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Beyond Sectarian Anarchism: Radicalizing the Center

Attack the System
Beyond Sectarian Anarchism: Radicalizing the Center

May 20, 2013

Keith Preston reflects on recent violent conflicts within the anarchist milieu and discusses more constructive approaches.

Topics include:

  • How the variety of hyphenated forms of anarchism will continue to grow as anarchism becomes a more prevalent political ideology.
  • How the many hyphens within anarchism need not be a source of division but of strength and potential outreach to an ever greater number of constituencies.
  • The need for leaders and activists to emerge in different anti-state movements who recognize the need for a united revolutionary front against common enemies.
  • How a revolutionary anarchist movement would be the leadership of a larger libertarian-populist movement.
  • The possibility of a political meta-party as the political arm of the anarchist movement.
  • The need for anarchists to organize an international federation of regional independence movements.
  • How the majority of anarchists are oriented towards the cultural fringes and the difficulties this presents when trying to radicalize the center.
  • How anarchists can appeal to ordinary people by championing their basic economic interests.
  • The need for a revolutionary movement that is both layered and compartmentalized, and strikes a healthy balance between the fringe and the middle, the bottom and the top.
  • How the revolutionary struggle must be on all fronts: political, economic, social, and military.

Run time: 85:17

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2 replies »

  1. Your focus on anarchism is, in my opinion, a result of your experience, and isn’t relevant to your narrow, personal aims. You have X ideology. Your best bet at getting X ideology realized is pan-secessionism. Meaning that you work with people who don’t share your views or values to fight against a common enemy.

    Now you can choose to bloc up with anarchist in this strategic coalition, but in my opinion, anarchists of all stripes are more trouble than they are worth. Much easier to bloc up with statist libertarians, progressives, democrats, and the black, white and brown racialists. These groups are larger than the anarchists, in fact any one group may be larger than all anarchists combined given that roughly 11% of white people openly oppose interracial marriages (which I take as a proxy for support for a white racial state).

    This is not to convince you, but just to say that you don’t need to work with other anarchists to achieve anarchism. Because anarchists (all types combined) will never reach a majority, and will probably never even outnumber any of the racialist movements. MAYBE black nationalists. Maybe.

    But as a bunch, anarchists are unbelievably unstrategic, insufferably narcissistic, and not really concerned with actually winning. For most of them, it’s an identity, and they won’t work with their enemies to win, because they don’t actually care about winning. They care about revolutin’.

    LOOK AT THEIR SITES. Black and red flags, black bloc, attacking the system, images of them revolutin’ and they treat the theoretical side as identity as well. All this art about reading Kropotkin.

    The same thing can be said of the skinheads. White Nationalists who want to win are like Jared Taylor or David Duke. The skinheads don’t compromise, they don’t think strategically, because they don’t care about winning. It’s about being part of the skins. For most of them it’s a stupid phase, and when the phase ends, they become militant “anti-racists” because they imagine that people like Jared Taylor were motivated by the same passions they had.

    The anarchists spend more time on defining true anarchism and escalating their own positions to be “more anarchist than thou” than on actually studying the real problems of a polycentric legal order, and doing things that could possibly get them the grand prize.

    For them, ‘revolutin, wearing bandanas over their face (as if they need to hide their identity for fear of reprisals like the first anarchists actually DID) is their goal.

    That’s what they focus on.

    You, mister Preston, are imagining that since YOU are in good faith trying to win, and YOU are motivated by ideology first and foremost and the realization of it, that your “fellow anarchists” must be similarly motivated.

    THEY’RE NOT. They’re playing dressup. They’re incorrigible because they don’t care about winning, winning isn’t the point.

    You give a plan that has a shot at winning, and they’ll just use that as an opportunity to demonstrate how radical they are by rejecting it.

    And there’s not enough of them for it to be worth it to put up with this shit. They’re not some great prize any.

    Work with libertarians. Work with true-believer progressives (not family guy democrats whose political views are based on social cues and what their authorities, usually professors, say), constitutionalists, black, white and brown racialists, true-believer religious fanatics. These groups want to win, they want the grand prize.

    The overwhelming majority of anarchists do not. Their behavior is testament to that.

  2. All of your points are well-taken, cogently argued, and I agree with much of what you said. But it’s not a question of either/or. I plan on working with every one of the groups you mentioned and then some for the sake of building pan-secessionism. But I also plan on simultaneously working to build a larger, more intelligent, more focused, more serious, and more strategically adept pan-anarchist movement. I see the two projects as complementing each other rather than working against each other.

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