The Struggle for Bottom Unity in an Age of Division

By Nicky Reid aka Comrade Hermit

Exile in Happy Valley

“The most interesting political questions throughout history have been whether or not humans will be ruled or free, whether they will be responsible for their actions as individuals or left irresponsible as members of society, and whether they can live in peace by volitional agreements alone.”

-Karl Hess

“We’ve got to face the fact that some people say you fight fire best with fire, but we say you put fire out best with water. We say you don’t fight racism with racism. We’re gonna fight racism with solidarity.”

-Fred Hampton

Solidarity is a bitch when everyone who can afford a knife is slitting each other’s throat. That’s the nasty little limerick that keeps playing on repeat in my skull like a mantra as populist grassroots uprisings devolve into bitter proxy wars between roaming tribes of bitter proles, killing each other over which oligarch’s name they have scrawled across their battle flags. Everyone wants to pick sides. Everyone is trolling for convenient scapegoats. I just see poor people killing poor people while two sick rich candidates arrange their corpses into clever platforms to stand on and promote more war from. The splintering of the George Floyd Uprisings into partisan turf warfare doesn’t just rip up my already bleeding heart because I had so much hope for the revolutionary potential now being squandered. It kills me because I have people on both sides of these gorey shenanigans and they should both be on the same damn team. All poor people should be, regardless of race or even politics.

This philosophy, the crazy little idea that what defines the revolutionary struggle for a better world isn’t about who’s on the left or the right but who’s on the top or the bottom, is known as Bottom Unity. It’s an oddly Marxian libertarian philosophy that serves as the cornerstone to my whole belief system. You see, dearest motherfuckers, I am what’s known as a Panarchist, essentially an anarchist against adjectives. Even though I personally subscribe to a kind of Sorel-in-Drag Queer Syndicalism, I believe that the only way this whole anarchism gig works is if every tribe is free to construct their own private utopia, provided that it be completely voluntary and that it minds its own damn business vis a vis a non-aggression pact. In advocating this ideal I’ve become a strange sort of revolutionary ambassador, forming ties with weirdos across the political spectrum. This is how I’ve built an audience, I lovingly call my dearest motherfuckers, which stretches from Antifa to Boogaloo, and this is why the violence of the last several weeks sickens me so deeply.

When those fucking pigs lynched George Floyd at the height of a virulently unconstitutional socioeconomic lockdown, something deep inside the spirit of the American dispossessed snapped like tinder and an explosion of righteous fury swept across every corner of this deeply sick nation. While the conmen of the news class chased fires like chickens with their heads cut off, I saw something they were clearly too willfully blind to see in the blaze. I saw hope. I saw a country tired of being pushed and united in pushing back. I knew full well the odds of it lasting uncorrupted were stacked against me, but for one brilliant flaming moment, the revolutionary potential seemed endless. Then the charade of our fakakta election circus leaked in and tainted blacktop direct democracy with its fraudulent pseudo-representative cousin. And suddenly motherfuckers started shooting each other instead of aiming their righteous fury where it belonged at the police and the filthy fucking oligarchs they protect and serve. In classic bottom unity fashion, I’m not here to pick sides. Not because I’m some kind of genderfuck Gandhi but because you’re all fucking guilty.


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