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  1. That’s very confusing because if I understand your pan-anarchist philosophy correctly, there is no vanguard. If there is a monolithic “grey tribe” vanguard, that would contradict the notion that all people, no matter what their culture or ideology is, should have secession from the empire as their primary objective.

  2. These are some good questions. I’m glad you asked them.

    “That’s very confusing because if I understand your pan-anarchist philosophy correctly, there is no vanguard.”

    The pan-anarchist movement is itself the vanguard. As I have previously written:

    “Assembling the Vanguard

    The next step is the assembling of the “principled militants” whom Bakunin recognized as the intellectual and activist vanguard of the insurgency. This is not to be confused with the Marxist-Leninist concept of the “vanguard” whose only purpose is the achievement of military dictatorship for the sake of managing a centrally planned economy. We are now in need of an organizational framework that can play the same role as that of the FAI in the development of Spanish anarchism. Translated into modern American terms, such an organization would be a combination think-tank and activist and propaganda front, sort of an anarchist alternative to ruling class entities of a similar nature such as the American Enterprise Institute or Democratic Leadership Council. Perhaps a better model might be Marcus Raskin’s Institute for Policy Studies or some of the radical libertarian think-tanks like the Mises Institute or the Independent Institute. To play its proper role, such an organization would have to not only issue position papers and conduct conferences but also involve itself in day-to-day activist efforts of the type the Stalinists coordinate with their International ANSWER and maintain a presence within larger, more mainstream political organizations such as the ACLU, NRA, labor unions, single-issue pressure groups, territorial secession movements, grassroots community action groups or the minor political parties. Obviously, the only kind of ideological framework suitable for such an effort would be something akin to Voltairine de Cleyre’s “anarchism without adjectives”, i.e., a non-sectarian, non-purist, tendency open to anarchists of all hyphenated tendencies as well as their fellow travelers. When I met Abbie Hoffman in 1987, I asked him what he thought the most common mistake made by radical activists was and he quickly replied that the main problem was that too many radicals waste time arguing over secondary issues like this or that “ism” rather than focusing on more immediate problems. We would do well to heed his advice. Larry Gambone describes the problem with doing otherwise:

    “Read even the most superficial book on anarchism and you will discover that many forms of anarchism exist-anarchist-communism, individualist-anarchism, anarcho-syndicalism, free-market anarchism, anarcho-feminism and green-anarchism. This division results from people taking their favorite economic system or extrapolating from what they see as the most important social struggle and linking this to anarchism….The hyphenation presents a danger. Like it or not, everyone, without exception, compromises, modifies or softens their beliefs at some point. Where they compromise is what is important. Do they give up on the anarchism of the other aspect? You can be sure that most hypenated anarchists will prefer to drop the libertarian side of the hyphen. There are plenty examples of this occurring .”

    In other words, our core creed must be “Anarchy First!” applied within context of decentralism, populism and libertarianism. Here is a set of potential “first principles” for an anarchist-led libertarian-populism:

    1) Minimal and decentralized government organized on the basis of community sovereignty and federalism.

    2) A worker-based, cooperative economy functioning independently of the state, the corporate infrastructure and central banking.

    3) A radically civil libertarian legal system ordered on the basis of individual sovereignty, individual rights and restitutive justice.

    4) A neutralist, non-interventionist foreign policy and a military defense system composed of decentralized, voluntary militia confederations.

    5) A system of cultural pluralism organized on the basis of voluntary association, civil society, localism, regionalism, decentralism and mutual aid.

    6) The achievement of the above through an all-fronts strategy of grassroots local organizing, local electoral action, secession, civil disobedience, militant strikes and boycotts, organized tax resistance, alternative infrastructure and armed struggle.

    This is a very generalized program that anti-state radicals of virtually any ideological stripe ought to be able to agree upon. I suspect that those who do not agree might be inclined towards an excess of purism, sectarianism or utopianism. Unfortunately, those with such an outlook will simply have to fall by the wayside. Principled realism should be our primary analytical and strategic tool. The first order of business in developing a strategic paradigm is to give due consideration to the actual structure of the United States, politically, economically and culturally. ”


    • “If there is a monolithic “grey tribe” vanguard, that would contradict the notion that all people, no matter what their culture or ideology is, should have secession from the empire as their primary objective.”

      Two points.

      First, the Grey Tribe is not monolithic, just as the Blues and Reds are not monolithic.

      The Blues in particular are very non-monolithic. Politically, the Blues includes liberal Democrats, progressives, socialists, Greens, left-libertarians, left-anarchists, and Marxists. They include LGBTs, and homophobic black preachers. They include feminists and macho Latin immigrants. They include environmentalists, and traditional blue collar union members. They include poor people on welfare and rich plutocrats like Bill Gates.

      The Reds include secular, urbane Jewish neocons and rural “USA! USA!” yahoos. They include right-wing pro-life Catholics and people who think Catholicism is Satan worship. They include country clubbers and deer hunters.

      The Grey Tribe would be a third force in U.S. politics that identifies the state as its primary enemy, rather than “un-American. communist, tree-hugging, hippie, terrorist-coddlers” or “racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic looksist, fat-shaming, ablist, rape culture-enabling bigots.”

      The Grey Tribe would likely have people from all class positions, from wealthy libertarians to working to middle class people to professionals to hippie panhandlers to the homeless to people in prison. There would be many economic positions (from Austrians to anarcho-communists), cultural orientations, religious orientations, and ethnic backgrounds. There would be a wide variety of libertarian and anarchist ideologies present. There would be sharp differences of opinion on issues that divide libertarians, anarchists, and anti-statists. There would be reformists and radicals, moderates and extremists, all kinds of approaches to activism (secession, seasteading, running for city council, etc).

      Second, the growth of the Grey Tribe has to be distinguished from the pan-secessionist idea which is a larger, meta-strategic concept.

      Pan-secession would include movements that want to secede from the empire for all kinds of reasons. It might include the entire spectrum of right-wing movements who are in opposition to totalitarian humanism, e.g. evangelical Christians, pro-lifers, gun owners, survivalists, Mormons, Catholic traditionalists, tax resisters, conspiracy theorists, cults, homophobes, white nationalists, paleoconservatives, southern nationalists, traditionalists, ex-Republicans, monarchists, etc. Anything you could possibly think of. It might also include Hispanic ethno-nationalists, black nationalists, Muslims, Native American tribes, LGBT separatists, Marxists, proponents of a Dworkinite feminist homeland, a stoner homeland, street gangs, bioregionalists, who knows what else.

      And that’s only in the United States. Many of these tendencies would not necessarily be a part of the Grey Tribe. They might even be in sharp disagreement with the Grey Tribe on some questions. But pan-secession is about the wider project of bringing down the central government domestically, and the empire internationally.

      Pan-secession would be the meta-strategy. The Grey Tribe would be the demographic heart of Pan-secession, and the pan-anarchist movement would be the militant vanguard of the Grey Tribe and the mediating coordinators of the wider pan-secessionist strategy and activism for that purpose.

      Does this make any sense?

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