What’s the Point of this Pan-Anarchist Revolution Thing, Anyway? 11

A reader on Facebook offers the following comments, and asks the following questions.

I’m not so sure how realistic sustained statelessness is without severe technological regression and economic collapse, but the obvious answer is that the vast majority of people would rather bask in the lazy comforts of delegated responsibility than take on the burdens and risks of freedom. The mantle of anarchism is often taken up as an immature pose that is rationalized after the fact, usually quite badly, before being discarded with age for whatever underlying tribal affiliation existed in the first place. It’s a knee-jerk rebellion against constraints on the self, for good or ill, and a justification for engaging in unreasonable or criminal behaviors whose motives are ultimately more personal than political.


Where is the Anarchist Vanguard Standing for “Anarchy First”? Reply

It has been interesting to see how many predictions I made years ago have come into being.

I predicted that the Eastern powers and “rogue states” would eventually rise to form an axis of resistance to the hegemony of the American empire.

I predicted that populist-nationalist movements would continue to grow in Europe in opposition to the hegemony of neoliberalism.

I predicted that as the right-wing in the United States continued to lose ground politically, culturally, and demographically, it would adopt a more militant stance than what has previously been observed among “normal” conservatives. This has also happened in the form of the rise of Trumpism in the mainstream, the Alt-Right on the far fringes, and the Alt-Lite as a middle of the road position between the two.

I predicted that the right-wing would fail in its efforts to counteract the hegemony of neoliberalism and the cultural Left. This has happened by means of the cooptation of Trumpism by the Republican Party establishment, the cooptation of the Alt-Lite by Trumpism, and the internal implosion and marginalization of the Alt-Right.

I predicted that as totalitarian humanism continues to be a rising force in Western societies that opposition would emerge in response, not only from the right-wing, but also from centrist liberals, dissenters on the Left, minorities, and those on the Left mostly concerned about anti-imperialist, antiwar, economic, or civil libertarian issues as opposed to identity politics. Visible opposition to totalitarian humanism is now emerging in all of these corners.

I predicted that as class divisions continued to widen that class-based politics would make a return.

I predicted that as traditional minorities became increasingly integrated, and as class divisions continues to widen among minority communities, that minority conservatives would grow in number.

I predicted that individual cities and states might engage in resistance to the federal government’s policies in numerous areas.

Many other examples could be identified. See here and here. Some of these things have happened more rapidly than I thought they would.

However, one thing that I not so much predicted as much as called for was the formation of an “anarchist vanguard” that would be the foundation of anti-state front oriented towards the principles of “Anarchy First.”

As I wrote in the mid-2000s:


Free Speech: What It Is and Why It Matters Reply


Aleksey Bashtavenko

Academic Composition

“However unwilling a person who has a strong opinion may be to admit that his opinion might be false, he ought to be moved by this thought: however true it may be, if it isn’t fully, frequently and fearlessly discussed, it will be held as a dead dogma rather than as a living truth. ”

John Stuart Mill

The First Amendment guarantees that the “Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of people peaceably to assemble”. This provision clarifies the point that the government cannot pass a law criminalizing the act of free expression. However, certain spoken statements could constitute an act of violence, provided they can be regarded as a root cause of violence against others.


The Bankruptcy of the American Left 2

Kudos to Chris Hedges. This is as good an analysis as I would ever expect from someone on the Left. This is a fairly straightforward Marxist analysis within a social democratic ideological framework. But he knows who the real enemy is.

By Chris Hedges