On Revolutionary Consciousness

Revolutionary consciousness is not about individual self-gratification. Rather, it is about the contribution of the individual to the wider struggle. That’s not to say that there cannot be individual motivations for participating in revolutionary struggle. Some people join revolutionary efforts in order to purse achievements as a writer, intellectual, orator, leader, organizer, guerrilla fighter, historical figure, etc. But such individual achievements are not the purpose of revolutionary struggle. They are only its by-product.

Some no doubt have motivations of these kinds when they join revolutionary efforts. Others have altruistic motivations such as the betterment of their family and kin, community, religion, culture, society, nation, ethnic group, racial group, social class, primary reference groups, occupational group, humanity as a whole, or even animals and the environment. Still others are motivated to reign down vengeance upon enemies. This can indeed be a powerful motivating factor.

A revolutionary struggle needs all of the personalities it attracts: the egoists, altruists, idealists, dreamers, do-gooders, rebels, self-seekers, avengers, warriors, humanitarians, etc.

But one thing revolutionary consciousness and revolutionary struggle is not about is personal hedonism.

Personal hedonism may be fine ON A PERSONAL BASIS. However, the purpose of revolutionary struggle is the revolution, not providing self-gratification to individuals. There is no need for persons of this type within the context of revolutionary struggles anyway. Such persons are better served by becoming lackeys of the ruling class and brown nosing the system.

All of the foundational documents and other material associated with ARV-ATS shows that our primary orientation is towards the common struggle against the empire. It is a struggle that involves many different components on a worldwide basis.

However, we at ATS, along with others with similar positions such as the N-As and panarchists, take things to their furthest extreme by advocating self-determination for all through the application of basic anarchist principles such as solidarity, decentralization, mutualism, mutual aid, federalism, free association, pluralism, localism, individualism, communitarianism, free inquiry, free speech, freedom of religion, self-management, voluntary cooperation and many other things.

In many ways, I think the many different kinds of anarchists complement each other even when they have contradictory or opposed views on the surface. For instance, I think these libertarians/an-cap/voluntarist people are pretty good on the state, but not so good on economic authoritarianism. Anti-capitalist anarchists on good on economics, but often end up making too many compromises with the state. The individualists are pretty good on individual rights, freedoms, and civil liberties, whereas the social anarchists are better when it comes to traditionally oppressed groups such as racial minorities, women, sexual minorities. At the same time, I think the “political correctness” of some anarchists gets a bit extreme, so more socially or culturally “conservative” versions of anarchism might be something of a counterbalance to that. The critique of technology and industrialism offered by the anarcho-primitivists and agrarian anarchists is interesting and has something to say, but so do technophile anarchists who see liberatory potentials in technology. I say the same thing about all the other conflicts within anarchism such as those between the pacifists and insurrectionists, religious/spiritual anarchists vs atheists, etc. For example, of all the conflicts listed in this “issues in anarchism” piece, I could probably see merit to multiple sides of the issues:

Beyond that, the struggle against the empire is not an “anarchists only” enterprise. We have to reach out to sincere and honorable people from all political and cultural communities as partners in the wider struggle. As the GRA manifesto says:

“The Muslims, atheists, Christians, socialists, anarchists, conservatives, libertarians, fundamentalists, sectarians, progressivists, environmentalists, or traditionalists will hardly get along with each other, if they try to spread their vision of the future to their neighbours, and even more so, to all mankind. And the global oligarchy will immediately take advantage of this, hammering a wedge between the opponents; it will split their solidarity and will kill or strangle each individually.”

Clearly, the solution to the dilemma described above is self-determination for all, i.e. a Free Nations Coalition embracing the genuine diversity of humanity. That is what ATS is all about.

Categories: Activism, Strategy

3 replies »

  1. “Roundtable on Religion and the State: Can Pagans, Christians, and Atheists Get Along?”

    That was your “latest” podcast? That was over a year ago. Anyway, what was the conclusion?

    I think everybody can get along as long as they don’t try to force their ideas or beliefs on others. Monotheists have a tendency to do that though. Then when non-monotheists pipe up and say, “No, we’re not going to convert to your religion and truth be told we’re not all that interested in it at all”, the monotheists cry “There’s a war on Christianity!” or “Islamo-phobia!” or whatever it may be.

    If they are willing to co-exist with the rest of us in a state of mutual respect without trying to convert us at every turn, then fine. But are they?

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