Following up on episode 20 we turned directly to this article by Frere Dupont and the question of why is this thing (what we call anarchism) so precious, rich, and fulfilling for us not so much for others, for everyone, and what drive people away.
In my opinion this is an impossibly difficult question and we, as commentators, didn’t come prepared for such a despairing conversation.
2:55 We are we so weak continued
6:54 A reading from Species Being
13:00 riots and reforms
19:00 The thin edge of the wedge. Are we the wedge or the wedged?
23:30 Oakland policing & Community Policing
27:30 Economic crises. Where is the wedge? Is it the climate?
31:00 A conversation about (true) types.
39:00 How we have construed our media efforts – lots of talk about web vs print vs context
48:37 Because we are embarassed by ourselves
50:00 Who are the gatekeepers?
At around the 35 min mark, Aragorn says that (paraphrased) “a lot of anarchists say ‘fuck you’ to the idea of organising society…”
Really? In absolute terms perhaps, but surely as a proportion of ‘anarchists’ this attitude is in the minority?
Techno-capitalist society is highly organized. Anarchists should be interested in and committed to disorganizing and dismantling this arrangement. In order to do this,they will have to create structures of resistance and structures of abandonment that are non hierarchical, widespread and strong-not an easy task to be sure.Laments about weakness is one of the first things that should be rejected.
Except for Barcelona in 1936,when has anarchy been anything other than weak? Paris in ’68?, Seattle in ’99?, Occupy? What of it? They came to nothing. If there are some anarchists who are “embarrassed” for being anarchists, then perhaps they are not anarchists. Anarchy may be weak in comparitive terms, but it has reselience and flexibility,qualities that will serve us well into the future.
After reading Rydra’s latest comments about why FRR is on hiatus and the possibility of bringing it back in some form, I can see why the question “Why are we so weak?” is a pitiful cry from the Desert that is littered with the mangled remains of nihilism. Nihilism and Egoism are intellectual dead-ends. Anyone disagree?
I thought this was a great episode, perhaps the first I actually could personally relate to. I especially liked how they highlighted how the phenomenon of anarchists jumping on the social rift bandwagon of the day plays into reformist politics. They left out one point which seems glaringly obvious to me, which is that the insurrectionist strategy is ridiculously linear and oversimplistic: that government means things are under control, and thus riots mean things are out of control, so riots lead to the liberation of all. The political status quo likes a nice, unburnt CVS, so a burnt CVS gets us one step closer to toppling society.
I think instead, riots strengthen the state by legitimizing its repressive force, because most people dislike the creation of ruins for obvious reasons. Riots especially strengthen the right wing (not to imply it’s necessarily more of a menace than the left wing) and those who psychologically feels a lack of stability in their already and just end up more stability when social ruptures occur, which the state will offer them. The burnt CVS does not compute at all with these people who see it as an emblem of a dead end, not a beginning of anything but greater insanity and dysfunction.
I take much more hope from the Voluntaryists who push their Non-Aggression Principle. That crowd has it’s blind spots too, and I have problems with their uncritical assumptions about money, property, free will, rational self-interest and exchange, but I think they offer a much more effective foot in the door with which to persuade the not-yet-radicalized. Voluntaryism promises an unplanned, decentralized utopia where everybody gets along peacefully without an emphasis on violent conflict, which renders it more palatable to the majority of the human population, yet it carries the seed of an implicit rejection of the state, and perhaps authority and hierarchy in general. The message is so simple, anyone can absorb it in a few minutes without having to read any obscure and opaque European theory, so I’m not surprised that this sector of self-identified anarchists is experiencing the most growth.
I am eager to listen to your new episode on The Right to see if any of my take on this overlaps with yours.