By Nicky Reid aka Comrade Hermit
Exile in Happy Valley
Every decade or so anarchism seems to find its way back into the limelight for another 15 minutes. We’re usually roundly vilified but it still offers us a rare window to attract the non-political class and shop around our ideas. In the late nineties we had the Anti-Globalization Movement and the Battle of Seattle. About a decade and change later we had the Occupy Movement and today I believe we may be approaching another 15 minute window with the uprisings against the grotesque overreach of our post modern police state. The seemingly unique thing about this latest upsurge in stateless insurrection is that it appears to have two bipolar sources, one on the left and one on the right. On the left we have the rise of an old but reinvigorated movement known as Antifa, engaging in fantastic displays of direct action with the state across the Pacific Northwest. On the right we have the more libertarian Boogaloo Movement, creating their own powerful brand of confrontational street theatre with their heavily armed and well organized marches on state capitols across the heartland. Both groups are autonomously decentralized and stateless in nature and outlook. But both groups represent apposing ends of the ideological anarchist spectrum.
All in all, this need not be a bad thing and it really isn’t that unusual either. Anarchism has always been a movement that defies and transcends the traditional left-right spectrum. But attempt to suggest as much online and just wait for the bricks to fly.
Contrary to the popular caricature of the tattooed green haired vagabond like myself, anarchism is an almost mind bogglingly diverse ecosystem of fantastic radical freaks. Travel into this jungle online and you will find yourself amidst a teeming forest of colorful countercultures. You have your modern day barbarians of anarcho-primitivism, your cyber punk geeks of crypto-anarchism, your dandy nihilist outlaws of egoism, and your maligned heathen LARPers of National Anarchism. But most of my fellow anarcho-freaks can find themselves beneath one of two major ideological umbrellas. The red leftists of anarcho-communism and the right libertarians of anarcho-capitalism, and here is where my beloved stateless ecosystem finds itself in the eternal conflict that threatens to spoil our latest fifteen minutes of zeitgeist defining public imagination.