Two, three, ten thousand, a hundred thousand, one million Cherans.
I recently gave an interview to a left-anarchist podcast. While they decided not to post it, there is a discussion of it on this podcast. The relevant part starts around 19:30 and the part about our interview starts around 26 minutes in.
Welcome to the Anews podcast. This is episode 77 for August 17, 2018. This podcast covers anarchist activity, ideas, and conversations from the previous week.
By Iain McKay
Anarchism is generally not associated with economics — and Iain McKay argues that perhaps it’s time the field got more attention.
There is no “anarchist” school of economics as there are “Marxist,” “Keynesian” and so on. This does not mean there are no anarchist texts on economics. Proudhon springs to mind here, with his numerous works on the subject — the three Memoirs on property (most famous being the first, What is Property?) and the two volumes of System of Economic Contradictions (of which, only the first has been translated) — as does Kropotkin, with his Fields, Factories and Workshops. However, in spite of various (important) works there is no well-established body of work.
There are various reasons for this. Partly, it is due to the typical isolation of the English-speaking movement: many works which could be used to create an anarchist economics have never been translated into English. Partly, it is due to an undeserved sense of inferiority: too many anarchists have followed Marxists by taking Marx’s The Poverty of Philosophy as an accurate account and honest critique of Proudhon’s ideas (it is neither, as I show in “The Poverty of (Marx’s) Philosophy,” Anarcho-Syndicalist Review 70).
By Nicky Reid aka Comrade Hermit
I haven’t always been an anarchist but I’ve always been a radical. After being raised in the pro-life movement I discovered the Communist Manifesto as a 14 year old lapsed malcontent. I didn’t understand every word of it but the inflammatory anti-clerical rhetoric lit a fire in me that never went out. After spending several years as a teenage anarchist, influenced in equal measure by Subcomandante Marcos and Johnny Rotten, I turned to state socialism, inspired by the bold anti-imperialist antics of Hugo Chavez and the Bolivarian Revolution. It was also around this time that I became enamored by tales of the Bolsheviks, Che Guevara, and those dastardly Castro brothers. Marxist-Leninism and Democratic Centralism made sense to a twenty-something closeted agoraphobic. Like my life it felt preserved in formaldehyde. It felt safe.
But there’s nothing radical about safe and when I came out of the closet to take my life back from mental illness and gender tyranny, I was ready to dream dangerously again. The suspiciously early demise of Hugo Chavez followed shortly by the cataclysmic failure of his signature revolution was the final straw. Chavez did everything right but when he dropped dead the revolution dropped dead with him. For me, that was the last nail in the coffin for state socialism or state anything for that matter. I was drawn back to anarchism by the unexpected triumph of the Rojava Revolution in Northern Syria and the prison writings of the man who inspired it, another post-Marxist anti-statist named Abdullah Ocalan. But I’ve remained both conscious and unapologetic of my tangled radical roots and my objectives have always remained the same, the creation of a classless post-capitalist society.
The discussion itself was very good, although I found the intro monologue to be something of a turn off in the sense that it sounded like a barrage of buzzwords and catchphrases (kind of like reciting the Apostles’ Creed in church). The point the guy being interviewed seemed to be making was “We should use grassroots direct action rather than electoral politics to A) get more free ice cream days and B ) oppose things leftists don’t like.” For instance, at one point he actually praises Nixon for creating the EPA and OSHA (“More centralized state bureaucracies! Yay! Vivia de Anarchia!”). He seems to be mostly regurgitating what David Graeber called “small ‘a’ anarchism” or “social movement anarchism.” In fact, he sounds a lot like what my anarchist friends and I would have been talking about 25-30 years ago.
I don’t think his point of view is “wrong” in the same sense that I don’t necessarily think Alexander Reid Ross’ “anarcho-MSNBC” perspective is “wrong” in the sense that it’s fine to have an anarchist tendency that’s merely about opposing Trump, the “far right” or official enemies of the US like Russia or Syria like Reid-Ross’ crowd, and it’s not “wrong” to have anarchist tendencies that are just about “social movement left-activism” like these “DSA anarchists” or whatever they are. But I view anarchist philosophy and politics as much bigger than all that.
The late American paleoconservative columnist Samuel T. Francis on the phenomenon of “anarcho-tyranny”, a useful term for describing much of the systematic legalist bullshit plaguing the West today, particularly the U.K. and mainland Europe.
By Samuel Francis
If, as Bill Clinton tells us, the “era of Big Government is over,” somebody needs to tell the state of Maryland (not to mention Bill Clinton). Earlier this month the Maryland legislature had itself a small orgy of swelling the powers of the state government, and apparently it helped give Mr. Clinton some ideas of his own (orgies seem to have that effect on him).
Just before the end of this year’s legislative session, the Maryland lawmakers passed several new laws that (a) allow policemen to stop drivers for not wearing seat belts, (b) authorize hidden cameras at red lights to take secret photographs of the license plates of cars that run the lights, (c) ban loud car stereos on state roads, (d) forbid minors from buying butane lighters because they might inhale the gas, and (e) require drivers whose windshield wipers are running to keep their headlights on. The lawmakers seem to have missed outlawing cooking breakfast in your underwear, but of course there’s always another session next year.
The citizens of Maryland will no doubt be thrilled to learn that law enforcement in their state has now so mastered violent crime that the cops have little else to do but round up non-seat-belt wearers and butane-sniffers. As a matter of fact, Maryland’s Prince George’s County has just announced that rapes and homicides increased in the first three months of 1997. Nevertheless, you can be certain that no one will be raped or murdered without wearing a seat belt.
The new Maryland laws are rather perfect instances of what I have previously called “anarcho-tyranny” – a form of government that seems to be unknown in history until recently. Anarcho-tyranny is a combination of the worst features of anarchy and tyranny at the same time.
Under anarchy, crime is permitted and criminals are not apprehended or punished. Under tyranny, innocent citizens are punished. Most societies in the past have succumbed to either one or the other, but never as far as I know to both at once.
Hilariously, an article about anarchism appears in teen vogue magazine. It’s actually a pretty good article so far it goes. My one criticism is that it only focused on the leftist-activist version of anarchism, and not the wider range of anarchist thought. But nothing’s perfect.
By Kim Kelly
Writer Kim Kelly is an anarchist based in New York City and an organizer with the Metropolitan Anarchist Coordinating Council (MACC).
In a pop-cultural sense, at least, the idea of anarchy has been characterized by either a middle-fingers-up, no-parents-no-rules punk attitude, or a panicky, more conservative outlook used by national and state sources to represent violent chaos and disorder. Today, we can see an extremely serious, radical leftist political philosophy on T-shirts at Hot Topic.
What is anarchism?
Anarchism is a radical, revolutionary leftist political philosophy that advocates for the abolition of government, hierarchy, and all other unequal systems of power. It seeks to replace what its proponents view as inherently oppressive institutions — like a capitalist society or the prison industrial complex — with nonhierarchical, horizontal structures powered by voluntary associations between people. Anarchists organize around a key set of principles, including horizontalism, mutual aid, autonomy, solidarity, direct action, and direct democracy, a form of democracy in which the people make decisions themselves via consensus (as opposed to representative democracy, of which the United States government is an example).
Todd Lewis is joined by Chris Shaw to discuss his favorable review of Todd’s essay Contra the Self-Ownership Principle: The Nightmare of Libertopia and other topics related to anarchism and libertarianism.
Joe Kopsick comments on Tom Woods’s August 18th, 2018 interview of Joshua Smith, at large delegate of the Libertarian National Committee. I talk about the efforts of Smith and right-libertarians to attempt to silence the debate on libertarian socialism which is happening within the Libertarian Party.
Tom Woods interviews Joshua Smith on the libertarian capitalist vs libertarian socialist conflict in the Libertarian Party. Listen here.
Joshua Smith, who secured a spot on the Libertarian National Committee at the party’s recent convention, joins me to discuss the party’s present and future, the controversy with “libertarian socialists,” and much more.
Apparently, some ATS folks have been doing some time travel back to 100 years ago.
By A.L Gordin and V.L. Gordin
Pan-anarchy literally means all-embracing anarchy, ‘pan’ being ‘all’ in Greek. Pan-anarchy is a comprehensive and articulate anarchy. Aside from the ideal of no government, or anarchy proper, it entails four other ideals, namely:
– communism, with its ‘everything belongs to everybody’;
– pedism, or the liberation of children and youth from the vice of servile education;
– cosmism (national-cosmopolitanism), the total emancipation of oppressed nationalities; and, finally,
– gyneantropism, that is, the emancipation and humanization of women.
Taken together, these five ideals fall under the general heading of ‘pan-anarchy’. Pan-anarchy implies a synthesis (unification) of all the principal social ideals, actions and aspirations aiming towards a basic overthrow and reconstruction of all society – the economy, the family, the school, international relations and the institutions of government.
In the economic sphere pan-anarchy entails the replacement of capitalism by communism, the abolition of private property in land, means of production and consumer goods. In the family it means the replacement of polygamy and the traffic in women by genuine love between individual man and woman, as well as the end of male domination of the family and of life as a whole, both in fact and in law, the free participation of women in all branches of labour and art and their equal enjoyment of all the benefits of society. In the school it means the replacement of present-day book learning, which indoctrinates our children and youth with religious and scientific prejudices, by a practical education in technical crafts which will be useful in everyday life and which will afford them freedom, self-reliance and the ability to create things by themselves with originality and independence of mind.
It also means that the existing territorial system, with its fatherlands and state frontiers and national and private territorial ownership, will be replaced by a national-cosmopolitan order in which there are neither fatherlands nor frontiers but only free unions of free peoples to whom the whole earth belongs in common. ‘The whole earth to all humanity’ – such is the motto of pan-anarchy, as opposed to the territorialism and imperialism of predatory nations which declare that ‘the whole earth is mine’.
One of the reasons that anarchism has become a popular political perspective is because in many contexts (for instance mass mobilizations or broad direct action campaigns) we seem open, friendly, and nonsectarian. This is in great contrast to visible (and visibly) Marxist or Leftist organizations, which either seem like newspaper-selling robots or ancient thorny creatures entirely out of touch with the ambivalence of the modern political atmosphere. Anarchists seem to get that ambivalence and contest it with hope and enthusiasm rather than finger-wagging.
The public face of anarchism tends towards approachability and youth: kids being pepper-sprayed, the general assemblies of the occupy movement, and drum circles. These are the images of the past five years that stand in contrast to the image of anarchists as athletic black clad window breakers. Both are true (or as true as an image can be) and both demonstrate why a criticism of anarchists continues to be that (even at our best) we are politically naïve.
Of course very few window breakers believe that breaking windows means much beyond the scope of an insurance form or a janitorial task, but that is beside the point. What matters is that the politics of no demands makes the impossible task of intelligent political discourse in America even more complicated (by assuming that discourse is a Pyhrric act). To put the issue differently, the dialectical binary of both engaging in the social, dialogic, compromising act of public politics while asserting that there is no request of those-in-power worth stating or compromising on isn’t possible. It is cake-and-eat-it thinking that is exactly why Anarchists must do what Anarchist must do.
This rejection of how the game is played while participating in it hasn’t shown itself to be a long term strategy– impossible never is. For lessons on playing the game we have to turn to the winners of politics and revolution: neoliberalists, sure, but also statist Marxists, reactionaries (from racist populists to nationalist Know Nothings or their descendants in the Tea Party), and what remnants exist of the old and new Left. Just to make the point crystal clear I’ll restate it. On the one hand you have the ridiculous non- or even anti-strategy of anarchist political theater that cannot achieve the impossible goal of everything for everybody forever. On the other hand you have realpolitik: the pragmatic application of power in the political sphere. This simplistic dualism is why most intelligent people abandon politics altogether and retreat to NIMBYism (at best) or the quiet solitude of screaming at a television screen as the only expression of engagement with the outside world.
In this light, a discussion about maoism might seem outrageous and it is! Maoism isn’t a relevant political tendency or movement in America. It isn’t leading guerrilla forces in the hills, it has no leaders-in-waiting just outside the border (unless you count Avakian which you should in no way do), but it isn’t further from the mainstream of American political thought than Anarchism is (anarchist big tent populists to the contrary) and is arguably much closer (in an often cited example, the mayor of Oakland, Jean Quan, is a former Maoist). More pointedly, Maoism and Anarchism have been cross-pollinating for decades. Our task here is to shine a light on that history and challenge what benefits anarchists have garnered from this little-discussed pollination.
The meme below was recently posted on Facebook with the following comments by a proponent of “anarcho-coalitionism”:
#AnarchoCoalitionism is militant panarchy. It’s the only way forward. The elites LIKE the masses fighting amongst each other, and that doesn’t change, no matter how “woke” you are. You are not an island, and neither am I. Wanna win? Be #AnarchoCoalitionist.
Shake some hands. Find some agreements. You don’t have to compromise to move forward. But working with many you called “enemies” is going to be a first step.
And to anyone who sees this, feel free to use the banner pic.
They call it a banner for a reason, and the more people flying it, the more obvious it will be that we are coming, we are many, and we are not going away.
I responded with the following comments:
I’ve been thinking and writing about these kinds of ideas for years. I think the first problem is that there are too few anarchists at present for anarchism to exercise any real impact on the wider society, so anarchists tend to spend a lot of time in their own ideological enclaves fighting with each other. A second problem is that many anarchists of the hyphenated varieties are essentially the hyphens first and anarchists second. So the first goal probably needs to be to grow the number of anarchists of whatever kind, period.
ADAM ORMES – A Hermetic Politics? speech @ Second International N-AM Conference in UK,June 23-24 2018 More info : http://www.national-anarchist.net FIND US ON FACEBOOK!
Lecture delivered by Wayne John Sturgeon at the second international conference of the National-Anarchist Movement, England, June 23, 2018.
“Isn’t the world already
At Peace and aren’t we
The only warring faction?”
Improvements made straight roads,
but the crooked roads without improvement,
are the roads of genius.
I would like to begin this lecture with a quote from a contemporary theologian, Alasdair Macintyre, who made the following candid observation in reference to our own times, when writing on the fall of the western Roman Empire: