s, and among inner city folk it might resemble the Black Panthers or Young Lords.
The purpose of the anarchist vanguard would be to work its way into leadership positions within all of these movements and begin steering them towards one another with the common goal of secession.
“LOL, imagine a municipal secessionist movement advocating communities modeled on Fourier’s phalinsteries.”
I was expecting something weirder than the wiki report on Fourier’s ideas. Compared to actual intentional communities which have and do exist he was quite tame. The obvious example being some of the more racy cults but your common or garden monastery is pretty whack considered objectively.
And of course you have the Mormon intentional communities of the 19 and 20th centuries based on equally bizarre notions.
In the UK the town of Glastonbury has attracted a large number of New Age types giving the place a unique character. I think that this process of existing communities becoming associated with certain cultures is a positive advantage of secessionism and one way it might become established. I think secessionism would “accelerate” this process of diversification whereby people interested in certain social arrangements would gravitate to particular places while existing residents who couldn’t tolerate those arrangements would leave. Cultural “white flight”.
“In the UK the town of Glastonbury has attracted a large number of New Age types giving the place a unique character. I think that this process of existing communities becoming associated with certain cultures is a positive advantage of secessionism and one way it might become established. ”
Yes, a lot of my thinking follows those lines as well. I realized years ago that all of these bizarre subcultures are potential constituents for secessionism/anarchism.
“I think secessionism would “accelerate” this process of diversification whereby people interested in certain social arrangements would gravitate to particular places while existing residents who couldn’t tolerate those arrangements would leave. Cultural “white flight”.”
To some degree the process you’re describing is already taking place in the US. Here’s an article by one of our supporters that analyzes those trends and their relationship to my own work: http://ethelslionessden.blogspot.com/2009/08/decentralism-for-masses-big-sort-and.html
“I think we need a political struggle that makes the economic issues into a fundamental part of its tactical and theoretical framework. You and I are not that far apart here.”
I agree with you on that. We may have some minor differences of emphasis on tactical issues but otherwise we appear to have reached pretty much the same conclusions on strategy and radical morality.
I find it amazing that so few people from either the old “right” or “left” have managed to arrive at what appears to me to be the only viable or justifiable position, that of localised autonomy.
I’m seriously behind on this thread, but I gather there was some talk of organising a conference? That’s quite an ambitious project. Perhaps you might consider using one of the VOIP chat rooms available for nothing to stage virtual conferences? Paltalk, when its working, hosts quite a few political rooms.
“I’m seriously behind on this thread, but I gather there was some talk of organising a conference? That’s quite an ambitious project.”
That was just a speculative comment concerning what sort of public events we would want to organize as we continue to grow as a movement. The value of in-person conferences is they help a real community of activists and scholars to grow. But we’re a long way away from that at this point.
I would want us to stay farther out of the public eye than a conference would allow, but the radio show/podcast idea was a good idea.
If I have learned one thing from my career as a radical activist it is that Tzu Sun was right, never fight a battle there is no prospect of winning. However, at the same time we must be aware that if we refuse to fight at all then we are effectively totally defeated. The trick is to look for attainable achievements and then focus on achieving them.
At this point for this group that means looking for actions which its strengths make achievable and its resources make possible. RJ’s videos being a good example of this, distinguishing themselves from rivals in terms of quality of content and production. Organisation is the critical attribute of small high quality groups. For example we could look at the Anarchist FAQ project, an example of a small group tasking themselves with a specific project. I believe that that organisational model/mentality applied to a wider and more inventive agenda would advance the penetration of the ideas this group advocates. Co-ordination (even on a decentralised basis) is, as RJ might agree, the fundamental aspect of 4th gen conflict we can apply to this endeavour.
Specifically, to reiterate what I’ve argued throughout this and other threads, the organisation of secessionists to produce practical “battlefield” manuals for people trying to implement these ideas within their communities. Or better yet the organisation of on-line groups tasked with supporting such efforts. If this could be done then secessionism would have gained an obvious superiority over “blogs n’ websites” communication/promotion strategy.
“I would want us to stay farther out of the public eye than a conference would allow, but the radio show/podcast idea was a good idea”
It would be very easy to set up a paltalk room, I use a couple regularly (British Resistance and Occupy (Social issues and Politics) under the handle Wowbanger TIP).
I know that at least one group records debates they have on that platform (when they get someone relatively well known in) and then makes them available on Youtube. It wouldn’t be very hard to format such recordings as podcasts.
I think that if these debates were focused on particular issues then this would be a simple way of rapidly building up a library of discussions on relevant issues (a good example is the Kunstlercast library built up by James Howard Kunstler). Whilst this library would be nothing like the quality of RJ’s videos they would have certain advantages. For one they would allow a constant stream of material to be released and they would allow the ideas we are promoting to be available on a different format. Text is just so elitist and archaic in a post civilisation environment. (lol)