At long as I have known of national-anarchism, I have considered it be to a legitimate, interesting, and important form of anarchism. If other anarchists feel different, fine. The venerable anarchist principles of voluntary association and decentralization are our collective way around such conflicts.
“We do not consider ourselves ‘nationalists’ in the usual sense and the tribalism we espouse is a far cry from recognising existing borders and boundaries like France, Italy and Germany, or indulging ourselves in the jingoistic patriotism that merely reinforces oppressive states and regimes. As for the supremacist issue, we are completely and utterly opposed to that kind of thing and having a particular skin colour or certain other characteristics is not a mark of superiority or inferiority. Incidentally, I would argue that most people in National-Anarchist circles these days have joined us from the left. They trust us, and rightly so. As I always say to people, we have actually unmade more fascists than you can shake a stick at, but we need to remember that the things we actually DO stand for present an enormous challenge to the liberal-left (and the right, come to that), so if they can smear us at the slightest opportunity, they will. The means always justify the ends for these characters and they don’t care whether they are misrepresenting others if they consider them to be serious political rivals.” -Troy Southgate
By Troy Southgate
I don’t find it too far-fetched to claim that National-Anarchism is having the kind of impact – beneath the radar, in most cases – that Zen has had on Buddhism. When the purity of the latter was brought into question after its dissection into two different schools, Mahāyāna and Hīnayāna, Zen arrived on the scene to set things back on the right track.
How do you define anarchy? Is it about no government or no “unjust hierarchies” for you?
First, let me say that I am only speaking for myself, and not for any organization, or any movement as a whole. I would define anarchism as a form of social organization that is based on individual autonomy and voluntary association in the absence of the state. As for the question of hierarchy, I think it is necessary to differentiate between voluntary and coercive hierarchies, natural and artificial hierarchies, and superfluous hierarchies and hierarchies that might serve some legitimate pragmatic purpose.
An example of voluntary hierarchy would be when an individual chooses to embrace the rigors of a monastic lifestyle or a disciplined sports team. A coercive hierarchy would be a conscript army, a prison, or a state system that imposes a particular set of values by authoritarian means such as the threat of death, imprisonment, or expropriation.
Listen to the podcast from The Brilliant here.
The host’s comments:
“I have been wanting to talk about the line between tribalism and nationalism for years but it is a challenge. All sides take the conversation very seriously ON THE INTERNET whereas my experience IRL isn’t quite the same. I’ve found people willing to joke and tease each other about the categories that do and don’t exist and our participation in them. I’ve found the hyperbole of tough guys, banning, gatekeeping, and racist bullshit to be quite rare in the corporal world. Not as much in the ether.
Right-anarchist Keith Preston sent me a copy of a very interesting (and disturbing) magazine called Tribes that points straight at the issue calling itself a “National Anarchist magazine.” I did a conversation with KP where I tried to tease out the issue of how you can discuss nation in any meaningful way without discussing race (or the nation state tbh) and here is what he had to say about it.
I simply described myself as a “racial atheist,” meaning I have no racial beliefs. And then he was like “But these folks do….” and I simply said that there are many people who do not have racial/ethnic beliefs in the N-A milieu, and those who do are very diverse in terms of their perspective on those issues, and that people of color were among the N-A milieu as well.
To which I’d respond, why call yourself a national anarchist at all? How is a nation defined (especially if you use it in the sense that the Tribes editorial does as in nation = tribes)? I’d then laugh at the use of the term atheist in the same breath as race. You can claim all humans are of the same biological race (and I’d agree) but to say that “Race does not exist” is laughably stupid.
But let’s not get distracted. If the post-modern definition of a nation, or a tribe, is possible, which I’m not sure it is, the place where it was articulated best was in the 80’s by the (not)anarchist, (not)utopian book bolo’bolo. Filled with a world where alco-bolos and les-bolos live together in perfect harmony. Let’s talk about this body of ideas in a context we share… which obviously doesn’t involve KP.
In this two episode block we discuss our discomfort with KP’s approach (the first two episodes focus on the nationalism question in the context of bolo’bolo, the third on the context of bolo’bolo itself) and ask how to discuss nationalism at all in a modern (ie dramaful) context.”