Words dilute and brutalize; words depersonalize; words make the uncommon common. Culture is made up of languages - languages of words and numbers, of concepts and assumptions, of conventions and expectations, of problems and solutions, of answers and questions. Languages write our lives: they set the options whenever we make a choice, however free we may be in selecting. At the same time, it is our use of them that makes them what they are and reproduces them. This week we’re looking into how languages enforce their constraints upon us and ways to adjust, subvert, and remake anarchist dialogue.
Over the past few years and especially proceeding Trump's election, there has been a lot of debate about the growth of right-wing authoritarianism. One of the items on the table is the use of terminology to describe relatively new forms of ideology and practice throughout Europe and the United States. In the USA, pundits are taking positions on the label "alt-right;" whether a variety of different sorts of authoritarians ought to be recognized in their particularities, or rather exposed as (or lumped into) an undifferentiated camp that we simply call "fascists" or "white nationalists".
a. The moderators of anews have asked many times for input on how to make conversations better on this site.
The responses have overwhelmingly been in two camps: one insisting (roughly) that the site should be no holds barred, anything that could possibly be called anarchist should be allowed, and the moderators should get out of the way. The other camp (roughly) demanding that there should be the correct amount (which varies) of moderation, usually more (and frequently targeted at specific, named posters).
What’s Your Favorite Piece of Anarchist Media Right Now?
We’ve had a topic of the week regarding the role of anarchist media in the past, but this week is focused on your personal favorite—a “Best of” compilation by you the commenters.
Books, pamphlets & zines, news articles, music, films, vlogs, podcasts, Surrealist paintings, Dadaist subway performers, subversive puppet shows, comics, pirate radio stations, etc…. The list of anarchist media is expansive and inexhaustible.
There seems to be two different attitudes regarding the election. Denounce it for all the world to see or simply ignore it and let the date pass you by. What attitude do you take and why?
Assuming that "business as usual" wins this particular election rather than "something like fascist" will business be as usual or will there be some kind of substantive change in the next 2-12 months that we could notice? What will that change be? Is a civil war possible? How about 100 days of coherent legislative agenda?
If we've been around at all, we've all had experiences of either being called out, or calling out, or both. This totw is not for the same conversations about how fucked up the most egregious examples are (a target that is far too easy), but one about our own positive (as much as possible, and however complicated) experiences: when has calling out someone or something worked in a specific case? when has someone had a really solid response to being falsely or correctly called out?
Like so many anarchists, perhaps your brain has begun to hurt and your to stomach churn when you hear yet another conversation about the USA presidential election, or talk of any election or democracy for that matter. With the election a little more than two weeks away perhaps now is a good time to pause and reflect on our anarchist analysis of democracy, electoral politics, and our actions leading up to and beyond this election cycle.
Automation is an old topic, but according to some recent estimates, automation is expected to replace nearly half of the US-workforce over the next couple of decades. While some people look forward to this future of less work, it isn't just neo-Luddites frowning about these developments. As anarchists, working less (or not at all) is a familiar goal; however, less work doesn't necessarily mean more freedom. It isn't difficult to imagine a future that is both without work and without liberty. It's especially easy to imagine such a future when the latest popular technologies are surveyed: smart phones, GPS-tracking, high-speed (and highly centralized) interconnected networks, the Internet of Things. Compelling the population to work with the threat of poverty is only one form of compelling populations. There are countless others.
Drawing from last week's TOTW and the politics of everyday life. How does anarchism influence our actions, activities, jobs, hobbies, or other interests beyond the scope of anarchism? Where does this cross-pollination between anarchism and the rest of your life feel more substantial? What are some examples of anarchism informing or influencing your actions, interactions, or opinions in ways that have been positive? When have you tried to apply anarchist ethics, ideas, framework, etc. to something that didn't work out, either at all or how you hoped?
This week could be a good time to revisit the conversation about politics. Are anarchists (or anarchism) political? (definition: The art or science of government or governing, especially the governing of a political entity, such as a nation, and the administration and control of its internal and external affairs.) If we aren't then what are we? Is there another term that concerns itself with the politics of daily life and not with governing?