Nothing Succeeds Like Secession: Suggested Demands for CHOP From a Friendly Panarchist Ally Reply

By Nicky Reid aka Comrade Hermit

Exile in Happy Valley

I have always been fascinated by secessionist movements. It goes back to my childhood love of maps, flags and geography. I use to spend hours poring over atlases and fixating on the strange autonomous zones that only existed inside fluid borders drawn in dotted lines. Strange places no American ever spoke of, with exotic names like Transnistria, Gaza, Nagorno-Karabakh, and Western Sahara. I would eventually grow into a commie, Third World, war nerd who fastidiously followed and supported these esoteric independence movements from afar.

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Three Mutual Aid Networks in New York City Reply

By Crimethinc

Fundamental social change involves two intertwined processes. On the one hand, it means shutting down the mechanisms that impose disparities in power and access to resources; on the other hand, it involves creating infrastructures that distribute resources and power according to a different logic, weaving a new social fabric. While the movement for police abolition that burst into the public consciousness a month ago in Minneapolis has set new precedents for resistance, the mutual aid networks that have expanded around the world since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic point the way to a new model for social relations. The following report profiles three groups that coordinate mutual aid efforts in New York City—Woodbine, Take Back the Bronx, and Milk Crate Gardens—exploring their motivations and aspirations as well as the resources and forms of care they circulate.

This is the first installment in a series exploring mutual aid projects across the globe.

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“The New Jim Crow” Michelle Alexander VS. Jesse Lee Peterson on Mass Incarceration Reply

An interesting debate between a black leftist and a black conservative.

I would generally agree with Michelle Alexander’s thesis that the police/carceral state and prison-industrial complex is merely the modern version of American black slavery or Jim Crow. But where I would disagree is that I think her analysis is too limited to the race issue in a way that ignores the context of state and class,

The US ruling class response to the black insurgency of the 1950s and 1960s was the standard strategy: co-optation with the left-hand, repression with the right-hand. The creation of the civil rights paradigm, the expansion of the welfare state, race-based policy initiatives, and the “diversity” ideology were intended to co-opt the black middle class, expand its size, and incorporate it into the wider system.

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Glenn Loury: ‘We’re Being Swept Along by Hysteria’ About Racism in America Reply

A somewhat interesting interview with a leading black conservative.

I would be inclined to argue that, at present, substantial sectors of the capitalist class (including some major capitalist entities) along with their allies in the new clerisy/new class that dominates the “ideas industries” are fueling anti-racism hysteria in order to deflect attention away from the class-based nature of the insurrection. They do this because a race war is less antithetical to their interests than a class war. However, contra the Marxists and left-anarchists, it doesn’t stop at class either. Even a class war is more co-optable than a direct war against the state itself.

All of this follows an easily identifiable pattern in US history.

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Yes, We Can Live Without Police 1

By Natasha

“Could we live without the police?”

It isn’t as out there as many seem to think.

As Taoism, Confucianism, and other older beliefs rightfully point out, if a society is good, or rather natural/organic, then customs or dharma is respected therefore a ‘police’ is entirely unneeded.

The more police or laws are needed in a society, it only shows how much further it has strayed from the ‘good’ or organic, which is also harmonious.

Needless to say we are quite far flung from that, a signature of this Age.

Going back a little less far, the 18th century, this is the more probable outcome. There would be regions of the US more ‘tame’ than others. There would be San Francisco or Deadwood, of which had their own loose enforced rules but were quite autonomous, full of vices and ‘dens of inequity’.

But there would also be the more prudent Protestant regions or towns, be it rural or what New England of old was.

The tamer would gravitate to the tamer, the wilder to the wilder, and both would self-regulate in their own ways.

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Who Are the Lumpenproletariat? 3

The lumpenproletariat was too scary even for bourgeois radicals like Marx (the son of a Prussian state solicitor, i.e. a district attorney) and Engels (the son of a wealthy industrialist). In 2020, the lumenproletariat of all creeds, colors, genders, and geographies, made its move, however meagerly, against the state and ruling class of the mother country of the largest, wealthiest, and most powerful empire in history. Notice that Marx invented the term lumpenproletariat specifically for the purpose of exercising a polemic against Max Stirner, who was the true radical thinker of the early 20th century. In May-June of 2020, the ghost of Stirner walked among us.

Marxists.Org

Roughly translated as slum workers or the mob, this term identifies the class of outcast, degenerated and submerged elements that make up a section of the population of industrial centers. It includes beggars, prostitutes, gangsters, racketeers, swindlers, petty criminals, tramps, chronic unemployed or unemployables, persons who have been cast out by industry, and all sorts of declassed, degraded or degenerated elements. In times of prolonged crisis (depression), innumerable young people also, who cannot find an opportunity to enter into the social organism as producers, are pushed into this limbo of the outcast. Here demagogues and fascists of various stripes find some area of the mass base in time of struggle and social breakdown, when the ranks of the Lumpenproletariat are enormously swelled by ruined and declassed elements from all layers of a society in decay.

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Homesteading in CHAZ Reply

By Walter Block (responding to Jeff Deist)

Mises Institute

The Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (CHAZ) is an area of several city blocks in Seattle that has been taken over by a group of people unconnected with the government. They have established a police-free zone and are now busily administering this territory.

Is this a voluntary socialist commune? A free enterprise zone? Are the new inhabitants who have seized control of the area legitimate homesteaders or illegal squatters, that is, trespassers? Who are now the proper owners of this acreage, of the buildings, roads, parks, and houses therein?

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Protesters Won’t Leave CHOP in Seattle as Tensions Rise Reply

By Jim Carlton

Wall Street Journal

Several hundred demonstrators are staying in an autonomous area claimed by protesters for racial justice in Seattle, even as its size is shrinking and pressure to shut it down completely is increasing from local businesses and residents, as well as city officials.

The Capitol Hill Occupied Protest zone, or CHOP, began on June 8 after thousands of protesters moved into a six-block area in the artsy neighborhood. Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan ordered police to abandon the local East Precinct police station to help end violent confrontations there following the killing of the African-American George Floyd by a white Minneapolis policeman on May 25.

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A Libertarian Defense of CHAZ Reply

By Stratton J. Davis

Ever since the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (CHAZ) was created in Seattle, it has been a prominent subject of discussion for many. The question usually being discussed is whether we should support it or not. While those on the left seem to be in support of CHAZ (mostly), among the libertarian right there seems to be ill feelings.

While some writers such as Walter Block have offered their philosophical defense for it, many have found reasons to detest CHAZ. These reasons vary from CHAZ simply being a leftist concoction to how the inner workings of CHAZ do not reflect “true” libertarian values. Sure, some of their inner workings include a warlord who is bent on power and achieves it through force, as well as absurd rules that plunder from one group for the benefit of another (kind of like the government that they claim to hate so much does – ironic).

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The Five Dangers Facing the Lumpenproletariat Reply

If recent events are a foreshadowing of events to come, which they may well be, it would seem that the lumpenproletariat faces five primary dangers when it comes to future revolutionary activity.

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When Bakunin Met Stirner Reply

A core argument that I have previously advanced at ATS start with the view that Bakunin was correct that while anarchist revolution is a trans-class activity, the lumpenproletariat is potentially the most revolutionary class, i.e. the vanguard class, and that the urban lumpenproletariat, being the sector that is most in direct conflict with the state, is the vanguard sector of the vanguard class.

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Human Scale Revisited: A New Look at the Classic Case for a Decentralist Future Reply

Kirk Sale’s classic.

Sometimes ATS contributor Rick Moore once said that any country larger than Liechtenstein is likely to be a tyranny. If we compare different countries, we see that the larger ones tend to be the most imperialistic and the most internally tyrannical. Nicky Reid once pointed out that while communist Cuba, fascist Singapore, and social democratic Iceland each have much different systems, the fact that they are all island micronations keeps them from becoming expansionist empires. Scale is everything.

Amazon.com: Human Scale Revisited: A New Look at the Classic Case ...

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As It Should Be… 1

I first started developing the ideas that I would later come to call “pan-secessionism in the mid-1990s after notice the emergence of the “right-wing” antigovernment movement associated with the militias, sovereign citizens, tax protestors, and other similar groups. Of course, much of the left and certainly liberal opinion dismissed these as racist reworkings of the KKK. But what I found in my interaction with these people is that most of them were motivated by gun rights, economics, and general antigovernmentism, with a minority being motivated by religion, and an even smaller minority being motivated by race.

Some of the more radical ones were interested in forming alliances with black nationalists, American Indian tribes, or foreign revolutionaries like the Zapatistas, Shining Path, or Middle Eastern groups. The Rodney King riots, as well as the killings at Waco and Ruby Ridge, had happened a short time earlier, and the “Battle of Seattle” happened a few years later. I started to realize the potential for a tripartite alliance between the urban lumpenproletariat (mostly minority department store looters), rural lumpenproletariat (mostly white gun nuts), and what I called the suburban lumpenproletariat (middle-class kids who adopt a lumpen lifestyle by choice). Then, as now, that seems to be a pretty good plan. Here it is.

Previously, I was a Noam Chomsky-like left-anarchist, heavily influenced by the Spanish Revolution, who favored overthrowing the state through the use of anarcho-syndicalist unions, worker militias, guerrilla armies. I had never given much consideration to the idea of territorial or other forms of secessionism, although I knew (mostly from Proudhon) that secession was a historic anarchist principle, along with things like dual power (which I largely learned from Murray Bookchin). I was already an “anarchist without adjectives” as well (influenced by Voltairine de Cleyre and Errico Malatesta).

I never abandoned any of that as much as I expanded it to include the concepts of pan-anarchism and pan-secessionism as an umbrella framework for attacking the state, recognizing that it would be a means of bringing sectors of the far-right and radical-center as well as leftists and minorities into a wider anti-state front. At the time, a lot of these militia/sovereign people were pushing the idea of “county supremacy,” “mini-republics,” or micronations that struck me as basically a right-wing version of Murray Bookchin’s “libertarian municipalist” idea or a gun-toting version of Gandhi’s satyagraha philosophy. Then, as now, this seems to be a fairly on-target idea as well.

What puts me at odds with the mainstream anarchist movement is that most of them are Blue Tribe fundamentalists first and anarchists second, which means that hating on social conservatives is more important to them than overthrowing the ruling class. Regrettably, the Blue Tribe Khomeinists have replaced the Marxist-Leninists as the most immediately visible enemy of anarchism on the far-left, and many anarchists have fallen for it just as they were taken in by Marxism in the past.

The Seven Factions of the 2020 Street Battles? 1

Based on all of the articles, videos, and first-person commentary I’ve seen so far, it seems like there have been seven basic categories of participants in the uprising/street battles to date. I’m curious as to whether others would agree with this assessment based on their own experiences.

  1. Conventional protestors: Persons of all ethnic backgrounds, ranging from lower class to upper-middle-class (and even upper class, given the participation of Mitt Romney), whose level of political awareness is limited to criticisms of “police misconduct,” “police brutality,” “social injustice,” “racial injustice,” etc.  Basically, the things they learned in their university social science classes and liberal Methodist Sunday Schools. However limited their vision, we will need these folks for the eventual human wave attack on the military-industrial complex.

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Scant evidence of antifa shows how sweeping the protests for racial justice have become Reply

From June 13. The uprising has been far too large for the far-left to have played that big of a role. The right-wing has greatly exaggerated the role of the far-left in all of this, and left-wing has exaggerated the role of the far-right (whose presence has been even smaller than that of the far-left). And the mainstream media, left and right, has exaggerated the role of race in the uprising. Yes, a big part of the rebellion has been about racial disparities when it comes to police crimes and terrorism against civilians. Nothing wrong with pointing that out. And the perspective of the liberal middle class and conventionally left sectors of the protest movement may be limited to a focus on “racial justice.”

It makes perfect sense that the majority of the most militant lumpen proletarian insurrectionists (i.e. the ones who are actually torching enemy military bases, etc.) have been from minority ethnic communities. But the uprising is about more than race per se. It’s also a class-based insurgency, with the lumpenproletariat acting as the class vanguard, that is engaged in direct attacks on ruling class targets and on the state. Media propagandists have to focus on the racial component of the uprising because they can’t admit that class actually exists much less that there is any problem with the state itself.

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Mapping the State’s Strategy of Repression Against the Rebellion Reply

It’s Going Down

While the recent rebellion against the police and white supremacy has been historical, it has also been coupled by an attempt by the State to drown the uprising in a sea of tear-gas and rubber bullets. While demonstrations and actions continue, the State is now gearing up for a more long-term strategy of repression, as a vast network of FBI agents, attorneys, and local police comb through hours of footage and social media, looking for targets.

Already, over 10,000 people have been arrested across the so-called US and around 75 currently have federal charges; many of which carry extensive prison sentences. Moreover, there are reports of FBI door-knocks and visits to those that have recently been arrested. Often times people are being asked if they are involved in “antifa” while some are even propositioned with becoming informants.

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Government Should Be Against the Law Reply

What we need in the USA is a revolution like the former Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact countries experienced between 1989-1991, followed by the dissolution of the USA into thousands of Cheran, Mexicos. The key consideration would then be preventing the erection of a new tyranny from either the Left (like France in 1789 or Russia in 1917) or the Right (like Germany in 1933 or Iran in 1979), or the emergence of inter-tribal civil war (like Yugoslavia in 1992 or Libya in 2011).

A Letter From the Other Front Reply

Crimethinc

In this essay, anarchists from a rural area of the United States describe how people who live outside the urban centers can contribute to the movement against police violence and institutional white supremacy that has unfolded in response to the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

The authors of this letter are white anarchists living in outskirt areas of the Pacific Northwest that are occupied by a white majority and steeped in white supremacy. This context differs from other rural area; the authors do not wish to speak as experts on any experience besides their own. The authors are not attaching their names or specific location to this letter due to safety considerations in their small town.

We wake up, roll over in bed, and grab the phone. What news of last night? What information, counter-information, wildly beautiful or unthinkably tragic developments have unfolded? What frantic or exhilarated texts from friends and comrades? Pictures and words blur together—there is so much all at once. George Floyd was murdered by Minneapolis police on May 25, one of countless victims of a bloody legacy of racist police violence. This nation was built on stolen land, Indigenous genocide, Black enslavement, and the exploitation and oppression of all people of color, and we know that this empire will not concede power willingly. Still, in grief and anger, people across the country are rising up in defense of Black lives and bodies.

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Trump opposed to removing Theodore Roosevelt’s statue outside Museum of Natural History Reply

“When compared with the suppression of anarchy every other question sinks into insignificance. The anarchist is the enemy of humanity, the enemy of all mankind, and his is a deeper degree of criminality than any other. No immigrant is allowed to come to our shores if he is an anarchist; and no paper published here or abroad should be permitted circulation in this country if it propagates anarchist opinions.”

– President Theodore Roosevelt (April 9, 1908)

I suppose that, as an anarchist, I should be expected to present my oppression certificate and salute Teddy Roosevelt’s coming under fire from the Blue Tribe Khomeinists and SJW Taliban. But if I had never heard of anarchists before, and came across the above quote, I would likely think, “Who are these anarchists? I think I might like to be one.”

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