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Josiah Warren: A Communitarian Individualist

Wed, 12/06/2017 - 22:51

From Bad Press

The goal of every anarchist is the elimination of the state and all other forms of authority. From this common starting point, however, libertarians then take off in many different directions. Ideas about how people should or could interact with each other socially, economically, sexually or in any other way vary tremendously from person to person and from group to group. Perhaps the fundamental difference between the assorted varieties of libertarian is in how they view the ownership and distribution of property and goods and how they believe decisions about such matters should be made. Some are individualists, some communists, others somewhere in between. But though they may differ in what they consider the ideal balance between the individual and the group or community, even those on the individualist end of the spectrum believe that in a free society people would, by and large, live in proximity to others with whom they would trade, cooperate and intermingle to the mutual benefit of all concerned. In fact, american libertarian individualists were among the first to form anarchist communities where they could try out their ideas in the real world.

Josiah Warren is a good example of these anarchist pioneers. Born in Boston, he moved to Cincinnati in his twenties. There he came across the ideas on Robert Owen and became a founding member of the (non-anarchist) communist community at New Harmony. Warren’s experience in this short-lived project convinced him that its failure was caused by a dedication to communist social and economic arrangements which subjugated the individual to the community, imposing conformity and suppressing individual freedom of thought and action. Instead, he proposed the idea of individual sovereignty, where all were free to live as they chose as long as their actions did not interfere with the freedom of others to do likewise.

There’s a Time for Everything

But this did not mean he rejected cooperation among such free people. After leaving new Harmony he established a time store in Cincinnati to test out the economic principles that cost should be the limit of price and that free exchange can benefit all parties without any exploiting the others. His time store was quite successful, with buyers getting low prices and Warren earning his keep not through profit and interest but by payment for the labor he exerted in stocking and running his store or the labor he expended in the mechanics of lending money to others. As part of this project, he and his fellow traders, including white collar workers like physicians, utilized labor notes as a means of exchange, promising quantities of their labor in exchange for that of others. Those who participated in this arrangement had the option of asking for the promised labor, such as yard work or medical treatment, in exchange for a labor note, but these pieces of paper also took on the characteristics of money, and holders could exchange them for other goods and services (produced of course by labor) instead of the actual labor itself. Impressed with the success of the time store, other local businesses accepted and used these labor notes, and one competitor even decided to convert his shop into a time store as well.

After two years spent demonstrating that private property could be exchanged equitably, Warren moved on to other projects, all of which served to establish in some way that all relationships between people, whether economic, social, educational or sexual could be conducted fairly and justly without delegating decision-making and ownership of resources to groups, committees or communities. In the ensuing years he and others established an equitable trade school for boys in defiance of the apprenticeship model then prevalent. Participants became skilled at a trade in a short and intensive course of practical studies while being allowed both their independence and the responsibility for their own support. This project rejected the authoritarian system of master and student, resulting in inquisitive, self-directed and fast-learning young people without the deference to authority and subservience bred into students in traditional schools. Following this, a group including Warren made a failed attempt at an individualist intentional community (Equity) in the 1830s. After this flop he returned to New Harmony, no longer a commune, and opened a time store in the town. This time store, like his first, was successful in providing Warren with a modest income and those with whom he traded quality goods at a fair price, while forcing his capitalist merchant competitors to lower their prices so that they could continue to attract business

Low Living and High Thinking

Several years later Warren helped found the settlement of Utopia, where, in the words of a biographer, his “attempts in this direction were made with those whose only means was their labor force, and his purpose was to demonstrate that such people, with free access to natural resources, could, by exchanging their labor on equitable terms through the use of labor notes, build their own houses, supply their prime necessities, and attain to comfort and prosperity without dependence on capitalists or on any external authority for the means of life.” The cooperators in this village, complete with time stores and other equitable businesses, prospered for a decade or so, all trade mediated by labor notes and free exchange of goods and services. The community eventually dissolved and people moved on to different adventures, but Warren saw Utopia as another proof of the concept that equitable commerce provided the ideal way for people to live in cooperation with one another.

Leaving the midwest, Warren moved to New York where he became close to Stephen Pearl Andrews, a writer and activist who was persuaded by Warren of the importance of individual sovereignty and equitable commerce and became the most prolific advocate of these principles in print. Warren, Andrews and other cooperators soon decided to have another go at creating a community based on free people and free trade and moved to a rural location on Long Island. Here they founded the village of Modern Times where the inhabitants all agreed to respect the equal freedom of others, trade equitably using a local labor-based currency, socialize with others as they saw fit, and otherwise mind their own business. The village attracted all sorts of radicals, libertarian and otherwise. Residents included free lovers, nudists, alternative health practitioners, and people who wore unorthodox clothing. Women cut their hair and men grew theirs. Anyone willing to live and let live was accepted and tolerated, if not always welcomed, at Modern Times. People discussed and debated the appropriateness of the activities of others but never presumed to interfere with the peaceful, non-invasive conduct of anyone else.

Modern Times functioned relatively well for more than 10 years but was one of the myriad casualties of the american civil war. Warren, who took the libertarian position of opposing both governments in that war, left Modern Times in 1862 at the same time that many of the other villagers, like most people outside, became pro-government, pro-war patriots. This was Warren’s final attempt at community building and he died in Boston in 1874.

Groups of Individuals

While none of these projects changed the world, the villages and settlements of which Warren was a part showed that one can be an extreme individualist and still remain committed to ongoing voluntary interaction with others. Being anti-communist or anti-socialist does not mean one is also anti-community or anti-social. The individual sovereigns of Modern Times and Utopia proved that there need be no irreconcilable conflict between individuals and communities as long as such communities are based on a recognition and respect by all participants of the equal freedom of each of their fellows and a refusal to initiate force and coercion to resolve disputes.

Tags: Josiah Warrenindividualistcategory: Essays
Categories: News

Athens video : Aerial view of the massive solidarity protest to anarchist Nikos Romanos /12/2014

Wed, 12/06/2017 - 22:35

From Act for freedom now!

2 December 2014 ~ Aerial view of the massive solidarity protest to anarchist Nikos Romanos that is on hunger strike since 10 November, where. 8.000 -10.000 people marched in the streets of Athens, Greece. 3 other anarchists are also on hunger strike in solidarity to Nikos Romanos. Nikos Romanos is demanding to be able to make use of educational leaves to attend university classes, while by studying in prison he has succeeded in the admission exams. Any other prison inmate is entitled to university prison leaves that Romanos is denied, because of his anarchist political beliefs. The greek State also punishes him because of his defiant stance in denying to attend an award ceremony where the greek Minister of Justice handed awards to prison inmates that succeeded in the university ebtrance exams. Nikos is currently in Athens general hospital Gennimatas, under a strong custody of the police. Physician Pantelia (Lina) Vergopoulou, who visited him on 28/11, reports that the comrade remains in a critical condition with life-threatening complications. Anarchist prisoner Yannis Michailidis is also on hunger strike since November 17, 2014, as a form of solidarity with the struggle of Nikos Romanos. Few days ago, Yannis Michailidis also needed to be hospitalized, after he was diagnosed with bradycardia. Yannis is currently in Piraeus general hospital Tzaneio, under a strong custody of the police. Politis and Mpourzoukos are also on hunger strike since December 1.

Athens Warzone – Front line view of the fierce riots in solidarity to anarchist Nikos Romanos (2/12/2014) Tags: GreeceNikos Romanosvideocategory: Prisoners
Categories: News

The Hotwire #16: December 6, 2017

Wed, 12/06/2017 - 22:20

From CrimethInc.

:

Repression from #J20 to #G20—New Year’s noise demos—antifascist student actions

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Full Episode Transcript

Summary

Our final episode for the season! But we’ll be back in February. This week, antifascist students were active with a #StopSpencer week of action at the University of Michigan and shutting down Lucian Wintrich at the University of Connecticut. Racist remarks keep coming up during police testimony at the [#J20 trials](https://itsgoingdown.org/drop-j20-podcast-update–3-police-take-stand/). We have updates on the massive, sweeping raids against anti-capitalists in Germany over the successful protests against the G20 in Germany in July. New York City Anarchist Black Cross call for international New Year’s Eve noise demonstrations outside prisons, jails, and detention centers. Finally, we get mushy and grateful for the past year of resistance. Let us know how our show can better serve anarchist activity in your town by emailing us at podcast@crimethinc.com.

Notes and Links

Tags: Crimethinc.the hotwirepodcastcategory: Projects
Categories: News

An Increase in Far-left Attacks in Quebec: Philippe Teisceira-Lessard to Blame?

Wed, 12/06/2017 - 22:12

From Montréal Counter-Information

Anonymous submission to MTL Counter-info

Exclusive insight into the modus operandi of the “far-left”, liberal use of simplistic grammar, words pulled directly from dictionaries: recent months have seen a recent upsurge in the number of articles signed by Philippe Teisceira-Lessard in La Presse.

As recently as November 23rd, 2017, Philippe Teisceira-Lessard allegedly published an article describing the alleged actions of the “far-left” in alleged ‘Quebec’. Through exclusive interviews with admitted ex-nazis (Maxime Fiset) and CSIS investigators, he delves deep into the dark underground of the ‘anarchists’, and surfaces with a profound analysis of the ideas and actions motivating the criminally-minded left.

We asked how Teisceira-Lessard has such detailed analysis and information about the motivations of the various actors who post anonymously on Montreal Counter-Info. When we reached out to a source who requested anonymity, we were informed that “he has insider knowledge… how else could he provide details of their intentions and tactics? How would he know that they draw inspiration from djihadist websites?”

There has been a recent upsurge in Teisceira-Lessard’s journalistic contributions. In 2017 alone, he published 54 articles, compared to only 13 in 2015. While reading through his articles from 2016-2017, we became increasingly aware of the glaring similarities between Teisceira-Lessard’s writing and the communiques that anonymously appear on Montreal Counter-Info.

“Similar to an Anarchist Blog”

As part of our investigation, we consulted technological experts who ran several algorithms to compare sentence structures and phrasing patterns from Teisceira-Lessard’s articles to those from various posts on Montreal Counter-Info. The results were, to say the least, disturbing.

In 99.2% of the comparisons, both Teisceira-Lessard and the anonymous contributors made liberal use of the following sentence structures: simple, compound, and complex. Both used subjects that employed verbs, at times linked by the conjunctions ‘and’, as well as ‘or’. What is most shocking, is that occasionally an independent clause was linked with a dependent clause through the use of the conjunction ‘because’.

After repeated linguistic triangulations between Teisceira-Lessard’s La Presse contributions and communiques posted on Montreal Counter-Info, Ian Lafreniere, the leading researcher in far-left symbology, stated with concern that “his articles are remarkably similar to anarchist blog posts”. Below we have highlighted several examples of similarities between Teisceira-Lessard’s writing and these anonymous communiques:

“A website called Montreal Counter-Info has become the hub of the movement, and releases communiques that claim responsibility for several attacks on people and property.”

“A video released on the website shows two individuals approaching a railroad and activating paint-filled extinguishers.”

“Many yuppies decide to show their wealth in ways other than by BMWs and Mercedes.”

Editor’s note: The websites actually made more frequent use of the compound-complex format than Teisceira-Lessard, who appears to not want to cloud his writing or confuse his readership with more than two clauses.

Internet as a Means of Communication

Lapresse.com, mtlcounter-info.org, ISIS.net/recruitment. All three are websites. They publish and distribute articles and editorial opinions to a wide audience, who access this information via the internet.

By its own admission, La Presse has been using the internet to disseminate its propaganda since 1999, and as recently as 2015, converted almost entirely to an internet-based distribution model. In what we can hardly view as mere coincidence, Montreal Counter-Info also uses this platform of primarily disseminating information via the “web”, while maintaining a small distribution base in print.

The manager(s) of the La Presse website did not respond to our email inquiries. Their host, the Canadian company Namespro Solutions, refused to reveal their identity to our computer science expert Daniel Lecavalier.

A History of Crime

Teisceira-Lessard is no stranger to the violent actions of the far-left. In April 2012, he was arrested and charged with breaking and entering and mischief for his “essential role” in the occupation and destruction of Minister Line Beauchamp’s office in Montreal.

In an interview following the events, Teisceira-Lessard admitted his involvement. “When the police talked to me about mischief, theft, and break and enter, I was in shock—these are strong words. These aren’t petty accusations!” he said with a hint of pride. Since then, Teisceira-Lessard has maintained a low profile and retreated to the seedy underground of the extremist blogosphere.

Helpless Victims

Though it is technically correct that far-right ideology has directly lead to the murder of eight muslim men, consistent racist attacks at a mosque, and an increase in violent assaults on people of colour, we cannot ignore the impact of the far-left’s actions. “We find ourselves in a situation where the far-left is as much of a problem as the far right,” says Michel Juneau-Katsuya, national security expert and ex-CSIS agent.

We approached several front-end loaders and security cameras, who would only speak to us under the veil of anonymity. In one touching testimony, a storefront window had this to say:

“These violent actions are completely unacceptable and have no place in a lawful society…in no way will I accept attacks on my family, their security, and their peace-of-mind.”

Our investigation and thorough analysis lead us to the following conclusion: if we disregard both ideology and content, there are far too many similarities between articles written by Teisceira-Lessard and those that appear on Montreal Counter-Info for them to be penned by different authors. We contacted the SPVM to request additional support of $524,937.50 to continue with our investigative operations, but their petty cash fund had recently been depleted.

We attempted to contact Teisceira-Lessard to shed some light on these new concerning allegations, but he replied only with “no comment”, a phrase he no doubt learned during his time in jail.

Tags: quebeccounter-informationcategory: Actions
Categories: News

#NoG20: Cops Raided More Than 20 Buildings Across #Germany Today

Wed, 12/06/2017 - 21:55

From Enough is Enough

Published by Enough is Enough.

Note: Enough is Enough is not organizing any of these events, we are publishing this text for people across the US and Europe to be able to see what is going on and for documentation only.

Read all our NoG20 reports; here.

NoG20: Cops Raided More Than 20 Buildings Across Germany Today

December 5, 2017: German cops raided more than 20 buildings in several German states today by order of the special investigation unit “Black Bloc”, which is investgating the clashes during the G20 summit in Hamburg.

The raids started in the early morning hours. At 06:35am Twitter account @linksunten_goe tweeted that there where many cops around left wing buildings in Göttingen, Germany.

0635 Jetzt überall #BFE #Cops in #Göttingen vor linken Häusern! Watch out!!!

— LinksUnten Göttingen (@linksunten_goe) December 5, 2017

Soon similar messages arrived from other German cities. Cops raided more than 20 buildings in eight different German states. Among these states were Hamburg, Berlin and Lower-Saxony and cities like Cologne, Bonn, Siegburg, Göttingen and Stuttgart.

According to German main stream media outlet NDR one of the raids was carried out in the private apartment of an alleged member of “Roter Aufbau Hamburg.”

Tthe cops also raided 2 social centers in Göttingen (Rotes Zentrum) and Stuttgart (Lilo Herrmann). In Göttingen cops also raided the private apartment of a member of the county council. Meinhart Ramaswamy, a member of the German pirate party said: “We were ruggedly and brutally disturbed during breakfast and we feared they will damage the doors. The police came in with 25 officers. They even wanted to take job-related documents. The don’t let in the press.”

goettingen5d6

Image: German cops during todays police raid against Rotes Zentrum.

In Göttingen activists spontaneously took the streets during the raids. Several people were injured during the raids, one of the injured people hat to be brought to hospital by ambulance.

In Bonn cops raided Verdi-Jugend. Verdi-Jugend is the youth organisation of the Verdi union, one of the biggest labour unions in Germany. Several members of the youth organisation of the union were temporarily detained during the NoG20 protests in Hamburg. But in the early afternoon Verdi could not confirm that official facilities of Verdi were raided.

According to German daily Neues Deutschland the cops said that the raids were solely related to the events in the morning on July 7 at Rondenbarg Straße in Hamburg. This was the area where Fabio was arrested, who was released on November 27. During the police operation at Rondenbarg 11 people were severy injured on July 7.

After the state prosecution failed to proof that Fabio was involved in any violent clashes and the massive police violence at Rondenbarg, it seems like todays raids are an attempt to distract from the police violence by criminalizing activists. In the past weeks there were several critical media reports about the Fabio case and other court cases. The Police violence during the NoG20 protests was also featured in several German media reports.

The cops also announced that they will start a public manhunt against people they are searching in relation to the NoG20 protests. The public manhunt will start this month.

Todays raids can be seen as another stage in the massive disinformation campaing by German politicians and the cops. The disinformation campaign started before the NoG20 protests and seems to be an ongoing operation.

leipzig7dlogoIt’s expected that people will take action against the massive wave of repression. After the showcases in German courts, the threats to evict the Rote Flora, the closure of Linksunten Indy media people have had more than enough. One of the first possibilities where people can take action is during this weeks conference of the German ministers of interior. At December 7 there will be a demonstration against the conference in Leipzig, Germany. The conference of the German interior ministers (of all German states and the federal minister of interior) will take place in Leiprzig. The demo starts at 05:00pm (17:00) at the main train station (Hauptbahnhof) in Leipzig.

Image gallery: Spontaneous protests against the police raids in Göttingen, Germany, earlier today. Images by Twitter account @linksunten_goe

Update (tweets) 01:00pm:

#NoG20 Presser by German cops: Cops want to correct the "false impression" spreaded by the media about the #FreeFabio case.

— Enough is Enough! (@enough14) December 5, 2017

#NoG20 Police presser: Leader of the special task force "Black Bloc" relativize the relase of Fabio. #FreeFabio

— Enough is Enough! (@enough14) December 5, 2017

#NoG20 Police presser: "People who do not distance themselves from #BlackBloc are committing a crime". Cops say the raids in Hamburg were targetted against "Rote Aufbau".

— Enough is Enough! (@enough14) December 5, 2017

#NoG20 Police presser: More than 3000 investigations, several hundred of them against people who's name the cops know. The numbers are rising. 11 people in pre-trial detention.

— Enough is Enough! (@enough14) December 5, 2017

#NoG20 Police presser: Todays raids were against means of communication and the digital structure of the left wing movement.

— Enough is Enough! (@enough14) December 5, 2017

#NoG20 Police presser: Cops refuse to speak about investigations against the #RoteFlora in #Hamburg.

— Enough is Enough! (@enough14) December 5, 2017

#NoG20 Police presser: Police plans to use the videos and images of the #G20 protests they have to start a public manhunt to find people they are looking for.

— Enough is Enough! (@enough14) December 5, 2017

#NoG20 Police presser: There were no detentions during todays raids. At the moment none of the seized objects during the raids is classified as illegal. Police ist still examine the objects. The picture of the weapons at the presser is "only to show the character of the suspects"

— Enough is Enough! (@enough14) December 5, 2017

#NoG20 Police presser: Police say that there was a tweet that warned for the raids before the raids took place. There seems to be a leak.

— Enough is Enough! (@enough14) December 5, 2017

#NoG20 Police presser: Not all suspects were present during the raids and some objects that were raided were empty.

— Enough is Enough! (@enough14) December 5, 2017

#NoG20 Police presser: It actually looks like the cops have nothing and todays raids were more a kind of media show to criminalize activists. #Germany #G20 #Repression #antireport

— Enough is Enough! (@enough14) December 5, 2017

#NoG20 Police presser ended now.

— Enough is Enough! (@enough14) December 5, 2017

Update 01:30pm: After todays NoG20 raids there will be a demostration in Hamburg tonight, December 5, 08:00pm (20:00). The demo starts at Grünen Jäger in Hamburg.

After todays #NoG20 raids there will be a demostration in #Hamburg tonight, December 5, 08:00pm (20:00). The demo starts at Grünen Jäger in Hamburg. #UnitedWeStand #antireport

— Enough is Enough! (@enough14) December 5, 2017

Update 02:20pm: Tonight there will also be a solidarity protest in Stuttgart after todays raids. The gathering starts at 06:00pm at Rotebühlplatz in Stuttgart, Germany.

Tonight there will also be a solidarity protest in #Stuttgart after todays #NoG20 raids. The gathering starts at 06:00pm (18:00) at Rotebühlplatz in Stuttgart, Germany. #G20 #antireport

— Enough is Enough! (@enough14) December 5, 2017

stuttgart5d

Image: A cop during one of the raids .

Tags: germanyg20anarchists in troubleblack bloccategory: International
Categories: News

ATUBES: November 2017, Digest of the Anarchist Tubes

Tue, 12/05/2017 - 03:58

Welcome to volume #3, issue #11 of ATUBES: Digest of the Anarchist Tubes; for the month of November 2017.

This month we're taking a closer look at 4 texts published on the website. Enclosed as a PDF, [Letter and A4 compatible,as well as an imposed PDF* of Letter and A4 compatibility], + .epub - the November Digest of the Anarchist Tubes.

PDF- https://anarchistnews.org/atubes/2017_nov_atubes_reading.pdf
Imposed PDF- https://anarchistnews.org/atubes/2k17_nov_atubes_imposed.pdf
EPUB- https://anarchistnews.org/atubes/2k17_nov_atubes.epub

ATUBES volume #3, issue #11 November 2017

The four texts included are:

- Italy: Scripta Manent trial (started on 16/11/2017) — Statement to the court by anarchist Alfredo Cospito

- Insurrection Cannot Be Negotiated

- Reflection – 325 static until Spring 2018

- To a Trodden Pansy: Remembering Louis Lingg
__________________________________________________________________________________

* music while compiling: MULA - Diamantes https://youtu.be/x6ti8cBb01I

- teh editor of ¯\_(ATUBES)_/¯

* Note about printing the imposed PDF: Pages are reordered, in one or more groups (signatures), then folded in half. If you have more signatures, you will have to bound them together like a book. With this option, you may want to decide the size of the signatures. This can be a fixed value (4,8,16, etc.), the whole book in a single signature, or an optimized size to reduce the number of blank pages.

Tags: ATUBEScategory: Projects
Categories: News

How to Stop a Flood

Tue, 12/05/2017 - 00:34

via gods and radicals

It was a long day at work, a long week. You were so tired this morning you left your phone at home, too, so there was nothing to help distract you from how much you hate your job.

But it’s Friday, and you’re done for the week. You can breathe a little, maybe even go have a drink with friends.

You arrive home. You climb the steps to your apartment building. Some days, those two flights to your apartment seem daunting. Today’s one of those days.

You hear the old couple on the first floor fighting about something through their door. They’re always fighting, sometimes so much you have to crank your music up really loud to drown them out. It’s gonna be one of those days, too.

When you get to your apartment though, you see the door’s been left partially open. “Dammit,” you mutter. You’ve asked your roommates repeatedly to not do that—it makes you feel unsafe. They should respect that. You don’t want to yell at them, but... fuck.

When you push the door open you see the flood. Water’s everywhere, literally pouring in streams from the ceiling over everything.

You moan as you look at your bedroom: Your mattress is soaked, your computer is sitting in a lake on your desk, all your favorite books on their shelves are bloated with wet pages. And then you remember—you left your phone plugged in by your bed, and there it is, sitting in a puddle of water.

You grab it, pick it up, and water spills out from its case.

Now you’re shouting profanities. You survey the rest of the damage and start crying. You can’t help yourself—it’s all so much. You run to the living room to look at the painting your friend did for you last year. It’s warped, destroyed. You cry again… they committed suicide a few months ago, that was the last thing you had from them.

You search the rest of the apartment quickly—the same damage in the other rooms, your roommates’ bedrooms just as flooded.

It’s all so much, too much.

You want to sit down, hold your head in your hands and weep. But there’s nowhere dry to sit—your couch is sopping wet and water is still pouring from the ceiling above it.

Coming to your senses, staring at the ceiling, you realise the water’s probably still running upstairs. You bolt out your door, tear up the stairwell with rage and pound on your upstairs’ neighbour’s door.

He opens it as you stand there, water flowing over your feet.

“Your apartment’s flooding” you shout at him.

He nods, then hands you a wet dishtowel. “Yeah. Want to help us mop it up?”

One of your roommates is already inside with him. She looks at you, exasperated, holding a sponge and a bucket. “It’s so awful!” she says, her voice shaking, tears streaming from her eyes. “Everything’s ruined.”

You look at the sponge in her hand, and the thin dishtowel in his hand and shake your head. “Don’t you have a mop?” you ask, exasperated.

He shakes his head. “Couldn’t be bothered. Those are expensive.”

You resist the urge to punch him for being so dense, and then run back downstairs to your own apartment. You try not to look at all the damage, try to resist the urge to scream again. You grab your mop, a bucket, and a few already-soaked towels from the bathroom, and just as you are about to go back upstairs, your other roommate arrives home.

“It’s coming from upstairs,” you tell her. You hand her a towel, and start to walk past her before she stops you.

“We need to clean this first,” she says.

“What? No—we have to stop the water from coming in.”

“This is more urgent,” she says. “My girlfriend’s coming over tonight. We can clean this first and then stop the water coming in later.”

“Are you serious?” you say, and then see her face. She’s in shock, just as you were. She’s not thinking clearly. And she’s already gone into her bedroom and is trying to sop up water with the wet towels.

You try again. “We need to stop the water coming in first.”

She acts like she didn’t hear you. You say it one more time.

“We can’t just ignore all this water,” she finally says. “And I’m not helping that guy upstairs—he’s an asshole” and then shuts her door, leaving you in the hallway with the mop bucket.

She’s right. The guy’s awful. But you shake your head and run back upstairs anyway. The door’s open, and you enter to find both your roommate and your neighbor arguing and not cleaning up the water. She’s decided now is the time to talk about how loud he is when he has sex; he counters that she’s too sensitive and then starts complaining about the noise from her birthday party last month.

For a moment, you want to knock both of their heads together until you notice—there’s water pouring from the ceiling in this apartment, too.

“Shut up, you two” you shout. “The water’s coming from upstairs!”

“Stop changing the subject,” your neighbor says. “Your parties really get out of hand. I’m not racist, but I think it’s because of your loud Asian friend.”

You don’t even bother trying to calm your roommate’s reaction. In fact, you kinda hope she kicks him in the balls. But still—

“Look,” you say. “You’re a shithead. But we have to stop the water upstairs.”

“What—you’re on his side now?” your roommate says, throwing her sponge at you.

“Fuck!” you scream at them both, and run out.

You climb the stairs more slowly this time—the adrenaline has left your system, you feel exhausted. And you really don’t want to deal with this anymore.

You knock on the door anyway.

No one answers, so you knock again. You can hear running water, but no other sounds, no sloshing footsteps across carpet, nothing.

“There’s… there’s a flood,” you stutter, knocking again.

The door finally opens, and the rich dude who lives there looks at you. You look at him and see he’s dry, and there’s no water on his floors.

“Our apartments are flooding” you tell him.

He nods, gives you a condescending look. “That’s what you’re all shouting about, huh?”

“It’s coming from your apartment.”

He shrugs his shoulders. “Oh, yeah. A pipe burst in my bathroom last night. But it’s only flooding into the wall, so it’s no big deal.” He actually smiles at you when he says this.

“You have to turn off the water” you shout. “You’re flooding the entire building.”

“No I don’t. But I’ll sell you my mop if you need it.”

“What?” You scream, starting to push past him.

He pushed you back, hard. “You poor people think you can just get stuff for free.”

“I said turn off the water now, or I’ll make you.”

He looks behind you and smiles. You can hear what he hears echoing up from the other apartments—the sounds of your roommate and neighbor fighting. Beyond them you hear your other roommate crying, wringing out a wet towel, and you can even hear the old people on the first floor shouting.

“You and what army?” he laughs, pushing you out the door, slamming it in your face.

The world is flooding.

Literally: Oceans are rising, land is disappearing, islands, villages, towns and cities are drowning. Climate change caused by human economic activity is killing people, causing wars, and slaughtering species. Governments and the rich have begun investing in special security measures for the coming chaos capitalism has caused, while international climate change agreements still pretend minor changes to the way we distribute resources and pollute the earth will fix things.

We humans—the only ones who can actually stop what’s happening—are staring at a nightmare scenario. Everything is going to shit: food shortages, resource wars, increasing poverty, heat waves, super storms. Cities choked with toxic fumes, massive deforestation, spreading deserts.

But we humans can’t stop it until the tap is turned off, and no one can do that alone.

Just as in the flooded apartment, stopping the source of water won’t replace the ruined books or furniture or anything else it destroyed—ending capitalism alone won’t fix the world. Turning off that tap—stopping capitalism’s relentless destruction—isn’t going to undo any of that damage, just as overthrowing capitalism won’t magically stop racism, sexism, colonialism, or any other oppression under which we suffer.

Every single one of those things is a problem. Every single oppression, every single injustice, every single crisis—these things certainly matter. But none of these things can be resolved until the arrogant assholes above us, the rich, the politicians, all those who make sure the destruction continues, are dealt with first.

Sometimes when we talk about fighting capitalism, people ask how we intend to stop racism and misogyny, transphobia and oppression of the disabled. Sometimes they even suggest those things are more important because they are more urgent. Sometimes people insist that any revolutionary movement must do all of those things at once, or it isn’t revolutionary.

We can do all of those things. We should do all of those things. We must do all of those things.

But only one of those things has the power to affect every single person, destroy every life and make every person suffer. White and Black, First Nation and Asian, European and African, male and female, trans and cis, abled and disabled—each suffers under this thing.

It also affects the rest of the living world, the non-human beings upon which we rely for our very ability to survive. Mass extinction events, poisoned streams and lakes and oceans, soil that can no longer sustain life let alone food production, all the damage done by this one thing.

That thing is Capitalism.

By Capitalism though I don’t mean a nebulous, undefined system. I mean the Capitalists, the living humans with names and addresses who make sure this damage happens because that’s how they make their money. I mean the corporations who rip apart the earth to get at coal and petroleum to sell back to us, who tear down forests and poison rivers because it makes them money. And I mean the politicians who make sure no one challenges them, and the police and military paid to shoot anyone who wants this to stop.

That’s not a lot of people, actually. But they have all the wealth and all the guns and all the media at their disposal. We only have us, our bodies, our creativity, our desire. And there are billions of us.

We are myriad, and they are few. But we forget this, forget the power we have. We forget this when we believe what they tell us, when we accept their narrative, when we let them terrify us.

We also forget this when we decide they are not the primary problem. We forget this when we decide people in the middle of the chain between us and them are actually the problem instead. We forget this when we insist fighting one group in the same situation is more important because they don’t have it as bad as we do. We forget this when we decide the imperfect people around us are too imperfect to fight alongside.

Revolution will not save the world. The overthrow of capitalism won’t solve every problem in front of us. There will still be idiots and oppressive jerks, there will still be violence against women and disabled people, there will still be racists and transphobes.

But what there won’t be is Capitalism.

There won’t be a system that lets some people have everything and forces the rest of us to fight amongst ourselves for what’s left. There won’t be a system making sure the earth is destroyed so a small handful of people can live like kings and queens.

We can have this, but never will if we insist that other problems are more important. We can have this, but never will if we wait for perfect allies who never oppress anyone. And we can have this, but never will if we don’t do something soon.

The world is flooding, and we know why.

Let’s stop it.

Rhyd Wildermuth

(In memory of Seb Barnett)

Tags: capitalismsave the worldeat the richcategory: Essays
Categories: News

TOTW: Cryptocurrencies

Mon, 12/04/2017 - 23:19

In 2009 the cryptocurrency Bitcoin was released to the public as open-source software. It was the first decentralized digital currency that works without a central repository or single administrator. The network is peer-to-peer and transactions between users take place through the use of cryptography, without an intermediary. Over the past few weeks Bitcoin and many other cryptocurrencies have seen increased public interest, with one Bitcoin currently worth $11,531 as of this writing (6:10 pm, EST).

Have you used cryptocurrencies before? What do you think of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin? Are they useful to you? If so, is there something that makes it relevant to your anarchist practice (pros/cons)? In broader terms, how do we answer the problem of capital? How have other anarchists thinkers addressed similar ideas that you find noteworthy?

Do we need money to have a functioning society? And if we do, does cryptocurrency solve the problem that currency creates in society? What advantages and disadvantages does cryptocurrency provide over using cash? What kind of privacy do cryptocurrencies offer over other forms of currency for you?

Tags: totwcryptocurrencyBitcoindecentralizedpeer-to-peermoneyprivacyanok chancategory: Projects
Categories: News

Liberatory Community Armed Self-Defense: Approaches Toward a Theory

Mon, 12/04/2017 - 18:04

by scott crow
Editors Note: This is an excerpt from the new book 'Setting Sights: Histories and Reflections on Community Armed Self Defense

Notions of Defense

The world has been in tumult for decades, with more crises still ahead of us—from ecological and economic to political oppression and wars. These slow disasters will demand new approaches and open new possibilities. I think it’s time for all of us within civil society to think about how we want to respond, autonomously and collectively, without waiting to be saved by the same reactionary governments and corporations that have produced the crises in the first place.

In this essay, I will try to sketch a set of potential practices, praxis, and thinking centered on the narrow use of what I name as liberatory community armed self-defense. This distinct concept draws upon the histories of community self-defense, as practiced by various groups of people worldwide, and from the liberatory principles derived from anarchist and antiauthoritarian traditions.

The concept of community armed self-defense is a distinct development from grassroots social and political organizing models and notions of community defense, which at their core assert the right of oppressed peoples to protect their interests “by any means necessary.” That would include signing petitions and voting on one end of the spectrum to extralegal means of direct action, insurrection, or rebellions on the other. The Black Panther Party, for example engaged in community defense not only through their armed patrols but also through their survival programs, which opened health clinics and free schools in poor black neighborhoods otherwise lacking these kinds of services. This essay is an attempt at a critical reassessment of liberatory community armed self-defense: to re-envision the histories and analysis, to examine the praxis and bring these lessons forward to future engagements, and to broaden and strengthen our tactics and responses to crisis.

A Working Definition

Liberatory community armed self-defense is the collective group practice of temporarily taking up arms for defensive purposes, as part of larger engagements of collective autonomy in keeping with a liberatory ethics.

I am proposing liberatory community armed self-defense as a distinct idea borne out of a reassessment, spanning decades, of the historical experience of armed struggle and broader theories of the right of self-defense.

Self-Defense usually describes countermeasures employed by an individual to protect their immediate personal safety, and sometimes their property. Within the US, self-defense is discussed almost exclusively in legal terms relating to “rights” recognized by governments or constitutions, and only occasionally as human rights. By limiting the discussion to the rights attached to individuals, this framing fails to consider community interests, structural violence and oppression, and collective actions. The discourse thus completely neglects the defense of communities as such, and especially leaves out the political demands of people of color, women, immigrants, queers, and poor people.

Community self-defense in any form is not defined by laws but by ethics based in need (to protect) and the principles of anarchy (whether people call it that or not) by which groups of people collectively exercise their power in deciding their futures and determining how to respond to threats without relying on governments.

As a concept, Liberatory Community Armed Self-Defense attempts to take into account unrecognized types of violence and the limits marginalized groups face in their ability to determine their own futures or collectively protect themselves. For example, in 1973, when the American Indian Movement took up arms to defend “their people” in the occupation at Wounded Knee, they did so to bring attention to the horrible living conditions on the reservations and the violence their communities faced both from a lack of basic services and from armed vigilante squads. The town of Wounded Knee was not itself under attack, but it represented what First Nations were facing everywhere. AIM’s stand was a clear example of community armed self-defense, but it doesn’t fit neatly into existing typologies of self-defense.

Some Important Distinctions

Liberatory community armed self-defense is different from other forms of armed action for two major reasons. The first is that it is temporary but organized. People can train in firearms tactics and safety individually or together but would be called on more like a volunteer fire department—only when needed and in response to specific circumstances. Second, and possibly more importantly, power-sharing and egalitarian principles are incorporated into the group ethics and culture long before conflict is ever engaged. These two overarching ideas separate it from most armed conflicts.

For instance, right-wing militias—like the anti-immigrant patrols of the Minutemen Militia along the U.S./Mexico border, or the racist Algiers Point Militia operating in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina—have nothing to do with the type of community armed self-defense rooted in collective liberatory principles. These militias are built on abstract fears and racist beliefs, conspiracy theories, and a macho culture where the strongest or loudest is the leader. They are typically organized in military-type hierarchies with no real accountability to the people in civil society and the communities they operate within. These types of militias are far too similar to the types of the groups liberation movements have had to defend themselves against.

That said, the adoption of armed tactics in any conflict or threat situation always has the potential to morph temporary defensive measures into permanent military hierarchies unless conscious efforts to counter that tendency and share power are maintained. A liberatory approach is necessary to minimize, or at the least mitigate, that danger.

Proposed Principles

The armed component should never become the center; otherwise we risk becoming standing militaries. To avoid that, and to equalize power as best we are able to, a liberatory analysis is necessary to nurture those who are learning to exercise their power, and for those who need to be accountable to their groups or communities. The liberatory framework is built on anarchist principles of mutual aid (cooperation), direct action (taking action without waiting on the approval of the authorities), solidarity (recognizing that the well-being of disparate groups is tied together) and collective autonomy (community self-determination).

Defensive arms should be used only for the goals of collective liberation and not to seize permanent power, even if their use could potentially, and possibly necessarily, escalate conflicts. In any case, arms are not the first line of defense and are only taken up after other forms of conflict resolution have been exhausted.

The use of arms is only effective for the long term if it is part of a dual power framework. Dual Power means resisting exploitation and oppression, while also developing other initiatives toward autonomy and liberation as part of other efforts in self-sufficiency and self-determination.

Those engaged with guns should hold the same power as others involved in other forms of community defense or self-sufficiency. Carrying arms should be seen as a privileged task, with the same importance as childcare, growing food, or taking out the garbage—and not more. To maintain a balance of power, rotate all armed tasks and training among all those willing to participate. All firearms training needs to include dynamic and evolving liberatory ethics and practices in addition to how-to and safety. Within any training or operation, there should be an emphasis on challenging internalized assumptions about class, gender, and race to interrupt typical gun culture.

Reflections and Questions Toward a Theory

These notes are only a beginning. Many questions remain, including those concerning organization, tactical considerations, the coercive power inherent in firearms, accountability to the community being defended and to the broader social movement, and ultimately, one hopes, the process of demilitarization. For example: Do defensive engagements have to remain geographically isolated? Are small affinity groups the best formations for power-sharing and broad mobilization? How do we create cultures of support for those who engage in defensive armed conflict, especially with respect to historically oppressed people’s right to defend themselves? What do those engagements of support look like? Additionally there are many tactical considerations and questions to be discussed and debated to avoid replicating the dominant gun culture. How do we keep arms or arms training from becoming the central focus, whether from habit, culture, or romanticization?

There can be an end to the senseless violence for domination or resources. But if we want to transcend violence in the long term, we may need use it in the short term. We thus need to ask ourselves some tough questions about our approaches and our methods. When is armed engagement appropriate? How would we want it to look? How do we create cultures of tacit or direct support and include people who would never themselves engage in armed defense? How will we keep from centralizing power? When do the consequences outweigh the benefits? There are no blueprints; we have to create this together, step by step. We need to challenge ourselves and overcome our self-imposed limitations and shed our preconceptions of what resistance and liberation are like. When we do, we will gain confidence in potentially using deadly tools with a liberatory consciousness. That means we have to understanding that the values of power-sharing and openness are every bit as important as the power of carrying loaded weapons.

Arms will never offer the only answer to exercising or equalizing power. Only we can do that, but they can be a deterrent against real threats, and can greatly expand our tools of liberation. Community armed self-defense opens up the possibility of changing the rules of engagement. It doesn’t always make situations less violent, but it can help to balance the inequity of power among individuals and diverse communities. I am not calling for us all to rise up in arms but to rethink how we defend ourselves. We can dream, we can build new worlds, but to do so we must not forget to resist on our own terms.

Tags: anarchyLiberationanarchist analysisanarchist agencyanarchist solidaritycategory: Essays
Categories: News

Anews Podcast - episode 40

Mon, 12/04/2017 - 17:26

https://podcast.anarchistnews.org/wp-admin/post.php?post=194&action=edit

Welcome to the anews podcast. This is episode 40 for December 1. This podcast covers anarchist activity, ideas, and conversations from the previous week.

Editorial: FBI investigates Sean Swain
TOTW – Conceptual Limitations

This podcast is the effort of many people. This week this podcast was
* sound edited by Linn O’Mable
* editorial by a member of thecollective
* written by jackie
* narrated by chisel and a friend
* Thanks to Aragorn! and Sarah for their help with the topic of the week
* Contact us at podcast@anarchistnews.org
To learn more

Introduction to anarchism: http://anarchy101.org
Books and other anarchist material: http://littleblackcart.com
News and up to the minute commentary: https://anarchistnews.org

Tags: projectssean swainlast act of the circus animalsFBIconceptssarahAragorn!category: Projects
Categories: News

Brazil: More raids on anarchist homes as state crackdown continues

Mon, 12/04/2017 - 13:49

via Freedom News. This article quotes a report that originally appeared on insurrection news

Punitive raids were expanded at the turn of the month, as police continue to try and pin recent incendiary attacks in Porto Alegre on the anarchist movement.

Activists in the city reported on November 30th that:

Operation Erebo (Operação Érebo) attacked anarchists once again. They invaded some houses, stealing things and destroying everything in their path. At this stage we don’t know whether any other homes were invaded. Communication is precarious since we don’t know the levels of police intervention. And this time nothing was broadcast in the media.

Even when the storm seemed to have calmed without any arrests or information about the operation, we are sure they are looking for us. Unlike other incursions, Operation Erebo appears to move slowly but surely.

We remain strong, determined and immovable against these persecutions, certain that the love of freedom cries stronger. Shows of support and solidarity are not lacking and the different positions of anarchism have remained firm in their rejection of authority and with their arms extended to their comrades. It strengthens us.

Spread the news

Arms extended to our comrades, clenched fists for our enemies!

Let us live anarchy!

The police themselves also said nothing about the raids on their reports wire, suggesting that whatever it was they were hoping to find they didn’t get it, instead settling for intimidation tactics.

Operation Erebo was launched in 2016 following a series of attacks against city’s Police Station One, including a dud bomb placed in a police car and a blast which took place outside the station. A total of 11 incidents are under investigation, mostly attacks on vehicles but also arson at the Public Security Bureau, plus attacks on political party headquarters and private banks.

Prior raids which took place in October took a heavy toll on progressive organising in the city, with groups including the Gaucho Anarchist Federation (FAG) and Kaos Library targeted. Following the latest raids FAG expressed its “sympathy to those who had their homes raped by the civil police.”

Many groups have struggled to cope with the situation, such as Parrhesia, a multiple human rights award-winning non-governmental organisation that works with social movements in the areas of human rights, culture, education and popular communication.

Volunteer Orlando Vitor, who was woken up at 5am by the police raid and has since struggled to get back vital computer equipment seized by police, recently produced a rap about the month of difficulties Parrhesia has faced.

In the piece Vitor talks a little about the situation he is living in, the damage done by the police action and also about the anti-jail fight to which he is committed. The rap “Another one arrested plus one case” was recorded in the studio Dunas Rap, Pelotas, honors Maurício Norambuena and counts on the participation of the rappers Tampa Diteto and Chycuta Mrs, both graduates of the prison system.

Tags: brazilOperation Éreboanarchists in troublecategory: International
Categories: News

2 theses against the anarcho-bourgie caste in Mtl, December 1st

Mon, 12/04/2017 - 03:02

La Passe gets spray-painted, a few bourgies someplace reportedly throw a temper tantrum

La "Passe" means a few things in French. Beyond referring to a "pass", like a theater pass or a peep show pass, namely, in Quebec lumpen speech it also has the connoting of fucking people over (like being conned), or to bluntly rape someone. We still use the expression se faire PASSER un sapin, that transliterates to the metaphor "being fucked with a cone tree", a colorful semantic variant on "being fucked over". More rarely it's used in tour de passe-passe, a magic trick of illusion. ALso, La Passe is a fairly-dubiously radical social center located between the Plateau and Mile End, hands down the trendiest and some of the wealthiest neighborhoods in Montreal.

So last Friday evening, on December 1st, on the thick wooden door of this bland, second attempt at a progressive social-cultural center located in the very convenient and symbolic basement of a Catholic cathedral, we’ve spray-painted the words « Bourgies » and « Anar-fakes ». We only had red paint for the occasion but we thought they’d like the color anyways. And we may try something better next time if they keep being recuperative jerks.

Let's not assume too quickly... it’s not like we’re pissed off about them precisely. The city contains countless pretentious pricks and other morons to be angry at and we got better things to think about in life than boiling about them. The neoliberal capitalist spectacle economy keeps producing those on a mass scale, as they need people to work in their arts industry n shit. Go ask Bourdieu or something.

BUT we have here a bunch of quite socially-privileged edgelords from well-off social backgrounds, highly-literate revolutionaries with suspicious ties to maoists (even tho I’d prefer not to cast over-simplistic categorization on the true nature of their agenda and sensibilities, it’s more like a class issue), who got their education from private college and decided at one point, during the last 10-15 years or so, that they were brilliant, astute, competent and wise enough to be the guiding lights of the coming insurrection that never really came.

So they went on setting honeytraps, intellectual boobytraps as well, and art traps, so that the youngsters interested in a more revolutionary change in every last student strike or Occupy or action camp may end up being fucked over with a Xmas tree then left for dead in the street at the coldest of the winter. Long story short, they’re a bunch of fakesters and have got frankly annoying with their long-lasting attempt at being the politburo of the milieu. They like to remind us on how 2012 changed everything and whatever, but it only gave them better jobs and/or connections. But if they got so much resources why don’t they just leave anarchists and especially anarchy alone, stfu and go up the social ladder… or are they that much losers at social entryism?

But noooo.... They'll keep pretending they’re into some sort of insurrection while everything they do is social entry and continuous accumulation of social capital in the name of maintaining their own social status!

Fuck them all anarfakes and their bourgie antics, nice retro outfits and polite talk. You perpetuate civilization you vile pendant scumfucks. Die under the heavy sun, snowflakes.

This said, I wish all the others a Merry Black December!!!

And I wish you fuck the system (their system too) in the most imaginative, ambitious, disturbing, funny, shocking ways you can find, please!

Fuck toute!

- the Longueuil Anarcho-Nihilist Brigade, celebrating a suburban insurgent consciousness since 2015

p.s.: By the way we've lost the ashes last year of the book by Nazi ideologue Heidegger you've been keeping at the library of the first La Passe. We might burn a few more books or things we don't like instead, that may or may not be from your stuff... who knows. We might get busier with other matters this month, like at Complexe Dix-30 maybe.

Tags: montrealBlack Decembervandalismcategory: International
Categories: News

TFSRadio: Prison-Related Audio Roundtable and Follow-Up with the Manus Island Refugee Situation

Mon, 12/04/2017 - 01:02

Download this episode

For a 59 minute long, radio clean version for syndication purposes, please visit the archive.org collection.
Prison-Related Audio Roundtable
This week we feature two segments. The first is a roundtable discussion with producers from various audio projects around North America that focus on prisoner struggles and amplifying incarcerated voices. In the chat you'll hear from me, two producers of The Prison Radio show on CFRC radio in Kingston, Ontario, a producer of the Prison Radio Show on CKUT from McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, and a producer of the June11 audio series released this last year and revving to mark the day in solidarity with Marius Mason and other long term anarchist and ecological prisoners.
Follow-Up with Walid Zazai on Manus Island
The second conversation is an update from Walid Zazai, the 24 year old Afghani man being held on Manus Island off of the coast of Papua New Guinea. Walid has been in detention for 4 years now awaiting resettlement at the pleasure of the government of Australia. We spoke with Walid two weeks ago after the Manus Regional Processing Centre in which he was living had been closed and he and roughly 450 other refugees stayed in protest of their longtime lack of freedom of movement and the violence they feared from PNG security forces and locals on the island. More coverage of the struggle immigrants against the Australian border authorities and other updates from the Oceania can be found on the long running Anarchist radio show based there, Subversion1312. Subversion1312 is also a recently added member of the Channel Zero Network of anarchist podcasts.
Now For Some Fun Events
If you're in the Asheville area today (December 3rd 2017), at 5pm at Firestorm Books and Coffee, Blue Ridge ABC will be hosting it's monthly letter writing session, where you can swing by, find out about political prisoners in the U.S., write to some with upcoming birthdays and meet other local radicals. After that, tonight at 8pm at the Lazy Diamond, 98-A, North Lexington Ave in downtown Asheville, comrades will be hosting a Radical Trivia night to benefit the 2nd Asheville Carolina Anarchist Bookfair, or ACAB2018, planned for this summer. Alone or in teams, you are invited to test your wits on subjects of Black Liberation, Anarchist History, Queer Resistance and more. A cash prize will go to the winning team or individual.

This episodes playlist

Tags: tfsradiotfsrweekly podcastrefugeesAustraliackut prison radiocfrc prison radiojune 11thcategory: Projects
Categories: News

Crossword Puzzle #28: Occupy

Sun, 12/03/2017 - 15:53

This weeks crossword puzzle is on Occupy.

Download it here: https://anarchistnews.org/crossword/crossword28.pdf

***

From LBC about the book:

For those anarchistnews fans who miss Worker's acerbic and insightful bon mots on modern-day anarchy and anarchists, here is a fix (however temporary) for you.

Fifty crossword puzzles of occasionally ludicrous difficulty (there are scattered puff questions throughout also, for those of you, like me, who are terrible at these kind of games) are featured for your education and amusement.

Anarchistnews.org is the most popular, utilized, and non-sectarian news source pertaining to anarchists in North America. Its open commenting system continues to be one of the few spaces in which anarchists, nationally and internationally, converse about topics of the day, challenge each other, and critically engage with a wide variety of issues and events.

Worker retired from running the site after eleven years... Since then they have reflected on their time in the daily trenches of running the site, and this book is the result. These crossword puzzles speak to the years of comment threads, the ridiculousness and wonderfulness of the anarchist space in North America, and finally the absurdity of working with cantankerous, stubborn, and self-righteous people by way of essay or manifesto.

These puzzles should probably be done by a reading group or a group of friends. They are supposed to make you think, laugh, and perhaps smack your head. A more perfect metaphor for North American anarchism cannot be found.

https://littleblackcart.com/books/culture/workers-book-of-50-sectarian-c...

***

[ Here are the solutions! Don’t peek!: http://ardentpress.com/crosswords/ ]

Tags: beautiful crossmess parzelthis sitepdfDownloadOccupycategory: Projects
Categories: News

The Limits of Hegemony

Sun, 12/03/2017 - 15:41

From Anarkismo by Wayne Price

Review of Jonathan M. Smucker, Hegemony How-To: A Roadmap for Radicals

How can we build an effective popular movement to change society? That is the subject of this book, which has been widely praised. In my opinion, it has important and profoundly true things to say, but is politically unbalanced and mistaken in certain ways.


This is an important and interesting book about how to build a movement. From the blurbs it includes, it has been highly praised by many well-known militants and theorists of change. In my opinion, as a libertarian (antiauthoritarian) socialist, it has something profoundly true to say, but it is politically unbalanced.

We live in a time when awful things are happening, politically, economically, socially, militarily, and ecologically—and worse things threaten to happen. Yet, as Jonathan Smucker points out (relying on the polls), “Today in the United States more millennials identify with socialism than with capitalism….On nearly every major issue, relatively progressive positions have come to enjoy a majority of support….The establishment is in crisis. Popular opinion is on our side.” (2017; 252—254) Why then are those committed to social justice so weak, marginalized, and with minimal political impact? What can be done to change that? That is the important topic addressed by this book.

Smucker’s message is essentially this: too much of the Left is inward-looking, comfortable with itself, and self-involved. It is correct, even essential, to have a core group of reliable militants, but leftists must reach out to others, go beyond their comfort zone, and get other people involved, to whatever degree they can be involved. It is not enough to build a club of the like-minded. It is necessary to work out a strategy for winning gains, for influencing others, for achievement, and for exercising power. It is necessary to build a movement, a movement for power. The strategic aim should be to challenge the dominance (the “hegemony”) of the ruling elite over popular consciousness and established institutions—and to ultimately replace its hegemony with that of the Left.

That is the book in a nutshell. He repeats the message over and over, to drive it home, with various elaborations and modifications. This message is true and important but not especially new. For decades, revolutionary Marxist and anarchist organizations have urged their members to go beyond middle class intellectuals and students, to root themselves in the working class—particularly in the most oppressed and discriminated-against sectors of the working class (African-Americans, unskilled workers, women, etc.). This was essential for building an effective revolutionary movement.

For example, in the ‘70s, Hal Draper criticized sects which postured as small mass parties: “The life-principle of a revolutionary mass party is not simply its Full Program, which can be copied with nothing but an activist typewriter and can be expanded or contracted like an accordion. Its life-principle is its integral involvement as a part of the working-class movement, its immersion in the class struggle not by a Central Committee decision but because it lives there.” (quoted in Krul 2011)

Prefiguration vs. Strategy

The problem of the self-enclosed and isolated grouping, then, applies in many forms on the Left. It applies to small revolutionary socialist organizations, built around their dogmas and their newspapers. It applies to co-op stores and bicycle clubs. But Smucker is especially aiming his criticism at anarchists, based on his experience in the Occupy Wall Street encampment in 2011. (Which is also consistent with my own—much more limited—experience with OWS.) He describes the anarchists as focused on building a self-governing collectivity, which would inspire people to go and do likewise. They did not, he claims, think of OWS in strategic terms, about how to use it as a basis for building a broader movement to challenge established politics. They vehemently opposed raising demands on the state, which would have been necessary if the movement was to attract others. He counterposes the anarchist emphasis on “prefigurative” organizing to his focus on “strategic” thinking.

“In contrast to power politics, ‘prefigurative politics’ seeks to demonstrate the ‘better world’ it envisions for the future in the actions it takes today….I argue that even leftist idealists have to strategically engage power politics proper, if they hope to build anything bigger than a radical clubhouse.” (103) Smucker cites major anarchist theorists, “Manuel Castells, Richard J.F. Day, and David Graeber seem to concur with my claim that [prefigurative politics] aims to replace…strategic politics, especially if the later is defined in terms of hegemonic contestation.” (127)

For example, David Graeber has written, “… most successful forms of popular resistance have historically taken the form not of challenging power head on, but of ‘slipping away from its grasp’, whether by means of flight, desertion, or the founding of new communities.” (quoted in Price 2016) Laurence Davis summarizes—favorably—this viewpoint, “For contemporary ‘small-a’ anarchists…these here-and-now alternative institutions…and social relationships …are the essence of anarchism….Many contemporary anarchists insist that ‘the revolution is now’….” (same) Some autonomous Marxists have adopted a similar perspective, calling it “exodus”—somehow escaping from capitalism without confronting it or the state.

I have written several essays critical of this view (Price 2015a; 2015b; 2006). Most of Smucker’s criticism is on the mark. The capitalist class with its institutions of power—especially the state—will not allow the people to gradually and peacefully build alternate institutions which could replace the market, industrial capitalism, and the national state. This was demonstrated (once again) when the police broke up Occupy encampments, after a few months. This was done throughout the country, with coordination by the (Obama-Democratic) national government. The power of the state could not be ignored.

But the opinions he cites are from only one school of anarchism. There is also the tradition of revolutionary class-struggle anarchism (libertarian socialism). (Price 2016; 2009) This aims to build a mass movement which can eventually overthrow the capitalist class and its state, along with all other institutions of oppression—and replace them with self-managed, cooperative, nonprofit, institutions from below. It sees a major role for the working class, with its potential power to stop the means of production. It also has organized other sections of the oppressed and exploited to fight for freedom, in various countries and at various times.

Smucker, who claims to have once been an anarchist, appears to be completely ignorant of this alternate, and mainstream, tendency in anarchism, which goes back to Bakunin and Kropotkin, the anarchist-communists and the anarcho-syndicalists. (A slight example of Smucker’s ignorance of anarchism appears in his discussion of recent biological evidence that human beings, like other animals, are not only competitive and aggressive, but also are highly cooperative and sociable. This is true, but it was demonstrated over a century ago by Peter Kropotkin in his Mutual Aid, a foundational work for anarchism.)

Revolutionary anarchism would not accept this binary counterposition of prefiguration vs. a strategy for power—whether raised, on different sides, by Smucker or by certain anarchists. Even Smucker accepts that a strategic approach may incorporate prefiguration, as a minor aspect. But actually the two depend on each other. We cannot build a participatory democratic society unless we build a participatory democratic movement, and it will be a stronger movement the more that people democratically participate.

This point is made in a book on unions, fittingly titled, Democracy is Power.Internal democracy is key to union power….A union will act in the interests of members only if these members control the union….The power of the union lies in the participation of its members, and it requires democracy to make members want to be involved….A union run by the members is also more likely to exercise its power.” (Parker & Gruelle 1999; 14) This does not mean that specific forms, such as consensus and open membership, are always required. However, strategy and prefiguration should be one and the same.

The Limits of Liberalism

The primary weakness of this book is its one-sided focus on sectarian withdrawal and self-involvement on the Left. What Smucker says against this is true, but it is not the whole truth.

The main problem with the Left in the U.S. (and elsewhere) is not self-involvement but liberalism, reformism, and opportunism. From the ‘30s to today, most of the Left has supported—or at least, accommodated—capitalism, only urging better regulation of business by the state. It has promoted the state as the main remedy for all social evils—if only the state would be somewhat more democratic. It has portrayed the state as a neutral institution, to be used by the corporate rich or by the working people, depending on events. It has urged a focus on elections, to put individuals into office to be “political” for the people. It has channeled mass action into the Democratic Party, the “party of the people,” which has consistently been the swamp in which movements suffocate and die. This has been true not only of liberals but also of most of those calling themselves “socialists” or “communists.”

The liberal approach has led to victories, but none which have remained stable and reliable (especially since the period of renewed stagnation and decline beginning about 1970, following the “long boom”). Unions won the right to organize—but today unions in the private sector only represent about 6 % of the labor force, about where they were before the upsurge of the ‘30s. African-Americans defeated legal segregation, but Black people are still on the bottom of society. Even their right to vote is under attack. Women made gains, which are again under attack, especially the right to legal abortions. The “Vietnam syndrome,” which limited the U.S.’s military interventions abroad, is over; now the U.S. wages war around the world, and threatens nuclear war with North Korea. Advancements in environmental protection have been viciously attacked by the current administration—which has attacked popular gains in every field. (Readers may add to the list as they chose.) Liberalism—reformism—has been a failure overall.

Yet this seems to be Jonathan Smucker’s perspective. While he strongly (and correctly) criticizes self-enclosed, sectarian, anarchists and others, he has barely a few phrases about the danger of being coopted by ruling powers. He hopes to build a broad popular movement, including large numbers of “ordinary people,” workers of all sorts, students, and oppressed people—but also to include powerful people from the rich and governing sectors. He wants to win over “allies within the existing establishment.” (167) Radicals need to know “how to strategically influence a decision-maker….” (250) There is a need for “actively courting influential supporters….” (70) This implies not an alliance against the ruling class but an alliance with sections of the ruling class and the state. (This has traditionally been called a “Popular Front,” as opposed to a broad alliance of organizations, parties, and movements of the working class and oppressed sections, which has been called a “United Front.”) In order to include establishment allies, the movement would have to limit the demands which can be raised and the methods which can be used.

Smucker’s aim is not only for a popular movement to develop counter-power to the ruling class, but to take state power. “The state is no longer an other that we stand in opposition to as total outsiders; instead we become responsible for it—parts of it, at least….” (152) His goal is “to consolidate victories in the state….wresting the helm.” (150) He expresses admiration for “the Chavistas in Venezuela…[who] have succeeded in winning some level—however limited a degree—of state power….” (136) Smucker does not mention more recent developments in Venezuela, which have not gone so well for the regime nor for its working and poor people.

Elections and the Democratic Party

To win “victories in the state”, it will be necessary to run in elections. “Hopefully this moment is helping today’s radicals to reconsider our relationship to electoral campaigns and political parties….” (170) Besides the Chavistas, he makes several glowing references to Bernie Sanders’ campaign. “In 2016 Bernie Sanders picked up the torch that Occupy lit….”
(246) “The Bernie Sanders campaign showed again…the ripe possibility of such an insurgent political alignment.” (217) The Sanders campaign did demonstrate that there was a lot of dissatisfaction which might be mobilized even behind someone who was called a “socialist” and spoke of “revolution.” This was significant.

But what was the strategic result? Sanders channeled this dissatisfaction into the Democratic Party, eventually behind Hillary Clinton, a neoliberal, militarist, establishment politician. Those who organized the Sanders campaign are now trying to keep its momentum in the capitalist party which has historically been the graveyard of movements. They want to turn the militant youth into voting fodder for another pro-imperialist, pro-capitalist, candidate, who has no solution for the economic and ecological disasters which are looming.

Smuckers cites a lot of sociologists and political scientists, but few radicals. He cites no anarchists (except for the non-revolutionary types) and no Marxists (except for the Italian Communist Antonio Gramsci--died in 1937). He never considers the nature of the state, apparently treating it as a neutral institution which can be used by either the people or by the corporate rich. He seems to think that competing classes can take over different “parts” of the same state—denying that it is a unitary institution. One thing on which both the revolutionary anarchists and Lenin agreed was that the existing state was an instrument of capitalism, and that it needed to be overthrown and replaced by alternate institutions. The fate of the Occupy encampments was one demonstration of this.

Other examples have appeared more recently in Greece in the fate of the elected Syriza government, in Brazil with the Workers’ Party government, in South Africa with the ANC, and in many other reformist parties over the decades (such as Allende in Chile in 1973 or the rise of fascism in Europe in the 1920s and 30s). Smucker discusses the OWS experience but not any of these. Nor does he examine any of the rich history of revolutions and counterrevolutions, which have been studied by anarchists, Marxists, and bourgeois historians. It is true that we cannot expect a revolution—or even a prerevolutionary period—in the near future. But the goal of a revolution can be used to guide the current struggle for reforms and how that is carried out. A study of the history of previous attempts at revolution could provide lessons even broader than only looking at OWS and the other limited experiences which Smucker has personally gone through.

In fact, limiting ourselves just to struggles for reforms, in the U.S. almost every major victory has been won by non-electoral means. The rights of unions were won through mass strike waves. The destruction of legal Jim Crow and other gains for African-Americans were won through mass civil disobedience as well as urban rebellions (“riots”). The war in Vietnam was opposed through demonstrations, draft resistance, campus strikes, and a virtual mutiny in the armed forces. LGBT rights were fought for through the Stonewall rebellion and ACT-UP’s civil disobedience. The women’s movement was an integral part of these non-electoral struggles. The legal and electoral aspects of these movements were efforts by the establishment to respond to these popular struggles, to get them under control, and finally to kill them. The Democratic Party played a big part in that.

The Hegemony of Gramsci

Smucker relies heavily on the concepts of Antonio Gramsci, such as “hegemony”, “articulation,” and others. Without being a Gramsci enthusiast, I do not criticize Smucker for being willing to learn from a Marxist theorist. (Although it seems a little odd to use an unusual word like “hegemony” in the title of a book addressed to a wide audience.) Gramsci advocated a revolution by the working class, in a broad alliance with all oppressed and exploited people, to overturn capitalism and the existing state. These are concepts with which I agree and which Smucker may not, or at least does not raise here. However, even the best Marxists should be read critically, given the disastrous results whenever Marxists have taken power.

For example, the concept of “hegemony,” as used by Gramsci, indicates that the capitalist class rules through dominating popular culture and ideology—and that the working class and oppressed need to reverse this, so that emancipatory culture and ideology becomes the “common sense” of the popular classes.

However, “hegemony” might also be interpreted with authoritarian implications, implying that a minority which thinks it knows the Truth should seek to dominate popular consciousness. In fact, Gramsci was a Leninist, an advocate of a centralized vanguard party. The party, in his conception, aimed to take power through a new state, presumably in the interests of the working class. In the factional conflicts within the Communist International and the Italian Communist Party, Gramsci took the side of Stalin (Chiaradia 2013).

“Hegemony” may also be interpreted as a reformist strategy. If we focus predominantly on the cultural and ideological power of the ruling class, this may lead to downplaying its economic power (the use of unemployment and insecurity to discipline the working class) and the armed power of its state. The police and military do not usually interfere directly in politics, but they are always in the background, to be used in a crisis (again: as in the destruction of the Occupy encampments). This can lead militants to emphasize political maneuvering and cultural enlightenment, and to ignore hard power, confrontation, and the nature of the state. In fact, after World War II, the Italian Communist Party, as well as later “Eurocommunist” parties, followed reformist strategies while claiming to be inspired by Gramsci.

None of this should prevent people from learning whatever they can from Gramsci’s work. (See Anderson 1977.) But they should view it critically.

Hope for the Future

Jonathan Smucker expects continuing difficulties and crises in society to create openings for popular movements, in various ways and on various issues. “A left hegemonic project will become a realistic possibility in the decades ahead.” (255) “The signs are all around us that such a progressive populist alignment is coming into being.” (247) I think this perspective is likely. I also agree with Smucker that radicals need to prepare for this, to think about how to cope with the growing discontent, and to organize ourselves as part of organizing others. The self-organizing of radicals is part of the self-organizing of popular movements.

However, he ignores some of the dangers involved. Liberals, reformists, and those establishment allies Smucker wants to look for, will aim to keep the “populist” movements within respectable and limited bounds—that is, to keep them ineffective. Revolutionary anarchists and other libertarian socialists need to build a militant, radical, left wing of the movements (especially the labor movement with its potential strategic power). They need to oppose (to seek hegemony over) those who withdraw into self-satisfied isolation, but also to oppose those who are willing to accept the limitations of capitalism and its state.

In the front of this book, his anarchist publishers, the AK Press Collective, have a statement. Probably referring to his electoralism and similar aspects of his strategy, they write, “Smucker’s personal politics sometimes include strategies for social change that AK Press doesn’t advocate, but we think the ideas he presents will be useful to a range of strategic approaches….”

As did AK Press, I find this a useful and interesting book. It raises insightful criticisms of some anarchists and others. It proposes programmatic suggestions, some of which I think are valuable from a revolutionary view— and some of which I think are wrong (reformist) but worth thinking through as he presents them.

References

Anderson, Perry (1977). “The Antinomies of Antonio Gramsci.”
New Left Review.
http://www.praxisphilosophie.de/anderson_gramsci_antino...s.pdf

Chiaradia, John (2013). “Amadeo Bordiga and the Myth of Antonio Gramsci.”
https://libcom.org/library/amadeo-bordiga-myth-antonio-...radia

Krul, Matthijs (2011). “What We Can Learn From Hal Draper.”
http://mccaine.org/2011/04/14/what-we-can-learn-from-ha...aper/

Parker, Mike, & Gruelle, Martha (1999). Democracy is Power; Rebuilding Unions for the Bottom Up. Detroit: A Labor Notes Book.

Price, Wayne (2016). “In Defense of Revolutionary Class-Struggle Anarchism.” Anarkismo.
https://www.anarkismo.net/article/29243?search_text=Dav...aeber

Price, Wayne (2015a). “Response to Crimethinc’s ‘Why We Don’t Make Demands’.” Anarkismo.
https://www.anarkismo.net/article/28353?search_text=Way...Price

Price, Wayne (2015b). “The Reversed Revolutions of David Graeber:
Review of David Graeber, Revolutions in Reverse.” Anarkismo.
http://www.anarkismo.net/article/28134?search_text=Wayn...Price

Price, Wayne (2009). “The Two Main Trends in Anarchism.” Anarkismo
http://www.anarkismo.net/article/13536?search_text=Wayn...Price

Price, Wayne (2006). “Confronting the Question of Power; Should the Oppressed Take Power?” Anarkismo.
http://www.anarkismo.net/newswire.php?story_id=2496

Smucker, Jonathan M. (2017). Hegemony How-To: A Roadmap for Radicals. Chico CA: AK Press.

*written for www.Anarkismo.net

Tags: wayne pricereviewthe strugglehopestrategyorganizationdemocracyliberalismcategory: Essays
Categories: News

Plain Words #4

Sun, 12/03/2017 - 15:26

From Plain Words

[For reading and printing 8.5×11]
[For printing 11×17]

The Winter 2017/2018 issue of Plain Words is here! This time around, we present articles on anarchist prisoners and grand jury resistance, social media and television as obstacles to revolt, local eco-action, animal resistance to techno-society, and memory as a weapon.

CONTENTS
– “Mirror, Kaleidoscope, Dagger: What is Anarchism?”
– Solidarity with Michael Kimble
– “Fuck Your Selfie: On the Spectacle of Resistance from Bloomington to Hamburg”
– “Destitution & Trolling”
– Solidarity with Grand Jury Resisters
– “Good TV as a Roadblock to Becoming Ungovernable”
– To a Trodden Pansy: Remembering Louis Lingg
– Night Owls Disrupt Yellowwood State Forest Timber Sale
– Deer: 1, Computers: 0
– Black December

Tags: plain wordspublicationpdfcategory: Projects
Categories: News

The Spheres of Insurrection: Suggestions for Combating the Pimping of Life

Sun, 12/03/2017 - 11:09

From e-flux - by Suely Rolnik

It is always a question of freeing life wherever it is imprisoned, or of tempting it into an uncertain combat.
—Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, 19911

The exhaustion of natural resources is probably much less advanced than the exhaustion of subjective resources, of vital resources, that is afflicting our contemporaries. If so much satisfaction is derived from surveying the devastation of the environment it’s largely because this veils the frightening ruin of subjectivities. Every oil spill, every sterile plain, every species extinction is an image of our souls in rags, a reflection of our lack of world, of our intimate impotence to inhabit it.
—The Invisible Committee, 20142

The world is in convulsion, and so are we. We are taken by a malaise, comprised of a mix of sensations. A dread in the face of the sinister landscape brought about by the rise of reactive forces everywhere, whose level of violence and barbarity reminds us of the worst moments in history. Along with fear, we are also taken by a perplexity in the face of another phenomenon, simultaneous with the first: the takeover of worldwide power by the capitalist system in its new version—financialized and neoliberal—which extends its colonial project to its ultimate limits, its globalitarian realization.

At first glance, the simultaneity of these two phenomena seems paradoxical, which blurs our comprehension and leaves us confused: the high degree of complexity and perverse refinement proper to the neoliberal way of life is light-years ahead of the narrow-minded archaism of the brute forces of this new conservatism. They are symptoms of radically different reactive forces, originating in distinct historical moments, coexisting in our contemporaneity. But after the initial shock, we understand that neoliberalism needs these rude subjectivities to do the dirty work of destroying all the achievements of democratic, republican culture, dissolving its imaginary and eradicating from the scene its protagonists—including the left in all its nuances, but not only. Lacking moral limits of any kind, reactive subjectivities fulfill their task at a dizzying speed and with intense violence—as soon as we recognize one of their coups, another has just happened. Carrying out this task gives them a perverse narcissistic juissance to the point of being pathetic. The ground is prepared for a frictionless and unencumbered free flow of transnational capital.

Added to the fear and astonishment, there is a deep frustration with the recent dissolution of several leftist governments throughout the world, especially in Latin America—which, not by chance, happens simultaneously with the rise of reactive forces of conservatism and neoliberalism, temporarily united. Such frustration mobilizes the traumatic memory of the unfortunate fate of twentieth-century revolutions. A state of alert settles into our subjectivity, as when the scarcity of essential resources exceeds a limit, putting life itself at risk. These are traumatic situations before which we either succumb (a pathological response that saps our vital potency) or widen the horizon of our gaze, which gives us more precision in deciphering the violence and inventing ways of fighting it (a response which preserves our vital potency, and even intensifies it, in certain cases). In the moments when, in the face of the trauma that we are experiencing, the second response wins, we can see an insurmountable limit against which left-wing projects stumble, especially institutional ones. Such a view imposes on us the task of problematizing this limit, in order to create the conditions of its overcoming.

First of all, we are forced to recognize that this barrier is not located only outside the territory of the left, imposed by adverse forces that are external to it. In fact, it is chiefly located inside the left’s own territory, whose horizon ends at the borders of the macropolitical sphere. This is the sphere of the shapes of a world, and its own modes of existance: the positions and functions set out in the social map, the modes of relation between them, as well as their codes and their representations. As the left-wing acts only in this sphere, its territory is confined to the dominant form of the world in which it has its origin and unfoldings: the colonial-capitalistic3 world. The perspective guiding the resistance of the left remains thus trapped inside the logic of the very regime that it (we) wants to overcome. Keeping this in mind, it is not surprising that left-wing actions are not only unable to fight the colonial-capitalistic regime, but also result in its dreary reproduction.

It is indisputable that within this regime, the left-wing positions are the fairest, because in different ways and to different degrees the left seeks a less asymmetrical distribution of places—not only in the political arena, but also in the social and economic ones—as well as a state that supports this extension of equality. If this fight is undoubtedly indispensable and has an undeniable value, the problem is that it leaves out the microsphere: the sphere of unconscious formations in the social field, to which corresponds a certain dominant politics of subjectivation and its respective politics of desire, with which any regime, of whatever kind, acquires its existential consistency, and without which it couldn’t be sustained.

Even when the left, especially the institutional left, talks about modes of existence, it tends to do so only from a macropolitical perspective. The left wing thinks of the oppressed as identitarian entities and tends to crystallize them, neutralizing the creating power (potency) of their subjectivity, thereby preventing this “creating power” from fulfilling its function: to respond to the need for change that emerges in the relational fabric of collective life. Worser still is when the focus is on groups of disadvantaged people who don’t fit into the category of the “worker”—the identitarian place where the oppressed are confined in the lefts imaginary, reduced to class relations. The lefts tend to fetishize these people or even to render them folkloric, giving to these figures turned into caricatures a lot in the official map of democracy, which will only allow access to civil rights. This is the central goal of the lefts resistence: what moves them in this operation is the an urge to promote the “inclusion” of such groups into the existing map, resulting in their submissive adaptation to the hegemonic mode of subjectivation. That is the case, for example, of the lefts approach towards indigenous peoples in Brazil. This focus on mere inclusion suggests us that left-wing not only assumes the dominant mode of existence as its reference, but also considers it as “the” sole and universal reference, denying any alterity. The consequence is that they lose the crucial opportunity to inhabit the relational fabric woven by these different modes of existence and, above all, to sustain its possible shifting effects that could render void the dominant cartography. More worryingly, when such effects happen and new modes of existence emerge within collective life, they are read by the left-wing through the same lens, and tend to be similarly confined to identitarian entities. This is the case, for example, with the current movements that disrupt dominant notions of gender, sexuality, race, etc. The singularization processes underway in these insurrections are ignored, thereby neutralizing their vital impulse for transmuting the dominant modes of subjectivation and the changes of the individual and collective forms of existence this impulse could unleash in such cartograpy. In short, what is ignored and neutralized is their strength for micropolitical resistance. Although some left-wing groups recognize these movements, their readings tend to reduce them to the issue of inequality, narrowing the focus of these uprisings to the class struggle. This persistent reduction of the vision and modes of action of the left to the macropolitical sphere is responsible for the left’s helplessness in the face of the challenges of the present, which keeps it (the left) imprisoned in sterile academic lucubrations on democracy. In such lucubrations the lefts insist on “demo” (people in Greek) in the notion of “democracy”, which they translate as “governement of the people”, denying a fondamental detail of its original sens in Greek which gives it the meaning of “self- governement” of the people. This leads to reduce the discussion on the current crisis of democracy to the question of how to reform the state machine in order to better represent the people.

The dreary fate of left resistance and the repeated frustration it provokes in us, added to the confusion and the fear mobilized by the current state of things, is what leads us today to become aware of the absolute limitations of the macropolitical horizon on the leftist territory. Here and there erupt insurrections with new strategies in response to the violence against life, in all its nuances, for which the pair right/left is no longer a sufficient operator to delineate the forces at stake and to hit the strugle target. Isn’t the presence of micropolitical insurrection what surprises us in the new resistance movements bursting everywhere mainly in the younger generations— especially in the metropolitan suburbs, in particular among the women, black, and LGBTQ people—, as in the indigenous comunities? Isn’t this precisely what fascinates us in these movements, despite the difficulty of deciphering and naming it? It is not exactly such movements that are preventing us from succumbing to the melancholic and fatalistic paralysis that would thrown us into the bleak landscape that surrounds us today? In these territories-in-formation which are gradually being populated, there is an effective change of the politics of subjectivation. Their horizon expands the reach of our vision, allowing us to foresee the micropolitical sphere. How does the violence of colonial capital operates in this sphere?

Tags: insurrectionsubjectivitypoliticalcategory: Essays
Categories: News

Worldwide: Call for a Black December!

Sun, 12/03/2017 - 06:10

Received and translated by Insurrection News

With the anarchist Sebastián Oversluij in our memory, four years since his death in combat in Chile during an attempted bank expropriation in December 2013.

With swollen hearts, remembering the anarchist comrade Alexandros Grigoropoulos, seven years since he was murdered in Exarcheia, Greece by police bullets in the year 2008.

For a Black December!

While democratic and civilized totalitarianism advances, expanding its control and surveillance mechanisms, devastating territories, attacking liberated spaces and hunting down insurgents throughout the world, imposing punishments and long sentences of imprisonment against the enemies of domination.

While in Italy our comrades are launching blasphemous attacks against the judges and reaffirming their anarchist convictions during the trial by the repressive operation Scripta Manent.

While thousands of prisoners in struggle are mobilizing in Greece in response to the attempts of the power to asphyxiate prisoners with a new penitentiary code.

While in Chile the power tries to strike its blow of revenge demanding long sentences in the trial against the anarchists Juan Flores, Nataly Casanova and Enrique Durán.

While in Argentina where you can still feel the rage and pain from the murder of comrade Santiago Maldonado, and then the police murdered the Mapuche warrior Rafael Nahuel while the government militarizes its territories in preparation for the next G20 summit.

While in Brazil, police intelligence tries to halt the anarchist struggle via Operation Erebo, accusing comrades, anarchist spaces and libraries of being behind the beautiful incendiary flashes that in recent years have spread in an intentional way against political party headquarters, police barracks and various power structures.

While all this is happening, in various parts of the globe anarchic minds explore practical and offensive responses to the constant aggression that represents the very existence of power and authority.

From the dignity of the prisoners struggling in the prisons of Bulgaria, to the burning cars in France and the call to action in the Czech Republic. From Belarus to Australia, from Mexico to Belgium and Germany. From Bolivia to the United Kingdom, Finland, Russia, Indonesia, Spain and the whole world, the yearnings for freedom are expressed, shouted, conspired and acted upon without bosses or hierarchies, opening the way to anarchy here and now.

That’s why December continues to be an invitation for insurgent communication via the wild heat of the offensive action against power.

For all our imprisoned and persecuted comrades. For all those that rise up and take action against domination by attacking their structures and their representatives.

May solidarity with our comrades become action. May the memory of Sebastián Oversluij and Alexandros Grigoropoulos ignite barricades and feed fires and explosions against power and their defenders. Let the enemy feel the siege of revolt in every neighbourhood, in every cell and on every corner.

For a Black December, long live anarchy!

Tags: Black Decembercategory: International
Categories: News

Avalanche: Anarchist correspondence, November 2017, issue #12 + editorial

Sat, 12/02/2017 - 23:59

From Avalanche

Anarchists always appropriated means to spread anti-authoritarian ideas and struggles to feed the dialogue and subversive action. It is in this sense that this publication is also intended as a tool, more precisely that of providing a space to nourish the international debate between anarchists. That is why these particular pages create space for struggles that spring from anarchist activities; autonomous, direct and self-organized struggles; struggles that go towards the destruction of power in all its forms; struggles happening today, yesterday or that are announcing itself.

For reading and printing (& distribution), the pdf can be found on avalanche.noblogs.org (in english, french and german).
Texts.

[Portugal] Theme park and living laboratory; the future of (two)
cities?
[Italy] Against the TAP, let’s block everything
[USA] A Year Of Making Noise
[Argentina] For the anarchist comrade Santiago Maldonado
[Chile] To have one’s sight on the enemy
[Spain] The nonsense of privacy and the necessity of action
The next issue will be published in February 2018.
The deadline for
contributions is the 1st of February and the texts can be send to
correspondance@riseup.net.

Editorial

To develop our projects, to establish an international correspondence, we need - among other things - persistence. A quality that is often not paid much attention. Like a butterfly, it is common for many to flit about from being interested in one thing today, something else tomorrow, and already move on to something else again the day after tomorrow; what was interesting before is already forgotten. This attitude has nothing to do with what Marxists have always maligned as the revolutionary impatience of the anarchists, which is to insist that attacks on the existing order are possible and necessary, as bad as the “objective” conditions may be.

However, the question remains; in so doing does one develop a projectuality, or does one become a mere victim to the circumstances they find themselves rebelling against, running in all directions like a startled chicken. Let’s not make illusions. The rope around our throats gets tighter and tighter - or, if we prefer this metaphor, we find ourselves increasingly pushed to the margins, along with lots of other people. Will we persist with our ideas? And as a consequence, look for means and ways to attack the digital restructuring of capitalism which is tirelessly pushed forward in universities, parliaments, labs... going forward, attacking, with the goal of destroying it. Or will we find in ourselves a critical but ultimately sympathetic disposition with regards to possibilities of “smart cities” and the internet of things? A similar question can also be posed when considering the rise of the neofascists. Will we persist that fascism is just one modality among others for how to govern a state and administer capital, and consequently not only aim at fascism but also continue attacking democracy and indeed politics itself, with the intention of destroying them? Or will we be content with defending “the best of all possible worlds” or “the lesser evil”, standing together with churches, unions, and liberals?

Maybe I put too much emphasis on persistence when considering these questions. So it goes. Certainly an insurrectionary projectuality must also be capable of recognizing when some paths ought to be abandoned, or when something is no longer worth the effort. It may be because of toughening conditions, but lately I experience more and more erosion of principles: former comrades who proudly tell me that they have been voting and so forth. Suddenly one’s enmeshment in capitalism, one’s contradictions, and the times when one can’t fulfill one’s own claims to coherence all becomes general excuses. Of course one must reflect upon one’s contradictions, but it must also be said that the subversion of the existing order isn’t an easy task that could be realized in the time between today and tomorrow.

Therefore we continue to address all anarchists that have an interest in sharing their projectuality, analysis, reflections, experiences, and proposals for struggle, which recognize themselves as engaged in a combative anarchism that tries to contribute to an informal international without center or hegemony. Because we insist that an international correspondence is necessary to try to overcome one’s limitations and potentize one’s qualities. Starting from local struggles aiming to create rupture, from intervention proposals for an insurrectionary anarchist presence in a social upheaval or from an individual path of scattered attacks, Avalanche is a collective attempt to sharpen our perspectives and practices, by counterposing each of them against the other.

An enemy of the state, mostly somewhere in the territory controlled by the Austrian state.

Tags: Avalanchecorrespondencecategory: International
Categories: News

Brazil: Operation Erebo – The Hunt Against Anarchists in Porto Alegre Continues

Sat, 12/02/2017 - 15:17

via Insurrection News with some editing by this site using the Spanish translation found here - the original Brazilian is here

Received on 02.12.17:

Today, November 30, 2017, Operation Erebo attacked anarchists once again. They invaded some houses, stealing things and destroying everything in their path. At this stage we don't know whether any other homes were invaded. Communication is precarious since we don’t know the levels of police intervention. And this time nothing was broadcast in the media.

Even when the storm seemed to have calmed without any arrests or information about the operation, we are sure they are looking for us. Unlike other incursions, Operation Erabo appears to move slowly but surely.

We remain strong, determined and still [?] in these persecutions, certain that the love of freedom cries stronger.
The shows of support and solidarity are not lacking and the different positions of anarchism have remained firm in their rejection of authority and with their arms extended to their comrades. It strengthens us.

Spread the news

Arms extended to our comrades, clenched fists for our enemies!

Let us live anarchy!

Tags: brazilanarchists in troublecategory: International
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