It always surprises people who know little about anarchists that we believe in organizing and working together. As my last post explains, anarchists tend to be highly organized, and most of us have very coherent systems of thought. We can even be dogmatic, contradictory as that sounds, but what we don’t normally do, or should not do anyway, is try to regulate or control what others think. Anarchists probably have as many opinions per capita as Jews, and as for Jewish anarchists … well you do the math.
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If … extortion from labor rest upon denials of liberty, plainly the remedy consists in the realization of liberty. Destroy the banking monopoly, establish freedom in finance, and down will go interest on money through the beneficent influence of competition. Capital will be set free, business will flourish, new enterprises will start, labor will be in demand, and gradually the wages of labor will rise to a level with its product. And it is the same with the other monopolies. Abolish the tariffs, issue no patents[,] take down the bars from unoccupied land, and labor will straightway rush in and take possession of its own. Then mankind will live in freedom and in comfort.Some anarchists believe in a really radical form of autonomism, where no one ever has to be answerable to the collective, and presumably the collective bears no responsibility for the actions of the individual. I believe just the opposite – that in order for each of us to be free we must value the collective more than our individual desires, and that the collective must take responsibility for the consequences of any actions taken in accordance with its decisions.
Nihilist anarchy is a collection of political theories, a growing tendency and influence within the anarchist movement. Nihilist anarchists approach society with skepticism and they attempt to avoid the pitfalls of speculation, even to the point of denying a future vision of society. Some focus on the need to address the problems of the present, but do so without subscribing to the models that are seen to hold back other radicals. By doing this, they reject "progress, evolution, the general strike, the insurrection to end all insurrections, or the supremacy of theory over action."This form of nihilist anarchism, which the author distinguishes from “Nietzschean nihilism” and “Russian nihilism” is based in a “revolutionary skepticism” which holds:
- An ethical revolution does not necessarily create an ethical society.
- No future is as possible as any future.
- Reject the world as it is. It must be superceded before it can be valued.
- All attempts to inflict radical change have failed, giving legitimacy to the idea that action is not bound by moral restraint.
- There is no single method of revolt nor is there a grand scheme behind it. When these ideas are imposed is when we are promised more of the same (reaction and failure).
- Revolt is not found in moral living.
- Revolt despite the consequences is worth living.
- Revolt is without hope, but not without casualties.
The nihilists reject both “prefigurative politics,” which seek to create the new society we want to see at the same time that we struggle to overthrow the existing authoritarian institutions, and any effort to win immediate reforms while trying to create the conditions for revolution. Much like Berkman and Most, they believe visible attacks on corporate and state institutions help to show the system’s weaknesses. At an Occupy Oakland forum on nonviolence, one of the insurrectionists quoted Rudy Giuliani’s “Broken Windows Theory,” under which minor property damage is kind of a gateway drug leading to the collapse of the social order. All I can say is, if only it were so easy.
- Black Orchid
- Insurrectionary anarchy
3-5PM: debates on
- The enemy (capitalism or civilization?)
- Revolution (ultimate goals and how to get there)
- Class & identity
- The role of revolutionaries
- Unions & solidarity networks
- Prefigurative (anti)politics
- The Occupy movement