Orania: “Right-Wing Anarcho-Communism” and Freedom of Association Reply

Orania is a South African Afrikaner commune that is economically self-sufficient and has no police or prisons. Predictably, they are attacked by the Left with the usual “racist” and “fascist” labels.

But if racists want to escape a non-racist society, they should go for it, just as if communists want to escape a capitalist society, they should do so. One of the biggest points of contention that I have with most conventional leftists, including apparently left-anarchists, is over the issue of freedom of association. Freedom of association means the right to associate in a racist way, a communist way, an atheist way, a religious way, etc. It means the right to exclude redheads, meat eaters, television watchers, short people, or rock music fans. It means everyone involved can be required to be gay or required to use drugs.

Of course, others can disagree, disapprove on philosophical, ideological, moral, ethical, religious, whatever grounds. They can criticize or refuse to associate with the associationists they find objectionable. When I’ve debated this with leftists I’ve sometimes used Orania as an example of an “association of white ethnocentrics” or whatever they would be called, and they will sometimes respond with comments like the Oranias are promoted “bad attitudes” or “negative values” that “undermine the social fabric” (i.e. the kind of thing you typically hear from some right-wing “family values” type talking about homosexuality).

Years ago, one of the then US Supreme Court Justices Thurgood Marshall criticized no-knock raids saying, “There is no drug exception to the 4th Amendment, just as there is no communism exception.” I would paraphrase that by saying that there is no racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia, etc. exception to the free association principle just as there are no exceptions for communism, Satanism, atheism, drug use, homosexuality, pornography, or other right-wing demons. Although I am more “pro-diversity” that leftists typically are. For instance, I accept “transracials” like Rachel Dolezal, transhumanists, “otherkins,” sex workers/prostitutes, drug cultures as legitimate forms of identity. From an anarchist perspective, even criminal affiliations can be a legitimate form of identity because crime is a socially constructed concept based on the state’s arbitrary, economically monopolistic and culturally relative definitions of “crime.”

Interestingly, there is a leftist commune in Marinaleda that is very similar to Orania and a comparable multicultual/spiritual commune called Auroville in India (among other examples). That’s what actual anarchism would be in practice, i.e. a world of millions of Oranias and Marinaledas and Aurovilles reflecting all kinds identities and cultural themes, from Afrikaners to Christiania in Copenhagen to the corpse-cuddling tribe in Indonesia.

 

The aim of the town is to create a stronghold for Afrikaans and the Afrikaner identity by keeping their language and culture alive. Anyone who defines themselves as an Afrikaner and identifies with Afrikaner ethnicity is welcome to live in Orania.

Orania is an Afrikaner town in South Africa located along the Orange River in the Karoo region of the Northern Cape province.[ The town is split in two halves by the R369 road and lies halfway between Cape Town and Pretori

Critics accuse the town authorities of rejecting the Rainbow Nation concept, and trying to recreate pre-democratic South Africa within an enclave,  while residents contend the desire to preserve their linguistic and cultural heritage, and protect themselves from high crime levels is their motivation, and they are seeking the right to self-determination as provided by the Constitution of South Africa. The town’s relations with the South African government are non-confrontational, and although opposed to the aspirations of the community, it has recognised them as legitimate.[

The small community has a radio station and its own currency, the Ora. The Seattle Times reported a population of 1,600 in July 2018. More than 100 businesses are located in Orania as of 2013.

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