Revolutionary Preservationists: Beyond the Statist / Anti-Statist Paradigm

From: Open Revolt

By Dan Canuckistan

I agree that the state vs. anti state debate can become as Manichean as the traditional left right paradigm. I also recognize the limitations “anti statists” and “statists” alike face due to a failure to “acknowledge the nuanced blend of possible and existing solutions.” As Dan states “for decentralization to make any sense at all…you have to acknowledge the possibility that people of a given locality or region may freely choose a different political or economic model than pure anarchism/libertarianism.”

As much as I can see this dichotomy among revolutionaries as a form of philosophical quagmire/masturbation, I believe this debate can and will lead to the “nuanced and realistic solutions…at the core of decentralization” and indeed  a pragmatic and populist “ solution has to work for real people, not for the sake of some abstract ideology of either left or right.”-Craig FitzGerald

There’s an old military term, not used much nowadays, called “counter-scorch”. Counter-scorch operations were traditionally conducted by small units sent behind enemy lines not to destroy things but to preserve them from retreating armies, or vengeful mobs, bent on a scorched earth policy or just mindless destruction. A squad of paratroopers, for example, would be air landed to seize a strategic bridge before it got blown up or an armoured column sent ahead to protect a site of particular cultural or historical significance. In our age of “creative destruction”, however, such considerations are rarely taken into account unless it coincides with the interests of war profiteers. Oil ministry buildings are protected while museums and archaeological sites are allowed to be looted.

As National Revolutionaries, we face a similar conundrum: which institutions do we preserve and which do we allow to be razed to the ground? Do we allow neo-liberal Shock Doctrinarians to gut public institutions and enclose what is left of the commons, or do we fight back with a counter-scorched earth campaign?

Some revolutionaries of a more libertarian persuasion have replaced the outdated left/right dichotomy with an equally Manichaean concept of “statist/non-statist”, the former being absolutely evil and the latter completely desirable & good. Personally, I think the “statist/non-statist” distinction is as useless as the “left/right” one because it doesn’t acknowledge the nuanced blend of possible & existing solutions.

Read full article here.

3 replies »

  1. This is a really important article that raises a lot of questions that I have also considered in the past and in fact tried to take into account when I was outlining the “Liberty and Populism” strategy.

    An anarchist or libertarian universalism is no better than any other kind of universalism, and I doubt the majority of human beings will ever be convinced to accept either anarchism or libertarianism to the degree hoped for by either the Infoshoppers or the Rothbardians. That’s one of the issues that pan-secessionism was intended to address.

    On a strategic level, we also have to consider the large number of ordinary folks are who at present dependent on the state for jobs, education, health care, old age pensions, unemployment, subsistence income, and lots of other things. An anti-state movement with a populist bent and rooted heavily in the lumpenproletariat of the kind that I advocate is going need some comprehensive means of addressing these questions other than “Go get a job at Wal-Mart!”

    For instance, when I’ve criticized left-anarchists for being overly attached to a preferred economic system or set of cultural values, or for insisting on the universalization of these, some of them have responded by suggesting that while I don’t advocate the universalization of, say, anarcho-communism or LGBT rights, I do come closer to advocating the universalization of anti-statism. To some degree that’s true, because I think the state has unique powers and is a uniquely pernicious force that stands over and above things like cultural norms and economic arrangements. But as this article points out, not everything the state does is equally pernicious, and there are varying forms and degrees of statism. Finland and Costa Rica are not Pol Pot’s Cambodia. Western liberal democracy is under-criticized in my view, but it’s not North Korea or the Third Reich.

    So it is likely that with pan-secessionism, radical decentralization, micro-nationalism, city-statism, neighborhood anarchism-all of the concepts we promote at ATS-the particularly forms that secessionist communities, regions, or enclaves assume will reflect varying approaches concerning the degree to which government is formally abolished. Some might have some kind of public police or sheriff’s force, while others might rely on PDSs, militias, posses, or neighborhood watches. Some might have a local public school system and some might not. Some might maintain a public legal system while others might rely fully on common law or private law. Some might have municipalized industries or a public health care system and others might have everything completely privatized or de-statized.

  2. This is why conventional anarchism is BS. If I woke up tomorrow to find the state had collapsed I’d be out on the streets within the hour soliciting support for a local replacement, starting with a police force. Why? Because otherwise within a couple of days the scum would be looting everything including my house and the local Russian/Baltic Republic “mafia” would be setting up their own micro state.

    Nature abhors a vacuum. If anarchism means anything other than a stupid moral philosophy then it had better get ready to explain why big isn’t beautiful. I don’t want to tell you what to believe, I don’t want to tax you, but you better understand that I do not intend to be fucked like a pussy for lack of community organisation.

  3. Somehow, even without the benevolent guidance of the State, people will figure out they need more than “just Wal-Marts”. Yes, they could do this ALL ON THEIR OWN. Amazing, eh? In fact, throw away a few million regulations and watch manufacturing make a massive comeback.

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